南昌桑拿网Former FBI official says Canada’s spy catching system caused delay, angst in Delisle case

南昌桑拿论坛The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation‘s former head of counter-intelligence says it fell to him to tell the RCMP about a spy in the Canadian navy, even though the Canadian Security Intelligence Service was already well aware of Jeffrey Delisle’s sale of sensitive secrets to the Russians.

In a newly published book, Frank Figliuzzi casts a critical eye on the Delisle case, pointing to the episode as a prime illustration of systemic problems with how Canadian agencies investigate espionage.

As a sub-lieutenant at the Trinity intelligence centre in Halifax, Delisle had access to a databank of classified secrets shared by the Five Eyes community — Canada, the United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

Read more: Russian spy case had its documents lost, destroyed: Canada’s information watchdog

南昌夜网The RCMP arrested Delisle, a junior navy officer, on Jan. 13, 2012, for violating the Security of Information Act. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Delisle had given secret material to Russia in exchange for upward of $110,000 over more than four years.
Story continues below advertisement

The official story detailed in court records suggested the FBI tipped Canadian authorities to Delisle’s relationship with the Russians on Dec. 2, 2011, through a letter to the RCMP.

However, as The Canadian Press reported in May 2013, the story actually began months earlier.

Senior CSIS officials were called to Washington, where U.S. security personnel told them a navy officer in Halifax was receiving cash transfers from Russian agents. The Canadian spy service soon got court approval to begin electronic surveillance of Delisle.

“The United States and its allies were hemorrhaging our most sensitive Russian reporting for as long as five years. As soon as we learned of Delisle, we knew we had to tell the Canadians and stop this guy. Easy, right?” Figliuzzi writes in “The FBI Way: Inside the Bureau’s Code of Excellence.”

“Not so much. Not when dealing with a system that’s so very different from ours,” the book says.

“The problem arose when it came time for someone to put Delisle in handcuffs.”

CSIS watched Delisle pass top-secret information to Russia for months without briefing the RCMP. The spy agency, acting on legal advice, opted to keep its investigation sealed for fear of exposing sources and methods of the intelligence trade in open court proceedings.

“Someone had to call Canada’s cops. Strangely, that task went to me,” says Figliuzzi, who led the FBI’s counter-intelligence division as an assistant director.
Story continues below advertisement
Click to play video ‘How RCMP outed KGB spy posing as Canadian during the cold war’
4:57 How RCMP outed KGB spy posing as Canadian during the cold war
How RCMP outed KGB spy posing as Canadian during the cold war – Aug 23, 2020

“I wrote a simple letter on FBI stationery to the RCMP explaining that Jeffrey Delisle was a spy. I flew up to Ottawa and sat in a conference room with RCMP officials and verbally briefed the Mounties. Now the RCMP had to start their own investigation to be used in court,” he recalls in the book.

“Again, the cycle started from scratch, all while Delisle continued to spill everyone’s secrets to the Russians. This was taking so long that we considered luring Delisle into the United States so we could arrest him on our own charges.”

Figliuzzi says Bob Mueller, FBI director at the time, even placed a call to his counterparts in Canada and “torqued up the pressure for someone to put an end to the madness. The end couldn’t come fast enough.”

CSIS was created in 1984 after a series of scandals led to dissolution of the fabled RCMP Security Service. The new civilian spy service would gather information and tell the federal government of threats from suspected spies and terrorists, but would have no arrest powers.
Story continues below advertisement

CSIS must hand over a case to the RCMP or work in parallel with the Mounties, then pass along the file when it comes time to take suspected spies or terrorists into custody.

“Next time you hear someone suggest the FBI should be split, you have my permission to tell them the Delisle story,” writes Figliuzzi, who retired from the FBI in 2012.

Canada should rethink the way it approaches counter-intelligence probes, Figliuzzi said in an interview.

南昌桑拿网U.S. Homeland Security chief Chad Wolf resigns after violent protest at U.S. Capitol

U.S. President Donald Trump’s acting head of the Department of Homeland Security abruptly resigned Monday, leaving the post ahead of schedule as the nation faces a heightened terrorism threat from extremists seeking to reverse the election.

