Sander van der Linden was working in his office at the University of Cambridge a few years ago when he received a strange phone call. A professor of social psychology and director of the Cambridge Social Decision-Making Laboratory, van der Linden is one of the world’s leading researchers on how to combat the scourge of disinformation and misinformation . He receives requests all the time about his work from government agencies, media organizations, and civil-society groups. But the person who called that day was not a bureaucrat or a diplomat. It was a representative from L’Oréal, the multi-billion-dollar global beauty product company. L’Oréal had what it called a “scientific disinformation” problem related to some of its products. Could van der Linden help? At the heart of van der Linden’s research is a theory: Our information crisis can and should be treated like a virus. Responding to fake stories or conspiracy theories after the fact is woefully insufficient, just as … [Read more...] about The Disinformation Vaccine: Is There a Cure for Conspiracy Theories?
Who discovered vaccine for smallpox
Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations have dropped by 77% and 44% over the past month, respectively, said LA County Health Officials on Monday. That’s great news for the country’s hardest-hit region. The question remains, however, if new variants of the virus will create another surge. LA County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said on Monday that, “We are going to be reporting later today that we now have 5 cases associated with the UK variant.” That’s not many, but the amount of genomic testing in the county to identify new variants is exceedingly small compared to the number of Covid tests being delivered. “There’s no way that we don’t have a fair amount of [that] variant circulating here,” said Ferrer. The mutant UK strain is thought to be 30-50% more transmissible. According to a new report, the UK variant is doubling its prevalence among identified cases every 9-10 days. Related Story California Governor Gavin Newsom … [Read more...] about Half Of Los Angeles Covid-19 Samples Analyzed Show Mutant “West Coast Variant,” As Region Runs Out Of First-Dose Vaccine Appointments
“The issue of mutations is top of mind,” said Governor Gavin Newsom at his Wednesday Covid-19 press conference, “not only here in the State of California , but across the globe.” Newsom then confirmed the first cases in the state of the variant first discovered in South Africa. On Tuesday, the governor reported that that variant had not been detected. But he said on Wednesday, “as of a few hours ago, two cases have been reported…one in Alameda County and one in Santa Clara county.” The CDC says the South African variant — also known as B.1.351 — seems to be more transmissible. One study also indicated it might be resistant to at least one vaccine. Officials in South Africa this week halted the rollout of AstraZeneca vaccines — which are not yet being used in the United States — because the vaccinations were found in a clinical trial not to be effective in slowing spread of the South African variant. The mutation also may be less vulnerable to to the effects of … [Read more...] about Feared South African Covid-19 Mutant Discovered In California As It Surpasses NY As State With Most Virus-Related Deaths In US
Even though they have been a priority for weeks now, only 20% of Los Angeles County residents aged 65 and over have received even one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, according to county health officials. And though supplies of the medication remain woefully low, Los Angeles County will expand vaccinations to an array of essential workers in two to three weeks, including teachers, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Wednesday. The move follows a call by Governor Gavin Newsom in late January for shots to be offered to workers in three categories: education/child care; food and agriculture; and emergency services and law enforcement. In Los Angeles County, those categories represent roughly 1.3 million people, meaning that even after they become eligible for the shots, it will take weeks to get all of them fully vaccinated, which requires two doses spaced out by three to four weeks. Related Story Feared South African Covid-19 Mutant Discovered In California As It … [Read more...] about Los Angeles Covid-19 Update: County Expanding Vaccine Eligibility Despite Shortage; Only 20% Of Seniors Have Had 1st Shot
California said late Monday that Blue Shield had been chosen as the state’s third-party administrator for vaccine distribution. Gov. Gavin Newsom has been promising for weeks to release details of the contract, the details of which were made public yesterday, a holiday — the same day the no-bid contract went into effect. Under the contract, an algorithm created by Blue Shield will sort out vaccine distribution across California. The Newsom administration will have final say on where vaccines are distributed and what the criteria determine how many vaccines go to each site. Blue Shield stands to earn up to $15 million, a sum that is capped in the contract. The deal with Blue Shield and another with Kaiser were authorized by Newsom under an emergency provision that does not require legislative approval. The governor announced the deal late last month, but the contract was not signed until Friday. Terms of the contract run until December 31, 2021. Details of the deal … [Read more...] about California Governor Gavin Newsom Chooses Big Political Donors To Run State’s Vaccination Program