Press Briefing by White House COVID-19 Response Team and Public Health Officials 18 February

first_imgPress Briefing by White House COVID-19 Response Team and Public Health Officials 18 February The White HouseVia Teleconference11:05 A.M. EST MR. ZIENTS: Good morning, everybody. It’s been 27 days since the President launched his comprehensive whole-of-government strategy to beat the COVID-19 pandemic. Central to the strategy is vaccinating all Americans. When we started this work 27 days ago, we inherited many challenges: There was not enough vaccine supply. There were not enough vaccinators to help get shots in arms. And there were not enough places to get vaccinated.And 27 days later, while we’ve made a lot of progress, there is a long road ahead. We’re executing our strategy across multiple fronts, and that execution is yielding results. Today I will give you the latest update on our execution in those three key areas: vaccine supply, number of vaccinators, and places to get vaccinated.We’ll also hear from Dr. Walensky on the state of the pandemic, Dr. Fauci on the latest science, Dr. Nunez-Smith on our equity work, and Carole Johnson, White House Testing Coordinator, will discuss important progress on testing.First, I’ll start with vaccine supply. We’ve acted aggressively to increase the vaccine supply. Yesterday we announced another increase in the weekly allocations of vaccine doses to states, tribes, and territories from 11 million doses last week to 13.5 million doses this week. That’s an increase in vaccine allocations of 57 percent during the first four weeks of the Biden-Harris administration.In addition, we’re doubling the weekly vaccine supply to local pharmacies from 1 million to 2 million doses. And thanks to the President’s leadership, we’re on track to have enough vaccine supply for 300 million Americans by the end of July. Second, we’re mobilizing teams to get shots in arms. We signed an order to allow retired doctors and nurses to give shots. Today we’ve deployed over 700 federal personnel as vaccinators. The federal government is funding 1,200 National Guard members who are serving as vaccinators. For the first time, we have activated over 1,000 members of the military to support community vaccination sites, and we’ve deployed an additional 1,000 federal personnel to support community vaccination sites in operational roles. We continue to take action to increase the number of vaccinators and federal support teams.Third, we’re creating more places where Americans can get vaccinated. We’ve expanded financial support to bolster community vaccination centers nationwide, with over $3 billion in federal funding across 40 states, tribes, and territories. We’re bringing vaccinations to places communities know and trust — community centers, high school gyms, churches, and stadiums nationwide. And we’re standing up innovative, high-volume, federally run sites that can give over 30,000 shots a week. We’ve also launched efforts to get vaccines to pharmacies and community health centers.And the data shows that we’re making progress. As you can see in our weekly vaccination progress report, our seven-day average daily dose administered is now 1.7 million average daily shots per day, up from 1.1 million only four weeks ago. Our seven-day daily average of 1.7 million compares to an average of 892,000 the week before President Biden took office. That is almost double in just four weeks.Throughout this work, we’re putting equity front and center, partnering with states to increase vaccinations in the hardest-hit and hardest-to-reach communities; increasing supply to convenient and trusted locations like community health centers; deploying mobile units; and improving data collection so that we have a better understanding of the inequities currently experienced.Let me be very clear: We have much more work to do on all fronts, but we are taking the actions we need to beat this virus. There is a path out of this pandemic. But how quickly we exit this crisis depends on all of us. That’s why I encourage everyone to take the advice of Dr. Walensky, Dr. Fauci, and Dr. Nunez-Smith. Follow the public health guidance. Wear masks, social distance, and get vaccinated when it’s your turn.We will do everything we can as a federal government to defeat this virus, but it will take all of us stepping up to do our part.With that, let me turn it over to Dr. Walensky. Dr. Walensky.DR. WALENSKY: Thank you. I’m so glad to be back with you today to share the latest information on the status of the pandemic.Let’s first begin with an overview of the data, and then I want to briefly discuss with you what CDC knows about recently detected COVID-19 variants and what we’re doing in response.COVID-19 cases have now been declining for five weeks. The seven-day average in the past week — cases have decreased nearly 22 percent to an average of slightly more than 86,000 cases per day. Similarly, new hospital admissions have been consistently declining since early January, with a 21 percent decline in the seven-day average over the past week, averaging approximately 7,700 cases per — admissions per day.We continue to see the daily number of reported deaths fluctuate. The latest data indicate deaths declined by 0.6 percent to an average of 3,076 deaths per day from February 9th to February 15th. These numbers are a painful reminder that we have — of all those we have lost and continue to lose — our family members, our friends, our neighbors, and our co-workers — to this pandemic.While cases and hospitalizations continue to move in the right direction, we remain in the midst of a very serious pandemic, and we continue to have more cases than we did, even during last month’s — last summer’s peak.And the continued spread of variants that are more transmissible could jeopardize the progress we have made in the last month if our — if we