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Never Forget What They Did… Never!

Never Forget What They Did… Never!

Authored by Jeffrey Tucker via DailyReckoning.com,

These are the days of grasping for excuses. In sector…

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Never Forget What They Did... Never!

Authored by Jeffrey Tucker via DailyReckoning.com,

These are the days of grasping for excuses. In sector after sector, leaders who gave us lockdowns and all that followed are trying to account for their actions, not apologizing of course but admitting that, in the classic formulation, mistakes were made.

That said, they all agree on the core point. The government had to take big steps to deal with the pandemic.

A book just released from the original lockdown gangsters (about which I will write more later), a book celebrated by the Washington Post as the authoritative account, puts it this way:

“American leaders entering the Covid war plunged ahead with a breathtaking political and social experiment. Facing a dangerous pandemic, they adopted the broadest, most ambitious, and intrusive set of government controls on social behavior in the history of the United States. Given the lack of preparation at all levels of government, mistakes were inevitable and to be expected, perhaps even excusable.”

Excusable is the new watchword, and Anthony Fauci has picked it up. In a recent interview, he admits that many things went wrong but adds: “I don’t think anybody would argue with the fact that you had to shut down.”

Freezer Trucks as Propaganda Tools

Then he adds what he clearly considers the key talking point. We know because he has said this is in several interviews. He says that the obvious disaster of freezer trucks at hospitals signaled and proved the desperate need for lockdowns.

Notice too how CNN had a terrifying graphic ready to run alongside his comments. This still is particularly evocative with the Statue of Liberty in the background, not that anyone would suggest that this was staged (he said with a nudge).

These images from Getty are not even from March or April 2020. The Daily Mail ran them alongside an article posted on May 6, noting that the images were from May 6 and 7, 2020.

So the excuse that we had to lock down because of freezer trucks does not hold water. The lockdown edict was issued on March 16, 2020, following the declaration of emergency on March 13, three days after Trump’s advisers convinced him to issue the lockdown.

In that time, the funeral parlors and morgues closed too, as did most all medical services. The country was also in panic, which is not generally good for public health.

Was It Necessarily COVID That Was Killing People?

That there was a wave of death in those two weeks is clear. What’s not clear is whether that was Covid alone. After all, the virus had been circulating in the US for a while. The period of 15 days was also the time when intubation was deployed as the best method to deal with a seemingly problematic Covid case, resulting in many unnecessary deaths.

What’s crucial here is the timing. Two weeks following the lockdowns, the news media began running alarmist stories of the legendary freezer trucks at hospitals, giving the impression of a movie-like pandemic sweeping the country, whereas the problem was centered in only a few locations. These stories ran for a full month throughout April and into May.

On March 29, 2020, the New York Times quoted Trump himself: “I have been watching them bringing in trailer trucks, freezer trucks because they can’t handle the bodies. There are so many of them. This is in essentially my community in Queens, New York. I have seen things that I have never seen before.”

Not much of this makes sense. In this very period, New York City hospitals saw an overall 50% drop in admissions, which is what happens when you close down all services to spare all resources for one virus. If you add to that a shutdown of the entire industry of funerals, funeral homes, morgues, and cemetery services, one can imagine that a crisis would ensue.

No Wonder Why the Bodies Piled up

Even the normal embalming protocols were disrupted on the advice of the WHO and CDC. The bodies of the dead were treated as icky and untouchable and this attitude was encouraged by authorities. Workers were terrified.

It’s hardly surprising that bodies piled up and needed to be stored. The whole population and especially the health community was told that the whole of life should be organized around running away from the bad bug.

These events unfolded two weeks following essentially the same events in Italy. Morgues closed. The normal process of dealing with the dead was dramatically interrupted. Workers were at home. Funerals were banned and this ban was heavily enforced. Medical personnel were especially terrified of the death.

All of the factors led to a pile-up of bodies in the midst of a panic. The chaos caused by the panic itself was deployed by the media, and used as an excuse by government, to intensify and prolong the lockdowns.

This is like shouting fire in a crowded theater and citing the ensuing panic as the reason for an evacuation order. The fomenting of panic itself created the conditions for the panic managers to enhance their own power.

