Health News

UCSF pays $1.14 million to decrypt files after ransomware attack

UCSF on Friday announced that it had “made the difficult decision” to pay a $1.14 million ransom and unlock the important data that had been encrypted in a ransomware attack earlier this month.

On June 3, IT staff at UCSF School of Medicine detected a security incident that had occurred two days earlier, said school officials in a statement.

“We quarantined several IT systems within the School of Medicine as a safety measure, and we successfully isolated the incident from the core UCSF network. Importantly, this incident did not affect our patient care delivery operations, overall campus network, or COVID-19 work,” officials noted.

Even as that attack was stopped, however, the perpetrators launched a malware program that encrypted some servers. UCSF officials note that IT and security staff have been working with an outside consultant and hope to restore access to the servers and shore up its defenses in general.

The school says it is continuing to investigate the incident, but say it believes that the malware was propagated “opportunistically, with no particular area being targeted.” Likewise, they said, “we do not currently believe patient medical records were exposed.”

But given that the data that was encrypted “is important to some of the academic work we pursue as a university serving the public good,” UCSF officials say they decided to pay a portion of the ransom to gain access to the information.

Opportunistic cyberattacks have seen a steady increase since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, with bad actors attacking hospitals, research organizations and health agencies using a variety of coronavirus-themed phishing emails and brute force attacks.

As for the decision to pay the ransom, there is some debate, but most experts, along with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the FBI, and other enforcement officials, say it’s not a good idea.

But the appeal of rescuing ransomed data is understandable. Just this past week, Rangely District Hospital in Rio Blanco County, Colorado, revealed that it had been targeted with a ransomware attack that locked access to five years of patient records.

The hospital did not pay the ransom. But officials acknowledged that “some electronic records are unavailable or have not been recovered.”

“This incident reflects the growing use of malware by cyber-criminals around the world seeking monetary gain, including several recent attacks on institutions of higher education,” said UCSF officials in a statement. “We continue to cooperate with law enforcement, and we appreciate everyone’s understanding that we are limited in what we can share while we continue with our investigation.”

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: [email protected]

Healthcare IT News is a publication of HIMSS Media

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Do press-ups really mean you're 'fit as a butcher's dog'?

Boris Johnson hit the floor to prove he’s recovered from Covid-19 but do press-ups really mean you’re ‘fit as a butcher’s dog’?

  • The Prime Minister Boris Johnson was pictured doing press-ups in his office
  • It has raised an intriguing question: are press-ups really the key to fitness?
  • Their advantage, of course, is that you don’t need a gym or any kit to do them

One of the most striking pictures of the weekend was the sight of the Prime Minister prone on the floor of his Downing Street office. He was in fact proving that he is full of beans after his near-death experience with Covid, by performing press-ups in an interview with The Mail on Sunday.

As a result, his opposite number, Sir Keir Starmer, has now challenged Boris to a ‘first to 50’ press-up competition at the next Prime Minister’s Questions.

While you might conclude that this is all no more than testosterone-fuelled nonsense, it has raised an intriguing question: are press-ups really the key to fitness?

Their advantage, of course, is that you don’t need a gym or any kit to do them, which is why they have been a staple in fitness routines and military training for decades.

One of the most striking pictures of the weekend was the sight of the Prime Minister prone on the floor of his Downing Street office. He was in fact proving that he is full of beans after his near-death experience with Covid, by performing press-ups in an interview with The Mail on Sunday

But Dr Richard Blagrove, a sports scientist who lectures in physiology at the University of Loughborough, says they’re not a measure of fitness, adding that they simply ‘give an indication of muscle strength’.

Press-ups say very little about how well your heart and cardiovascular system work (important for avoiding heart disease), for example, or how good your lung capacity is — an important question for Boris, given that he has had Covid-19.

‘I’ve worked with a lot of long-distance runners and typically, they can’t do many press-ups — some can’t do ten,’ says Dr Blagrove. ‘But no one would suggest they aren’t incredibly fit.’

We would all ideally have a balance of strength and cardiovascular fitness — although as we get older, says Dr Blagrove, improving strength has the edge, as it is important to moderate the wasting effect of age on muscles.

