Biden announces COVID-19 advisory board as Pfizer announces promising early vaccine data

first_imgThe board also includes Dr. Luciana Borio, who was until 2019 director for medical and biodefense preparedness on Trump’s National Security Council; Dr. Rick Bright, the former head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority who became a whistleblower over the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic; Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, of the University of Pennsylvania; Dr. Atul Gawande, of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital; University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy director Dr. Michael Osterholm; University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine professor Dr. Eric Goosby, who was global AIDS coordinator under President Barack Obama; Dr. Celine Gounder, of New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation executive vice president Dr. Julie Morita; the Global Health Council’s Dr. Loyce Pace; and Dr. Robert Rodriguez, another UCSF School of Medicine professor.Biden is, as promised, taking the coronavirus pandemic seriously and putting together a group of scientists to advise him. Unfortunately, Team Trump can be expected to stay in Biden’s way as he tries to prepare a robust public health response to the pandemic while Trump himself has a sustained temper tantrum over losing. Mike Pence tried to take a victory lap, claiming credit for the vaccine news—but “We were never part of the Warp Speed,” Pfizer’s head of vaccine research had already said on the record. “We have never taken any money from the U.S. government, or from anyone.”The advisory board Biden announced is co-chaired by former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former FDA Commissioner David Kessler, and Marcella Nunez-Smith, associate dean for health equity research at the Yale School of Medicine. Nunez-Smith is an especially significant choice, since she studies discrimination in the healthcare system, an important topic in a pandemic that has hit Black and Latino communities so hard.”Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is one of the most important battles our administration will face, and I will be informed by science and by experts,” Biden said in a statement. “The advisory board will help shape my approach to managing the surge in reported infections; ensuring vaccines are safe, effective, and distributed efficiently, equitably, and free; and protecting at-risk populations.”- Advertisement – – Advertisement –center_img At one time or another, Biden’s COVID-19 team will have to administer vaccine distribution. The Pfizer news suggests it may be sooner rather than later and that Biden may be inheriting a process Donald Trump has already messed up. “I congratulate the brilliant women and men who helped produce this breakthrough and to give us such cause for hope,” Biden said in a statement responding to the Pfizer news. But he also warned that “the end of the battle against COVID-19 is many months away,” because even if the timeline stays in place, “it will be many more months before there is widespread vaccination in this country.” For that reason, Biden again emphasized the importance of continuing to wear masks and practice social distancing.- Advertisement –last_img read more

The Latest: Turkmenistan to restart suspended soccer league

first_imgThe Latest: Turkmenistan to restart suspended soccer league Associated Press The World Anti-Doping Agency barred Russia from the Olympics for four years after ruling last year that doping data from a Moscow laboratory had been manipulated. The Court of Arbitration for Sport is to rule on whether the ban is valid but hearings have been delayed because of the health crisis.Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin says the virus outbreak means the parties in the legal proceedings should avoid a ruling against Russia because it would fracture the Olympic movement.He adds that “when you see that everyone is isolated and everyone is at home … people understand that now there are priorities and there are issues which go on the backburner. The priority is the future of the Olympic movement.”Matytsin says sanctioning Russia would damage the Olympic movement and says the country is prepared to host more international sports events once the virus outbreak recedes.___ April 10, 2020 The Central Asian nation will become part of a small group of countries around the world where professional soccer is being played despite the virus outbreak. That includes the former Soviet nations of Belarus and Tajikistan, as well as Burundi and Nicaragua.The eight-team Turkmenistan league was suspended on March 24. The national soccer federation says it will resume on April 19. Fans will be allowed to attend games.Turkmenistan has not reported any cases of the coronavirus.___The Russian sports minister says it’s time for international authorities to “turn a new page” and forget the country’s Olympic doping ban because of the coronavirus pandemic. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Turkmenistan is set to restart its suspended soccer league amid the coronavirus pandemic. More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6last_img read more

