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COVID Delta Variant Explodes in Africa as It Soars in Asia and Ibero-America Too

July 27, 2021 (EIRNS)—On July 9 the Africa Center for Strategic Studies warned, “The surge of the Delta coronavirus variant in Africa is set to cause hundreds of thousands of deaths in the coming months, absent a dramatic scaling up of prevention measures and COVID vaccine access.” Now just 18 days later, the North, South, and East of Africa have exploded with new COVID cases. The latest infographic from the Africa Center dated July 12, shows total known confirmed cases of COVID in Africa at 5,984,845 since the beginning of the pandemic. View the time-lapsed map here.

At the time of the July 9 Africa Center report “26 African countries [had] seen their confirmed COVID-19 case[s] jump by approximately 50%” in June compared to May. Then, in the first week of July, 5,600 people across Africa died from COVID, a 43% increase from the week before. Overall, the Center noted, “There has been a near tripling in the number of COVID cases and 30,000 fatalities on the continent since the end of April when the Delta variant emerged in Uganda.” By mid-July the Delta variant was found in 22 of 54 African countries, countries with inadequate healthcare platforms and access to vaccines—criminally, a mere one percent of Africans have been vaccinated.

A change-in-fatalities table, by the Africa CDC, compared death-rate increases May 8-June 7 to June 7-July 7, showing that 16 African countries had a 450% to 4,303% rise in COVID deaths, while six African countries had a 100% to 397% rise in COVID deaths. The table is here.

Now, July 27, an International Rescue Committee press release reads, “From Asia to Africa to Latin America, countries are suffering from record COVID-19 caseloads and deaths, … The Delta variant is leading to a spike in cases in crisis-affected countries. In the month to July 25th, there has been a significant increase in cases in Zimbabwe (116%), Thailand (110%), Myanmar (78%), Liberia (60%), Bangladesh (33%) and Afghanistan (29%), and concerning test positivity rates in Mexico (37%), Iraq (22%), Colombia (22%), Zimbabwe (20%) and Democratic Republic of Congo (17%).”

Echoing Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s call for new healthcare platforms in every country, and Dr. Joycelyn Elders’ insistence that public health measures are urgently needed, the Africa CDC July 9 report concluded that need is clear to “ramp up vaccine access to avert a humanitarian calamity” and, since “Africa does not have the hospital infrastructure to rely on …. Prevention, relying on public health principles, remains the indispensable priority.”


“Vaccine Diplomacy” ~ U.S. Stopped Approval of Russia’s Vaccine to Brazil; Now Brazilian Deaths Rising

U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Brags It Used Diplomatic Pressure To Stop Brazil from Approving Russia’s COVID Vaccine

March 16, 2021 (EIRNS) — The annual report of the HHS’s Office of Global Affairs stated that they had “used diplomatic relations in the Americas region” to stop Russian and Chinese “vaccine diplomacy” in the region “to the detriment of US safety and security.” In the report, signed by Trump’s HHS Secretary Aznar, they pat themselves on the back about for having successfully used “OGA’s Health Attaché office to persuade Brazil to reject the Russian COVID-19 vaccine.” When questioned by TASS today, the Biden HHS repeated their adherence to that approach with the standard sophistry: “The United States is a firm believer in the need for vaccines that meet the minimum clinical standards of efficacy.”

Russia’s {RT} covered the story as a “bombshell admission,” noting that Brazil is currently sinking into an uncontrolled COVID crisis with a very small percentage of the population vaccinated. The article cited an expert at Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, which developed Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, saying that “we believe countries should work together to save lives. Efforts to undermine the vaccines are unethical and are costing lives.”

China’s {Global Times} published an article by editor Wang Wenwen which also pointed to the HHS admission that it used diplomatic pressure “to force Brazil, one of the worst-hit countries in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic, to reject the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V.” The editorial more broadly attacked, saying that “the West’s indulgence and zeal of the Cold War era is being manifested by its politicization of vaccines. The US, in particular, is practicing its very selfishness in vaccine distributions and exploiting vaccines as a geopolitical weapon, which, consequently, is dividing the world into two camps — one represented by countries inoculated with Chinese and Russian vaccines and the other with US and European vaccines.”

Europe is publicly lined up with the United States, Wang noted, but, “What is even more ironic is that the EU publicly dismissed Russia’s global vaccine supply, but has been turning to Sputnik V shots behind the scenes, according to media reports. Clearly, the EU cannot afford the self-invented geopolitical game involving vaccines.”

