Headline, June 28 2021/ ''' '' THE CHALLENGES TAP '' '''


 TAP '' '''

STOP SAYING ' POST PANDEMIC ' : CALLS GROW for an inquiry into the pandemic. Both a nonpartisan group and U.S. lawmakers take steps toward investigation.

The lawyer who led the inquiry into the Sept 11, 2001, attacks on the United States has quietly laid a foundation for a nonpartisan commission to investigate the coronavirus pandemic, with financial backing from four foundations and a paid staff that has already interviewed more than 200 public health experts, business leaders, elected officials, victims and their families.

The work, which has attracted scant public notice, grew out of a telephone call in October from Eric Schmidt, the philanthropist and former chief executive of Google, to Philp D. Zelikow, who was the executive director of the commission that investigated the Sept 11 attacks.

Mr. Schmidt urged Mr. Zelikow to put together a proposal to examine the pandemic, which has caused 600,000 deaths in the United States alone.

Meanwhile, the Covid Commission Planning Group directed by Mr. Zelikow, is forging ahead on a track that might, at some point merge with congressionally appointed panel.

It has financial support from Schmidt Futures, founded by Mr. Schmidt and his wife Wendy; Stand Together, which is backed by the Libertarian leaning philanthropist Charles Koch; the Skoll Foundation, founded by the eBay pioneer Jeff Skoll, and the Rockefeller Foundation.

In interviews, both Mr. Zelikow and Mr. Schmidt said that while they would like cooperation from Congress and the White House, their effort could proceed without it, though it might be handicapped without subpoena power and access to documents.

''We've just had the worst calamity in most living Americans' lives - real deaths, real suffering, a lot of future issues, economic issues,'' Mr. Schmidt said in his first interview about his involvement. 

''I would like to see a detailed analysis of what happened and I'd like to see recommendations to prevent it from happening in the future. I think the Americans are owed that.''

Mr. Zelikow, a national security expert and former diplomat, is now a history professor at the University of Virginia. His group operates out of the University's Miller Center for Public Affairs, in cooperation with John Hopkins University Center for Health Security and Bloomberg School of Public Health.

And there are other models under consideration; one idea that has been bandied about is to have Mr. Bush and former President Barack Obama lead a commission and appoint its members.

MEANWHILE, THE HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS Delta variant is causing a surge in new Covid-19 cases even in the countries with high vaccination rates and experts warn that inoculation campaigns are a race against time to contain it.

For the moment the pandemic is still slowing down with the World Health Organization [WHO] reporting the lowest number of new cases worldwide since February and decreasing deaths attributed to the coronavirus.

But concerns are growing about the fast spreading variant, prompting new restrictions in countries that had previously managed to control their epidemics.

Cases are on the rise in Russia, Australia, Israel and across parts of Africa, in part due to Delta. Other countries fear they could be next.

The Delta variant of Sars-CoV-2 was first detected in India where it began circulating around April. It is now present in at least 85 countries according to the WHO.

In Europe, Delta initially gained a foothold in the United Kingdom, where it quickly outpaced the previous variant of concern Alpha, and now comprises 95 percent of all sequenced cases in England.

Delta is thought to be some 40 to 60 percent more contagious than Alpha, which itself is more contagious than the strain responsible for the first wave of Covid-19. The pattern has repeated elsewhere.

In the United States last week 35 percent of positive tests that were sequenced were identified as Delta variant, up from about 10 percent on June 5 - numbers similar to what is being observed in Israel.

The European Center for Disease Control [ECDC] has estimated Delta could account for 70 percent of new infections in the EU by the beginning of August and 90 percent by the end of that month.

Researchers looking at data from the greater Paris region estimate in a soon-to-be- published report that Delta could be as much as 50 to 80 percent more contagious than other strains.

Top US infectious disease scientist Anthony Fauci called the variant the ''greatest threat'' to efforts to control the virus and called for an accelerations in vaccinations, American media reported last Tuesday.

While several studies have shown that vaccines are slightly less effective against Delta, they are still highly effective.

But only after the second dose. Recent data from the UK government shows that full immunisation can offer about 96 percent protection against hospitalisation and 79 percent against symptomatic infection by the Delta variant.

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research and Thinking on the Pandemic, Past and the Future, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Sheryl Gay Stolberg and AFP.

With respectful dedication to Leaders, Grandparents, Parents, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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