Patterico's Pontifications

12/21/2021

Then: Silly, Mailing Free Rapid Tests To Americans Would Be ‘Costly and Wasteful’. Now: Free Tests Mailed To Americans Requesting One

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:11 am



[guest post by Dana]

[Ed. Because it’s Christmas week and visions of sugar-plums dancing in our heads are so deliciously distracting, posting may be light.]

What a difference two weeks makes…

The good news:

President Joe Biden will announce a plan on Tuesday to distribute 500 million free at-home rapid tests to Americans beginning in January as part of an attempt to double down on the spread of a transmissible variant that has hit the U.S. distressingly close to the holidays.

Biden’s new efforts come as the omicron variant became the most dominant COVID strain in the country Monday, accounting for nearly three-quarters of all cases, and just as travel kicks off at nearly pre-pandemic levels for the holiday season.

The free at-home rapid tests will be delivered by mail to Americans who request them, a senior administration official told reporters…marking a slightly different approach from European countries that chose to send tests to all residents.

Americans will need to request the tests via an official website which will be available in January. While this is good news, many are wondering why this hasn’t already been a priority for the administration. They certainly had been warned about what was to come:

Dr. Sam Scarpino, managing director of pathogen surveillance at the Rockefeller Foundation and a member of their Pandemic Prevention Institute, said the government could have seen this coming.

“Scientists have been warning about the potential for new variants to come along for a year now or more. And we’ve known about omicron since the day before Thanksgiving. It’s been weeks at this point,” he said.

And as recently as two weeks ago, Press Secretary Jen Psaki scoffed at the suggestion of every American having a rapid test mailed to their home because it would be “costly and wasteful”:

Q And I have one quick question on testing. Last week, obviously, the President explained some ramp-up in testing, but there are still a lot of countries, like Germany and the UK and South Korea, that basically have massive testing, free of charge or for a nominal fee. Why can’t that be done in the United States?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I would say, first, you know, we have eight tests that have been approved by the FDA here. We see that as the gold standard. Whether or not all of those tests would meet that standard is a question for the scientists and medical experts, but I don’t suspect they would.

Our objective is to continue to increase accessibility and decrease costs. And if you look at what we’ve done over the course of time, we’ve quadrupled the size of our testing plan, we’ve cut the cost significantly over the past few months, and this effort to push — to ensure — ensures you’re able to get your tests refunded means 150 million Americans will be able to get free tests.

Q That’s kind of complicated though. Why not just make them free and give them out to — and have them available everywhere?

MS. PSAKI: Should we just send one to every American?

Q Maybe. I’m just asking you — there are other countries —

MS. PSAKI: Then what — then what happens if you — if every American has one test? How much does that cost, and then what happens after that?

Q I don’t know. All I know is that other countries seem to be making them available for — in greater quantities, for less money.

MS. PSAKI: Well, I think we share the same objective, which is to make them less expensive and more accessible. Right?

Ultimately, though, this:

–Dana

108 Responses to “Then: Silly, Mailing Free Rapid Tests To Americans Would Be ‘Costly and Wasteful’. Now: Free Tests Mailed To Americans Requesting One”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (5395f9)

  2. What a bungling mess. Either a massive failure to plan or to communicate.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  3. I think both, Time123.

    Dana (5395f9)

  4. Is rent-seeking Friends of Politburo not ready until now to start ship out test kit that is what I think happen, comrades.

    nk (1d9030)

  5. It would probably be cheaper to just mail a couple to every household. If they can do it with ballots…

    This whole requesting process seems like a huge bottleneck.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  6. I came down with a cold this month and did a drive through covid test in the parking lot of a local hospital. I made the appointment with a phone call. I got an appointment and the results the same day. The appointment took only a few minutes. How does the cost of what I did compare to the cost of tests by mail?

    Mattsky (55d339)

  7. We spent BILLIONS AND BILLIONS on vaccines that we would never consider charging for.

    So the government pays for the vaccines, the government pays for the testing kits — pretty soon we’ve gone down that slippery slope where government might as well “pay” for health insurance, hospitalization, treatments, etc. I fully expect this line of reasoning to be part of the Democrat platform quite soon.

    JVW (30a532)

  8. I think that we SHOULD start charging for vaccines. And increase the cost each month.

    “VACCINE SOLD HERE! STILL ONLY $15”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  9. Is rent-seeking Friends of Politburo not ready until now to start ship out test kit that is what I think happen, comrades.

    Behind the scenes there’s probably some donnybrook as to how the Biden Administration is going to split the contract among testing-kit companies in Dianne Feinstein & Alex Padilla’s California, Ed Markey & Elizabeth Warren’s Massachusetts, Mark Kirk & Tammy Duckworth’s Illinois, Chris Coons & Thomas Carper’s (and Joe Biden’s!) Delaware, Jon Ossoff & Raphael Warnock’s Georgia, and Chuck Schumer & Kristen Gillibrand’s New York.

    JVW (30a532)

  10. I made the appointment with a phone call. I got an appointment and the results the same day.

    Did you have to pay for the same-day results? I have heard that it usually comes with a charge of up to $150 to get them that quickly. A friend of mine tested yesterday morning and decided not to pay for rapid results, and I don’t think he has heard back yet how the test came out.

    JVW (30a532)

  11. I’m not big on restricting corporate donations to political campaigns, but I think I can support a temporary law that companies who have received more than, oh, let’s say $1 million in COVID-related government contracts over the past two years are prohibited from making donations to candidates or PACs. Especially since so many of those contracts were no-bid.

    JVW (30a532)

  12. New York City is offering $100 payments to residents who get booster shots.

    Will that pass the cost/benefit test? I haven’t seen any data, and don’t have time today to search for it. (I think I recall seeing that the average cost of a COVID hospital stay is 27K, and probably higher in New York.)

    I’ll let others quarrel over the moral questions about such a program.

    (They used a similar program for first shots in July.)

