Coronavirus Tidbits #222 12/4/22


First, there is now a Resources Page here for the most commonly asked questions I'm getting.

Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don't be shy about that.

New Posts:

Learn To “See” C. Difficile To Protect Yourself From This Serious Infection

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What Can We Learn From The Growing Measles Outbreak In Ohio?



US markers show upward trends

In the United States, the 7-day average for new daily COVID-19 cases is at 43,692, up nearly 8% compared to the week before, according to the Washington Post tracker. Daily averages for new COVID hospitalizations and deaths are also up, 21% and 24%, respectively.

In other developments, Twitter announced last week that it will no longer enforce a policy put in place to curb COVID-19 misinformation.

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FDA ended its emergency authorization for bebtelovimab

the only remaining Covid-19 antibody therapy cleared for use, saying variants BQ.1 and BQ.1.1  that render it ineffective are now dominant in the United States.

[NO monoclonal antibodies are effective any more]

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COVID-19 patients show liver injury months after infection

Liver stiffness is a marker of liver damage, such as inflammation or fibrosis. Fibrosis is the buildup of scar tissue in the liver. Over time, healthy liver tissue diminishes, and the liver can no longer function properly. Progressive fibrosis can lead to liver cancer and liver failure.

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Overweight women most likely to suffer long COVID

Overweight women are more likely to experience symptoms of long COVID according to new research from the University of East Anglia.

The new study, published today, is one of the largest studies on long COVID in the U.K. It shows that having a higher BMI is linked with the condition, and that women are more likely to experience long COVID than men.

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NYC rats can carry different variants of COVID-19

 A new study indicates COVID-19 mutations have been found in New York City's rat population.

The report by scientists at the University of Missouri and the USDA identified the virus in rats. The report also says rats can carry different COVID-19 variants.

Experts studied 80 Norwegian rats in Brooklyn and found about 16% of them had antibodies for the coronavirus.

Officials are concerned the mutation could jump from rats to humans because it is clear the virus has already gone from humans to animals.

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@yaneerbaryam  Nov 27
New study: Men infected with COVID have one third less sperm compared to uninfected men over 3 months later. Of 100 men infected and not hospitalized four had no viable sperm. Of 100 men not infected, none had this condition. #Covid #science 1/
Example of earlier study showing harm to sperm: Sperm quality and absence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in semen after COVID-19 infection: a prospective, observational study and validation of the SpermCOVID test. 2/
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Africa to receive its first mpox vaccine doses

The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) announced this week that Africa will receive its first batch of mpox vaccine, which is coming from a donation from South Korea's government.

Officials see replay of COVID vaccine rollout

Mpox has been endemic in a number of African countries for decades. A large international outbreak prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) in July, and several countries have rolled out vaccine campaigns. Africa, however, hasn't received any vaccine, despite the serious ongoing health threat in the region.

Africa CDC said African countries are seeing a replay of COVID-19 vaccine deployment, during which wealthier nations bought available vaccines, leaving African nations at the back of the line.

the Biden administration is considering whether to end the public health emergency declaration for mpox,

Currently, the US Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) is reporting just a few dozen cases each day. Yesterday it reported 42 new cases, bringing the national total to 29,367, of which 15 were fatal.

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Warning of global outbreak

“We had always warned that in favourable circumstances, like what led to this outbreak, the disease could pose a great threat to global health,” says Adesola Yinka-Ogunleye, an epidemiologist at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in Abuja, who led the country’s investigation and response to a 2017 monkeypox outbreak.

Now, with more than 80,000 confirmed cases in over 100 countries, monkeypox is a stark reminder of what happens when such warnings go unheeded.


Ebola Outbreak In Uganda Is Waning, 

and showing signs that transmission may now be under control. Only six active cases are currently being treated in specialized Ebola treatment units.

In the current outbreak, fifty-six people have died and eighty have recovered, for a raw case fatality rate of 39.4%. This is lower than the average 65.4% for Ebola outbreaks,...

