What Medicaid expansion means for this Juneau family

first_imgAlaska Native Arts & Culture | Alcohol & Substance Abuse | Community | Mental Health | SoutheastWhat Medicaid expansion means for this Juneau familyOctober 11, 2015 by Elizabeth Jenkins Share:James Refuerzo and his family outside their home. (Photo by Elizabeth Jenkins/KTOO)Medicaid expansion has been available to Alaskans for over a month, and 93 people in the capital city have enrolled. 263 in all of Southeast. It’s providing coverage for the uninsured. But it’s also offering increased care for those who qualify with Indian Health Service.For one Juneau man, that means having options to treat alcohol addiction.Audio Playerhttps://media.ktoo.org/2015/10/12SEMED1.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.James Refuerzo says he fell on hard times when he was in his 20s, and he’s still paying for it now. Back then, he didn’t think he had a drinking problem.“Maybe one time I’d overdo it. Then all a’sudden I find myself doing something I totally wouldn’t be doing if I was sober,” he said. “With my addiction sometimes I’d drink eight or 10 beers and make a dumb decision and say, ‘Hey I think I can drive.”After his third DUI, he was locked up at Lemon Creek Correctional Center. Refuerzo is the father of three small kids. He spent two years away serving his sentence and had a revelation.“Realizing, hey, this has got to stop. ‘Cause the next time I get in trouble, I’m automatically going to be in jail for five years,” Refuerzo said. “And I don’t want to do that and with my kids, something had to change and that’s when I went to Rainforest.”He knew SEARHC was another option. That’s the tribal health care organization serving Alaska Natives in Southeast. Refuerzo is Tlingit from the Wooshkeetaan Clan. So most of his medical needs are covered. But Juneau SEARHC only offers limited outpatient care for substance abuse treatment.“It’s tough just to ask for help but then when you ask for it and to be told to wait, it’s a little bit tougher.”At Rainforest Recovery Center, he says he was able to fill out a form and come back that same day. The center has a sliding-scale payment policy. There’s an overnight treatment program. Refuerzo opted to do outpatient. And he says things got better. He was meeting with a counselor regularly and talking about his problems.“When I got my job and everything I didn’t qualify for the sliding scale and I was paying 100 percent,” he said.Refuerzo only works part-time and owes Rainforest over $1,300.“It’s gone to collections now. I just got another letter saying this one is going to go to collections, too. It’s like I got to take care of it later on in life when I start making more money and decide to start fixing my credit,” he said.So he stopped going Rainforest. Then he heard he qualified for Medicaid, which pays for treatment.Bettyann Boyd, Refuerzo’s girlfriend, helped him sign up. She works at SEARHC and has been covered by Indian Health Service and Medicaid for a long as she can remember. Medicaid covers travel expenses for medical reasons and specialized care. Giving her family more opportunities.“Just the choice, the choice to have a different option to go to a private clinic, a private dental. If you’re not feeling comfortable with the IHS services,” Boyd said.And she’s glad those choices could extend to her boyfriend, Refuerzo. She’s proud of the work he’s done on himself. She’s going to counseling, too.“We’re doing really good and we been doing really good. Who knew we’d be able to live in this trailer and have a trailer and own it,” she said. “Everything just keeps going up higher and higher.”Refuerzo hasn’t heard back yet if he’s been approved for Medicaid. Some people who’ve signed up have had to wait. But after Nov. 1 new applicants will get an instant response from the Health Care Exchange that could speed up the process.When his enrollment card does come, Refuerzo says it’ll feel good to slip it in his wallet.“For once I’ll feel like I’ve got something in my life that means something material wise. … I’ve never carried an insurance card before. And each time I’ve been asked, I’ve never had insurance number in my life,” he said. “And it’s going to be nice knowing that I got Medicaid and I’m not just stuck seeing one person because that’s the only person I can see. I can seek out other opinions, other options.”He’s four months sober. But he says it’ll be nice to know he can get help when he needs it.Share this story:last_img read more