    Jim Miller (edcec1)

  13. David Frum Proposes Hospitals ‘Quietly’ Start Serving the Unvaccinated Last

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  14. Jon Ossoff got a kid to feed now, as well as proof he’s not CNN central casting. Maybe the former Miss Dr. Kramer needed her bread buttered first.

    It would be our dumb luck he gets to a 2nd term.

    urbanleftbehind (c7387e)

  15. Did you have to pay for the same-day results?

    Medicare paid for mine. I scheduled the same thing at CVS a month ago via a website, drove down to the site and they handed me the swab and it handed it back and went home. They called me a few hours later (negative). The PCR test takes a day or two, and I wanted an answer sooner.

    Can’t guess about your insurance though.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  16. David Frum Proposes Hospitals ‘Quietly’ Start Serving the Unvaccinated Last

    That will be quiet for only a moment.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  17. NM held a lottery for vaccinated people only.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  18. 1. I think there’s a justification for using public funds to reduce the spread of highly communicable and deadly diseases. I there will be disagreements about where that line is at, but I’m OK with it for an airborne disease that’s as deadly as covid. Not sure what we spend fighting cancer or heart disease but I’m sure it’s not zero.

    2. 100% opposed to using vaccination status as a metric to ration emergency medical care. I can see making it a factor in limited circumstances such as organ transplant lists but such exceptions should be specific and rare. I get the frustration people have with the anti-vax but this is bad policy.

    3. Boost shots are good, listen to former president Trump and get one. If 100$ moves the needs on that probably not value added.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  19. @17, Positive incentives are good, stuff like that might help with people who are just lazy.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  20. @18: Yes, of course. There is a fiscal cost to pandemics and it is the common interest to reduce that. Government is about the common space and that what this is.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  21. OT- 53 years ago this morning- December 21, 1968- when a genuinely rotten year was coming to a close- America demonstrated it truly was great, not with words but with deeds- like hurling a 36-story building into the sky- without the need for crowing greatness stitched on red hats or barked by an old, dementia-riddled irish-catholic who wants you off his lawn, too.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEH12INI2Wk

    The world needs an Apollo 8 these days- particularly after the hell of 2021; to refocus perspective, rekindle confidence and fire determination. Enter the James Webb Telescope – scheduled for launch December 24.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  22. KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor: Early Omicron Update
    The latest analysis from the KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor, fielded after the omicron COVID-19 variant was first detected in the U.S., indicates that vaccinated and unvaccinated adults are having dissimilar reactions to news of the omicron variant. The quick response survey, which was conducted in a shorter field period and with a smaller sample than the monthly COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor, provides an early look at how the omicron variant may be changing public reaction and vaccine intentions.

    Half of adults, including 52% of vaccinated adults, say they are worried they personally will get seriously sick from the coronavirus, up from 30% in November prior to the news of the omicron variant. Unvaccinated adults remain less concerned with about four in ten (42%) saying they are worried about getting seriously sick from the coronavirus.

    The threat of the new variant may be encouraging some vaccinated adults to get a booster dose. Half of vaccinated adults who have not yet received a booster dose (27% of all vaccinated adults) say the news about the new omicron variant makes them more likely to get a booster dose. There is some confusion around the CDC recommendation that all vaccinated adults receive a booster dose with 23% of adults (including 21% of vaccinated adults) saying they are unsure about the CDC’s recommendation or incorrectly say the CDC has not recommended this.

    On the other hand, unvaccinated adults remain relatively unmoved by the recent news of the omicron variant with a large majority of unvaccinated adults (87%) saying the news about the omicron variant does not make them more likely to get vaccinated. Twelve percent of unvaccinated adults say news of the omicron variant makes them more likely to get a vaccine.

    When unvaccinated adults are asked what would convince them to get a COVID-19 vaccine, half say nothing could convince them. Much smaller shares offer that more research and transparency (12%) could convince them to get vaccinated. Even fewer say they would get vaccinated if they were required for work or if the vaccine became mandatory (6%), if they received large monetary incentive for getting the vaccine (5%), if their doctor recommended it (3%), or if the vaccine prevented 100% of all infections (3%).
    ……..
    …….. [A] larger share of vaccinated adults (52%) than unvaccinated adults (42%) say they are worried about getting sick, as do larger shares of Democrats (57%) compared to independents (46%) and Republicans (39%).
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  23. Did you have to pay for the same-day results? I have heard that it usually comes with a charge of up to $150 to get them that quickly.

    They took my insurance information over the phone. I didn’t pay anything out of pocket. I made no request for the fast results. My understanding is if you’re getting tested because you are traveling and not because you have symptoms you need to pay $150.00. This has caused people to lie about symptoms.

    Mattsky (55d339)

  24. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 12/21/2021 @ 10:33 am

    That survey has a secondary benefit of giving you a measure of the general statistical knowledge of the sampled population and the effectiveness of current media influence on critical thinking skills.

    frosty (f27e97)

  25. 12. Jim Miller (edcec1) — 12/21/2021 @ 9:48 am

    New York City is offering $100 payments to residents who get booster shots

    You have to get the shot at the right location. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/covid-19-vaccine-booster-new-york-city-100-dollars

    Individuals who get their second or third COVID-19 booster jabs at a city-run site or at one of its Somos care partner clinics before Dec. 31 are eligible. “

    This is also for aa any first shot taken after May 21.

    You have to stumble across a vaccine site, or hunt them out to get the money. This is not for shots taken at CVS or Rite Aid.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  26. Enter the James Webb Telescope – scheduled for launch December 24.

    On a European rocket.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  27. 5. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 12/21/2021 @ 9:32 am

    This whole requesting process seems like a huge bottleneck.

    It’s probably intended to be. They want to think they’ll only sent if used.


    We spent BILLIONS AND BILLIONS on vaccines that we would never consider charging for
    I think just billions not billions and billions.

    Each dose is something like $20. If 500 million that’s just $10 billion.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  28. That survey has a secondary benefit of giving you a measure of the general statistical knowledge of the sampled population and the effectiveness of current media influence on critical thinking skills.