It is estimated that the incubation period for acute infections — the delay between the time a person is infected and when they begin to show symptoms — may be as long as twenty-one days. One distressing statistic is that the follow-up rate for contacts has dropped to less than 70% from a high around 95% during most of October and November. Although declining cases in the last few weeks means that there have been fewer contacts to trace, a large number remain unaccounted for. If there are infections among this group, they could be the cause of a third transmission wave.

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Haiti confirmed cholera cases top 1,000.

Among confirmed cases with available age and sex information, 45% are aged 19 years or younger. The most affected age group is 1 to 4-year-olds, followed by 30 to 39-year-olds.

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FDA approves first microbiome drug Rx for C. difficile

The drug, called Rebyota, is given as a one-dose treatment for clostridium difficile infections, commonly known as C. diff., in which the toxin-producing bacteria disrupts the normal balance in a person’s digestive system. Rebyota is designed to restore balance by introducing good bacteria taken from donor stool samples.

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‘Superbug’ Candida auris linked to 63 deaths in Nevada


Flu season is raging in the US—and hospitalizations are rising

The elevated flu season comes as COVID-19 and RSV continue to impact thousands of Americans across the country, leaving some hard-hit areas dealing with a “tripledemic” of all three illnesses.

Flu by the numbers

So far this year, the CDC has reported at least 6.2 million illnesses, 53,000 hospitalizations and 2,900 deaths from the flu, according to the latest data. In total, there have been 12 pediatric flu deaths this season, including five within the last week. By the end of October, the U.S. saw the highest number of hospitalizations for the flu in the last decade. The last time hospitalizations were so high was in 2009, when the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic swept the nation.

this year’s vaccine is matching up well with the positive flu strains being detected



@Adorno666Adorno Nov 28

Dutch study last week of 3600 positive cases showed antigen tests correctly caught 27% of the known positive cases missing 73%. SF Chronicle picked it up. Every gov & every media outlet shld have had it as their #1 story.


@Crof Nov 28

Covid blood-thinner drug treatment dangerous and does not work – study

UK government-backed Heal-Covid trial finds Apixaban can cause dangerous bleeding and does not improve prognosis
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Please share far and wide that there are no monoclonal antibody treatments available. SARS-2 has mutated to the point that our monoclonals no longer work. Our goal should be to not get COVID and avoid reinfections. Wear an N95 as SARS-2, FLU, and RSV are surging.


Epidemiology/Infection control:

@lollyfoot  Nov 27
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Using surveillance videos, Chinese CDC investigators identified 256 people who passed within a meter of Patient zero as he jogged through the park without a mask. 13 (5%) were infected. He infected another 20 out of 20,496 park visitors while running without known close contact.
Of 34 cases that could be sequenced, 29 had exact sequence match to patient zero and 5 had one mutation. Overall 38 of 39 (33+ 6 non-park contacts) infected were unmasked (despite China's mask mandate).
The epidemic curve suggests primary spread followed by secondary spread
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Tips, general reading for public:







@KashPrime Nov 27
Masks are the norm in Mexico, as any recent visitor to that country will tell you. They didn't make it a political issue, they didn't throw an extended tantrum like we did in the West. There isn't even an official mandate in place...
One possible motivating factor: Mexicans have suffered enormously these last few years. There probably isn't a single family who hasn't been affected so far:
And now they have one of the lower estimates of excess death, and have broken the cycle of waves that we still experience in the West:
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@Alexander_Tin  Nov 29

has just published a swatch of revisions to its COVID guidance for congregate settings Among changes, the agency has dropped its recommendation that all shelters require indoor masking