The announcement by acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf was perplexing. It came less than a week after Wolf pledged to remain in office and just 10 days before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. Wolf cited a legal challenge to his leadership as a reason for his resignation, but that had surfaced months ago.

Read more: Special Inauguration Day alert system will be in place for D.C. residents, mayor says

“For months we have known Chad Wolf has been serving illegally in his position, so the timing of his resignation from the Department today is questionable,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. “He has chosen to resign during a time of national crisis and when domestic terrorists may be planning additional attacks on our government.”
Story continues below advertisement

Wolf, who had been serving in an acting capacity since November 2019 and was never confirmed by the Senate, said he was compelled to leave by “recent events,” including court rulings that found he could not legally hold the position. He did not specify the other events or cite other factors.

“These events and concerns increasingly serve to divert attention and resources away from the important work of the Department in this critical time of a transition of power,” he said in a written message to DHS employees.

The resignation comes a day before Trump is set to visit the U.S.-Mexico border wall, Trump’s signature political project and one overseen by DHS.
Click to play video ‘Democrats and Republicans prepare to impeach Trump a second time’
3:14 Democrats and Republicans prepare to impeach Trump a second time
Democrats and Republicans prepare to impeach Trump a second time

南昌桑拿网Wolf’s departure followed the abrupt resignation of other Cabinet officials angered by Trump’s role in encouraging the mob to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6 over his false claims of election fraud.
Story continues below advertisement

Wolf condemned the violent attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters, calling it “tragic and sickening.” He also said then he would stay on at DHS until the end of the administration to ensure a smooth transition and to help the department stay focused on the threats facing the nation.

It was unclear what prompted him to change course with the nation braced for the potential for more violence ahead of the Jan. 20 inauguration. The FBI has warned of plans for armed protests at all 50 state capitals and in Washington, D.C.

Read more: ‘Really no way’ Trump could be removed from office before Inauguration Day, expert says

The White House had no immediate comment.

Wolf led DHS as it carried out Trump administration priorities on immigration and law enforcement, prompting criticism that he politicized a department that was created to better protect the nation in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The department was accused during his tenure by a whistleblower of suppressing facts in intelligence reports that Trump might find objectionable, including information about Russian interference in the election and the rising threat posed by white supremacists. Wolf and the department denied the allegations.

The acting secretary defended his tenure in his statement to employees, saying DHS had strengthened border security and successfully launched the cybersecurity agency that helped safeguard the 2020 election.
Story continues below advertisement
Click to play video ‘U.S. Capitol riot: Trump faces 2nd impeachment as presidency nears end’
1:57 U.S. Capitol riot: Trump faces 2nd impeachment as presidency nears end
U.S. Capitol riot: Trump faces 2nd impeachment as presidency nears end

“I leave knowing that the Department has positioned itself for an orderly and smooth transition to President-elect Biden’s DHS team,” he wrote. “Welcome them, educate them, and learn from them. They are your leaders for the next four years — a time which undoubtedly will be full of challenges and opportunities to show the American public the value of DHS and why it is worth the investment.”

Peter Gaynor, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will serve as acting head of the Department of Homeland Security until the Biden administration takes over.

Biden has nominated Alejandro Mayorkas, a former senior DHS official, to lead an agency that carried out Trump administration priorities on immigration and law enforcement and was criticized for becoming politicized as a result.

南昌桑拿网 Coronavirus: Canadians visiting Hawaii in droves despite advice to avoid non-essential travel

It seems some Canadians can’t resist the lure of tanning on tropical beaches, even during a global pandemic and advisories to avoid non-essential travel.

An online portal from the State of Hawaii shows that more than 4,000 passengers from Canada visited the tropical chain of islands between Dec. 1, 2020, and Jan. 7, 2021.

The breakdown of the 4,253 travellers were 2,564 from Calgary International Airport (YYC); 1,667 from Vancouver International (YVR); 12 from Edmonton International (YEG); and 10 from Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson International (YYZ).

Read more: Alberta government staff member under fire for Hawaii trip during pandemic

If you include Canadian airline data from other airports, such as San Francisco (SFO) or Los Angeles International (LAX), the total jumps to 4,436 travellers.
Story continues below advertisement

Note: The dashboard includes an option to separate residents from visitors, with Global News only using visitor data.

