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PM Johnson’s hospitalization triggers concern of succession

Cornell University
6-Apr-2020 5:40 PM EDT, by Cornell University

On Monday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was moved into an intensive care unit after his coronavirus symptoms worsened. Johnson, who secured his premiership last December with a landslide victory for the Conservative Party, ran on a populist and pro-Brexit platform. As coronavirus started to spread in the country, Johnson initially opposed lockdown-type measures suggesting that a speedy spread of the virus would create “herd immunity.”

Alexandra Cirone, professor in Cornell University’s department of government and an expert in European politics, says that Johnson’s worsening condition poses the question of what an emergency leadership selection would look like for U.K.’s Conservative Party. Bio: https://government.cornell.edu/alexandra-e-cirone Cirone says: “This high-profile hospitalization comes after a wave of politicians have also been diagnosed with COVID-19, including the EU’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, the French Minister of Culture Franck Riester, and at least 24 members of the Iranian parliament.

However, Boris Johnson’s case is notable because his government was slow to act in response to COVID-19. He seemed to ignore expert evidence on mitigating the pandemic using lockdown and social distancing measures, in favor of a misguided ‘herd immunity’ approach. “Politicians are arguably at risk — leaders work long hours (particularly during a crisis), come in contact with a wide range of constituents, and sometimes lead unhealthy lifestyles. Yet these and other high-profile cases demonstrate, among other things, that no one is immune from the virus, and that every single government should be taking drastic measures to slow the spread. “Note that in the event a U.K. prime minister dies in office, there is no written order of succession.

They are not succeeded by the deputy prime minister (as the vice president would, in the case of the U.S.). Instead, the queen would need to appoint a replacement prime minister, from a choice of candidates (ideally one) submitted by the governing party. “If the Conservative Party can ensure a clear-cut emergency leadership selection, then the government could better adapt; however, the choice is not obvious.

Dominic Raab is the deputy prime minister, but there are other prominent ministers who could also fill the position. Citizens, on the other hand, either don’t know or surprisingly seem to support the newly appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak. Given the crisis, the Conservative Party would be well served to ensure that any emergency leadership selection is efficient and uncontroversial.” - 30 -

 




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Released: 10-Jul-2020 3:05 PM EDT
Simple blood test can predict severity of COVID-19 for some patients
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

An early prognosis factor that could be a key to determining who will suffer greater effects from COVID-19, and help clinicians better prepare for these patients, may have been uncovered by researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). Results of the findings were published today in the International Journal of Laboratory Hematology.

Released: 10-Jul-2020 12:50 PM EDT
Genetic ‘fingerprints’ of first COVID-19 cases help manage pandemic
University of Sydney

A new study published in the world-leading journal Nature Medicine, reveals how genomic sequencing and mathematical modelling gave important insights into the ‘parentage’ of cases and likely spread of the disease in New South Wales.

Released: 10-Jul-2020 12:35 PM EDT
Our itch to share helps spread COVID-19 misinformation
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

To stay current about the Covid-19 pandemic, people need to process health information when they read the news. Inevitably, that means people will be exposed to health misinformation, too, in the form of false content, often found online, about the illness.

Newswise: Pandemic Inspires Framework for Enhanced Care in Nursing Homes
Released: 10-Jul-2020 12:25 PM EDT
Pandemic Inspires Framework for Enhanced Care in Nursing Homes
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

As of May 2020, nursing home residents account for a staggering one-third of the more than 80,000 deaths due to COVID-19 in the U.S. This pandemic has resulted in unprecedented threats—like reduced access to resources needed to contain and eliminate the spread of the virus—to achieving and sustaining care quality even in the best nursing homes. Active engagement of nursing home leaders in developing solutions responsive to the unprecedented threats to quality standards of care delivery is required.

Newswise: General Electric Healthcare Chooses UH to Clinically 
Evaluate First-of-its-kind Imaging System
Released: 10-Jul-2020 12:15 PM EDT
General Electric Healthcare Chooses UH to Clinically Evaluate First-of-its-kind Imaging System
University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center

University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center physicians completed evaluation for the GE Healthcare Critical Care Suite, and the technology is now in daily clinical practice – flagging between seven to 15 collapsed lungs per day within the hospital. No one on the team could have predicted the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but this technology and future research with GEHC may enhance the capability to improve care for COVID-19 patients in the ICU. Critical Care Suite is now assisting in COVID and non-COVID patient care as the AMX 240 travels to intensive care units within the hospital.

Released: 10-Jul-2020 11:50 AM EDT
COVID-19 Can Be Transmitted in the Womb, Reports Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins

A baby girl in Texas – born prematurely to a mother with COVID-19 – is the strongest evidence to date that intrauterine (in the womb) transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can occur, reports The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, the official journal of The European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

Released: 10-Jul-2020 9:45 AM EDT
How COVID-19 Shifted Inpatient Imaging Utilization
Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute

As medical resources shifted away from elective and non-urgent procedures toward emergent and critical care of COVID-19 patients, departments were forced to reconfigure their personnel and resources. In particular, many Radiology practices rescheduled non-urgent and routine imaging according to recommendations from the American College of Radiology (ACR). This new Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute study, published online in the Journal of American College of Radiology (JACR), evaluates the change in the inpatient imaging volumes and composition mix during the COVID-19 pandemic within a large healthcare system.

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Embargo will expire: 12-Jul-2020 7:00 PM EDT Released to reporters: 10-Jul-2020 9:00 AM EDT

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Released: 10-Jul-2020 9:00 AM EDT
Team is first in Texas to investigate convalescent plasma for prevention of COVID-19 onset and progression
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

A research team is the first in Texas to investigate whether plasma from COVID-19 survivors can be used in outpatient settings to prevent the onset and progression of the virus in two new clinical trials at UTHealth.


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