let our guard down. As of yesterday, we have confirmed 1,277 cases of the B117 variant across 42 states, including the first case of the B117 variant with the E484K substitution that had previously been found in the UK. Nineteen cases of B1351 variant have been found across 10 states, and three cases of the P1 variant has been found in two states.Reflective of our commitment to communicate openly and often about the latest science on variants today, CDC is releasing two studies in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, as well as a commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association, on variants specifically.In the MMWR reports, one study describes the different ways eight people in Minnesota were infected with the B117 variant that emerged late last year in the UK. None of the eight individuals had traveled to the UK, but three of them appeared to have been infected during international travel to other destinations, and three during travel to California. One person was exposed to the virus in their home and another in their community.The second report examines the initial spread of the B1351 variant in Zambia, where the average number of daily confirmed COVID-19 cases increased sixteen fold from December to January, which coincided with the detection of the B1351 variant in specimens collected in December.The B1351 variant was first detected in South Africa. And Zambia shows substantial commerce and tourism linkages with South Africa, which may have contributed to the transmission of this variant across the two countries.In the JAMA viewpoint, co-authored by Dr. Fauci, we provide a synopsis of what we know about the primary variants circulating in the United States and the interagency steps the federal government is taking to address these variants. I know these variants are concerning, especially as we’re seeing signs of progress. I’m talking about them today because I am concerned too.Fortunately, the science to date suggests that the same prevention of actions apply to these variants. This includes wearing a well-fitting mask that completely covers your nose and mouth; social distancing when around others who don’t live with you; avoiding travel, crowds, and poorly ventilated spaces; washing your hands often; and getting vaccinated when the vaccine is available to you.It is more important than ever for us to do everything we can to decrease the spread in our communities by increasing our proven measures that prevent the spread of COVID-19. Fewer cases means fewer opportunities for the variant to spread and fewer opportunities for new variants to emerge.Finally, a quick comment on masking. As I stated last week, the science is clear: Consistently and correctly wearing a mask is one of the most effective tools we have to stop the spread of COVID-19. For reasons supported by science, comfort, cost, and practicality, the CDC does not recommend routine use of N95 respirators for protection against COVID-19 by the general public. Abundant scientific laboratory data, epidemiologic investigations, and large population-level analyses demonstrate that masks now available to the general public are effective and are working. And there is little evidence that, when worn properly, well-fitting medical and cloth masks fail in disease transmission.CDC continues to recommend the use of masks that have two or more layers, that completely cover your nose and mouth, and that fit snugly and comfortably over your nose and the side of your face.Thank you, and I look forward to your questions. I will now turn it over to Dr. Fauci. Dr. Fauci?DR. FAUCI: Thank you very much, Dr. Walensky. I’d like to spend the next couple of minutes addressing an issue that we have been asked about continually since the successful demonstration of the high efficacy of the vaccines that are currently being implemented right now in our country: the mRNA vaccines of Pfizer and of Moderna.And the question is — we do know now that we have a 94 to 95 percent efficacy in preventing clinically recognizable disease, but the looming question is: If a person gets infected, despite the fact that they’ve been vaccinated — we refer to that as a “breakthrough infection” — does that person have the capability of transmitting the infection to another person? Namely, does vaccine prevent transmission?And I had mentioned to you that we, together with the Moderna company — and the Pfizer group is going to do it also — are also going to be looking at the viral load in the nasal pharynx to determine if, in fact, a person who’s vaccinated but has a breakthrough infection, compared to a person who’s unvaccinated and has an asymptomatic infection, is there a difference in the viral load? That will be very important.What has happened over the past couple of weeks is there have been some studies that are pointing into a very favorable direction that will have to be verified and corroborated by other studies.But let me spend a minute to just describe it to you. The real question is: Is there a relationship between viral load and transmissibility? We know from ample studies over many years with HIV is that there’s a direct correlation between the viral load that an individual has — usually measured in the blood — and the likelihood that they will or will not transmit their infection, for example, to a sexual partner. The lower the viral load, the less likelihood of transmissibility. The higher the viral load, the higher the likelihood of transmissibility.Well, when you’re dealing with COVID-19, you’re talking about viral load in the nasopharynx. So a study has just come out about a week and a half ago from Spain that directly looked at it with a group of 282 clusters of infections. And what it showed, in a Lancet article that came out on February the 2nd, was something that we were hoping we would see: that there was a direct correlation