南昌桑拿论坛Regardless, the main destinations in Hawaii were Maui (3,053 travellers) and Honolulu (1,300), with the travellers either flying WestJet (2,980) or Air Canada (1,456).

And where were they staying? Mainly in condos (1,635) and hotels (1,405), but also their home (367), a rental house (375), a timeshare unit (263) or with friends and relatives (240).
Click to play video ‘Air travellers to Canada must now provide negative COVID-19 test’
2:32 Air travellers to Canada must now provide negative COVID-19 test
Air travellers to Canada must now provide negative COVID-19 test

Yet most interestingly is how many flew into Hawaii on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, that being 283, with another 267 expected on Saturday, Jan. 9.

And the following week, 55 are expected on Thursday, Jan. 14, and 112 on Friday, Jan. 15.

As to why they’re in Hawaii, the main, and obvious, reason is pleasure/vacation (3,589). Next were airline crew (352), visiting friends or relatives (311) and connecting flight (56).
Story continues below advertisement

All of this is against a backdrop of advisories to avoid non-essential travel – though it must be noted that air travel is not officially banned.
Click to play video ‘Decline in business trips could impact future air travel prices’
2:32 Decline in business trips could impact future air travel prices
Decline in business trips could impact future air travel prices – Dec 13, 2020

Further, while a few thousand Canadians have visited Hawaii the past five weeks, they were a drop in the bucket compared to how many have visited the tropical locale.

Data from the portal shows that from LAX alone, there were 61,127 travellers, plus another 36,818 from Seattle.

Overall, the grand total was 340,144, with most coming from the U.S. — which, as of Friday, had 21.8 million cases of coronavirus.

“At this time, all non-essential travel should be avoided,” says this B.C. government webpage. “This includes travel into and out of B.C. and between regions of the province.”

RCMP responds to delayed emergency alert criticism in Riverview manhunt

南昌桑拿网Nova Scotia RCMP have released a statement in response to criticism over the lack of an emergency alert during the 12-hour manhunt for a suspect in the Tuesday Riverview shooting.

“It is clear there is political and public desire for police to issue emergency alerts,” read the release. “This desire manifests as demand without understanding of public safety risk or the incident.”

Janson Bryan Baker was wanted in connection with a shooting incident that occurred near Riverview High School at around 5:15 p.m. on Tuesday. A teacher at the school was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and is recovering, according to school staff.

南昌桑拿论坛Tuesday night, an emergency alert was issued in the Greater Moncton area, as RCMP officers searched for a suspect they said was reportedly carrying firearms.

Read more: New Brunswick shooting suspect arrested by N.S. RCMP
Story continues below advertisement

On Wednesday at 9:37 a.m., police said the vehicle driven by 24-year-old Baker was located in Amherst, N.S., and appeared to have been abandoned.

“We continue to actively investigate leads in NB to locate him,” New Brunswick RCMP said.

Nova Scotia RCMP said in a tweet at 10:41 a.m. Wednesday that the force was “requesting an (emergency) alert be issued in relation to the search for (Janson) Bryan Baker,” which was later issued at 11:42 a.m.

“At 10:44, we received a phone call to advise that (the RCMP) may require a public alert,” Nova Scotia Justice Minister Mark Furey said in an interview with Global News on Wednesday.

It was not until 11:35 a.m. that the Emergency Management Office actually received an approved statement from police and text, “which can simply be entered into the system and hit send.”
Click to play video ‘Riverview, N.B., shooting leads to 12-hour manhunt’
2:09 Riverview, N.B., shooting leads to 12-hour manhunt
Riverview, N.B., shooting leads to 12-hour manhunt

RCMP announced Wednesday at 12:01 p.m. that New Brunswick shooting suspect Janson Bryan Baker had been arrested in Amherst, N.S., without incident and was in custody.
Story continues below advertisement

Residents and politicians, particularly in the Amherst area, expressed their concerns on social media over the lack of an emergency alert when it was known an armed shooting suspect was in the area.

