Wednesday, August 10, 2022

A really bad landlord and monkeypox

This has to be the record for worst landlord ever:

Officials said they learned during their investigation that Romo had used the tenant's cellphone earlier in the day to text her brother to tell him that if he didn't get her rent money, "she's going to burn down the house," according to the affidavit.

About an hour after the initial call, police returned to the property because Romo had set her apartment on fire, the affidavit said. Her residence is only a few feet behind the tenant's. 

The tenant told police that he saw Romo standing outside looking at his apartment minutes before he saw the smoke coming from her residence. 

Investigators found a torch lighter next to a burned mattress inside one of the rooms in Romo's apartment, according to the affidavit.

Romo told police that she had been smoking a cigarette on the bed before she left the apartment to go to her cousin's house down the street. She later admitted to trying to use the torch lighter on the tenant's door frame because they hadn't paid the rent or kept the apartment clean, the affidavit said.

I need to now praise C.I. and Good Morning America.  The ABC program has been doing a lot of coverage of the monkeypox virus.  A lot.  And some of it has been award winning, in my opinion.  C.I. has a friend at GMA who does not feel that monkeypox is getting the attention it needs.  So C.I. spoke over the weekend with the friend and then she gave herself a crash course before writing about it in yesterday's snapshot and today's snapshot.  If something is not being covered enough, C.I. will step up.  That is her history.  I want to note this Good Morning America video at Yahoo, and GMA has a report on it:

When the first lesion appeared on Jeffrey Todd's right cheek in mid-July, the 43-year-old didn't pay too much attention to it.

"I noticed I had like a pimple or like a blemish on my cheek and it had this very odd-looking raised white circle around the outside of the blemish and it felt indented a little bit like a crater," Todd, who lives in Hollywood, California, told ABC News.

Being aware of the monkeypox outbreak spreading across the U.S., Todd said he did a Google search of what monkeypox rashes look like and "one of the images looked exactly like my blemish."

He thought, however, the blemish would disappear by morning.

Over the next two days, Todd developed a series of bumps on the back of his right arm and back and a lesion appeared on his neck. He was itchy and had backaches, fatigue and shooting pain down his legs — all telltale signs of monkeypox.

Todd was first tested on July 13 but it took a while to get his results. He didn't know at the time that the first clinic he visited sent the sample to a lab. The sample though was spoiled by the time it got there so it couldn't be tested, he said.

As his condition continued to worsen, he went to the emergency room at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where staff performed an in-house test. The next day, Todd got his test results back and found out he was positive for monkeypox.

He is one of the more than 8,900 Americans who have tested positive for the disease across 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico as of Tuesday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

He's been left with a hole in his face. Eventually, it should close up and leave a scar.  Eventually.  This disease isn't minor and, no, it's not a 'gay disease.'  This is a pandemic and we do not appear to be ready for it.  The administration certainly does not appear to be dealing with it and most of the public seems unaware of how serious this is.  

So, as C.I. noted today, the Joe Biden answer is to take existing vaccines -- there are 400,000 in the US stockpile -- and divide them by fifths to create 2 million 'vaccines.'  This is based on a seven year old study -- one study only.  If it's been done again, the results weren't replicated because they keep pointing to one 2015 study.  There is no real proof that it will work in this environment -- pandemic conditions if the virus continues to spread and multiply.  And they are vague on the test subjects from that study.  

I'm also bothered by the homophobia.  Read through some of the comments on the story at Yahoo.  Why is Yahoo allowing it?  If people want to comment on a medical story, stay serious.  Your 'jokes' about Freddie Mercury or whatever are not only not needed, they also misinform the public.  I'm not for censorship but homophobic 'jokes' do not belong in the comment section of a medical article.  

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Wednesday:

 Wednesday, August 10, 2022.  Joe Biden has no plans for addressing pandemics in the US, Moqtada wants Iraq to dissolve the Parliament but the Parliament would have to meet to vote on that, and much more.

Where is the action from US President Joe Biden on monkeypox?  We addressed that yesterday.  We're back to the topic for two reasons.  A Zoom yesterday included a woman who brought the topic up and insisted that she didn't have to worry about it because she wasn't gay.  

Well our country does have gay people in it and they are citizens and we should care what happens to everyone.  But there's also the reality that it's not just gay people at risk nor is it a "gay disease."  It's history disproves that.  For whatever reasons, it may show up more in one demographic right now but we are in the early stages and the country is a risk -- the country as a whole.

