Tag Archives: ‘When

COVID-19 vaccine a matter of ‘when not if,’ but must be produced safely: Fauci

The U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert told a House committee on Tuesday he believes “it will be when and not if” there will be a COVID-19 vaccine and that he remains “cautiously optimistic” that some will be ready at the end of the year.

Dr. Anthony Fauci has returned to Capitol Hill at a fraught moment in the nation’s pandemic response, with coronavirus cases rising in about half the states and political polarization competing for attention with public health recommendations.

Fauci, who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was joined at the session by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Robert Redfield, Food and Drug Administration chief Dr. Stephen Hahn and the head of the U.S. Public Health Service, Adm. Brett Giroir.

There is still no vaccine for COVID-19, and there are no treatments specifically developed for the disease, although the antiviral drug remdesivir has been shown to help some patients, as well as a steroid called dexamethasone, and plasma from patients who have recovered.

While Fauci expressed confidence with respect to vaccine development, both he and Hahn said the U.S. needed to be careful to establish the safety and effectiveness of any potential coronavirus vaccine before rushing into production and distribution.

Fauci said he’d be “very disappointed if we jumped to a conclusion before we know a vaccine was truly safe and effective.”

Since Fauci’s last appearance at a high-profile hearing more than a month ago, the U.S. has been emerging from weeks of stay-at-home orders and business shutdowns. But it’s being done in an uneven way, with some states far less cautious than others. A trio of states with Republican governors who are bullish on reopening — Arizona, Florida and Texas — are among those seeing worrisome increases in cases.

“The next couple of weeks are going to be critical in our ability to address those surgings that we’re seeing in Florida, in Texas, Arizona and other states,” said Fauci.

Fauci and Redfield said that as far as schools reopening in the fall, different jurisdictions will require different solutions depending on the “virus dynamics,” and that options such as staggered attendance could be necessary.

WATCH l U.S. situation a ‘mixed bag’:

Dr. Anthony Fauci described the fight in the United States against the coronavirus as a ‘mixed bag’ and says health officials plan aggressive use of one particular tool: ‘We’re going to be doing more testing, not less.’ 2:31

Trump hasn’t ordered reduced testing, his officials say

Last week, Vice-President Mike Pence published an opinion article in The Wall Street Journal saying the administration’s efforts have strengthened the nation’s ability to counter the virus and should be “a cause for celebration.”

Then Trump said at his weekend rally in Tulsa that he had asked administration officials to slow down testing, because too many positive cases are turning up. Many rally goers did not wear masks, and for some that was an act of defiance against what they see as government intrusion. White House officials later tried to walk back Trump’s comment on testing, suggesting it wasn’t meant to be taken literally.

A health-care worker interacts with motorists at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing facility on June 17 in Dallas. (Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Monring News/The Associated Press)

The chair of the House’s energy and committee chair Frank Pallone of New Jersey said during Tuesday’s hearing that Trump’s testing comment at the rally “was an extremely reckless action, and unfortunately it continues the president’s pattern of ignoring the advice of his own public health experts.”

Trump, departing the White House for a visit to Arizona on Tuesday, played down those comments, saying under his administration the U.S. is doing more testing than any other country. Trump’s trip includes a rally at a megachurch.

All of them said that the White House has not ordered a reduction in testing, despite Trump’s comments.

Fauci continues to recognize widespread testing as critical for catching clusters of COVID-19 cases before they turn into full outbreaks in a given community.

About 2.3 million Americans have been sickened in the pandemic, and some 120,000 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The U.S. continues to ramp up testing, with some 27.5 million Americans, or more than 8 per cent of the population, tested thus far. But most communities still lack enough health workers trained in doing contact tracing, the work of identifying people who have had interactions with an infected person. That could make it more difficult to tamp down emerging outbreaks.

Giroir was tapped by the White House to oversee the expansion of coronavirus testing. But he gained notoriety after a whistleblower complaint flagged him for trying to push a malaria drug touted by Trump to treat COVID-19 without conclusive scientific evidence. The FDA has since withdrawn its emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine.

Giroir said the administration has worked with state governments and private sector partners to ramp up domestic production of personal protective equipment for the potential of another round of the virus in the fall.