Suspect was arrested one block away from my office. I can’t believe it took over 3 1/2 hrs to send out emergency alert to the people of my area. Unbelievable and completely unacceptable. pic.twitter.com/RInGpmRmOI

— Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin (@MLAElizabethNS) January 6, 2021

On Thursday morning, the premier of Nova Scotia said RCMP must change how they alert the public to dangerous incidents.

Stephen McNeil made the comment as questions arose about why it took more than three hours on Wednesday for the Mounties to request a provincewide Alert Ready message to warn residents about a manhunt that spanned two provinces.

“The RCMP has an issue when it comes to whether or not they want to use emergency alerts,” the premier said after a cabinet meeting. “They need to fix their protocol.”
Story continues below advertisement

Read more: N.S. premier says RCMP must improve emergency alert protocols after gunman arrested in Amherst

Furey also weighed in on Thursday, saying the RCMP must shorten the time it takes for them to prepare alert messages for distribution by the province’s Emergency Management Office. “We would like to see the times compressed as much as possible to ensure the earliest communication with the Emergency Management Office.”

Thursday afternoon, the RCMP said in a statement that police are in an “unenviable position” when it comes to deciding on when alerts are issued.

Public Statement from C/Supt. Chris Leather https://t.co/YQtPk6UoqL pic.twitter.com/ImXaBnPPYg

— RCMP, Nova Scotia (@RCMPNS) January 7, 2021

“Public statements being made without fact undermine excellent police work and solid operational decisions,” the statement read, signed by Chief Superintendent Chris Leather.
Story continues below advertisement

“We know the desire for information when incidents are unfolding. We communicate publicly in real time and have been doing this very well for years.”

This is the second time N.S. RCMP have been criticized for their use of the alert system. The first was in response to the mass shooting in April 2020 that left 22 people dead.

Provincial and federal governments are conducting a joint public inquiry into the Nova Scotia shooting, part of which will examine the RCMP’s communication during and after the tragedy unfolded.

南昌桑拿网London, Ont., personal trainer shares cautionary tale after catching COVID-19 abroad

A personal trainer from London, Ont., is sharing a cautionary tale about doubting the seriousness of COVID-19 after contracting the virus while vacationing abroad.

Jonathon O’Hagan recently travelled to the Dominican Republic over the winter holidays, seeking a break from nearly a year of having followed various health restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s really hard after one year to maintain your faith in something that you can’t see, smell or touch,” O’Hagan said.
Story continues below advertisement

南昌桑拿网As a personal trainer, his job was heavily affected due to multiple closures impacting his gym, including an ongoing provincewide lockdown in Ontario, and he recalls feeling depressed over the state of the world.

“I put some money together that I had to take my girlfriend away and another couple that we work with,” O’Hagan said.

“I probably shouldn’t have, but a year’s a long time.”

Read more: Few will be exempted from new COVID-19 testing requirements for travellers, government says

The trip soon took a turn for the worse when he began feeling a minor pressure behind his eyes, which he initially thought was due to allergies or his body acclimatizing to a new country.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

Within days, he began feeling flu-like symptoms before his lungs collapsed.

南昌夜网“When I started not being able to breathe and gasping for air is when it really hit me the seriousness of the virus and how much we underestimate it,” O’Hagan said in a phone interview from his hospital bed in Punta Cana.

“I thought I was going to die, I thought of my family, I thought of my girlfriend… I was really scared.”
Jonathan O’Hagan is transported to a hospital in Punta Cana after contracting coronavirus.
Jonathan O’Hagan is transported to a hospital in Punta Cana after contracting coronavirus. Jonathan O’Hagan / Submitted

While he’s lost about 20 pounds and is still unaware of what the long-term effects may be, O’Hagan’s condition has improved.
Story continues below advertisement

“I’m starting to show good vitals and I’m able to eat and function on my own now,” O’Hagan said.

With hope on the horizon for a recovery, O’Hagan has now turned his attention to changing the minds of those who doubt COVID-19.

“I felt it was really important for me to share my experience because of… how many people probably felt the same as me.”

“I’m overall a pretty healthy guy, I train jiu-jitsu, I box, I’m strength training about six days a week,” O’Hagan said, adding that he thought the virus would only affect those who are sick, elderly or have health complications.

