The first confirmed case of an American who got COVID-19 twice adds to scant but mounting evidence that people can be reinfected with the coronavirus — and get sicker than during the initial bout.The 25-year-old Nevada man, who had no known immune problems, got a mild case of COVID-19 in April. About a month later, he was diagnosed again and needed hospitalization and oxygen, according to the report published Monday in Lancet Infectious Diseases.The authors say at least three other confirmed cases have been published worldwide, including the first in Hong Kong barely two months ago. But the CO...
Stories Chosen For You
'Playing with fire': Former DHS chief burns Kari Lake for fueling bogus election conspiracy theories
Jeh Johnson, a former United States Secretary of Homeland Security under President Barack Obama, called out failed Trump-backed Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake on Tuesday for potentially inciting violence with her refusal to concede her defeat.
During an interview with CNN's Don Lemon, Johnson said that it was dangerous for Lake to continue stoking false conspiracy theories about the 2022 Arizona gubernatorial election, following a playbook run by President Donald Trump in 2020 that culminated in the deadly January 6th Capitol riots.
"In Arizona, I believe Kari Lake is playing with fire," he said. "I believe that those who foment grievance, discontent, anger, in the face of a lot of contrary evidence do make violence inevitable in this country."
Lemon pointed out that Lake was far from the only Republican to push election conspiracy theories after her defeat, but Johnson countered that she is worth focusing on because she's currently the loudest and most high-profile denier in the United States other than Trump himself.
"Arizona is the focal point right now," he said. "And people really do listen to their leaders. People really do listen to those with the microphone, those with the public voice. And those who tap into suspicion, conspiracy theories, grievance, are playing with fire."
Watch the video below or at this link.
'Playing with fire': Former DHS chief burns Kari Lake for fueling bogus election conspiracy theories www.youtube.com
According to an analysis by the Guardian's Peter Stone, Donald Trump's lawyers' losing streak in the courts is slowly grinding down any defenses they can put forward as they now face the prospect that his loyalists will be forced to testify.
As Stone notes, members of Trump's inner circle have run out of reasons to avoid talking about the 2020 presidential campaign and the aftermath of a lost election -- including attempts to overturn the election results -- and that has put investigators in the driver's seat.
"Due to a number of court decisions, [Mark] Meadows, [attorney John] Eastman, Senator Lindsey Graham and others must testify before a special Georgia grand jury working with the Fulton county district attorney focused on the intense drive by Trump and top loyalists to pressure the Georgia secretary of state and other officials to thwart Biden’s victory there," Stone wrote. "Similarly, court rulings have meant that top Trump lawyers such as former White House counsel Pat Cipollone, who opposed Trump’s zealous drive to overturn the 2020 election, had to testify without invoking executive privilege before a DC grand jury investigating Trump’s efforts to block Congress from certifying Biden’s election victory."
As the Guardian report points out, the timing of the court losses could not come at a worse time for the former president and his loyalists as special counsel Jack Smith steps into the fray and takes over two DOJ investigations including the one taking a look at stolen government documents hidden away at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort.
According to attorney Michael Zeldin, Trump and his close aides are now finding themselves cornered.
“Trump’s multipronged efforts to keep former advisers from testifying or providing documents to federal and state grand juries, as well as the January 6 committee, has met with repeated failure as judge after judge has rejected his legal arguments, the former prosecutor explained. “Obtaining this testimony is a critical step, perhaps the last step, before state and federal prosecutors determine whether the former president should be indicted … It allows prosecutors for the first time to question these witnesses about their direct conversations with the former president.”
Ex-U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade concurred.
“Favorable rulings by judges on issues like executive privilege and the crime-fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege bode well for agencies investigating Trump,” she claimed. "Legal challenges may create delay, but on the merits, with rare exception, judges are consistently ruling against him.”
The Guardian's Stone added, "Ex-justice lawyers say that a number of the recent court rulings should prove helpful to the special counsel Jack Smith, who attorney general Merrick Garland recently tapped to oversee both DoJ’s investigation into Trump’s retention of sensitive documents post presidency and the inquiry into his efforts to stop Biden from taking office."
You can read more here.
Treating mental illness with electricity marries old ideas with modern tech and understanding of the brain – podcast
Mental illnesses such as obsessive compulsive disorder, depression and addiction are notoriously hard to treat and often don’t respond to drugs. But a new wave of treatments that stimulate the brain with electricity are showing promise on patients and in clinical trials. In this episode of The Conversation Weekly podcast, we talk to three experts and one patient about the history of treating mental illness, how new technology and deeper understanding of the brain are leading to better treatments and where the neuroscience of mental illness is headed next.
It’s not uncommon to hear people joke about how their “OCD” makes them want to straighten a crooked picture or clean a smudge on a countertop, but for people actually living with severe obsessive compulsive disorder, the reality is anything but funny.
Moksha Patel is a physician and professor at the University of Colorado and has severe OCD. “OCD was really taking over my life. The most obvious of my symptoms were not being able to use any public restrooms, showering for an hour after using the restrooms each time and using chemical cleaners on my skin and my mouth,” he says. After struggling for years, Patel eventually connected with Rachel Davis, a psychiatrist and researcher also at the University of Colorado. Davis suggested that he could be a good candidate for deep brain stimulation as a treatment for his OCD.
“Deep brain stimulation involves the implantation of electrodes in the deeper areas of the brain,” Davis explains. These electrodes then transfer into the brain itself small electrical currents that a doctor and their patient try to tune correctly. As Davis explains, “Basically we’re looking to find the settings where the patient feels that their mood is better, their anxiety is less and they have more energy.”
Deep brain stimulation works well for a lot of patients and has only started to get mainstream attention in the past decade or so, but ideas underlying this treatment are nearly 60 years old. As explained by Joseph Fins, a neuroethicist and professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, part of Cornell University in the US, it all started with a Spanish neuroscientist named Jose Manuel Rodriguez Delgado in 1964. “He put a thing called the stimoceiver, a deep brain stimulator, into the brain of a charging bull. And with an electrical current controlled by radio frequency, he was able to stop the bull in its tracks.”
While this work got Delgado on the front page of The New York Times, it came on the heels of a horrific era of mental health treatment that involved lobotomies, electroshock therapy and many other destructive and deeply unethical interventions. So when researchers began to discover drugs that could help people with mental illness, Fins says “psychosurgery and these types of somatic therapies began to fall out of favor and physicians moved away from more physical interventions.”
As modern neuroscience led to better understanding of how the brain works, and stigma surrounding physical treatments faded, deep brain stimulation got its second chance in the sun. And as technology has improved, researchers like Jacinta O'Shea, a neuroscientist at the University of Oxford have begun to study a noninvasive technique for stimulating the brain with electricity, called transcranial magnetic stimulation.
“If you place a ferromagnetic coil on the scalp and pass a rapidly changing electrical current through that coil, it will induce an electric field that passes painlessly through the skull and into the brain tissue underneath,” O'Shea explains. And just as with deep brain stimulation, these electrical fields can help people overcome mental health issues like depression.
Researchers still don’t quite know how deep brain stimulation or transcranial magnetic stimulation work, but with every new treatment, they are learning more about the complicated world of the brain and taking steps toward the treatments of tomorrow.
Listen to the full episode of The Conversation Weekly to find out more.
This episode was produced and written by Katie Flood and Daniel Merino, with sound design by Eloise Stevens. The executive producer was Gemma Ware. Our theme music is by Neeta Sarl.
You can find us on Twitter @TC_Audio, on Instagram at theconversationdotcom or via email. You can also sign up to The Conversation’s free daily email here. A transcript of this episode will be available soon.