That runoff election would be set for Jan. 5.One of two fierce 2020 races for Georgia’s U.S. Senate seats, the special election pitted several candidates against each other to replace retiring Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson.Georgia’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp chose businesswoman Loeffler in late 2019 to temporarily replace Isakson after he retired due to “health challenges” with three years left in his term. – Advertisement – – Advertisement – Since Isakson had so much time left, his seat is up for election both this year in the special contest to finish the current term and again in 2022 for a regular, six-year Senate tenure.On the Democratic side, support had mostly consolidated by November behind Warnock, a pastor at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. Warnock’s church is known across the country as where civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. served as pastor in the 1960s.Warnock’s principal opponent on the left was Matt Lieberman, son of former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman. Lieberman faced widespread pressure from fellow Democrats to drop out of the race out of fear his presence on the ballot could jeopardize the party’s chances to qualify for the runoff.Notable demographic changes around Georgia’s major cities such as Atlanta have slowly put the historically Republican state in play for Democrats on the national stage.On the Republican side, Loeffler faced a tough reelection challenge from Collins, a fierce supporter of President Donald Trump.Loeffler became the second woman to represent Georgia in the U.S. Senate in January and marked a controversial pick for Kemp, who resisted Trump’s calls to nominate Collins. Other Republicans worried that Loeffler, who once supported political maverick and Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, simply wasn’t conservative enough.Loeffler was quick to bolster her conservative resume throughout 2020 in the hopes of fending off attacks from Collins, who had for months argued that he has a more consistent political track record. Asked during a debate in October to name one thing Trump has said or done that she disagrees with, Loeffler said “No.” Instead, she trumpeted her several months of voting with the president.For his part, Collins for months touted what he believes is his more consistent adherence to conservative values and attacked Loeffler for “shady” stock trading earlier in the year.Loeffler, the wealthiest member of Congress, came under fire in the spring after it was revealed that she and her husband had sold up to $3 million worth of equities. Those stock sales came right before a massive drop in the market in reaction to the spread of Covid-19 in the United States. Adding to the scrutiny, Loeffler is married to Jeffrey Sprecher, the chairman and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange, the company that owns the New York Stock Exchange. The couple’s combined net worth is about $520 million, according to The Washington Post.The regular election for Georgia’s other Senate seat between incumbent Republican David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff is also extremely competitive. Kelly Loeffler, Raphael Warnock, Doug Collins, candidates for Georgia SenateReuters; Getty Images The hotly contested Georgia special election is projected to go to a runoff, according to NBC News, with Democratic nominee Raphael Warnock advancing against a Republican challenger who remains unclear.Two Republicans — Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Rep. Doug Collins — have fought fiercely in the election, with recent polls of the race showing support split relatively evenly between them.With no candidate projected to reach more than 50% of the vote, special election rules state that the top two finishers will compete in a critical January runoff election that will help determine which party takes control of the U.S. Senate. – Advertisement – – Advertisement –
Guggenheim Partner’s Scott Minerd told CNBC that Wednesday’s rally on Wall Street makes sense, despite the uncertain outcome in the presidential race between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden.“I was always of the opinion, regardless of the outcome, short of getting anarchy in the street, that this would be good for stocks,” the firm’s global chief investment officer said on “Closing Bell.” “I honestly believe a blue wave would be better, but I think even if Trump were to be president, that people would say, ‘Hey, we’re not getting any big tax increases and we have a green light as long as the economy stays on track.’”- Advertisement – Minerd’s comments came as the major U.S. stock indexes rose while investors digested the uncertain Election Day results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 367 points, or 1.3%, while the benchmark S&P 500 advanced by 2.2%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq outperformed, jumping by nearly 4%.While NBC News has not made a projection about the balance of power in the Senate, some market watchers believe the stock gains were spurred by a belief that Republicans would maintain their majority, thereby standing in the way of a potential Biden administration’s desire to raise corporate and capital gains taxes. Both policy changes are generally considered to be a headwind for equity valuations.Minerd expressed concerns about the rising number of coronavirus cases and the risk to the economy’s recovery. “The rate of new Covid cases has gone exponential,” he said.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – – Advertisement – “I think we are still in for a pretty severe period of infection coming through the fourth quarter and into the first. That obliviously is going to create a lot of noise in the economy, but it is going to put more pressure on stimulus and the Republicans in the Senate to compromise on providing even more stimulus,” Minerd said. Republicans have favored a smaller stimulus deal than Democrats.Earlier Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he hopes to approve another pandemic relief package “before the end of the year.” He added, “I think that’s job one when we get back. Hopefully we get a more cooperative situation than we’ve had” now that Election Day has passed.Minerd said it is important for investors to see beyond the near-term uncertainties as they consider how to position their portfolios. “At the end of the day, if you can clear smoke in the next months and look through what’s going on in the next six months, as an investor, I think you have to be fairly positive for all risk assets, whether it’s … high-yield bonds, corporate bonds and also for stocks,” he said.