In this case, however, the ploy is pretty obvious simply because of the timing. The freezer-truck excuse frankly does not fit the timeline.

More Fauci Doubletalk

Or we can give Fauci the most charitable interpretation of his comments and say that he cited the freezer trucks as evidence that they did the right thing in locking down two weeks (or one month) earlier.

Even then, if that is his thinking, that doesn’t justify the initial lockdown at all. It only cites the evidence of the failed policy as the reason for the policy itself.

In addition, the problem was localized whereas the shutdown was countrywide. This led to a bizarre situation in which hospitals all over the country were empty of the usual stream of patients.

People missed diagnostics. They missed elective surgeries. At least 300 hospitals furloughed nurses because they had nothing to do except practice dance routines and put the results on TikTok. All of this transpired at a time when Fauci and Trump were going on about mass waves of death.

Indeed, in this exact period, healthcare spending actually declined by 8.6%. On the urging of intellectuals and officials from February, hospitals all over the country closed their services at the very time when they were likely needed most.

Never Forget

Gone was any serious discussion about how to treat Covid other than to invoke ventilation and Remdesivir (which was a disaster). Early treatment was dogmatically rejected as nothing but a quack cure. How many people needlessly died because they were denied effective early treatment? We may never know, but I believe the number is probably staggering.

All efforts, even from the earliest days, were focused on the vaccine as the only way to get out of the pandemic.

Regardless of the excuse, the public-relations team that defends the lockdowns never mention Sweden because this case demonstrates that panicked rights violations are generally not a good path for boosting public health in the case of a new virus that newly appears in the awareness of powerful people.

To this day, no one can give a clear official reason how or why this happened or what was achieved by it all relative to the cost. Even so, they will not admit that their entire lockdown paradigm was wrong from the very beginning. They should but they will not.

It wasn’t just implemented poorly and inefficiently. It never should have happened at all. And it should never happen again.

Never forget what they did. Never.

Tyler Durden Mon, 05/08/2023 - 23:00

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Glimpse Of Sanity: Dartmouth Returns Standardized Testing For Admission After Failed Experiment

Glimpse Of Sanity: Dartmouth Returns Standardized Testing For Admission After Failed Experiment

In response to the virus pandemic and nationwide…

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Glimpse Of Sanity: Dartmouth Returns Standardized Testing For Admission After Failed Experiment

In response to the virus pandemic and nationwide Black Lives Matter riots in the summer of 2020, some elite colleges and universities shredded testing requirements for admission. Several years later, the test-optional admission has yet to produce the promising results for racial and class-based equity that many woke academic institutions wished.

The failure of test-optional admission policies has forced Dartmouth College to reinstate standardized test scores for admission starting next year. This should never have been eliminated, as merit will always prevail. 

"Nearly four years later, having studied the role of testing in our admissions process as well as its value as a predictor of student success at Dartmouth, we are removing the extended pause and reactivating the standardized testing requirement for undergraduate admission, effective with the Class of 2029," Dartmouth wrote in a press release Monday morning. 

"For Dartmouth, the evidence supporting our reactivation of a required testing policy is clear. Our bottom line is simple: we believe a standardized testing requirement will improve—not detract from—our ability to bring the most promising and diverse students to our campus," the elite college said. 

Who would've thought eliminating standardized tests for admission because a fringe minority said they were instruments of racism and a biased system was ever a good idea? 

Also, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out. More from Dartmouth, who commissioned the research: 

They also found that test scores represent an especially valuable tool to identify high-achieving applicants from low and middle-income backgrounds; who are first-generation college-bound; as well as students from urban and rural backgrounds.

All the colleges and universities that quickly adopted test-optional admissions in 2020 experienced a surge in applications. Perhaps the push for test-optional was under the guise of woke equality but was nothing more than protecting the bottom line for these institutions. 

A glimpse of sanity returns to woke schools: Admit qualified kids. Next up is corporate America and all tiers of the US government. 

Tyler Durden Mon, 02/05/2024 - 17:20

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Four burning questions about the future of the $16.5B Novo-Catalent deal

To build or to buy? That’s a classic question for pharma boardrooms, and Novo Nordisk is going with both.
Beyond spending billions of dollars to expand…

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To build or to buy? That’s a classic question for pharma boardrooms, and Novo Nordisk is going with both.

