Pfizer late Jan. 28 responded to comments from a director at the company about exploring ways to mutate COVID-19 as a method to “preemptively develop new vaccines.”
“In the ongoing development of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, Pfizer has not conducted gain of function or directed evolution research,” Pfizer said in a lengthy written statement after days of ignoring queries from The Epoch Times and other outlets.
Pfizer did say that it has conducted research “where the original SARS-CoV-2 virus has been used to express the spike protein from new variants of concern.”
“This work is undertaken once a new variant of concern has been identified by public health authorities. This research provides a way for us to rapidly assess the ability of an existing vaccine to induce antibodies that neutralize a newly identified variant of concern. We then make this data available through peer reviewed scientific journals and use it as one of the steps to determine whether a vaccine update is required,” the company added.
Pfizer did say it has conducted experiments in a level 3 laboratory.
Pfizer said, in its work developing a treatment for COVID-19, it has “engineered” the COVID-19 virus “to enable the assessment of antiviral activity in cells.”
“In addition, in vitro resistance selection experiments are undertaken in cells incubated with SARS-CoV-2 and nirmatrelvir in our secure Biosafety level 3 (BSL3) laboratory to assess whether the main protease can mutate to yield resistant strains of the virus,” Pfizer said. “It is important to note that these studies are required by U.S. and global regulators for all antiviral products and are carried out by many companies and academic institutions in the U.S. and around the world.”
Pfizer produces a COVID-19 treatment called Paxlovid, or nirmatrelvir that is authorized in the United States and some other countries.
The new far-right government in Israel has been in power for only a month, but on its watch, Israelis and Palestinians have already experienced one of their region’s most violent phases, outside a full-scale war, in years.
Nine Palestinians were shot dead on Thursday morning, in the deadliest Israeli raid in the West Bank for at least a half-decade. Then, a Palestinian gunman killed seven people on Friday night outside a synagogue in Jerusalem, the deadliest attack on civilians in the city since 2008. And on Saturday, an attacker who the police said was 13 years old shot and injured two Israelis near a settlement in East Jerusalem.
These events were not unique to this government’s tenure. But analysts fear that the policies and leaders of the new Israeli administration — the most right-wing in Israeli history — are likely to further inflame the situation.
Bill reveals how Congressman George Santos "pinocchioed" his way into power: by preying on America's obsession with identity politics.
The president's son, now 52, listed his father's Wilmington mansion as his home following his 2017 divorce from Kathleen Buhle.
In 2018 and 2019 he had bills registered at the house, The New York Post reported on Saturday, and he asked his assistant to ship crates of his office equipment to the residence.
'Have what's in storage sent to my parents' guest house,' he told his assistant, Katie Dodge, in a December 2018 text message.
In fulfillment of his solemn, constitutionally-enshrined obligation, the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush, on January 28, 2003, stood before the rostrum in the chambers of the United States Congress and addressed the American people.
“Mr. Speaker,” the President began, “Vice President Cheney, members of Congress, distinguished citizens and fellow citizens, every year, by law and by custom, we meet here to consider the state of the union. This year,” he intoned gravely, “we gather in this chamber deeply aware of decisive days that lie ahead.” The “decisive days” Bush spoke of dealt with the decision he had already made to invade Iraq, in violation of international law, for the purpose of removing the Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, from power.
Regime change had been the cornerstone policy of the United States toward Iraq ever since Bush 43’s father, Bush 41 (George H. W. Bush) compared Saddam Hussein to Adolf Hitler and demanded Nuremberg-like justice for the crime of invading Kuwait. “Hitler revisited,” the elder Bush told a crowd at a Republican fundraiser in Dallas, Texas. “But remember: When Hitler’s war ended, there were the Nuremberg trials.”
American politicians, especially presidents seeking to take their country into war, cannot simply walk away from such statements. As such, even after driving the Iraqi Army out of Kuwait in February 1991, Bush could not rest so long as Saddam Hussein remained in power–the Middle East equivalent of Adolf Hitler had to go.
Notebooks that US President Joe Biden kept during his time as vice president were among the items seized by the FBI during a search of his home last week, as part of a probe into his mishandling of classified documents, a person familiar with the investigation told NBC.
Despite not being marked as classified, the notebooks were taken because they contain writing related to Biden’s official business within the Obama administration, including details of diplomatic contacts, the broadcaster reported on Saturday.
