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Experts afraid as CDC tells states to be ‘fully operational’ for COVID-19 vaccine by Nov. 1

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Trump at the CDC (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Experts are raising alarms after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent a letter to governors last week instructing them to be “fully operational” for deploying a coronavirus vaccine on or even before November 1.

“CDC urgently requests your assistance in expediting applications for these distribution facilities,” Dr. Robert Redfield (photo, right), CDC Director, said in the August 27 letter, McClatchy DC reports, “and, if necessary, asks that you consider waiving requirements that would prevent these facilities from becoming fully operational by November 1, 2020.”

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The New York Times adds that CDC “has notified public health officials in all 50 states and five large cities to prepare to distribute a coronavirus vaccine to health care workers and other high-risk groups as soon as late October or early November,” noting that is “raising concerns over politicized timing.”

The same day CDC sent the letter President Donald Trump told supporters at the Republican National Convention, “We will produce a vaccine before the end of the year or maybe even sooner.”

“This timeline of the initial deployment at the end of October is deeply worrisome for the politicization of public health and the potential safety ramifications,” said Saskia Popescu, an infection prevention epidemiologist based in Arizona. “It’s hard not to see this as a push for a pre-election vaccine.”

A Minnesota Star Tribune opinion writer on health care warns, “Politics is driving this.”

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Stanford Medical Infectious disease professor:

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Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security professor, vaccines expert:

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Infectious disease specialist, asst. professor at Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University (and quoted above):

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Pulitzer prize winning science journalist:

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Obama health care head:

 


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2020 Election

Former Neo-Nazi says Trump’s call for Proud Boys to ‘stand by’ will encourage more violence

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President Trump refused to condemn white supremacists during the first of three scheduled presidential debates with Joe Biden. When pressed by moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News to disavow far-right extremism, Trump name-checked the Proud Boys and told them to “stand back and stand by,” words widely denounced as a tacit endorsement of the violent, white supremacist organization classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. The Proud Boys almost immediately responded by changing its logo online to include the Trump quote. Christian Picciolini, a former neo-Nazi who now leads the Free Radicals Project, a group focused on helping people disengage from violent extremism, says Trump’s words were a clear encouragement for “continued violence” from far-right groups. We also speak with Temple University professor Marc Lamont Hill, who says Trump’s performance at the debate is a continuation of his white supremacist project. “He wants violence in the streets, he wants chaos at the polls, because he wants Americans to feel a sense of unsafety. It’s its own kind of diplomatic terrorism,” he says.

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Proud Boy arrested in Portland on assault and gun charges — hours after Trump refused to denounce group

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Portland police arrested a Proud Boy member hours after President Donald Trump sent a signal of support to the right-wing group.

Alan Swinney was charged with multiple counts of assault, along with pointing a firearm at another, unlawful use of a weapon and unlawful use of tear gas and remains held at the Multnomah County Jail, reported Oregon Public Broadcasting.

The 50-year-old Swinney was photographed and recorded on video Aug. 22 pointing a revolver at anti-fascist protesters outside the Multnomah County Justice Center.

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Women accuse prominent evangelical preacher of sexually harassing them for years: report

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Multiple women have come forward claiming the late evangelical leader Ravi Zacharias sexually harassed them over a period of time at a Georgia spa he co-owned.

Three women told Christianity Today that Zacharias touched them inappropriately and "masturbated" in front of them while they were employed at the spa. Zacharias died from cancer in May.

The still-operative Ravi Zacharias International Ministries said that it's conducting an investigation into the allegations.

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