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China Loosens Its Anti-Coronavirus Policy: The Dangerous Price of Freedom

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China Loosens Its Anti-Coronavirus Policy: The Dangerous Price of Freedom

China is easing its anti-coronavirus policy
The dangerous price of freedom

by Hedviga Nyarsik

The protests in China seem to be working: the government in Beijing has promised to ease its strict zero Covid policy for the first time. However, experts fear that this step will not only lead to a huge wave of infections, but also to many deaths.

Daily coronavirus tests, enforced lockdowns and quarantines: Life in China has been marked by strict censorship for three years. This must end now. Because just a week after protests against the brutal no-Covid policy erupted across the country, the government in Beijing is making a sudden 180-degree turn. And this is in the midst of the deadliest wave of infections the country has ever seen.

For a long time, China has worked well with its strategy — at least in terms of containing the virus. While wave after wave has swept through most countries, China has managed to contain the coronavirus very well. However, it may only be a matter of time before a new variant is so highly immunosuppressive and contagious that even China’s drastic measures are powerless to stop it. With Omikron, the time has finally come.

But instead of preparing for such a scenario with, say, an incremental booster vaccination campaign, the Chinese leadership has pushed its own Covid-free strategy. In some cases, entire regions were cordoned off for weeks, and hundreds of thousands of people were stuck in their homes or – even worse – in quarantine camps. Meanwhile, the rate of daily vaccinations has fallen to a record low. Intensive care beds have remained scarce, but more and more testing booths and isolation facilities are sprouting from the ground. In addition, research into domestic mRNA vaccines has not kept pace with the rapidly evolving virus.

In light of the spread of the omicron variant and the population’s simultaneous growing aspirations for freedom, China was in trouble. With the announced easing, the central government is now taking a first step towards normalcy – but not without risks. According to state media, the former deputy director of the Chinese Health Department, Feng Zijian, assumes that 80 to 90 percent of the population will be infected. This, in turn, could lead to a flood of corona deaths. Already warned in May Study by Fudan University in Shanghai You face a “tsunami” of Covid cases and nearly 1.6 million deaths if China abandons its “zero Covid” policy.

„darkest moment”

After the recent outbreak in Beijing, hospitals in the capital are already experiencing an influx of infected people and a shortage of staff. „The emergency room is full of patients,” a nurse told Yicai magazine. „Many patients who come to the emergency room test positive after a PCR test.” An article is circulating in the medical community that the next month or two will be the „darkest moment” for the medical staff. “Patients who are positive accumulate fever in the clinic and there are many complications,” said the hospital’s intensive care physician.

„The reality is that China is not prepared for a wave of this magnitude,” said Siddharth Sridhar, a virologist at the University of Hong Kong. „The New York Times”. Only 60 percent of the population has been vaccinated three times against the virus. It is known that vaccines approved in China better protect against the development of severe disease when given three times. Even then, according to studies, they are less reliable than mRNA vaccines. However, it is not yet approved for the local population in China.

This may be particularly dangerous for the elderly population. Two-thirds of those over 80 have been vaccinated, but only 40 percent have received a booster shot. There was one Investigation during an omicron wave in Hong Kong It showed earlier this year that two doses of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine only protected 58 percent of people 80 and over from a severe course of Covid. However, two doses of the Pfizer/Biontech vaccine were 87 percent effective in the same group.

In addition, most Chinese people received their last vaccination a long time ago. This also reduces protection against serious diseases. According to observers, the zero Covid strategy has complicated vaccination efforts. Andy Chan, an analyst at a Shanghai-based consulting firm, tells The New York Times that reducing infections saves lives, but at the same time many elderly people don’t realize the urgency of vaccination.

A „tsunami” of covid cases

Now, the Omicron strain of coronavirus usually causes less severe courses. This is how the government justifies mitigation steps. According to Beijing, the virus has changed. More than 95 percent of cases in China are asymptomatic and mild, and the fatality rate is low. However, scientists suspect that omicrons are completely harmless to China. Virologist Sridhar wrote on Twitter that even if 95 percent of cases are asymptomatic, if there was a massive surge in infections, the remaining five percent was enough to push the health system to its limits.