Beyond spending billions of dollars to expand its own production capacity for its weight loss drugs, the Danish drugmaker said Monday it will pay $11 billion to acquire three manufacturing plants from Catalent. It’s part of a broader $16.5 billion deal with Novo Holdings, the investment arm of the pharma’s parent group, which agreed to acquire the contract manufacturer and take it private.

It’s a big deal for all parties, with potential ripple effects across the biotech ecosystem. Here’s a look at some of the most pressing questions to watch after Monday’s announcement.

Why did Novo do this?

Novo Holdings isn’t the most obvious buyer for Catalent, particularly after last year’s on-and-off M&A interest from the serial acquirer Danaher. But the deal could benefit both Novo Holdings and Novo Nordisk.

Novo Nordisk’s biggest challenge has been simply making enough of the weight loss drug Wegovy and diabetes therapy Ozempic. On last week’s earnings call, Novo Nordisk CEO Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen said the company isn’t constrained by capital in its efforts to boost manufacturing. Rather, the main challenge is the limited amount of capabilities out there, he said.

“Most pharmaceutical companies in the world would be shopping among the same manufacturers,” he said. “There’s not an unlimited amount of machinery and people to build it.”

While Novo was already one of Catalent’s major customers, the manufacturer has been hamstrung by its own balance sheet. With roughly $5 billion in debt on its books, it’s had to juggle paying down debt with sufficiently investing in its facilities. That’s been particularly challenging in keeping pace with soaring demand for GLP-1 drugs.

Novo, on the other hand, has the balance sheet to funnel as much money as needed into the plants in Italy, Belgium, and Indiana. It’s also struggled to make enough of its popular GLP-1 drugs to meet their soaring demand, with documented shortages of both Ozempic and Wegovy.

The impact won’t be immediate. The parties expect the deal to close near the end of 2024. Novo Nordisk said it expects the three new sites to “gradually increase Novo Nordisk’s filling capacity from 2026 and onwards.”

As for the rest of Catalent — nearly 50 other sites employing thousands of workers — Novo Holdings will take control. The group previously acquired Altasciences in 2021 and Ritedose in 2022, so the Catalent deal builds on a core investing interest in biopharma services, Novo Holdings CEO Kasim Kutay told Endpoints News.

Kasim Kutay

When asked about possible site closures or layoffs, Kutay said the team hasn’t thought about that.

“That’s not our track record. Our track record is to invest in quality businesses and help them grow,” he said. “There’s always stuff to do with any asset you own, but we haven’t bought this company to do some of the stuff you’re talking about.”

What does it mean for Catalent’s customers? 

Until the deal closes, Catalent will operate as a standalone business. After it closes, Novo Nordisk said it will honor its customer obligations at the three sites, a spokesperson said. But they didn’t answer a question about what happens when those contracts expire.

The wrinkle is the long-term future of the three plants that Novo Nordisk is paying for. Those sites don’t exclusively pump out Wegovy, but that could be the logical long-term aim for the Danish drugmaker.

The ideal scenario is that pricing and timelines remain the same for customers, said Nicole Paulk, CEO of the gene therapy startup Siren Biotechnology.

Nicole Paulk

“The name of the group that you’re going to send your check to is now going to be Novo Holdings instead of Catalent, but otherwise everything remains the same,” Paulk told Endpoints. “That’s the best-case scenario.”

In a worst case, Paulk said she feared the new owners could wind up closing sites or laying off Catalent groups. That could create some uncertainty for customers looking for a long-term manufacturing partner.

Are shareholders and regulators happy? 

The pandemic was a wild ride for Catalent’s stock, with shares surging from about $40 to $140 and then crashing back to earth. The $63.50 share price for the takeover is a happy ending depending on the investor.

On that point, the investing giant Elliott Investment Management is satisfied. Marc Steinberg, a partner at Elliott, called the agreement “an outstanding outcome” that “clearly maximizes value for Catalent stockholders” in a statement.

Elliott helped kick off a strategic review last August that culminated in the sale agreement. Compared to Catalent’s stock price before that review started, the deal pays a nearly 40% premium.