The notebooks were a mix of records on personal and official topics, the source said, adding that pages with no sensitive data could also be considered state property under the Presidential Records Act, as they relate to the activities of the government.
Biden had a “large” number of these notebooks, the person said, but could not provide the exact figure.
“If this is not evil, then evil has no meaning. And tonight, I have a message for the brave and oppressed people of Iraq: Your enemy is not surrounding your country, your enemy is ruling your country. And the day he and his regime are removed from power will be the day of your liberation” – this promise was made exactly 20 years ago, on January 28, 2003, by then US President George W. Bush in his annual message to Congress. This speech concerning Iraqi President Saddam Hussein became a prologue to the beginning of a large-scale and protracted military conflict, whose consequences the region is still dealing with today.
Unfounded accusations that Iraq might be developing weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) became the main pretext for the invasion which started on March 20. Less than a year later, Washington admitted that it had been a false threat, but there was no turning back — Hussein was deposed and then executed. And the US occupied Iraq, plunging the country into chaos it is still struggling to overcome to this day.
‘So, what’s the difference?”
– was how Bush reacted in December of 2003 to a remark that pointed out that WMDs had not been found in Iraq.
According to Pentagon data from 2019, total losses of American servicemen during the entire Iraqi war amounted to 4,487 people. While the exact number of civilian deaths is incalculable, it is definitely measured in the hundreds of thousands.
Since 20 GOP-led states filed a lawsuit Tuesday against President Biden's new immigration plan, migrants are now rushing to fly into the United States.
Hundreds of migrants flew into the Miami International Airport Thursday and Friday from Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Haiti—all coming to the United States legally under the parole program. Under the new immigration plan, the U.S. will allow 30,000 migrants from four countries to enter each month.
Migrant families are now coming to the United States earlier than expected after the lawsuit – fearing the program could end.
"My family particularly thought that if we couldn't push up the flight, she wouldn't have the chance. We made a decision to do it really fast because you know, we really just have one chance to do it and if we didn't do it now we couldn't ever bring her back," Yazmin Reyes said.
“Doesn’t matter what color those police officers are. The murder of Tyre Nichols is anti-Black and the result of white supremacy.”
So tweeted star freshman Democrat Rep. Maxwell Alejandro Frost of Florida Friday night upon the release of Memphis police video of the brutal murder of Black motorist Tyre Nichols at the hands and feet of five Black Memphis police officers earlier this month in a traffic stop turned deadly beatdown.
Frost later deleted the tweet without explanation. The screen capture posted below shows the tweet had over 1 million views before it was taken down by Frost.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced plans to make it easier for Israelis to get firearms amid escalating violence in the occupied Palestinian territory, a move seen as “collective punishment” and one that could further increase the violence.
Netanyahu announced the measure late on Saturday after convening a meeting of his security cabinet — filled with hardline politicians — over a pair of shootings that included an attack in occupied East Jerusalem.
The suspect in a machete attack on two churches in southern Spain in which one clergyman was killed and another seriously injured is a 25-year-old Moroccan man who was due to be deported from the country, police said on Thursday.
The suspect was arrested on Wednesday evening after a man wielding a machete attacked several people at the churches of San Isidro and Nuestra Senora de La Palma, around 300 metres (1,000 feet) apart, in the southern port city of Algeciras.
[...] The man was not in Spain legally and his deportation process began in June last year and was ongoing, the source added.
The representatives of the European Service of External Actions of the European Union visited the Ministry of Defense of Georgia. They were hosted by the first deputy minister, Lela Chikovani, together with the representatives of the Ministry of Defense and the Defense Forces. The meeting was held within the strategic dialogue.
The parties discussed current issues of cooperation between Georgia and the European Union within the framework of the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) and outlined plans for further deepening, expansion and strengthening of cooperation. The conversation touched upon the security environment in the region and the world, the financial assistance package allocated to Georgia within the framework of the European Peace Instrument (EPF), and Georgia’s contribution to the ongoing military training mission under the auspices of the European Union .
The Georgian side informed the representatives of the European Union about the ongoing transformation process in the Georgian Defense Forces and the implemented reforms. Attention was focused on the issues of strengthening the capabilities of the Georgian Defense Forces….
The US announcing that it will deliver its Abrams tanks to Ukraine was the result of a compromise between Washington and Berlin and basically a cover for Germany sending its Leopard 2 tanks to Kiev immediately while the supplies of the US-made vehicles are scheduled to begin later, according to an article in The Washington Post on Saturday.
