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“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.”


Yemen: A “man-made Hell” says WFP’s Beasley

WFP Chief on Yemen: “This Is Hell”

March 11, 2021 (EIRNS)–David Beasley, the executive director of the World Food Program, called the humanitarian disaster in Yemen “man-made,” and described the conditions in the war-ravaged country as “hell… the worst place on earth,” in a March 9 interview with the Associated Press. Beasley was speaking by video teleconference from Addis Ababa, following a tour of Yemen which included the capital of Sana’a. The WFP needs at least $815 million in Yemen aid over the next six months, but has only $300 million, he said, adding that the agency needs $1.9 billion overall for the year.

Beasley said that at a child malnutrition ward in a Sana’a hospital, he saw children wasting away from lack of food. Many, he said, were on the brink of death from entirely preventable and treatable causes, and they were the lucky ones who were receiving medical care.

“In a children’s wing or ward of a hospital, you know you normally hear crying, and laughter. There’s no crying, there’s no laughter, there’s dead silence,” he said. “I went from room to room, and literally, children that in any other place in the world would be fine, they might get a little sick but they’d get recovered, but not here.”

“This is hell,” he said. “It’s the worst place on earth. And it’s entirely man-made.” Yemen has been the victim of a Saudi war of aggression and a merciless blockade, under the direction of British policy-makers and with American support as well.

Beasley stressed that despite all the accusations, the Houthis have actually eased up on their restrictions on the work of humanitarian aid agencies. “We’ve turned a corner with the Houthis… in terms of cooperation, collaboration,” he said, adding that the only obstacle now is the lack of funding.


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.


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.


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.


COVID-19: new tool in the arsenal to defeat it.

Johnson & Johnson One-Dose COVID-19 Vaccine Passes FDA Advisory Board Unanimously

Feb. 27 (EIRNS)—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) passed the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine unanimously on Feb. 26, the company announced in a press release today. The vaccine has a 72% efficacy in the U.S. and 64% in South Africa. Against severe cases, globally, it was 85% effective. The vaccine is for those 18 years and older. It is stored at regular refrigerator temperatures.

The vaccine is the first one-dose vaccine to be approved. It can be a very important part of the fight, especially where logistics are difficult. Johnson & Johnson expects to produce and send out 20 million doses for the U.S. by March 31, and 80 million more doses by June 30. Assuming that the company gets around 25 million of the 80 million out in April, the U.S. would have vaccine doses for some 195 million Americans by the end of April—or 75% of the eligible population. Once those vaccines get into arms, the country would be in the range of herd immunity.

Dr. James Hildreth, CEO and President of Meharry Medical College, tweeted: “I am pleased to have been part of VRBPAC for review of the vaccine.  We must not let a narrative take hold that this is a ‘lesser’ vaccine than the mRNA vaccines. This vaccine prevents severe disease and death and in the crisis we are in that [is] the most important thing.” For more on Dr. Hildreth’s analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic, see the Feb. 1, 2021, Schiller Institute’s Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites interview. 


LaRouche Warned: No Development, then Death

Life Expectancy Plunged in U.S. in First Half of 2020

Feb. 18, 2021 (EIRNS)—Preliminary estimates issued today by the CDC indicate that life expectancy in the United States dropped by a huge one year in the first half of 2020 alone, largely as a direct and indirect result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The average drop for Black Americans was a stunning three years; for Hispanics nearly two years. This is a lawful expression of what Lyndon LaRouche warned for 50 years would happen if society’s Potential Relative Population Density drops below the actual population: the total population and its average life expectancy will follow into the abyss, sooner or later.

“This is a huge decline,” said Robert Anderson, who oversees the numbers for the CDC, according to a report published by AP. “You have to go back to World War II, the 1940s, to find a decline like this.” Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, a health equity researcher and dean at the University of California, San Francisco said: “What is really quite striking in these numbers is that they only reflect the first half of the year … I would expect that these numbers would only get worse,” said.

In 2019, average life expectancy in the US was 78.8 years—75.1 for males and 80.5 for females. In the first half of 2020, it had dropped to 77.8 years for all Americans. “As a group, Hispanics in the U.S. have had the most longevity and still do. Black people now lag white people by six years in life expectancy, reversing a trend that had been bringing their numbers closer since 1993,” according to AP.

Dr. Otis Brawley, a cancer specialist and public health professor at Johns Hopkins University, stated: “The focus really needs to be broad-spread of getting every American adequate care. And health care needs to be defined as prevention as well as treatment.” He said “our mishandling of the pandemic” is largely responsible for the drop in life expectancy. “We have been devastated by the coronavirus more so than any other country. We are 4% of the world’s population, more than 20% of the world’s coronavirus deaths.”


Interview with Dr. James Hildreth on COVID-19 Crisis

Members of the Schiller Institute’s Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites interviewed Dr. James Hildreth on February 1 on the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Hildreth is the president and CEO of Meharry Medical College, oldest and largest predominantly black Medical School in the country.  He sits on the committee that reviews vaccines for approval, the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee.

Dr. Hildreth addresses several topics, including:

  • The present state of affairs regarding Covid-19 vaccine safety, efficacy, production, and availability.
  • The understandable hesitancy and fear of people regarding getting the vaccine.
  • The difference between an epidemic and a pandemic and why we must have a global approach to conquering this disease.
  • What motivated him to dedicate his life to medicine.

Appended below is a shorter 15 minute version of the interview, suitable for circulation on social media and other channels and a fuller 28 minute version.

Full length 28 minute interview:


COVID: One Humanity

Chinese Vaccines Have Begun To Arrive in Africa

Beginning on Wednesday, Feb. 10, Chinese Covid-19 vaccines have begun to arrive in Africa. Separate from their commitments to the UN’s COVAX convention, China has committed to donate vaccines to 14 lesser-developed countries, with Zimbabwe, Equatorial Guinea and Sierra Leone leading the list. This is a commitment begun in July, 2020, at the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19, held (virtually) in Beijing.

“A batch of China-donated SinoPharm COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Malabo, capital of Equatorial Guinea, on Wednesday,” stated {CGTN} on Feb. 11. At a press conference in Beijing announcing the shipment on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin noted that It will be the first batch of donations from China to African countries, adding it shows China is fulfilling its promise of making Chinese vaccines a global public good.

The shipment of 100,000 doses was met at the airport by Equatorial Guinea’s VP Teodoro Obiang Mangue, who emphasized the generosity of China in fighting “vaccine hoarding” by wealthier nations. As quoted by Xinhua “Faced with the pandemic, no country, no matter how powerful, has been spared. However, in this context of crisis, only China has extended its hand to Equatorial Guinea, which has become the first African country to receive Chinese vaccine aid, and we are grateful for it.”

Early Monday morning 200,000 doses arrived in Harare, Zimbabwe, with the country committing to purchase an additional 600,000 which they expect in early March. In a statement, President Mnangagwa “applauded” China, “for its consistent humane policy of treating Covid-19 vaccines as global public goods. This kind gesture,” he said, “further attests to the fact that the People’s Republic of China is indeed a true friend of Zimbabwe.”

Other countries in line to receive shots from China include Pakistan, the Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Mongolia, the Palestinian territories, Belarus, and Sierra Leone, according to a Chinese foreign ministry statement “seen by” {Reuters}.


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