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Rudy Giuliani’s cough kept interrupting him while he tried to attack Biden on Fox News

While waiting to receive the results of a coronavirus test, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani appeared on Fox News Monday night, where he coughed throughout his interview with host Martha MacCallum.

Giuliani is President Trump’s personal lawyer and one of his most ardent supporters. He helped Trump prepare for last week’s debate against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, and several people Giuliani came in close contact with, including Trump, former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, Trump aide Hope Hicks, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) have all tested positive for the coronavirus.

Giuliani shared with MacCallum that he recently tested negative for COVID-19, but two hours before his appearance, he took a second test, “one of those all the way in the back of the nose tests,” The Daily Beast reports. MacCallum told Giuliani she hopes he receives “a negative on that one,” and then asked him about Biden urging people to wear masks and listen to scientists about how the coronavirus works.

Biden, Giuliani declared, doesn’t “really understand what scientists are,” adding that people should listen to their doctors because “they know your personal history. Doctors really aren’t scientists. Scientists almost always have competing opinions. That’s what science is about.” He scoffed that Biden is making “a political statement to scare people, wearing that mask,” and mocked him for donning a face covering “when you are standing at a podium,” saying the “only thing you can infect is the teleprompter that’s near you.”

Before saying goodbye to her guest, MacCallum told Giuliani, “I hope that cough is not anything bad, you’re waiting for your test to come back. We hope you’re going to be healthy and well.” Giuliani responded, “I hope so, too. I’ll let you know tomorrow.”

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Health tech firm testing coronavirus treatments hit by ransomware attack

 A ransomware attack on a health tech firm has slowed some clinical trials, including some involving treatments and vaccines for the coronavirus.

The target was a Philadelphia company that sells software used in hundreds of clinical trials, according to the New York Times.

No patients were affected.

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The attack on eResearchTechnology (ERT) began two weeks ago when employees discovered they were locked out of their data by ransomware.

The companies hit were IQVIA, a contract research organization helping to manage AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine trial, and Bristol Myers Squibb, which is leading a consortium of companies to develop a quick test for the virus.

ERT has not said how many clinical trials were affected.

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The company was involved in three-quarters of trials that led to drug approvals by the Food and Drug Administration last year, according to its website.


On Friday, Drew Bustos, ERT’s vice president of marketing, confirmed that ransomware had seized its systems Sept. 20.

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As a precaution, Bustos said, the company took its systems offline that day and notified outside cybersecurity experts as well as the FBI.

The company said it was too early to say who was behind the attack.

A spokesman declined to say whether the company paid its extortionists.

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The incidents followed more than 1,000 ransomware attacks on U.S. cities, counties and hospitals over the past 18 months, according to the Times.

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Antimatter Particles Hold Key In Timely Attack Against Growing Tumors

KEY POINTS

  • A timer invented by experts permits PET scanners to attack  cancer cells in their weakest
  • The invention may pave the way to less invasive radiation treatment for cancer patients
  • Inventors hoped the technology can be made more affordable in a decade

Doctors may soon kill cancer tumors with less invasive side effects of radiation treatment. This is after a team of experts designed a scanner that can time the antimatter particles that are significant in detecting the levels of the oxygen concentration in cancer tissues. For years, medical experts have witnessed how low levels of oxygen prevented the timely killing of rapidly growing cancer cells. 

A team of Japanese atomic physicists and nuclear medicine experts designed a timer that can detect the oxygen concentration of tissues growing throughout ta cancer patient’s body. Specifically, the timer permits the positron emission tomography (PET) scanners to know when to attack the cancer cells in their weakest before they can grow to be more aggressive. 

In a study published in Communications Physics, the team of experts from the University of Tokyo and the National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS) in Japan explained that positrons are the positively charged antimatter particles that are extremely low in mass. With how tiny their sizes are, these antimatter particles pose no risk in medical applications. They produce gamma rays that have shorter wavelengths than the electromagnetic waves from X-rays. 