@EmilyZFeng  Nov 27
Tsinghua university right now, city after city seeing protests small and large against Zero Covid policies and against excesses of Communist Party rule - every hour there seems to be a new one
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@BrennanCenter Nov 26
Billionaires funded 15% of the midterm elections. They represent 0.0002% of the population. That's a problem.
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@ReallyActivist  Nov 24
credit to my 13 year old “republicans are the party of guncare and health-control” my work is done here
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@evamckend  Nov 26
I’m at a polling site in Atlanta and met a junior home from college who said if not for Saturday option, she may not have voted. Earlier I spoke to a mom who said same about her college aged daughter who never received absentee ballot in CA but was able to vote today. #gapol
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@Taniel  Nov 28
A stat that jumps out: Of all the Georgians under age 30 who have voted in the runoff so far, 27% had not voted in the November 8 election. via
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@judystout1  Nov 28
Georgia Republicans purge Black Democrats from county election boards
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@joncoopertweets  Dec 1
Ten rabbis in Georgia signed an open letter to Herschel Walker asking where he stands on anti-Semitism, after he failed to condemn Trump’s meeting with Kanye West and Nick Fuentes. So far, Walker has refused to respond to the rabbis. His silence speaks volumes.
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@CraigDMorrison  Nov 30
BREAKING: According to public information from the Texas Secretary of State office and the Georgia Secretary of State office, Herschel Walker is registered to vote in both states.
It's not illegal to be registered to vote in more than one state at the same time, as long as you only vote in one of those states.
However, this does raise major eligibility issues for Walker in the Georgia Senate race, and legal issues for officials in Georgia who certified him
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@DemocracyDocket   Dec 2
Georgia voters file complaint against Cobb County for failing to send absentee ballots in a timely manner — for the second time this election cycle — to 3,400+ voters for the Senate runoff.
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@PoliticsVerse Nov 29
Report: A Republican poll worker charged with violating election law admitted to using a personal flash drive to export the electronic poll book at a Michigan precinct.
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TFG/Fuentes/Kanye - NeoNazis
@EladNehorai  Nov 24
Never let a single right winger or Republican claim they care about Jews after this. Fuentes openly praises Hitler. He is a Holocaust denier. He is one of the US’s most dangerous white nationalists. Trump hosted him & not one Republican had said a word.
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@DashDobrofsky  Nov 26
Donald Trump is not the first Republican to solicit the support of America’s pro-Hitler faction. In February, Georgia’s Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene spoke at a neo-Nazi rally hosted by Trump’s Holocaust-denying dinner guest, Nick Fuentes. Arizona’s Paul Gosar did as well.
Show this thread
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@RitchieTorres  Nov 26
Tucker Carlson once proudly identified himself as a member of the “Dan White Society.” The same Dan White who murdered LGBTQ civil rights icon Harvey Milk. With demagogues like Tucker, no wonder hate is on the rise.
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@jdawsey1  Nov 28
Imagine Trump's lawyers may not love the final line of his latest Truth Social post. "When will you invade the other Presidents’ homes in search of documents, which are voluminous, which they took with them, but not nearly so openly and transparently as I did?"
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@AWeissmann_  Dec 1
11th Circuit shoots Cannon down: finding no one is above the law and her decision violated bedrock principles of equal justice and separation of powers. Powerful decision (and rebuke).
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@RepKatiePorter  Dec 2
While investigating a possible ~$240,000 quid pro quo scheme between the Trump Administration and a developer, @RepRaulGrijalva and I uncovered evidence of another potential bribery involving top Trump officials. We're requesting documents to help us get to the bottom of it.…
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Twitter/Elon Musk
@elonmusk could respond to my tweets but failed to respond to my letter by yesterday’s deadline and answer basic questions about Twitter verification. Congress must end the era of failed Big Tech self-regulation and pass laws that put user safety over the whims of billionaires.
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@Suncelnumber2  Nov 27
The entire city of Houston is on a boil water notice. I'm reading that the people of Houston have not been notified by their local government. THEY'RE LITERALLY LEARNING THIS ON TWITTER. this is one of the myriad reasons I grieve for this site dying.