One couple, two tales of immigration

first_imgCommunity | Federal Government | Government | SouthcentralOne couple, two tales of immigrationMay 29, 2016 by Anne Hillman, KSKA Share:Dayra and Mario Valades at their home in Anchorage. (Photo by Anne Hillman/KSKA)Stereotypes about Mexican immigrants in the United States abound, but everyone has a unique situation. This is the tale of one couple with two very different stories.Dayra and Mario Valades sit on the couch of their pleasantly cluttered apartment. Plants for their garden and piles of mail fill the table. It’s one of the rare times they’re both home together in the early evening. Mario is a bit of a workaholic.“When I don’t work – it’s hard for me to go to sleep. I get sick if I don’t work for three or four days,” he says.“That’s true,” Dayra chimes in. “If he don’t work, he gets sick.”He says he’s always been this way. He started working full-time when he was 17 and crossed the border from Mexico to California, nearly 30 years ago. He talks about the trip like it was a casual two-hour walk, even though he came into the United States without legal documents.“Yeah, it was scary. But I didn’t care,” he laughs. “They told us if you get caught, they’re not going to hurt you. They’ll just send you back. And I thought, ‘OK.’”Mario’s tone is light, but he didn’t really have a choice. Like many others, he needed to support his family and there wasn’t work near his home.“My dad passed away… and my sisters were young. I felt like I had to take over.”He arrived in California then soon moved to Washington to pick fruit and hops. After a few years, he knew there wasn’t a future in it. “I (have) seen people who were working there (for) 30 years, and we got paid by the hour and they were still working the same like 30 years ago.”So Mario bought himself an English course with audiocassettes and books. He’d return from the fields after a long day and study in the late afternoon. After a few months, he joined Job Corps in Oregon. There, he took proper English classes and learned a trade – building maintenance and floor installation. On the advice of a friend, he moved to Alaska in the early 1990s because the pay was better. Soon after he met his first wife, had a son, and decided to apply for his green card. He says back then, it was easy.“I didn’t have any problem with the law or anything. I didn’t have any tickets or anything,” he says. Immigration officials “didn’t ask me for anything. They just called me to immigration, took a picture of my fingerprints, and make sure it was me, and yeah.” Done. Easy. He stayed in Alaska and started his own business.By the time Dayra arrived nearly 15 years later, things had changed a bit. She first came to Alaska as a tourist, then as a researcher. That’s how she met Mario – she interviewed him for her master’s thesis on Mexican immigration to Alaska.“Yeah, we started hanging out and we kind of fell in love,” Mario recalls, looking at his wife and giggling. “I told her not to leave. I wanted her to stay here.”“But I left!” she exclaims.Dayra wanted to return to Mexico to finish her master’s degree and deciding to come back to Alaska to stay was hard. She had friends and family in Mexico and she didn’t need to move north to support anyone financially. According to the Pew Research Center, by 2008, more Mexicans were leaving the U.S. to return home than were arriving to find work.“And then I came here I went from being a really busy person to not working or going to school or other things. So I was at home most of the time. And he was working. Well, he works a lot. And that was hard.”Eventually, Dayra started to meet people and learned about job searching in Alaska. She found a position, but she says she doesn’t really put her master’s degree to its full use. When the couple decided to get married in 2008, the process for Dayra to get a green card seemed much harder than what Mario went through a decade earlier.“They were pretty confusing, the forms were. Well, they were to me.”A person helped them fill out the forms and a month later, they were called into the immigration offices for an interview. Mario had gotten his citizenship shortly after they started dating. Dayra says officials seemed suspicious of her motive.“They asked me in that tone like, ‘So, then, he was really attractive to you?’” she says with disgust. “No. He was before.” They were dating before she knew he had even applied.“They just wanted to see if we really were gonna get married and were gonna stay together,” Mario interjects. “Because like I said before, a lot of people do it just to get their citizenship.”It may be a common assumption that people just get married to stay in the US, but U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services doesn’t actually track marriage fraud. Most petitions for permanent residency for spouses are approved. Within about a year, Dayra received her green card, which they both say is a relief, in part because they feel like attitudes towards immigration have changed. Authorities are more likely to check their documents.“Now they check for everything,” Mario says. “Even if you want to buy property or something they check it out.”But they both also say that they don’t experience any discrimination in Anchorage. They’ve built their lives here and plan to stay.Share this story:last_img read more