with the viral load and the efficiency of transmission, very much the same as what we’ve seen in diseases like HIV, only now it’s in the nasopharynx. In other words, higher viral load, good transmissibility; lower viral load, very poor transmissibility.Now, together with that is another study that came out on February the 8th on an online journal, which I believe is worthy of being noted here — even though, as I mentioned, you want corroboration with other studies. It was a study from Israel. It looked at the following question: If, in fact, you assume that decreased viral load is due — will result in a decreased transmission, when you follow breakthrough infections in the individuals in Israel who had been vaccinated, compared to infections in individuals who were not, there was a markedly diminished viral load in those individuals who were vaccinated but had a breakthrough infection, compared to individuals who were not.It’s very interesting the Israelis were able to do that study. It is noteworthy that when you look at the amount of vaccinations per hundred people — mainly how many vaccinations were given per hundred people — Israeli — Israel is way up there, with 78 doses per 100 people, compared to the United States, which is 16.7 doses per 100 people. So we have been hearing and seeing in the press that Israel has a remarkable diminution in cases associated with the efficiency of their vaccine.The reason I bring this out to you is that it is another example of the scientific data starting to point to the fact that vaccine is important not only for the health of the individual — to protect them against infection and disease, including the variants that Dr. Walensky has mentioned just a moment ago — but it also has very important implications from a public health standpoint for interfering and diminishing the dynamics of the outbreak.So the bottom-line message is one that you just heard from Dr. Walensky that I said the last few times that we had these press briefings, and that is: When your turn to get vaccinated comes up, get vaccinated. It’s not only good for you and your family and your community, it will have a very important impact on the dynamics of the outbreak in our country. And with that, I’ll hand it over to Dr. Nunez-Smith. DR. NUNEZ-SMITH: Thank you so much, Dr. Fauci. So, over these past few weeks, you know, I’ve been — it’s been a great pleasure to be here giving updates in how we’re centering equity in our response. You know, spent time describing the critical need for data, in particular from states and localities, you know, to guide an equitable response.And last week, I introduced you to the individuals selected for the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, a group that will convene to develop recommendations to inform the work.So today, just very briefly, I wanted to zoom out a little bit and, just at a high level, describe some of the elements of an equitable COVID-19 response that we’ve built and that we are building so far.So in terms of the federal COVID-19 response, we have developed robust efforts in three key areas on the continuum of COVID-19 impact, and that’s vaccination, treatment, as well as testing.So first, vaccination, as we’ve been discussing so far today, is just critical. And the federal programs — those include the community health center partnerships, retail pharmacy program, the community vaccination centers, and the mobile vaccination sites — those are being executed to make sure we also reach the hardest hit. And we’re working directly with state and local leadership on these programs.So second, I want to spend a little time today discussing equity in COVID-19 treatment options. We have been working very closely with the Food and Drug Administration to discuss the promise and the potential of three antibody therapies authorized for emergency use. And in brief, these therapies have been shown to reduce hospitalization and improve outcomes for high-risk patients diagnosed with COVID-19.You know, the potential for these therapies is especially high in the communities that have been most affected by the pandemic. And in fact, the 25 locations currently participating in the administration’s rollout of these therapies include 32 percent of the American population, and also includes significant racial and ethnic diversity. You know, from Houston, to Detroit, L.A., to Atlanta — in coordination with community leaders in these areas, we have the ability to reach 38 percent of the black community, 42 percent of the Hispanic/Latino community, and 41 percent of the Asian community in the country. And we also have reached into rural populations. So with regard to these therapies in particular, we will continue to keep you updated.And then third, we have been hard at work developing robust efforts in COVID-19 testing as well.And so, with that, I want to pass it over to my colleague, Carole Johnson, to describe the latest developments in the efforts to streamline and increase COVID-19 testing. Carole. MS. JOHNSON: Thank you, Dr. Nunez-Smith, for your leadership on testing, on equity, and on so much more. I’m really delighted to be here with you today. I’m Carole Johnson, the COVID Response Team Testing Coordinator.For the last three years, I served as a Human Services Commissioner for the state of New Jersey, providing healthcare and social services for our most vulnerable residents. So when COVID came early and quickly to our state, I experienced firsthand the difference access to accurate, affordable testing could make in slowing the spread.I’m here today because while we’re working around the clock to vaccinate folks, we also need to continue doing what we know works to protect public health, and that includes robust testing. We need to test broadly and rapidly to turn the tide of this pandemic. But we still don’t have enough testing and we don’t