Laurie Garrett Profile picture
Former Sr Fellow @CFR_org. Recipient of Pulitzer Prize, Polk (2Xs) and Peabody Awards. Author: IHeard theSirensScream, TheComingPlague, Ebola & BetrayalofTrust.
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5 May
Three important @CDCgov studies just released, about the future of the U.S. #COVID19 epidemic.
First, CDC assembled 6 independent modeling teams to forecast the May to July epidemic, w/various assumptions about #vaccine uptake, mask use, opening up…
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2/ All 6 see the US epidemic peaking in May, and then steadily declining over the summer. What differs dramatically is the RATE of decline, hinging on vaccination rates & social distancing relaxations.
cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/7…
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2b/ “These scenarios show ongoing efforts to ^ #vaccination coverage & maintain physical distancing, masking, isolation & quarantine are warranted. As the #COVID19 #pandemic evolves & more data become available, future projections can provide improved publ hlth response.”
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Read 6 tweets
28 Apr
Images from the horrendous #COVID19 catastrophe in #India must start with #SuperSpreader events in early April. Religious festivals were not dampened, and there was no mask enforcement.
#COVID19India
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2/ And political campaigning was pursued vigorously in early April, with huge throngs and no mask requirements.
#COVID19 #SuperSpreader
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3/ Fueled by a double-mutant variant strain of #SARSCoV2 on top of those #SuperSpreader events, India's #COVID19 epidemic soared at terrifying speed, all over the country, but especially in New Delhi. Burned-out healthcare workers feared for their lives.
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Read 7 tweets
28 Apr
Saagar Enjeti claims the public health syst is contributing to "anti-vax" sentiment across the country. And at 5:08 in this vid, he attacks me. His claim? Masks & social distancing aren't key to lowering #COVID19 risk, mixed messages frm @CDCgov suck.
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2/ Enjeti calls me "anti-science".
Self-described "populist right" advocate -- a politics buff, not a scientist or MD. thewire.in/world/american…
He has never been a fan of masking and social distancing, and he argues that the plateau we've reached, downturn in many States..
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3/...is due to the #COVID19 #vaccines.
He blames @POTUS @CDCgov & #TonyFauci for mixed messages leading people to opt for masks etc instead of vax.
The problems w/his argument are many. 1: There is a large overlap between anti-maskers & anti-vaxers. In Dec2020 polls it was..
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Read 17 tweets
27 Apr
.@POTUS @JoeBiden
"Today, in <100 days, more than 67% -- 2/3rds of our seniors -- are now fully vaccinated & more than 80% of seniors have had at least 1 shot. That effort has resulted in a drop of 80% in deaths among American seniors, a 70% drop in hospitalizations."
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2/ "So instead of losing 1000s of seniors each day, we're saving 1000s of lives, and more & more as each day goes by.
And, by the way, the proportion -- the proportion of seniors who have been vaccinated is essentially equal between white and seniors of color."
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3/ "Starting today, if you're fully vaccinated, & you're outdoors...you no longer need to wear a mask.
I want to be absolutely clear: If you're in a crowd, like a stadium or at a conference or a concert, you still need to wear a mask even if you're outside."
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Read 4 tweets
27 Apr
The @WhiteHouse #COVID19 presser now...U.S. giving #India 60M doses @AstraZeneca vaccines. U.S. "really hopeful decline" of 7% in new cases compared to last week. If you are vax'ed says @CDCDirector you can
- no masks in sml outdoor gatherings
- see below
Fauci is now discussing variants vs vaccines
what works?