    From the link at #22:

    In their own words: What, if anything, would convince you to get vaccinated for COVID-19?

    “Nothing I feel like they are trying to kill us with the vaccine.” – 23 year-old female, Black, D.C., unvaccinated.

    “If doctors could let me know if it will affect me okay since I have always had bad reactions to other virus shots.” – 61 year-old male, White, Texas, unvaccinated.

    “Nothing, I believe in natural immunity. I am young and healthy and do not need a vaccine for something if I do get, my body can handle it.” – 32 year-old female, Hispanic, Connecticut, unvaccinated.

    “Two million dollars.” – 24 year-old male, Black, South Carolina, unvaccinated.

    “Jesus himself would have to come down from Heaven and speak with me personally.” – 32 year-old female, White, North Carolina, unvaccinated.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  29. that’s just $10 billion.

    Dirksen wept.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  30. do not need a vaccine for something if I do get, my body can handle it.

    And the herd can go F itself.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  31. Dear unvaccinated people:

    Do you understand that people don’t want you near them? That’s why there are these rules about crowded places. They aren’t trying to make you get a vaccine, but they ARE trying to make you keep your distance.

    I wonder what would happen if restaurants had vaccinated and unvaccinated sections.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  32. @26. =sigh= Orbital mechanics: Webb will be launched from Arianespace’s ELA-3 launch complex at European Spaceport located near Kourou, French Guiana. It is beneficial for launch sites to be located near the equator – the spin of the Earth can help give an additional push.

    https://jwst.nasa.gov/content/about/launch.html

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  33. “I call on the purveyors of these lies to stop it. Stop it now.”- President Plagiarist, 12-21-21

    Okay. Joe: shut-up. Make like Major: “rehome”… to Wilmington… or is it Scranton this week.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  34. Hey Joe- how many ‘unvaccinated’ who passed already had pre-existing poor health conditions? He’s such slimeball swamp-created scumball. He’s the very reason the country turns to a Trump or Trump-type.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  35. https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/12/21/world/omicron-covid-vaccine-tests

    New York’s next mayor, Eric Adams, on Tuesday postponed his Jan. 1 inauguration ceremony, as the Omicron variant swept through the city.

    “We don’t want to put people in a dangerous environment,” Mr. Adams said. The event had been scheduled to take place indoors at the Kings Theatre in Brooklyn.

    “I don’t need an inauguration,” Mr. Adams added. “All I need is a mattress and a floor to execute being the mayor of the City of New York.”

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  36. This old senator is so out of it. Flashes of anger; incoherent prattle.

    Memo to Putin and Xi:

    It’s a greenlight. Move. Now!

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  37. https://www.c-span.org/video/?516869-1/president-biden-announces-steps-tackle-omicron-surge

    Cannot be played in some browsers.

    Includes ALL CAPS approximate transcript taken from the closed captioning.

    YouTube version – starts several minutes in:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHtBYfFc-oA

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  38. #28 Jay Leno Quiz America.

    urbanleftbehind (c7387e)

  39. …vaccines prevent illness and save lives.

    High risk of getting sick if not vaccinated & likely to spread it to friends and family & have a signoficantly higher risk of winding up in a hospital or even dying – almost everyone who has died was unvaccinated

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  40. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 12/21/2021 @ 11:33 am

    The herd is already as F’ed as it’s going to get. We’re just talking small changes out several places past the decimal point.

    How do you explain the current and continuing spread of covid using just the unvaxxed population? Even ignoring natural immunity and lumping that in with the unvaxxed it’s hard to get enough people to make the numbers work out. The current variants would need to be much more contagious to propagate just within the unvaxxed.

    Are you really thinking natural immunity provides zero protection against variants and all of the delta numbers were in the unvaxxed with only a few breakthrough infections?

    frosty (f27e97)

  41. @26. Postscript. Once calibrated, [assuming it is properly depolyed- and given the complex design that may be iffy] if Webb spys God– and the Lord blinks back– would the government tell us?

    Nope.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  42. Unvaccinated Houston man’s death may be first attributed to omicron in U.S.
    …….
    The man, who tested positive for the omicron variant before his death, according to Harris County Public Health (HCPC), had previously been infected with the coronavirus and had underlying health conditions that made him particularly vulnerable.

    State and county officials renewed calls for people to get fully vaccinated and boosted as the best protection against severe disease, hospitalization and death, including illness caused by omicron.
    ……..
    According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, 73.3 percent of eligible county residents have had at least one coronavirus vaccine dose, leaving more than a quarter without any protection.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  43. @26. =sigh= Orbital mechanics: Webb will be launched from Arianespace’s ELA-3 launch complex at European Spaceport located near Kourou, French Guiana.

    I said nothing about the location, only the fact that NASA is using an Ariane 5 booster, not an American one.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  44. Wikipedia can often be used to correct common misconceptions:

    Kourou is located approximately 500 km (310 mi) north of the equator, at a latitude of 5°. It is a common misconception[citation needed] that the main advantage of launching a rocket from the equator is the extra boost provided by the speed of the Earth’s rotation. For example, the eastward boost provided by the Earth’s rotation is about 463 m/s (1,520 ft/s) at the Guiana Space Centre, as compared to about 406 m/s (1,330 ft/s) at the United States east coast Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and Kennedy Space Center spaceports which are at 28°27′N latitude in Florida. This means that rockets need around 60 m/s more delta-v to reach low earth orbit (LEO) from Cape Canaveral, which is an insignificant disadvantage.[9][10]

    In reality, the main benefit of Kourou is that the near-equatorial launch location provides an advantage for launches to low-inclination (or geostationary) Earth orbits compared to launches from spaceports at higher latitude.

    You’re welcome.

