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Trump Says Fear-Mongering About New COVID Variants A ‘Lunatic’ Ploy To Rig 2024 Election

Trump Says Fear-Mongering About New COVID Variants A ‘Lunatic’ Ploy To Rig 2024 Election

Authored by Tom Ozimek via The Epoch Times (emphasis…

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Trump Says Fear-Mongering About New COVID Variants A 'Lunatic' Ploy To Rig 2024 Election

Authored by Tom Ozimek via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Former President Donald Trump speaks to reporters after being booked at the Fulton County jail on 13 charges related to the 2020 election, in Atlanta, Ga. on Aug. 24, 2023. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday accused "left-wing lunatics" of fear-mongering about new COVID-19 variants in order to justify the reintroduction of their left-wing lockdown and mandate policies, which included the use of drop boxes and mail-in ballots in 2020, in a bid to rig the 2024 election.

President Trump made the remarks in a video posted on Aug. 30 on Truth Social, saying that his message should serve as a warning to every COVID-19 "tyrant" who not only wants to "take away our freedom" but who would be playing into the hands of those wanting to exploit COVID-19 restrictions to interfere in next year's election.

"The left-wing lunatics are trying very hard to bring back COVID lockdowns and mandates with all of their sudden fear-mongering about the new variants that are coming," President Trump said in the video.

Recently, there's been a torrent of media reports about a new COVID-19 variant circulating, while President Joe Biden said last week that all Americans would likely be advised to get another booster.

In his video message, President Trump said that his political opponents are eager to leverage COVID-19 "hysteria" for political ends.

"They want to restart the COVID hysteria so they can justify more lockdowns, more censorship, more illegal drop boxes, more mail-in ballots, and trillions of dollars in payoffs to their political allies heading into the 2024 election," the former president said.

He charged that "they rigged the 2020 election and now they're trying to do the same thing all over again by rigging the most important election in the history of our country, the 2024 election, even if it means trying to bring back COVID."

President Trump has maintained that he believes he was was robbed of victory in 2020, due in part to last-minute changes to election rules that removed some guardrails for mail-in ballots and, at least in theory, made it easier to cheat.

While the former president lost nearly all of his election-related lawsuits, many were dismissed not on merit but on technicalities like the doctrine of laches, which basically says that a legal challenge was brought too late and prejudiced the defendant.

'We Will Not Comply'

A number of conservative commentators have pointed to the sharp rise of COVID-19-related media reporting in recent weeks, while pointing to the threat of renewed restrictions for civil liberties—and the upcoming election.

Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk has claimed there's a plot to push "COVIDian tyranny" and "lock you down again just in time for the election" and facilitate the launch of a "Marxist-type revolution."

Former member of Congress Ron Paul penned an op-ed on LewRockwell.com saying that the threat supposedly posed by the new COVID-19 variant is being amplified across media platforms "just in time for election season."

"Why are they coming back around for another round of Covid tyranny?" Mr. Paul wrote. "Fear is a weapon to gain control."

"Last time around, they generated fear to radically change how America voted. Suddenly, everyone was mailed ballots. How closely were they checked? No one knew and no one dared ask. The people who did ask about the election are now facing jail terms," Mr. Paul wrote, presumably referring to some Jan. 6 defendants.

"They want us to shut up while they do it again. Will we?" Mr. Paul asked.

In his message, President Trump delivered a forceful response to this question, which has been expressed in one form or another by numerous conservative commentators.

"Don't even think about it," President Trump said, addressing his remarks to "every COVID tyrant who wants to take away our freedom."

"Hear these words: We will not comply!" the former president continued. "We will not shut down our schools, we will not accept your lockdowns, we will not abide by your mask mandates, and we will not tolerate your vaccine mandates."

The former president then said that if elected president in 2024, he would use every available authority to push back on mask and vaccine mandates, giving as an example cutting federal funding to any college or airline that imposes such mandates.

"They will fail because I will not let it happen," the former president said.

'Likely To Be Recommended'

President Trump's remarks comes as COVID-19 hospitalizations have been on the rise across the country, with three new variants of the disease said to be spreading.

Multiple drug companies, including Pfizer, Novavax, and Moderna, have introduced new vaccines they say will be effective to protect against the COVID-19 variant of interest EG.5, or Eris—although the vaccines do not protect against transmission.

President Biden told reporters in South Lake Tahoe, California, on Aug. 25 that he had asked for more funding for a new COVID vaccine.

I signed off this morning on a proposal we have to present to the Congress, a request for additional funding for a new vaccine—that is necessary, that works," President Biden said.

"And tentatively, not decided finally yet, tentatively it is recommended—it is likely to be recommended—that everybody get it, no matter whether they got it before," he added.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials recently told reporters that the vaccines are expected to become available to the public in mid-September, though they are still pending approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

An independent CDC advisory committee is scheduled to meet on Sept. 12 to vote on recommended guidelines for eligibility for the new COVID-19 shots.

Nathan Worcester contributed to this report.

Tyler Durden Thu, 08/31/2023 - 21:40

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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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