China’s approach is different, Wang argued. “Being a major power, China’s offer of vaccines to other countries is out of responsibility and morality without political attachment. That is why many countries welcomed and defended Chinese vaccines. If China’s influence expands, it is a natural outcome… Just imagine, if the global supply of vaccines is monopolized by the US, how many more people would die? Does the US care? The answer is clear.”


Southeast Asia in COVID Explosion

July 22, 2021 (EIRNS)–Indonesia now has the world’s highest COVID-19 infection rate and death rate, while other Southeast Asian countries are also facing a dangerous spike and a lack of adequate medical capacity.

* INDONESIA surpassed India’s peak per-capita death rate at 4.17 per million, compared to India’s peak of 3.04. Wednesday saw the highest death toll thus far at 1,383, while reported new cases exceed 50,000 per day (but with little testing, the actual number is thought to be much higher). The government ordered the conversion of oxygen production to be 90% for medical purposes from 20% normally. About 14% of the population has had at least one vaccine dose, primarily China’s Sinovac.

* MALAYSIAN hospitals are terribly overcrowded. AP reports that the national lockdown measures, which have badly damaged the economy, have not stemmed the infection rate of more than 10,000 daily. About 15% of the population is fully vaccinated, and the government hopes to have a majority vaccinated by the end of the year. The death rate per million is close to that of Indonesia, at 4.02.

* MYANMAR is still in a state of social chaos since the coup in February and the mass demonstrations — and mass killing of demonstrators by the junta. Now the pandemic is sweeping the country with few reliable statistics. The ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human RIghts (an organization opposing the junta) reports in a statement: “With little testing capacity, low numbers in the country vaccinated, widespread shortages of oxygen and other medical supplies, and an already beleaguered health care system under increasing strain, the situation is expected to get increasingly worse in the coming weeks and months.” It is believed that only 3% of the population has been vaccinated. The head of the department that oversees the cemeteries told military-run Myawaddy TV news on Monday that 350 staff members had been working three shifts since July 8 to ensure proper cremations and burials of people at Yangon’s seven major cemeteries, adding that they had cremated and buried more than 1,200 people on Sunday alone, including 1,065 who had died at home of COVID-19 and 169 who had died in hospitals.

AP reports that Cambodia and Thailand have also seen strong increases in both coronavirus cases and deaths, but have thus far held the seven-day rate per million people to a lower 1.29 and 1.74, respectively.


CGTN Publishes Helga Zepp-LaRouche Opinion Piece on ‘COVID Resilience Rankings’

July 16 (EIRNS)—A commentary from Helga Zepp-LaRouche, responding  to “COVID Resilience Rankings” determined by Bloomberg, was published by CGTN today. Zepp-LaRouche lambasts the Bloomberg report, which gave the U.S. higher marks than China, in which she states, “Essentially this ranking is a demonstration of the thesis, that one can prove anything with statistics, as long as you define how the statistics are constructed. While most of the nominal facts of the listed rankings appear to be factual, the accompanying article in the section ‘Containment Formula’ belies the overall purpose and bias hidden behind the statistics. Here the worry is expressed, that the ‘underperformance of some of the world’s most prominent democracies’ as compared with ‘authoritarian countries like China’ has raised questions about the ability of democratic societies to cope with pandemics.”

Zepp-LaRouche continues: “The reality shows a quite different story. In Wuhan, China, it demonstrated that the prioritization of society’s well-being over individual liberty was very successful. The Chinese approach after the containment in Hubei Province to test, isolate, quarantine, continues to spot cases to the present day and has resulted in only 4,636 deaths to date. In the U.S., on the other hand, more than 600,000 people lost their lives with many people suffering from long-term COVID debilitating effects.” The full opinion article is here.


COVID-19: Brazilian Infections Critical Point; Lula de Silva says were avoidable

Lula Calls Bolsonaro an “Imbecile” for His Handling of the COVID Crisis

March 11, 2021 (EIRNS) – Brazilian former President Lula de Silva yesterday delivered his first public speech since his phony conviction for graft was overturned by the Brazilian Supreme Court earlier this week, and he used the occasion to rip into President Jair Bolsonaro as an “imbecile” for his handling of the COVID pandemic. “Many of these deaths could have been avoided,” Lula stated, referring to Brazil’s stunning 268,000 deaths. Brazil has the second- highest number of COVID deaths in the world, after the United States.

Speaking to a rally of metalworkers in Sao Bernardo do Campo, his historic base, Lula charged, “This country is disorganized and falling apart, because it has no government,” and he demanded “Health, jobs and justice for Brazil… The people need jobs.” Lula may run for President against Bolsonaro in the October 2022 elections, although some voices have surfaced in the country calling for Bolsonaro to be driven out of office immediately, if the country is to survive.