The second thing that happened was Cordell Gascoigne's article at WSWS:

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) reported last Thursday that the state has recorded 12 cases of monkeypox. Just a month prior, the state reported its first case of the disease. Notwithstanding the Biden administration’s belated declaration of a state of emergency over the spread of the monkeypox virus, workers throughout the world have voiced their deep concern over existing conditions in which two pandemics are being allowed to rip through the population.

While the far-right have issued baseless claims that monkeypox is a “gay disease,” according to a July 28 statement released by the ADH, “Monkeypox is spread through close contact and can be transmitted to anyone regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, and ethnicity.” (Emphasis added.)

The ADH goes on to report, “It can be spread by direct skin-to-skin contact with infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids. This can include household and/or intimate contact. Spreading can also occur when contacting contaminated items, such as clothing. It can also be transmitted through respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact; however, it is not an airborne illness. Monkeypox is not spread through casual, brief conversations or walking by someone with monkeypox, like at a grocery store.”

These claims are unsubstantiated and at odds with decades of research and reports on monkeypox, which have warned that the virus can spread through aerosols, in addition to direct skin-to-skin contact.

Arkansas Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson has not issued a statement on the increase in monkeypox cases. As of this writing, 30,189 people globally have contracted the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The US accounts for nearly 30 percent of all cases, numbering 8,933, while four countries in Europe have tallied more than 15,000. In conjunction with the unbridled spread of the monkeypox virus, official COVID-19 cases have reached 589,896,455 internationally, according to the worldometers website, with an official record of 6,438,021 deaths, though estimates of excess deaths place the actual global death toll above 20 million.

ADH Director Dr. Jennifer Dillaha said July 5, “Arkansas has been monitoring cases of monkeypox in the U.S. While this news is concerning, monkeypox is not as contagious as other viruses, like COVID-19. We encourage anyone who feels they may have been exposed to monkeypox to please contact their health care provider and be tested.” Despite the claim monkeypox is not as infectious as COVID-19, the state government has done virtually nothing to prevent its spread. They have refused to reinstate mask mandates, while pressing ahead with the full reopening of schools this fall, where both COVID and monkeypox will spread widely in the coming months.

Over the course of the monkeypox outbreak, coronavirus cases in Arkansas have soared. On Thursday, official cases increased by 1,438, while in the last week ADH reported 8,064 new cases, bringing the case count to more than 911,000. This is more than 30 percent of the state’s population! According to health officials, the latest figures show, as of Thursday, more than half of Arkansans are fully immunized, numbering 1,652,249, with another 287,907 partially immunized. But the inoculated populace is not safe, due to waning immunity and the increased dangers of the Omicron BA.5 and future variants.

In the race for Arkansas governor, Republican former White House Adviser Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Democrat Chris Jones have both refused to address COVID-19 or monkeypox. Exposing all the myths that the Democratic Party represents the working class, Jones’ campaign website has said nothing about monkeypox since the first case was reported in Arkansas late last month, as well as COVID-19, despite its soaring rate of infection.

Jones, as have the Democrats as a whole, has pushed for further armaments in Ukraine and supported Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, bringing the world to the brink of World War III. If he were to win, which is highly unlikely, he would do nothing to address the coronavirus and monkeypox pandemics. 


If he were to win, the report notes, he would do nothing to address the coronavirus and monkeypox pandemics -- that sounds like an apt description of Joe Biden.

Joe's gone from he would deal with the pandemic to now catching COVID twice in the last weeks and to presenting the White House 'plan' that we'll all get it (I've had, it scarred my lungs) and that's the plan.  That's the plan.  He and others, in 2020, slammed Donald Trump only to come to power and do even less than Donald did.  

And that's COVID -- the pandemic that existed while he was campaigning for the presidency.

Monkeypox has become a US problem on his watch and he's doing damn little.

The public isn't even prepared for this.

The CDC notes:

Monkeypox spreads in a few ways.

  • Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact, including:
    • Direct contact with monkeypox rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox.
    • Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
    • Contact with respiratory secretions.
  • This direct contact can happen during intimate contact, including:
    • Oral, anal, and vaginal sex or touching the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butthole) of a person with monkeypox.
    • Hugging, massage, and kissing.
    • Prolonged face-to-face contact.
    • Touching fabrics and objects during sex that were used by a person with monkeypox and that have not been disinfected, such as bedding, towels, fetish gear, and sex toys.
  • A pregnant person can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta.

It’s also possible for people to get monkeypox from infected animals, either by being scratched or bitten by the animal or by preparing or eating meat or using products from an infected animal.

