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Promising coronavirus treatment called off years ago — because Big Pharma didn’t see profit potential

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A medical researcher revealed that a possible treatment for all forms of coronavirus had been developed more than a decade ago, but work on the drug had been called off because pharmaceutical companies didn’t see any profit potential.

Years later, a novel coronavirus outbreak has destroyed the global economy and threatens millions of lives, and Dr. William Haseltine told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that government action was now needed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“The good news is that there will be an end to this epidemic, whether it’s a natural end and it goes away or whether we develop the drugs that are antiviral drugs that we know we can develop,” said Haseltine, a former Harvard Medical School professor and founder of its cancer and HIV/AIDS research departments.

Haseltine said researchers had developed a promising treatment for coronavirus after the SARS outbreak killed nearly 800 people in 2003.

“From my perspective, it’s a tragedy that never needed to happen,” he said. “Many of us were very clear in warning, this will come back. We had it as early as 2004, 2005, a whole set of chemical compound that would be very likely to treat not only the SARS virus but all coronaviruses. We stopped the development of those drugs. My fervent hope is that we will not stop it now.”

“Why did we stop?” he added. “Because there was not an economic model that pharmaceutical and biotechnological companies could use. Well, that is a perfect time for the government to step in and provide the incentives necessary.”

Haseltine himself worked on those drugs that were intended for use against bioterrorist attacks, but he said government officials and pharmaceutical executives had ignored researchers’ warnings and halted their development.

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“We did that, develop drugs against bioterrorist weapons,” he said. “I helped to develop one of those drugs, so I know those mechanisms exist. We just didn’t use them to protect ourselves. What I and many public health officials said will be a next epidemic. Let’s hope we don’t stop the development of these drugs prematurely so we have them for the next, and the next and the next wave of epidemics that are surely coming over the next 20 years.”


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75 years ago: When atomic scientist Leo Szilard tried to halt dropping bombs over Japan

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As this troubled summer rolls along, and the world begins to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the creation, and use, of the first atomic bombs, many special, or especially tragic, days will draw special attention.  They will include July 16 (first test of the weapon in New Mexico), August 6 (bomb dropped over Hiroshima) and August 9 (over Nagasaki).   Surely far fewer in the media and elsewhere will mark another key date:  July 3.

On July 3, 1945, the great atomic scientist Leo Szilard finished a letter/petition that would become the strongest (virtually the only) real attempt at halting President Truman's march to using the atomic bomb--still almost two weeks from its first test at Trinity--against Japanese cities.

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‘Insane’: Park ranger shoots unarmed man through his heart and then handcuffs his dead body

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A ranger at Carlsbad Caverns National Park tased and then fatally shot a man during a New Mexico traffic stop and then handcuffed his lifeless body.

Charles "Gage" Lorentz was traveling March 21 from his work site in Pecos, Texas, to his family's home in southwest Colorado when he detoured at the national park to meet a friend, and that's where he encountered National Park Ranger Robert Mitchell, reported KOB-TV.

The ranger stopped the 25-year-old Lorentz for speeding on a dirt road near the park's Rattlesnake Springs area, and Mitchell's lapel video shows him ordering Lorentz to spread his feet and move closer to a railing.

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Former Trump administration official refers to a renowned Black scholar as ‘some criminal’

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President Donald Trump's former Attorney General Jeff Sessions referred to renowned Black Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. as "some criminal" in an interview with The New York Times Magazine.

Sessions, one of Trump's earliest supporters who was later fired after years of attacks from the president, is currently attempting to reclaim his old Senate seat in Alabama. Sessions has desperately tried to tout his Trumpist credentials on the campaign trail, even as the president has waged a campaign aimed at sabotaging his primary bid.

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