Single COVID-flu test being developed

Democrat Anna Eshoo of California said she was dismayed that the administration has essentially ended its formal coronavirus briefings — the last one was held in late April — and she urged Redfield to push back against the White House and hold its own news conferences.

“The American people are divided on the issue of the virus — imagine that,” said Eshoo, who was participating remotely. “I know the agencies are speaking to each other [but] I consider that a whisper.”

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gives his open statement at the House committee session in Washington on Tuesday. Democrats have lamented what they’ve characterized as the sidelining of the CDC’s usual prominent role in health crises. (Kevin Dietsch/The Associated Press)

In 2009, when a new type of flu virus known at the time as swine flu spread around the world, the CDC held almost daily briefings. Its experts released information on a regular basis to describe the unfolding scientific understanding of the virus and the race for a vaccine. 

The federal response to the coronavirus pandemic initially followed a similar pattern, but the agency’s guidance on the virus has been overlooked or de-emphasized in recent months, critics say.

Redfield said in prepared remarks that the CDC has developed a single test that can check for coronavirus and flu strains.

“CDC has developed a new laboratory test that checks for three viruses at the same time, two types of influenza viruses [A and B] and SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19,” he said.

As with many countries, long-term facilities have been hit hard by COVID-19. Nursing home residents make up 0.6 per cent of the U.S. population but have accounted for 35 per cent of coronavirus fatalities, Redifeld said.

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Daniel Lissing Has No Regrets Leaving ‘When Calls the Heart’ Because of THIS Heartwarming Reason (Exclusive)

Daniel Lissing Has No Regrets Leaving ‘When Calls the Heart’ Because of THIS Heartwarming Reason (Exclusive) | Entertainment Tonight

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‘When Calls the Heart’ Season 7 Sneak Peek: Nathan, Lucas & Elizabeth Love Triangle Tension Builds (Exclusive)

‘When Calls the Heart’ Season 7 Sneak Peek: Nathan, Lucas & Elizabeth Love Triangle Tension Builds (Exclusive) | Entertainment Tonight

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‘Not now. Then when?’: Kobe Bryant’s death prompts battle over focus on star’s rape charge

For author and attorney Mark Shaw, there’s one memory of Kobe Bryant seared into his brain — that of a young basketball star seated in a Colorado courtroom with what he perceived as a flippant attitude to the charge of sexual assault against him.

“Here was Kobe with an arrogant look on his face,” said Shaw, who covered the case for ESPN in 2004.

“It bothered me and it bothered all of the other reporters. He wasn’t taking this seriously at all. I don’t know if he was in denial or whatever, but he just didn’t take it seriously.”

Shaw, who is convinced of Bryant’s guilt, said he is particularly bothered by the coverage of Bryant’s death, that not enough emphasis has been placed on this part of the athlete’s life.

The tragic death of Bryant, along with his 13-year-old daughter and seven others in a helicopter crash Sunday, has sparked an outpouring of grief and tributes for the basketball great who helped lead the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA titles during his 20-year career. But others have been quick to note that Bryant’s legacy is also marked by an allegation of sexual assault. And that, in turn, has sparked a backlash from some fans angered that the allegations were revisited so soon after his death.

“When someone passes away, certainly you want to highlight what they did well in life. And apparently he did kind of turn his life around from that point and became a great father, and the things that he’s done and all of that, that’s great,” said Shaw.

But you just need to tell both sides of the story. A lot of times people just don’t want to really know the truth. They would rather discard that and only look at the positives that were involved with somebody’s life.”

Bryant at the Eagle County Justice Center in 2004 for pretrial motions in connection with the alleged rape of a 19-year-old woman. (Ed Andrieski/The Associated Press)

Indeed, a Washington Post reporter faced considerable social media backlash and death threats after she tweeted a link to an old article about the sexual assault allegation against Bryant shortly after he was killed. (Felicia Sonmez was suspended by the paper, which then seemed to back off on Tuesday.)

Jill Filipovic, lawyer and author of The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness, said it’s possible to “grieve a life lost and also address that life honestly.”