Functional strength, such as getting out of chairs and climbing stairs, starts to decrease as we get into our 60s, 70s and 80s, so weight-bearing moves such as press-ups are key, he adds.

Press-ups say very little about how well your heart and cardiovascular system work (important for avoiding heart disease), for example, or how good your lung capacity is — an important question for Boris, given that he has had Covid-19

Press-ups should be done alongside other strength moves, but are better than the plank as an overall strength exercise.

With the plank — the technique reportedly preferred by Boris Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May — you lie on your front and raise yourself on to your toes and forearms or palms, keeping your back flat and holding the position. The instability created by this posture means you tighten your back and stomach muscles to stop your middle sagging towards the floor.

This engages muscles deep in the abdomen, strengthening and toning them. People sometimes hold the pose for too long, though, so the stomach muscles tire and pull on the back, which can cause or aggravate pain there.

So if you were going to see how many press-ups you could do, how do you know what is a good tally?


Press-ups are not the only measure of strength and wellbeing — try these other DIY tests…


Sit on a chair and put your weight on one leg. Try to stand up and sit down again as many times as you can. This tests the strength of your leg muscles, which are crucial for maintaining mobility. Focus on matching or improving the number you can do.


Sit on the floor with your back against a wall. Bend forward to touch your toes. If you are over 40 and can’t get near them, you could be more at risk of heart disease. A 2009 study in Japan found that middle-aged and older people with poor flexibility also had stiff arteries (maybe due to less movement of blood and oxygen in the body, including to the heart).


Get a piece of chalk. Stand side-on to a wall and reach up as high as you can with the hand closest to the wall. Chalk a line. Then stand a little away from the wall, jump as high as possible and mark where you reach — try this three to five times.

Measure the distance between the first point and the highest point.

Our muscles contain two types of fibres, which control the type of movement we do best. This test can give a clue as to which type dominates in your body.

A gap of more than 50cm for men or 41cm for women means you are likely to have more fast-twitch fibres; a smaller jump means more slow-twitch fibres.

Fast-twitch types are generally better at explosive exercise, such as sprinting or tennis; slow-twitch types usually do better at endurance exercise, such as long-distance running or cycling. 

For an athlete, male or female, the gold standard is to be able to do more than 50 press-ups, keeping the correct shape. About 30 is satisfactory. Speed is not especially important, says Dr Blagrove.

How many press-ups the rest of us should be able to do depends on age. The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology lists averages for different ages, figures you’ll often see repeated on websites: over the age of 50, the average man can usually do 10-12 press-ups, the average woman 7-10. Over 60 this becomes 8-10 for men and 5-11 for women. They say six or fewer for a man of 50-plus and one or fewer for a woman ‘requires improvement’.

Being able to do the ‘right’ number for your age is a good sign of your strength, but it still doesn’t say a lot about how truly healthy you are, suggests Dr Blagrove.

In fact, the press-up has recently been removed from the Army entrance fitness tests, replaced with lifting and throwing exercises. Nonetheless, show Boris’s performance to a soldier and they might scoff. His arm placement is unorthodox and his hips are sagging — signs of a weak core and poor technique.

Dr Blagrove says the back should remain straight, elbows close to the body, and the movement should be controlled.

So if Boris and Keir do give us 50 in Parliament, it will be how well they do them that matters, not how fast or how many.

‘My guess is their technique will be awful and they’ll say: ‘I got to 50′, but it was through bad range [not levering down or pushing back up with the elbow fully extended] and won’t really resemble a press-up,’ says Dr Blagrove.

‘What most people do wrong is lead with their chin — the head shoots forward and their face gets to the ground before their chest.

‘We also tend to see the elbows flare out, which is detrimental to shoulder health — keeping them in is harder, as it uses muscles around the chest, which are weak in most people. And you must keep the trunk stiff and stable.’

Lara Milward, a London-based fitness coach, suggests: ‘If you can’t do a full press-up, try with your knees on the floor but keep the body in the same straight line.’

To make it easier still, move your knees closer to your chest, says Dr Blagrove, and gradually farther away from your chest. Go carefully, especially if you have shoulder problems or severe neck pain.

And press-ups should not be the only exercise you do — you must match pushing exercises with the same amount of pulling to prevent muscular imbalances.