A person with monkeypox can spread it to others from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.

Scientists are still researching:

  • If the virus can be spread when someone has no symptoms
  • How often monkeypox is spread through respiratory secretions, or when a person with monkeypox symptoms might be more likely to spread the virus through respiratory secretions.
  • Whether monkeypox can be spread through semen, vaginal fluids, urine, or feces.

Here are some videos.

The more dense the population, the more it's spreading in the US.  So, for example, Montana hasn't yet had a case but New York has had 1960 and California has had 1310.  (Those are CDC figures.)  The virus is spreading in the US.  And what's Joe doing to ramp up production on vaccines?  Nothing.   Georgia is now approaching 750 reported cases.

What's the plan, Joe?

Just going to ignore it and tell everyone they'll end up getting it?  Is that plan for every disease now?

The White House released the following b.s. yesterday:

Combatting the monkeypox outbreak is a top priority of the Biden-Harris Administration. Today, as part of the Administration’s comprehensive effort to mitigate the spread of monkeypox, the Administration announced that it has taken action to increase the number of vaccine doses available by up to five times through an alternative dosing regimen. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced it is granting Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the JYNNEOS vaccine to be administered intradermally. Because intradermal administration requires a smaller dose, this change allows the number of available doses to increase by as much as five-fold while continuing to ensure the vaccine meets high standards for safety and quality.

The White House National Monkeypox Response team today outlined its plan to implement this approach and ensure providers and public health officials put the alternative dosing regimen into practice.

Today’s announcements include:

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a Section 564 declaration, allowing FDA to use its authority to allow health care providers to administer up to five times the number of vaccine doses per vial of JYNNEOS vaccine.
Following last week’s public health emergency declaration, today HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra issued a determination under the Section 564 declaration of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act that allows for emergency use authorization of vaccines to prevent monkeypox and prevent severe disease from the virus. This action paves the way for the federal government to get up to five times the amount of doses administered out of a single vial of the JYNNEOS vaccine. 

HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dawn O’Connell requested that the Secretary issue the Section 564 determination and last week’s public health emergency declaration. This declaration allows HHS to take emergency measures based on the information currently available about the monkeypox virus.

FDA subsequently granted Emergency Use Authorization for the JYNNEOS vaccine to be administered intradermally – enabling the current vaccine supply to increase five-fold without sacrificing safety and quality.
Today, the FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization allowing healthcare providers to use an alternative dosing regimen of the JYNNEOS Vaccine to expand the total number of doses available for use by up to five-fold. The EUA now allows for 0.1ml of the JYNNEOS vaccine to be administered between layers of the skin (intradermally), as opposed to 0.5ml of the vaccine that is administered under the skin (subcutaneously). Data from a 2015 clinical study of the JYNNEOS vaccine prior to its approval, published in a peer-reviewed journal, demonstrated that a fifth of the dose, when given intradermally on the same two-dose schedule as currently administered, produced an immune response that was similar to subcutaneous dosing – meaning individuals in both groups responded to vaccination in a similar way.  Additionally, data shows the intradermal administration of other vaccines such as influenza and hepatitis B, is safe and effective for immunocompromised individuals, such as people with HIV. JYNNEOS has been tested in individuals with immunocompromising conditions and has found to be safe and effective in the trials that were performed to support approval. Two doses of the vaccine given 28 days apart will still be needed. Individuals who received their first dose subcutaneously can receive their second dose intradermally or subcutaneously.

The administration requires a different type of needle than the current vaccine administration, similar to the administration for a tuberculin skin tests (or PPD) or intradermal allergy tests. As part of the Administration’s comprehensive monkeypox response effort, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will conduct trainings and outreach to clinicians, public health officials, providers, and patients to make sure jurisdictions can effectively administer the vaccine using this alternative dosing regimen.

The FDA also authorized use of the vaccine, using the standard dosing route, in individuals younger than 18 years of age determined to be at high risk of monkeypox infection.

The White House National Monkeypox Outbreak Response team will oversee the prompt and coordinated implementation of this strategy by HHS, CDC, FDA, and state and local health officials.
Since the start of the outbreak, HHS has distributed more than 670,000 JYNNEOS vaccines to states and jurisdictions from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS).  In addition, the SNS is preparing to distribute approximately 400,000 additional vials to states and jurisdictions as part of the next phase of the national vaccine strategy. Jurisdictions that administer 90% of their current vaccine supply may request additional doses sooner. Because of today’s announcement, the 400,000 vials of vaccine in the SNS’s inventory that have been allocated but not yet distributed hold the potential to provide up to 2 million doses using intradermal administration. Additionally, vaccines that have been received by jurisdictions, but not yet administered, are eligible for intradermal administration. 