China has already announced plans to set up mobile vaccination stations, deliver vaccinations to nursing homes, and go door-to-door to reach the most vulnerable. However, it is doubtful whether this will succeed in time before the fearful wave spreads over the country. In addition, new variants could spread if the virus now infects millions of people in China without adequate immune protection. „We’re already seeing variants, for example from Asia, that are altered at even more points in the spike protein that the virus infects our cells with,” he said. Immunologist Lev Eric Sander From the Berlin Charité in conversation with ntv.de. If such variants prevail, a large number of infections can be expected.

There are now more ways to treat Covid-19 antiviral in China. In addition, four new Chinese vaccines have received emergency approval, three protein vaccines and one nasal spray vaccine. It’s a matter of keeping the infection curve „flat”, says a European health expert in Beijing. It is „a race between the virus and the vaccines – with a somewhat unknown outcome in terms of the number of deaths.”

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Setback for Orban: After 'Peace Mission’ – EU moves ministerial meeting from Budapest to Brussels

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Setback for Orban: After 'Peace Mission’ – EU moves ministerial meeting from Budapest to Brussels
outside After the „Orban Peace Mission”

’Symbolic’ Consequences – EU Moves Ministerial Meeting From Budapest to Brussels

Hungary, led by Viktor Orban, has held the presidency of the Council of the European Union since July 1.

Hungary, led by Viktor Orban, has held the presidency of the Council of the European Union since July 1.

Source: German Press Agency/Alexander Zemlianichenko

There is still a lot of anger in Brussels about Viktor Orbán’s “peace mission”: EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell wants to ban Budapest from the next meeting of foreign and defence ministers. But the shot could backfire.

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DrThe European Commission is drawing further conclusions from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s unilateral actions: EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Monday that upcoming meetings of foreign and defence ministers will be held in Brussels – not in the Hungarian capital Budapest.

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Borrell said after a ministerial meeting in Brussels that he had taken the decision after a majority of ministers spoke out against Hungary and wanted to impose „symbolic” consequences on the country. According to Borrell, 25 foreign ministers condemned Orban’s behaviour. The Hungarian received support only from Slovakia.

But Borrell has also been heavily criticised for his uncoordinated move to cancel the Budapest meeting. “Spain does not support a boycott in the EU,” Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares said. Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Xavier Bettel called the idea of ​​a boycott “nonsense”. Bettel said he would rather go to Budapest and express his opinion to the Hungarians. Germany, France and the Netherlands have also voiced opposition to Borrell’s proposal.

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In Brussels, it cannot be ruled out that Borrell’s boycott campaign will ultimately backfire: several ministers are now said to be staying away from the Brussels meeting on 28-30 August in protest.

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Hungary has held the six-month rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union since the beginning of July. Immediately after that visit began, Orbán made a surprise visit to Ukraine, Russia and China on a self-proclaimed “peace mission.” He also met with US presidential candidate Donald Trump. His meetings have drawn criticism from EU member states.

The European Commission had already reached its first conclusions a week ago. A Council spokesman had said that no commissioners would be sent to informal meetings of the Hungarian Council Presidency, but only senior officials. The decision was taken by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. There will also be no customary inaugural visit by the Commission to the new Council Presidency.

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Trump camp launches attack after Biden withdrawal

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Trump camp launches attack after Biden withdrawal

As of: July 23, 2024 at 11:29 AM

After Biden’s withdrawal from the US election campaign, Vice President Harris appears to be the new Democratic nominee. The Trump camp and the Republicans have already adjusted their strategy.

While US President Joe Biden is widely respected by Democrats for his decision, the reaction from Republicans seems somewhat different.

The crowd began to boo when Trump’s running mate, J.D. Vance, declared at a rally in Ohio: “Joe Biden is out of the race.” In his hometown of Middletown, the newly elected Vance has now thrown himself into the campaign.

That has changed dramatically for the Republican Party as a result of Biden’s withdrawal. So they are immediately adopting a new strategy and portraying the planned change of candidates as undemocratic.

Republicans make serious claims

Vance, for example, rails against the supposed Democratic elite who, in his view, were pulling the strings in the background: “Now to nominate someone else because George Soros and Barack Obama and a few elite Democrats decided behind closed doors to prioritize the Democrats.” Joe Biden is out “This is a threat to democracy. It’s not the Republican Party that fights for democracy every day.”

