14:52 GMT09 May 2021
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    COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Trial Begins in US

    The Critical Hour
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    On this edition of The Critical Hour, co-hosts Dr. Wilmer Leon and Garland Nixon talk to Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick, epidemiologist and infectious disease physician, about the official launch of a US clinical trial with human participants for a COVID-19 vaccine.

    More than 61,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the US on Sunday, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The struggle continues, but there’s a bright blip on the radar: "The first person received a shot Monday morning in a large-scale test of a vaccine candidate being developed by Cambridge biotechnology company Moderna in collaboration with the US government," the Washington Post reported Monday. What does this all mean?

    The Ukrainian government and separatists in eastern Ukraine began a ceasefire on Sunday that could lead to the end of the six-year conflict if it holds. Ukraine's military said there were two breaches of the ceasefire on Monday: one in which separatists open fire with grenades and small arms overnight, as well as an incident around midday involving grenade launchers, machine guns and small arms. Does this signal real progress?

    “Changing the CCP’s [Chinese Communist Party's] behavior cannot be the mission of the Chinese people alone. Free nations have to work to defend freedom,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a speech last week. "He went on to say that he had 'faith' the United States could successfully force a change in Beijing’s behavior because it had done so before: with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991," DefenseOne reported on July 23. How do the realities of economic ties between China and the US impact Pompeo’s rhetoric?

    This Wednesday, the CEOs of Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple - four of the biggest companies in the technology industry - will appear before Congress under oath as the House Antitrust Subcommittee attempts to determine whether or not these internet firms have become too big and powerful. Here’s a very rarely used political science term that I hope the audience can comprehend: Duh. Here are my questions. Can the genie be put back in the bottle? Can users' personal information be protected? Is there a way to stop these harassing phone calls that I am receiving from solicitors?

    Last Wednesday, US President Donald Trump "announced that the Justice Department would send hundreds of additional federal agents into cities to confront a rise in shootings and other violence," the New York Times reported on July 22. It’s one thing to send agents into cities under the pretext or pretense of protecting federal buildings; it’s another to send them into cities, uninvited to fight crimes. According to a Sunday report by Common Dreams, "People took to the streets in communities across the United States on Saturday in solidarity with ongoing protests against police brutality in Portland, Oregon, that have been met with a forceful and widely criticized response from federal agents deployed by President Donald Trump, who has said he will send teams to other major US cities."

    Why do people who should know better continue to champion this Russiagate story as if it either still has legs or, like a marathon runner at mile 16, will hopefully find some? A Sunday headline in the Washington Times read: "Source for Steele discredited anti-Trump dossier outed." What does all of this mean?

    "Amid a rapidly worsening COVID-19 pandemic, Bolivia’s coup government has once again suspended much-anticipated elections that were due to be held on September 6," MintPress News reported on July 24. "This is the third time the administration of Jeanine Añez has postponed them because of the virus, setting a new date for October 18." What does this mean for Bolivia and the region going forward? 

    "Israel is believed to be behind several recent acts of sabotage against Iranian civilian and military infrastructure, including a hospital, that have taken the lives of at least 19 people and has further disrupted an economy already in the throes of a devastating downturn brought on by a global pandemic and crippling economic sanctions," MintPress News reported on July 22. What’s the evidence supporting these claims, and what are the broader policy implications?


    Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick - Epidemiologist and infectious disease physician

    Mark Sleboda - International relations and security analyst

    KJ Noh - Peace activist, writer and teacher

    Daniel McAdams - Executive director of the Ron Paul Institute

    Margaret Kimberley - Senior columnist and editor for Black Agenda Report and author of “Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents

    Alexander Mercouris - Editor-in-chief of The Duran

    Teri Mattson - Code Pink Latin America coordinator and founder and coordinator for the Campaign to End US and Canada Sanctions Against Venezuela

    Raul Diego - Staff writer at MintPress News, independent photojournalist, researcher, writer and documentary filmmaker

    We'd love to get your feedback at radio@sputniknews.com

    Iran, Israel, Ukraine, SARS coronavirus, COVID-19, BLM, Portland, big tech, congress, Steele dossier
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