In order to quickly and effectively implement this approach to increase JYNNEOS vaccine dose supply five-fold, the Biden-Harris Administration is launching a robust effort to train health care workers and providers on how to administer the JYNNEOS vaccine intradermally.

Intradermal administration of vaccine is currently used by providers across the country, particularly when administering tuberculosis skin tests (in the forearm) and intradermal allergy tests, and providers currently have the supplies needed to administer the vaccine in this way. Nonetheless, the Administration will actively engage providers and clinicians to ensure they are prepared to use this approach for most adults who need JYNNEOS vaccine.

CDC is releasing interim clinical guidance and a Dear Colleague Letter from FDA to public health officials, and will be hosting trainings and webinars to support the transition to intradermal administration.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is launching a robust plan to communicate with and train public health professionals and providers to quickly implement the intradermal vaccine administration strategy.

Beginning today, the CDC is releasing:

  • Interim clinical considerations on its website, with relevant guidance on how to administer the JYNNEOS vaccine intradermally. The “Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of JYNNEOS and ACAM2000 Vaccines during the 2022 U.S. Monkeypox Outbreak” document includes an overview of monkeypox vaccines, vaccination strategies and post-exposure prophylaxis, and planning considerations for health departments including health equity. In addition, it provides interim guidance for use of JYNNEOS or ACAM2000 vaccines, including the schedule and dosing regimens that can be considered, dosing intervals, vaccine administration, evidence quality, pre- and post-vaccination counseling, and contraindications and precautions.
  • Supporting documents including FAQs for providers and the general public about monkeypox vaccines
  • Related resources for providers, including template standing orders and preparation and administration summary documents.
  • A video to help train health care providers and medical professionals immediately on intradermal vaccine administration.
  • CDC is making experts and clinicians available this afternoon to answer questions on intradermal administration.
  • CDC also plans to communicate with tens of thousands of public health officials and healthcare providers through a Clinical Outreach and Communications Activity (COCA), and will hold webinars and training sessions online and on the ground in communities where the outbreak is most severe.

Vaccines will continue to be shipped as 0.5ml vials, and HHS will be reviewing existing allocations and future vaccine distribution timelines to reflect the increased number of doses now available.
Vaccine vials shipped from the supplier, the SNS, and jurisdictions will continue to be shipped as 0.5ml vials, from which healthcare providers can withdraw 0.5ml for a single subcutaneous dose or 0.1ml for an intradermal dose.

Currently, the SNS has approximately 400,000 vials of JYNNEOS ready for distribution, totaling up to 2 million doses if administered by the intradermal route. Jurisdictions can order additional vaccine supply starting on August 15th or when they have used 90% of their current vaccine allotment. Jurisdictions can also continue to administer the vaccine subcutaneously while they are training medical professionals on the alternative dosing regimen for administration of the vaccine, and for individuals who still need the standard subcutaneous regimen, like children and adolescents.

In light of today’s announcements and the anticipated increase in JYNNEOS vaccine supply, CDC and ASPR are reviewing the current allocation and distribution timeline for vaccines. The goal of revised allocation or distribution strategies will be to ensure jurisdictions have sufficient vaccine supply to implement a two-dose strategy using intradermal application, and to ensure that jurisdictions aren’t receiving more vaccine than they can store or use in a given time period.

ASPR will proceed with procurement of 5.5 million vials of vaccine, totaling over 25 million additional doses that will be available in the United States.
Even with the alternative vaccine administration, the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR) will proceed with its procurement of 5.5 million vials of vaccine, which, factoring in the alternative dosing regimen, represents as much as 25 million doses that will become in the United States, in addition to current vaccine supply.

The Biden-Harris Administration will also continue to work to accelerate vaccine production and distribution. Last week, the Administration announced that 150,000 vials – totaling up to 750,000 doses administered intradermally – will arrive in the United States and be available for distribution in September, two months earlier than originally planned.

Today’s announcement is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s comprehensive strategy to combat the monkeypox outbreak and protect those at risk of contracting the virus. Since the first known cases in the United States, the Administration has developed a robust and agile strategy to expand and accelerate the production and distribution of vaccines, increased testing capacity from 6,000 tests per week to 80,000 tests per week, made treatments more accessible, and communicated on an ongoing basis with public health officials, state and local leaders, and individuals most impacted by the virus to date, including the LGBTQI+ community.