– Advertisement – “I feel like I couldn’t do a dating app just because I’m on TV,” she said. “I feel like people would seek me out.”Lowry noted that even if she wanted to use an app to find love, she wouldn’t know where to start.“I’m so awkward that I don’t know how I would be on a first date,” she revealed. “Like, I don’t eat in front of someone for, like, 10 weeks. Do not take me out on a date where I have to eat in front of you because I won’t.”- Advertisement – The mother of four previously joked about her past relationship issues, blaming the breakups on her lack of filter.“Maybe that’s why my relationships haven’t worked out, because I’m just, like, immediately, like, ‘Here’s all my baggage,’” Lowry said on a September episode of her podcast. “Instead of showing them the good parts of me first, I just dive right into it.”The Hustle and Heart author has been vocal about her ups and downs with her exes over the years, but vowed earlier this month that she was done fighting the men.“I’m not gonna fight. I’m not fighting with nobody,” she told her cohost Vee Rivera on the Tuesday, November 3, episode of their “Baby Mamas No Drama” podcast. “You know what? [In] 2021, Vee, I’m not even f–king playing.”She added: “I am done paying for attorneys. I have six attorneys. When I told you I’m done paying f–king all of them, unless it’s related to my f–king businesses, I am done. I’m done! We [are] working this s–t out.”Lowry shares son Isaac, 10, with ex-boyfriend Jo Rivera, son Lincoln, 6, with ex-husband Javi Marroquin, and sons Lux, 3, and Creed, 3 months, with ex-boyfriend Chris Lopez.Listen to Us Weekly’s Hot Hollywood as each week the editors of Us break down the hottest entertainment news stories! When Chrisley, 31, asked the Teen Mom 2 star how she knew she wouldn’t click with a possible suitor, she pointed to her children.Kailyn Lowry Courtesy of Kailyn Lowry/Instagram“I have four f–king kids! I don’t have anything in common with any man,” Lowry explained. “I’m not gonna date someone who has kids. I’m just not gonna do it. Like, I will not.”The reality star revealed that because her life is so public, she is hesitant about trying any dating app.- Advertisement – Dads are off limits! Kailyn Lowry has a few rules when it comes to what type of man she wants to date.“Part of me wants to try casual dating just to see what it’s like,” Lowry, 28, said on the Thursday, November 5, episode of her “Coffee Convos” podcast with Lindsie Chrisley. “But I don’t think that I could talk to people. I don’t have anything in common [with men].”- Advertisement –
Given that the incubation period of the virus can range up to two weeks, we can expect to have a better idea of election-linked cases before Thanksgiving — which is when hundreds of thousands of college students will travel home, and family gatherings could become petri dishes for the virus.Watch out for Covid feesHealth care during the pandemic has become more costly. Providers need to purchase protective gear and sanitize equipment more often — even as their revenue declines. Dentists, for example, have lost billions as their patients have postponed care, and assisted-living facilities have had to take on fewer residents to help prevent infection.To address the financial shortfall, some health providers are charging surprise “Covid” and “P.P.E.” fees, according to bills examined by two Times investigative reporters, Sarah Kliff and Jessica Silver-Greenberg. England began a four-week national lockdown today as Europe confronts a growing wave of coronavirus infections. What else we’re followingWhat you’re doingIn our home province of Ontario, Canada, we have a Covid restriction on the number of people who can gather in our homes. Our dining room, usually the place of large, noisy family meals, has been silent and empty for months — a mournful reminder of what we’re missing these days and a regrettable waste of space. Last month my husband gave me a Ping-Pong table for my 66th birthday. We squashed our dining room furniture into other rooms and created a Ping-Pong parlor. We’re having so much fun resurrecting this beloved game of our youth and have the high hope that our hilarious competition and ever-improving skills will help carry us through the long winter ahead.— Joan Gregorich, OttawaLet us know how you’re dealing with the pandemic. Send us a response here, and we may feature it in an upcoming newsletter.Sign up here to get the briefing by email.Email your thoughts to [email protected] – Advertisement – Here’s a roundup of restrictions in all 50 states. One woman found a $45 fee tacked on to a dental cleaning in New York City. An 87-year-old resident in assisted living was charged a one-time fee of $900 for masks, cleaning supplies and meal delivery. The bill for a woman who took a one-mile ambulance ride included a $60 charge for personal protective equipment, even though she was already wearing a mask.Some state attorneys general have said that charging patients directly can take advantage of vulnerable consumers or violate health insurance contracts and consumer protection laws. The new charges range from a couple of dollars to nearly $1,000 and seem to be especially prevalent in dentists’ offices.