“That’s not the case — this virus showed me no mercy. It took me to my knees and it crushed me.”

As of Wednesday, O’Hagan remains inside a Punta Cana medical centre. He was supposed to come home on Jan. 3 but is now unsure of when he’ll be released or when he’ll get home.

“I’m a firm believer if you make your bed you lie in it and I’m definitely lying in mine, so it’s something I’ll have to figure out.”

Canada investigating timing 南昌桑拿网 of second , Tam says

南昌桑拿网whether it would be warranted to delay the second doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in a bid to get first doses to more people faster.

Read more: What the COVID-19 variant from South Africa means for pandemic, vaccines

“This is a topic of, of course, active discussion,” Tam said at her regular Tuesday briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada.

The situation, she noted, is grim, with more than 7,500 new patients diagnosed every day, more than 77,700 people actively infected with it, and more than 4,000 people in the nation’s hospitals with it. Over the last week, an average of 122 Canadians have died of COVID-19 every day.
Story continues below advertisement

Tam said there is some promising evidence that single doses of vaccines designed to be given in two shots are effective for a while, but that evidence is limited. She stressed Canada remains committed to giving two doses of the vaccines but that she has asked the advisory committee to look at what is known about the matter, and what should be considered when deciding whether to adjust the dosing schedule.

Health 南昌桑拿论坛 Canada has approved two vaccines against COVID-19, and about 150,000 people have now been given at least one dose. On Monday, the first people began receiving their second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, 21 days after they received first doses on Dec. 14.
Click to play video ‘Coronavirus: Canada hasn’t identified any cases of new coronavirus variant seen in U.K., Dr. Tam says’
1:07 Coronavirus: Canada hasn’t identified any cases of new coronavirus variant seen in U.K., Dr. Tam says
Coronavirus: Canada hasn’t identified any cases of new coronavirus variant seen in U.K., Dr. Tam says – Dec 22, 2020

That schedule follows the advice of Pfizer and BioNTech, which said their vaccine is 95 per cent effective at preventing COVID-19 symptoms within seven days of receiving a second dose. The doses are to be administered 21 days apart.
Story continues below advertisement

U.S. biotech firm Moderna, whose vaccine was approved in Canada Dec. 23, calls for two doses to be given 28 days apart.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

AstraZeneca’s vaccine, which has been approved in the United Kingdom but not yet in Canada, also requires a second dose after 28 days.

南昌夜网Several countries are now investigating or authorizing the delay of those second doses, to get more people vaccinated with first doses.

Denmark authorized a six-week delay. The U.K., which recorded a single-day record of 58,784 new cases Tuesday, is pushing that second dose back by 12 weeks for its two approved vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca.

Germany is also investigating whether to delay the second dose.

Pfizer told The Canadian Press in a statement it doesn’t endorse a delayed-dose plan. While peer-reviewed reports on its vaccine’s clinical trial found the vaccine was about 52 per cent effective at preventing illness after one dose, most patients received the second dose after 21 days so there is no data analyzing how well one dose works beyond three weeks.

Read more: Trudeau: ‘no one’ should vacation right now, quarantined travellers won’t access sickness benefit

Moderna similarly said it can’t comment on whether its vaccine is effective outside the two-dose, 28-day schedule. Moderna said two equal doses given 28 days apart provided a stronger immune response than one double dose delivered in a single injection.
Story continues below advertisement

The World Health Organization said Tuesday delaying Pfizer’s second doses up to six weeks could be acceptable under exceptional circumstances.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it is worth investigating the idea of delaying doses, or injecting half-doses, but that at the moment there is no evidence supporting the authorization of any changes.

南昌桑拿网 Florida to punish hospitals not dispensing coronavirus vaccines quickly enough

南昌桑拿网More than two-thirds of the 15 million coronavirus vaccines shipped within the United States have so far gone unused, U.S. health officials said on Monday, as the governors of New York and Florida vowed to penalize hospitals that fail to dispense shots quickly enough.

