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Whitmer vetoes bill to expand immunity from medical lawsuits

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday vetoed Republican-sponsored legislation that would have given additional health providers and facilities legal protection from lawsuits in any state-declared emergency and have continued the immunity for longer during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.The governor, a Democrat, said she would have considered signing the bill if it only had attempted to “mop up” an issued created when the GOP-led Legislature refused to lengthen her declared COVID-19 emergency. The measure goes “much further,” however, she wrote in a letter to senators.ADVERTISEMENT“For example, this bill would give health care providers and the facilities that employ them broad immunity every time an emergency or disaster is declared, regardless of whether the circumstances demand this extreme measure,” Whitmer said. “A person receiving treatment at a hospital or a resident in a nursing home would be powerless to seek relief when they are harmed in any but the most egregious cases.”The legislation was supported by hospitals, doctors, nurses and nursing homes but opposed by plaintiffs’ lawyers.One of the statutes Whitmer has cited to declare the virus emergency — the underpinning of her various orders to curb the spread of COVID-19 — includes a provision shielding health …

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COVID sparks lawsuits in CT, but not the ‘epidemic’ businesses seeking immunity expected

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Washington – After 15 years on the job, dental hygienists Katarzyna Rojinska and Izebela Cwalina were furloughed by the pandemic, then fired when they balked at returning to work due to concerns their workplace was unsafe.They are suing their employer, a periodontist who has offices in Middletown and New Britain, for wrongful termination. Their case is one of about 50 COVID-related lawsuits filed in both state and federal courts in Connecticut.
Their lawsuit is the kind being cited in a new wave of lobbying of Congress by representatives for businesses, schools, colleges and hospitals seeking immunity from what they fear will be a flood of of virus-related lawsuits. Yet, months into the pandemic, there is no such avalanche of litigation.
According to a COVID-19 case tracker established by the law firm of Hunton Andrews Kurth,  as of Aug. 6, nearly half of the 50 COVID cases filed in Connecticut are insurance-related, brought by businesses suing their insurers for failing to cover losses due to coronavirus shutdowns. Nearly 25 percent of the 4,113 COVID-19 cases filed nationwide are also insurance-related contract cases.

Source: Hunton Andrews Kurth. Data last updated August 6, 2020. Hover or click for the precise number of lawsuits. Credit: Kasturi Pananjady

Other cases were brought by …

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COVID-19 is pushing Indians to rely on ‘immunity-boosting’ brands and home remedies

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“How many of the immunity boosters in the marketplace actually do anything at all? And the short answer is none of them have provided any real evidence that they boost immunity,” said Dr Satyajit Rath, an immunologist with the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research in Pune. In one sense, these are just placebos, he said. But on the other hand, “I’m unhappy because that feel-good boost is based on an erroneous understanding of immunity.” Immunity is the body’s response to foreign entrants seen as a threat, including bacteria, viruses, allergens and more. The immune system recognises particles called antigens as foreign, and reacts to them. However, the messaging around ‘immunity boosting’ products would lead you to believe that there is a simplistic and homogenous path to strengthening it. That, however, isn’t the case. Dr Satyajit Rath explained, “So the simplest interpretation of the idea of boosting immunity is that you make it much easier for these responses to happen. Now when you make it much easier for these responses to happen, the likelihood that they will happen, even when there is no trigger, goes up. And all these immune responses, while they do help the body …

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Why Herd Immunity Won’t Save Us : Short Wave

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A man wearing a protective mask walks next to travelers as they line up to board a boat in Stockholm, Sweden.

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Herd immunity. It’s the idea that enough people become immune to an infectious disease that it’s no longer likely to spread. It makes sense theoretically. But as NPR’s Geoff Brumfiel tells us, the reality, in this coronavirus pandemic, is potentially full of risk and probably unachievable. Email the show at shortwave@npr.org. This episode was produced by Abby Wendle, fact-checked by Berly McCoy, and edited by Viet Le.