Photos: Belle and Sebastian Kick Off KCRW’s Apogee Sessions

first_imgPhoto: Jeremiah GarciaPhoto: Jeremiah GarciaPhoto: Jeremiah GarciaPhoto: Jeremiah GarciaPhoto: Jeremiah GarciaPhoto: Jeremiah GarciaPhoto: Jeremiah Garcia “I was going to swear there, but I shouldn’t because it’s the radio,” Murdoch says. “I was going to say [working on both] was a something sandwich and I was the something in the middle. I finished editing the film on a Friday and on Monday we were on tour and we came back and started writing the LP, which was a pleasure after the film.”While Belle and Sebastian’s music has always been sincere and sensitive, it’s never been known for being confessional. Murdoch’s skillful lyrics are his most autobiographical yet, opening up about his longtime struggle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome on “Nobody’s Empire.” The album is also fairly upbeat, crossing a jaunty line with which they’ve flirted in the past, due in part to the direction of their new producer, Ben H. Allen (Bombay Bicycle Club, Cee Lo Green).The clear contrast between the inspiration and the output is a fascinating and welcome change of pace. Tracks like “The Cat With the Cream,” though, are full of the softer, melodic nostalgia and wonder of classic Belle and Sebastian. The literary allusions, such as “Enter Sylvia Plath,” are also true to form, but the fact that a song called “Enter Sylvia Plath” is a nearly seven-minute techno track may be the easiest way to sum up this record in a line.Belle and Sebastian are dancing away from the more Wes Anderson-esque aspects of their reputation while sounding as pure, bright and confident as they’ve ever been. For a band with nine studio albums and almost 20 years under the belt, that enduring and relaxed sense of self may be the secret to 20 more years. We look forward to seeing them cut loose on the Coachella stage in April.Belle and Sebastian’s setlist:The Party LineLe Pastie de la BourgeoisieThe Power of ThreeMy Wandering Days Are Over[INTERVIEW]Perfect CouplesFox in the SnowNobody’s EmpireDog on WheelsLegal ManSleep the Clock Around TAGSApogee StudiosBelle and SebastianCoachellaCoachella 2015Girls in Peacetime Want to DanceJason BentleyKCRWMarion HodgesMorning Becomes EclecticPrevious articleBidenjam is BackNext articleThe Best Things Chef Ludo Said During The Taste Finale Screening PartySonya Singh RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORUpdated! The 2021 Music Festival GuideCoachella Sets a Date for Its 2022 ComebackCoachella and Stagecoach Will Reportedly Postpone to 2022 UncategorizedPhotos: Belle and Sebastian Kick Off KCRW’s Apogee SessionsOn Tuesday, the Glasgow sextet performed and talked about the new album Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance at their only L.A. show prior to CoachellaBy Sonya Singh – January 22, 2015796ShareEmailFacebookTwitterPinterestReddItBelle and Sebastian kicked off KCRW’s first Apogee Session of 2015 in support of their brand new release, Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance. It’s their only local show before Coachella and you can watch it online as a part of Morning Becomes Eclectic on February 2.The band, which in addition to front man Stuart Murdoch counts Stevie Jackson, Chris Geddes, Richard Colburn, Sarah Martin, and Bobby Kildea, treated two hundred fans to an interview with KCRW DJs Jason Bentley and Marion Hodges, as well as a 10-song set mixed by venerable soundman Bob Clearmountain in his own recording space, Apogee Studios in Santa Monica. Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance is the indie band’s first studio offering in five years, but its ninth album over the course of nearly 20 years. It’s certainly not bad for a band that started out as a university project and developed a “very purposefully mysterious” persona to their fans, said Hodges, by eschewing traditional publicity.“You’d be surprised at that word ‘purposefully,’” Murdoch says with a laugh. “Nothing this band has ever done, apart from making records and playing gigs, is purposeful. But right off the bat, we had a much better relationship with the people who came to see us than we did the press and media and the record company, because they understood straight away.”The audience has remained, and so has Belle and Sebastian, steadily putting out records and, in Murdoch’s case, trying out filmmaking. The past few years have seen him busy writing and directing God Help the Girl, released in 2014. Girls in Peacetime somehow emerged in that time, as well.Photo: Jeremiah Garcialast_img read more

Five charts showing why US GDP growth fell so much in the fourth quarter

first_img More From Our Partners Native American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comFeds seized 18 devices from Rudy Giuliani and his employees in April raidnypost.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgKiller drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told tonypost.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgInside Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’ not-so-average farmhouse estatenypost.com Emma Haslett Tags: NULL Share Five charts showing why US GDP growth fell so much in the fourth quarter Today’s US fourth quarter GDP growth figure was a disappointing affair – not only did it come in below expectations of three per cent growth, but at 2.6 per cent, it was almost half the level posted in the third quarter of 2013.What’s going on? There are a few explanations.1. The obvious one is that oil prices have plummeted Although the US is one of the producers least affected by the fall in oil, there’s no doubting it’s had an impact – partially from a fall in investment in the shale gas sector. 2. The trade deficit was higher than it’s been since the second quarter of 2013Imports are “a subtraction in the calculation of GDP”, said the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)3. Fixed investment has been erratic – but now it’s falling, fastEven by its volatile standards, the fall in fixed investment is a bit of surprise. 4. Federal government spending fell off a cliffThis was hardly surprising: quarter-on-quarter growth growth in federal spending has been negative every period for two years, except the third quarter of 2014. Still, it was a big drop.5. … and although personal expenditure was up, there are worries it’s all that’s driving growthThe US has been the darling of the global economy lately, but are consumers the only ones driving that? The concern is the country will sink back into a spiral of debt-fuelled spending, which isn’t good for anyone. So keeping a lid on borrowing, and shoring up other industries – such as manufacturing – is critical if the US is to sustain strong growth.  whatsapp Friday 30 January 2015 9:16 am whatsapp Show Comments ▼last_img read more

