Dominic Cummings: Michel Barnier ‘lazy’ and a ‘bullshitter’

Boris Johnson's ex-aide praised one EU Brexit negotiator and criticized another.

Dominic Cummings: Michel Barnier ‘lazy’ and a ‘bullshitter’

Dominic Cummings, once Boris Johnson’s top aide and current thorn in the side of pretty much everyone, has described former EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier as “emotional,” “lazy” and a “bullshitter.”

Cummings took to Twitter to slap down a tweet from Andrew Adonis, a former British Cabinet minister and now Labour member of the House of Lords, who said Barnier’s book “My Secret Brexit Diary,” which is about to be released in English, “reinforces my view that Brexit was a catastrophe for Britain — Barnier was better than all Britain’s negotiators put together and ran rings around Lord [David] Frost.”

Cummings disagreed, calling out Adonis’ “usual ignorance” and describing Barnier as “an emotional/bullshitter/lazy/DDavis type” — a reference to former U.K. Brexit Secretary David Davis, who once said of his job: “I don’t have to be very clever. I don’t have to know that much. I just do have to be calm.”

Cummings was, however, full of praise for Stéphanie Riso, a former member of Barnier’s negotiating team who developed a reputation for competence on both sides of the Brexit debate, saying she was “our real opponent, smart, subtle, tough, perceptive,” and adding: “Lucky for us (esp at end when PM was caving on many fronts) Barnier often sidelined her.”

Since being sacked by Johnson, Cummings fills his time with writing on Substack, sharing his musings with the masses, settling scores and burning bridges. Barnier, who wants to be the next president of France, caused a stir this month by calling for a referendum on immigration and complaining about a loss of French sovereignty to the EU — arguments he fought against when made by the Brits during his EU stint.

Source : Politico EU More   

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Johnson & Johnson says booster shot provides strong protection against COVID-19

Many countries are determining when and whether to roll out booster programs.

Johnson & Johnson says booster shot provides strong protection against COVID-19

WASHINGTON — Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday said a booster shot of its COVID-19 vaccine given two months after the first strengthens protection against moderate illness and severe disease.

The company said a late-stage clinical trial found that giving a second shot of the single-dose vaccine produced 75 percent protection against moderate and severe disease globally. That figure rose to 94 percent in the United States.

Giving a booster shot six months after the first dose also produced a twelvefold higher antibody level, J&J said.

The booster data has not yet been peer-reviewed or published in a scientific journal.

“Our single-shot vaccine generates strong immune responses and long-lasting immune memory,” said Mathai Mammen, the global head of research and development at J&J’s Janssen subsidiary. “And, when a booster of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is given, the strength of protection against COVID-19 further increases.”

Just under 15 million people in the United States have gotten the J&J COVID-19 shot. The company said earlier this year that a single shot of its vaccine provided 66 percent protection against moderate and severe disease.

J&J’s data comes as the federal government wrestles with when and how to roll out COVID-19 booster shots. Top White House and health officials last month backed a plan to roll boosters out broadly to most adults starting in late September. But that prompted fierce pushback from health experts in and out of the government, who argued that there was not yet sufficient data to justify a broad booster campaign.

Matters came to a head on Friday, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s independent vaccine advisory committee rejected the idea of allowing Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 booster to be used in people 16 and older, arguing that the available safety and efficacy data did not justify that far-ranging use. Instead, the panel voted in favor of giving the Pfizer-BioNTech booster to people over 65 and those at high-risk of severe disease.

It is not clear how closely FDA will hew to its advisory panel’s recommendation. The agency has yet to act on booster applications from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

J&J said it submitted its booster data to FDA and planned to also share it with regulators in other countries.

Source : Politico EU More   

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