USC students favor new beach ordinance allowing ball-throwing

first_imgMost USC students were unaware of ordinances reversed by the Los Angeles Dept. of Beaches and Harbors at a Feb. 9 meeting of the Board of Supervisors, such as a ban on throwing footballs and Frisbees.The new ordinances allow more recreational activities at beaches in L.A. County, contrary to original news reports, said Carol Baker, chief of community and marketing services for the Dept. of Beaches and Harbors.Brett Hughes, a freshman majoring in accounting, said the original ordinance was not needed.“It’s good [they lifted the ban],” Hughes said. “It was unnecessary for them to have had one in the first place.”Baker said during the summer months, areas will be established where beachgoers can throw Frisbees and footballs.“It had been a year-round ban, so now during the months when it’s not completely crowded at the beaches, we allow for those activities to take place,” Baker said.The ordinance, which applies to 16 beaches throughout L.A. County running from the Malibu area to Point Fermin, will enhance the beach experience while still enabling lifeguards to do their job, Baker said.“The lifeguards do need the ability on a regular day to say, ‘Hey, you know what guys, there’s too many little kids around here,’ or ‘You’re going to trample a sunbather, go up the beach 50 yards or go closer to [the] boardwalk and not so close to the shore where you’ve got little kids digging in the sand,’” Baker said.The previous ban had been in place since 1970, but very few people knew about it. Baker said there are similarities in that the institutionalized ordinance will not have a major impact on beachgoers.“It also creates opportunities for things that seem to be expressively prohibited by the [previous] ordinance because before the only kind of ball you could have was an inflatable beach ball,” Baker said. “So we wanted to change that.”The beaches will not impose $1,000 citations for misconduct, but a first time offense will receive a $100 fine and each subsequent offense will have a greater fee, capped at $500.Upon learning the actual ruling of the ordinance, students were glad to see the ban lifted, even if it was never a major concern anyway.Rex Christensen, an undeclared freshman, said the lifting of the original ordinance was the correct decision because recreational activities, such as football and Frisbee, are a part of beach culture.“One of the biggest reasons people go to the beach is for recreational purposes,” Christensen said. “Being out in the sun, swimming, playing volleyball — the beach is kind of a little getaway. I don’t feel as if there should be restrictions.”last_img read more