“To everyone yelling NOT NOW: Then when? When are we supposed to grapple with, and tell the whole truth about, the lives of people many admire?” she tweeted Sunday.

In a blog posted titled Kobe Bryant and Complicated Legacies, Filipovic wrote that all of his success in sports is “key to Kobe’s story” but also “is not the whole story.”

“Out of some mislaid definition of ‘respect,’ we are so excellent at sidelining the inconvenient parts, at least when the inconvenient parts are women we’ve made invisible and the one inconvenienced is a man we would prefer to keep admiring, without complication,” she wrote.

Bryant with his daughter Gianna at the 2019 WNBA All-Star Game. Gianna was also killed in the helicopter crash Sunday. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

In 2003, Bryant was charged with sexually assaulting a 19-year-old employee at a Colorado resort. He had said the two had consensual sex. Prosecutors later dropped the felony sexual assault charge at the request of the accuser, in exchange for a public apology. Bryant also settled a civil suit against him by the accuser for an undisclosed amount of money.

While some endorsements dried up, including McDonald’s, other major companies like Nike stuck by Bryant. He was largely able to put the allegations behind him, going on to have one of the most successful careers in the NBA, eventually retiring in 2016 as the third-leading scorer in the league’s history. 

However, in the wake of the #MeToo movement, those allegations resurfaced. In March 2018, after he won an Oscar for the short animated film Dear Basketball, based on a poem he wrote, some criticized the Academy for its selection. And in Oct. 2018, he was ousted from the jury of an animated film festival after an online petition was circulated demanding he be dropped.

Shaw said in recounting Bryant’s legacy, it’s fine to talk about how Bryant seemed to change his ways following the alleged attack.

I think you can do it in a way where you say despite him being charged with sexual assault … Kobe Bryant had become a changed man. I think you can put a positive spin on this — but it does need to include this incident that happened back then.”

Globe and Mail investigative reporter Robyn Doolittle, whose recent book Had it Coming: What’s Fair in the Age of #MeToo? includes a chapter about the Bryant case, said it’s important to remember someone like Bryant as a whole person. 

“He can be a basketball legend, and it means so much to so many people, and he can also be an amazing father, by all accounts. He can also be someone who faced very credible sexual assault or rape allegations,” she said.

“I don’t necessarily think that people should hate Kobe Bryant. My book is all about ‘It’s not black or white. The hot take isn’t necessarily the most productive one.'”

His death, the outpouring of grief, and what some might say is an effort by fans to ignore the most controversial chapter of his life is illustrative of the intense relationship many have with their celebrity idols, said Bradley Bond, a University of San Diego associate professor in communication studies.

Bond studies the psychological concept known as parasocial relationship: the way people develop very strong social and emotional ties to fictional characters and celebrities.

The nature of entertainment media is to continually disclose information about these people, and the public feels like they get to know them over the course of time, he said.

“So it makes sense that when one of those perceived relationships dissolves that we experience grief in a similar way.”

Eric Mascarenhas comforts his son Nicolas at a memorial for Bryant near the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Monday. (Ringo H.W. Chiu/The Associated Press)

And when a celebrity does something that conflicts with one’s own moral code, it either negatively influences the relationship or fans find a way to close that cognitive dissonance with some type of excuse, Bond said.

I think the easiest case with something like Kobe’s complicated background is to simply not believe the accuser.”

As well, fans may also be able to separate an actor or athlete’s personal life with their performance.

“You can still admire that primary attribute even if secondary attributes might conflict with what you see as an admirable person. I think you can separate Kobe the athlete from Kobe the individual.”

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‘When Calls the Heart’ Boss Teases Season 7: New Romances, a Wedding and Relationship Challenges (Exclusive)

‘When Calls the Heart’ Boss Teases Season 7: New Romances, a Wedding and Relationship Challenges (Exclusive) | Entertainment Tonight

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From smoking to pizza:  When hockey players were not so healthy


Players in the NHL are bigger, stronger, and faster than ever, but that wasn’t always the case. Rob Pizzo asked some former players about some unhealthy habits of the past that they witnessed.