Bolsonaro’s outrageous disregard for human life and dismissive attitude about any and all anti-pandemic measures (“stop whining” about the pandemic, he told Brazilians a few days ago), has converted Brazil into a threat to the health of the entire planet. According to Fiocruz, a respected biological sciences R&D center in Rio de Janeiro, the new P1 strain of the coronavirus that has emerged in Brazil, which is thought to be twice as contagious as the original strain, may also evade immunity built up by having had the original version of COVID, with a chance of reinfection estimated at between 25% and 60%. Furthermore, P1 is just one of several “variants of concern” that have become dominant in six of eight states studied by Fiocruz.

“This information is an atomic bomb,” said Roberto Kraenkel, of the Covid-19 Brazil Observatory, according to the Washington Post.

Fiocruz also reports that 15 state capitals have intensive care units (ICUs) that are at more than 90% capacity, including the two largest states, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. The national capital, Brasilia, is also reported to be at full ICU capacity, while two major cities — Porto Alegre in the south and Campo Grande in the southwest — have exceeded capacity. There is an imminent danger of the “overload and even collapse of health systems,” the R&D center warned.

BBC reported: “Scientists are concerned that Brazil has almost become a natural laboratory, where people can see what happens when coronavirus goes relatively unchecked… Global experts are calling for a plan — including rapid vaccination, lockdowns, and strict social distancing measures — to get the situation under control.” Brazilian epidemiologist Dr. Pedro Hallal told the BBC: “If we do not start vaccinating the population here very soon, it will become a massive tragedy.”

Brazil, with a population of 211 million, is by far the largest country in South America, and shares borders with 10 different nations: every country of South America with the exception of Chile and Ecuador. It has also has extensive historic ties and travel with Africa. And its population was one of the most ravaged by AIDS in decades past, opening up dangerous potentials in terms of its relationship to the coronavirus.


UN Sec. General Guterres: The World Needs 11 Billion Doses to Vaccinate 70% of The Population to Defeat the Pandemic

July 14 (EIRNS) – Speaking to the U.N.’s High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, Secretary General Antonio Guterres stated succinctly: “Pledges of doses and funds are welcome — but they are not enough. We need at least 11 billion doses to vaccinate 70 percent of the world and end this pandemic… Everyone, everywhere, must have access to COVID-19 vaccines, tests, treatments and support,” he said.

“The world needs a Global Vaccination Plan to at least double the production of vaccines, ensure equitable distribution through COVAX, coordinate implementation and financing, and support national immunization programs,” Guterres added. “To realize this plan, I have been calling for an Emergency Task Force that brings together the countries that produce and can produce vaccines, the World Health Organization, the ACT-Accelerator partners and international financial institutions, able to deal with the relevant pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers, and other key stakeholders,” he said.


Indonesia Surges Past India in New Covid Cases Per Day

Indonesia Surges Past India in New COVID Cases Per Day

July 14 (EIRNS)–Indonesia hit a record 54,000 official new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, about a twelvefold increase over the last seven weeks. Covid deaths follow new cases by two weeks, going from 200/day to over 1,000/day over the last five weeks. India, with five times bigger population, has dropped below 40,000/day. Indonesia, a country of 270 million souls, has only vaccinated about 15.6 million people, with another 31 million having received their first dose over the last several weeks. They’ve now acquired a total of 108.5 million doses of China’s Sinovac vaccine and recently another 25 million doses of AstraZeneca. The United States chimed in with 3 million doses of Moderna on July 9, both too little and rather late — even though President Biden’s commitment to get a total of 4 million doses to Indonesia represents one of his largest actions. The total projected doses amount to potential coverage of 69 million people, or about a quarter of the population, and they are presently administering about three-quarters of a million jabs/day. The Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin reports that more than 90,000 of 120,000 available hospital beds are taken up with Covid patients, while certain provinces are reaching 100% capacity.


Growing U.S. Acceptance of Vaccine Usage

Vaccination Is Increasing Americans’ Acceptance of Vaccines

March 7 (EIRNS) – A number of new polls appear to show a continuing increase in acceptance of COVID-19 vaccination as the vaccines are actually available and their distribution has reached tens of millions of people without ill effects, The Hill reported March 4.

There was a point in September 2020 when no more than 15% of Americans in some polls said they would get vaccination for COVID if it were available. By late January, Kaiser Family Foundation and Axios/Ipsos polling showed that 55-57% intended to get the vaccine or had already received a shot.

