Fauci, Biden administration asking China for medical records of sick lab workers and miners


Fauci, Biden administration asking China for…



Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens as he speaks with reporters in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens as he speaks with reporters in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

By ALEXI COHAN | alexi.cohan@bostonherald.com | Boston HeraldPUBLISHED: June 4, 2021 at 8:43 p.m. | UPDATED: June 4, 2021 at 8:45 p.m.

Dr. Anthony Fauci and members of the Biden administration are asking China to release medical records of lab workers and miners who fell ill prior to the coronavirus outbreak, as they may provide clues about the origins of the virus, according to reports.

“I have always felt that the overwhelming likelihood — given the experience we have had with SARS, MERS, Ebola, HIV, bird flu, the swine flu pandemic of 2009 — was that the virus jumped species,” Fauci told the Financial Times. “But we need to keep on investigating until a possibility is proven.”

The medical records in question are from three researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology who reportedly fell ill in November 2019 and six miners who got sick after entering a bat cave in 2012. Two of the miners died.

Scientists from the Wuhan Institute of Virology later visited the cave to collect samples from the bats.https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.463.0_en.html#goog_1263257357PauseNext video0:29Full-screenRead Morehttps://c14deb9db86ee93aaa37abb094336ae7.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

“It is entirely conceivable that the origins of SARS-CoV-2 was in that cave and either started spreading naturally or went through the lab,” Fauci said.

President Biden’s chief medical adviser called on China to release the medical records, according to the Financial Times report. China’s foreign ministry declined to say whether it would consider releasing the records at a press briefing on Friday.

Biden last week ordered U.S. intelligence to come to a conclusion within 90 days about what started the pandemic. Speculation about a lab leak has ramped up in recent weeks, but public health professionals have said it is highly unlikely.

Last month, the World Health Organization released a report in which it stated a lab leak, “was considered to be an extremely unlikely pathway.”

Fauci has said several times he believes coronavirus was first transmitted to humans via animals.

China confirms first human case of bird flu strain


  Published On 01 June,2021 01:26 pmChina confirms first human case of bird flu strain

BEIJING (AFP) – China reported the world’s first human infection of the H10N3 bird flu strain on Tuesday but said the risk of it spreading widely among people was low.

A 41-year-old man was admitted to hospital with fever symptoms in the eastern city of Zhenjiang on April 28 and was diagnosed with H10N3 a month later, China’s National Health Commission (NHC) said in an online statement.

“The risk of large-scale spread is extremely low,” the NHC said, adding that the man was in a stable condition and his close contacts had reported no “abnormalities.”

It described H10N3 as low pathogenic — less likely to cause death or severe illness — in birds.

The NHC said there had been no human cases of H10N3 previously reported in the world.

Several strains of bird flu have been found among animals in China but mass outbreaks in humans are rare.

The last human epidemic of bird flu in China occurred in late 2016 to 2017, with the H7N9 virus.

The H7N9 has infected 1,668 people and claimed 616 lives since 2013, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.

Following recent avian flu outbreaks in Africa and Eurasia, the head of China’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention last week urged stricter surveillance in poultry farms, markets and wild birds.

Covid-19 was first detected at a food and animal market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019. 

More related articles:




Biden sends Xi, Putin warning while remembering son Beau, fallen troops in Memorial Day speech


3 hours ago

Biden also paid tribute to his late son Beau

By Evie Fordham | Fox News


Why the media dismissed Wuhan theory

Many mocked lab scenario, until now

President Biden sent a warning to the presidents of China and Russia during his Memorial Day address on Sunday.

“I had a long conversation for two hours recently with [Chinese] President Xi [Jinping], making it clear to him we could do nothing but speak out for human rights around the world because that’s who we are,” Biden said. “I’ll be meeting with [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin in a couple weeks in Geneva making it clear that we will not stand by and let him abuse those rights.”


Biden spoke at a Memorial Day service in Delaware on Sunday morning, where he offered comfort to the families of fallen service members and paid tribute to his late son Beau Biden, who served in the Iraq War. 

“It’s also an important tradition in our family. As many of you know, this is a hard day for us. Six years ago today … I lost my son. In the first year of his passing back in 2016, Gen. [Frank] Vavala did a great honor in inviting us to a ceremony renaming the Delaware National Guard headquarters in Beau’s honor.”

