More Evidence Children Spread The Virus And Have ‘Really Troublesome’ Long-Term Effects

18 Aug

Trump keeps lying that children are almost immune to the coronavirus and is pushing schools to reopen without having a plan to ensure it is done safely. Meanwhile, evidence continues to mount that children can suffer serious harm from infection and spread COVID-19, yet Trump is not tracking new outbreaks in schools, making it even harder to control the virus.

The CDC says that the rate of coronavirus infections in children has been “steadily increasing.”

CNN: “Health experts say children make up more than 7% of all coronavirus cases in the US — while comprising about 22% of the country’s population — and the number and rate of child cases have been ‘steadily increasing’ from March to July. The data was posted alongside updated guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for pediatricians that also includes what is known about the virus in children.”

Axios: “Mirroring almost every other pandemic trend, Black and Latino children have had it worse than white children. Hispanic children have been hospitalized eight times more than white children, per the CDC. Black children have been hospitalized five times more.”

Dr. Fauci warned that the coronavirus can have “really troublesome” long-term effects on children.

CNN: “Fauci says Covid-19’s long-term effects, especially in young people, are ‘really troublesome’”

CNN: “The top infectious disease doctor in the US, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said Monday, ‘We’d better be careful when we say ‘Young people who don’t wind up in the hospital are fine, let them get infected, it’s OK.’ No, it’s not OK.’”

A growing number of schools that tried to reopen are being forced to shut down again due to coronavirus outbreaks.

Wall Street Journal: “A growing number of schools nationwide are closing temporarily or longer term just days after reopening as the coronavirus pandemic threatens to upend another school year. Schools in several states, including Indiana, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Georgia, closed to in-person learning this month after students and staffers tested positive for Covid-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus, sending thousands into quarantine and remote learning.”

Washington Post: “UNC-Chapel Hill pivots to remote teaching after coronavirus spreads among students during first week of class”

The Trump administration is not tracking outbreaks in schools, making it harder to control the virus.

NBC News: “Coronavirus cases are already surfacing in K-12 schools that have reopened, but the federal government is not tracking these outbreaks, and some states are not publicly reporting them, making it more difficult to determine how the virus is spreading, experts say.”

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Trump’s USPS Sabotage Puts American Lives And Livelihoods At Risk

18 Aug

Trump’s sabotage of the Postal Service puts American lives and livelihoods on the line after slowdowns have delayed the delivery of essential medications, hurt small businesses, held up paychecks, or kept bills from being paid on time.

Veterans aren’t able to get their medications or time-sensitive information from the Department of Veterans Affairs:

73-year-old Vietnam War veteran: “Vietnam War veteran Richard Valdez requested four mail-order medications from the Department of Veterans Affairs on July 25. Twenty-three days later, he’s still waiting on three of them. … ‘If that’s happening to me and I’m not living in a rural area, what’s happening to those guys?’ Valdez asked. ‘It’s not just meds that are a problem, but also time-sensitive information coming from the VA that’s being impacted.’”

Ohio Veterans Service Commission director: “Director Jeffrey Shull noticed the delay in mail delivery about two to three weeks ago. The county agency issues vouchers to help veterans pay their rent or utility bills. Service providers and landlords have seen a delay in receiving those vouchers. ‘We noticed it even before it became national news,’ Shull said. ‘The vets sometimes panic if they see their account is still not paid and understandably so.’”

Trump’s slowdown is dangerous for many Americans across the country who rely on the mail to get the lifesaving medications they need:

81-year-old Maryland resident: “Eighty-one-year-old Louise Martin’s blood pressure medicine mail delivery is 10 days overdue to her North Bethesda residence. ‘I think it’s outrageous, it’s absolutely outrageous,’ Martin, a retired US Health Service Corps officer, said. ‘This is not just needing some aspirin that you can buy over the counter. People’s lives are being threatened.’”

Nebraska cancer survivor: “One Omaha woman says slowdowns in the mail service could be fatal for many vulnerable Americans. Lorraine Touray discovered she had breast cancer two years ago. ‘I had the surgery…I had a lumpectomy before the radiation,’ said Touray. Now she takes medication daily. ‘I get my meds through the mail…now if I don’t take that Metrosal and if I don’t take that Metrosal then the cancer can pop back up,’ said Touray. And there’s more… ‘I’ve had a lot of blood clots in the past. If I don’t take that Zerelto that I’m taking for the blood clots. If I don’t take that for one day then the blood clots can come back in one day.’”

In the middle of a recession, Americans aren’t able to get their paychecks on time and risk missing bill payments:

Disabled Texas retiree: “The 59-year-old disabled retiree lives in an unincorporated community in eastern Bexar County. On a fixed income, he relies on the Postal Service to pay his bills. More than two weeks ago, Silva mailed his gas payment to a utility in Floresville and his water payment to another company in La Vernia. On Monday, neither had made it to its destination, he said. Now, the utility in La Vernia is threatening to shut off his water, he said. ‘It’s not around the corner for me to go drop off this bill,’ Silva said. ‘It’s like 18 miles from my house.’”

Louisiana resident: “‘My kids are having to suffer and I’m putting it together the best that I can,’ Shena Couvillur tells WAFB’s Donovan Jackson. Couvillur says she has been waiting for more than a month for her mail. ‘They won’t bring it to my house, they won’t give it to me. I have my unemployment [benefit checks] and all my stimulus checks money in there, [and] that is causing me to get in financial predicaments that we already have in [addition to] a crisis.’”