“If someone sees a P.P.E. or Covid fee on their medical bill, they should feel comfortable asking questions about it,” Sarah told us. “You might want to ask your health provider why it was charged, or ask your insurance company why it wasn’t covered. If your health provider is billing you directly, you might consider filing a complaint with your state attorney general’s office. Maryland, Connecticut and New York have already outlawed this type of practice, all after they received consumer complaints.”You can also be proactive, she said, and ask if any new fees have been implemented since your last visit.“This is obviously easier for some services than others — you can do this for a trip to the dentist, but not necessarily a ride in an ambulance,” she said.Resurgences A terrifying U.S. record: more than 100,000 cases in a day, two days runningWhile Americans focused on a nail-biting stream of election results, the country reached a tragic record, recording more than 100,000 new daily cases on both Wednesday and Thursday — a global first.In contrast to the spring, when outbreaks were occurring largely in the Northeast, and the summer, when they were clustered in the Sun Belt, the pandemic has now engulfed most of the nation, reaching new heights in nearly half of the country. Twenty-three states recorded more cases over the past week than in any other seven-day stretch.- Advertisement – China halted the entry of almost anyone traveling from Bangladesh, Belgium, Britain, India or the Philippines, the latest move by Beijing to keep out anyone with even a slight chance of being infected with the virus. And while things are bad now, to be blunt, there are very real possibilities that they’ll worsen over the coming month. Tens of millions of Americans turned out to vote in person in the presidential race this week. Earlier this week, our colleague Sarah Mervosh told us that after the last time Americans voted during a pandemic (in 1918), infections remained high for months, although there were other contributing factors.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Places like Minnesota, Nebraska, Colorado and Indiana have all hit single-day case records. Regionally, the Midwest and the Great Plains — including North and South Dakota and Wisconsin — have for weeks led the country in cases per capita, and the infection rates are getting worse.Those hunting for signs of progress will be hard pressed to find any. Deaths related to the virus, which lag behind case reports, have increased 21 percent across the country in the past two weeks, reaching 1,616 on Wednesday. More than 50,000 people are hospitalized with Covid-19 across the country, an increase of roughly 64 percent since the beginning of October.
Thus, both Loeffler and Perdue have been left trying to appease a lunatic without ticking off the residents of their state. Trump made that particularly difficult for them Thursday after he skewered Georgia election officials during an unhinged screed as his lead in the Peach State started to evaporate.“In Georgia, I won by a lot—a lot,” Trump told reporters from the White House briefing room, suggesting that his third-inning lead should have been game over. Instead, that lead “got whittled down,” he complained, demonstrating a pre-school level grasp of how election counts work. By way of explanation for his diminished position, Trump said a pipe had burst in the state, the counting had stopped, and “a lot of things happened.” So there you have it, folks. Plus, “The election apparatus in Georgia is run by Democrats,” Trump added. Except, it’s not—both the sitting governor and secretary of state are Republicans.- Advertisement – Anyhow, Loeffler and Perdue were then forced to reconcile their need for earning Trump’s continued endorsement with their need to reassure constituents that they valued their votes. Both GOP senators chose to thread that needle by saying every “legal vote” must be counted while expressing optimism that doing so would render Trump the winner.“Every lawful vote cast should be counted, once. If that happens, I believe @realDonaldTrump will be re-elected,” tweeted Perdue.“Praying for four more years of @realDonaldTrump! RT if you AGREE,” added Loeffler, with an extra dash of enthusiastic obsequiousness. – Advertisement – Trump’s sons, Eric and Don Jr., have been on the war path, complaining that GOP establishment-types aren’t properly aiding Trump’s efforts to shred the nation’s election process. In response, bootlickers like Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina rushed onto Fox News, counseling state GOP lawmakers in Pennsylvania to illegally subvert the state’s electoral system. But this is now the tension Republican senators are saddled with as they work to keep their fragile majority. If Democrats win both Senate runoffs in Georgia early next year, they would secure a bare majority in the upper chamber, assuming the tie-breaker vote of a Vice President Kamala Harris. It’s still an open question whether Trump will help the Senate GOP caucus or, rather, deliciously turn on them for being insufficiently loyal. But if there’s one thing Tuesday proved, it’s that Trump turns out GOP voters who can’t be bothered to show up when he’s not on the ticket. That was certainly the case in 2018. – Advertisement – – Advertisement –