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Nuts to turmeric milk: Five foods you can eat to boost immunity

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By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |

Published: August 10, 2020 11:40:37 am

Have soaked almonds in the morning or cashews or peanuts as mid-meal. (Source: getty images)
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, health experts are constantly emphasising on boosting immunity to keep infection at bay. And immunity-boosting tips are coming from all corners, with people advising you to pop immunity-boosting pills and other nutrient-rich foods.
Celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar, however, believes that the best way to boost immunity is by eating local and seasonal foods. She took to Instagram to suggest some basic foods that help in boosting immunity and improving overall health.
“It is not just about what you ingest but also about what you digest, absorb in your intestines, assimilate and finally excrete…We need to go back to eating more local, seasonal and traditional (foods),” Diwekar said in the Instagram video.
Read| FSSAI recommends eating these foods to boost immunity
Here are the foods she suggested:
Nuts: Diwekar advised having a handful of soaked almonds or raisins first thing in the morning or cashews or peanuts anytime during the day as mid-meal.
Ragi/Nachni: You can have this for lunch or as ladoo for mid-meal. Here are its benefits.
Pickle: The nutritionist …

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Immunity needed to ensure accurate outbreak review process

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Tasmanian LaborPublic servants must be granted immunity from potential repercussionsHonesty and transparency essential to accuracy of reportFindings need to be implemented state wideThe inquiry into the COVID-19 outbreak in the North West of Tasmania needs to ensure public service workers have immunity from any potential repercussions of speaking openly.Shadow Minister for Health Sarah Lovell said the government needs to ensure its staff feel safe to speak up and voice their opinions and experiences in order to have an accurate and insightful review.“To gain the most valuable evidence, it’s vital that these workers have immunity so they cannot be victimised for speaking out about their experiences – it’s disappointing that the Terms of Reference were not broadened after the consultation process.“This isn’t about pointing a finger or placing blame, it is about ensuring everybody’s experiences are recorded accurately so all aspects of preparedness and response can be reviewed.“This is a small community, people know each other well and it’s very easy to be identified by particular pieces of evidence that might be given – staff need to be confident there will not be consequences for speaking up about any potential flaws in the process.“ …

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Appeals Court Rules On DNR Immunity in Antrim County Snowmobile Lawsuit – 9 & 10 News

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August 10, 2020

Two snowmobilers have won a key decision in an accident lawsuit with Northern Michigan conservation officers.
Audrey West says two DNR officers were on snowmobiles on the same road as her, but going in the wrong direction.
She claims she was thrown into an Antrim County river and her father was pinned under a snowmobile.
The DNR claims it is immune to liability.
However, the negligent operation of a motor vehicle usually is an exception to immunity.
The appeals court says snowmobiles fit that exception since they could be expected to operate on or next to roads.

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Appeals Court Makes Immunity Ruling in DNR Snowmobile Lawsuit – 9 & 10 News

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August 10, 2020

Two snowmobilers have won a key decision in an accident lawsuit with Northern Michigan conservation officers.
Audrey West says two DNR officers were on snowmobiles on the same road as her, but going in the wrong direction.
She claims she was thrown into an Antrim County river and her father was pinned under a snowmobile.
The DNR claims it is immune to liability.
However, the negligent operation of a motor vehicle usually is an exception to immunity.
The appeals court says snowmobiles fit that exception since they could be expected to operate on or next to roads.

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Rosemary Conley’s immunity diet – how to eat your way into better health

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I believe the coronavirus outbreak has given us all a very big wake-up call. The heartbreak has been unbearable, and the fear of contracting the virus has been felt by every single one of us.Across the world, lives will never be the same again. While we’re all only too aware that this terrible virus can hit anyone at any age, we are continually reminded that those most at risk are the elderly and those suffering from asthma, heart disease and diabetes, or who have compromised immune systems. And statistics emerging from many who have lost their battle with Covid-19 indicate that being overweight or obese significantly increases a patient’s vulnerability. We all want to stay safe in these challenging times. And the good news is, it’s not too late to make a real difference. This simple plan will help you lose weight and boost your immune system, no matter your age. However, it has been specifically designed with the older generation in mind. By taking some simple steps to change our lifestyle – the way we eat, drink and exercise – we can dramatically improve our immune system, lose a few pounds (especially any gained during lockdown) and …

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The Good (But Not Great) News on T-Cells and Herd Immunity

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People walking on the street on August 06 in New York City.
Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

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Over the six months of the COVID-19 pandemic, you would never have gone broke betting on the disease continuing to surprise — on its seeming to grow weirder, less predictable, and less consistent, at times by the day. What first looked like a simple respiratory disease produced, over time, disorientingly diverse damage — in lungs, in hearts, in brains.

Scientists are familiar with this kind of variation; they often call it “heterogeneity.” And perhaps the strangest aspect of it, to a novice observer trying to piece together an understanding of the disease from the sidelines, is that most of them aren’t really surprised by it. “People always want to think about this virus as very special, but it’s not,” Florian Krammer, the prominent microbiologist at the head of Mt. Sinai’s Krammer Laboratory, told me last month. The disease was more dangerous than others, he said, in part because it was new, but it wasn’t all …

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