Players in the NHL are bigger, stronger, and faster than ever, but that wasn’t always the case. Rob Pizzo asked some former players about some unhealthy habits of the past that they witnessed. 2:05

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‘When Calls the Heart’ Star Andrea Brooks Gives Birth to Daughter

‘When Calls the Heart’ Star Andrea Brooks Gives Birth to Daughter | Entertainment Tonight

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Lori Loughlin’s Daughter Bella and Former ‘When Calls the Heart’ Co-Stars Wish Her Happy Birthday

Lori Loughlin’s Daughter Bella and Former ‘When Calls the Heart’ Co-Stars Wish Her Happy Birthday | Entertainment Tonight

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‘When the mob forms’: the psychology of child ‘mob’ violence and bullying after Saskatoon attack

Psychologists say any one of the children who attacked a 33-year-old woman in a Saskatoon park last week would likely know right from wrong if they were asked one on one.

“There’s something that happens, though, when the mob forms,” said Patti McDougall, a developmental and educational psychologist at the University of Saskatchewan.

“And so that tells me, or that would suggest that the reasonable, rational part of your decision making has gone out the window.”

Watch the video of Halcrow’s attack:

Bonnie Halcrow says she was attacked when she began recording a group of young boys throwing rocks at an older man. It happened Monday in Pleasant Hill Park in Saskatoon. 0:26

McDougall said she was shocked and horrified when she viewed a video of a group of children kicking, hitting and dragging Manitoba woman Bonnie Halcrow at the Pleasant Hill Park on May 20.

Physiology can take over

A 13-year-old girl has been charged with one count of assault after the attack. She is also facing another assault charge over a different incident, in which two girls aged 10 and 14 said they were assaulted at the same park a week earlier. 

Police said an unspecified number of children have been identified as being involved in the attack, but they will not be charged because they are younger than 12.

McDougall said she believes any child, in the right conditions and context, could behave terribly.

University of Saskatchewan developmental and education psychologist Patti McDougall believes more supervision, not necessarily from police but from adults, could improve child behaviour in the Pleasant Hill area. (CBC)

She said there are situations where physiology or adrenaline can take over rational thought.

“We know that in this case, to see that unfold would suggest that there was a huge degree of impulsivity and they completely disengaged from any rational decision making,” said McDougall.

‘They build on each other’s aggression’

Debra Pepler, a distinguished research professor of psychology at York University in Toronto, said hundreds of hours spent observing children in playgrounds suggest there is a pattern that emerges when group bullying occurs.

She said when one child initiates bullying or an attack, then another joins in, it encourages the first child to become more aggressive and excited. The result is that they think less rationally.   

Like McDougall, Pepler thinks the young people in the Saskatoon video might not behave the same way outside of the group.

“It’s a group of young people doing things that, in a calm way, they would know were wrong except what happens sometimes when groups of young people get together and aren’t thinking is that they excite each other,” she said.

“They build on each other’s aggression and something that one child would likely not have done takes off with an energy that’s really difficult for us to understand.”

Debra Pepler, a distinguished research professor at York University in Toronto, was not surprised by what she saw in the Saskatoon video. (CBC News)

She said the feeling the child has is like “stepping into an action film,” and the excitement they feel reinforces the bad behaviour among others.

Pepler suggested parents who are concerned their children could get drawn into a violent or bullying situation should start a conversation about it.

“If this happened and you were there, what would you do?” said Pepler.

“What would you do to keep yourself safe? But what would you do to stand up and say no? And it’s children who have strong relationships with their parents who are able to do that.”\

She said children who have warm, nurturing relationships with their parents, rather than being frightened, respond better to discipline.

For the children involved in the Saskatoon attack, McDougall said it will be important to assess their individual needs as a response to the incident.

Community should talk about increasing adult presence

She said an increased adult presence in the area, not necessarily by police but also the community, would be a deterrent to the children and one way to approach community safety.

“We know that added supervision and even the perception of monitoring can have an impact on behaviour,” said McDougall.

“So the mere presence of adults and the belief that … you’re accountable to those people, and that you need to monitor or alter your behaviour accordingly — that can make an impact.

“That’s something that community needs to be talking about.”

With files from CBC’s Bonnie Allen

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