As an example of a ‘pulling’ exercise at home, Dr Blagrove suggests gripping each side of a door fame, leaning back slightly, then pulling yourself forward.

Or there is the classic pull-up. ‘Just find a bar to use — perhaps the crossbar of a goal,’ says Dr Blagrove. ‘Anything that won’t snap in half when you hang off it!’

To do a press-up properly, start in a plank position — lie on your front and raise yourself on to your toes and palms, hands shoulder-width apart on the floor, arms straight from shoulder to palm. Keep your body straight from heel to head with your abdominal muscles engaged.

Slowly bend your arms to 90 degrees, keeping the upper arms and elbows tucked tightly into your body. Lead with your chest, not your face.

For beginners, start in a plank position, then drop your knees, ensuring your body is straight from knees to head with your abdominal muscles engaged.

Bend your arms to 90 degrees, keeping your upper arms and elbows tucked tightly into your body as you lower. Do this as many times as you are able and you will gradually improve.

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The truth about the founders of Abercrombie & Fitch

Abercrombie & Fitch first began with David Abercrombie, who was described as a “civil engineer and topographer, merchant and manufacturer” in his 1931 obituary in The New York Times. Abercrombie appeared to enjoy heading off to the country’s most remote places, as he was a chief of survey for the Norfolk and Western Railroad in the coal areas of West Virginia. He also travelled around the country as a lieutenant colonel for the Officers Reserve Corps. 

We can only imagine why the engineer and explorer founded David T. Abercrombie Co. in 1892. He was probably sick and tired of looking for things that he needed in order to enjoy the things he loved doing most. His vision worked because his store attracted the likes of Teddy Roosevelt, Charles Lindbergh — and even Ernest Hemingway was known to drop by from time to time (via Bloomberg). And perhaps more importantly, the store also attracted the interest of a lawyer named Ezra Fitch.

Abercrombie & Fitch's partnership didn't last long

Ezra Fitch was reportedly bored by the legal profession and spent his time yachting, climbing mountains, and fishing. In 1900, he bought a major share in Abercrombie’s company, which triggered the rebranding to Abercrombie & Fitch (via Gunn Historical Museum).

But it wasn’t a match made in heaven. Abercrombie wanted to cater to a more elite crowd, while Fitch wanted to attract a broader customer base. Fitch won, and Abercrombie sold out in 1907. The Abercrombie & Fitch that survived began offering a mail-order catalogue in 1909, which won the distinction of being the first Western publication to feature a mahjong set. When Fitch passed away in 1930, he left a retailer that was on its way to becoming “The Greatest Sporting Goods Store in the World” (via Business Insider).

In 1975, the store’s then chairman, Harry Garner Haskell, Jr., told The New York Times: “The word fashion bothers me,” he said. “We say we’re not in the fashion business, but in a way we’re in a very conservative fashion business and our future lies with the conservative fashion business.” After admitting that he had considered selling blue jeans (though probably not the skinny kind), he said: “I don’t think my buyers have absorbed that idea yet.” 

Abercrombie & Fitch stayed true to their conservative DNA, until Michael Jeffries joined the company in 1992 and began the rebrand that would turn Abercrombie & Fitch into the trendy brand it is today.

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Even in the worst COVID-19 cases, the body launches immune cells to fight back

A new study from researchers at La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI) and Erasmus University Medical Center (Erasmus MC) shows that even the sickest COVID-19 patients produce T cells that help fight the virus. The study offers further evidence that a COVID-19 vaccine will need to elicit T cells to work alongside antibodies.

The research, published June 26, 2020 in Science Immunology, also reveals that both Dutch and American patients have similar responses to the virus. “This is key to understanding how the immune response fights the virus,” says LJI Professor Alessandro Sette, Dr. Biol. Sci., who co-led the study with Erasmus MC Virologist Rory de Vries, Ph.D. “You want vaccine approaches to be grounded in observations from rather diverse settings to ensure that the results are generally applicable.”

For the study, the researchers followed ten COVID-19 patients with the most severe disease symptoms. All ten were admitted to the ICU at Erasmus University Medical Center, in the Netherlands, and put on ventilators as part of their care. Two of the patients eventually died of the disease. An in-depth look at their immune system responses showed that all ten patients produced T cells that targeted the SARS-CoV-2 virus. These T cells worked alongside antibodies to try to clear the virus and stop the infection.

