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Questions and Concerns About COVID-19

The new variant…

Yesterday I alluded to the potential significance of a COVID-19 variant that escapes current immune protection from prior infection or vaccines. I also placed a link in the article to a report of a new variant from South Africa (B.1.1.529), which had the type of spike protein mutations that might raise concerns about immune evasion.Continue reading “The new variant…”

The most important COVID-19 attribute to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Day.

As many more people are enjoying a normal Thanksgiving this year, it is time to take measure of the many ongoing issues surrounding COVID-19. Despite the current wave of infections there are many positives, including effective vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, and newly identified anti-viral drugs. These approaches help prevent serious illnesses and deaths despite the incrediblyContinue reading “The most important COVID-19 attribute to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Day.”

Where COVID-19 infections are located now.

In August 2021 (Left panel below), at the beginning of the Delta variant wave, infections surged in the southeast United States. These areas had the lowest vaccination rates leading to some of the highest spread of infection. Hospitals in Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana were overwhelmed with patients, and deaths increased to levels not seen sinceContinue reading “Where COVID-19 infections are located now.”

Aaron Rodgers

Let’s get the easy part of the way. Aaron Rodgers is a phenomenal football player who is surely a Hall of Fame quarterback. He is one of the best players of his era and potentially of all time. Regardless, that is not why we are discussing Rodgers today. Aaron Rodgers was diagnosed with a COVID-19Continue reading “Aaron Rodgers”

The Pfizer COVID vaccine is now available for the five-to-11-year age group.

As of today, the Pfizer pediatric COVID-19 vaccine is available for children aged 5 to 11 under emergency use approval (EUA). I previously discussed this vaccine during the approval process, and the data does indicate it is highly effective in preventing illness and severe disease. However, I have received a fair amount of pushback fromContinue reading “The Pfizer COVID vaccine is now available for the five-to-11-year age group.”

What is “gain of function” research and did NIH fund these experiments?

There have been several heated discussions about whether NIH supports research that results in more deadly infections. This research has been described as “gain of function” experiments, but this term has created uncertainty and confusion. In part this is because “gain of function” research has a more limited definition than the concepts being discussed inContinue reading “What is “gain of function” research and did NIH fund these experiments?”

The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines in children aged 5 though 11 years.

Both mRNA vaccines approved in the US for adults have now provided data on their performance in children aged 5 through 11. The target is the more than 28 million children in this age group in the U.S. We currently have much more data on children with the Pfizer vaccine, as the Moderna results were announced onlyContinue reading “The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines in children aged 5 though 11 years.”

General Colin Powell

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s death at 84 was a moment that impacted most individuals my age. He was in many ways a turning point and touchstone for those of us in the military, bridging the time from Viet Nam to Desert Storm. And he was a beacon of hope for an Army thatContinue reading “General Colin Powell”

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