Koronavírus: New York állam kormányzója súlyos bűntettekért elítélteket is szabadon bocsátott a járvány miatt

New York állam kormányzója, Andrew Cuomo az Egyesült Államokat is sújtó koronavírus-járvány miatt börtönbüntetésüket töltő elítéltek szabadon bocsátását rendelte el, köztük olyanokét is, akik gyermekeket erőszakoltak meg - jelentette vasárnap este a Breitbart News című portál.
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Americans mourn George Floyd's death
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Listen: How Limiting Protests Will Spread the Virus
Protests responding to the killing of George Floyd have now spread to every state in the country and even internationally.Public-health experts have warned that the protests will lead to a spike in coronavirus infections, but what role does the policing of the protests play in that dynamic? Staff writer James Hamblin and executive producer Katherine Wells discuss on the podcast Social Distance:Listen to the episode here:Subscribe to Social Distance on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or another podcast platform to receive new episodes as soon as they’re published.What follows is an edited and condensed transcript of their conversation.Katherine Wells: So we’ve actually gotten a question from a listener, Jenn, about the protests. She wrote in and asked, “Could you talk about how safe it is health-wise to take part in the protests?” I mean, we’ve been sort of talking for months about how the most important thing is to stay away from other people. Why don't we do an overview of what we know about the science of transmission?James Hamblin: Yeah, at the very beginning [of the pandemic], when we were uncertain of most everything, it seemed that most transmission was happening from surfaces. But it seems to be less of a factor in transmission than previously assumed.Wells: So I've been scrubbing my hands raw for nothing.Hamblin: No, I wouldn't say that. I think that the most common form of transmission is prolonged indoor close contact. So between relatives, family members, cellmates, and people who live in nursing homes. It is not from randomly touching a subway pole.Wells: It just means that masks are even more important.Hamblin: I would say so, yeah. When you're protesting, outdoor transmission seems to be extremely limited. There are studies in restaurants now, inside churches, at a choir practice—that show when groups get together in enclosed spaces indoors and especially when they are singing and or presumably yelling or chanting—that’s a dangerous scenario. But it becomes much less dangerous when you’re outdoors and you’re moving around.[Read: So, what can we do now?]Wells: There are no studies showing outdoor transmission?Hamblin: Not to my knowledge. If you’re out having a picnic and you sit with someone for an hour and you're real close to them, absolutely. You could definitely transmit it to them. But it is just much, much more safe than being indoors. The complicating thing I think about protesting, too, is that the idea is that when people are singing in a choir practice you’re spewing a lot into the air. And a lot of people doing that simultaneously does increase the amount of respiratory droplets that are going to be floating around.Wells: Right. I mean, I’ve been reading that epidemiologists are like, wait two weeks and we’re going to see a spike all across the country. So they must expect that this isn’t completely safe.Hamblin: I think you can do it safely. I think they’re going to be a lot of people who end up making conversation with someone or getting up in someone’s face and having some kind of confrontation or scenarios like that where there could be an act of transmission. If you are careful to avoid that and don’t fall into old ways of not social distancing just because you’re in this new headspace, then it can be done very safely.Wells: So basically the key is just keep distance when you can and wear a mask?Hamblin: It’s complicated like usual, but also [protesting] is not inherently what's going to drive spikes in transmission.Wells: Then why are epidemiologists talking about spikes in two weeks?Hamblin: Well, I think these are really emotional and charged situations. And it feels like the urgency of this moment is such that everything else is irrelevant. And I think that’s where you start to worry about transmission. So, without adjudicating that, I would just say that for people who are worried that they can’t participate—there are ways to do it safely and even if you want to be absolutely safe, I think there are ways to be at the periphery and be in supportive roles to people who are marching. It’s when these scenarios get intense and people feel threatened or caught up in a moment of urgency that they lose the sense of ability to protest safely. And that comes often from the escalation from people who are policing the protests.Wells: Right. I’ve seen several instances of protesters kind of being boxed in or actually pushed together by police.Hamblin: Yeah, you saw that on the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge. That’s an area where the police are actually forcing people into close proximity.Wells: They’re also arresting people and taking people to jail which we've talked about is a dangerous place for transmission. So you may not be completely in control of your ability to distance.Hamblin: Yeah, they were loading people on buses. There were a lot of stories of bus drivers refusing. And that’s an interesting dynamic to have police just sort of trying to commandeer buses to become paddy wagons. But, yeah, forcing a bunch of people onto a bus is definitely an unsafe scenario. That’s kind of directly antithetical to everything that has been said before in it in terms of directives.Wells: It is a strange time for messaging from the government, isn’t it? I think one of the arguments from protesters might be what we’re protesting against is also an existential health threat.Hamblin: Right. And as you see and hear at the protests, it’s largely about police violence, but it’s about inequity of all sorts. Including disparities in how COVID-19 has played out, who has gotten tested, who's gotten hit hardest by the disease, and who has access to care. I think when people have been left to feel really disempowered and disenfranchised and helpless, they become willing to take on more risk.Wells: So we’ve talked about how anyone participating in the protest might think about safety. Are there things that the government or police forces could do to make these protests safer?Hamblin: Yeah, it’s similar to my feeling about policing parks, really. The notion that these things should be contained in the small spaces and small periods of time will also create density. Theoretically, the more that you could allow people to be spaced out and to safely protest, the less transmission you would see. Whereas the mutual escalation and earlier curfews and deployment of more and more force to draw stricter boundaries and to arrest more people—that’s the cycle that I’m really worried about.Wells: It’s hard to understand the rationale here. It’s like all of this stuff we’ve been doing to try to slow the spread is actually being reversed in some way.Hamblin: Right. What I’m really worried about is that escalation. It requires really deft leadership to be able to de-escalate and to be able to give people a lot of space and time and support to safely protest and not give in to the temptation of whatever posturing it is that says you’re going to crack down and force people into small spaces and arrest them and give them less space and give them less time to be out in the world. And I mean, that seems to be the universal dynamic here: There’s some instance of looting or a police van is burned or something and the political reaction has to be we’re going to clamp down real hard. That makes people act out more but it also drives people more into higher-risk transmission scenarios, either because they’re in jail or because they’re in a very confined protest space or they're trapped on a bridge or they're in a bus being held.Wells: Right. So that's actually where the transmission is going to happen. Not necessarily people walking down a wide avenue.Hamblin: Yeah. People in D.C. have told me that the grocery stores are suddenly way more crowded because everybody’s trying to get in before 7:00 p.m. in that window between ending work at 5:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. and having to make sure you have everything you need by 7:00 p.m. And that you’ve gone for your walk or your run and walked the dog. Suddenly things are very crowded.Wells: So, it’s not necessarily the protests themselves that are going to cause the spike, but the reaction to the protests is definitely creating situations where we're going to see transmission.