President Joe Biden speaks with priests as he departs after attending Mass at St. Joseph on the Brandywine Catholic Church, Sunday, May 30, 2021, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

President Joe Biden speaks with priests as he departs after attending Mass at St. Joseph on the Brandywine Catholic Church, Sunday, May 30, 2021, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

“We’re honored, but it’s a tough day, brings back everything,” Biden continued. “So I can’t thank you enough for your continued service to the country and your sons, your daughters, they live on in your hearts and in their children as well. And we have to carry on without them. But I know how hard it is for you. Beau didn’t die in the line of duty, but he was serving in Delaware National Guard unit in Iraq for a year. That was one of the proudest things he did in his life. So thank you for allowing us to grieve together today.”

Beau Biden, the former attorney general of Delaware, died in 2015 from cancer. The president has previously suggested that Beau Biden’s cancer could have been linked to toxins he was exposed to through military burn pits while serving in the Iraq War.https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=true&id=1399012184655552513&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.foxnews.com%2Fpolitics%2Fbiden-xi-jinping-putin-memorial-day-warning&sessionId=8654e0e91e142a4cb600cfb66ad5941a52e0f8c8&siteScreenName=foxnews&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

This is President Biden’s first Memorial Day weekend as commander-in-chief.


He brought up his issues with Chinese leaders as his administration refuses to commit to punishing China should the coronavirus lab leak theory be proven true.https://a83c3ce184b4746ff8af8b66c9f5b066.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

“We haven’t ruled out anything yet,” principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters during Wednesday’s press briefing when asked whether the virus had emerged in a manner that was “deliberate or not an accident.”

“Would the president seek to punish China?” Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked Jean-Pierre.


“We’re not going to go there just yet,” Jean-Pierre replied, “We have to go through the 90-day review. And once we have the 90-day review, will we be able to reassess.”  

Biden previously said he had asked the intelligence community to “redouble their efforts” to “bring us closer to a definitive conclusion” and get back to him within 90 days. 

Fox News’ Lucas Y. Tomlinson, Morgan Phillips and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

China’s annual emissions surpass those of all developed nations combined, report finds


By Laura Smith-Spark and Ivana Kottasová, CNN

Updated 9:38 AM ET, Fri May 7, 2021

China’s annual emissions exceeded those of all developed nations combined in 2019, the first time this has happened since national greenhouse gas emissions have been measured, according to a new report from the Rhodium Group.Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed to make his country carbon neutral by 2060, and climate policy is seen as a major area of cooperation — and even competition — between the United States and China.But the new report highlights how difficult reducing China’s impact on the climate could be.

According to the researchers, global emissions reached 52 gigatons of CO2-equivalent in 2019, an increase of 11.4% over the past decade. And China’s share is growing fast.

While China’s emissions were less than a quarter of developed country emissions in 1990, they have more than tripled over the past three decades, the report said. In 2019, they exceeded 14 gigatons of CO2-equivalent for the first time.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1390329650249756678&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnn.com%2F2021%2F05%2F07%2Fworld%2Fclimate-emissions-china-developed-nations-intl%2Findex.html&sessionId=9f2d78934b52daa6f9cd32570e62e94c1a712b12&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px”China alone contributed over 27% of total global emissions, far exceeding the US — the second highest emitter — which contributed 11% of the global total,” the report said. “For the first time, India edged out the EU-27 for third place, coming in at 6.6% of global emissions.”Enter your email to sign up for the Wonder Theory newsletter.close dialog

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Want the week’s science news summarized?We’ve got you.Sign Me UpBy subscribing you agree to ourprivacy policy.China is a large country, with a population of 1.4 billion, and up to now its per capita emissions have remained considerably lower than those in the developed world, the researchers note. But that, too, is changing fast.

“In 2019, China’s per capita emissions reached 10.1 tons, nearly tripling over the past two decades,” the report said.While they remained lower in 2019 than the US — 17.6 tons a person — the report predicts that when full 2020 data is available, China’s per capita output will have overtaken the OECD average of 10.5 tons, even as the emissions “from almost all other nations declined sharply in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.”In this June 2017 file photo, a state-owned coal-fired power plant is seen in Huainan, China.In this June 2017 file photo, a state-owned coal-fired power plant is seen in Huainan, China.Nonetheless, China still has a way to go before it catches up with the total amount of carbon dioxide that has been spewed into the atmosphere by developed nations. The report notes that “since 1750, members of the OECD bloc have emitted four times more CO2 on a cumulative basis than China.”Greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere like a blanket, trapping radiation that would otherwise escape into space. This causes temperatures on Earth to rise, which is linked to more extreme weather, ice melt and a rise in sea levels. And the more carbon emitted into the atmosphere, the more the planet will warm.Reinhard Steurer, a climate scientist and associate professor at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, told CNN that those in the West shouldn’t be congratulating themselves just yet.