Vaccines are still coming. Treatments are still coming. But the current rapidly rising curve isn’t going to be slowed by promises that are still months away.And dammit, I was going to write more about the study showing that areas that watch Fox News have greater rates of both infection and death, about hot spots resulting from Halloween parties that didn’t practice safety, and about the possibility of a fresh wave of cases in the next week after people ignored guidelines on Election Day. But nope. This is it. We may be in the middle of the worst thing that’s happened in our lifetimes, but at the moment we’re also in a moment of incredible relief. Go celebrate. Over 30 states hit new records in the past two weeks as the nation matched to unprecedented highs. It’s not just that the new peak has exceeded past records. It’s also that it shows no sign of stopping. It’s that it’s still accelerating. This is a steeper exponential curve than at previous points in the pandemic, and it shows exactly what happens when everything has been “opened” to the point where a highly contagious disease meets very little resistance.New cases of COVID-19, based on data from COVID-19 Tracking ProjectIt’s not as bad as it could be. COVID-19 has an R0 number that is currently estimated to be around 2.5. The curve we’re witnessing at the moment doesn’t match the horror that would result if a disease with that level of transmission and with no native immunity were spreading completely unchecked. That doesn’t mean it’s not extremely bad, or that rapid, firm, nationwide restrictions are not needed to prevent hospitals in multiple states from exceeding capacity and driving fatality rates back to what was seen in the early days of the pandemic.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Unfortunately, we’re not about to get that action from Donald Trump or his team still in the White House. What we are going to get from that team is blatant examples of what happens when you ignore a dangerous disease and sneer at the need to use safety measures. Case in point: Mark Meadows. Donald Trump’s chief of staff, who frequently clashed with reporters over his refusal to don a mask and laughed off concerns about the virus, was reported to have tested positive on Friday. Since the announcement about Meadows, four five more White House staffers have tested positive, along with a member of Trump’s campaign team. And on Saturday morning it was also announced that Rep. Matt Gaetz—previously seen prancing around the House floor in a World War II vintage gas masks to make fun of those with coronavirus concerns, also had COVID-19. Gaetz has since tried to correct this, saying that he has the antibodies, not the disease.And hey, I was right this many sentences old when AP and NBC finally got off their butts and called Pennsylvania for Joe Biden. Wheeh! Now, back to the disaster in progress.In January, the nation should finally see some relief as Joe Biden brings in a respect for science that is likely to include a nationwide mask mandate and social distancing guidelines backed up by some teeth—such as cutting off funds to states that don’t do their best to protect their citizens. But three months’ worth of unchecked spread between now and then would turn everything that’s happened so far into a footnote. Pressure has to be applied at both a state and federal level to get some relief. Now. Unfortunately, the best bet for seeing that relief is that governors are starting to hear those calls again from local hospitals whose ICUs are full and whose regular beds are filling. – Advertisement –
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Image:Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has received the public backing of United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward despite their slow start Bruno Fernandes does not care if people think other teams are stronger than Manchester United, he believes they have the mentality to win trophies.United have not claimed any silverware since completing the Europa League and League Cup double in 2017 under Jose Mourinho.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – “I was talking with Fred and I was going to say to him, ‘Hey, watch him playing and do the same’, but I thought it was unfair and so I didn’t say it,” Fernandes joked.He added: “I’m learning a lot from him (Carrick) and he’s one of the people I like to listen to, because he was a big player, he won a lot of trophies for the club and for me you have to learn from these players.“(Joao) Moutinho and Carrick, they are the sort of players from whom you can learn how to be smart in the game, how to be clever.“Maybe they’re not the sort of players that kids will watch and say, ‘I want to be like Michael Carrick’, but when you have one in the team, you know that guy will never miss a pass, you know he will do the smart pass, most of the times will make the right decision, and you need these kinds of players.” – Advertisement – – Advertisement – FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester United’s win over Everton in the Premier League Fernandes, who arrived at Old Trafford in January, helped United to the semi-finals of the FA Cup and Europa League last season, as well as a third-place finish in the league.The club’s hopes of ending an eight-year wait for a Premier League title look bleak after three defeats from their first seven matches in this campaign.Victory over Everton before the international break eased some pressure on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but the squad’s inconsistency has led to criticism from the likes of Roy Keane and Graeme Souness. Speaking on the UTD podcast, Fernandes said: “For me, it doesn’t matter about the other teams, people may say they are better than us, they have a better first XI than us, the guys who come from the bench are better, people can say what they think, I don’t care.