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Jenny Burns

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Russian U.N. Ambassador Offers International Cooperation on COVID-19 Vaccines

Vasily Nebenzia, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nation’s, told the U.N. Security Council that “We are ready for international cooperation with all interested partners in the development and production of vaccines and treatments to ensure a coordinated global response to the spread of Covid-19 and a common victory over the pandemic.” Nenbenzia’s remarks came after Russia’s announcement of their “Sputnik V” vaccine. RT reported that Nebenzia said that clinical trials have already shown it to be both safe and highly effective, and noted that other “promising” vaccines were being developed in Russia as well.

RT commented: “Some Western governments have disparaged the Russian achievement, demanding to see evidence of the vaccine’s safety, even as their own pharmaceutical companies have required absolute immunity from liability lawsuits over potential adverse effects.”

Webcast: End The Age Of Barbarism

With civilization on the edge of an abyss from a confluence of crises, a summit of great powers, combined with a serious realistic discussion of why war is unacceptable, are essential if we are to end the age of barbarism.  In her weekly dialogue, Helga Zepp LaRouche pointed to President Trump’s statement that he is speaking with Russia about a new nuclear arms pact as an important indication that the necessary level of discussion is possible.  She referred also to the discussion around the 75th anniversary of the U.S. use of nuclear bombs against Japan as a sign that there are sane networks which are mobilizing to put an end to the danger of nuclear war.
This was a major concern of her husband, Lyndon LaRouche, who in 1995 introduced crucial evidence showing why there was no military reason to use nuclear weapons against Japan.  Instead, he pointed to the evil Bertrand Russell as a promoter of nuclear war.  For Russell, the threat of nuclear annihilation was a necessary component to force the Soviet Union and any other sovereign nation state, to submit to a world order dictated by the British Empire.
The Russellite imperial forces today are threatening Russia and China with war, as their empire is falling apart, and their coup efforts to defeat President Trump are being exposed more each day.  Zepp LaRouche urged viewers to join our mobilization for an international online conference on September 5 & 6, to create the climate in which a P5 summit occurs, before the U.S. election.

Pandemic Shock Waves Are Striking Numerous Areas of the Economy

According to the Asian Development Bank, the COVID-19 pandemic is leading to massive losses in remittances sent home by foreign workers, which could end up totaling some $110 billion by the end of the year, a nearly 20% decline from what was expected before the crisis. Total remittances hit a record $554 billion in 2019.

A June study by the UN had likewise forecast a drop of more than 20% for this year, and estimated that in 2019 there were some 272 million international migrants (up from 150 million in 2000). Nearly two-thirds of those migrants, 164 million people, are “labor migrants,” and 74% of them are of working age (20-64 years). In other words, people unable to find productive work in their own countries. The money sent back home by those 270 million-plus migrants supports an estimated 800 million people, who often need those funds to cover the basics of life: food, water, health care, and education.

The case of the plunge in remittances is just one of a number of shock waves spreading across the planet as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, each of which is a full-blown crisis in its own right, capable of wreaking major havoc. Another such shock front is what is happening with food supplies and resulting hunger and starvation; the huge jump in suicides, drug overdoses, and other deaths of despair in the U.S.; the danger of “losing an entire generation” from lack of education, that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres recently warned about; and also the mass evictions of millions of people in the U.S. that will happen over the next few months, unless measures are taken.

A recent Aspen Institute study observed that 23 million people nationwide are at risk of being evicted, since they are behind in their rent or mortgage payments and federal unemployment benefits for 30 million people have expired, with no replacement in place yet. AP reported that some 30 state moratoria on evictions have expired since May, according to the Eviction Lab at Princeton University. AP added: “And the federal eviction moratorium that protects more than 12 million renters living in federally subsidized apartments or units with federally backed mortgages expired July 25. If it’s not extended, landlords can initiate eviction proceedings in 30 days.”

