U.S. Government Allocates $3.2 Billion for COVID-19 Antiviral Pills

Department of Health & Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services will invest $3.2 billion to develop and manufacture COVID-19 antiviral medicines, it announced Thursday.

The initiative, funded as part of the American Rescue Plan, is designed to accelerate research into antivirals as well as build platforms for urgent response to future viral threats, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said in a statement Thursday. Specifically, the plan expands antiviral clinical trials, forms partnerships between health agencies and pharmaceutical companies, and funds “drug discovery groups” tasked with innovating new antiviral medicines.

“New antivirals that prevent serious COVID-19 illness and death, especially oral drugs that could be taken at home early in the course of disease, would be powerful tools for battling the pandemic and saving lives,” said chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci in the statement.

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Study Finds Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine 90 Percent Effective

Doctor preparing COVID-19 Vaccine

Novavax announced on Monday that its two-dose COVID-19 vaccine is 90% effective, according to a press release on Novavax’s website.

The phase-3 trial enrolled 29,960 participants ages 18 and older in the U.S. and Mexico. The study found that 77 of the participants tested positive for COVID-19, with 63 testing positive in the placebo group and 14 in the vaccine group, according to the press release.

“Today, Novavax is one step closer to addressing the critical and persistent global public health need for additional COVID-19 vaccines. These clinical results reinforce that NVX-CoV2373 is extremely effective and offers complete protection against both moderate and severe COVID-19 infection,” Stanley C. Erck, President, and CEO of Novavax said in the press release.

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U.S. Investigates Possible Leak at Chinese Nuclear Power Plant, Report

Nuclear power plant

The U.S. is reportedly investigating a possible leak at a China nuclear power plant in the city of Taishan.

The possible leak was reported to U.S. officials by the French company Framatome, which helps to operate the plant. Framatone has also accused the China of raising the acceptable limits of radiation detection to avoid shutting the plant down, as first reported Monday by CNN.

The company reportedly made a request June 3 for operational safety assistance, which would allow it to “address an urgent safety matter” because the Chinese plant was leaking fission gas.

The company said China has raised the detection limits to double what it had determined.

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American Higher Education Has Deep Ties to EcoHealth Alliance, Wuhan Institute of Virology

Person holding bottle of COVID Vaccine

Several American researchers have worked with the Wuhan Institute of Virology and EcoHealth Alliance on coronavirus-related research, including gain of function research, dating back more than a decade, and emails reveal that several professors were in contact with Dr. Anthony Fauci during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. 

As the intelligence community commences its investigation into the origins of SARS-CoV-2, a series of scientific papers and studies belie a close relationship between American academia and the Wuhan lab, as well as EcoHealth Alliance, the multinational organization through which the NIH sent $600,000 to study the transmission of coronaviruses.  

What follows is a brief timeline of research publications on which university researchers collaborated with partners from the Wuhan Institute of Virology and EcoHealth Alliance. 

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Insurance Company Drops $5 Million for University of Minnesota’s Anti-Racist Health Center

The University of Minnesota is mobilizing a $5 million donation to launch an antiracist health center.

According to a February 24 announcement from the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health, the “Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity” is dedicated to “addressing and uprooting structural racism’s impact on health and healthcare.”

The center will “develop education and training on structural racism and health inequities,” “foster authentic community engagement to address the root causes of racial health inequities and drive action,” “change the narrative about race and racism to one that does not hold up whiteness as the ideal standard for human beings,” and “serve as a trusted resource on issues related to racism and health equity.” 

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