House Republican Leader Mike Johnson goes a step further. On CNN, he says that in some states you can’t just change the nominee. 14 million people voted for him in the primary — and Biden’s withdrawal now renders their votes invalid.

In the US states of Wisconsin, Georgia and Nevada, there are already regulations on how to conduct a candidate swap, but since Biden has not yet been formally nominated, it probably won’t help that Republicans go to court much.

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Anti-Harris commercials are already running.

The second strategy directly targets Biden’s likely successor, current Vice President Kamala Harris. Donald Trump, who is running for the White House as a Republican, has already made a pitch at a campaign event in Michigan..

Trump, who mispronounced her name, says he just calls her „Laughing Kamala.” „You can tell a lot from her amazing smile,” the 78-year-old said. „She’s crazy.”

But the attacks are not limited to the personal level: Trump and Republicans are also blaming Harris on the political level — for everything the Biden administration has done.

Just an hour after he announced he would not run for re-election, the first TV ads came out: Harris was accused of covering up Biden’s supposedly poor health.

The short ad reads: “Kamala knew Joe couldn’t do the job, so she did it.” What they achieved was an invasion of the border, soaring inflation, and the death of the American dream.

Attack Surface When It Comes to Immigration

The immigration issue in particular could make Harris vulnerable to Republicans. As vice president, President Biden has tasked her with immigration policy.

“She didn’t do her job,” Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said on Fox News. “Harris is a failure.” Abbott said Americans should reject her at the ballot box in November.

It remains unclear whether Kamala Harris will actually run as a Democrat. Republicans are certainly preparing for that.

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Trump furious after Biden resignation – former president sees ‘danger to democracy’

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Trump furious after Biden resignation – former president sees ‘danger to democracy’
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Donald Trump is angry. After Joe Biden dropped out of the presidential race, the Republican reacted angrily.

Updated from July 22, 1:53 p.m.: A day after Joe Biden dropped out, Donald Trump continues to distribute. The former US president wrote on TruthSocial: “It’s a new day and Joe Biden doesn’t remember dropping out of the race yesterday! He’s demanding his campaign plan and arranging talks with Presidents Xi (China) and Putin (Russia) about the possible start of World War III.

“He loses the debate badly, then panics and makes mistake after mistake. Then he is told he can’t win. They decide to vote for someone else, maybe Harris. They stole the race from Biden after he won the primary – for the first time! These people are the real danger to democracy!” Donald Trump wrote regarding the latest developments in American politics.

After Joe Biden Withdraws: Trump May Run Against Harris in US Elections

Updated from July 22, 12:02 PM: For Trump, Joe Biden’s withdrawal is likely to open a new chapter in the US election campaign. Shortly after Biden’s comments, the Republican vented his anger and criticized his former rival. He, in turn, tried to appoint Kamala Harris as his successor. Current analysis of the surveys written by CNN Meanwhile, he sees a close race between Trump and Harris if the two politicians run against each other in the 2024 US election.

CNN found that the average of the last six polls would give Trump 48% of the vote. Harris would get 47%. Political expert David Sirakov sees Democrats’ chances in the US presidential election improving significantly after Joe Biden’s withdrawal as a candidate. “The withdrawal has the potential to be a game changer. It’s an opportunity for Democrats to get back on the political front,” he said.

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Trump responds to Biden’s withdrawal: 'It’s a threat to democracy’

Updated from July 22, 10:43 AM: Donald Trump is still angry after Biden dropped out of the 2024 US presidential race. On Truthsocial, he once again criticized his former rival, writing: “Who is running our country right now? It’s not Crooked Joe. He has no idea where he is. If he can’t run for president, he can’t run our country!!!” Meanwhile, Trump said: “Biden did not have Covid. He is a threat to democracy!”

Meanwhile, in the wake of recent developments in US politics, the Republican front-runner also sees himself as needing „compensation” after spending money on the campaign against Biden.

