The world may be doing its darndest to move on from the Covid-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t mean that it’s quite over yet. Just ask the World Health Organization. Per Reuters,
The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday that COVID-19 continues to constitute a public health emergency of international concern, its highest form of alert. The pandemic was likely in a "transition point" that continues to need careful management to "mitigate the potential negative consequences", the agency added in a statement. It is three years since the WHO first declared that COVID represented a global health emergency. More than 6.8 million people have died during the outbreak, which has touched every country on Earth, ravaging communities and economies.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said he hopes to see an end to the emergency this year, particularly if access to the counter-measures can be improved globally. http://bit.ly/3HHiOA3
Good news for the renewable energy industry and climate change acknowledges. Per the Associated Press,
The world has enough rare earth minerals and other critical raw materials to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy to produce electricity and limit global warming, according to a new study that counters concerns about the supply of such minerals. With a push to get more electricity from solar panels, wind turbines, hydroelectric and nuclear power plants, some people have worried that there won’t be enough key minerals to make the decarbonization switch. Rare earth minerals, also called rare earth elements, actually aren’t that rare. The U.S. Geological Survey describes them as a “relatively abundant.” They’re essential for the strong magnets necessary for wind turbines; they also show up in smartphones, computer displays and LED light bulbs. This new study looks at not only those elements but 17 different raw materials required to make electricity that include some downright common resources such as steel, cement and glass.
So existence is allowed to proceed unabated… at least for the time being. http://bit.ly/3DrvLLR
In what’s probably the least surprising news of the day, a people in the U.S. take issue with the federal money that went to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Per Science,
A federal watchdog has weighed in on problems with a U.S. government grant that funded work in Wuhan, China, on bat coronaviruses that some onlookers claim led to the COVID-19 pandemic. The audit found oversight issues by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and that the grantee had misreported $90,000 in expenses. But it sheds little new light on issues already widely covered and discussed in the media and Congress. The report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finds “NIH did not effectively monitor or take timely action to address” compliance problems involving the EcoHealth Alliance, a New York City–based nonprofit that held the NIH grant. EcoHealth had sent some of those funds to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) to study bat coronaviruses collected in the wild and examine their potential to jump to humans. In April 2020, after then-President Donald Trump claimed the SARS-CoV-2 virus could have come from the WIV lab, NIH terminated the EcoHealth grant with little explanation. That step was widely condemned by scientists, and OIG’s report now says NIH improperly executed the termination because it did not provide a valid reason or provide EcoHealth with required information for appealing the decision.
That’s some really underwhelming news, in a way, isn’t it? https://bit.ly/3wZKfiJ
Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.