    Jim Miller (edcec1)

  45. @43. OFGS- step away from the bong, Rip: Webb’s a joint venture: NASA, CSA and ESA are wisely using an Ariane to get the extra free orbital boost given the equatorial location of the launch site- unless you expect taxpayers to build Titan servicing and launch facilities to fire off U.S. rockets in French Guiana. And as Webb itself was jointly developed by NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency it’s a natural, logical fit. Launch location is everything w/respect to the physics of orbital mechanics– and Webb has to reach a very, very far out orbit. Guess what: space agencies have contracted the tried and true big, bad, Red-bear-built Russian Soyuz spacecraft for services, too– it’s the most reliable spacecraft of the times [and as the old VW ad says- ‘It’s ugly; but it gets you there.’] — lofted from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan– not KSC, nor Vandenberg or French Guiana. China even bought/stole/pirated the base design for their Shenzhou spacecraft.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  46. @44. * It is near the equator, so that less energy is required to manoeuvre a spacecraft into an equatorial, geostationary orbit.

    And given Webb’s a joint venture w/a finite RCS fuel supply to be parked in an orbit unreachable for any servicing, it’s a wise and prudent decision to make the best use of every mph/km to preserve the fuel aboard.

    Yes. You’re welcome.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  47. Can I get a chicken to put in my pot, instead?

    mg (8cbc69)

  48. @47. Chickens are injected w/a lot of gunk– are they’re vaccinated, too?!?

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  49. Biden insists nobody ‘anticipated’ Omicron surge while defending admin’s sluggish response

    https://nypost.com/2021/12/21/biden-says-dont-think-anybody-anticipated-omicron-surge/

    Nobody?

    Emergence of Omicron was inevitable, says President Ramaphosa as cases increase five-fold in South Africa

    SA’s fourth COVID-19 wave was anticipated and the emergence of the new Omicron variant was inevitable, President Cyril Ramaphosa has said, terming the surge in infections a matter of “great concern.” 12-7-21

    https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/health/emergence-of-omicron-was-inevitable-says-president-ramaphosa-as-cases-increase-five-fold-in-south-africa

    ____

    Daily Scores of Getting It Right:

    Broken clock- 2
    Joe Biden – 0

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  50. If I had 3.5 billion chickens and was losing 11,000 a day at peak virus, no, I wouldn’t bother to vaccinate.

    steveg (e81d76)

  51. I think it is the UK where you can stand in line at a pharmacy and get 7 test kits for free.

    Its a good idea, but it is also a waste because the unvaccinated are not going to suddenly start testing themselves. It’s going to “breakthrough” or vaccine ineffectiveness that gets tested for. Which means “Everyone needs a 4th and 5th Booster, more masking, more shutdowns, for the children for godsakes, even Jesus should come back get vaccinated to model how a good human should act”

    Land of the free but home of the wankers

    People are mocking Sarah Palin over her vaccination stance, but she acquired immunity by going through COVID back in March

    steveg (e81d76)

  52. 25. This is also for aa any first shot taken after May 21.

    Correction: May 25

    https://vax4nyc.nyc.gov/patient/s/incentives*

    This might expire with De Blasio’s term after December 31.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  53. 51. steveg (e81d76) — 12/21/2021 @ 2:44 pm

    People are mocking Sarah Palin over her vaccination stance, but she acquired immunity by going through COVID back in March.

    The person who died in Texas of Omicron reportedly had recovered from Covid. The only other fact mentioned is that he was in his 50s.

    Now this normally gives you immunity in between the level of 1 and 2 shots.

    Something is peculiar about this story. There in fact is more to it:

    https://www.webmd.com/vaccines/covid-19-vaccine/news/20211221/unvaccinated-texas-man-omicron-death

    The unvaccinated man in his 50s had been infected with COVID-19 previously and tested positive for the Omicron variant before his death. He had health conditions that put him at higher risk of severe complications from COVID-19, Harris County Public Health officials said.

    Then they use it to sell a lie:

    “This is a reminder of the severity of COVID-19 and its variants. We urge all residents who qualify to get vaccinated and get their booster shot if they have not already,” Barbie Robinson, executive director of Harris County Public Health, said in a statement.

    If that’s the only case you’ve got, it shows the opposite.

    First death? Or first both identified and publicized death? The CDC says that 73% f all cases in the week ending Saturday December 18 were Omicron. if it was douling every 2 or 3 days it was higher at the end of the week than at the beginning.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  54. 48. Re; vaccinated chickens

    https://radio.wpsu.org/2021-09-16/penn-state-researcher-says-vaccine-driven-virus-evolution-in-chickens-shouldnt-discourage-covid-19-vaccination

    Min Xian: The 2015 research that you led showed that vaccinating chickens against Merricks disease allowed the spread of more deadly variants of that virus, which would not have happened without vaccines.

    Andrew Read: That’s right. In the chicken virus, there are variants, which are extremely lethal to unvaccinated chickens. And in fact, they can kill the chickens before the chickens have begun to transmit the virus. In other words, the 10 days or so it takes for the virus to become infectious, the chickens are dying in that time. And so the vaccinations of the chickens keeps those chickens alive, stops them dying. And so therefore, those variants can transmit onto other birds.

    We were doing that work because we’re very interested in the sort of scenario where that could happen. And it was well understood that vaccines had failed in that virus before we started working on it. But the actual reasons for it, and how it’d come to be that the evolution took the path that did, that was not so clear….I’d say, too, the other thing about the paper is that we were dealing with the first generation vaccine that was used in those chickens. So it was introduced around 1970. And it worked for about 10 years, and since been replaced by other vaccines. Those other vaccines, particularly the third generation vaccine, stopped all of the virus evolution, there’s not been vaccine breaks since the third generation vaccine came along.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  55. US Army Creates Single Vaccine Effective Against All COVID, SARS Variants

    Within weeks, scientists at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research expect to announce that they have developed a vaccine that protects people from COVID-19 and all its variants, even Omicron, as well as from previous SARS-origin viruses that have killed millions of people worldwide.

    The achievement is the result of almost two years of work on the virus. The Army lab received its first DNA sequencing of the COVID-19 virus in early 2020. Very early on, Walter Reed’s infectious diseases branch decided to focus on making a vaccine that would work against not just the existing strain but all of its potential variants as well.

