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Who is Blocking Vaccine

White House (Courtesy photo The 1600 Report for education only)

White House (Courtesy photo The 1600 Report for education only)

WEBPUBLICAPRESS — The White House is blocking new FDA guidelines that would likely have prevented the approval of a vaccine before next month’s election, US media reported. Ireland has introduced new restrictions as cases tick up, DW (Deutsche Welle) reported quoting other news agencies.

The White House has blocked new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines that would have likely prevented a vaccine from being approved before next month’s presidential election, the New York Times and the Associated Press reported, citing Trump administration officials.

The FDA had proposed stricter guidelines for the emergency approval and release of a coronavirus vaccine. One such requirement involved following vaccine trial candidates for two months to ensure there were no side effects and that the vaccines provided lasting protection from the virus. FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn has previously said that scientists, not politicians, will decide whether the vaccines work and are safe.

A nurse prepares a shot as a study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccines typically take years to develop, but scientists have been racing to reduce that time. The stricter FDA regulations are intended to not only ensure that the vaccines are safe, but also to boost public trust.

An administration official told Reuters news agency that the approval process for the guidelines is still pending and denied any connection to Election Day.

Read more: Coronavirus vaccine: Is Chilean tree bark a key ingredient?

Europe

Members of Germany’s lower house of parliament (Bundestag) will have to wear masks that cover their mouth and nose starting Tuesday. The number of new cases in Germany rose by 2,639 over the past 24 hours, according to the Robert Koch Institute. The number of deaths rose by 12, bringing the country’s total fatalities to over 9,500.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler tested negative for the coronavirus early Tuesday, according to the APA news agency. They took tests after one of Kurz’s aides tested positive and had direct contact with both politicians last week.

Ireland will intensify restrictions after a sharp increase in cases in the country. Starting at midnight on Tuesday (2300 GMT) citizens will have to stay in their county of residence and cancel organized indoor events. Restaurants and pubs will not be allowed to have customers inside and religious services will go online. The restrictions are expected to last for three weeks.

Read more: Coronavirus: WHO estimates 10% of global population infected with COVID-19

Americas

Brazil’s economy is expected to shrink by 5.8% in 2020, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). That is more optimistic than the projected 9.1% contraction forecast earlier this year. The IMF said in its annual report that the contraction would be “followed by a partial recovery to 2.8% in 2021.” The body praised President Jair Bolsonaro for a strong response to the economic crisis, but warned that gross public debt would jump to around 100% of GDP in 2020.

US President Donald Trump left Walter Reed Medical Center after a three day stay from contracting the coronavirus. He was criticized for removing his mask after returning to the White House and shared a message on Twitter to not “let it [coronavirus] dominate. Don’t let it take over your lives.”

Africa

African nations have come together to launch a digital platform to inform travelers about pandemic-related travel restrictions throughout the continent, as many nations have eased restrictions on travel. The #Trusted Travel, My COVID Pass, which was distributed by the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), will also offer links to laboratories where travelers can receive COVID-19 tests necessary for travel. It will initially provide information for 12 countries, including Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa.

Asia and Oceania

The Australian government Tuesday said it would unveil a financial blueprint for the next few years that would repair economic damage from the pandemic. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the government is expected to accrue record debt in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2021. “I will lay out our economic recovery plan to rebuild the Australian economy and secure Australia’s future,” said Frydenberg.

China and 25 other nations have called on the United States and other western nations to immediately lift sanctions to ensure an effective response to the pandemic. China’s UN Ambassador Zhang Jun told the UN General Assembly’s human rights committee on Monday that “unilateral coercive measures” violated the UN Charter and impeded human rights by hindering “the well-being of the population in the affected countries.” Among the countries that backed the statement included Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Russia and Venezuela.

Source Deutsche Welle /DW/ (With AP, dpa, AFP, Reuters)

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