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Quebec City Says It Will Isolate “Uncooperative” Citizens In Secret Corona Facility

Quebec City Says It Will Isolate "Uncooperative" Citizens In Secret Corona Facility

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Quebec City Says It Will Isolate "Uncooperative" Citizens In Secret Corona Facility Tyler Durden Wed, 09/09/2020 - 14:21

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

Authorities in Quebec City, Canada have announced they will isolate “uncooperative” citizens in a coronavirus facility, the location of which remains a secret.

During a press conference, Dr. Jacques Girard, who heads the Quebec City public health authority, drew attention to a case where patrons at a bar were ordered to wait until their COVID-19 tests came back, but disregarded the command and left the premises before the results came back positive.

This led to them being deemed “uncooperative” and forcibly interned in a quarantine facility.

“[W]e may isolate someone for 14 days,” Girard said during the press conference. “And it is what we did this morning…forced a person to cooperate with the investigation…and police cooperation was exceptional.”

The health official then outlined how the state is also tracking down people for violating their home quarantine and forcibly removing them to the secret facility.

“Because we have had people isolated at home. And then, we saw the person was not at home. So, we went to their home, and then told them, we are isolating you where we want you to be,” said Girard.

“Six other Quebec City bars “known to have been frequented by Kirouac regulars” are now being examined by public health officials,” reports the RAIR Foundation.

“It should be noted that it is not being claimed that anyone is actually sick from the coronavirus. But the state has the power to force a citizen into isolation anyway.

As we previously highlighted, the government of New Zealand announced similar measures, saying that they will put all new coronavirus infectees and their close family members in “quarantine facilities.”

*  *  *

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International

Genomic methods aid study of Seattle 2017-2022 Shigella outbreak

A genomic study of a sustained, multidrug-resistant Shigellosis outbreak in Seattle enabled scientists to retrace its origin and spread. Additional analysis…

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A genomic study of a sustained, multidrug-resistant Shigellosis outbreak in Seattle enabled scientists to retrace its origin and spread. Additional analysis of the gut pathogen and its transmission patterns helped direct approaches to testing, treatment, and public health responses.  

Credit: Jason Matsumoto, Harborview Microbiology Lab

A genomic study of a sustained, multidrug-resistant Shigellosis outbreak in Seattle enabled scientists to retrace its origin and spread. Additional analysis of the gut pathogen and its transmission patterns helped direct approaches to testing, treatment, and public health responses.  

The genomic reconstruction of the 2017-2022 outbreak and a review of the patient care and public health interventions used are reported Jan 30 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

“The aim of the study,” the Seattle researchers noted, “was to better understand the community transmission of Shigella and spread of antimicrobial resistance in our population, and to treat these multi-drug resistant infections more effectively.”

Shigella outbreaks are more frequent in countries without sufficient public health and sanitation resources.  But the researchers called Shigella an opportunistic pathogen that can also emerge in regions of high-income countries when conditions allow.

They explained that sustained Shigella outbreaks in urban areas pose a substantial public health challenge for populations trying to cope with harsh living conditions and lack of hygiene facilities.

The lead authors on the paper are Dr. Giannoula S. Tansarli of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, and Dr. Dustin R. Long, of the Division of Critical Care Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, both at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

The senior and corresponding author is Dr. Ferric C. Fang, professor of laboratory medicine and pathology and of microbiology at the UW medical school.  He oversees the clinical microbiology lab at Harborview Medical Center and conducts basic science research on how bacteria cause disease. He was assisted by his UW Medicine colleague Dr. Stephen J. Salipante, a molecular genetics pathologist and an expert on next-generation DNA sequencing technologies.

Shigellosis is caused by Shigella bacteria, which can produce inflammation in the lining of the intestine. Its symptoms include fever, stomach cramps and diarrhea, and, in the worse cases, dysentery and dehydration. Some people with Shigellosis become severely ill and require hospitalization.  Shigellosis is highly contagious. The transmission of just a few bacteria is sufficient to cause disease.

From 2017 to 2022, all 178 cases of Shigella identified by the clinical labs at Harborview Medical Center and UW Medical Center were characterized by species identification, susceptibility testing, and whole genome sequencing. For the study, the researchers retrospectively examined the demographics and the clinical outcomes of the infected patients.  

Of the 178 cases, 78, or 45.6%, were in men who have sex with men, and 88, or 51.5% were in persons experiencing homelessness. About half of the Shigella isolates were resistant to multiple antibiotics.