Louisiana resident: “Kenneth Washington says he’s in a similar situation and is having trouble paying his bills due to delays with his mail. ‘I came down to check and they tell me it’s on the mail truck,’ Washington explained. ‘I have seen the mail lady on one side of the streets, but never pass on our side.’”

Small businesses already hit hard because of Trump’s failed coronavirus response are now struggling even more:

Texas small business owner: “Even if I say, ‘Oh, sorry that happened, here’s a percentage savings on me,’ I’m still potentially losing money and a customer..”

Texas small business owner: “That extra $5 to $7 makes the difference to them. And to think — now it’s going to be $13, $15? Will that make them want to shop somewhere else, like Amazon? They may not want to support a smaller business anymore because we don’t have the resources to get something out cheaper.”

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Second Review of the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy

18 Aug

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

The United States leads the world in global health assistance and is committed to protecting life through every health program funded by American taxpayers. The Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA) Policy aims to ensure that U.S. taxpayer funding does not support foreign non-governmental organizations that perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning.

Today, the State Department, in conjunction with the U.S. Departments of Defense (DoD), Health and Human Services (HHS), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) released the Review of the Implementation of the PLGHA Policy. This review reaffirms that the United States can continue to meet its critical global health goals, while protecting life abroad through its global health assistance programs. It contains detailed information on the small number of awards affected because organizations declined to receive U.S. global health assistance under the requirements of the PLGHA Policy, how these declinations have affected awards and ongoing health assistance, and how the U.S. Government has resolved situations in which delays or gaps in services occurred.

The U.S. Government is committed to protecting life, the unborn, and the dignity of the human person. U.S. Government Departments and Agencies that implement PLGHA have made information and guidance available to partners on the application of PLGHA.  The U.S. Government will continue to develop materials to support partners in clearly communicating the PLGHA Policy’s intent, implementation, and compliance.

Read the second review of the PLGHA Policy here.


Afghanistan’s Independence Day

18 Aug

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

On behalf of the Government of the United States of America and the American people, I extend my best wishes and warm greetings to the people of Afghanistan as you celebrate the 101st anniversary of your country’s independence.

We honor the resilience and self-determination of the Afghan people, who have embarked on a new phase in their effort to end a 40-year war and live in peace, freedom, and prosperity.  The United States remains committed to a political settlement that ends the conflict and ensures Afghanistan never again poses a threat to the United States and its allies.

At this historic moment, as the Afghan people come together and attempt to broker a lasting peace, let us redouble our joint efforts in pursuit of a sovereign, unified, democratic, and self-reliant Afghanistan that is at peace with itself and which is a contributing member of the international community.



The Republic of Korea and WHO sign new Memorandum of Understanding, committing US$ 6 million in COVID-19 PCR test kits for 24 countries in the African region

18 Aug

On 14 August Korean Ambassador, Ms Ji-ah Paik and WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with WHO in support of the Organization’s COVID-19 response efforts in the African region. The new MoU follows a recent call between Dr Tedros and Mr Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea, during which WHO Director-General expressed the need for additional support to scale up the COVID-19 response in the African region. The MoU sets out an in-kind contribution of US$ 6 million in polymerase chain reaction (PCR)  tests / extraction kits to be delivered to 24 countries in Africa in the coming months.  PCR has proven to be a critically important laboratory tool, providing results that are reliable and consistent.

“WHO is deeply grateful for this support, which is helping to increase the testing capacity in Africa,” said Dr Tedros. “This tremendous show of support is also strengthening the relationship between WHO and the Republic of Korea. The Republic of Korea is an important partner in global health.”

The support of the Republic of Korea follows the successful management of COVID-19 in the country and is now providing support to other countries. The Republic of Korea has a strong background in fighting infectious diseases, including the MERS CoV outbreak in 2015 and the recent outbreak of COVID-19. Leveraging this experience and demonstrating leadership, it has recently launched the Global Support Group for Infectious Disease Response (G4IDR) in Geneva.

Global health security and emergency response operations have long been a priority for the Republic of Korea. Dr JW Lee, WHO Director-General from 2003 to 2006, understood the critical need for international cooperation during public health emergencies, for trust, transparency and information sharing among all stakeholders in the global community. The first emergency operations centre, the Strategic Health Operations Centre (SHOC), was established thanks to the vision of Dr Lee. Today the SHOC is the hub of the Emergency Public Health Operations Centres Network, with more than 140 member institutions in over 80 countries around the world.

The Republic of Korea continues to demonstrate its commitment to global health, global health security and humanitarian response by supporting WHO emergency response programmes and funding mechanisms such as the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network, the Emergency Medical Teams Initiative, the Contingency Fund for Emergencies, as well as their own innovative financing mechanism, the Global Disease Eradication Fund.

“I thank the Republic of Korea, for leading a comprehensive approach to COVID-19 response and control,” said Dr Tedros. “We are very grateful for this in-kind contribution to support COVID-19 response efforts in the African region, and we look forward to our continued partnership together towards achieving better health for all people, everywhere.”


Online Commemoration ‘Not Forgotten’ Shares Terrorism Victims’ Stories, Marks International Day, in Year of Scaled Back Events

18 Aug

The third commemoration of the International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism is taking place in trying times for the international community, with the ongoing consequences of COVID-19 felt around the world.  With the international community focused on the response to the pandemic and many memorials and commemorations cancelled, it is critical to take the time to remember and honour the victims of terrorism.