WHO Advance Mission to China Lays Groundwork for Long-Term International Effort To Study Origins of COVID-19 Virus

At yesterday’s virtual daily press conference in Geneva, World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Director Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reported that a WHO team of experts had returned from their three-week visit to China, as a result of which the Terms of Reference have been drafted for the work program and long-term study by a new international team, led by WHO, to identify the potential source of infection of the first COVID-19 cases.

The team will include leading Chinese and foreign scientists and researchers. Epidemiological studies will begin in Wuhan to identify the potential source of infection of early cases. Then, evidence and hypotheses generated through this work will lay the basis for further, long-term studies. Today, WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier reported that the team that visited China had “extensive discussions with Chinese counterparts,and received updates on epidemiological studies, biologic and genetic analysis and animal health research.” They also held video conferences with Wuhan virologists and scientists, Reuters reported.

Of note are the remarks by Dr. Mike Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO’s Emergencies Program, who said yesterday that it is important to start studies on the first reported human clusters of atypical pneumonia in Wuhan, in order to systematically look for the “first signal at which the animal-human species barrier was crossed.” According to CGTN, Ryan emphasized that “one must remember that there was a specific surveillance system in place in Wuhan for picking up clusters of atypical pneumonia. It was there for a very specific purpose. And the fact that the fire alarm was triggered, doesn’t necessarily mean that that is where the disease crossed from animals into humans.” A much more “extensive retrospective epidemiological study” should be done, he said, “in order to fully understand the links between the [atypical pneumonia] cases.”

First American ‘Splash-down’ Since the Era of Apollo Missions

Today, the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavor flawlessly brought the two astronauts Robert “Bob” Behnken and Douglas “Doug” Hurley safely back home to Earth. In a remarkable series of maneuvers, the craft autonomously positioned itself for the correct orbit for splashdown. This was the first American splashdown in nearly 50 years!

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine wrote on his blog: “We need to remember that this is just the beginning. Now is the time to capitalize on all the great programs that have recently been established, to include going sustainably to the Moon under a program we call Artemis. We’re going to the Moon sustainably; we’re going to go with commercial partners, with international partners. We’re going to use the resources of the Moon to learn how to live and work on another world for long periods of time. We’re going to take all of that knowledge and we’re going to go to Mars.”

As Dragon prepared to re-enter Earth’s orbit, it first executed the separation of the claw and trunk (on the lower portion of the craft), which were jettisoned away from the spacecraft. Thrusters at the forward point of the craft to decelerate it, burned for 11 minutes, the longest burn ever.

When completed, the cap for the capsule closed back over the thrusters, and began to maneuver about 90 degrees, such that the broadest portion of the capsule would shield the crew from the 3500 F degree heat, generated by the speed and friction with Earth’s atmosphere.

During this time, there was an expected six-minute blackout, due to the plasma generated by the heat of the descent on the outside of the spacecraft.

As it came out of the blackout, the drogue parachute was deployed first, to further slow its descent, and then the four main parachutes deployed, with a splashdown speed of 15 mph, near the coast of Pensacola, Florida, right on time. During the descent, a specially-equipped WB-57 airplane provided the first infrared images of the spacecraft.

Coverage on [] included the commentators fielding numerous questions from the public via Twitter, featuring many questions on the mechanics of the descent, what the astronauts would experience, etc. and a question from a seven-year old asking why the capsule was shaped the way it was (cone-shaped).

This exciting first step for America’s return to manned missions to space demonstrates that the dream is very much alive, and enthusiastically received by the American people.

Dragon Endeavor now heads to weeks of post-flight inspection and testing, in order to complete the certification of the Dragon system to fly operational missions for NASA’s Commercial Crew and International Space Station Programs. If all goes as planned, the SpaceX Dragon’s first operational mission, Crew-1, will head to the ISS by late September, with three NASA astronauts and a Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) mission specialist aboard.