Treatment tool for colon cancer A cinnamon-derived compound may help treat colorectal cancer, researchers said. Photo: Reuters

“We imagine targeting more intense radiation treatment to the aggressive, low-oxygen concentration areas of a tumor and targeting lower-intensity treatment to other areas of the same tumor to give patients better outcomes and fewer side effects,” Dr. Miwako Takahashi, a nuclear medicine physician from NIRS and co-author of the research, said in a press release.

Detecting the amount of oxygen flow in body tissues could tell doctors when to attack the cancer cells. At present conditions, experts are only able to detect tumors when they already have low levels of oxygen which means they have already developed into a hardened lump of tissues or mass.  

Hence, low oxygen levels in tumors indicate that the cells are already aggressive and have become harder to kill. At this stage as well, cancer cells grow to be more resilient against radiation treatment. 

The experts hoped that in less than a decade, their findings could lead to better and less invasive cancer treatments that could also be available economically.

Dr. Christian Hinrichs (R), an investigator at the National Cancer Institute in immunotherapy for HPV+ cancers, shows a survivor of metastatic cancer the difference between his CT scan showing cancerous tumors and a clean scan after treatment Dr. Christian Hinrichs (R), an investigator at the National Cancer Institute in immunotherapy for HPV+ cancers, shows a survivor of metastatic cancer the difference between his CT scan showing cancerous tumors and a clean scan after treatment Photo: AFP / SAUL LOEB

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Clinical Trials Hit by Ransomware Attack on Health Tech Firm

The incidents also follow more than a thousand ransomware attacks on American cities, counties and hospitals over the past 18 months. The attacks, once treated as a nuisance, have taken on greater urgency in recent weeks as American officials worry they may interfere, directly or indirectly, with the November election.

A ransomware attack in Germany resulted in the first known death from a cyberattack in recent weeks, after Russian hackers seized 30 servers at University Hospital Düsseldorf, crashing systems and forcing the hospital to turn away emergency patients. As a result, the German authorities said, a woman in a life-threatening condition was sent to a hospital 20 miles away in Wuppertal and died from treatment delays.

ERT’s clients at IQVIA and Bristol Myers Squibb said they had been able to limit problems because they had backed up their data, but the attack forced many clinical trial investigators to move to pen and paper.

In a statement, IQVIA said that the attack had “had limited impact on our clinical trials operations,” and added, “We are not aware of any confidential data or patient information, related to our clinical trial activities, that have been removed, compromised or stolen.”

Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, two companies working on a coronavirus vaccine, said their coronavirus vaccine trials had not been affected.

“ERT is not a technology provider for or otherwise involved in Pfizer’s Phase 1/2/3 Covid-19 vaccine clinical trials,” Amy Rose, a spokeswoman for Pfizer, said.

Companies and research labs on the front lines of the pandemic have been repeat targets for foreign hackers over the past seven months, as countries around the world try to gauge one another’s responses and progress in addressing the virus. In May, the F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security warned that Chinese government spies were actively trying to steal American clinical research through cybertheft.

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Editorial: Nebraska Medicine must inform patients about the hacker attack details | Editorial

Our wired world unavoidably puts our personal information at potential risk. The points of vulnerability are many: Our home computers. Banks and credit unions. Online retailers. Government agencies.

Indeed, the health care sector has been regularly a target of hackers across the country. Nebraska has had several examples. Malware, brought in by a third-party vendor’s device, struck a CHI Health location in 2019. The year before, a hacker accessed patient information at Boys Town National Research Hospital.

Last week, Nebraska Medicine became the latest health care facility targeted in our state for cyberattack. The assault — described as a “significant information technology system downtime event” — led the hospital to postpone patient appointments, with staff resorting to old-style charting of medical information.

Nebraska Medicine has since regained its footing in terms of service delivery.

“People have done a yeoman’s job in making sure we deliver good patient care,” the hospital’s CEO, Dr. James Linder, told The World-Herald. Nebraska Medicine kept its emergency rooms open and didn’t need to divert patients to other hospitals.

The hospital’s information system retains patients’ electronic medical records.