Swiss prosecutor eyes Novartis deal with Cohen, but no criminal probe is underway — for now

first_img The Swiss attorney general is eyeing the $1.2 million deal that Novartis made with Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal lawyer, but is not conducting any criminal probe at this time, according to a statement from the federal prosecutor.As reported last week, Cohen approached Novartis in early 2017 to offer access to the new Trump administration. And Joe Jimenez, who was chief executive officer at the drug maker at the time, agreed to a one-year, $1.2 million contract, even though Cohen is not a registered lobbyist or an expert in health care policy. Swiss prosecutor eyes Novartis deal with Cohen, but no criminal probe is underway — for now Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. About the Author Reprints Log In | Learn More By Ed Silverman May 14, 2018 Reprints [email protected] What’s included? Unlock this article — plus daily coverage and analysis of the pharma industry — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTED STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond.center_img Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. GET STARTED Ed Silverman What is it? Pharmalot Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images @Pharmalot Tags pharmaceuticalsSTAT+Trumplast_img read more

GoFundMe should stop embracing and promoting unproven clinical research

first_img Tubes of homeopathic granules LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images Privacy Policy Please enter a valid email address. Newsletters Sign up for First Opinion A weekly digest of our opinion column, with insight from industry experts. Even more disturbing, recent publications in Lancet Oncology and the BMJ show that many cancer patients are enthusiastic users of crowdfunding for quack treatments such as homeopathy and energy healing. This research shows that people seeking crowdfunding are not only often wasting their donors’ money on these treatments, but they are also spreading misinformation about their effectiveness and safety when appealing to donors to fund these treatments. Some people are also using crowdfunding to help them opt out of proven effective treatments and palliative care, leading to preventable deaths and suffering. Medical crowdfunding, a large and rapidly growing practice dominated by the website GoFundMe, can be a lifesaver for people who find themselves unable to access cancer treatments, surgery, or other essential medical services due to gaps in insurance coverage or the failure of public institutions to meet their needs. But it is also helping raise funds for scientifically unproven and potentially dangerous medical treatments that are often packaged as legitimate clinical research and trials. Instead of trying to put a stop to these shady practices, GoFundMe is actually promoting them.Although crowdfunding is a flawed solution to lack of access to health care, GoFundMe correctly sees the use of its services as a response to real and devastating health system failures, especially in the U.S. Some individuals use this platform to access legitimate medical services. But others use donations to pay for unproven and largely ineffective treatments such as homeopathy and stem cell injections.Last year, two colleagues and I reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association that we identified more than 400 crowdfunding campaigns (almost 90 percent of them on GoFundMe) seeking donations for stem cell interventions. A different trio of researchers identified more than 1,000 crowdfunding campaigns (98 percent of them on GoFundMe) for five poorly supported or potentially dangerous treatments: homeopathy or naturopathy for cancer, hyperbaric oxygen therapy for brain injury, stem cell therapy for brain or spinal cord injury, and long-term antibiotic therapy for so-called chronic Lyme disease.advertisement By Jeremy Snyder March 11, 2019 Reprints She said she had cancer, and neighbors opened their wallets. Then a stranger’s email raised questions But this isn’t happening. And we know it isn’t happening.GoFundMe recently sought to position itself not only as a solution to genuine health system failures, but also as a solution to those that don’t exist. In a recent interview with Kaiser Health News, GoFundMe CEO Rob Solomon said, “A lot of insurance doesn’t cover clinical trials and research and things like that, where people need access to leading-edge potential treatments. We strive to fill these gaps until the institutions that are supposed to handle this handle it properly.”Increasing funding for research and patient participation in clinical trials is a desirable enterprise, but using crowdfunding to do it is incredibly problematic. “Regular” crowdfunding widens inequities in access to care by giving the greatest benefits to those with strong social networks, media contacts, and tech savvy. Crowdfunding for experimental medicine will replicate these problems for those seeking access to clinical trials.And just as crowdfunding provides incentives for users to exaggerate the effectiveness and safety of unproven treatments via their