According to the newspaper which cites conversations with more than a dozen current and former officials as well as those familiar with discussions, Washington and Berlin have not been able to reach a compromise on sending tanks to Kiev for a long time. Washington wanted Kiev to receive the German tanks because the Pentagon thought that it would be easier for Ukrainian troops to learn to handle them and there is a sufficient number of spare parts for them. However, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was concerned over Moscow’s potential reaction should Berlin act unilaterally and did not want to be perceived as a party to the conflict so he was insisting on the US supplying its Abrams tanks.
According to The Washington Post, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin "was against supplying Abrams tanks he thought were too complicated for near-term use in Ukraine." Another defense official told the newspaper that "the US vehicles were clad with specialized, depleted uranium armor, a classified design that no one wanted Russia to get its hands on."
Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev has lambasted Western attempts to justify arms deliveries to Kiev as an alleged effort to prevent a world war.
"Firstly, defending Ukraine, which nobody needs in Europe, will not save the senile Old World from retribution if anything occurs. Secondly, once the Third World War breaks out, unfortunately it will not be on tanks or even on fighter jets. Then everything will definitely be turned to dust," Medvedev wrote on his Telegram channel on Saturday.
In this post, Medvedev commented, in particular, on Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto’s remarks that the Third World War would erupt if Russian tanks reached Kiev and "the borders of Europe", and that the weapons sent to Ukraine were meant to stop the escalation. Medvedev equated his remarks to the calls from the United Kingdom to provide Kiev with all the weapons NATO has.
Webmaster addition: That's odd. Americans would like to have guns to prevent crime but the US Government doesn't like that idea at all!
Ukraine intends to receive 24 fighter jets from international allies as part of the first batch, Yuriy Ihnat, spokesman for the Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, told the Spanish newspaper El País.
“The Air Force’s priority is to get American F-16s, although Kyiv is considering the option of French Rafales and Swedish Gripens,” the newspaper writes.
It is noted that the first package will include two battalions of 12 combat aircraft each. “This is a new package of military assistance that the Ukrainian army intends to receive from its international allies. The 24 fighter jets – ideally US F-16s – would represent only an urgent first phase in a new chapter in the supply of weapons to the country invaded by Russia: combat aircraft,” the report notes.
Chair of the NATO Military Committee Rob Bauer said that the US-led bloc is ready for a direct confrontation with Russia in an interview with Portugal’s RTP TV channel.
Replying to a question on the matter, he asserted: "We are ready." That said, he added that NATO is going to respond only if Russia crosses the red line by invading one of NATO member states.
The military official stressed that NATO should be better prepared because currently Russia has the military initiative. "The fact that your enemy has better weapons is not the problem of the enemy. That is your problem," he said.
On January 25, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told journalists in Angola that BRICS, an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, may soon explore the possibility of creating its own currency. What message does this plan send regarding the greenback's dominance?
While delivering a statement after his meeting with Angolan President Joao Lourenco, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov emphasized that the West had shattered vital principles of the inviolability of property, the presumption of innocence, fair competition, and globalization.
Under these circumstances, BRICS, an informal group of developing nations, and the CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) have started to discuss the establishment of their own new currencies within the frameworks of these blocs, according to the Russian foreign minister.
Earlier this week, President of Brazil Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva touched upon the issue of the creation of a common currency for BRICS and the countries of Mercosur, a South American trade bloc, during his meeting with his Argentine counterpart Alberto Fernandez.
At least 14 people have been killed and 24 injured after Ukrainian missiles struck a hospital in the city of Novoaydar in the early hours of Saturday, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
The medical facility in the city, which is located dozens of kilometers away from the frontlines in the central part of the Lugansk People’s Republic, treated both local residents and soldiers, the ministry noted. It added that both patients and medical personnel were among the victims.
“A deliberate missile strike on a known civilian healthcare facility is an absolutely grave war crime of the Kiev regime,” the MOD stated in a Telegram post, vowing to bring all those involved in planning and executing the attack to justice.
Amidst indignant reactions to ex-Chancellor Angela Merkel’s revelations about the Minsk accords, worry about Americans “advising” Ukrainians en situ, and the back-and-forth of battle lines, it’s easy to forget what the Ukraine War is all about: the struggle of the United States to maintain its status as the world’s only superpower. More exactly, America’s attempt to suppress China as a rival superpower is the center of this tragedy.