“A lot of the stuff we [in the West] consume is produced in China and the emissions are counted into the Chinese carbon emissions record,” he said.”If you take into account those consumption-based emissions, our record isn’t that good… We should never really blame China as the worst emitter on earth, because quite a lot of their emissions go into our consumption.”

CNN’s Nectar Gan and James Griffiths contributed to this report.

China’s Population Increased in 2020, Government Says


Statistics bureau offers no details, saying only that detailed data would be released in its coming once-a-decade census report

China’s population first exceeded 1.4 billion in 2019.PHOTO: KEVIN FRAYER/GETTY IMAGES

By Jonathan ChengUpdated April 29, 2021 4:43 am ET

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BEIJING—China’s population increased in 2020, the nation’s statistics bureau said in a brief statement Thursday.

The National Bureau of Statistics didn’t elaborate, saying only that detailed data would be released in its coming census report, according to the one-sentence statement published on its website.

The release of the once-in-a-decade census results has been delayed for several weeks.

In recent years, economists have raised concerns over China’s rapidly aging population, which they warn could raise a variety of social issues and cloud the future for the world’s second-largest economy.

The Financial Times reported on Wednesday that Beijing’s census would show the country’s first population decline in five decades.TO READ THE FULL STORYSUBSCRIBESIGN IN

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POLITICSCensus Shows South and Mountain West Gain Political Power From Population Growth

John Kerry must be careful about striking a climate deal with China

Gordon Chang, opinion contributor  41 mins ago

John Kerry must be careful about striking a climate deal with China (msn.com)

The United States and China, the two largest carbon emitters in the world, recently issued a joint statement declaring they “are committed to cooperating with each other and with other countries to tackle the climate crisis, which must be addressed with the seriousness and urgency that it demands.”John Kerry wearing a suit and tie: John Kerry must be careful about striking a climate deal with China© Francis Rivera John Kerry must be careful about striking a climate deal with China

The statement came as John Kerry, the climate czar of President Biden, concluded a trip to China, including two days with Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua, in Shanghai. The statement was hailed because China is the biggest emitter in the world, and the United States is the second. Together, they account for almost half of global carbon emissions.https://www.dianomi.com/smartads.epl?id=3533

“This is the first time China has joined in saying it’s a crisis,” Kerry told reporters in Seoul last weekend. The American climate czar also said the United States and China agreed on “critical elements on where we have to go.” For all the talk of agreement, Kerry did not obtain a commitment that Beijing would make new pledges at President Biden’s virtual two-day climate summit this week, scheduled to start on Earth Day.

China, on the contrary, is signaling there will be no climate agreements soon. “For a big country with 1.4 billion people, these goals are not easily delivered,” Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng told the Associated Press at the end of last week. “Some countries are asking China to achieve the goals earlier. I am afraid this is not very realistic.” Countries, in the words of Associated Press, “are expected to announce more ambitious national targets for cutting carbon emissions ahead of or at the meeting, along with pledging financial help for climate efforts by less wealthy nations.”

Xi Jinping announced last year that China would achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. The U.S. target is 2050. At the moment, China’s climate promises are uninspiring. Beijing’s principal “nationally determined contribution” – its promise incorporated into the Paris Agreement – is to cap emissions “around 2030.” In other words, China has given itself an incentive to increase fouling the air until then.

China builds more than one large coal plant every week, according to the Global Energy Monitor and the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air. Last year, China built more than three times the number of coal-fired plants than all other countries combined. There can, therefore, be little progress toward halting human-caused climate change until China gets on board, but that does not mean the U.S. needs to make concessions to induce Chinese action.

As an initial matter, Beijing does not honor promises. So why bother trying to obtain them? “Unfortunately, there is no point giving up anything to get China to sign an international agreement,” Cleo Paskal of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies told The Hill, when asked about current American climate efforts. Beijing, Paskal says, is just employing its “unrestricted warfare playbook.” “Its goal is to get what concessions it can, hamstring its adversaries as much as possible, then invoke the agreement when convenient and ignore it when it’s not. Period.”