“Activating these cells appears to be at least as important as the production of antibodies,” says Erasmus MC Virologist Rory de Vries, Ph.D., who co-led the study with Sette.

These findings are in line with a recent Cell study from Sette, LJI Professor Shane Crotty, Ph.D., and LJI colleagues that showed a robust T cell response in individuals with moderate cases of COVID-19. In both studies, the T cells in these patients prominently targeted the “spike” protein on SARS-CoV-2. The virus uses the spike protein to enter host cells, and many vaccine efforts around the world are aimed at getting the immune system to recognize and attack this protein. The new study offers further evidence that the spike protein is a promising target and confirms that the immune system can also mount strong responses to other targets on the virus.

“This is good news for those making a vaccine using spike, and it also suggests new avenues to potentially increase vaccine potency,” says Daniela Weiskopf, Ph.D., research assistant professor at LJI and first author of the new study.

The collaboration between scientists in La Jolla and the Netherlands is also a part of a larger picture, and emphasizes the highly collaborative philosophy adopted by the LJI group. Sette is a world leader in understanding what specific pieces (or epitopes) the immune system recognizes when it encounters a new microbe. The Sette lab’s work in defining epitope sets to allow to measure SARS-CoV-2 T cell responses was a key element of the study.

In fact, LJI has become a hub for COVID-19 T cell studies, and Sette has sent out reagents to more than 60 labs around the world. “The study is also highly significant because it illustrates how science has no frontiers,” says Sette. “To truly understand a global pandemic, our approach needs to be global, and we need to study effective immune response in people with different genetic backgrounds, living in different environments.”

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WHO says pandemic ‘not even close’ to over as toll passes 500,000

The coronavirus pandemic is “not even close to being over”, the WHO warned Monday, as the global death toll passed half a million and cases surge in Latin America and the United States.

In another grim milestone, the number of infections recorded worldwide rose to more than 10 million, according to an AFP tally, while some authorities reimposed lockdown measures that have crippled the global economy.

“We all want this to be over. We all want to get on with our lives,” World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

“But the hard reality is this is not even close to being over,” he said, adding that “although many countries have made some progress, globally the pandemic is actually speeding up.”

The virus emerged six months ago in China, where the WHO will send a team next week in connection with the search for its origin, Tedros said.

COVID-19 is still rampaging across the US, which has recorded more than 125,000 deaths and 2.5 million cases—both around a quarter of the global totals.

As numerous US states are forced to reimpose restrictions on restaurants and bars, President Donald Trump has come under growing pressure to set an example by wearing a mask.

Trump’s health secretary has warned the “window is closing” for the country to gain control of the situation, but the president has largely turned away from the crisis, spending much of Sunday at his golf club in Virginia.

However, he may not be able to avoid masks forever—the Florida city of Jacksonville, where Trump’s Republicans are due to hold their national convention in August, declared face masks mandatory on Monday.

‘Immense pain’

The second hardest-hit country Brazil registered 259,105 infections in the seven days through Sunday—the country’s highest of any week during the pandemic.

The latest figures came as protesters in cities across Brazil—and as far away as Stockholm, London and Barcelona—held demonstrations against President Jair Bolsonaro, who has said the virus is akin to a “little flu” and railed against stay-at-home measures.

“Brazil is suffering immense pain, a hidden pain that throbs in the face of the incredible numbers of deaths caused by COVID-19,” the organisers of a protest in the capital Brasilia said.

While bars were forced to close in Los Angeles, Ireland’s pubs began pouring pints for the first time in 15 weeks, as Europe—still the hardest-hit continent—continues to open up after seeing numbers of new cases fall.

“Guinness is good for you,” quipped Mark O’Mahony—the first to order a pint with his breakfast at a Dublin pub. “Without it, it hasn’t been much good really for 15 weeks.”

In nearby Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his country had gone through a “profound shock” as he prepared to unveil a large stimulus programme.

His government still plans to reopen pubs, restaurants and hairdressers across England on July 4, even as it warns it may have to shut down the city of Leicester because of a spike in cases.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron called for a “strong” and “efficient” recovery fund for the European Union.