But in a Pew Research Center poll published Feb. 26, some 50% of U.S. adults surveyed between Feb. 16 and Feb. 21 said they would “definitely or probably” get vaccinated, in addition to 19% who had already received at least one shot; so acceptance appeared to have risen to near 70%.

The Pew poll reported that just over 60% of Black Americans now said they had been vaccinated or intended to, whereas only 42% had indicated willingness in November. Acceptance among Hispanics remained lower in the latest poll, however, just over 40%.

A section of the forthcoming EIR, “Vaccination: The General Welfare”, reports on the pace of COVID vaccination around the world – the successes and the critical and dangerous problems – and includes an important interview with the head of Meharry Medical College in Tennessee, who focuses on this subject. Meharry is the leading medical school among the Historically Black Colleges and Universities.


Fauci: 99.2% of June U.S. COVID Deaths Were Unvaccinated People

Fauci: 99.2% of June U.S. COVID Deaths Were Unvaccinated People

July 8, 2021 (EIRNS)–The ideological insanity of people who either refuse to get COVID-19 vaccines, or who preach to others not to get the vaccine, is producing a forecastable result: death from SARS-CoV-2.

On July 4, Dr. Antony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared on the NBC News Meet the Press program. Host Chuck Todd asked Dr. Fauci,

“It’s disconcerting to realize that we have had nearly 10,000 people die of COVID in this most recent month that we completed in June. How preventable were each one of those deaths? And how many of them were unvaccinated?”

Fauci responded, “Well, if you look at the number of deaths [in June], about 99.2% of them are unvaccinated. About 0.8% are vaccinated. No vaccine is perfect. But when you talk about the avoidability of hospitalization and death, Chuck, it’s really sad and tragic that most all of these are avoidable and preventable… The overwhelming proportion of people who get into trouble are the unvaccinated. Which is the reason why we say this is really entirely avoidable and preventable.”

Fauci continued: “Over the decades that I’ve been doing this, you’re frustrated because you have diseases where you don’t have an appropriate countermeasure, be it prevention or a treatment. And then when you have a situation like you have today, where you have a formidable enemy in the virus that has tragically really disrupted our planet now for about a year and a half, destructive — destroyed economies, ….and yet we do have a countermeasure that’s highly, highly effective. And that’s the reason why it’s all the more sad … And whatever the reasons, … some of them are ideologic, some of them are just fundamentally anti-vax or anti-science or what have you. But, you know, we just need to put that aside now. We’re dealing with a historic situation with this pandemic. And we do have the tools to counter it.”

He added that, “There are people throughout the world who would do anything to get vaccines.”

On July 1, at a briefing at the White House by the White House COVID-19 Response Team, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control, said, “Preliminary data from a collection of states over the last six months suggest 99.5% of deaths from COVID-19 in these states have occurred in unvaccinated people.” Even though this covered a period at the beginning of the year when vaccines were not generally available, the numbers remain impressive.


COVID-19: Vaccine Access for All

China Announces Plans To Produce 3.5 Billion Vaccine Doses in 2021

March 4, 2021 (EIRNS)–A major expansion of COVID-19 vaccine production is underway in China, now surpassing 3.5 billion doses in 2021. Further, China has decided to vaccinate 560 million of its citizens by June 30, an average of about five million/day. The U.S. is just now arriving at the capacity for 2.5 million/day, on its way to a 3-4 million/day level.

At a major meeting of the Chinese Center for Disease Control on Tuesday, decisions were made to escalate vaccinations on a vast scale. Up to now, China has targeted 52.5 million vaccinations, concentrating upon those who are most exposed to people and products coming into the country at airports, train stations, and harbors, and upon those exposed internally, such as health workers. Their testing and tracking methods have pre-empted a need to rapidly vaccinate. However, they have decided that it would undermine the efforts of neighbors, such as India, who are going for herd immunity levels of vaccination, if China were unvaccinated when their neighbors had achieved their goal. Social responsibility dictates that China should not be the weak link at that point. Health authorities were sent around the country after the Tuesday meeting, to organize the vaccinations of 560 million people by June 30 and another 330 million by the end of the year.

The 3.5 billion vaccine doses will come from Sinovac Biotech, which, according to CEO Yin Weidong, is expanding to a two-billion-dose/year capacity; CansinoBIO, which is building a new factory in Shanghai and plans on 500 million doses in 2021; and Sinopharm, which guarantees at least one billion doses in 2021. Previously, India has led the world, with a production schedule of 2.25 billion COVID-19 vaccines in 2021.


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