campaigns and social media, there is every reason to think that this same problem will exist in crowdfunding for participation in clinical trials and access to experimental treatments.Moreover, research on crowdfunding for unproven medical treatments has shown that many businesses recognize crowdfunding for the massive revenue stream it is, directing their customers to crowdfund unproven treatments that health systems and insurers — rightly — will not pay for. This will likely happen in the realm of more legitimate experimental medicine and clinical trials as well, especially given the new Right to Try Act signed into law in the U.S. in 2018. [email protected] About the Author Reprints For example, BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics announced in the summer of 2018 that it would make access to its experimental stem cell treatment for ALS available through “right to try.” After public outcry that this company was considering charging customers $300,000 to exercise this right, BrainStorm’s CEO changed course, citing a failure to “identify a practical funding solution” for those unable to afford their product.It doesn’t take a great deal of imagination to see that companies will embrace Solomon’s vision and see crowdfunding as a “practical funding solution” to making their products available through right to try or by evoking such a right without actually using expanded access programs. While BrainStorm, to its credit, chose not to go down this path, crowdfunding campaigns are currently actively raising money to pay for participation in the company’s clinical trial. Thousands of other crowdfunding campaigns are actively seeking funds for desperately ill recipients to participate in clinical trials, exercise their rights to try, and purchase “experimental” treatments.I find Solomon’s approach of treating crowdfunding for unproven treatments as a feature of medical crowdfunding rather than a failure of it as deeply problematic. While there are undoubtedly legitimate clinical trials that would benefit from patients who responsibly use crowdfunding to raise money to participate, research I conducted with my colleague Leigh Turner shows that this is the exception rather than the rule.Crowdfunding creates an opportunity for unscrupulous businesses to sell their products to a wider audience under the guise of experimentation, research, and clinical trials. At the same time, the majority of crowdfunding campaigners misrepresent and exaggerate the effectiveness and safety of the treatments they hope to pursue, spurred on by the need to convince donors that their money will be effective in drastically improving the campaigner’s health. @jeremycsnyder Leave this field empty if you’re human: GoFundMe needs to do better to prevent its platform from being used to raise money for unproven and dangerous medical treatments, mislead donors and other members of the public, and steer people away from proven treatments. Without such campaigns, this money doesn’t get raised, this misinformation isn’t spread, and people aren’t steered away from effective treatments and palliative care. Simply put, these harms don’t happen. By enabling them, GoFundMe is complicit in these harms.If GoFundMe won’t address this problem on its own, the government should do it for the company. This could take the form of GoFundMe being held responsible for allowing and encouraging individuals to make false claims about medical products. Just as the Federal Trade Commission is increasingly warning stem cell clinics to stop deceptive advertising, and the FDA is warning clinics to stop marketing stem cell therapies without FDA approval, GoFundMe could be held responsible for knowingly allowing its platform to be used to parrot and exaggerate false claims for unproven therapies.Crowdfunding is undeniably being used to finance and promote businesses selling unproven medical treatments under the guise of experimental medicine and mislead the public about their safety and efficacy. This involves thousands of recipients, tens of thousands of donors, and hundreds of thousands of people on social media. GoFundMe needs to stop being complicit, and even glorying in this problem, and help solve it.Jeremy Snyder, Ph.D., is a professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. Jeremy Snyder Tags ethicsresearchstem cells Related: GoFundMe is aware of this problem and could take actions to better educate its users about unproven treatments and prohibit the most dangerous and misleading campaigns. Instead it is taking a “buyer beware” position. In a statement, the company suggested that it is “not our place to tell [donors] what decision to make” and that campaigners need to “fully research whatever it is they are raising money for and to be absolutely transparent on their GoFundMe page, so donors can make an informed decision on what they’re donating to.”advertisement Related: Crowdfunding raises millions for unproven — and potentially harmful — treatments First OpinionGoFundMe should stop embracing and promoting unproven clinical research last_img read more

Under an ‘America First’ president, will the U.S. corner the market on Covid-19 vaccine?

first_img Newsletters Sign up for Morning Rounds Your daily dose of news in health and medicine. By Helen Branswell May 15, 2020 Reprints Privacy Policy Please enter a valid email address. Leave this field empty if you’re human: Using the earliest available doses for health workers around the world would be in everybody’s best interest, Dowell said, though he acknowledged that arguments of equity may not “carry much water” these days.“If you end up using your first 100 million or 300 million doses on low-risk teenagers in Switzerland, Singapore, the U.S., or other places — that could be a year’s worth of vaccine,” Dowell noted. “So you could lose a year immunizing really low-risk groups rather than using your vaccine in the most effective way that you could.”Prioritizing vaccine in ways aimed at minimizing the impact of the pandemic globally would be to everyone’s advantage, experts argue. “If Covid-19 is circulating in any country, we’re all still at risk,” said Dowell.Bollyky noted that the earliest vaccines to hit the market may not be the most effective ones, which would mean people vaccinated with them might still be susceptible to infection. Some vaccines that take longer to develop may actually produce a more robust immune response. “And if the U.S. doesn’t share in a timely manner initially, others will not either,” he noted.Vaccinating all the citizens of a few countries won’t solve the economic problems of those nations. If the pandemic continues to rage in most parts of the world, global travel will remain disrupted, supply chains broken, economies in tatters.“This is a global problem. It requires a global solution,” said Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.“It is the job of countries and political leaders to protect their own people and I certainly understand that,” Berkley added. “But it is also the job to have a longer-term view and understand the global nature of infectious diseases, as well as the global nature of science.”“If we nationalize science, we will not optimize science,” he said.Bollyky said there needs to be a public dialogue about how to deploy Covid-19 vaccines when supplies are scarce so that people can understand the consequences of the various approaches to their use.“At the end of the day, if this comes across as some tree-hugging argument, it’s just not going to resonate,” he said. “And that’s not just here in the U.S., it’s in other countries as well.”Dowell agreed, saying there are “huge incentives” for countries to maximize the impact of the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines.“In the big picture, I’ll be surprised if we don’t see a planetary public health intervention implemented more effectively and faster than we’ve ever seen before,” Dowell said, though he acknowledged it will be “messy, for sure.” HealthUnder an ‘America First’ president, will the U.S. corner the market on Covid-19 vaccine? @HelenBranswell About the Author Reprints David McNew/Getty Images Helen Branswell The United States is sprinting headlong toward the development and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines. But under an “America First” president, public health experts worry, the United States could seek to gobble up early supplies — and set the stage for prolonged devastation in the rest of the world.Under “Operation Warp Speed,” the Trump administration hopes to have 300 million doses of vaccine ready for domestic use by January 2021. That outcome would largely satisfy domestic needs in the United States, experts say, but it would mean prioritizing low-risk individuals in one the world’s richest countries over high-risk health care workers and other vulnerable populations elsewhere in the world.Such concerns prompted more than 140 world leaders and other dignitaries on Thursday to sign an open letter to all governments demanding that Covid-19 vaccines be considered a “global good” to be shared equitably. The letter came just a day after Paul Hudson, CEO of pharmaceutical giant Sanofi, angered the French government by indicating the U.S. would have first access to his company’s output.advertisement “I do think that there’s a significant risk, at least under the current plan, that the U.S. will vaccinate not only health workers and high-risk populations and priority populations for breaking transmission chains, but also low-risk individuals first,” said Tom Bollyky, director of the global health program at the Council on Foreign Relations.Support STAT: If you value our coronavirus coverage, please consider making a one-time contribution to support our journalism. Bollyky warned any U.S. effort to inoculate its entire population could incentivize other countries to refuse to share peripheral materials needed for mass vaccination, including vaccine vials and syringes.advertisement Senior Writer, Infectious Disease Helen covers issues broadly related to infectious diseases, including outbreaks, preparedness, research, and vaccine development. While it’s impossible to know which, if any, of the current vaccine candidates in development will prove effective and reach the market, the United States, along with China and India, appear poised to perhaps have first access to vaccines, given the scale of vaccine production capacity in those countries. Furthermore, in the United States, President Trump could invoke the Defense Production Act, giving the administration broad power to force companies to manufacture vaccines for domestic purposes — even against their will.Pandemic planners for years have recognized that in the event of a dangerous pandemic, countries would be under pressure to nationalize essential products made within their borders. It happened in 1976, during the swine flu scare, when it was thought the world was on the brink of a 1918-like influenza pandemic. The United States — intent on vaccinating “every man, woman and child” — would not allow vaccine producers to export their product.Determined to protect U.S. interests, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, an agency under the Department of Health and Human Services, has spent billions of dollars to support the creation or expansion of vaccine manufacturing operations on U.S. soil, the agency’s former director, Robin Robinson, told STAT recently.While the U.S. is perhaps being the most forthright about its intent to meet domestic needs first, experts believe many countries may succumb to the same type of pressure, especially if vaccine becomes available when a resurgence of transmission is underway.“This may not be just a phenomenon of the U.S.,” said Bollyky, who noted several countries have barred exports of personal protective equipment worn by health workers and ventilators.Scott Dowell, deputy director for surveillance and epidemiology at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said the foundation is working to try to ensure countries without production capacity have access to Covid-19 vaccine. One of its approaches is to support production capacity in small countries — places like Singapore and Switzerland — so that even if output is nationalized, local needs will be met quickly, after which, vaccine exports could begin. Tags Coronaviruslast_img read more