So the 'plan' is to take 400,00 shots and divide them by five and then claim that's 2 million shots!  And, hey, this 'plan' is based on a peer review study from 2015.  One study.  From 2015.  Seven years ago.  Monkeypox has been a global issue for many years.  Is there a reason this ONE peer reviewed study didn't prompt changes seven years ago when it was published?  Maybe because further studies were needed?  And now US citizens will be the lab monkeys?

This isn't a plan.  A plan is, "We're ramping up production of vaccines and these are our target dates for the production and these are our target dates for giving the immunizations."

Joe has no plan.  He has no vision.  He's a senile old man approaching the end of his life and apparently determined to take the country out with him.

There is no excuse for the White House's refusal to increase production.  They have the powers to do so and they have the money to do so.  Joe is doing nothing.  If monkeypox, in the coming months, gets worse -- as many suspect it will -- then he's going to have to receive the scorn he gave Donald Trump and then some.  Joe is AWOL on this issue.  It's happening on his watch and his answer is to dilute the vaccine and this 'plan' is based on one clinical study.   From seven years ago.

Joe's lucky that he's in the US and not Iraq.  In Iraq, as Charlie Metcalfe  (GUARDIAN) details, they take medicine a litle more personally:

Maryam Ali had just walked into the neurosurgery on-call room when a man grabbed her, shoved her to the ground and put a knife in her back.

Hospital security guards shut the facility down and arrested the man. With unusual fortune, Ali says, the CCTV camera covering the ward was working.

“I remember saying I thought I was going to die,” she said. “I was in complete shock. I cursed the day I became a doctor.”

Ali, 27, was in the second year of her postgraduate medical residency at Baghdad’s Ghazi Al-Hariri hospital when the attack happened in January 2021. Her attacker was caught and jailed but Ali has since, like many Iraqi doctors, considered leaving the country.

A recent survey of Baghdad doctors found that 87% experienced violence in the preceding six months. The majority said violence had increased since the beginning of the pandemic, and three-quarters of the attacks were perpetrated by patients and their families.

Meanwhile Chenar Chalak (RUDAW) reports:

Former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Monday said that there will be no dissolution of the parliament or early elections without the return of the legislature to holding sessions, following calls from longtime political rival Muqtada al-Sadr for a snap parliamentary vote.

Influential Shiite leader Sadr on Wednesday called for the dissolution of the current legislature and holding snap parliamentary elections in Iraq amidst demonstrations and a sit-in at the Iraqi parliament building by his supporters in protest of the Coordination’s Framework prime minister pick.

“No dissolution of the parliament, or a change in the system, or early elections without the return of the Council [of Representatives] to holding sessions. For it [the parliament] is the one who discusses these demands, and what it decides, we will follow,” said Maliki in a televised video statement on Monday evening.

Maliki stressed that Iraq is a country of many components and that “no will shall be imposed upon it” unless it is one that reflects the entirety of the Iraqi people.

The Parliament would have to vote to dissolve itself.  On that, Nouri is correct.  That said, he has a long history of statements -- and promises -- that are never what they appear.  The Erbil Agreement is only the most prominent.  The legal contract brokered by the US government gave Nouri a second term after the 2010 vote didn't.  It overturned the votes of the Iraqi people -- one of the reasons voting has fallen off with each election cycle in Iraq.  Now how did Nouri get what he wanted?

By promising others that they would get certain things.  Ayad Allawi's Iraqiya won the election.  The Erbil Agrement promised Iraqiya a governmental position.  That position was never created -- let alone given to Allawi.  The Kurds?  They were promised the implementation of Article 140 and they were stupid enough to believe it. 

Stupid enough?

The Iraqi Constitution demanded that Nouri implement that in his first term.  He didn't.  But they thought that because he swore it would happen in his second term that things had changed?

He never implemented.

He never honored The Erbil Agreement.  He used it to get a second term and then he ignored it.  His spokespweron said, months after it was signed, that it wasn't legal and Nouri wasn't bound by it.

And the White House said . . . nothing.  Despite Barack Obama placing a phone call to Ayad Allawi and telling him -- to get Allawi and his MPs back into Parliament so Nouri could be named prime minister-designate -- that the US stood firmly and fully behind The Erbil Agreement.

So anything Nouri says or does should always be suspect.  He is correct.  The Parliament would need to come back into session to vote to dismantle the current government.  But that doesn't mean that if the Parliament comes back into session it will vote to dissolve. 

The following sites updated: