First US case of Omicron found in California

Just like how the name Spanish Flu came about in 1917 even though it most likely originated in Kansas, Because there was a general news blackout due to the war, cases were not being reported. Spain, because they were neutral, didn’t have these restrictions which gave the appearance that the pandemic originated there.


Great point!

Note the cruel irony that the week before the WHO conference when Biden announced waiving Intellectual Property for vaccine to be available to WHO nations, oops?! Shut down. Whole conference cancelled.

If IP had not stood in the way the vaccine could have been much more widely distributed and locally sourced.

For the paranoid consider this: Would you take a Russian or Chinese vaccine? Think other folks would have similar reservations about a USA made option?

With the lives at stake I think IP should be set aside and tech shared in the name of love and peace and stuff like that.


Yeah, this is one of those cases where Intellectual Property laws are actively killing people.

Besides, it’s not like the drug companies weren’t able to break even with all that emergency funding they got from the world’s governments.


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This news article has a couple experts who both think that the most likely origin of this variant may have been that a virus strain circulating last year spent a whole lot of time incubating in an immunocompromised person, such as someone with untreated HIV. So another example of how not providing medical care for the neediest can come back to bite us all.


Uhm, yeah?

Think other folks would have similar reservations about a USA made option

Almost all the vaccines out in the world are Indian, Chinese or EU made. The US doesn’t really like to export its vaccines, even if they’re producing more than their population is willing to take.

They’re talking a big game, though. (Note that only 15 % of the pledged doses have actually been shipped and that these are only Covax donations. The vaccines that other countries buy are Chinese, Indian (temporarily on hold) and European)


And Russian. They’ve been exporting the Sputnik vaccine quite a bit, particularly to South American, the Middle East, and Northern Africa.


The person may have been vaccinated - other cases of this strain where in people who were fully vaccinated but got it anyways. (A lot of people who are fully vaccinated let their guard down. Although it doesn’t matter how careful you are, if the people around you aren’t.)

I also kind of wonder if this is a selection bias issue - that maybe they were specifically testing travelers from Southern Africa for the variant, and found it in one of those travelers, but they’re ignoring all the people who might have gotten infected domestically, or brought it in from somewhere other than Africa. It would be dumb if that’s what they’ve been doing, given the odds are significant that it didn’t originate in South Africa - they found some cases that are weeks old in Europe, they simply hadn’t been doing the genetic analysis and testing that South Africa has been, and weren’t looking for it until S.A. brought up the issue. They traced cases in Israel back to the UK.

It’s so fast it’s going back in time. They’re retroactively discovering new cases around the world (i.e. that they simply hadn’t been aware of at the time).


We used fake doctors and fake vaccines in order to locate enemies of the state that we droned without trial. Yes, it got us bin Laden, but it also resulted in strikeoffs on the disposition matrix.

Why would anyone trust us saying “we’re doctors and we’re here to help” ever again if they have even a remotely antagonistic view of the US?


true, true.

I think the first 4 identified omicron cases in Canada were from Nigeria. It will be interesting to see how well the origin and flow can be reconstructed.


If I’m reading the Wikipedia entry for smallpox, the final eradication push was from 1958 - 1980, so 22 years. I have no idea if this tells us anything about the current pandemic. I hope it doesn’t.


As usual, we only see Covid in the rear view mirror, a week or two ago, at best.


They’re even fighting the US government for complete patent control, even though it was a partnership, and federally funded.

Moderna US patent fight
A dispute between Moderna and the U.S. government over who invented a key component in a COVID-19 vaccine is less about bragging rights — and more about profits and control.

Part 2. 26:05 in the podcast.



We got ours tonight. Only one other person was there!



With the lives at stake I think IP should be set aside and tech shared in the name of love and peace and stuff like that.

I would have a lot more sympathy for this viewpoint if we didn’t live in an IP and medical regulatory environment where in any other year, a company like Moderna can spend years having the ability to create vaccines on demand on short notice, and no way to bring them to market, because doing so normally takes on the order of a billion dollars and you generally only have a handful of years to make it back. There’s a reason that before covid, they were focusing on cancer instead of infectious disease, and it isn’t because they don’t care about preventing infectious disease. Hint: it’s the same reason no other drug companies focus on inventing new vaccines, they wouldn’t be able to say afloat if they did.

I’d have even more sympathy for this viewpoint if the US government had decided to say, “Hey, Moderna, this mRNA tech you’ve got is fantastic, you can create a vaccine in a few days and test it in a few months! Here, we’ll hire out your entire R&D capacity for the next decade to churn out as many vaccines for as many diseases as you can, and help you arrange to get them tested and through the regulatory process, and negotiate consistent licensing arrangements with any drug company in the world that wants to manufacture them.” Seems like it’d be one of the cheapest and most impactful humanitarian and public health interventions ever attempted. Or, you know, if we’d made any attempt at all to communicate to the public how amazing mRNA tech is and what it could mean for the world and why it’s worth supporting in general (which, of course, is something that has been reasonably clear in studies for quite a long time, but hasn’t been able to break through the incredibly high barriers to getting any new treatments, drugs, or other interventions to market).


I like that idea, good thinking.

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I live in a country with plenty of money that claims to prefer a market economy, and yet has an odd reluctance to throw money at problems that can actually be solved or seriously reduced by using relatively small amounts of money to buy solutions through market mechanisms.


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