“For me, I came to Manchester to win trophies. You are playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world. This club has made history in the past, an amazing history. Image:Fernandes has taken extra advice from former United midfielder and current first-team coach Michael Carrick “For a club like Manchester United, it’s a long time since we won the Premier League. It’s too long, I think.“So you have to have in your mind – all the players, all the staff – we are here to win. And I think we have that mentality.”Bruno ‘learning lots’ from CarrickFernandes also revealed he has been taking inspiration from former United midfielder – now the club’s first-team coach – Michael Carrick.Carrick impressed the Portugal international with his passing accuracy after making up the numbers in training this week. 3:12
Hired when Nashville were playing the United Soccer League, Smith impressed enough to be entrusted with the role of head coach for this inaugural MLS season. He has rewarded that faith with a seventh-place finish – three above Miami – and a place in the playoffs.“I think it has exceeded everyone’s expectations,” he says. “It is a brand new group and I have tried to bring those guys together and create a bit of an identity, a style. It is not easy.- Advertisement – Image:Smith is an MLS winner during his time at Colorado Rapids in 2010 I think it makes for great press. David and Goliath, if you like.Gary Smith on the game against Inter Miami There has since been the tornado in Tennessee that forced two of the team to move house and the challenge of making up for missed games in what has been a packed schedule.Smith has found a way. At 51, his only management role in English football ended seven years ago at Stevenage, but his pedigree Stateside is not in question. The Miami game will take place 10 years to the day since he led Colorado Rapids to glory in the MLS Cup.He had reservations about the move to Nashville at first. Smith’s first impression of Music City was that this was “Blackpool on steroids” but he has since found comfort in a quieter part of town, making a new life there with his wife and three teenage children.- Advertisement – “You are not only trying to fast-track relationships, building a rapport and understanding, but you have got to present a practical idea. What is the philosophy? How are we are going to compete? The template is laid out but it is then up to the players to bring it to life.“It has just been an incredibly difficult year for everyone involved but to show the character and spirit that we have is a testament to the individuals that we have in the group.” Image:Smith believes his Nashville players have exceeded expectations this year Image:Smith has succeeded in forming a strong bond among his players in quick time Could there be a repeat of that success with Colorado Rapids? It would be a sensational story, once more, but Smith does not sound like a man who is ruling it out.“Quite frankly, there is no comparison with how this club is run. The understanding with the technical director, the general manager, the ownership group, it is just poles apart.“Again, this is an unfancied group. Again, we are battling the odds.“It is different here but the fact that we are unfancied and were unfancied from the outset plays into this. Does anyone really want to play us? I would not think so. The team that plays against us is expected to win and I believe that makes it difficult for our opponent.”Beckham, watch out? “Fortunately for us,” laughs Smith, “he isn’t playing.” Image:This is Nashville’s first season in MLS having joined as an expansion team Watch highlights of Nashville’s impressive 3-0 win over Dallas last month It is a bittersweet memory now. The people of Nashville had rallied behind the team but the Covid-19 crisis means that the crowds have not been able to return in numbers since then.And yet, Smith’s side have battled on. They have been beaten only once at home since that opening game – and even that was as a result of a controversial offside call. Nashville have the third best defensive record in the league. That could be crucial in the playoffs.“A lot of press and pundits look at the fact that we don’t concede goals and I think that has sometimes been misconstrued,” says Smith, a reference to his reputation for defence.“The big thing that I have always wanted from a group is to be organised. That defensive organisation has helped us to stay in games when we have not had the firepower to make it work. Credit to the group for staying focused and organised and carrying out our plan.“There is more than one way to skin a cat.”The game against Miami highlights that clearly. The razzmatazz that has greeted the Florida outfit’s introduction to MLS contrasts with the more measured approach of Nashville. “People will look at the similarities – or maybe the lack of similarities,” says Smith. Indeed, Smith still has the ball from the MLS Cup final. His eldest daughter jumped the hoardings upon the final whistle and at the age of seven had the wherewithal to grab it.