US Farmers, Ambassadors Participate in Schiller Institute Seminar

On July 29th, the Schiller Institute held an on-line seminar, “Stop the Hunger Pandemic. Save Farmers, Deliver Food!” Moderated by Richard Black and Bob Baker, the two-hour discussion included three US farm leaders from Colorado, Alaska and California, and 11 diplomats — including 6 ambassadors — from Sub-Saharan and West Africa, Central America, and Central Asia. A former Senator and current candidate from Trinidad and Tobago also participated. Most of the participants had been involved in the series of Schiller Institute international conferences held from April through June, 2020.

Richard Black described the civilization-threatening crisis which all of humanity currently faces — pandemic, starvation, and war between nuclear powers — and the 50-year record of Lyndon LaRouche and his associates of providing solutions, involving the massive economic development of the former colonial sector. A major focus was put on creating a chorus of nations worldwide to ensure the realization and required content of a P5 heads-of-state Summit. Paul Gallagher outlined the nature of the imminent financial collapse and how a New Bretton Woods System would work. He showed that FDR’s TVA method has been the only action to have ever succeeded — from the 1930’s until today — in creating a  sustained recovery from collapse. Marcia Baker dramatically showed the extent of the accelerating starvation rates worldwide, the on-going destruction of the farmer in the advanced sector, and the recent farmer upsurge in Europe and the US, demanding a new system.

Paul Gallagher noted that the intense discussion from the diplomats on the failures of the old Bretton Woods System and questions on how the “new” one could be different, is exactly the kind of productive debate we want. The farm leader from Colorado was excited to answer many questions from the diplomats. One West African ambassador remarked, afterwards, that he was very happy to see so many other ambassadors involved in the discussion, saying that the ideas presented “really made me think.” Several ambassadors expressed moral outrage that, after 45 years, Transaqua has still not been built, and that food self-sufficiency through growing high-quality indigenous crops has been replaced with cash crops for export to the nations of the North, enslaving nations to “the market.”

The seminar was not recorded, with no media present, to allow for the most free discussion. Some ambassadors are already mobilizing with us to create a chorus of sovereign voices to ensure the realization and the content of a, very near-term,  P5 Summit. Our plan for the upcoming September 5th Schiller Institute conference was discussed.

Four UN Agencies Issue Urgent Call to Action To Prevent Coronavirus-Related Childhood Malnutrition, Starvation and Death

Yesterday, the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Food Program (WFP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and UNICEF issued a call for action to prevent  childhood malnutrition and death, now worsening in many places, reported in the {Lancet} at length on July 27. What is clear from the call and the dire situation described in a related Associated Press article on the malnutrition, starvation and death among children in sub-Saharan Africa, Afghanistan, Yemen and elsewhere, is that these needs can only be met by implementation of the LaRouchePAC program to create 1.5 billion productive jobs, and building of global medical infrastructure.

“As leaders of four UN agencies,” the call read, “we are issuing a call for action to protect children’s right to nutrition in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. This requires a swift response and investments from governments, donors, the private sector, and the UN. Five actions must be taken and tracked immediately…..[provision of food and help listed]….”

The four agencies estimated that at least $2-4 billion is needed immediately “to protect these children, prevent and treat malnutrition, and avoid human loss. This $2-4 billion estimate includes an essential package of four life-saving interventions: prevention of wasting in children at risk; treatment for children who are wasted; biannual vitamin A supplementation for children aged 6–59 months (90% coverage); and mass communication for the protection, promotion, and support of breastfeeding that focuses on caregivers or families of children aged 0–23 months.

“The estimated increase in child wasting is only the tip of the iceberg. The COVID-19 pandemic is also expected to increase other forms of child malnutrition, including stunting, micronutrient deficiencies, and overweight. The global community’s failure to act now will have devastating long-term consequences for children, human capital, and national economies.”

Several U.S. States in Line to Become New Hotspots, Unless Strict Guidelines Adhered To, Dr. Deborah Birx Warns

After touring several states in the U.S. south and southwest, Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, is warning that at least five more states are in line to become COVID-19 hotspots, unless a concerted effort is made to ensure that citizens follow established guidelines for mask-wearing and social distancing, and states move to close bars, indoor dining and public gatherings.

