Global Positioning Systems (GPS) are susceptible to attack and disruption. The Department of Homeland Security sees our reliance on GPS as a vulnerability. We rely on a vastly overconnected GPS web (transportation, energy, communications, emergency services, communication, even financial systems). The right jamming signal could wreak absolute havoc. There’s no real alternative to our over-reliance on GPS. The only thing we can do is improve our ability to detect, deter, and mitigate jamming.
Plane travel could be poisoning you.
The massive cyberattack on our critical infrastructure keeps getting more alarming:
Reuters: MICROSOFT PRESIDENT BRAD SMITH-"LATEST CYBER-ASSAULT IS EFFECTIVELY AN ATTACK ON THE UNITED STATES AND ITS GOVERNMENT AND OTHER CRITICAL INSTITUTIONS"
— Vincent Lee (@Rover829) December 18, 2020
The East Coast is getting slammed by winter storms, and this could tie up some of the vaccine distribution efforts:
US snow storm: Millions on east coast under advisory https://t.co/bzcUO5dO9h
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) December 17, 2020
The world has over 75.2 million cases. Over 4.6 million cases have been added to the tally in the last week. There have been nearly 1.7 million deaths in total. The US has almost 17.6 million cases. The US has added over 1.5 million cases since last Thursday. Over 317,000 Americans have died—over 17,000 in a week. The US has gained over 195,000 new cases since yesterday. The US still leads the world in case growth.
Southern California is out of ICU space and is now in surge-capacity mode:
ICU capacity in Southern California has dropped to 0, according to state officials.
This doesn't mean there are no beds at all, but that hospitals need to use surge planning to make more beds available.
— Soumya (@skarlamangla) December 17, 2020
Here’s an infuriating story of a COVID+ wedding party risking everyone else’s life because it’s their big day. It’s a great read, too.
Sweden admits the failures of the big burn approach:
— Crawford Kilian (@Crof) December 17, 2020
Meanwhile, leadership in the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) appears to have been pursuing the big burn approach all along—“We want them infected”:
🚨BREAKING: New memo reveals Trump admin official pushed "herd immunity" plan to let coronavirus spread widely among infants, youth and younger adults w/o other conditions. Memo via @WhipClyburn quotes official as saying: “We use them to develop herd…we want them infected.” pic.twitter.com/BiZ4VLUXWf
— John Kruzel (@johnkruzel) December 16, 2020
The big burn plan has clearly worked:
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) December 16, 2020
There have been 4 or more reports of serious allergic reactions to the Pfizer vaccine. Some of these reports are happening in folks with no history of allergies. I’ll still take a ~1/10,000 risk of treatable allergic reaction to a ~1/100 risk of dying despite treatment from COVID.
5-day progression of COVID pneumonia. It’s a horrible way to die, and it’s described by survivors as a horrible thing to have to live through, too. You don’t want this.
Dippin’ Dots is here to save the day with its freezers. I’ve always like Dippin’ Dots:
Dippin' Dots saves humanity.
"Vaccine distributors and point-of-care locations, like pharmacies and hospitals, have even reached out to the company about renting equipment, since two of its freezer models would be cold enough for the Pfizer vaccine."https://t.co/kgJLgD8xeC
— Dan Goldgeier (@DanGoldgeier) December 17, 2020
The Pfizer/BioNTech multi-use vaccine vials have extra doses in them, so we’re getting more supply than we though. This is good news.
We’ve got a second at-home test for COVID that has been given Emergency Use Authorization, but just like the Ellume test we mentioned Tuesday, it’s not scaled for distribution or purchase until January. It strikes me as particularly unhelpful that these tests are only now becoming available during the vaccine roll-out. They would have been a lot more impactful had they been available a few months ago. I understand these things take time, but we did little to hasten the progress at a federal level. We needed a Space-Race-Like approach, not a Business-As-Usual approach. Too little, too late in my opinion. I’ll still be purchasing a few as soon as I can for the purposes of household reconnaissance. I should add that government could be purchasing and distributing these en masse to US households—but I get the feeling that’s not part of DHHS’ plan:
The 2nd rapid home antigen test for covid, takes 15 minutes, cleared by FDA today, $25. Still too expensive for frequent/daily use but we're definitely headed in the right direction👍https://t.co/SBDu1AJqCH
They will eventually get down to <$5 to ~$1/test and down to 5 minutes
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) December 16, 2020
Folks from the CDC describe how messaging won over science under the previous Administration. The CDC is now tasked with rebuilding their reputation and the morale of their staff.
Hunger has come to the UK because of COVID:
COVID-19: For the first time in its history UNICEF will help feed kids in the UK https://t.co/BGIniuwUwi
— Sky News (@SkyNews) December 16, 2020