Chinese leaders, borrowing from the Soviet Union, are obsessed with comprehensive national power, an empirical framework to rank the strength of countries. Beijing, in its relentless campaign to become the most powerful country on the planet, can get there by either increasing China’s comprehensive national power or decreasing that of others. Climate is a perfect way to decrease the comprehensive national power of the United States, by getting American presidents to take measures undermining the size of their economy. Beijing views climate in competitive, and one can even say extremely selfish, terms.,

If China perceives the climate situation to be a “crisis,” as Kerry says, it is because the Chinese people relentlessly and noisily demand cleaner air. It is the Communist Party’s insecurity that motivates leaders to act. There is, in short, no reason to make concessions that China will make on its own.

So Kerry need not have traveled all the way to China to obtain Xi Jinping’s participation at Washington’s summit. Biden had invited 40 leaders, and Xi was not about to isolate himself. He in fact confirmed his participation at the last minute on Wednesday. The Chinese ruler was not going to give up the opportunity to speak.

Countries will also meet in November in Glasgow at the United Nations Climate Change Conference. There, at the 26th such international gathering, countries are supposed to increase pledges, to “ratchet up” in the lingo of the climate community. China may or may not ratchet up in Scotland, but does it really matter what it promises in that setting or others?

Until countries establish enforcement mechanisms in climate agreements, and maybe not even then, Beijing’s pledges are worth nothing. Chinese leaders will clean their air or not, for their own reasons. Not Kerry’s. Not Biden’s. Not the world’s.

Gordon Chang is a columnist and the author of “The Coming Collapse of China.” You can follow his updates online on Twitter at @GordonGChang.

U.S., China Agree To Cooperate On Climate Crisis With Urgency


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April 18, 20217:58 AM ET


U.S. special envoy for climate John Kerry speaks during a roundtable meeting with reporters in Seoul on Sunday. The United States and China have agreed to cooperate with other countries to curb climate change, just days before a virtual summit of world leaders to discuss the issue.U.S. Embassy Seoul via AP

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The United States and China, the world’s two biggest carbon polluters, agreed to cooperate to curb climate change with urgency, just days before President Joe Biden hosts a virtual summit of world leaders to discuss the issue.

The agreement was reached by U.S. special envoy for climate John Kerry and his Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua during two days of talks in Shanghai last week, according to a joint statement.

The two countries “are committed to cooperating with each other and with other countries to tackle the climate crisis, which must be addressed with the seriousness and urgency that it demands,” the statement said.

China is the world’s biggest carbon emitter, followed by the United States. The two countries pump out nearly half of the fossil fuel fumes that are warming the planet’s atmosphere. Their cooperation is key to a success of global efforts to curb climate change, but frayed ties over human rights, trade and China’s territorial claims to Taiwan and the South China Sea have been threatening to undermine such efforts.Article continues after sponsor message

Meeting with reporters in Seoul on Sunday, Kerry said the language in the statement is “strong” and that the two countries agreed on “critical elements on where we have to go.” But the former secretary of state said, “I learned in diplomacy that you don’t put your back on the words, you put on actions. We all need to see what happens.”

Noting that China is the world’s biggest coal user, Kerry said he and Chinese officials had a lot of discussions on how to accelerate a global energy transition. “I have never shied away from expressing our views shared by many, many people that it is imperative to reduce coal, everywhere,” he said.

Biden has invited 40 world leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, to the April 22-23 summit. The U.S. and other countries are expected to announce more ambitious national targets for cutting carbon emissions ahead of or at the meeting, along with pledging financial help for climate efforts by less wealthy nations.

It’s unclear how much Kerry’s China visit would promote U.S.-China cooperation on climate issues.

While Kerry was still in Shanghai, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng signaled Friday that China is unlikely to make any new pledges at next week’s summit.

“For a big country with 1.4 billion people, these goals are not easily delivered,” Le said during an interview with The Associated Press in Beijing. “Some countries are asking China to achieve the goals earlier. I am afraid this is not very realistic.”

During a video meeting with German and French leaders Friday, Xi said that climate change “should not become a geopolitical chip, a target for attacking other countries or an excuse for trade barriers,” the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

On whether Xi would join the summit, Le said “the Chinese side is actively studying the matter.”