In New York, hospitals must administer vaccines within a week of receiving them or face a fine and a reduction in future supplies, Governor Andrew Cuomo said, hours before announcing the state’s first known case of a new, more infectious coronavirus variant originally detected in Britain.

“I don’t want the vaccine in a fridge or a freezer, I want it in somebody’s arm,” the governor said. “If you’re not performing this function, it does raise questions about the operating efficiency of the hospital.”

南昌夜网New York hospitals on the whole have dispensed fewer than half of their allocated doses to date, but performance varied from one group of hospitals to another, Cuomo said. The NYC Health + Hospitals system, the city’s main public hospital network, has only administered 31% of its allotment, compared with 99% for a few private hospitals in the state.
Story continues below advertisement

Read more: As U.S. hits 20 million coronavirus cases, lawmakers call for action on vaccine plan

In Florida, where officials have put senior citizens ahead of many essential workers for getting the vaccine, Governor Ron DeSantis announced a policy under which the state would allocate more doses to hospitals that dispense them most quickly.

“Hospitals that do not do a good job of getting the vaccine out will have their allocations transferred to hospitals that are doing a good job at getting the vaccine out,” DeSantis said at a briefing.

“We do not want vaccine to just be idle at some hospital system,” he added, although he did not say they would face fines.

Florida will also deploy an additional 1,000 nurses to administer vaccines and will keep state-run vaccination sites open seven days a week, he said.
Click to play video ‘Coronavirus: 1st person to receive Pfizer vaccine in U.S. gets booster shot’
3:21 Coronavirus: 1st person to receive Pfizer vaccine in U.S. gets booster shot
南昌桑拿论坛Coronavirus: 1st person to receive Pfizer vaccine in U.S. gets booster shot
U.K. variant found in New York state

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

Cuomo’s announcement that the more contagious COVID variant known as B.1.1.7 had been confirmed in a man in his 60s living in a town north of Albany gave new urgency to the state’s efforts to accelerate vaccinations.
Story continues below advertisement

At least three other U.S. cases of the so-called UK variant have been documented since last week, one each in Florida, California and Colorado. None of the four patients has a recent travel history, meaning the variant was likely spreading person-to-person within each of the communities where it turned up.

Neither the UK variant, nor a similarly more contagious strain first found in South Africa, is believed any more lethal than the original form of the virus. Scientists say newly developed vaccines should be equally effective against both.

Read more: Long lines, confusion: U.S. vaccine rollout off to a slow, messy start

But medical experts worry that the emergence of a more communicable variant could accelerate a months-long surge of infections and hospitalizations already straining U.S. healthcare systems to their limits.

The U.S. death toll has climbed to well over 350,000 out of more than 20 million known infections to date, with the fatality rate averaging 2,600-plus lives every 24 hours over the past week.

The staggering human toll, together with an upending of daily social life and a stifling of economic activity, has made the slower-than-expected uptake of available vaccines all the more vexing to authorities.
Click to play video ‘Concern in U.S. Over slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccine’
1:54 Concern in U.S. Over slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccine
Concern in U.S. Over slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccine
‘We have to do better’

Some of the problem has been attributed to widespread distrust of immunizations, even among some healthcare workers, owing in part to the record speed with which COVID-19 vaccines were developed and approved 11 months after the virus emerged in the United States.
Story continues below advertisement

But some U.S. officials also have cited a lack of adequate planning and logistical glitches in launching the most ambitious mass inoculation campaign in the nation’s history.

The federal government has distributed more than 15 million vaccine doses to states and territories across the country, but only around 4.5 million have been administered so far, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released on Monday.

Read more: ‘Falling far behind’: Biden criticizes pace of U.S. coronavirus vaccine roll out

Those figures put the government far short of its goal of vaccinating 20 million people by the end of 2020, although officials said they expected the rollout would pick up significantly this month.

“We have go to do better, and we are going to keep doing better, and I promise you, you will see in the next two weeks numbers increase substantially,” Surgeon General Jerome Adams told CBS News in an interview.

Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said New York and Florida were being “overly bureaucratic” in penalizing hospitals over vaccine deliveries even as they coped with soaring patient caseloads.

“Instead of fining hospitals, why not give them more resources to do this, more money, more staffing?” he said in a telephone interview.