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Gloved hands holding up hydroxychloroquine, which so far has no evidence of effectiveness against Covid-19. | John Phillips/Getty Images There’s little evidence that hydroxychloroquine helps Covid-19 patients, but there were problems with the study suggesting it’s actively deadly. The Lancet, one of the world’s leading journals in medical science, has retracted a paper finding that the malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, touted by President Trump as Covid-19 treatments, increase mortality in patients. To be clear, there is, as of this writing, little evidence that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are effective treatments for Covid-19, in spite of their popularity as an “alternative remedy” that even Trump himself says he has taken as a prophylactic. Research on the topic is ongoing; on Wednesday, a major randomized controlled trial of hydroxychloroquine as a Covid-19 prevention drug found no benefits. But three of the Lancet paper’s four authors, Mandeep Mehra, Frank Ruschitzka, and Amit Patel, of Harvard Medical School, the University of Zurich, and the University of Utah respectively, said in their retraction statement that they “can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources.” As Vox’s Kelsey Piper reported, scientists began expressing skepticism about the paper soon after its release. The paper did not find a relationship between the dose of the drug given and the mortality rate in patients, which is inconsistent with what we know about chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine deaths in other contexts. And the paper reported more deaths in Australian hospitals than the Australian government did, according to the Guardian. Subsequent reporting revealed much deeper problems with the data source that Mehra et al used. They relied on a US company called Surgisphere, a secretive firm that a Guardian investigation revealed to be, at the very least, suspicious in nature. Many of its 11 employees (per its CEO) appeared to lack any scientific background; one was a science fiction author and fantasy artist, and another an “adult model and events hostess.” “Until Monday, the ‘get in touch’ link on Surgisphere’s homepage redirected to a WordPress template for a cryptocurrency website, raising questions about how hospitals could easily contact the company to join its database,” the Guardian’s Melissa Davey, Stephanie Kirchgaessner, and Sarah Boseley wrote. One of the few employees who does have a scientific background is chief executive Sapan Desai, who co-authored the Lancet paper; his name was conspicuously absent from the retraction notice, which detailed that Surgisphere was not complying with requests from the journal to examine their data in more detail. Desai told the Guardian that Surgisphere works by compiling data from hospitals that has been anonymized by the hospitals before being fed into the database, for patient privacy. But per the Guardian’s Davey, “not one major Australian hospital spoken to by Guardian Australia had heard of Surgisphere or the database,” and “doctors from hospitals around the world scoffed at the idea that staff would have time to de-identify patient data and contribute to a US database in the middle of a pandemic.” The Lancet is not alone in distancing itself from Surgisphere data. Another paper coauthored by Mehra, Patel, and Desai was retracted from the New England Journal of Medicine because the authors were “unable to validate the primary data sources” — which is to say, the Surgisphere data it relied upon. The Covid-19 pandemic is an unprecedented situation where the pressure to contribute to scientific knowledge about the disease is immense and, with more than 100,000 new cases being diagnosed every day, time is of the essence. That creates incentives to try out new data sources that allow researchers to do statistical analysis right now, without conducting new trials. But this pressure also runs the risk of incentivizing low-quality data sources and even outright frauds. We don’t know for sure what Surgisphere’s data is yet, but it’s unlikely to be the last firm to face accusations like this. Support Vox’s explanatory journalism Every day at Vox, we aim to answer your most important questions and provide you, and our audience around the world, with information that has the power to save lives. Our mission has never been more vital than it is in this moment: to empower you through understanding. Vox’s work is reaching more people than ever, but our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources — particularly during a pandemic and an economic downturn. Your financial contribution will not constitute a donation, but it will enable our staff to continue to offer free articles, videos, and podcasts at the quality and volume that this moment requires. Please consider making a contribution to Vox today.
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