Alessandro Maselli

But this is hardly a victory lap for CEO Alessandro Maselli, who took over in July 2022 when Catalent’s stock price was north of $100. Novo’s takeover is a tacit acknowledgment that Maselli could never fully right the ship, as operational problems plagued the company throughout 2023 while it was limited by its debt.

Additional regulatory filings in the next few weeks could give insight into just how competitive the sale process was. William Blair analysts said they don’t expect a competing bidder “given the organic investments already being pursued at other leading CDMOs and the breadth and scale of Catalent’s operations.”

The Blair analysts also noted the companies likely “expect to spend some time educating relevant government agencies” about the deal, given the lengthy closing timeline. Given Novo Nordisk’s ascent — it’s now one of Europe’s most valuable companies — paired with the limited number of large contract manufacturers, antitrust regulators could be interested in taking a close look.

Are Catalent’s problems finally a thing of the past?

Catalent ran into a mix of financial and operational problems over the past year that played no small part in attracting the interest of an activist like Elliott.

Now with a deal in place, how quickly can Novo rectify those problems? Some of the challenges were driven by the demands of being a publicly traded company, like failing to meet investors’ revenue expectations or even filing earnings reports on time.

But Catalent also struggled with its business at times, with a range of manufacturing delays, inspection reports and occasionally writing down acquisitions that didn’t pan out. Novo’s deep pockets will go a long way to a turnaround, but only the future will tell if all these issues are fixed.

Kutay said his team is excited by the opportunity and was satisfied with the due diligence it did on the company.

“We believe we’re buying a strong company with a good management team and good prospects,” Kutay said. “If that wasn’t the case, I don’t think we’d be here.”

Amber Tong and Reynald Castañeda contributed reporting.

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Petrina Kamya, Ph.D., Head of AI Platforms at Insilico Medicine, presents at BIO CEO & Investor Conference

Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb….

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Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb. 26-27 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. Dr. Kamya will speak as part of the panel “AI within Biopharma: Separating Value from Hype,” on Feb. 27, 1pm ET along with Michael Nally, CEO of Generate: Biomedicines and Liz Schwarzbach, PhD, CBO of BigHat Biosciences.

Credit: Insilico Medicine

Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb. 26-27 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. Dr. Kamya will speak as part of the panel “AI within Biopharma: Separating Value from Hype,” on Feb. 27, 1pm ET along with Michael Nally, CEO of Generate: Biomedicines and Liz Schwarzbach, PhD, CBO of BigHat Biosciences.

The session will look at how the latest artificial intelligence (AI) tools – including generative AI and large language models – are currently being used to advance the discovery and design of new drugs, and which technologies are still in development. 

The BIO CEO & Investor Conference brings together over 1,000 attendees and more than 700 companies across industry and institutional investment to discuss the future investment landscape of biotechnology. Sessions focus on topics such as therapeutic advancements, market outlook, and policy priorities.

Insilico Medicine is a leading, clinical stage AI-driven drug discovery company that has raised over $400m in investments since it was founded in 2014. Dr. Kamya leads the development of the Company’s end-to-end generative AI platform, Pharma.AI from Insilico’s AI R&D Center in Montreal. Using modern machine learning techniques in the context of chemistry and biology, the platform has driven the discovery and design of 30+ new therapies, with five in clinical stages – for cancer, fibrosis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and COVID-19. The Company’s lead drug, for the chronic, rare lung condition idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, is the first AI-designed drug for an AI-discovered target to reach Phase II clinical trials with patients. Nine of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies have used Insilico’s AI platform to advance their programs, and the Company has a number of major strategic licensing deals around its AI-designed therapeutic assets, including with Sanofi, Exelixis and Menarini. 

 

About Insilico Medicine

Insilico Medicine, a global clinical stage biotechnology company powered by generative AI, is connecting biology, chemistry, and clinical trials analysis using next-generation AI systems. The company has developed AI platforms that utilize deep generative models, reinforcement learning, transformers, and other modern machine learning techniques for novel target discovery and the generation of novel molecular structures with desired properties. Insilico Medicine is developing breakthrough solutions to discover and develop innovative drugs for cancer, fibrosis, immunity, central nervous system diseases, infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, and aging-related diseases. www.insilico.com 


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