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China plans global expansionism through Health Silk Road amid COVID-19 pandemic | Trending News in India



China plans global expansionism through Health Silk Road amid COVID-19 pandemic | Trending News in India Trending News in India

New Delhi: China is exploiting the pandemic situation to accelerate its efforts of expansionism by launching a series of projects. One of the most debated and ambitious projects in the line is China’s Health Silk Road, wherein, the Communist nation is making the use of technology to lay the basis of its global expansion.

Riding on the wagon of 5G technology, China now plans to create a ‘Health Silk Road’, on lines of the BRI, taking the Chinese technology worldwide to control the health sector in the host nations. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has provided a massive opportunity for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to exploit the emerging tech to further its reach and strengthen its control. 

The CCP now plans to control the healthcare sector in the BRI region through its comprehensive plan of using Chinese medical technologies, AI, medical equipment, health stacks, data centers, etc. 

A closer look at the proceedings of the ‘Two Sessions’ i.e., the third session of the 13th National People’s Congress and third session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in May 2020 – a time when the onslaught began to reach the peak, gives an idea how the CCP planned to capitalise on technology and launch its plans of expansion through health technology. 

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The proceedings of the session said, “major moves will focus on developing next-generation information networks, expanding 5G applications, building more charging facilities, and promoting wider use of new energy vehicles.” Further, during the said National People’s Congress, Premier Li Keqiang stressed the need to accelerate “developing next-generation information networks and expand 5G applications.” The CCP then came up with a USD 1.4 trillion expenditure plan with 5G as the foundation. 

Pushing the narrative worldwide to launch its ambitious plans in the healthcare sector, CCP propaganda machinery flooded the communication and media networks of the world with content highlighting China’s efficient dealing of the pandemic through its healthcare technology.

People’s Daily live-streamed construction of the Huoshenshan hospitals in Wuhan and tried to show the world the orchestrated attempts of setting-up 5G base stations, functioning of 5G enabled medical consultation platforms, sanitization through 5G controlled drones, and what not? The CCP government, since then, is magnifying its narrative across the globe ina targeted and comprehensive manner through its propaganda channels and foreign missions.

Companies with links to the CCP and the PLA came up with their PR campaigns including Alibaba and Huawei, displaying their ‘generous’ efforts to donate healthcare products to nations across the world. China, through its diplomats also resorted to ‘healthcare’ diplomacy by donating healthcare supplies during the initial days of the pandemic spread. 

Further, fishy Chinese surveillance companies like Dahua and Hikvision facing the allegations of surveillance and data thefts, used the opportunity to spread worldwide through their healthcare products.

In fact, China devised the strategy of the Health Silk Road in 2017 by entering into an MoU agreement with the World Health Organization (WHO) during the Belt and Road Forum for Health Cooperation in Beijing. China argued that the major objective of the initiative was to set up an infrastructure to check disease outbreaks, prevent epidemics, and achieve a universal health infra through research in healthcare. 

During the event, the controversial DG of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus applauded China for the initiative and talked like a cadre of the CCP. However, the project could not move further. China sensed an opportunity in the pandemic and once again threw itself to further its new project of expansion through healthcare.

Earlier, China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission came up with an ambitious plan to establish ‘health cooperation networks’ as a part of the Belt and Road Initiative to further Chinese ambitions to control healthcare management across the BRI countries. The MoU with WHO was the first step towards this.

Going all-out, China has targeted countries from the developing nations of Africa to developed ones like Italy. Recently, China was able to convince Italy – a country that faces the heat of Chinese influence operations, to a greater extent to induce Chinese technologies. Besides, it is using the WHO to the fullest to expand its Health Silk Road project.

When the Trump administration decided to freeze funds for the WHO in April 2020, China quickly donated USD 2 billion to help the organisation and further strengthen its control.

The democratic and liberal countries across the world should come together to check the Chinese expansion to control the health sector of the world by leveraging the pandemic. The primary need is to tackle the Chinese disinformation campaign to ensure deniability and dodge allegations of spreading the covid pandemic worldwide. 

These countries should keep pressurising China over the pandemic and keep seeking an international investigation into this, including the allegations of artificially developing the virus in a lab.

China has been the most notorious country indulged in stealing sensitive data of citizens of foreign countries, attacking their privacy – the intrinsic parts of their right to lie! The countries that imported Chinese health equipment, especially those produced by surveillance companies should make a joint inquiry over possible theft of the health data, including the
hypersensitive data. 