have enough testing in all the places it needs to be.Today, we’re taking a critical step along that path. Thanks to Pre- — President Biden’s leadership and his commitment to testing, we’re announcing that the federal government will invest $1.6 billion in three key areas: supporting testing in schools and underserved populations, increasing genomic sequencing, and manufacturing critical testing supplies.First, we’ll invest $650 million for testing to begin to help schools with reopening and to reach underserved populations. While this funding will serve as a — only as a pilot until the American Rescue Plan is enacted, we want to act quickly to help get support underway in these priority settings. The Department of Health and Human Services will use these funds to create regional coordinating centers that will partner with labs to leverage their underutilized testing capacity. They’ll use that capacity to support schools, underserved communities, and congregate settings.Too often, testing can be hard to implement in non-medical settings or it can be hard to find the right partner to make testing work. These coordinating ceters [sic] — centers will help match lab capacity with demand from schools, congregate settings like homeless shelters or other underserved populations. These are places that typically don’t have the resources or the bandwidth to build partnerships with academic or commercial testing labs, and that’s where the government can be a facilitator. We’ll identify existing testing capacity, match it to an area of need, and support and fund that testing. Second, we’ll invest almost $200 million to rapidly expand genomic sequencing to identify, track, and stop the COVID-19 variants that we’ve all heard and talked much about. Essentially, genomic sequencing is the process that tells us which COVID variants are in the country. And this surge in funding will result in a threefold increase in CDC’s genomic sequencing capacity to get us to 25,000 samples a week.As a result, we’ll identify COVID variants sooner and better target our efforts to stop the spread. We’re quickly infusing targeted resources here because the time is critical when it comes to these fast-moving variants.Finally, we’ll address the shortage in testing supplies. Talk to anyone who has focused on COVID testing over the last year, and they’ll tell you the same thing: Our nation faces a shortage of critical supplies and raw materials, including pipette ti- — tips; the specialized paper used in antigen tests; and the specialized molded plastics needed to house testing reagents, as a couple of examples.So our administration will invest $815 million in building and surging domestic manufacturing capacity of these critical testing supplies. We need to build — to build the capacity to produce these materials or we’ll continue to face shortages that will sidetrack our work in expanding access to testing.To be clear, these resources are a significant help in the short term, but they are far from what’s necessary to meet the need for testing in communities across the country. They are merely a bridge until Congress passes the American Rescue Plan to fully expand testing and ensure that any American can get a test when they need one.With that, I’ll turn it back over to Jeff.MR. ZIENTS: Well, thanks, Carole, and thanks, team. I want to emphasize the importance of testing. Carole just laid out the case, but I just want to add my two cents here. We have too little capacity for diagnostic screening and genomic sequencing. It can take way too long to get a test and there are too many barriers to widespread testing and screening.Quality, affordable testing can be important to reopening our businesses and schools, and keeping them open. And genomic sequencing testing is how we will spot variants early, before they spread. So we need to make a significant investment and ramp up testing across the country.We’re using available funds, so we can pilot programs and make progress. But make no mistake: We need the American Rescue Plan to double testing capacity, promote innovation, and drive down costs per tests.Finally, before we open it up for Q&A, I want to make one last point. We know that millions of Americans have lost their health insurance as a result of this pandemic. This week, the administration opened a Special Enrollment Period to get more people covered. Between now and May 15th, Americans can go to Healthcare.gov and enroll in quality, affordable healthcare.We encourage people to check out their options and to take steps to protect you and your family.With that, let’s open it up to questions.MODERATOR: All right, first up we will go to Tamara Keith with NPR.Q Thank you so much for taking my question. I appreciate it. And the question that I have is for Carole Johnson. As you say, there is this really big problem of a shortage of testing, and many experts say that the U.S. needs a lot of very inexpensive paper-strip antigen tests to finally provide enough testing. You’ve mentioned this money, but what else is being done? What are the steps that need to be taken to finally make that happen and, you know, make it so that schools potentially really could do screening testing?MS. JOHNSON: Yeah, thank you so much for that question. What we’re doing today is trying to take what steps we can with the available resources that we have. But what we need to do is have the resources that are in the American Rescue Plan to really give us the opportunity to scale testing at the way we need to do it, and to build up not only the testing itself and the manufacturing capacity for the testing, but the testing services that make sure that testing isn’t just a product, but it’s actually a service. And we know how non-medical settings, like schools and other settings, can actually adopt testing.And so we need a range of options here, and we need — and that