Biden Withdrawal Impact: Stock Market and Bitcoin Reaction – Trump With Confidence

Update from July 22, 9:40 AM: The withdrawal of Joe Biden and the search for a successor to run in the US elections in 2024 is the dominant topic in the United States. There is currently no official opponent for Donald Trump. In these turbulent times, the US stock market started the new week with a setback. On the other hand, the cryptocurrency Bitcoin has risen significantly: the price rose to more than $ 68,000 on Monday, its highest level in more than a month. Last night, the oldest and most popular cryptocurrency was temporarily trading at just under $ 68,500 on the Bitstamp trading platform.

According to analyst Timo Emden of Emden Research, the assumption in the crypto market is still that Donald Trump will win the upcoming presidential election and return to the White House as president. Trump is an advocate of reduced regulation and is generally seen as a supporter of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

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Donald Trump Responds to Biden’s Withdrawal Ahead of US Elections, Feels 'Scammed’

Update from July 22, 5:45 AM: After Joe Biden’s withdrawal, Donald Trump is clearly angry. His campaign team has invested time and money in “the battle against fraudulent Joe Biden.” “We must now start over,” Trump wrote on the online platform Truth Social. The 78-year-old suggested that Republicans should compensate for the “fraud” on his party.

Update from July 21, 10:30 PM: About an hour after his initial reaction, Donald Trump retaliated against US President Joe Biden after he dropped out of the election campaign. “Corrupt Joe Biden is by far the worst president in the history of our nation. He has done everything in his power to destroy our country, from our southern border to energy dominance, national security, international standing and so much more,” Trump wrote in another post on Truth Social.

“He was destroyed in a devastating debate, and now the corrupt and radical Democrats are throwing him overboard,” Trump continued, referring to the failed televised debate. “He was unfit to serve from the start, but the people around him lied to America about his complete and utter mental, physical and cognitive decline. Whoever the Left puts forward now will be more of the same.”

Trump’s reaction to Biden’s withdrawal from the US election campaign

First report for July 21: Email WASHINGTON, DC — It’s been a long-running speculation, but it finally happened on Sunday night. U.S. President Joe Biden has withdrawn his candidacy for the 2024 U.S. presidential election after mounting criticism from his own ranks. He wants to focus on his duties as president and is proposing his vice president, Kamala Harris, as the new Democratic nominee. It didn’t take long for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to respond.

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made extensive use of his first campaign appearance since the assassination attempt to mock rival Joe Biden’s problems. © Katie Boehmer/Saginaw News/AP/dpa

Trump Responds to Biden Withdrawal – ‘Not Fit to Serve’

“Corrupt Joe Biden was unfit to run for President and certainly unfit to serve — and never was!” Trump wrote on his Truth Social messaging service. “He only got the job of President through lies, fake news, and never leaving his basement,” the former president continued. Biden’s inner circle knew the president was unfit for office, and Trump continues to make the claims, attacking Biden’s doctors and the media in particular.

Trump wrote that the United States had suffered „great damage” from Biden’s presidency, but that he and his team „will repair the damage very quickly” after he concluded his re-election statement with the slogan „Make America Great Again.”

Trump Reacts to Biden Withdrawal – Vance’s Rep Also Calls for Immediate Resignation as President of the United States

Since announcing his candidacy, Trump has attacked Biden for his age and alleged lack of mental fitness. After Biden’s poor performance in a live televised duel with Donald Trump, a growing chorus of voices within the Democratic Party has been raised against the US president and disqualified from running again.

J.D. Vance, Trump’s running mate, had called for Biden to withdraw just hours earlier. He said that if the US president withdrew his candidacy, he should also resign from office. “Failure to seek re-election would be a clear admission that President Trump was right all along in his belief that Biden was not mentally fit to serve as commander-in-chief,” Vance wrote on X.

Trump’s reaction to Biden’s withdrawal from the US election campaign – the statement literally

“Crooked Joe Biden (Crooked Joe Biden) was not fit to run for President and is certainly not fit to hold office – and never was! He became President only through lies, fake news, and not leaving his basement. Everyone around him, including his own doctor and the media, knew he was not fit to be President, and he was not – and now look what he has done to our country, with millions of people, coming across our borders, completely out of control and unchecked, many from prisons and psychiatric institutions and a record number of terrorists. We will suffer greatly under his Presidency, but we will repair the damage he has done very quickly. Let’s Make America Great Again!” (FD)

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