The researchers also had data on 143 patients who received antimicrobial therapy. Despite the high presence of drug resistant Shigella, nearly 70 percent of patients were found to have received suitable antimicrobial therapy for their Shigella infection. The researchers added that rapid diagnostics and culturing of the bacteria for patients seeking care for severe diarrhea, along with assessment of risk factors and detailed local understanding of the populations affected, led to high rates of appropriate treatment. The approach to care improved over time, as clinicians gained more experience with the disease.

The genomic analysis portion of the study revealed sequential outbreaks of several distinct lineages of two species of ShigellaS. flexneri and S. sonnei. The various at-risk populations were found to carry Shigella of different lineages with different drug-resistance traits.  This information helped clinicians develop effective treatment guidelines.

How did this Shigella outbreak appear in Seattle? The researchers’ genomic findings suggest that it came originally from international travelers from areas where Shigella was common. It then spread locally and quickly among at-risk groups.

The researchers explained that multi-drug resistant Shigella has become a growing global health concern with many outbreaks worldwide. Most of these have affected men who have sex with men. A variety of gut pathogens can be transmitted between men in this way.

However, in the past few years Shigellosis outbreaks also have occurred among people experiencing homelessness in West Coast cities of the United States and Canada.

Whole-genome sequencing enabled the researchers to determine that new S. sonnei and S. flexneri  strains first appeared in Seattle among men who have sex with men. This was quickly followed by transmission within the local population of people experiencing homelessness. This was evidenced by the significant increase in Shigellosis after 2020 in the Seattle-King County area among this population.

The outbreaks were worse in winter, a seasonal characteristic of Shigella which might be due to greater overcrowding in shelters and other locations during cold weather. Dr. Fang noted that Shigellosis cases caused by a different S. sonnei strain are now being encountered in Seattle this winter.

The Seattle outbreaks followed patterns characteristic of those reported earlier in other countries.

Several public health measures were instituted to limit the spread of Shigella. The first was to check for possible sources for contracting Shigella. Signs were placed to discourage people from drinking water from decorative fountains in downtown Seattle. Local homeless service providers received prevention resources and guidance. Outreach teams visited encampments and overnight shelters to offer health education and improve the availability of clean water, toilets, handwashing stations, and other sanitation measures.

Many public facilities, such as restrooms, sinks, and drinking fountains, had been closed as part of the COVID-19 pandemic response. Public health officials requested early re-opening of these facilities near encampments and districts where people lived on the streets. They also increased environmental cleaning of alleyways in downtown Seattle that had been used in lieu of restrooms.

The authors noted that the study of the Shigella outbreak in Seattle represented the collaborative efforts of local health-care facilities, clinical and academic laboratories, antimicrobial stewardship, infection control, and public health teams.

The study received no outside funding, and the researchers declared no competing interests.

 

 


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Heart, Vein Disease Deaths High In 25-To-44-Year-Olds

Heart, Vein Disease Deaths High In 25-To-44-Year-Olds

Authored by Petr Svab via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Diseases of the heart and…

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Heart, Vein Disease Deaths High In 25-To-44-Year-Olds

Authored by Petr Svab via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Diseases of the heart and veins claimed more lives over the past several years among American aged 25 to 44 than before the COVID-19 pandemic. Even with the pandemic waning, such deaths remain elevated.

An ambulance outside the Bellville Medical Center after dropping off a patient, in Bellville, Texas, on Sept. 1, 2021. (Francois Picard/AFP via Getty Images)

In 2020, the first year of the pandemic, deaths caused by circulatory diseases increased by about 15 percent in the 25 to 44 age group compared to the year before, according to death certificate data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In 2021, such deaths increased by more than 20 percent compared to 2019.

That means nearly 6,500 more deaths.

(ZH: Related)

It appears that the increase may have been caused by multiple factors.

COVID-19 sometimes causes complications in the circulatory system. It’s likely that some deaths, especially early on in the pandemic, were caused by COVID-19 but were misclassified on the death certificate.

Also, many people were likely diagnosed too late or not at all because they were afraid to go to a doctor during the pandemic.

However, diseases of the circulatory system continued to claim lives at a higher rate in this age group even in 2022, when the pandemic receded. In the first half of the year, such deaths were still more than 13 percent above the death toll for the first half of 2019, according to the CDC’s preliminary data.

