"Opioid deaths rose 5 percent in Massachusetts last year; The increase wipes out five years of progress, with a toll much higher among Black and Hispanic people" by Felice J. Freyer Globe Staff, May 12, 2021
Opioid-related overdose deaths increased by 5 percent in Massachusetts last year and rose dramatically among non-Hispanic Black men, as the pandemic erased the state’s recent progress in combating the addiction crisis.
In its semiannual report, released Wednesday, the state Department of Public Health revealed that there were 2,104 opioid deaths in 2020 — 102 more than 2019 and two more than the peak year of 2016.
The state also released numbers for the first quarter of 2021, which showed a continued increase. There were 507 overdose deaths, 2 percent more than in the same period in 2020.
“Massachusetts was in a steady decline in opioid overdose deaths before the pandemic hit,” Dr. Monica Bharel, state public health commissioner, told the Public Health Council on Wednesday. “Despite all the effort and resources we poured into it, the pandemic has set back that progress.”
The pandemic brought isolation, stress, and fear, said Dr. Miriam Komaromy, medical director of the Grayken Center for Addiction at Boston Medical Center.
“It’s a natural part of addiction that when people have increased stress, that triggers drug use,” Komaromy said. In addition, the advice to socially distance to avoid COVID-19 prompted more people to use drugs alone and risk overdosing with no one nearby to rescue them. And fear of infection kept people away from treatment centers.
Given all these challenges, Dr. Peter Friedmann, immediate past president of the Massachusetts Society of Addiction Medicine, said he was surprised the death rate wasn’t even higher. Friedmann credited state initiatives that eased access to medications to treat addiction, and he called for even bolder efforts in the future, such as offering doctors incentives to treat addiction and defying federal rules that limit access to methadone.
The toll struck state residents unevenly. When looking at the rate per 100,000, deaths actually declined from 2019 to 2020 among non-Hispanic white men, but it increased among Blacks, Asian and Pacific Islanders, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic white women.
The death rate per 100,000 among Black men surged the most, up 69 percent. (In contrast, the statewide increase per 100,000 was a modest 5.2 percent.) And while their increase wasn’t as steep, Hispanic men continued to have the highest rates of overdose deaths in Massachusetts.
“This is unacceptable and deeply troubling,” Bharel told the Public Health Council, an appointed board of physicians, academics, and consumer advocates. She noted that the same populations experiencing high overdose death rates were also hit hard by COVID-19.
The state is shifting its focus from diseases to populations, looking to address the underlying social factors that lead to a host of health problems, she said.
“We’re looking at racism as a public health crisis and something that should be addressed through the eyes of public health,” Bharel said.
Komaromy said that opioid addiction was increasing among Black people even before the pandemic, but that trend may have accelerated because of the extraordinary stresses on them during the past year, she said — the high rate of COVID-19 sickness and death, as well as the national focus on police violence against Black people.
There were also geographic differences. Several communities, including Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, and New Bedford, experienced notable decreases in opioid-related deaths, but others, including Boston, Brockton, Holyoke, and Salem, saw deaths go up significantly.
Governor Charlie Baker said in a statement that both the pandemic and the latest data on drug deaths “have underscored the importance of supporting disproportionately impacted communities, and as we address both issues, our administration has continued to focus on equity as a core component of our response.”
Baker’s fiscal year 2022 budget proposal includes $375.3 million to address substance misuse, a 7 percent increase over last year.
As in the past, illicit synthetic fentanyl was the main factor in overdose deaths....
[Cocaine was next]
Yeah, drug problems are no longer the sole providence of Hollywood stars.
"A federal judge rejected a plea agreement on Wednesday that called for 15 to 21 years in prison for a man authorities described as the world’s largest purveyor of child pornography. Eric Eoin Marques is entitled to withdraw his guilty plea from last year if the judge departs from the sentencing range prosecutors and defense attorneys recommended, but U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang isn’t bound by the terms of the Justice Department’s plea deal. The judge said he’s inclined to give Marques a longer sentence for operating a web hosting service that enabled users to anonymously access millions of illicit images and videos, many depicting the rape and torture of infants and toddlers....."