The joint statement said the two countries “look forward to” next week’s summit. Kerry said Sunday that “we very much hope that (Xi) will take part” in the summit but it’s up to China to make that decision.

Biden, who has said that fighting global warming is among his highest priorities, had the United States rejoin the historic 2015 Paris climate accord in the first hours of his presidency, undoing the U.S. withdrawal ordered by predecessor Donald Trump.

Major emitters of greenhouse gases are preparing for the next U.N. climate summit taking place in Glasgow, U.K., in November. The summit aims to relaunch global efforts to keep rising global temperatures to below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) as agreed in the Paris accord.

According to the U.S.-China statement, the two countries would enhance “their respective actions and cooperating in multilateral processes, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement.”

It said both countries also intend to develop their respective long-term strategies before the Glasgow conference and take “appropriate actions to maximize international investment and finance in support of” the energy transition in developing countries.

Xi announced last year that China would be carbon-neutral by 2060 and aims to reach a peak in its emissions by 2030. In March, China’s Communist Party pledged to reduce carbon emissions per unit of economic output by 18% over the next five years, in line with its goal for the previous five-year period. But environmentalists say China needs to do more.

Biden has pledged the U.S. will switch to an emissions-free power sector within 14 years, and have an entirely emissions-free economy by 2050. Kerry is also pushing other nations to commit to carbon neutrality by then.

US ‘heading into troubled waters’ with China, Russia and Iran


1 day ago

Wall Street Journal article says China’s message to America is that they’re ‘equal’

By Joshua Q. Nelson | Fox News


The U.S. warns against ‘increasingly aggressive’ China

Michael Pillsbury, Director for Chinese Strategy at the Hudson Institute, joined ‘America’s Newsroom’ to weigh in on China ‘aggressive’ impact, calling it a ‘dangerous situation that the Biden team is very much aware of.’

The threat the United States faces from China is “troubling,” The Hudson Institute’s Michael Pillsbury told “America’s Newsroom,” warning about Russia and Iran acting in concert with Beijing.  

“The Chinese, in their comments on the Biden administration, say that there are two factions, there’s kind of a continuity with President Trump group that wants to be tough or even tougher on China. But there’s also a softer group that wants to cooperate, work together on climate change,” said the author of “Hundred Year Marathon.”

Pillsbury explained further that China notices the “split” within the Biden administration, adding that he’s worried about China’s “saber-rattling about Taiwan.” 


Pillsbury reacted to a piece by the Wall Street Journal detailing China’s message toward the United States that they are “equal.” The piece titled, “China’s Message to America: We’re An Equal Now” goes in-depth on China’s plans to challenge the United States as the “global leader.” 

“As Biden administration officials expected in their first meeting with Chinese counterparts, Yang Jiechi, Mr. Xi’s top foreign-policy aide, and Foreign Minister Wang Yi asked them to roll back Trump-era policies targeting China. Beijing wanted to restore the kind of recurring “dialogue” Washington sees as a waste of time, say U.S. and Chinese officials briefed on the Alaska meeting,” the piece says.

The piece went on to say, “Mr. Yang also delivered a surprise: a 16-minute lecture about America’s racial problems and democratic failings. The objective, say Chinese officials, was to make clear that Beijing sees itself as an equal of the U.S. He also warned Washington against challenging China over a mission Beijing views as sacred—the eventual reunification with Taiwan.”


Pillsbury said that though a “global world order” was set up by the United States in 1945, the Russians and Chinese want to challenge that world order.

“This is a strange challenge coming from these two powers. And when they bring in Iran, I mean, Iran is the source of their oil and gas. It’s got a lot of money to buy weapons. They see it as the main way to tie down the Americans in the Middle East.”

Pillsbury concluded, “So we’re heading into troubled waters.”

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., said Sunday on Fox News that China, Russia, Iran and North Korea are the “new axis of evil” and that the communist regime in Beijing is “testing the Biden administration.” 

Chinese Covid-19 vaccine efficacy is ‘not high,’ top health official admits


By Nectar Gan, CNN

Updated 3:23 AM ET, Mon April 12, 2021

(CNN)The efficacy of Chinese Covid-19 vaccines is “not high” and authorities are weighing options to bolster protection — including mixing different shots, China’s top disease control official has said.”The protection rates of existing vaccines are not high,” Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told a conference in the southwestern city of Chengdu on Saturday.He listed two options to solve the problem: one is to increase the number of doses, or adjust the dosage or interval between shots; the other is to mix vaccines developed from different technologies.