南昌桑拿论坛Coronavirus crisis an opportunity to overhaul Quebec’s devastated long-term care homes

The COVID-19 pandemic in Quebec was marked by images from long-term care homes: isolated seniors peering out from windows, bodies in zippered bags on stretchers exiting imposing brick buildings.

The pandemic tore a destructive path through Quebec’s provincially run seniors facilities, killing thousands and exposing systemic flaws in a network long understaffed, under-resourced and undersupervised. But the health crisis also provided an opportunity to re-examine Quebec’s approach to long-term care and to re-evaluate models that might work better, two health experts told The Canadian Press.

“(The pandemic) was a catastrophe, but it was revelatory and it can help us to move forward,” Francine Ducharme, a geriatrics researcher and nursing sciences professor at Université de Montréal said in a recent interview.

Ducharme helped prepare a report on long-term care for the Royal Society of Canada in 2020 indicating Canadian seniors homes have allowed staff-to-patient ratios to drop and have increasingly shifted to lower paid care aides and personal support workers, who are often given “variable and minimal formal training.” Patients in those homes, however, are living longer with diseases that require increasingly complex care, such as dementia, the report found.
Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Long-term care homes were ‘blind spot’ in preparing for COVID-19 crisis, Quebec ombudsman says

A separate report by Quebec’s ombudswoman revealed the majority of the deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the province between March and June 2020 were among long-term residents — 3,890 in all. In some cases, ombudswoman Marie Rinfret noted, overworked staff could not meet residents’ basic needs such as being fed, changed or comforted as they died.

Above all, Ducharme said, the pandemic revealed society’s ageism and its lack of respect toward those who care for seniors. “We neglected our elderly people, it has to be said, and we neglected the people who worked there who are underpaid and under-considered,” she said.

Long-term care centres, Ducharme added, need more professionally trained staff. She said Quebec has taken some “commendable” steps in the right direction in recent months, including hiring and training some 10,000 orderlies and ordering each care facility to appoint a manager and an infection-control specialist.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

She noted, however, that finding enough skilled people to fill those roles isn’t always easy, adding the new measures don’t address the shortage of other kinds of professionals such as nurses and specialists.
Click to play video ‘Covering the Herron Residence’s COVID-19 tragedy as told by Global News Montreal journalists’
4:34 Covering the Herron Residence’s COVID-19 tragedy as told by Global News Montreal journalists
Covering the Herron Residence’s COVID-19 tragedy as told by Global News Montreal journalists

The pandemic has also forced the government to rethink whether so many seniors need to end up in such facilities at all, according to Philippe Voyer, a professor at Université Laval’s faculty of nursing sciences.
Story continues below advertisement

Many other countries, he said, provide a wider variety of intermediate models that create better living environments than long-term care homes do for people who begin to lose autonomy. Those include, he said, so-called “dementia villages” in Europe and the “Green House” model in the United States, which allows seniors to live in homes of less than a dozen people.

Other models include co-ops, where groups of seniors share services with the help of government funding, Voyer said. “There are lots of models there, and you can’t count on just one, because there’s a big divergence among people,” he explained.

南昌桑拿网The Quebec government appears to be changing its vision of senior care, he said, with its plan to open 2,600 spots in newly constructed “elder’ homes” of 12 rooms each, with common rooms, health services and access to nature. Voyer says he’s cautiously optimistic about the government’s approach; however, he said, the plans need to be properly funded, adding that a balance needs to be struck between homeyness and health care.

He said he worries the fears caused by the pandemic will lead to buildings that look too much like hospitals. “My grain of salt is that we can give good medical care, nursing and infection control without taking away the residential feel,” he said.

READ MORE: Quebec releases scathing reports into long-term care homes where dozens died
Story continues below advertisement

南昌桑拿论坛Both Voyer and Ducharme agree that the preferred solution for most elderly people — which also happens to be the most economical — is to stay out of care facilities altogether for as long as they can.

They said the government needs to invest much more into resources that help people stay at home: visits from health-care services and therapists, day centres and respite care, and mental health and other support for caregivers.