China, allied with its back-door gas station Russia, is a nearly unbeatable foe. China’s seaports can easily be cut off if container ships are threatened against docking there. Its back door is another matter. So those hard-eyed folks in Washington, obsessed with the Wolfowitz Doctrine, need to eliminate or take over Russia. That is the sine qua non of the American strategy. Without this step, the strategy falls apart.
And the step needs to be taken quickly; already the confrontation with China is picking up momentum.
Hence the Ukraine War. As President Biden ad-libbed himself, “[Putin] cannot remain in power.” He later walked back the comment, but the slip obviously reflects thinking in the Oval Office. The nice way to remove him is to cause a Russian defeat in Ukraine and the resignation — or worse — of its president, replaced (neocons hope) by a pliable drunk like Boris Yeltsin. I would imagine that foreign-policy blobbers long ago convinced themselves that they would really, actually, in their heart-of-hearts prefer to do things this way. Because the other way is not nice.
Not nice at all: the other option is a nuclear attack. Invasion of Russia won’t do the trick. Russians would see it coming a mile off. And they wouldn’t stand for a conventional war on their territory because they know they would lose. Nor would they stand for another Yeltsin, nor a foreign ruler that broke the country into ten pieces. Long before the Yankees got to within a HIMARS-throw of Moscow, Russia would resort to nuclear weapons.
Dozens of people were injured in a massive pile-up on a snow-covered Wisconsin highway Friday.
At least 85 cars were involved in a major crash on I-39/90 between the cities of Beloit and Janesville, located just north of the Illinois border and about 50 miles southwest of Madison, Wisconsin State Patrol said.
Beloit Memorial Hospital told WIFR-TV that at least 27 people were treated for injuries sustained in the crash, though the extent of their injuries was not immediately clear.
The initial crash occurred around noon, police said. Law enforcement arrived to find the interstate blocked in both directions.
French-Canadian leftist extremist Pascale Ferrier has been sentenced to nearly 22 years in prison, being found guilty on biological weapons charges for sending letters laced with ricin to former President Donald J. Trump.
Ms Ferrier, 55, pled guilty to the charges against her, admitting to sending the ricin-laced letters to then-President Trump in September of 2020, mailing the letters from Canada.
After pleading guilty to the charges of biological weaponry, Ferrier told a U.S. judge in Washington D.C. she needed “to move on now” and was sentenced to 21 years and 10 months in prison, the CBC reports.
“I analyzed and weighed all possible options. These plea agreements are not the best but the least deleterious design by the criminal ‘injustice’ system,” Ferrier told the court.
A Florida police chief issued a warning to criminals in the state after saving a burglar who was shot by a homeowner.
"One should expect that if you are brazen enough to enter into someone’s residence and it is not yours, with intent to commit an unlawful act, there may be repercussions," Haines City Police Chief Gregory Goreck said in a Friday press conference.
"We live in Florida, and more so, we live in Polk County, and most people are armed," he said.
Goreck was responding to an incident on Friday where a Florida man with a concealed weapon permit arrived home and found two intruders burglarizing his residence.
Haines City Police Chief Gregory Goreck speaks at press conference (Haines City Police Department)
The homeowner fired his gun and struck one of the suspects before they both fled the scene.
Officers from the Haines City Police Department were able to catch up with the injured suspect at a nearby park using a canine police officer.
A March 2022 study claimed to have found a significantly higher rate of new-onset dementia in patients with pneumonia associated with covid than the rate seen with other cases of pneumonia.
Professor Norman Fenton reviewed the study and exposed the elephant in the room: the study ignored the covid vaccination status of the patients.
There is another elephant in the room: the lead author of the study is a consultant for AstraZeneca. So, Prof. Fenton has written to this author to ask some pertinent questions.
Russian warplanes armed with Kinzhal hypersonic missiles took part in joint exercises in Belarus, Interfax reported on Sunday morning.
Ukrainian intelligence had warned in October that Three MiG-31k jets armed with Kh-47M2 Kinzhal cruise missiles had been stationed in Belarus.
Russian naval forces also tested its hypersonic weapons systems on Wednesday. The Admiral Gorshkov frigate conducted a simulated strike on a target with a Zircon hypersonic missile, as the Russian warship transited the Atlantic Ocean.