Gao’s remarks are a rare public admission from the country’s top health official that the efficacy of China’s coronavirus vaccines is not ideal — and improvements are needed to boost protection.

Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, speaks at the National Vaccines and Health conference in Chengdu, Sichuan province Saturday.Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, speaks at the National Vaccines and Health conference in Chengdu, Sichuan province Saturday.China has positioned itself as a leader in Covid-19 vaccine development and distribution, promoting and supplying its vaccines to countries all over the globe, including Indonesia, Zimbabwe, Turkey and Brazil.

“More than 60 countries have approved the use of Chinese vaccine. The safety and efficacy of Chinese vaccine is being widely recognized by various countries,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a news conference in March.The relatively low efficacy rate of Chinese vaccines, however, could hamper credibility and dent Beijing’s so-called vaccine diplomacy.

The two pharmaceutical firms that supply the majority of Chinese Covid-19 vaccines to the world have not published comprehensive clinical trial data in medical journals on their vaccines’ effectiveness. But from the interim results announced by the companies, their efficacy falls far behind the new type of vaccines developed in the West that use mRNA to trigger an immune response.The CoronaVac vaccine developed by Sinovac, a private company, was found to have an efficacy rate of just 50.4% in clinical trials in Brazil. Another trial in Turkey showed it was 83.5% effective. State-owned Sinopharm said its two vaccines have efficacy rates of 79.4% and 72.5%.In comparison, the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have efficacy rates of 97% and 94%, respectively.In March, the United Arab Emirates started offering a third dose of a Sinopharm vaccine to residents who failed to generate sufficient antibodies after two shots.

China opens its borders to foreigners who take Chinese shots, as geopolitical vaccine silos emerge

China opens its borders to foreigners who take Chinese shots, as geopolitical vaccine silos emergeIn that sense, Gao’s comments on the relatively low efficacy of Chinese vaccines were merely stating a well-known fact — but it was the first time a high-level official in China had publicly acknowledged it.The Chinese CDC chief’s remarks also come as China is aggressively ramping up its vaccination drive at home. As of Friday, the country has administered more than 160 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine. It is aiming to inoculate 40% of its 1.4 billion population by the end of June.”What struck me most was that the suggestion of the relatively low efficacy rates of Chinese vaccines appears to be a deviation from what the Chinese state and social media has said. The official narrative portrays Chinese vaccines as both safe and effective,” said Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, who posted Gao’s speech on Twitter over the weekend.As Gao’s comments gained traction on social media and made international headlines, Chinese censors quickly scrubbed discussions online, and state media swiftly put out an interview with Gao to walk back his comments.Global Times, a state-run nationalist tabloid, quoted Gao as saying reports about his admission were “a complete misunderstanding.””The protection rates of all vaccines in the world are sometimes high, and sometimes low. How to improve their efficacy is a question that needs to be considered by scientists around the world,” Gao was quoted as saying.

Huang, the expert on China’s public health, said the quick repudiation by the Global Times suggested Chinese authorities will not tolerate any challenge to their official narrative.”Gao’s remarks were just an occasional aberration,” he said.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

China v Russia v America: is 2021 the year Orwell’s 1984 comes true?

How Putin or Xi Could Blow It All Up for Biden (msn.com)

Simon Tisdall  11 hrs ago

Blinken warns China, Russia about military actionNearly “catastrophic” wastewater leak could devastate marine life

It may just be coincidence that Russia was piling military pressure on Ukraine last week at the same time as China noisily rattled sabres around Taiwan. Spring, to mangle Tennyson, is when a young man’s fancy turns to war – and that twisted maxim may even apply to ageing thugs such as Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping.a person walking down a dirt road: Photograph: AFP/Getty Images© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Russia and China are moving into ever closer alliance. While there is no evidence of direct collusion over Ukraine and Taiwan, presidents Putin and Xi are doubtless fully aware of each other’s actions, which have an identical, mutually reinforcing effect: putting the wind up Joe Biden’s untested US administration.

What’s now unfolding could be portrayed as the ultimate fulfilment of George Orwell’s nightmarish vision, in his dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, of a world divided geographically, politically and militarily into three rival super-states: Oceania (North America plus Britain), Eurasia (Russia and Europe), and Eastasia (China).

Publication of Orwell’s book in 1949 coincided with the formation of the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) and the emergence of Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union as a nuclear-armed power. It also saw the proclamation of the People’s Republic of China by Mao Zedong. Yet these were early days.

