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60 Minutes on the coronavirus and climate change

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Coronavirus research upended by politics

An American scientist who collaborates with the Wuhan Institute of Virology had his grant terminated in the wake of unsubstantiated claims that COVID-19 is either manmade or leaked out of a Chinese government lab. Scott Pelley reports.

Ending funding for coronavirus research

Faulty allegations led to cutting $3.7 million dollars to ecologists studying coronaviruses. The ramifications may be felt in future pandemics.

-Author Bill McKibben says we now have an opportunity to flatten another curve after coronavirus: “Flatten the carbon curve too… [T]hen people might look back in 50 years at this time and thank us, you know, instead of curse us.”
“[T]he idea of touch, you know, the idea of proximity — all these things will become so laden with risk and fear for a long, long time,” says novelist Arundhati Roy on the impacts of coronavirus.
“The world has spent so much time guarding its borders against the outsider or the enemy, you know? And somehow [coronavirus] has attacked the most powerful countries in the world, in the most tragically powerful way,” says author Arundhati Roy.
“Doctors actually wore PPE…[and] a mask…[with] a long beak.” A Yale professor who has written about plagues throughout history says some public health methods used during past epidemics resemble practices in use today…except the beak.
“Biology just doesn’t care. It doesn’t care that it’s causing a recession, you know? It’s not going to back off because it’s an election year,” says Bill McKibben, an author and authority on climate change, about coronavirus.
“We don’t yet have a national strategy to respond fully to this pandemic,” says government scientist Rick Bright, who filed a whistleblower complaint charging the government’s response to coronavirus has been slow and chaotic.
“I believe my last-ditch effort to protect Americans from that drug was the final straw that they used.” Government scientist Rick Bright says he believes he was retaliated against for raising concerns about hydroxychloroquine.
Whistleblower Rick Bright says that in January 2020, he repeatedly tried to alert his superiors at HHS about warnings he was receiving regarding depleted PPE supply chains.


Former BARDA scientist says one lesson government agencies learned during a 2019 exercise about responding to a fast-spreading virus from China was that the U.S. medical supply chain would be under stocked and under stress during a pandemic.

-“We had practiced… We knew exactly what to do,” says former BARDA scientists Rick Bright about the “Crimson Contagion” pandemic exercise that government agencies had run months before the coronavirus outbreak.

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