Steelers 2011 best team in NFL

first_imgThe Steelers return 21 of 22 starters from last season and even though they will face four division winners, only 4 of the 13 teams they meet had a winning season last year.Injuries always play a key role in any championship run, and the Steelers are no exception. But barring any major injuries the Steelers right now have the best defensive unit in football, and one of the best ever assembled in NFL history, even with their weakness at cornerback. All their starters return.There has never been a better set of linebackers in NFL history than James Harrison, Lawrence Timmons, LaMarr Woodley and James Farrier with Larry Foote backing them up; not even in the steel curtain days with Jack Lambert, Jack Ham and Andy Russell. The defensive line of Casey Hampton anchoring at nose tackle, flanked by Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel with key backups Chris Hoke, Ziggy Hood and first round draft pick Cameron Heyward, is second to none. The secondary, however, must prove themselves because with the league becoming more and more pass oriented, they must perform at a high level to win.Troy Polamalu is the best safety in football, and Ryan Clark has developed into an excellent compliment, making them as good a duo as there is. Teams will be reluctant to go deep on the Steelers because of the pressure up front as well as the speed and intelligence of the two safeties which generally results in interceptions. However, until the Steelers prove otherwise, teams will test them over the middle and on short routes, especially third down situations. Can the Steelers cornerbacks lock down the abundance of outstanding wide receivers they will meet every game?Ike Taylor has proven to be a Pro Bowl corner, but he has had very little help in previous seasons. So far no one has stepped up among the players on the current roster. That’s why most expected a cornerback to be a top priority of the Steelers during the off season, either through the draft, a trade or free agency. So they are left with what they had last season, Bryant McFadden, William Gay, and promising youngster, Keenan Lewis, who was hurt during the pre-season but should be ready.On offense everything starts with Ben Roethlisberger. The good ole days of running the ball down teams’ throats are over. The Steelers will live and die by the pass, and Roethlisberger is one of the best. He has the greatest assortment of receivers he has ever had, and as great at the trio of Frank Lewis, Lynn Swann and John Stallworth were during the mid ‘70s, this group has the potential to be even better. Starting with the old man, the third down master, Hines Ward, to the blistering, blinding speed of Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Emmanual Sanders. And that’s not counting Jerricho Cotchery who would be the second or third receiver on most teams.And that’s not all folks. At tight end Heath Miller is one of the best all around players in the game. Some tight ends are great blockers but weak receivers, or vice versa but Heath is one of the best blockers as well as being a great target for Ben. In short, the passing game should be as good as any, and that includes the Colts, Patriots and Packers.The running game is in good hands with Rashard Mendenhall, Mewelde Moore, and Isaac Redman keeping defenses honest. But what about the offensive line?This has been the weak link the past few years, but the coaching staff doesn’t seem to be worried as long as Maurkice Pouncey is healthy. They got rid of Max Starks who many felt was the second best lineman because of the outstanding job Jonathan Scott did filling in for the injured Starks last season. They are joined by Willie Colon, tackle; Chris Kemoeatu, guard and the only new starter Doug Legursky at guard. Key backups are Trai Essex and rookie Marcus Gilbert. Don’t be surprised if Gilbert beats somebody out before the year is over. As Mike Webster led a no name offensive line during the ‘70s, opening big holes for Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier, look for this group to give Big Ben plenty of time to find receivers while staying healthy. However, just how great this offense will be will depend on Ben making quick intelligent decisions as to which receiver to go to and where, and getting the ball to them where they can do something with it.As far as competition, the Steelers are still the team to beat in the AFC North Division. The Baltimore Ravens will be their only competition, because even though the Cleveland Browns finished strong last season they were still only 5-11 and is no match for the Steelers or Ravens, nor are the Cincinnati Bengals, who may struggle to win a game with one of the weakest defenses in football and the offense being dismantled with Quarterback Carson Palmer sitting out demanding a trade. Terrell Owens is still recovering from an injury while looking for a team and Chad Ochocinco now catching passes in New England. Poor, Marvin Lewis, he deserves better.Whoever made up the Steelers schedule must have been high on something because one of the greatest rivalries in the division and the NFL will be over before the Steelers play any other team in the division. They play the Ravens this weekend in Baltimore and then again at home in week nine. They will fatten up on the Bengals during week 10 and 13, then the Browns during week 14 and 16.The first half of the season will be the toughest. After the Ravens they face: the Seattle Seahawks, 7-9; Indianapolis Colts, 10-6; Houston Texans, 6-10; Tennessee Titans, 6-10; Jacksonville Jaguars, 8-8; Arizona Cardinals, 5-11; New England Patriots, 14-2; Ravens, 12-4; and the Bengals, 4-12 before their bye week. They finish up with the Kansas City Chiefs, 10-6; Bengals, Browns, San Francisco 49ers, 6-10; St. Louis Rams, 7-9 and the Browns.My prediction for the season is 14-2 with the first Ravens game being a key. AFC Division winners: South, Colts; East, Patriots; West, Chiefs and North, Steelers. READY TO GO—Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger (7) and Mike Wallace (17) share a laugh during the final preseason game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., Sept. 1. The Steelers defeated the Panthers 33-17. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone) Now it’s for real. Right now, at the beginning of the regular NFL season the best team in football is the Pittsburgh Steelers. Last season the Steelers appeared in their second Super Bowl in three seasons. Although they handed the Green Bay Packers the title, anyone who knows football knows who the best team was, even without their star rookie offensive lineman, who missed the game because of injury.last_img read more