He does have a lawyer, and the only word that comes to mind is Satanic but we all know that kind of talk is crazy conspiracy stuff so the pre$$ not need to look into it. They know who are the real devils under the hood.
"COVID-19 deaths in the United States have tumbled to an average of around 600 per day — the lowest level in 10 months — with the number of lives lost dropping to single digits in well over half the states and hitting zero on some days. Confirmed infections, meanwhile, have fallen to about 38,000 day on average, their lowest mark since mid-September. While that is still cause for concern, they have plummeted 85 percent from a peak of more than a quarter-million cases per day in early January. The last time deaths were this low was early July, nearly a year ago. COVID-19 deaths in the United States topped out in mid-January at an average of more than 3,400 a day, just a month into the biggest vaccination drive in the nation’s history. Kansas reported no new deaths from Friday through Monday. Massachusetts reported no new deaths on Tuesday, the first time in nearly a year. Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins University, said that vaccinations have been crucial even as the nation struggles to reach herd immunity. “The primary objective is to deny this virus the ability to kill at the rate that it could, and that has been achieved,” he said. “We have in in effect tamed the virus.” Nearly 45 percent of the nation’s adults are fully vaccinated, and over 58 percent have received at least one dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This week, Pfizer’s vaccine won authorization for use in 12- to 15-year-olds, in a move that could make it easier to reopen the nation’s schools. The encouraging outlook stands in sharp contrast to the catastrophe unfolding in places such as India and Brazil. The overall US death toll stands at about 583,000."
"Cases of the coronavirus are “exploding” globally, with the infections growing fastest in Asia and the Pacific, the Red Cross warned, urging countries to come together to help vulnerable nations push back the disease that is straining health care systems and overwhelming hospital staff. In the last two weeks alone, more than 5.9 million cases have been confirmed in Asia and the Pacific, the charity said in a statement published Wednesday as India continues to desperately treat patients amid dwindling supplies. “More people have been diagnosed with the disease in Asia over the past two weeks than in the Americas, Europe, and Africa combined,” Red Cross Asia Pacific director Alexander Matheou said, adding that governments must work together so that the hardest-hit countries have adequate access to vaccines and that front-line workers are supported. The charity expressed concern that 7 out of the 10 countries with the fastest rising figures are in Asia and the Pacific, writing that the Southeast Asian country of Laos had witnessed cases double in just 12 days. “To bring this pandemic under control, we need greater global cooperation so that life-saving resources, medical equipment, vaccines, and money get where they are needed to help people most at risk,” the charity said. At least 3.3 million people have lost their lives to the virus worldwide since the pandemic began."
I'm sick of lies, starting with the strained health systems and overwhelmed hospitals that have never happened the last 15 months. This rerun script that they keep pushing makes one want to vomit.
"The variant of the coronavirus first detected in India, which is believed to be driving the explosion of cases there, has now been found in 49 countries, according to the World Health Organization. The version, which has been named B.1.617, was upgraded on Monday to a “variant of concern” by the WHO amid evidence that it transmits faster than the original virus and may be more resistant to some COVID-19 treatments as well as antibodies. Lab testing has still shown some degree of vaccine effectiveness against it. Britain has reported the most cases of the variant outside India. The variant is one of the reasons cited for the surge of cases in India that the WHO said made up half of all new infections in the world over the past week and 30 percent of all the deaths. India reported 348,421 new cases Wednesday and a record 4,205 deaths. In every other region in the world, the number of new cases is falling."
It's all "cases" now based on a faulty technique for diagnosis that is easily manipulated, and the problem in India is the uptake of the poisonous potions is low -- same as in Japan:
"A full-page newspaper ad says Japanese will be “killed by politics” because the government is forcing them to endure the pandemic without vaccines. More than 300,000 people have signed a petition calling for the Tokyo Olympics to be canceled, and a swimming star has faced pressure to drop out of the games. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, meanwhile, has caused anger and confusion by repeatedly vowing to skeptical lawmakers that the Olympics will be safe, even as some hospitals struggle to find beds for the sick and dying, and a state of emergency was extended on Wednesday to more places in Japan. Only 1 percent of the public has been fully vaccinated, even as millions of doses sit unused in freezers, and there’s deepening frustration over Suga’s request for people to endure more emergency virus measures amid ramped-up planning for the resource-draining Olympics, which are to start in about two months. Last month, Suga declared a third state of emergency in Osaka, the center of the current surge in virus cases, as well as in Tokyo and two other areas. That has since been extended through May 31. On Wednesday, two more areas, Aichi in central Japan and Fukuoka in the south, were placed under the emergency measures. “No vaccine. No medication. Are we supposed to fight with bamboo spears? We’ll be killed by politics if things remain unchanged,” said the critical ad, which showed an illustration of a red coronavirus symbol on a World War II-era photo of Japanese children practicing to fight with “naginata” -- sword-shaped sticks. The ad by Tokyo-based publisher Takarajimasha, known for its outspoken stance on political and social issues, urged the public to demand that the government end poorly conceived coronavirus measures. “We have been deceived. What was the past year for?” it said."