    Walter Reed’s Spike Ferritin Nanoparticle COVID-19 vaccine, or SpFN, completed animal trials earlier this year with positive results. Phase 1 of human trials, which tested the vaccine against Omicron and the other variants, wrapped up this month, again with positive results that are undergoing final review, Dr. Kayvon Modjarrad, director of Walter Reed’s infectious diseases branch, said in an exclusive interview with Defense One.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  56. Wow. That’s big news, Rip.

    norcal (3d2db9)

  57. Really appreciated Biden coughing through his speech.

    There’s literally nothing he can say now that would move the needle on this at all. He pretty much destroyed whatever incentive the non-jabbed might have had left to get the shots with his Angry Old Man act a few weeks ago. That was so stupid, my yellow dog-Democrat-voting wife is talking about pulling the lever for a Republican for the first time, ever.

    Factory Working Orphan (2775f0)

  58. @59, and there were so many people planning to get vaccinated before he gave a speech they hurt their feelings.

    Time123 (97645e)

  59. @59, and there were so many people planning to get vaccinated before he gave a speech they hurt their feelings.

    Time123 (97645e) — 12/21/2021 @ 5:54 pm

    Hey, if Biden and his Peter Principle staff are dumb enough to think acting like Grandpa Simpson is going to be a motivator, I can hardly blame people for giving them and the rest of the guilt trippers the finger out of sheer spite.

    Factory Working Orphan (2775f0)

  60. I’m seeing some commentary online that while their initial rejection of this idea was stupid and insultingly delivered they did have the sense to modify their plan, if not the skill to present it with any class

    Time123 (97645e)

  61. @61, no one was on the fence and made up their mind based on the speech. I’m sure plenty of ppl who had no intention to of getting the jab didn’t like the speech and are now pointing to it as the reason. Next week they’ll have something else to blame.

    Time123 (97645e)

  62. @61, no one was on the fence and made up their mind based on the speech. I’m sure plenty of ppl who had no intention to of getting the jab didn’t like the speech and are now pointing to it as the reason. Next week they’ll have something else to blame.

    Time123 (97645e) — 12/21/2021 @ 6:02 pm

    Like I said, I should be thanking the guy. Getting a lifelong Democrat to switch their vote to Republican is a pretty impressive achievement.

    Factory Working Orphan (2775f0)

  63. @60 It’s not Joe’s fault, there’s really nothing he can do. What should we really expect from a POTUS anyway? At the end of the day isn’t it really our fault for failing him?

    Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f things up – BO

    frosty (f27e97)

  64. Am I crazy for finding Psaki attractive? I know she excels in spin and all, but dang–that is one hot redhead! Yes, even hotter than Little Aloha Sweetie. 😛

    norcal (3d2db9)

  65. Am I crazy for finding Psaki attractive?

    Nope. Jen Psaki is a dish, and that’s a fact.

    nk (1d9030)

  66. @63. He’s a bum.

    Has been for 45 years. And precisely the kind of slimeball swamp creature that gets more and more voters turning to the likes of a Trump.

    ____

    What should we really expect from a POTUS anyway?

    Competence.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  67. last year, i told this blog Jen Psaki was wonky Christina Hendricks. 🍺🤓

    urbanleftbehind (1189a4)

  68. Nope. Jen Psaki is a dish, and that’s a fact.

    nk (1d9030) — 12/21/2021 @ 6:27 pm

    And she does it with little to no makeup, at least as far as I can tell.

    norcal (3d2db9)

  69. @69 Major props, ULB!

    norcal (3d2db9)

  70. “All beautiful women are vain. As well as the rest of them.” — Jack Vance

    nk (1d9030)

  71. @72 The thing that cracks me up are the things women do to impress other women.

    Clothing, handbags, shoes, makeup, fake eyelashes, hair dying, boob jobs. None of those things attract me to a woman.

    norcal (3d2db9)

  72. Obviously, make up your own mind but if omicron has encouraged you to get vaxxed or a booster ask them to aspirate the shot.

    frosty (f27e97)

  73. Americans will need to request the tests via an official website which will be available in January

    Because we’re all taking the next two weeks off here in DC. Such is our urgency.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  74. 74, secret handshake and then the properly colored placebo. Reminiscent of Die Hard 2 when John Amos’ counterrorism unit and William Sadler’s rogue command swapped from live to blanks ahead of a staged firefight.

    urbanleftbehind (ac83f7)

  75. @76 make all the fun you want but Campbell has been pretty adamant about this and he’s not a nutjob.

    Or try the alternative, ask them to put it in a vein and see what they say. Then based on that answer wonder why it’s ok to not check on a random jab.

    frosty (f27e97)

  76. Because we’re all taking the next two weeks off here in DC. Such is our urgency.

    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 12/21/2021 @ 11:27 pm

    Based on the omicron transmission rate we’ve seen so far two weeks might be on the other side of the curve.

    frosty (f27e97)

  77. urbanleftbehind (ac83f7) — 12/22/2021 @ 6:14 am

    If you’re interested in more information on the secret handshake Campbell gives some detail here. If the link doesn’t skip you’ll want to go to 18m to avoid other statements that you might find triggering.

    The longer talk he refers to is here.

    frosty (f27e97)

  78. Actually the Administration was right the first time on providing free rapid tests-it is wasteful. A half a billion test kits is less than 2 per each person, and to be effective people will need to test themselves daily to ensure they are not infected. Do you think that persons with a positive result will isolate themselves, or report the result to their public health departments?

    I doubt it. More theater.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  79. @80, I travel for work. If i could buy a couple of 5 packs of home test kids for a reasonable price (5-10$) I’d use them after a trip just to be safe.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  80. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 12/21/2021 @ 4:43 pm

    US Army Creates Single Vaccine Effective Against All COVID, SARS Variants

    This sounds like false public relations.

    ALL the vaccines work against all the variants.

