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‘Clear-cut, significant and positive effect’: Anti-viral drug effective against coronavirus, study finds

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Anti-viral drug remdesivir cuts recovery times in coronavirus patients, according to the full results of a trial published Friday night, three weeks after America’s top infectious diseases expert said the study showed the medication has “clear-cut” benefits.

Complete results from the research, which was carried out by US government agency the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), were published by leading medical periodical the New England Journal of Medicine.

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The United States authorized the emergency use of remdesivir in hospitals on May 1, followed by Japan, while Europe is considering following suit.

The study found that remdesivir, injected intravenously daily for 10 days, accelerated the recovery of hospitalized COVID-19 patients compared to a placebo in clinical tests on just over a thousand patients across 10 countries.

On April 29, NIAID director Anthony Fauci, who has become the US government’s trusted face on the coronavirus pandemic, said preliminary evidence indicated remdesivir had a “clear-cut, significant and positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery.”

The National Institutes of Health, of which the NIAID is a part, said Friday in a statement online that investigators found “remdesivir was most beneficial for hospitalized patients with severe disease who required supplemental oxygen.”

But the authors of the trial wrote that the drug did not prevent all deaths.

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“Given high mortality despite the use of remdesivir, it is clear that treatment with an anti-viral drug alone is not likely to be sufficient,” they said.

About 7.1 percent of patients given remdesivir in the trial group died within 14 days — compared with 11.9 percent in the placebo group.

However, the result is just below the statistical reliability threshold, meaning it could be down to chance rather than the capability of the drug.

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A historian details Trump’s surprising and peculiar relationship with America’s Puritan legacy

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Whatever one feels about it, the ‘Trump phenomenon’ is often described as the US version of a populist trend that has impacted on many areas of contemporary global politics.  However, despite the global political similarities, Donald Trump’s success is also rooted in a peculiarly American experience, since a very large and influential part of his support base lies among Christians of the so-called ‘evangelical right’.

The presidential inauguration, in 2017, featured six religious leaders, more than any other inauguration in history.  Since then many evangelical leaders have (controversially) claimed that God has placed Trump in the White House, despite his character flaws, because he is the man who will get God’s work done at this – in their  view – critical point in US and world history. As a result, the influence of evangelical Christians on American politics has never been more pronounced. From the appointment of Supreme Court judges to US relations with Israel, from support for ‘The Wall’ to abortion legislation, the power of this extraordinary lobby is seen in the changing politics and policies of the nation. A veritable culture war appears to be occurring over the future direction of the USA; a battle for the ‘soul of America’.

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Trump supporters desperately grasp at a new ‘gotcha’ to discredit a national social justice uprising

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Unable to defend the extrajudicial killing of black people by the police or the viciousness of police assaults on peaceful protesters, conservatives are grasping desperately at a new gotcha to discredit the recent national uprisings: Liberals are a bunch of hypocrites. This time, however, it's got a coronavirus twist, as progressives are being accused of hypocrisy for supporting the protests while allegedly opposing all other social gatherings in the name of "public health."

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One out of three Americans used bleach ‘in non recommended high-risk practices’ to battle coronavirus: CDC report

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One third of Americans used bleach or other household disinfectants "in non-recommended high risk practices" in attempts to reduce the spread of the deadly coronavirus, a new CDC survey finds.

Among the non-recommended practices were using “bleach on food products, applying household cleaning and disinfectant products to skin, and inhaling or ingesting cleaners and disinfectants,” the CDC says, as The Daily Beast reports.

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