Orwell’s prediction of an endless, three-way global confrontation proved premature. China needed time to develop. The Soviet Union eventually imploded. The US, declaring a unipolar moment, claimed victory. Yet today, by some measures, Orwell’s tripartite world is finally coming into being. 2021 is the new 1984.

If China and Russia are presently ganging up on the US and its satraps, that’s par for the course in a world where no one superpower is allowed to dominate the other two. In 1972, Richard Nixon sought China’s help against the Soviets. Maybe the US and Russia will one day combine against Beijing. As Meat Loaf sings it, two out of three ain’t bad.a person riding a bike down a dirt road: A Ukrainian serviceman on the frontline with Russia-backed separatists, near Zolote, Ukraine.© Photograph: AFP/Getty Images A Ukrainian serviceman on the frontline with Russia-backed separatists, near Zolote, Ukraine.

This is where truly global danger lies – in the hazy gap between words and deeds in the intensifying trilateral struggle between superpowers

Advocates of a multipolar world will say this is too simplistic, and that the strategic balance is more subtle and complex. Tell that to people in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region and occupied Crimea, who face a deeply unsubtle Russian military build-up along the “line of contact”.

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The consensus among analysts is that Putin is not about to invade. So what is he up to? Apologists suggest he was provoked by a Ukrainian decree last month declaring the re-taking of Crimea, seized by Russia in 2014, to be an official government objective – and by renewed talk of Ukraine joining Nato.

A more banal explanation is that Moscow is pressurising Kiev to break the stalemate in the so-called Minsk peace process – after the latest Donbas ceasefire collapsed. Putin enjoyed a big, but fleeting, ratings boost after Crimea’s annexation. Last month, he used a lavish televised rally marking its seventh anniversary to recapture lost popularity.

It seems he failed. Russians are preoccupied with the coronavirus pandemic (and the incompetent official response), falling incomes, and a worsening socio-economic outlook. More than ever, Putin’s Soviet empire restoration project appears irrelevant, especially to younger people.

Putin is under fire at home from supporters of the much-persecuted opposition activist, Alexei Navalny, and over corruption allegations. Only 32% of Russians trust their president, according to a recent Levada Center poll. Seen this way, the Ukraine build-up looks like a calculated distraction for domestic political purposes.

Yet Putin may also be deliberately testing US and European resolve. He will not have forgotten how George W Bush pledged undying support to Georgia’s newly democratic government in 2005, then ducked out when war erupted with Russia in 2008.

As analyst Ted Galen Carpenter noted last week, Biden’s White House has likewise affirmed “unwavering US support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression in the Donbas and Crimea”. This looks, at best, like a hostage to fortune, and at worst, a cruel deception.

“The parallels between Washington’s excessive encouragement of Ukraine and Bush’s blunder with respect to Georgia are eerie and alarming,” Carpenter wrote. The US and Nato would no more go to war with Russia over eastern Ukraine than they would to save South Ossetia, he suggested. And if they did, well, that’s world war three right there.

This is where truly global danger lies – in the hazy gap between words and deeds in the intensifying trilateral struggle between superpowers. Will Putin, goaded by Biden’s “killer” insult and numerous intractable disputes, call the US president’s bluff? On the other side of the world, will Xi?

China’s surly leader looks like a man prone to brooding. He has suffered many slights at the hands of the west, including accusations of genocide in Xinjiang, brutality in Hong Kong, and aggression in the seas around China. What drives him now as his forces besiege Taiwan?

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One answer is that Xi may also hope to divert attention from domestic problems. Maybe he faces unseen challenges within China’s communist party. More probably, he would like to mark July’s centenary of the founding of the CCP by finally conquering what was the last redoubt of Chiang Kai-shek’s nationalists.

Taiwan reunification would seal Xi’s legacy. Ever closer personal, strategic and military ties with Putin’s Russia mean that he would face no pushback from that quarter, and some applause. The Taiwanese vow to fight, but cannot prevail alone. Only the Americans really stand in his way.

Is Xi simply trolling the Washington proles? Or will he defy them and make a move on Taiwan soon? The Orwellian nightmare for Biden and the west would be a simultaneous Russian invasion of Ukraine and a Chinese attack on Taiwan.

Oceania’s choice: a war on two fronts, or humiliation all round. Welcome to Winston’s world.