In the 45 to 54 age group, such deaths increased in 2020–21 but seem to have since receded back to pre-pandemic levels.

In the 15 to 24 age group, such deaths have barely budged over the past five years.

A growing number of experts and studies have associated the COVID-19 vaccines with serious, even fatal conditions, including heart inflammation, or myocarditis. They suggest that the spike protein produced through the vaccination can cause blood clotting and inflammation.

“All cardiovascular conditions have gotten worse because of the vaccine and anything and everything that can go wrong with the heart has gone wrong with the heart as a result of these mRNA vaccines. There’s no doubt about it,” said Dr. Aseem Malhotra, a British cardiologist who has researched extensively the associations between the COVID-19 vaccines and heart issues.

Malhotra has argued that such issues should be presumed to be associated with the vaccines until proven otherwise. He initially supported the vaccines but changed his mind after his father’s cardiac arrest six months after vaccination.

Dr. Peter McCullough, a highly published American cardiologist, independently reached a similar conclusion.

When people are in a study or it’s in a post-marketing period in a brand-new drug, when someone dies within a few days, or certainly within 30 days of any new drug or injection, it is that drug until proven otherwise,” he told Epoch TV’s Jan Jekielek last month.

“If this was in a regulatory dossier, it could even be something that’s seemingly disconnected. Believe it or not, in clinical trials, if someone’s taking a drug and they have a car accident, it’s attributed to the drug, because the drug may have made them dizzy or foggy or what have you.”

The rollout of the vaccines also correlates with significant increases in other conditions, including eye problems, immune system issues, and, in some data, cancer, according to Josh Stirling, an insurance research analyst.

Overall, the vaccination correlates with increased mortality, according to Stirling.

“The more doses on average you have in a region within the United States, the bigger increase in mortality that region has had in 2022 when compared to 2021,” he recently told Jekielek in an interview for “American Thought Leaders.”

Stirling has argued that if the vaccine’s adverse effects are properly identified, they could be mitigated.

“If we were actually just screening for these people, the vast majority of these health issues, before they become catastrophic, could very easily be managed—not necessarily solved, but certainly managed with amazing medical advances and simple things like blood thinners, or changes in lifestyle,” he said.

Mortality in prime-age adults aged 18 to 64 substantially increased in 2020 and onward, even with COVID-19 deaths excluded, according to a Dec. 15, 2022, paper that attempted to account for COVID-19 deaths misclassified on death certificates.

Read more here...

Tyler Durden Tue, 01/31/2023 - 18:20

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Government

George Santos: A democracy can’t easily penalize lies by politicians

When candidates can get elected to Congress based on a mountain of lies they’ve told, is it time to reconsider whether such lies are protected by the…

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George Santos, in the middle, lied his way to winning election to Congress, where he took the oath of office on Jan. 7, 2023. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

George Santos is not the first politician to have lied, but the fables he told to get elected to Congress may be in a class by themselves. Historian Sean Wilentz remarked that while embellishments happen, Santos’ lies are different – “there is no example like it” in American history, Wilentz told Vox in a late-January, 2023, story.

Columnist Peggy Noonan wrote that Santos was “a stone cold liar who effectively committed election fraud.”

And now Santos has taken the dramatic step of removing himself temporarily from the committees he’s been assigned to: the House Small Business Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee. The Washington Post reports Santos told his GOP colleagues that he would be a “distraction” until cleared in several probes of his lies.

While Santos’ lies got some attention from local media, they did not become widely known until The New York Times published an exposé after his election.

Santos’ lies may have gotten him into hot water with the voters who put him in the House, and a few of his colleagues, including the New York GOP, want him to resign. CBS News reported that federal investigators are looking at Santos’ finances and financial disclosures.

But the bulk of Santos’ misrepresentations may be protected by the First Amendment. The U.S. Supreme Court has concluded that lies enjoy First Amendment protection – not because of their value, but because the government cannot be trusted with the power to regulate lies.

In other words, lies are protected by the First Amendment to safeguard democracy.

So how can unwitting voters be protected from sending a fraud to Congress?

Any attempt to craft a law aimed at the lies in politics will run into practical enforcement problems. And attempts to regulate such lies could collide with a 2012 Supreme Court case United States v. Alvarez.