“Next thing you know, she is standing there with the match-ball. It is amazing what takes their focus. She went scuttling after it. I got the guys to sign it. It is pride of place.”But within a year of that success, Smith was gone. Without a green card in America, he returned to England hoping that his achievements overseas had been noted.He ended up at Stevenage.“I would have loved an opportunity in the Championship but that was not the case,” he explains. “Maybe the league was not viewed as it should have been but I thought Stevenage was a good opportunity. You don’t go anywhere thinking that it is going to be ****.”Smith took Stevenage to the League One playoffs in his first season, losing to Sheffield United in the semi-final. It remains the club’s highest league finish in its history but he was sacked the following March, just days after a 4-0 win over the Blades, and with the team safely in midtable, after what was described by the board as a ‘worrying’ run of form.“What happened there was probably my biggest frustration,” he admits.“I understand that all managers are under pressure. But knowing you have a budget among the bottom three or four, and that you are punching above your weight in a transition period, that was my biggest frustration. I felt I deserved a bit more time.”It has been a long road back to the big time, which is why Nashville’s opening game against Atlanta United back in March – played in the Tennessee Titans’ stadium in front of a huge crowd of almost 60,000 supporters – was such an emotional experience for Smith.“It was an incredible occasion,” he says. “For everyone who was at the game there were some really deep emotions. The stadium itself is magnificent. To be standing there with nearly 60,000 there, a brand new team, all the effort that had gone into that.“Of course, for me personally, having won a championship in Denver and then not having had another opportunity in MLS until that Atlanta game, it was quite remarkable really.” When Inter Miami travel to Nashville for the playoff game between the two MLS expansion teams this Sunday evening, most eyes will be on Miami co-owner David Beckham. But it is another less well-known Englishman whose fingerprints will be all over the occasion.Nashville head coach Gary Smith has faced down adversity this year. His team, short on stars but long on determination, only met up during pre-season and could not even complete in the opening tournament in Orlando when much of the roster was struck down by Covid-19.- Advertisement – In 2017, much to his amusement, he was even selected by a local magazine as one of the 25 most beautiful people in Nashville. “I think they were struggling for candidates that year,” he tells Sky Sports. “But the photographer did tell me that I was definitely in the top 10.” 1:01 It is also a testament to the work of Smith and his backroom staff, which includes the former Leicester and England winger Steve Guppy. The pair were once team-mates at Wycombe.Reunited at Nashville, they are attempting to recreate one of the more unlikely achievements in MLS history when Colorado Rapids defied the odds a decade ago.Smith had only gone to Denver to set up a youth academy for Arsenal but was unexpectedly offered the job in chaotic circumstances. He recalls a franchise that was “immersed in mediocrity” but history was made with a come-from-behind win over FC Dallas.“It was a remarkable journey,” he says.“There were a lot of things behind the scenes. It was not a harmonious group. I am talking about the technical director and the senior staff at the club. To build a team when it was such a fractured outfit, to build a spirit of togetherness, the very epitome of us against the world, and go on and win a championship with the next to lowest budget in the league…“There weren’t many spending less than us at the time. It was an amazing achievement and one that we all constantly chat about and look back on with great feelings of pride.” “Their additions have been far more high profile than ours but they have brought something to the table and their form has improved. They have got themselves in this playoff spot.“I think it makes for great press. David and Goliath, if you like. They are still under more pressure than we are because of the expectations in general of that franchise. But we have gone about our business and dealt with the adversity. That has brought the group together.“Our competitive nature speaks for itself. This is a terrific group of players and their fibre and inner spirit is something you need in the playoffs.“If we can get past this hurdle, if we can get this job done at home, which will not be easy, I believe it will give the group a confidence that will be unquenchable, really. Then, I think you will see a group of players who are feeling ten feet tall and feeling pretty bulletproof.” – Advertisement –