No offense, but who gives a damn about the Olympics these days?
"Experts call for sweeping reforms to prevent the next pandemic" by Sheri Fink New York Times, May 12, 2021
The next time the world faces an outbreak of a fast-spreading and deadly new pathogen, governments must act swiftly and be ready to restrict travel or mandate masks even before anyone knows the extent of the threat, according to a pair of new reports delivered to the World Health Organization.
[What do they mean next time when I'm told the mythical CVD will be with us for years to come?
The WHO is a CRIMINAL FUCKING ORGANIZATION that has apparently LEARNED NOTHING!
Impose tyranny before any fact, yup.
This isn't about health, this about totalatarian tyranny on a global scale]
The studies are intended to address missteps over the past year that led to more than 3.25 million deaths, some $10 trillion in economic losses, and more than 100 million people pushed into extreme poverty.
“Current institutions, public and private, failed to protect people from a devastating pandemic,” concluded one of the reports, released Wednesday, which called the COVID-19 pandemic “the 21st century’s Chernobyl moment.”
“Without change,” it said, these institutions “will not prevent a future one.”
[I rest my case]
The reviews, released in advance of this month’s meeting of the WHO’s governing assembly, were written by appointees who donated countless hours in the midst of their own countries’ pandemic fights to interview hundreds of experts, comb through thousands of documents, gather data, and seek counsel from public and private institutions around the world.
Pandemics, the authors concluded, are an existential threat on the order of a chemical or nuclear weapon, and preparing for them must be the responsibility of the highest levels of political leadership rather than only health departments, often among the least powerful of government agencies.
The reviews also called for nations to provide predictable and sustainable financing to the WHO and to their national preparedness systems.
[OMFG, it is all $ELF-$ERVING BULL$HIT with the worst hyperbole one can imagine consider the alleged virus survival rathe of 99.97%, with most not even knowing they ever had it and now with permanent herd immunity]
“WHO is underpowered and underfunded by its member states,” Helen Clark, a former prime minister of New Zealand and an author of one of the reports, said at a media conference this week.
Whether the recommendations lead to lasting change is an open question. Clark’s group, the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response, pointedly noted that since the H1N1 pandemic in 2009, there have been 11 high-level commissions and panels that produced more than 16 reports, with the vast majority of recommendations never implemented.
These reports “sit closed gathering dust in UN basements and government shelves,” said Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, another author of that report, who served as president of Liberia during the Ebola outbreak there in 2014 and 2015.
Under the current international health regulations, “there’s no enforcement mechanism,” said Dr. Lothar H. Wieler, president of the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, who led the second major review, in which scientists scrutinized how those regulations functioned in the pandemic.
Both reports supported the creation of an international pandemic treaty that would establish consequences if countries failed to live up to their commitments. Those might include quickly sharing samples and sequences of emerging pathogens, providing rapid access to teams deployed by the WHO for early investigation and response, and ensuring equitable distribution of vaccines, medicine, and tests around the world.
Both reviews also noted that early in the coronavirus pandemic, many countries all but ignored the formal warning issued by the WHO, known as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Its unfortunate acronym, PHEIC, is often pronounced “fake,” one of the reports noted. (Whether the proposal to change this to “PHEMIC” will prove more stirring remains to be seen.)