P.1 Brazil variant
Read 5 tweets
26 Apr
OK, Santorum, derivations of these words, please:
Minnesota (mni-sota)
Dakota (a Sioux nation)
Michigan (mishigami)
Chicago (Shikaakwa)
Erie (an Iroquoian nation)
Huron
Takoma (*təqʷúməʔ)
Cheyenne (a Plains nation)
Mississippi (Ojibwe misiziibi)
Oklahoma (okla homa)
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Wyoming (xwé:wamənk)
Alabama (Alibamu)
Missouri (the Missouri nation)
Indiana (Algonquin for "Indian land")
Alaska (alaxsxaq)
Arizona (ali ṣona-g)
Kansas (kką:ze)
Miami (the Mayaimi nation)
Idaho (ídaahę́)
Iowa (ayuxwe)
Massachusetts (Massachusêuck)
Nebraska (ñįbraske)
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New Mexico (Mēxihco)
Ohio (ohi:yo’)
Tennessee (Tanasi)
Texas (táyshaʔ)
Utah (yúdah)
Illinois (ilenweewa)
Potomac River (Patawomeck)
Topeka (dóppikʔe)
Housatonic River (usi-a-di-en-uk)
Manhattan (man-ǎ-hǎ-tonh)
Witchita (a Plains nation)
Milwaukee (millioke)
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Read 4 tweets
26 Apr
OK, to all those trashing my tweet on the national downturn in new cases & relationship to #COVID19 #vaccines, let's do the numbers. Drawing from @CDCgov & @CovidTracker data, for key States, compare high daily cases in latest surge, latest tally & vax rates per 100K pop.
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2/This is doses admin'ed, so majority are 1-dose/persn.
Example: MARYLAND
Reported 1,084 new cases on April 13, down to 906 on 4/24 -- a 16% drop.
And it's latest vax rate is 74,859:100K, which is above average.
46% of adults have had 1 or both doses vax.
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3/Few States have vax rates as high as MD.
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MICHIGAN
New cases 4/13 = 10,083. 4/24 = 5,052
48% drop
Vax rate = 67,787/100K
41.2% adults have had 1 or 2 doses
CALIFORNIA
3/25 = 2,485 cases; 4/24 = 2241 -- a 9% drop
Vax rate 72,865/100K; 46.8% adults at least 1 dose
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Read 10 tweets
8 Apr
The National Intelligence Council NIC released its 2040 forecast, which will guide #Biden Admin. It begins noting how radically #COVI19 has shaken the world:
"Are the disruptions temporary or could the pandemic unleash new forces to shape the future?"
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dni.gov/files/ODNI/doc…
2/ "Much like the terrorist attacks of 11 Sept 2001, the #COVID19 #pandemic is likely to produce some changes that will be felt for years & change the way we live, work, & govern domestically & internationally. How great these will be, however, is very much in question."
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3/ The NIC 2040 forecasts 5 scenarios for the world's future.
In Scenario 1 democracy enjoys a revival all over the world, as #COVID19 shows that dictatorships & populist leaders fail their people in combatting the virus & #ClimateChange .
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Read 8 tweets
6 Apr
Let's take another look at the excitement many feel about an mRNA-based #HIV #vaccine and be clear about what is real, and what is hope.
In a monkey model, challenged with a simian version of HIV, the animals are protected against infection.
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aidsmap.com/news/mar-2021/…
2/ Researchers @IAVI & @scrippsresearch tested an mRNA HIV vaccine in Phase 1 trial -- 97% of recipient people made antibodies against HIV.
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iavi.org/news-resources…
3/ There has been promise before with HIV vaccines --- only to fail in larger human trials. So caution...
But @moderna_tx is working on a mRNA HIV vaccine that has engendered some enthusiasm.
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poz.com/article/scient…
Read 4 tweets
22 Mar
The @AstraZeneca company had to conduct new Phase 3 trials to garner possible approval from @US_FDA & results are just out, via press release:

- "79% #vaccine efficacy at preventing symptomatic #COVID19
- 100% efficacy against severe disease & hospit."