Oct 19, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – Seeking to calm public worries about the influenza vaccine shortage, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy Thompson announced today that Aventis Pasteur will produce another 2.6 million doses for distribution in January.In addition, Thompson said the nation can come up with enough antiviral drugs to treat about 40 million people, which could help compensate for the vaccine shortage. Thompson made the announcement during a teleconference this afternoon.David Williams, chairman of Aventis Pasteur, said growth of the two influenza A strains used in the vaccine has been somewhat higher than predicted this year, making it possible to produce 2.6 million more doses. “We’re very fortunate that we ended up with enough concentrate of the two A strains to provide the 2.6 million doses we’re talking about,” he said.When the extra doses are ready in January, they will bring the company’s total production this year to 58 million doses, Williams said.Thompson said that with the Aventis supply and another 2 million doses of FluMist, the nasal spray vaccine licensed only for healthy people aged 5 to 49 years, the nation has a total of 60 million doses of vaccine for this season.HHS had hoped for about 100 million doses, but 46 million to 48 million doses of Chiron vaccine evaporated 2 weeks ago when British regulators determined that signs of contamination in some lots made the entire supply unsafe. US officials concurred last week after inspecting Chiron’s plant in Liverpool, England.Thompson said the nation has an “ample supply” of antiviral medications to help cope with the flu season. “We’ve gone out and stockpiled antiviral medications for more than 7 million people,” he said. In a news release, HHS said it has spent $87.1 million to stockpile 2.3 million doses of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and $34 million to buy rimantadine capsules to treat 4.25 million adults and rimantadine syrup for 750,000 children.Additional supplies of antivirals, including zanamivir and amantadine, are in private hands, and more could be produced this season, Thompson added. “All told, between existing stockpiles and private supplies and production capabilities, FDA [the Food and Drug Administration] estimated there could be enough to treat nearly 40 million people through the flu season,” he said.Thompson said the FDA is negotiating with Canada for some possible additional vaccine doses. Previous reports have said a Canadian company called ID Biomedical could potentially supply about 1.5 million doses.Acting FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford said the agency is continuing to look “throughout the world” for vaccine, but any available doses may not be licensed in the United States. “It may be that we can license some of these vaccines under investigational new drug applications for a limited amount of time,” he said. “But it’s not possible at this time to say how many additional doses we’ll find and what the fate of them will be in the regulatory process.”Health officials have asked healthy people to forgo flu shots this years so that people in high-risk groups—infants, the elderly, people with certain chronic medical conditions, and healthcare workers caring for people at high risk—can be vaccinated. Thompson stressed the message again today: “Please, if you are not in a priority category, do not get this shot.” He also urged healthcare workers not to vaccinate people who don’t need it.About 24 million doses of vaccine remain, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be working with Aventis to distribute them over the next several weeks, Thompson said. “We need all of us to take a deep breath,” he said. “We’ve worked through vaccine supply problems in the past and we can do so now as well.” He urged elderly people not to stand in long lines for vaccine, but to be patient and persistent in seeking it.Thompson today vigorously defended the Bush administration’s record on flu preparedness. Sen. John Kerry, Bush’s Democratic opponent in the Nov 2 election, has criticized him over the vaccine shortage.Thompson said Bush has increased spending on flu vaccine by 700%, from about $40 million in 2001 to $284 million in 2005. He said HHS has asked for $100 million to develop cell-culture technology to produce flu vaccine and improve conventional egg-based production of flu vaccine. The administration also created the first federal flu vaccine stockpile, consisting of 4.5 million doses for the Vaccines for Children program, he added.The HHS secretary also announced “the formalization of a federal task force that will coordinate our nation’s efforts to ensure that the flu vaccine and treatment medication goes to those who need it most and without any price gouging.”Thompson dismissed the suggestion from a Democratic senator that he declare a pubic health emergency over the flu vaccine shortage. “The public health emergency would just create more confusion and not accomplish anything,” he said.He also talked about reasons for the decline in the number of US flu vaccine manufacturers from five in 1994 to two today. He cited “high risk associated with a complex production process, unpredictable consumer demand that often leaves manufacturers with millions of unsold doses,” and “costly liability lawsuits.”See also:Oct 19 HHS news release on supply of flu vaccine and antiviral drugshttp://archive.hhs.gov/news/press/2004pres/20041019a.htmlOct 18 CDC guidelines on use of use of antiviral drugs for prevention and treatment of fluhttp://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/treatment/0405antiviralguide.htm