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Trump’s attack on Hunter Biden underscores ‘harmful stigma’ of addiction

Remarks like these perpetuate “a harmful stigma,” said Mark Sutton, spokesman for the nonprofit Drug Policy Alliance, which advocates for the decriminalization of drug use.

“At a time when we have approximately 70,000 people in the United States dying per year from accidental overdose, it is unconscionable that someone vying for our highest elected office would be so willing to throw people struggling with substance-use disorder under the bus,” he added.

Federal data shows that roughly 1 in 10 American adults — or 23 million people — have struggled with a drug-use disorder at some point in their lives. Such a diagnosis is “based on a list of symptoms including craving, withdrawal, lack of control, and negative effects on personal and professional responsibilities,” according to the National Institutes of Health. Drug abuse is not necessarily illicit — many people addicted to opioids obtain them legally through a doctor’s prescription, for instance.

Drug and alcohol abuse often inflict suffering on the affected person’s family members. “By the time most families reach out for help and drug treatment, the disease of addiction has typically progressed to a crisis stage for the addict and family alike,” according to the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. The number of Americans with firsthand experience with addiction and dependency is probably much larger than official statistics show.

Drug and alcohol abuse are devastating disorders. Drug overdoses killed approximately 72,000 people in 2019, while excessive drinking is “responsible for more than 95,000 deaths in the United States each year, or 261 deaths per day,” according to the CDC, a figure that includes deaths from chronic alcohol-related illnesses, suicides, alcohol poisoning and drunken-driving crashes.

But according to many experts, the stigma surrounding drug and alcohol abuse is even more deadly.

“I think the biggest killer out there is stigma,” U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said in 2019. “Stigma keeps people in the shadows. Stigma keeps people from coming forward and asking for help. Stigma keeps families from admitting that there is a problem.”

Writing this year in the New England Journal of Medicine, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Nora Volkow, said that stigmatizing people who use drugs “may be the equivalent of an electric shock in the cycle of drug addiction: it’s a powerful social penalty that spurs further drug taking … respect and compassion are essential.”

Hunter Biden has been open about his substance abuse, chronicling his history of alcohol and drug use — as well as his attempts to get those behaviors under control — for Adam Entous of the New Yorker in 2019. The Biden campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

For many people with a drug or alcohol problem, the support of family members is critical. At the debate, Biden’s response to Trump illustrated what that support looks like.

“My son, like a lot of people, like a lot of people you know at home, had a drug problem,” Biden said. “He’s overtaken it. He’s fixed it. He’s worked

Suspected ransomware attack disrupts hospital chain

A suspected ransomware attack disrupted patient care at a large chain of hospitals and clinics operating in the United States and Britain, the latest in a series of cyberattacks on the health care system in recent months.

Universal Health Services said in a statement it suffered “an information technology security incident” on Sunday which “may result in temporary disruptions to certain aspects of our clinical and financial operations.”

UHS, which operates 26 acute care hospitals and other health facilities in the US and Britain, said acute care and behavioral health operations were “utilizing their established back-up processes including offline documentation methods.”

The cybersecurity blog BleepingComputer said the attack appeared to be using Ryuk, malware linked to North Korean hackers which encrypts computer systems until a ransom is paid.

One UHS employee told BleepingComputer that files were being renamed to include the .ryk extension used by Ryuk.

Employees discussing the attack on online message boards said ambulances and patients were being redirected from UHS hospitals to other facilities.

The incident marked the latest in a string of cyberattacks on health care facilities in recent months, with hackers preying on outdated computer systems and the belief that hospitals would be likely to pay a ransom to avoid endangering patients during the coronavirus pandemic.

Security researchers have said several other hospital systems have been hit by ransomware in recent weeks with possibly fatal consequences.

“More and more groups have started to steal data and using the threat of releasing it as additional leverage to extort payment,” the security firm Emsisoft said in a recent blog post.

“Cybercriminals are better resourced and more motivated than ever.”

Emsisoft said at least 219 organizations in the US government, education and healthcare sectors, including “multiple hospitals” have fallen victim to ransomware attacks.

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