astrazeneca.com
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@AstraZeneca says there were no racial or ethnic diffs in #vaccine response (but 79% of test subjs were Caucasian)
"The vaccine was well tolerated...no safety concerns...no increased risk of thrombosis or events characterised by thrombosis among the 21,583 participants" MORE
3/@AstraZeneca
"The #vaccine can be stored, transported and handled at normal refrigerated conditions (2-8 degrees Celsius or 36-46 degrees Fahrenheit) for at least six months and administered without the need for preparation within existing healthcare settings."
MORE #COVID19
Read 4 tweets
15 Mar
It's the worst dust storm in Asia in at least a decade.
PM 2.5: Beijing measured 655 micrograms/meter cubed today. @WHO says >25 PM2.5 is unsafe.
From Mongolia, the sandstorm gradually moved southward.
cnn.com/2021/03/15/asi…
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Dust/2
The conditions for dust storms (drought, destruction of ground cover & trees, very high winds) are linked to #ClimateChange and human destruction of the environment. MORE
tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.108…
Dust/3
Mongolia, in particular, has seen a steady increase over the last 20 years in both the frequency and severity of massive dust storms, blanketing much of northern China before ending up over the Pacific Ocean.
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jstor.org/stable/2638856…
Read 4 tweets
11 Mar
So, let's take a little walk down memory lane on treatment of Chinese in the USA. In 1871 in Los Angeles, 10% of Chinatown was slaughtered in a single night.
lapl.org/collections-re…
It was the worst lynching in a single day of US history:
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2/The Rock Springs massacre, Wyoming, September 2, 1885: White miners slaughtered Chinese men, accusing them of "stealing jobs". At least 28 were murdered and most Chinese homes were burned to the ground. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_Spri…
It led to tense diplomacy between US & China.
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3/On May 6, 1882 Pres. Chester Arthur signed the Chinese Exclusion Act, prohibiting all immigration of Chinese laborers. On May 5, 1892 Congress passed the Geary Act, requiring all Chinese to carry a resident permit at all times, punishable by deportation or a year of hard labor.
Read 9 tweets
27 Feb
For clues to the future of out #COVID19 fight pay heed to #Sirael, which has vaccinated the >est % of its population of any country.
Can it achieve herd immunity & "return to normal"?
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foreignpolicy.com/2021/02/17/wha…
Israel/2
No doubt about it, death and severe hospitalization rates in Israel have plummeted, especially for vaccinated >60-year-olds.
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Israel/3
And the @pfizer #COVID19 #vaccine has slashed actual symptomatic infections by a whopping 94%.
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en.globes.co.il/en/article-cla…
Read 6 tweets
25 Feb
ATTN, New Yorkers: There's a new type of #SARSCoV2 in town -- a mutant that may outwit our #COVID19 #vaccines.
Here's what we know so far:
1.) A @Caltech team has been screening viral samples from USA and noted a new mutant appeared in November in NYC, dubbing it B.1.526.
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2/ The @Caltech team says B.1.526 variant is spreading fast in NYC, now ='ing 27.8% of all new infections.
This virus has 2 key mutations that may make it dangerous. Both, alter the spike proteins that protrude from #SARSCoV2 & attach to human cells.
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biorxiv.org/content/10.110…
3/ One mutation in NY's B.1.526 variant form of #SARSCoV2 is E484K -- this is the mutation point that makes the so-called South African and Brazil variants capable of evading antibodies and rendering some of the #COVID19 #vaccines far less effective.
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Read 10 tweets
25 Feb
From doxs submitted to @US_FDA on b ehalf of the J&J #COVID19 #vaccine application, some highlights:
1.) Genomic sequencing of viruses found in South African clinical trials came up 94% B.1.351 variant. But the vax was 52% effective against mild disease & 73% anti-severe.
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2.) Some of the clinical trials were done in Brazil, where 69% of viruses they sequences were mutant P.2 variants.
3.) Data coves nearly 40,000 volunteers, half receiving placebo or 1 dose vax, followed for a mean of 2 months.