Over the past week, Dr. Birx visited the five states she strongly recommends “reverse course” now—Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio and Virginia– reported. She reported that the task force is making this assessment based on current infection rates and daily case numbers per 100,000 people ”We can see what is happening in the South moving North,” she said in a press conference in Frankfort, Kentucky. Tennessee, for example, is considered to now be “critical,” according to the Covid Act Now group of medical professionals, epidemiologists, and researches. The Harvard Global Health Institute puts Tennessee in the highest-risk category. Dr. Birx was especially forceful in her press conference with Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, telling reporters and healthcare officials, “Stop going to bars, indeed close the bars and limit your indoor dining and if you wash your hands and social distance, you can have as big an impact as sheltering in place.” During that press conference, Gov. Lee said he would not implement any of those measures or “shut down” any part of the economy..

On July 22, Birx also named 11 cities– Baltimore, Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and St. Louis–which she said should take “aggressive” steps immediately to avoid becoming  hot spots. “Until you can see that explosion, it’s hard for people to understand how deeply you have to clamp down,” Birx said. “That’s why we called out the next set of cities where we see early-warning signs, because if you make changes now, you won’t become a Phoenix.”

In addition, Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute has named six other states—Wisconsin, North Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana–which are not yet hotspots, but are “heading there.” These states don’t tend to be in the news, he said, but they have “limited hospital capacity…and can ill afford to stretch their ICUs.” Both Montana and Wyoming have high infection rates that are “worrisome,” Dr. Jah said. Covid Act Now warns that there is not a single U.S. state that is currently “on track to contain COVID.”

Room-Temperature SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Candidate Enters Phase 1 Trials

An article in {Cell} reports on an mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate that elicits T cell and antibody responses in animals and has been shown to create immunity in mice. While this is not the first vaccine of its type, its design gives it a one-week shelf life in liquid form at room temperature. This could be a significant advantage in achieving immunization in parts of the world without reliable access to electricity for temperature control — which is itself a situation that must be remedied!

In India, COVID-19 Sweeping Into Great Rural Heartland

COVID-19 is now spreading through the vast rural heartland of India, after it struck hard at large urban centers. India has the third largest number of COVID-19 infections in the world, at nearly 1.3 million, and just passed France for the rank of country with sixth most COVID-19 deaths, at 30,601. What is particularly concerning is the rate of new novel coronavirus infections; with 47,520 new infections on July 23, India ranks only behind the United States for new daily infections.

It is reported that the vector of migrant workers, who were working in larger cities until the work dried up, brought COVID-19 to India’s rural belt, home to 900 million Indians—70% of India’s 1.3 billion people. This rural region has health and hospital infrastructure that ranges from moderately to considerably inadequate.

West Bengal, a state of 100 million people—whose capital is Kolkata—has a rural town called Dokangora, The village has been distributing thousands of bottles of sanitizer and bars of soaps and masks, often limited to two masks per family—one family of eight shares two bars of soap—and basic food supplies including rice, dal and cooking oil. The local ambulance is little more than an SUV with no special medical equipment.  The driver ferries people with symptoms —  sometimes more than five at a time—to get testing and help. The July 23 {Wall Street Journal} reports that the regional health centers have “148 beds, but none equipped to look after coronavirus patients.”

Were coronavirus to spread through this area, the medical barriers for resistance would be minimal.

In the larger state of West Bengal, its capital, Kolkata,  has announced a bi- weekly lockdown, which appears to mean, in this setting, two days per week. Banks, post offices, and ration shops are not allowed to open. But in three districts—North 24 Parganas, Birbhum, and Bardhaman—total lockdowns have been imposed.

The success of these operations will depend on enforcement of the lockdowns, but also on a build-up of all the features of health and hospital infrastructure, greatly insufficient, which needs to be built on an emergency basis, as per the LaRouche plan to create 1.5 billion productive jobs.

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