    Nothing in this article explains what is special about this one in that it will work against variants that others will not. They have some theory, or had some theory in the beginning when they started developing this one, as to why this would be proof against all or most mutations, but there is nothing here that says that it is a major problem for the most commonly used vaccines. (which had never been used before)

    Very early on, Walter Reed’s infectious diseases branch decided to focus on making a vaccine that would work against not just the existing strain but all of its potential variants as well.

    …Unlike existing vaccines, Walter Reed’s SpFN uses a soccer ball-shaped protein with 24 faces for its vaccine, which allows scientists to attach the spikes of multiple coronavirus strains on different faces of the protein.

    It seems to be saying the vaccine presents the body with 24 different antigens, and surely all of them won’t mutate away. The mRNA vaccines, and the J&J, after infecting cells, present the body with several thousand after causing the body to produce many spike proteins (which represent a dead end for the infection.)

    It’s not clear to me whether there might be a difference in the speed of vaccination or in the limitation of side effects or adverse effects

    What this article does show, is that it would have taken much longer to get a vaccine approved without the intervention of President Trump and his administration, because this one they didn’t speed up. (They put their money on mRNA and DNA vaccines which already had some yeas of research on the basic principle.)

    This is’s slower even than Novavax.

    Walter Reed’s Spike Ferritin Nanoparticle COVID-19 vaccine, or SpFN, completed animal trials earlier this year with positive results. Phase 1 of human trials, which tested the vaccine against Omicron and the other variants, wrapped up this month, again with positive results that are undergoing final review, Dr. Kayvon Modjarrad, director of Walter Reed’s infectious diseases branch, said in an exclusive interview with Defense One. The new vaccine will still need to undergo phase 2 and phase 3 trials

    Within weeks, scientists at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research expect to announce that they have developed a vaccine that protects people from COVID-19 and all its variants, even Omicron, as well as from previous SARS-origin viruses that have killed millions of people worldwide.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  81. Country club conservatives and cocktail party communists are less Ying and Yang than they are Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Same rich jerkoffs, mentally masturbating in their idle moments.

    nk (1d9030)

  82. Sorry, wrong thread.

    nk (1d9030)

  83. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 12/22/2021 @ 8:56 am

    I’m in favor of more testing but I’m also concerned about accuracy. When I’ve tested at home I really don’t think I jammed that stick as far in as the person testing at my doctors.

    If that impacts the reliability of the tests it seems like it’s not only wasteful but giving people bad information.

    frosty (f27e97)

  84. Time123 (9f42ee) — 12/22/2021 @ 9:30 am

    If i could buy a couple of 5 packs of home test kids for a reasonable price (5-10$) I’d use them after a trip just to be safe.

    Well, in January, you’ll be able to order online a few free tests for home delivery. Biden’s plan is surely for more than just one per household.

    https://www.theverge.com/2021/12/21/22848887/joe-biden-google-free-covid-test-near-me

    Details on this website are murky, however. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said today that “We will have more information as it is available including what the website looks like,” she said, adding, “We will make the website available as soon as these tests are available.“

    They expect to provide 500 million tests — which means order in advance – supplies will be limited.

    President Biden also said that his administration is working with Google to make it easier for Americans to find COVID-19 testing locations. “We’ve arranged for it to be easier for you to find a free COVID testing site near you on Google,” he said, adding that people could just enter the terms “COVID test near me,” into a Google search bar “and you can find a number of different locations nearby where you can get tested.”

    Wait a second. Didn’t we do this before?

    Google spokesperson Lara Levin said in an email to The Verge that the arrangements the president described were part of ongoing work the company has been doing since last year “to make testing (and then vaccine) info available in Search and Maps.” She added that the company continues to make updates as new data becomes available, and said further “We’re constantly making improvements to the COVID information we provide on Search and Maps. We recently made an update that added info about thousands more free testing sites, and have been working with the administration and government agencies on these efforts.” Levin did not offer any specific details on how Google and the Biden administration had worked together, however.

    I recall, it was a little bit of a flop in 2020.

    Till they come to the system you are talking about should be a minimum of three or four months.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  85. frosty (f27e97) — 12/22/2021 @ 10:01 am

    I’m in favor of more testing but I’m also concerned about accuracy. When I’ve tested at home I really don’t think I jammed that stick as far in as the person testing at my doctors.

    If that impacts the reliability of the tests it seems like it’s not only wasteful but giving people bad information.

    These tests are pretty good as far as determining contagiousness is concerned (at least before Omicron) but they say you should do them no later than 6 hours before possibly exposing someone, rather than 24 hours or more.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  86. I can’t follow that but I would assume the Walter Reed vaccine is good. What’s not clear is if this is better at least against some variants. It might be safer or faster acting.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  87. R.I.P. Sally Ann Howes, 91

    Truly scrumptious. 🙁

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  88. 75. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 12/21/2021 @ 11:27 pm

    Because we’re all taking the next two weeks off here in DC. Such is our urgency.

    Wait. They can’t get ahead of the logistics for fulfillment of the orders.

    You know one really stupid thing the Biden Administration did?

    They temporarily halted delivery of the GSK monoclonal antibodies – the only one that still worked against Omicron.

    To conserve supply.

    Because everything must be carefully planned.

    They could have saved just a little bit for VIPs and people in Washington, D.C. I mean why else was it important to let current patients succumb in order to make sure some later patients wouldn’t?

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/21/health/covid-monoclonal-antibodies-omicron.html

    Already in high demand even before Omicron arose, the supply of sotrovimab is very limited for now. But the situation is likely to improve somewhat in the coming weeks. The Biden administration is in talks with GlaxoSmithKline about securing more doses to be delivered by early next year, the administration official said.

    They had earlier stopped Eli Lilly because it didn’t work against gamma but then gamma disappeared. And both Regeneron and Eli Lilly sill work against delta and delta is still around 25% of cases and declining.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  89. The worst thing going on about Covid is this false epistemological uncertainty about facts.

