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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic since 2005; Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic Discussion Forum.

Gestalt#48 – SARS-2 Pandemic

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Tabitha111 View Drop Down
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    Posted: April 25 2021 at 12:42pm

 by: monotreme1000 | April 25, 2021


SARS-2 is burning through India. The question is why.

As usual, there are probably multiple factors. Prime Minister Modi has likely exacerbated the problem by encouraging large political and religious gatherings. However, I do not think this is the only cause.

The original Wuhan strain of SARS-2 has already infected large numbers of Indians. When it first came through, relatively few Indians died. I suspect this is because the life expectancy in India is 69 and it was the elderly who were most likely to die after infection with this strain.

There are new strains circulating in India which seem to be more infectious, more lethal and to target the young as well as the old. The new strains are also likely infecting and killing people who were already infected by the original Wuhan strain. This could be because infection with the original strain does not protect against the new strains or because immunity after the original infection has waned over time. We don't have enough information to be sure. But there is definitely cause for concern.

Sequencing Politics

In the past year, the performance of the US health establishment in sequencing and analyzing SARS-CoV-2 has been awful. This, despite the fact that the US is the world-leader in sequencing and bioinformatics and despite the fact that the US spends billions of dollars every year on health-related research.

I can only assume that this disaster occurred because politicians allocated money to the wrong health leaders. I'm not sure that things will improve in 2021.

The Biden administration has allocated substantial sums of money for sequencing and analyzing SARS-2 sequences, most recently, over 1 billion dollars. This money will apparently be administered by the CDC.

Unfortunately, the CDC has not demonstrated competence in large scale sequencing. I'm sorry to say, but just the opposite appears to be true. Further, to get maximum benefit, the sequencing data should be immediately available to all researchers without any restrictions. I'm not sure that this will happen.

 The CDC has apparently been uploading their sequencing data to GISAID, the opaque institution which is loaded with restrictions instead of NCBI, the American-run database that has no restrictions on use. Why? All sequences generated with US taxpayer money should be submitted to NCBI, not GISAID.

Data Analysis Failure

I have been frustrated by the lack of quantitative data available regarding the pandemic. We live in a golden age of data collection, analysis and visualization. Yet, all I read about is Dr. Fauci's scolding and Dr. Walensky's pleading.

How about this for a change - just give us some numbers.

For example, what percent of the Americans who die every day of Covid were fully vaccinated? Which vaccine did they receive? What is the sequence of the SARS-2 virus which infected them? This is critical information.

 We have the resources to collect it. Why isn't it available? The problem is not money, imo. The problem is the competence of the health leaders.

'A man who does not think and plan long ahead will find trouble right at his door.'

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