Bill Gates: ‘U.S. still has time to do a far, far better job’ on coronavirus

Gates went on to say that “now we’re engaged in something where we’re attacking the government’s top scientists” and “undermining the credibility of the person who’s the most knowledgeable,” referring to Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert.

President Donald Trump has undermined coronavirus warnings from health experts and his own administration since the early days of the pandemic. Trump has also repeatedly cast doubt on Fauci’s credibility in offering advice on the pandemic.

“Fortunately, Dr. Fauci has risen above the noise level, in talking about masks and best practices, and so the fact that they’re trying to undermine him for some reason, that just blows the mind,” Gates said on Tuesday.

Gates said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had also been targeted by the federal government and “not been allowed to speak out” since the start of the pandemic.

In early September, a Trump administration official pressured the CDC to alter a scientific report on the coronavirus. The president has also contradicted the CDC director on when a vaccine might become available.

“You couldn’t make a movie where the CDC was so undermined, that whether that director should stay in that job or not or just resign over it is a serious discussion,” Gates said.

When directly asked to grade Trump’s response to the pandemic, Gates criticized the administration for a lack of willingness to admit wrongdoing.

“Pretending that it’s just total lockdown versus total openness, that does no one any favors,” he said. “There are activities that should continue depending on your intensity. And let the experts articulate what’s going on here.”

But Gates also applauded the federal government for its $2 trillion economic stimulus package in March and the funding of research and trials for Covid-19 vaccines. He said the U.S. is “the exemplar” in this area, noting the nearly $10 billion that the White House’s Operation Warp Speed has thrown behind finding a vaccine and developing monoclonal antibody treatments.

Gates’ foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is a major funder of the World Health Organization and has given more than $350 million to support the global response to Covid-19.

Gates said the foundation is currently working on funding a second-generation set of vaccines and making deals with high-volume manufacturers that could lead to greater vaccine distribution globally.

Source Article

Read More →

Local dentist researches technology to help make office visits safer in time of COVID-19

CHICAGO — Oral health can be a concern for people who are sheltering at home.

Dentistry is defined by close contact with patients, and distancing in the era of COVID-19 poses new challenges.

From the air down to the water, a local doctor is bringing high tech infection control to his neighborhood office.

When news of the virus shutting down China made its way to the U.S, Dr. Michael Czarkowski sunk his teeth deep into research.

“We’ve got to come up with a plan and I’m a pro-active person so I tried to figure out what do I have to do in my practice to protect my patients, my team and my family,” he said.

The dentist who typically sees 80 to 100 patients a week now sees about five for emergency procedures only.

And with worries about COVID-19, the phone isn’t exactly ringing off the hook.

“I can just tell some people are nervous,” he said. “But once they see what we’ve done, I can see their anxiety level diminish.”

Air filtration system bathed in UV light cleans particles from the air. The office has its own heating and cooling system.

“We can control the air coming in so we have kind of a positive pressure system you’d see in a hospital operating room,” Czarkowski said.

In the dental chair, droplets are an occupational hazard.

“We have to deal with patients as far as aerosols,” he said. “When we prepare teeth we drill, we create an aerosol. How are we going to control that? What’s the best thing we can do?”

Czarkowski said they use a unit that “takes the aerosol we create when we prepare a tooth for a filling, a crown or a bridge, and sucks it through the machine and runs it through a series of filters.”

Any aerosolized droplets are filtered through a medical grade system that eliminates virus bacteria and mold particles and vented out of the building.

“These units we can rotate the air and clean the air 16 times per hour,” Czarkowski said.

With all the new tools in place, Czarkowski hopes the high tech will ease some of the pain when it comes to a visit to the dentist.

“They know me. They trust me. They expect me to provide and take care of them,” he said. “I take that responsibility seriously.”

All the new technology and the necessary PPE adds up. Czarkowski said he will have to consider an infection control fee to cover the added costs.

Source Article

Read More →