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4.) "#Vaccine efficacy (VE) against lab-conf'ed moderate to severe/critical #COVID19 across all geographic areas in which the trial was conducted was 66.9% [for] cases occurring at least 14 dys after vaccination & 66.1%
[for] cases occurring at least 28 dys after vax."
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Read 7 tweets
24 Feb
Listening to a @melindagates talk now --- she says 47 million women have dropped out of the labor force worldwide due to #COVID19 & needs to care for ailing families and kids home from school.
continues
"People are in crisis around the world. People are going hungry!"
Because of #COVID19 #pandemic
and says "there have been 15 million unexpected pregnancies in the world [during #COVID19 ] due to loss of family planning."
Read 4 tweets
19 Feb
Today @DrMikeRyan -- who heads up @WHO #COVID19 response -- received Ireland's Trócaire’s Romero Award. His speech was extraordinary. Some is in the clip below. And in a thread, here are key transcriptions.
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Ryan/2
#COVID19 does not discriminate. We too cannot, must not, discriminate in our fight against this #pandemic. Doing so will only work in the pandemic’s favour. The last eight months have shown us that unity, not singularity, defeats pandemics.”
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Ryan/3
“We are pushing nature to its limit. We are pushing population to its limit. We’re pushing communities to their limits. We’re stressing the environment. We are creating the conditions in which epidemics flourish. We’re forcing & pushing people to migrate away from..."
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Read 7 tweets
16 Feb
In a letter circulated yesterday #PeterDiamondis apologized for holding his annual Abundance 360 brainstorming for CEOs: it turned into a #COVID19 superspreader event. But when you read what he did to make the gathering safe, you'll see why this virus is SO hard to control.
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2/excerpts
"I thought creating a #COVID19 'Immunity Bubble' for a small grp in a TV studio setting was possible. I was wrong. If any of you have an impulse to lower your vigilance w/masks & social distancing after receiving a negative PCR test, you need to read this."
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3/excerpts
Diamondis in January in LA switched his annual mtg to a studio, with virtual attendance. But some CEOs wanted an in-person experience, so they set up a rigorous series of PCR #COVID19 testing protocols, testing every person daily starting 72 hrs b4 the mtg.
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Read 7 tweets
8 Feb
3/More Tampa @SuperBowl #COVID19 superspreading.
As with every big sports victory, men partied wildly all night. Fine. But in the Age of #coronavirus masks, social distances should...SIGH
Read 4 tweets
7 Feb
Preprint but BIG: Calif researchers study the B117 mutant #SARSCoV2 virus in USA & find, "there have been multiple introductions of B.1.1.7 into the
U.S., with the earliest dating back to the end of November, 2020."
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doi.org/10.1101/2021.0…
2/
"These analyses revealed large clades of closely related #SARSCoV2 lineages clustering w/in states, as well as
natl spread...consistent w/community transmission
following several of these introductions, including spread across U.S. states.
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3/ "...coincide with increased periods of travel, where the U.S. Transportation Security Admin reported
over 1 million travelers crossing checkpoints for several days during the peak Thanksgiving
season and for 12 of 18 dys surrounding the Christmas &
New Year’s holidays..."
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Read 4 tweets
4 Feb
Just started, House Energy & Comm: HEARING ON "SAFEGUARDING AMERICAN CONSUMERS: FIGHTING FRAUD AND SCAMS DURING THE PANDEMIC"
energycommerce.house.gov/committee-acti…
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2/ Jessica Rich @GeorgetownLaw
"our outdated privacy laws undermined our ability to respond to the #pandemic ...American consumers refused to use contact tracing apps tracking the disease – largely due to privacy concerns."
docs.house.gov/meetings/IF/IF…
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3/ William E. Kovacic @GWULaw
"The #pandemic regulatory stress test has illuminated weaknesses in the framework through which the United States and other countries address supplier misconduct
amid crisis conditions."
docs.house.gov/meetings/IF/IF…
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Read 4 tweets