They should also make an inquiry over the health products donated by China or Chinese companies as ‘goodwill’ or ‘diplomatic’ gestures. 5G technologies of Huawei and ZTE are facing worldwide backlash and countries like the UK, Germany, US, Australia, and several others have either shown them the door or are planning to fully eliminate them. This global movement needs to be intensified and it needs to be ensured that these companies are limited to a handful of nations, if not entirely eliminated from across the world.

Most importantly, all these countries shall ban the entry of China or Chinese technologies in their countries henceforth, blocking all the entry points of Chinese expansionist ambitions through healthcare. Finally, democratic powers need to come together and collaborate to develop a strong chain of healthcare supplies and medical equipment.

They should also think about launching research projects on emerging technologies in healthcare. A health consortium of hospitals, institutions, universities, and research centers on utilising AI and health stack to fight pandemics could be thought of. This shall not only reduce dependence over China, but shall also help the world to complement each other to
strengthen the healthcare of respective countries.

China plans to use the pandemic to its leverage to dominate the post-pandemic world. Controlling the healthcare sector and sensitive data of individuals across the world can further help it to intensify its influence operations and surveil citizens worldwide from Beijing. 

The issue is not only to prevent the BRI and Health Silk Road, rather, but the world also needs to protect the privacy and human rights of their citizens by barring China’s entry into the healthcare sector. Collaboration between the liberal democracies is the key. It shall not only help to limit China but to prepare the world to fight more efficiently with possible global health crises.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by Trending News in India.


Joe Biden names this Indian-American as Assistant White House Press Secretary | Trending News in India



Joe Biden names this Indian-American as Assistant White House Press Secretary | Trending News in India Trending News in India

Washington: President-elect Joe Biden on Friday named Indian-American Vedant Patel to be the Assistant Press Secretary as he announced the additional members of the White House Communications and Press Staff.

Patel is currently the senior spokesperson of the Biden Inaugural and has been a part of the Biden Campaign as well where he served as Regional Communications Director.

During President-elect Biden’s primary campaign, Patel served as the Nevada and Western Primary-States Communications Director. Previously, he worked as Communications Director to Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Western Regional Press Secretary at the Democratic National Committee, and Communications Director to Congressman Mike Honda.

Born in India and raised in California, Patel is a graduate of the University of California-Riverside and the University of Florida.

Patel is one of the 16 appointments announced by Biden to his White House communications and press staff. Prominent among them are Megan Apper, Director of Research ; Kate Berner, Deputy Communications Director; Rosemary Boeglin, Assistant Press Secretary; Amanda Finney, Chief of Staff for the Press Office and Special Assistant to the Press Secretary; Mike Gwin, Director of Rapid Response and Meghan Hays, Director of Message Planning.

Biden also named Paige Hill as Senior Regional Communications Director; Michael Kikukawa as Press Assistant; Jennifer Molina as Senior Director of Coalitions Media; Kevin Munoz as Assistant Press Secretary; Angela Dela Cruz Perez as Press Assistant; Emma Riley as Chief of Staff for the Office of Communications; Mariel S?ez, Director of Broadcast Media; Amijah Townsend-Holmes, Press Assistant and Remi Yamamoto, Senior Advisor for Communications to the Chief of Staff.

These diverse, experienced and talented individuals demonstrate President-elect Biden’s continued commitment to building an administration that looks like America and is ready to deliver results for working families on day one, the transition said.

“Restoring faith in government by speaking honestly and directly to the American people will be a hallmark of my administration. Our communications and press staff are integral to this effort and are committed to building this country back better for all Americans. I’m proud to have them serve the American people in the White House,” said Biden.

“These appointees are among a diverse and experienced team that is dedicated to rebuilding the trust of the American people amidst a pandemic and a struggling economy,” said incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain.

“In times of crisis, clear communication can save lives and keep families safe. These staff members recognise the important role they play in communicating fact-based information to the public on behalf of the president and vice president-elect. They are respected and creative communicators ready to tackle the urgent challenges facing our nation, he said.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by Trending News in India.

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After Pfizer, US authorizes Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use | Trending News in India



After Pfizer, US authorizes Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use | Trending News in India Trending News in India

WASHINGTON: Moderna has become the second company to get emergency use authorisation for its anti-coronavirus vaccine from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a week after the one developed by Pfizer received a similar approval.

According to an official statement, the FDA has determined that the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine has met the statutory criteria for issuance of an emergency use authorisation (EUA).