[This such in your face rot that it is really a waste of time to read this stuff anymore. It's all agenda-pushing garbage based on lies all the time, every day, day after day]
The independent panel also concluded that the warning could have been declared at least a week earlier than it was on Jan. 30. Even then, “so many countries chose to wait and see,” only taking concerted action once intensive care beds were filled, Clark said.
Her group contends that if its recommendations on political leadership, financing, and surveillance systems had been in place, the coronavirus outbreak would not have become a pandemic. It also said that digital tools, such as those that scrape social media for rumors of new outbreaks, should be better incorporated into official responses.
[Yeah, WHO would PUT OUT a RUMOR so that governments can do the bidding of their global overlords and lock down again, this time forever?]
Notably, the panel did not delve into individual countries’ failures in its report, determining that blame would not be “a very useful approach,” said Dr. Anders Nordström, who helped lead the effort.
The recommendations of panels after global emergencies have sometimes been embraced. The Ebola outbreak of 2014 and 2015 led to the creation of the WHO’s health emergencies program, aimed at boosting the agency’s role in managing health crises as well as providing technical guidance. A report released this month noted that the new program had received “increasingly positive feedback” from countries, donors, and partner agencies as it managed dozens of health and humanitarian emergencies.
The WHO before the Ebola outbreak and after it are “two different agencies basically,” said Dr. Joanne Liu, a former international president of Doctors Without Borders and a member of the independent panel. Liu was one of the WHO’s most trenchant critics during the Ebola response, and she noted a “marked improvement” in how quickly the agency had declared an international emergency this time.
Liu said her biggest fear was that as wealthier countries gained an upper hand on the virus because of vaccines, they would leave low- and middle-income countries behind, with COVID-19 becoming “a neglected pandemic because they are going to be the only ones fighting it — a bit like HIV and TB.”
To avert that, the panel released a slew of urgent recommendations and called for the world’s entire population to be immunized within a year.
Wealthy countries with a good vaccine pipeline should commit to making at least 1 billion doses available to the poorest countries by September through programs such as COVAX, a global effort to provide vaccines equitably throughout the world, the group said.
[With each passing day, the promotion of the genocidal gene therapy they call vaccines is more and more criminal]
The most criminal thing of all:
"State maps out plans to get 12- to 15-year-olds vaccinated; CVS makes appointments available for teens nationwide" by Martin Finucane and Alexa Gagosz Globe Staff, May 12, 2021
I gue$$ 16- and 17-year-olds weren't enough.
Governor Charlie Baker said Wednesday that the state is working out plans to vaccinate 12- to 15-year-olds against the coronavirus, as CVS Health announced it was opening up appointments for the adolescents at more than 5,600 pharmacy locations nationwide.
[The kids don't need it, but the state can't let a golden opportunity slip away so you can now walk into any one of hundreds of COVID-19 vaccination sites for a shot and then you can go party -- or not, and the news that people vaccinated against COVID-19 can take off their masks when indoors could be a shot in the arm for vaccine passports. Thursday’s announcement from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention means that retailers and restaurants could let vaccinated customers inside without masks — but may first want to see proof of vaccination. The paper cards from the CDC may be enough for some businesses, but several US states have introduced electronic versions that are secure and not vulnerable to forgery. These secure systems typically are either a smartphone app that confirms vaccination by displaying a QR code on the phone, or a website where a user can print the code on a piece of paper. Massachusetts health officials haven’t made a move yet, but vaccine passes are coming soon to the private sector, as well, including from Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens, the retail chains that have provided shots to thousands of state residents.
Anyone under 18 in Massachusetts has to show written consent from a parent or guardian at a vaccination site to get the shot, but maybe you can wear a disguise to make you look older as the vaccine rollout has gone from political nightmare to point of pride for Baker, because he “always bounces back,” and with federal approval of a coronavirus vaccine for 12-to-15-year-olds all but certain, school officials around Massachusetts on Tuesday were weighing whether to require students to get vaccinated before returning to the classrooms this fall. Some districts said they would require vaccination, others said they would prefer not to require them, and still others were looking to the state for guidance. The state, meanwhile, has not formalized its plans. “Well, we’ve been big believers in what I call, you know, incentives, and making sure there aren’t any barriers to getting vaccinated,” he answered at the end of a press conference. “That’s been our approach all along, and it’s been a pretty effective one, and I think that’s probably the approach we would pursue going forward on this stuff as well.”