But no matter what resources are put in place, both Voyer and Ducharme said it’s inevitable some people will end up in long-term care when their needs become too great.

Ducharme’s vision for long-term care includes facilities run by competent, accountable owners and managers, filled with well-trained staff and specialists, including nurses, physiotherapists, nutritionists and palliative care experts. Buildings need to be modernized to ensure everyone has their own room, she said, adding that residents should have access to technology and recreation.

南昌夜网A stable personnel that understands the needs of their elderly clients is primordial to letting him live, and eventually die, with dignity, she said. “We have to think that these are humans with multiple needs, including physical, psychological, social, sexual, spiritual,” she said.

“If we centre on one aspect, we forget the rest.”

Biden promises vastly different approach to COVID-19 pandemic

The inauguration on the steps of the U.S. Capitol building has already been planned as a scaled-down, socially distanced affair. There will be no debate about crowd size because the crowds simply won’t be there. As early as mid-December, the inaugural committee began urging Americans not to plan to travel to Washington for the event, and to instead watch the transfer of power from the safety of their own homes.

The move is as symbolic as it is practical.

“We have a president who has not acknowledged the burden that this disease has had at all, other than his own brush 珠海夜网with the virus and talking about how essentially easy it was for him to, quote, ‘get cured,’” says Dr. Kavita Patel, a physician and scholar at the Brookings Institution.

Biden began highlighting the differences during the campaign, when he held drive-in rallies, and regularly offered his sympathies to Americans who had lost a loved one to the virus.

The Trump administration focused heavily on its vaccine development and distribution program known as Operation Warp Speed. At the same time, Trump largely ignored the ongoing realities of the pandemic, and actively worked to undermine efforts that would have slowed the spread of the virus in the months it took to inoculate Americans.

“We are now going to have to deal with the effects — economic health, mental health, all of it is now going to be a burden,” Patel says.

The best-laid plans of the new president will undoubtedly come up against the sharp divide amongst the American people.

Masks are still highly contentious, and shutdowns have been met with fierce resistance. Experts淡水桑拿酒店 expect the Biden administration to communicate these measures as necessary in the short term, before a vaccine is widely available.

“Whether or not you thought this was a good idea a year ago, now that there is a vaccine on the horizon, what you do want to do is hold out until you can get it,” said Sherry Glied, dean of New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

Biden has already taken a fundamentally different tone on the economy.

While Trump rallied against lockdown measures – tweeting for supporters to “LIBERATE!” states like Michigan — Biden has adopted the view that the economy cannot function normally, so long as the virus is still circulating widely.

Hospitals still flooding with coronavirus patients despite new year, experts warn

Patients in multiple Canadian hotspots are flooding hospitals at an alarming rate and expected to arrive in even greater numbers in the weeks to come, doctors and health centres said Friday.

“If these rates of increase continue the way they are, the months of January and February are absolutely going to be brutal. It’s just a question of how brutal will it be,” said Anthony Dale, head of the Ontario Hospital Association.

One-fifth of the province’s intensive care capacity is now devoted to COVID-19 patients, with Toronto and the regions of Peel, York, and Windsor-Essex hardest hit.

Hospitals in the greater Montreal area are on track to exceed capacity within the next three weeks, with almost two-thirds of beds designated for coronavirus patients already occupied, according to a report from INESSS, a government-funded health institute.

“Unfortunately, if the trend continues, this will have to be compensated in particular by the additional shedding of non-COVID treatments in our hospitals,” Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube said Thursday in a Twitter post in French.

The country’s not in the clear yet.

Individuals need to make sensible choices around social distancing and staying home, said Tim Sly, an epidemiologist and professor emeritus at Ryerson University’s School of Public Health.

“We’re still seeing knucklehead parties from seven to 14 to 25 people, raving out there with no masks, lots of booze and drinking and hugging and kissing and so on,” Sly said. “That’s avoidable.”

Public officials are not above making dubious travel choices, with several prominent politicians taking heat for holiday travel despite public-health guidelines to stay home.

On Friday evening, the federal NDP released a statement saying that MP Niki Ashton travelled to Greece to see an ill family member, and would consequently be relieved of her shadow cabinet roles, which include transportation.