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@luckytran  Nov 29
Effective 11/23, Twitter is no longer enforcing the Covid-19 misleading info policy
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@ThePlumLineGS  Nov 28
"For some communities and nations, Musk’s wholesale sacking of Twitter threatens a rollback of equality and even freedom, or the means to achieve it." @JillDLawrence is right to emphasize how high the stakes re Musk's Twitter takeover are in some places:
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MYSTERY Why would FIVE Secret Service rental vehicles burst into flames? "... there is virtually no chance that this is a case of spontaneous self-immolation. ... Burning cars is often done when criminals or government agents wish to dispose of evidence."
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Public Health:
@Rachel_Hoopsick  Nov 29
We have to STOP teaching public health students that science (and epidemiology in particular) is apolitical. My students listened to a talk by @jfeldman_epi on “How to Hide a Plague: How Elite Capture and Individualism Made Covid Normal” — minds were blown
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@Dgrosso17  Dec 1
Denver Police Department gets half a billion dollars of the city's budget.
Denver Health gets $33 million.
Budgets are moral documents Budgets are moral documents Budgets are moral documents Budgets are moral documents
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@LaurenWeberHP  Dec 1
Across the US, health insurers and health care systems are breaking disability rights laws by sending inaccessible medical bills and notices, our @KHNews investigation found It effectively creates a disability tax on time and finances W/ @hannah_recht
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@56blackcat   Nov 26
Elevated Access, a fledgling Illinois nonprofit, has recruited nearly 1,000 volunteer small-craft pilots to ferry people seeking abortion care.
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@JillFilipovic  Dec 1
This is our new #prolife dystopia: A woman was arrested for "chemical endangerment" for using drugs while pregnant.
The problem: She wasn't pregnant. So officers released her, but told her if she gets pregnant IN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS she'll be re-arrested.
Pregnancy should not put women in a more vulnerable legal category. And yet, since 1973, there have been "more than 1,300 arrests and detentions that wouldn’t have happened if the person weren’t pregnant or suspected to be," according to Pregnancy Justice.
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@Taniel  Nov 28
Oregon voters approved new restrictions on guns earlier this month, and (as elsewhere) many sheriffs are saying they won't enforce the new measures.
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@kron4news  Nov 29
San Francisco police clarified that it would not arm robots with guns. Instead, they would be equipped with explosives.
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@tribelaw Nov 26 
“Openly carrying a gun in public is no longer just an exercise in self-defense — increasingly it is a soapbox for elevating one’s voice and, just as often, quieting someone else’s.” The irony of gun rights stifling speech rights should give SCOTUS pause.
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@samswey Nov 30
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@doctorow  Nov 30
The $14,400 in lottery fees that the day's hopeful hikers pay to for a shot at a permit all go to a giant military contractor: @BoozAllen. 15/
On his BIG newsletter,@MatthewStoller explains how a #BeltwayBandit like #BoozAllen became ticketmaster to America's public lands. It started in 2017, when Booz got the contract to build "at no cost to the federal government." 17/
Booz Allen didn't promise to run a government website out of an abundance of patriotic zeal. Like all #PublicPrivatePartnership contractors, they sought vast amounts of public money without any public accountability 18/
Booz Allen now gets to run America's public lands like its own corporate fiefdom. At the outset of its deal, it was able to set its own prices for fees *unilaterally*. 19/
Or, as Stoller notes, "Biden, through his anti-junk fee initiative could simply assert through the White House Competition Council to the 13 different agencies that they end Booz Allen’s practice of charging these kinds of fees." 29/
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@michaelharriot  Nov 27
The discussion centers around this photograph, taken on Sept. 9, 1957, when white students tried to prevent six Black students from integrating North Little Rock High School. One of those white students is Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
It worked. They actually turned the Black students away. The North Little Rock School District would not integrate until 1964. And Jerry Jones was right in the middle of it all.
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Rail contract:
@JoshuaPHilll Nov 27
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@covie_93  Dec 2
