/Links 12/1/2020

Links 12/1/2020

‘Sistine Chapel of the ancients’ rock art discovered in remote Amazon forest Guardian

Even razor clams on sparsely populated Olympic Coast can’t escape plastics, study finds Phys.org (DL).

Megalodons, the Ocean’s Most Ferocious Prehistoric Predators, Raised Their Young in Nurseries Smithsonian

Watchdog suspects EY knew it issued ‘factually inaccurate’ Wirecard audit FT

Bank of America latest to say no to financing Arctic drilling Agence France Presse

The Race To Crack Battery Recycling—Before It’s Too Late Wired (Re Silc).


‘Digital Covid Passport’ Linked to Vaccine Could Revive Travel Independent. “Such a system would presumably require a global database accessible by thousands of interested parties, raising questions on privacy.”

Airlines and the conflict of vaccine visions Izabella Kaminska, FT. Well worth a read.

Americans are choosing death over deprivation The Week (Re Silc). I’m in sympathy with the messaging. But exactly the same stance was taken on condom usage during the AIDS epidemic. This messaging didn’t work then, and it’s not working now. So why double down on it?

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FAA confirms first ‘mass air shipment’ of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine from Belgium as US preps for distribution USA Today. I’ve gotta say this breathless horserace-style coverage is making me a little queasy. Am I right in thinking that not only do we not have EUAs for either mRNA vaccine, we have seen only press releases, and there is no public data, let alone anything peer-reviewed? Surely it’s possible to hustle up the lame ducks in medical publishing, and get the data and the peer reviewed results out there? Science may be popping, but bubbles pop, too.

Divisions emerge among U.S. officials over when first Covid-19 vaccine doses will be available — and for whom STAT. For whom? As I keep saying, all Federal electeds (Congress, the President) and all political appointees. That should concentrate their minds.

Moderna applies for FDA authorization for its Covid-19 vaccine CNN

AstraZeneca nears temporary OK for COVID-19 vaccine, plots extra trial Fierce Biotech

Understanding mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines CDC

The Race to Make Vials for Coronavirus Vaccines The New Yorker

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The Pandemic Heroes Who Gave us the Gift of Time and Gift of Information Zeynep Tufecki, Insight

Coronavirus Was In U.S. Weeks Earlier Than Previously Known, Study Says NPR. Some sparks just die out….

Excess Patient Visits for Cough and Pulmonary Disease at a Large US Health System in the Months Prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Time-Series Analysis (PDF) Journal of Medical Internet Research. From the Abstract: “Results: The percentage of patients presenting with an EHR reason for visit containing the word “cough” to clinics exceeded the 95% prediction interval the week of December 22, 2019, and was consistently above the 95% prediction interval all 10 weeks through the end of February 2020. Similar trends were noted for emergency department visits and hospitalizations starting December 22, 2019, where observed data exceeded the 95% prediction interval in 6 and 7 of the 10 weeks, respectively. Conclusions: A significantly higher number of patients with respiratory complaints and diseases starting in late December 2019 and continuing through February 2020 suggests community spread of SARS-CoV-2 prior to established clinical awareness and testing capabilities.”

The Wuhan files CNN

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Vitamin D Insufficiency May Account for Almost Nine of Ten COVID-19 Deaths: Time to Act. Comment on: “Vitamin D Deficiency and Outcome of COVID-19 Patients”. Nutrients. From the Abstract: “Evidence from observational studies is accumulating, suggesting that the majority of deaths due to SARS-CoV-2 infections are statistically attributable to vitamin D insufficiency and could potentially be prevented by vitamin D supplementation. Given the dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic, rational vitamin D supplementation whose safety has been proven in an extensive body of research should be promoted and initiated to limit the toll of the pandemic even before the final proof of efficacy in preventing COVID-19 deaths by randomized trials.” Hmm…. Readers?

The Double Burden of Respiratory NCDs and Air Pollution Being Well (nvl). See also.

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The State of COVID-19 in D.C.: An Ongoing Failure of Governance Mike the Mad Biologist


China state-owned group caught in default storm owes banks billions FT

How property-hungry Chinese millennials and shadow banking could fuel a financial crisis South China Morning Post

Democracy darkens: Hong Kong activists reel from Chinese moves Reuters

Bamboo: Eco-Friendly Fabric or Environmental Disaster? Euronews

The Koreas

Elder Poverty and Subsistence-Labor The Blue Roof


Iran opposition suspected alongside Israel in scientist’s killing, Shamkani says Reuters

Iran Has a Range of Options to Retaliate Against Israel After Assassination Haaretz

Why Iran Is Getting the Bomb Tablet

Pentagon Says UAE Funding Russia’s Shadowy Mercenaries in Libya Foreign Policy. I guess that makes Neera Tanden a “shadowy mercenary” too? Seems about right…


Boris Johnson’s Covid tiers plans hang by a thread as Keir Starmer orders Labour to ABSTAIN in Commons vote leaving PM at the mercy of up to 100 rebellious Tory backbenchers Daily Mail

Covid: Confusion as Gove denies vaccines will be compulsory for pubs and entertainment venues Independent

France’s ruling parties agree to ‘total rewrite’ of controversial ‘Article 24’ security measure Euronews

Germany bans far-right group ‘Sturmbrigade 44’ Deutsche Welle

Wealth Gap Widens as Pandemic Hits Russia’s Poorest Regions Hard Bloomberg. So what’s not to like?

The Beautiful, Dumb Dream of McDonald’s Peace Theory Foreign Policy

New Cold War

A Successful U.S. Missile Intercept Ends the Era of Nuclear Stability Bloomberg

Biden’s Immediate Agenda Items Arms Control Wonk. Important.

Time for Moscow to Move On and Stop Thinking So Much About Washington Moscow Times

Trump Transition

U.S. coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas resigns Reuters


Donald Trump: how COVID-19 killed his hope of re-election – new research The Conversation

Online Anti-Vax Communities Have Become A Pipeline For QAnon Radicalization HuffPo

Biden Transition

Top secret: Biden gets access to President’s Daily Brief AP. Not to be nihilist, but the PDB only started in the Kennedy administration (June 17, 1961, a month after the Bay of Pigs). We haven’t won a war since…

Biden names liberal econ team as pandemic threatens workers AP. “‘They are intellectual liberals, but not burn-it-all-down socialists,’ said Brian Riedl, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and an adviser to Sen. Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. ‘They’re fairly conventional liberal economists and experts.’”

‘We believe in ensuring that we have fiscal sanity’: How Neera Tanden could oversee the budget Yahoo Finance. Oh.

Biden Appointee Neera Tanden Spread the Conspiracy That Russian Hackers Changed Hillary’s 2016 Votes to Trump CNN

Scoop: Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to Name Tina Flournoy as Chief of Staff Yashar’s Newsletter

It’s Time for a Woman to Run the Defense Department NYT

How America’s deadliest serial killer went undetected for more than 40 years WaPo. No, silly, not the Sacklers.

Class Warfare

Amazon Is Facing an Unprecedented Union Vote in the Right-to-Work South Jacobin

How Taxpayers are Picking Up the Bill for the Destruction of Local Restaurants Public Seminar

Ripley’s Offering $10,000 Reward for the Missing Utah Monolith Ripley’s Believe It Or Not

Earthlings, It Seems, Not Aliens, Removed the Utah Monolith NYT

‘It will change everything’: DeepMind’s AI makes gigantic leap in solving protein structures Nature. See also “In the Pipeline.”

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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