    They are slow in accepting new things, and even slow in accepting that certain things don’t work any more, or backtracking on precautions that were obviously invalid the very first day (cleaning and closing schools)

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  90. https://www.todayville.com/calgary/emergency-of-under-treatment-panel-of-8-prominent-doctors-and-scientists-say-earlier-treatment-is-the-only-way-out-of-health-emergency

    …We don’t want to cause harm, but undertreatment and nontreatment is harm, I think this is a pandemic of undertreatment. Long-haul COVID is only caused by one thing–undertreatment. Hospitalized COVID is only caused by one thing–undertreatment. I’m even going to push the envelope here. Getting COVID is only caused by one thing, which is a lack of an effective preventative strategy. I thought, everyone thought and hoped it was going to be the vaccine. It’s not.

    Moderator: You’re saying getting COVID itself is completely preventable?`

    Dr. Kory: There’s a number of agents that have been shown, if you take them regularly, your chances of getting COVID are far lower. For me the most effective is Ivermectin. There are dozens of trials. We’re now up to 14 trials with thousands of patients. In the trials which you take it the most frequently, you’re nearly perfectly protected from getting COVID. It is a highly effective agent.

    The reason why Ivermectin is so important in this disease is that it has numerous mechanisms of action. The most important mechanism is that we know it binds tightly to the spike protein. The spike protein on this virus is how it gets into our cell, how it’s allowed to replicate. If you can bind it, you can block it and you can prevent yourself from getting sick.

    The one caveat though, is what we’ve learned is that in the Delta variant, just like the vaccines, we have started seeing breakthroughs. So we have to change our dosing strategy of all of the trials done on Ivermectin. The strongest evidence is actually in prevention. It is a wickedly effective, highly potent preventative /agent. You, if you take it regularly, your chances of getting sick or near nil.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  91. https://nypost.com/2021/12/21/omicron-coverage-reveals-how-the-establishment-media-keep-us-scared

    The media intone repeatedly that much remains uncertain about Omicron, including how likely it is to cause severe disease. But we already have a good picture of that likelihood from the South Africa experience: very unlikely. Nevertheless, the director of the influential Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, Christopher Murray, is determined to assert that we know little to nothing yet: “The most challenging question is severity,” he told the Times.

    By the way, I could find this article online with bing. Not Google.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  92. More from Heather Mac Donald (a space put in her last name by mistake)

    The data out of South Africa, after five weeks of Omicron spread, suggest that Omicron should be a cause for celebration, not fear. Its symptoms are mild to nonexistent in the majority of the infected, especially the vaccinated; hospitalization rates are over nine times lower than for previous COVID strains; deaths are negligible. That assessment will only be confirmed as the United States and other Western countries gather their own data on Omicron.

    Yet the public health establishment and the media are working overtime to gin up Omicron hysteria. The official response to the Omicron variant provides a case study in the deliberate manufacture of fear. The following strategies are key:

    This Omicron worry s because everybody, worldwide, is relying on the same few gatekeepers

    Paraphrasing her reasons for fear are:

    1. Bandwagon effect

    2. Expert opinion

    The only public health experts whom the media quote are those determined to put the most dire spin on Omicron. They stress worst-case hypothetical scenarios and dismiss actual good-case evidence. At best, they may grudgingly admit that Omicron symptoms are disproportionately mild, but rush to assert that there are still many as-yet-unrealized grounds for worry.

    “Even if Omicron causes less severe cases, the sheer number of cases could once again overwhelm unprepared health systems,” the director-general of the World Health Organization said. “I’m not counting [Omicron’s lack of severity] as good news just yet,” a disease ecologist at Georgetown University said. “Even if infection is mild in many individuals, it’s not going to be mild in everyone.”

    But that 100 percent mildness standard is unrealistic. There are outliers in any disease and any treatment; the question is: What is the predominant reality? The zero-risk, zero-harm standard for public policy adopted for the first time with COVID has proven a social, economic and public health disaster.

    3. Maintaining epistemological uncertainty (But we already know she says.

    4. Bury good news and people arguing with bad news.

    The South African data should lead any coverage of Omicron, yet it has barely been reported. Though only 27 percent of that country is fully vaccinated, less than 2 percent of new cases are requiring hospitalization. And that number is undoubtedly too high, since many reported COVID hospitalizations were admitted for reasons other than COVID.

    In countries such as the United States, with much higher rates of vaccination, the breakthrough infections from Omicron will be even milder. Omicron will be an ideal vehicle for achieving herd immunity, conferring protection without tears on the vast majority of the infected.

    The South African doctor who first reported the Omicron variant has declared herself “astonished” by the world’s reaction to the new strain, which is “out of all proportion to its risks.”

    “Patients typically present with muscle pain, body aches, a headache and a bit of fatigue,” Angelique Coetzee wrote in the Daily Mail on Dec. 13. “After about five days [those symptoms] clear up, and that’s it.”

    The only patient with severe symptoms whom she has seen over the last month had HIV, pneumonia and other comorbidities.

    Coetzee has been nonexistent in the non-conservative press. Just as we are supposed to believe that everyone around us is universally spooked, so we should believe that there is an unbroken expert consensus about the likely [or possible -SF] disaster that is Omicron. European health officials are warning of an Omicron spike, we are told. State and local health officials are urging that holiday gatherings be held outdoors and that all participants get vaccinated, boosted and tested; partygoers should wear masks.

    Are there no experts who think that Omicron is not an emerging threat? Apparently not, if you read the mainstream media. If any dissenters do break through, they will be as demonized and silenced by Big Tech as the lockdown skeptics in the scientific community were at the start of the COVID era.

    5. Omit context

    6. Flog the case count

    She says it is the equivalent of the common cold.

    I think this is a little bit worse than the common cold, (I called it the uncommon cold in asn imaginary movie title from 1989) unless we’ve been too nonchalent about the common cold in the past.

    We ought to determine what a lot of infections really are. Maybe we’d learn something/

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  93. As much as I like Ronald Reagan, I am afraid one of his principal legacies is that now every celeb believes that they are qualified, nay, required, to deliver their ignorant opinions and make us listen.