In Merkel’s Germany, which has been praised for how it has tackled its COVID-19 outbreak, the North Rhine-Westphalia state extended a lockdown on a district hit hard by a slaughterhouse outbreak.

In neighbouring Switzerland, organisers said that 2021’s Geneva International Motor Show was cancelled, after already scrapping this year’s event.

Reimposed restrictions

Kazakhstan’s president ordered the return of lockdown measures on Monday after hospitals warned they were running out of beds, while Serbia made masks mandatory in closed spaces after its cases spiked.

China has imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people in a province surrounding Beijing to contain a fresh cluster.

The Middle East’s most affected country Iran reported 162 more deaths on Monday, its highest single-day toll yet, a day after it also made mask-wearing mandatory for inside gatherings.

Many of the south and west US states where the virus is most rampant are where state leaders had pushed for early reopenings.

While opposition Democrats have urged Trump to reissue an emergency declaration on coronavirus, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Monday the president had “no interest” in doing so.

“The president’s always said there will be embers, but he’s always said that the cure cannot be worse than the problem,” she told Fox News.

New York’s iconic Broadway theatre district will stay closed through the end of the year, its trade association said Monday.

India, which is gradually easing a nationwide lockdown, registered a daily record of 18,500 new cases and 385 new deaths on Saturday.

Alka, one of the country’s million accredited social health activists, or ASHAs, said it was difficult for the unprotected and poorly paid all-women workers to get people to heed their advice.

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Preterm birth ups mom’s long-term heart disease risk, study says

(HealthDay)—Over a lifetime, women who’ve had a preterm delivery have a higher risk of heart disease, new research suggests.

The findings point to the fact that doctors should include a woman’s reproductive history in assessments of heart disease risk, according to the researchers.

“Preterm delivery should now be recognized as an independent risk factor for IHD [ischemic heart disease] across the life course,” said study co-leader Dr. Casey Crump, a professor of family medicine and community health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

Nearly 10% of babies born in the United States are delivered preterm (before 37 weeks of pregnancy).

For the new study, Crump and his colleagues analyzed data from millions of Swedish women who gave birth to a single baby and were followed for up to 43 years.

In the 10 years after giving birth, women who delivered preterm (34 to 36 weeks) had more than twice the risk of ischemic heart disease than those who delivered full-term, the study found. And women whose babies were delivered between 22 to 27 weeks had four times the risk, the study found.

Delivery between 37 and 38 weeks was associated with a 1.4-fold increased risk of heart disease.

Ischemic heart disease is a condition in which a buildup of plaque and clots in the arteries reduces blood flow to the heart.

While the risk of heart disease declined over time, it remained significantly higher for as long as 43 years after preterm delivery, researchers said.

The increased risk was independent of other contributors to heart disease, such as smoking or obesity, according to the study published June 29 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Crump said heart disease risk assessments should routinely include a woman’s reproductive history, including preterm delivery and pregnancy complications.

“Women with a history of preterm delivery may warrant early preventive actions to reduce other IHD risk factors, including obesity, physical inactivity and smoking, and long-term monitoring for timely detection and treatment of IHD,” Crump said in a journal news release.

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Here’s How Men Can Feel Comfortable Discussing Mental Health

For men, the stigma surrounding conversations about their mental health remains an issue; according to the American Psychological Association, roughly six million men in America suffer from depression annually, but men are also far less likely than women to seek treatment, likely because of this toxic stigma.

Dr. Sue Varma, M.D., a board-certified psychiatrist with expertise in trauma and depression, recently chatted with Dr. Drew Ramsey, M.D., on the subject of men, mental health, and what prevents us from seeking help for Men’s Health. “I have a lot of male patients who told me that it took them so long to come into therapy,” she says. “Why? Because number one, I’m not used to talking about my feelings, really to anybody, and if I do, it’s only to one person… It’s rare to open up.”

For Dr. Varma, there are several other important reasons why men might fear discussing their emotions, like how heavy the subject is or the impact of their childhood on how they cope with difficulties.