It's an Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine, which has been available for months for people 16 and older, on Monday received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, an exciting development for many who hope it could bring a sense of normalcy back to young people’s lives and a spokeswoman for the state’s COVID-19 command center said the group is “actively planning” for the vaccination of 12-to 15-year-olds.
That makes them criminals]
The moves came as an advisory committee to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted to recommend the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children as young as 12, marking an important step in the fight against the pandemic.
Baker estimated there are 400,000 12- to 15-year-olds in Massachusetts.
“We’re working with our providers and our mass vaccination sites and others to put plans in place to vaccinate this group once we receive word of a final approval,” Baker said at a news briefing at the Norwood facility operated by Massachusetts-based vaccine maker Moderna.
He said the state Department of Public Health had also reached out to primary care and pediatric doctors “in order to discuss with them a process for ensuring that they’re part of administering the Pfizer vaccine throughout their practices.”
“If parents have questions about the vaccine for their kids, they should contact their primary care provider or their pediatrician for more information,” he said.
[Any doctor who encourages a shot is a criminal, sorry]
Baker said a “bunch” of people in the 12-15 age group had already preregistered on the state website to get the shots, but did not offer a specific number.
The process of administering the shots would be similar to the process for adults, he said. “For the most part, most of the network is going to be pretty similar and pretty consistent with what we’ve used so far,” he said.
“I do think you’ll see more participation from the primary care community and the pediatric community because in many cases they have very tight relationships with a lot of the kids we’re talking about,” he said.
He also said he expected that regional collaboratives — and probably schools — would get involved with administering the shots, but some parents, he noted, might just take their children back to the same place they got their shots.
Boston Children’s Hospital sent out an e-mail to the “Boston Children’s Family” on Tuesday, saying it was offering the vaccine for the new age group and that people could sign up for them.
Starting Thursday, 23 participating CVS retail pharmacy locations in Rhode Island and 154 in Massachusetts will begin administering the Pfizer vaccine to this newly eligible population. Parents or legal guardian consent is required and children must be accompanied by an adult.
Patients are encouraged to schedule an appointment online at CVS.com or through the CVS Pharmacy app to ensure availability. However, walk-ins are also accepted if supply allows.
The scheduling portal will only display appointments at locations that have the Pfizer vaccine once the patient’s age is provided since Pfizer is the only FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine for this age group.
“Offering vaccinations to younger populations at thousands of locations across the country brings us one step closer to prevailing over the pandemic,” said Karen Lynch, chief executive of the Woonsocket, R.I.-based pharmacy giant.
CVS Health has administered more than 17 million COVID-19 vaccines in both long-term care and retail settings. It will be offering vaccinations at more than 9,600 retail stores across 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., as of May 16.
The CDC committee threw its support for the Pfizer vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds two days after the Food and Drug Administration endorsed it for emergency use in that age group. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky also signed off Wednesday.
“Getting adolescents vaccinated means their faster return to social activities and can provide parents and caregivers peace of mind knowing their family is protected,” Walensky said.
[Based on faulty and flawed modeling results that allegedly give Americans a road map out of the pandemic, with the key question being you’re fully vaccinated, probably excited at the prospect of resuming pre-coronavirus pandemic activities, and looking at public health guidelines to help you decide what is safe and what is risky. It can be confusing. As an epidemiologist, I’m often asked which activities are safe. I tell people that I can’t answer the question for them, but I can help them answer it for themselves. The key question I ask myself before engaging in any activity that carries a risk of COVID-19 infection is: Should the worst happen (I or my loved one contracts COVID-19), how will I feel about the decision I made?
Are you sick of the guilt trip yet?]
Vaccinating children is a key to boosting the level of immunity in the population, and reducing hospitalizations and deaths, experts say.
As more adults are vaccinated, adolescents 12 to 17 years old are making up a greater proportion of infections, accounting for 9 percent of cases reported in April, according to CDC data presented at the meeting. That’s even higher than cases among people 65 and older, now that many people in that age group are vaccinated.
Time for a booster shot as ModeRNA ramps up production of their poison and Biden's aim is to “get as many safe and effective vaccines to as many people as fast as possible” as sign off.