Block Repatriation of Defectors or Beijing Olympics? China’s Battle

first_img Block Repatriation of Defectors or Beijing Olympics? China’s Battle News [imText1]While criticism against the Chinese government on the forced repatriation of defectors is becoming more severe, an international campaign to block the repatriation of North Korean refugees was held in front of the Chinese embassy on the 3rd. This campaign was organized by Christian NGO and NKGulag in collaboration with 30 or so organizations, Korean churches and international groups around the world associated with North Korean human rights issues including the U.S, Japan and England. The groups protested, “The Chinese government is forcefully apprehending defectors and repatriating them back to North Korea until point of death,” and, “This kind of inhumane act must be stopped immediately.”Also, they stated, “Prior to the 2008 Olympics, China must acknowledge defectors within China as refugees and stop forced repatriation back to North Korea,” and urged, “While standing in front of all of the world’s mankind, conscience and justice must be shown towards defectors.”A defector Yeom claimed as evidence, “China is still expelling defectors to North Korea” and “These people are dragged back to North Korea to live in prison, being treated worse than animals.”Pastor Choi Kyung Il, who led the campaign to save the life of Choi Yong Hoon who was imprisoned in China for 3 years under suspicions of helping defectors, condemned China for its inhumane acts. Pastor Choi reported the reentry of Choi Yong Hoon on the 29th and criticized “It’s not like he stole or committed murder, yet the Chinese government apprehended him with assault and torture simply for helping defectors.”On the same day, organizations campaigned in front of the Chinese embassy all throughout the world, including Life Funds for North Korean Refugees (LFNKR) in Japan, Human Rights Without Frontiers in Belgium, as well as in England and Germany.Also in the U.S. (on the 2nd, local time), a campaign was held outside the Chinese embassy in Washington led by the North Korea Freedom Coalition (NKFC, Chairman Suzanne Scholte).[imText2][imText3][imText4][imText5] RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] News By Daily NK – 2006.12.06 9:29am There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest center_img News Entire border patrol unit in North Hamgyong Province placed into quarantine following “paratyphoid” outbreak SHARE Facebook Twitter News North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with Chinalast_img read more

Balanced global corporate rating activity at mid-year: Fitch

first_img Sovereign defaults hit record level in 2020: Fitch James Langton Climate tide turns against oil companies: Moody’s Upgrades slightly outpaced downgrades in the second quarter, according to the latest data on global credit ratings from Fitch Ratings. The rating agency reports that the share of global corporate finance issuers that were downgraded in the second quarter of 2014 came in at 2.2%, which was slightly lower than the proportion that were upgraded in the quarter, 2.4%. Related news Keywords Credit ratings center_img Facebook LinkedIn Twitter High debt levels threaten banks’ strong results: Fitch Share this article and your comments with peers on social media “Spain’s sovereign upgrade lifted several Spanish banks (and international subsidiaries),” Fitch notes, adding that the overall European downgrade-to-upgrade ratio “equalized at one to one for the first time since late 2012.” “Financial institution rating activity was largely positive in the second quarter,” Fitch reports, as just 1.7% of issuers faced downgrades, less than half the share that were upgraded (3.4%). Moreover, it says this reversed the negative rating drift that occurred in the prior quarter, when downgrades outpaced upgrades, 2.6% to 2%. In emerging markets, financial institution downgrades declined quarter over quarter, to 3.3% in Q2 from 4.8% in the first quarter, and upgrades climbed to 3.5% from 1.3% over the same period. In developed markets, the downgrade to upgrade ratio also improved from the prior quarter. Yet, industrials saw more downgrades than upgrades globally; and this was true across both advanced economies and emerging markets, Fitch says. At the end of June, the proportion of global corporate finance issuers with a negative outlook edged lower to 12% from 13% in March. And, positive outlooks improved to 6% from 5%.last_img read more

Gender and Youth Promotion Initiative 2020

first_img Pocket Deadline: 1 June 2020Open to: civil society organizations (CSOs) and UN agencies, funds and programms (UN AFPs) from countries that are currently formally declared eligible by the Secretary-General to receive PBF funding in 2020Benefits: USD 300,000 to USD 1,5 million per projectDescriptionThe United Nations Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund’s (PBF) Gender and Youth Promotion Initiative (GYPI) is an expression of the Fund’s commitment to inclusive peace building. It supports the empowerment of women and the advancement of gender equality and recognizes the important and positive role young people play in peace building.Through the initiative the PBF seeks to increase its peace building impact and advance the implementation of the Secretary General’s Seven-Point Action Plan on Gender-Responsive Peace building, Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) and others on Women, Peace and Security, and Security Council resolution 2250 (2015) on Youth, Peace and Security.The aims for the Gender and Youth Promotion Initiatives are to: LinkedIn 0 Tweet Youth Promotion Initiative:Support innovative projects, focused on youth empowerment and participation with the potential for catalytic effects and peace building outcomes;Strengthen the participation of young women and men within existing prevention and peace building initiatives;Enhance support to youth civil society organizations and facilitate their partnership with international CSOs, Governments and UN entities active in their country;Contribute to collective operational learning on youth-inclusive programming; andSupport the implementation of Security Council resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security.This year’s GYPI will focus on two specific thematic areas:1.     Women and youth leadership: Supporting women and youth leadership, representation and participation in peace building processes and implementation of peace agreements.2.     Protection of women and youth peace builders: Promoting human rights and protection of women and youth peace builders and human rights defenders.In addition, preference will be given to:Joint UN-CSO projects, projects implemented by national CSOs and projects that demonstrate strong partnerships with women- and youth-led organizations.Projects that specifically target lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) youth. May 13, 2020 Published by Bojana Gender Promotion Initiative:Support innovative projects, focused on gender equality and women’s empowerment with the potential for catalytic effects and peace building outcomes;Strengthen the integration of gender equality and women’s empowerment within existing prevention and peace building initiatives;Contribute to collective operational learning on gender-responsive programming;Accelerate implementation of the Secretary-General Seven-Point Action Plan and its commitment to increase funding of gender-responsive peace building projects; andMaintain and improve performance against the Secretary-General’s target of allocating a minimum of fifteen per cent of all peace building funding to gender equality and women’s empowerment. Gender and Youth Promotion Initiative 2020 Share 0 +1 EligibilityThe call for proposals is open in countries that are currently formally declared eligible by the Secretary-General to receive PBF funding in 2020:Burkina FasoBurundiCameroonCentral African RepublicChadColombiaCôte d’IvoireDemocratic Republic of the CongoEl SalvadorGuineaGuinea BissauHaitiHondurasLiberiaMadagascarMaliMauritaniaSierra LeoneSolomon IslandsSri LankaSudanThe GambiaThe GYPI welcomes proposals from both civil society organizations (CSOs) and UN agencies, funds and programms (UN AFPs). All applicants interested in applying to the GYPI are advised to reach out to the PBF Secretariat in the project country for guidance. In 2020, the GYPI accepts three types of project proposals:Joint UN proposals: with up to three UN entities as direct fund recipients (to be submitted by the convening UN recipient after receiving the endorsement from the RC/SRSG/DSRSG)Joint UN-CSO proposals: with up to two UN entities and one CSO as direct fund recipients (to be submitted by the convening UN recipient after receiving the endorsement from the RC/SRSG/DSRSG)CSO proposals: with one CSO as direct fund recipient (to be submitted by the CSO independently)BenefitsUN COUNTRY TEAMS: Grants from USD 800,000 to USD 1,5 million per projectCIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS: Grants from USD 300,000 to USD 1,5 million per projectHow to Apply.Applicants must register at www.pbfgypi.org before starting the online application process. For joint UN projects, the convening UN entity should register and submit on behalf of project partners after having received the endorsement of the RC/SRSG/DSRSG. For joint UN-CSO projects, the convening UN entity should also register and submit on behalf of project partners after having received the endorsement of the RC/SRSG/DSRSG. For CSO projects, the direct CSO recipient must register and submit the application independently.UN applicants: must upload a cover letter with the endorsement of the submission by the RC/SRSG/DSRSG addressed to the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, Mr. Oscar Fernandez-Taranco.CSO applicants: must upload:Cover letter by the Head of Organization addressed to the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, Mr. Oscar Fernandez-Taranco.All eligibility documents as described on page 5 (including proof of previous funding, formal registration, proof of tax exemption, audited financial statements and annual report, etc).For more information, please visit the official web page. 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