“If you ask people, they can go back to their childhood and say, ‘I distinctly remember bringing home a problem, and somebody in my family said, you go back out there and [you] solve that problem,’” she says. “Somehow the message gets internalized very early on that there’s something wrong with being fragile… there’s no room for it.”

This leads to an important question—is there a way for us to overcome our fear of vulnerability? Yes, says Dr. Varna. It’s about rethinking how you approach the conversation.

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“When you look at men enjoying each other’s company, whether it be sporting events, fishing, or rock climbing, it’s not usually sort of face-to-face,” she says. “I think there’s something less threatening about being side-by-side, next to somebody…. It’s like a social lubrication for conversation. We’re sitting side-by-side, not necessarily face-to-face.”

And Dr. Varna recommends that people be mutually ready to listen without judgment.

“Men need space and to be able to have this delicate balance between space and support,” she emphasizes. “To say, ‘I’m here, spending time, making myself available,’ so when they do start talking—and it might end up being three hours later—that you’re just there, and you’re like ‘tell me more. I want to hear what you say, because I value you as a person.’”

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Stars Who Announced They Got Sober

Hollywood is no stranger to sober celebs. A-list stars from Bradley Cooper to Robert Downey Jr. to Kristen Johnston and Russell Brand have been open about their struggles with alcohol, illegal drugs and other substance addictions. Some say they want to help other alcoholics and addicts find the courage they need to start their sobriety journey, while others say they’re simply grateful and want to live their lives in the open.

From time to time, however, a celebrity will surprise the world and suddenly announce that they got sober. Us rounded up the public revelations and confessions from stars who bravely got sober in private, then shared the inspiring news with fans by coming clean on getting clean.

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Starnberg: Corona outbreak in the catering company: 44 confirmed Infected

In a on Saturday closed catering business in the district of Starnberg, at least 44 people have been infected with the Coronavirus. The result of the Tests so far, informed the district office on Monday.

Under the previously proven Infected ten asylum were applicants from the community Hechendorf accommodation. On the Virus outbreak at the Caterer, the district office had become by cases in the asylum accommodation carefully.

The authority had arranged reasons of the closure of the Catering location on Saturday from infection protection for 14 days. On Sunday there was a big test of action among the employees.

The complete asylum seeker accommodation has been placed under quarantine. The positive-tested residents were moved to an isolation facility in Wacker mountain (in the district of Bad Tölz-Wolfratshausen). The first positive case had become known on Thursday. After that, there were ten cases on Monday, 34 more were added.

The approximately 100 employees the company will not originate from the district of Starnberg, but also from counties in the vicinity. You are now in quarantine. Several of the Caterer’s employees live in the home for asylum seekers. The company supplies rags, among other things, the Munich Klinikum großhadern.

Schäuble makes a vote for the stimulus package with a set for laughs

FOCUS Online/Wochit Schäuble ensures that vote for the stimulus package with a set for laughs

Health News

Remdesivir costs a minimum of 2,340 dollars for a Five-day treatment

Remdesivir, the only drug approved by the US authorities for the treatment of Covid-19 patients so far, will cost between 2.340 and 3.120 dollars for a five-day cycle of treatment with six doses.

The pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences Inc. on Monday known. This means that a dose should cost 390 dollars.

Gilead CEO Daniel O'Day said in an open letter on the Website of the company that the company was in terms of pricing for Remdesivir in “uncharted territory”. “Ultimately, we were guided by the need to do things differently. While the world continues to suffer from the human, social and economic impact of this pandemic, we believe that it is right and responsible is to sell Remdesivir far under value.“

Discounts for developing countries

The advertised price will apply after O’day’s words, for all economically developed countries. For Emerging and developing countries, there will be discounts.

Remdesivir the average treatment time of Covid is to reduce the-19-patients statistically from 15 to eleven days. Also, the mortality rate brings the former Ebola-drug-to-bottom. Another billion Dollar wool plug in Gilead by the end of the year in the exploration of Remdesivir.

In Europe, the drug might receive soon an approval. The European medicines Agency EMA had recommended a conditional treatment of the Corona-patients with Remdesivir.

Schäuble makes a vote for the stimulus package with a set for laughs

FOCUS Online/Wochit Schäuble ensures that vote for the stimulus package with a set for laughs