A large, columned white building at the top of a grand, white set of stairs.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that some false statements are ‘inevitable if there is to be open and vigorous expression of views.’ AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File

Lies and the First Amendment

Xavier Alvarez was a fabulist and a member of a public water board who lied about having received the Congressional Medal of Honor in a public meeting. He was charged in 2007 with violating the Stolen Valor Act, which made it a federal crime to lie about having received a military medal.

The Supreme Court rejected the government’s argument that lies should not be protected by the First Amendment. The court concluded that lies are protected by the First Amendment unless there is a legally recognized harm, such as defamation or fraud, associated with the lie. So the Stolen Valor Act was struck down as an unconstitutional restriction on speech. The court pointed out that some false statements are “inevitable if there is to be open and vigorous expression of views in public and private conversation.”

Crucially, the court feared that the power to criminalize lies could damage American democracy. The court reasoned that unless the First Amendment limits the power of the government to criminalize lies, the government could establish an “endless list of subjects about which false statements are punishable.”

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion in Alvarez, illustrated this danger by citing George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984,” in which a totalitarian government relied on a Ministry of Truth to criminalize dissent. Our constitutional tradition, he wrote, “stands against the idea that we need” a Ministry of Truth.

Lies, politics and social media

George Santos, unlike Xavier Alvarez, lied during an election campaign.

In Alvarez, the Supreme Court expressed concern about laws criminalizing lies in politics. It warned that the Stolen Valor Act applied to “political contexts, where although such lies are more likely to cause harm,” the risk that prosecutors would bring charges for ideological reasons was also high.

The court believed that the marketplace of ideas was a more effective and less dangerous mechanism for policing lies, particularly in politics. Politicians and journalists have the incentives and the resources to examine the records of candidates such as Santos to uncover and expose falsehoods.

The story of George Santos, though, is a cautionary tale for those who hold an idealized view of how the marketplace of ideas operates in contemporary American politics.

Democracy has not had a long run when measured against the course of human history. From the founding of the American republic in the late 18th century until the advent of the modern era, there was a rough division of labor. Citizens selected leaders, and experts played a critical gatekeeping role, mediating the flow of information.

New information technologies have largely displaced the role of experts. Everyone now claims to be an expert who can decide for themselves whether COVID-19 vaccines are effective or who really won the 2020 presidential election. These technologies have also destroyed the economic model that once sustained local newspapers.

Thus, although one local newspaper did report on Santos’ misrepresentations, his election is evidence that the loss of news reporting jobs has damaged America’s democracy.

A piece of newspaper, burning up
With the news business in serious decline, citizens don’t get the information they need to be informed voters. iStock / Getty Images Plus

Lies that harm democracy

The election of George Santos illustrates the challenges facing American democracy. The First Amendment was written in an era when government censorship was the principal danger to self-government. Today, politicians and ordinary citizens can harness new information technologies to spread misinformation and deepen polarization. A weakened news media will fail to police those assertions, or a partisan news media will amplify them.

As a scholar of constitutional law, comparative constitutionalism, democracy and authoritarianism, I believe that Justice Kennedy’s Alvarez opinion relied on a flawed understanding of the dangers facing democracy. He maintained that government regulation of speech is a greater threat to democracy than are lies. Laws that targeted lies would have to survive the most exacting scrutiny – which is nearly always fatal to government regulation of speech.

Justice Stephen Breyer’s concurring opinion argued that a different test should be used. Courts, Breyer said, should assess any speech-related harm that might flow from the law as well as the importance of the government objective and whether the law furthers that objective. This is known as intermediate scrutiny or proportionality analysis. It is a form of analysis that is widely used by constitutional courts in other democracies.

Intermediate scrutiny or proportionality analysis does not treat all government regulations of speech as presumptively unconstitutional. It forces courts to balance the value of the speech against the justifications for the law in question. That is the right test, Justice Breyer concluded, when assessing laws that penalize “false statements about easily verifiable facts.”

The two approaches will lead to different results when governments seek to regulate lies. Even proposed, narrowly written laws aimed at factual misrepresentations by politicians about their records or about who won an election might not survive the high degree of protection afforded lies in the United States.

Intermediate scrutiny or proportionality analysis, on the other hand, will likely enable some government regulation of lies – including those of the next George Santos – to survive legal challenge.

Democracies have a better long-term survival track record than dictatorships because they can and do evolve to deal with new dangers. The success of America’s experiment in self-government may well hinge, I believe, on whether the country’s democracy can evolve to deal with new information technologies that help spread falsehoods that undermine democracy.

Miguel Schor does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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