    Really, what was the last smart political thing you saw in some showbiz figure’s tweet? (I am including Trump in that group).

    Appalled (1a17de)

  94. By the way, I could find this article online with bing. Not Google.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146) — 12/22/2021 @ 11:54 am

    See here.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  95. FDA authorizes first Covid pill, from Pfizer, for emergency use
    ……
    The oral drug, called Paxlovid, from Pfizer will be prescribed for use in adults and children ages 12 and up with mild to moderate Covid who are at risk for severe disease or hospitalization, the FDA said in a statement.
    ……
    Pfizer has said a final analysis of its clinical trials found its drug to be 89 percent effective at preventing high-risk people from being hospitalized or dying from Covid, which was consistent with the results of the interim analysis the company released early last month. By comparison, clinical trials found Merck’s treatment reduced the risk of hospitalization and death among high-risk Covid patients by 30 percent.

    A full course of Pfizer’s treatment is 30 pills — taken as three pills twice daily for five days. The treatment includes a low dose of ritonavir, a commonly used HIV drug, along with an antiviral developed by Pfizer called nirmatrelvir.

    The treatment needs to be taken early to be effective — within five days of first symptoms, according to the FDA.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  96. Supreme Court Sets Oral Arguments on Biden Covid-19 Vaccine Rules

    The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it would hold a special sitting to hear oral arguments early next month on whether the Biden administration can enforce Covid-19 vaccine-or-testing rules for large private employers, as well as vaccine requirements for many healthcare workers.

    The cases, set for fast-track arguments on Jan. 7, could go a long way to determining how much latitude the administration has to combat the coronavirus pandemic in the workplace.

    The high court issued a pair of short written orders to schedule the arguments, in response to a growing pile of emergency appeals asking the justices to intervene.

    The cases haven’t yet been fully litigated in the lower courts; the Supreme Court will be deciding whether the Biden administration rules can be implemented for now. But practically speaking, the court’s decision is likely to determine whether the requirements survive.

    So, when the administration cites “interstate commerce” wouldn’t it be fun if the justices said there wasn’t enough commerce involved and, oh by the way, struck down Wickard?

    It think, rather, that the case will turn on the Administrative Procedures Act and whether or not the president can order a regulation to be promulgated without due process.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  97. As much as I like Ronald Reagan, I am afraid one of his principal legacies is that now every celeb believes that they are qualified, nay, required, to deliver their ignorant opinions and make us listen.

    He didn’t invent that, nor did he make a point of it. What he showed is that you don’t have to be a lawyer to be in government. Not a lot of actors or actresses followed him into office either (and none who did, did as well).

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  98. Really, what was the last smart political thing you saw in some showbiz figure’s tweet?

    There’s a few who call out China for genocide.

    (I am including Trump in that group)

    Why?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  99. They could have saved just a little bit for VIPs and people in Washington, D.C. I mean why else was it important to let current patients succumb in order to make sure some later patients wouldn’t?

    The problem was more likely that doctors were prescribing them blindly if their patients wanted them. I can see the desire to stop the waste, just like they eventually stopped prescribing penicillin for every runny nose, despite idiot patient demands.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  100. @99, “struck down Wickard”

    Unfortunately….though Wickard opened the spout….I doubt it is going anywhere. Wickard is the case in which the federal government fined Roscoe Filburn for growing wheat in excess of the quotas set out in the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938. The deal was that in order to get the wheat subsidy, if you needed extra wheat to feed your livestock….as Filburn did….you needed to go into the market to secure it…so there was a quid pro quo. Filburn wanted the subsidy but didn’t want to adhere to the quota. So the story is a little more nuanced than poor old Filburn getting fined for growing his own wheat. The home-grow was substantial enough to distort the legitimate interstate regulation of wheat — hence the substantial affects doctrine.

    Rolling back Wickard would unravel much economic regulation….and the Court would likely need to triple in size to handle all of the commerce clause claims. I think the best that conservatives can get will be, this far and no farther….like Roberts ruling that the Obamacare mandate was an unconstitutional regulation of inactivity…but then spun and saved it as a tax. Personally, Raich is the more suspect case because the home-grow was literally for personal use…and a lot of supposition was required to see how 5 pot plants could unravel the interstate policing of the illegal cannabis trade. Hence we get aggregation…and government’s reach extends into local backyards. Still, Scalia gave Raich the thumbs up, so will there really be 5 justices who will flip it? Probably not. Yes, liberty takes a hit…but economic liberty has turned into the ugly step child of constitutional rights…..

    AJ_Liberty (3cb02f)

  101. Rolling back Wickard would unravel much economic regulation….and the Court would likely need to triple in size to handle all of the commerce clause claims.

    Yeah. That and the Slaughterhouse Cases are going nowhere due to the edifices constructed on top. I thought that Scalia made a huge mistake on Raich, for the reasons you state. He undercut a whole line of cases that was building up to putting serious limits on the commerce clause nonsense, but he drove a tunnel through his own jurisprudence there. And for what? Pot will be as legal nationally as booze in 5 years, with some “dry” counties and states.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  102. Sammy Finkelman (02a146) — 12/22/2021 @ 12:32 pm

    For the foreseeable future we’re going to spend a lot of time denying or covering up all of the other things we could have done, and could still do, in addition to the vaccine that would have saved a lot of lives and reduced the impact of covid.

    That public officials and the media have actively taken things off the table that would have saved lives is hard to reasonably describe.

    frosty (f27e97)

  103. #101 —-

    Trump does not become President without years of The Apprentice under his belt. His fame is like Paris Hilton — the artifact of inherited money and rotating sex partners.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  104. 101 106. And giving numerous interviews, and going after media coverage.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  105. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 12/22/2021 @ 8:13 pm

    I’m still holding out for mRNA tech that can convert SCOTUS justices into Thomas clones.

    frosty (f27e97)


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