Manchin was the only Dem senator to oppose 7 days sick leave for rail road workers. This is why it is important to win the Georgia runoff and expand our majority.
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@brycecovert  Nov 29
Workers demanded 15 paid sick days. Biden's deal gives them one. One single paid day off a year. You don't get to call yourself the champion of unions and paid leave while forcing unionized workers into a deal with a single paid day off.
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@AmoneyResists  Dec 2
Senators work less than 140 days a year, have unlimited sick days, don’t have to show up in person to vote, and are paid $180K/year in taxpayer-funded salaries that they collect even during recesses. Imagine having this “job” and denying 1 week of paid sick leave for rail workers
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@ErinInTheMorn  Nov 29
Alert Virginia! A bill has been filed in the Virginia senate to medically detransition all transgender youth! This bill, SB791, is the same SAFE act being challenged in Arkansas and elsewhere. It would take decisionmaking away from parents, their doctors, and their trans youth
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Respect for Marriage Act:
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@mjs_DC  Dec 1
Wow: DC plans to make all buses operating within the District FREE to all riders, starting in summer 2023. We'll be the first major U.S. city to have free bus service. Also adding overnight service for 12 bus lines and giving all DC residents a $100 monthly subsidy for bus/metro.
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@Stephen_Geiger  Nov 30
The IRS is warning Americans that this tax season they must report payments on Venmo, PayPal & Zelle of over $600. Meanwhile… The Pentagon just failed its FIFTH audit in a row, as they were unable to account for 61% of their $3.5 trillion in assets. $800 billion annual budget.
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@pevchikh  Nov 29
2/20 It will no longer be possible for the public to learn who really owns a European company. I'm genuinely astonished.The Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) registers are vital to the work of investigators, activists, researchers — anyone who fights corruption.
5/20 It’s a simple transparency provision. A firm can still be owned by a chain of anonymous offshore entities from exotic islands, but if you want to operate in Europe, you have to disclose the name of the actual person behind it.
6/20 Removal of public UBO registers throws us back into the dark ages. Back to the era of shady dealings, shell companies and unrestricted money laundering. There isn't a law enforcement agency in the world that is able to tackle corruption on its own. Public scrutiny is vital.
7/20 It’s also the biggest present Putin’s corrupt cronies can dream of. This enables them to launder money like in the good old days. Just register the firm that owns your Côte d'Azur villa to a blind trust from Belize, and you’re all set. Sanctions? Pff, no one will know.
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BBC journalist Ed Lawrence was arrested, handcuffed and beaten while covering the protests in Shanghai. They told the BBC they arrested him to protect him from Covid.--Nov 27
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@petestrzok  Nov 28
Apple limited AirDrop – a proven, safe, effective method of communication by protestors in China – in a recent iOS update feature which only applied to iPhones sold in mainland China… So much for the sledgehammer crushing authoritarian regimes.
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@BNOFeed   Nov 30
3 years ago today: A man in Wuhan, China starts feeling ill and later becomes the first confirmed case of COVID-19. More than 6.6 million people have since died.
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@MrAndyNgo Dec 3
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@ABC Dec 3
Iranian authorities have been accused of stealing the bodies of slain protesters from hospitals and morgues in order to prevent families from holding funerals, which activists say could prove rallying points for the protests.
@smitajamdar: What could possibly go wrong?
@newscientist  Nov 26
Seven viruses that have lain frozen in the Siberian permafrost for thousands of years have been revived – and one is 48,500 years old
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Infectious disease fellowships:
@transplantID  Nov 30
Tough yr for ID, 114 unfilled fellowship spots, a 46% increase from last yr. Seemed like there was a little bump and interest after year 1 of #COVID19,wondering if this will be the new trend? Very busy specialty with low pay and increasing AMR and emerging infections. #IDTwitter

Feel good du jour:

@AlexGangitano  Dec 1
This is awesome: Macron will gift Biden a Vinyl and CD of the original soundtrack of Claude LELOUCH's film "Un Homme et une Femme,” which is the film that Biden and Jill Biden went to see on their first date.

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Comic relief:

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Bits of beauty:


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