“Congratulations, the Moderna vaccine is now available!” President Donald Trump tweeted soon after.

The FDA based its recommendation on the totality of scientific evidence shared by Moderna, including a data analysis from the pivotal phase three clinical study announced on November 30. The primary efficacy analysis conducted on 196 cases indicated a vaccine efficacy rate of 94.1 per cent.

This vaccine is for people aged 18 or older.

An immunisation drive using the vaccine developed by Pfizer has begun in the US earlier this week. Vice President Mike Pence took the shot publicly on Friday.

Health Secretary Alex Azar said, “To have two vaccines against a novel coronavirus authorized and distributed within a year is extraordinary, and to have one of these vaccines developed by scientists at the NIH (National Institutes of Health) should be a great source of pride for every member of the HHS family and every American.”

National Institutes of Health was a partner in the development of Moderna’s vaccine.

“Authorization of Moderna’s vaccine means we can accelerate the vaccination of frontline healthcare workers and Americans in long-term-care facilities, and, ultimately, bring a faster end to this pandemic,” Azar said.

Moderna said that its mRNA-1273 vaccine is now authorized for distribution and use under an emergency use authorization.
Delivery to the US government will begin immediately. Moderna will continue to gather additional data and plans to file a Biologics License Application (BLA) with the FDA requesting full licensure in 2021, it said.

“I am proud of what the Moderna team has achieved in collaboration with our partners. We were able to create and manufacture the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine in 11 months from sequence to authorization, while advancing clinical development with a phase one, phase two and pivotal phase three study of 30,000 participants,” said Chief Executive Officer of Moderna St phane Bancel.

Allocation and distribution of the vaccine will be prioritised according to populations identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

Approximately 20 million doses will be delivered to the US government by the end of December 2020. The company expects to have between 100 million and 125 million doses available globally in the first quarter of 2021, with 85-100 million of those available in the US, Moderna said.

Under Operation Warp Speed, the Department of Defense, in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC, will manage allocation and distribution of the vaccine in the United States.

“With the availability of two vaccines now for the prevention of COVID-19, the FDA has taken another crucial step in the fight against this global pandemic that is causing vast numbers of hospitalizations and deaths in the United States each day,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen M Hahn.

He said through the FDA’s open and transparent scientific review process, two COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized in an expedited timeframe while adhering to the rigorous standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization that the American people have come to expect from the FDA.

Congressman Michael Burgess, a member of the House Rules Committee and Republican Leader of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, said that having a second anti-coronavirus vaccine approved for emergency use in a span of one week, is a shining example of American resourcefulness and the successful work done through Operation Warp Speed.

“I want to thank President Trump for putting American innovation first, our scientists and medical community, and the countless volunteers who have stepped up during this pandemic to serve on the front lines,” she said.

“This second vaccine is a signal that we are nearing the end of this pandemic, but we cannot stop taking the proper precautions especially now that cold and flu season is in full swing.

“Please continue to wash your hands thoroughly, wear a mask if you are unable to properly social distance, and stay home if you are sick. At the start of this pandemic, America declared that we are in this together and together we will reach the end,” Burgess said.

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Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by Trending News in India.

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US head nurse faints during press briefing, received COVID vaccine shot hours back | Trending News in India



US head nurse faints during press briefing, received COVID vaccine shot hours back | Trending News in India Trending News in India

Tennessee: Tiffany Dover, a head nurse at Chattanooga Hospital in Tennessee, created a stir after she passed out during a press briefing from CHI Memorial Hospital. According to reports, the Dover was addressing media informing them that her team was among the first one to receive Pfizer-Bion Tech’s coronavirus vaccine shot.

However, while taking up questions during the media interaction, she suddenly fainted and was helped out by a doctor. The incident was captured on camera. Minutes before she fainted, the head nurse was heard saying, “Sorry, I’m feeling really dizzy.”

She, however, later clarified that she has a history of fainting incident and the latest reaction was not uncommon to her. “I have a history of having an over-reactive vagal response, and so with that if I have pain from anything—hangnail or if I stub my toe — I can just pass out,” the head nurse said. 

According to reports, the head nurse is now feeling better. 

The US FDA has authorized Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use for the prevention of coronavirus disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. A day after the US Food and Drug Administration granted an emergency use authorization to Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, President Donald Trump announced that the US will start rolling out the vaccine in less than 24 hours. He also asserted that he had made sure that this vaccine would be free to all Americans.

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Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by Trending News in India.

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