includes easy-to-use and simple and affordable options. And so that’s what we’re focused on with the resources from the American Rescue Plan.MR. ZIENTS: Yeah, I’ll just add that as testing scales, when the American Rescue Plan resources are invested, that’ll both improve the quality of tests and dramatically drive down the cost of tests. So that’s why it’s very important we make that investment.MODERATOR: All right. Next we’ll go to Carl Zimmer with the New York Times.Q Thank you very much. I am — just a question about the $200 million for the genomic surveillance. Is that — could you talk about where that initial amount of money is going? Is it going specifically to contracts for private labs, or is there — will there be any focus on, for example, trying to get a more representative sampling across the country in all states, including ones that don’t have big resources of their own? And is there — anything going to be done in terms of the metadata that you actually need to make sense of these? Thank you.MR. ZIENTS: So, Carole, why don’t you start and then, Dr. Walensky, you should also add your perspective.MS. JOHNSON: Thank you so much for the question and for raising what is a key issue, which is ensuring that there is diversity — geographic diversity in the collection of these samples.So the resources really are intended to go to CDC to help them ramp up their capacity here, in terms of both what they do and what their partners do, but with a focus on making sure that we have that geographic diversity.But I will turn it over to Dr. Walensky for more.DR. WALENSKY: Great. Thank you, Carole. And you’re exactly right. We need the geographic diversity. We’re partnering with the states to make sure that we have representation from all the states. We’re partnering with commercial labs. We’re partnering with academia. And we want to expand those partnerships.So all of those are being done so we can increase both volume and geographic diversity. And then, as you know, it’s not just the tests and getting the tests done; we need the computational capacity, the analytic capacity to understand the information that’s coming in.MODERATOR: Next, we’ll go to Zeke Miller with the Associated Press.Q Thank you for doing the call. Forgive me, I have a three-parter. First, on the latest data that Dr. Walensky (inaudible), is there — are we seeing any impact of the current pace of vaccines, (inaudible) the reduction of new cases, or guess — or when do you expect to see the impact of the vaccination program in the COVID data in terms of the current cases?Second, on the genomic sequencing: How long will it take to get to that 25,000 sequencing per week? You know, is that something that you can turn on in just a couple of weeks, or is that going to take several months or even longer?And then, finally, Jeff, if possible, can we get a status on the J&J vaccine? There’s been a lot of confusion about how much Johnson & Johnson has ready to deploy, assuming they get the EUA. Anything along those lines would be very helpful.MR. ZIENTS: Okay, Zeke, let’s start with Dr. Walensky on the data question and the genomic sequencing.DR. WALENSKY: Yeah, thank you for the question. You know, right now we have about 54 million Americans who have had — received — or 54 million shots that have been given. About 5 percent of Americans have been vaccinated twice.And so what I would say is we’re not at the place where we believe that the current level of vaccination is what is driving down the current level of disease. We believe that much of the surge of disease happened related to the holidays, related to travel.And so we believe that now we’re coming down from that. So I would articulate really loudly that if you’re relying on our current level of vaccination rather than the other mitigation efforts to get us to remain low, that we shouldn’t rest in that comfort.We are scaling up vaccination as much as we can, but we are not at a level where we believe that the vaccination alone is what’s driving the decrease in cases right now.In terms of sequencing, we are scaling up sequencing every day. When we will get to 25,000 depends on the resources that we have at our fingertips and how quickly we can mobilize our partners. I don’t think this is going to be a light switch; I think it’s going to be a dial.MR. ZIENTS: Good. On Johnson & Johnson, I want to start by saying that, you know, Johnson & Johnson is at the FDA for evaluation right now for safety and efficacy. So it’s critical that we, you know, let the FDA folks make this determination, which we anticipate will happen across the next couple of weeks.Depending on where they come out, we could have a third vaccine, which would obviously be good and welcomed news, but at the same time, we are ensuring that both the two EUA-approved vaccines, Moderna and Pfizer, are distributed equitably and fairly. And at the same time, we are planning for the possibility of the third vaccine.I think, Zeke, what you’re referring to is the — you know, the deal was done with Johnson & Johnson under the prior administration. And as — across the last few weeks, we’ve learned that there is not a big inventory of Johnson & Johnson; there’s a few million doses that we’ll start with.The Johnson & Johnson contract commits Johnson & Johnson to deliver 100 million doses by the end of June. That is more back-end loaded. We’re working with the company to do everything we can — assuming they are approved by the FDA — to bring forward as much — many of those doses as possible into the earlier months.So I want to be clear that Johnson & Johnson has 100 million commitment, for the end of June, of doses. At the same time, we’re going to be starting with only a few million in inventory, and we’re doing everything we can, working with the company, to accelerate their delivery schedule. MODERATOR: Next we’ll go to Ed O’Keefe at CBS. Q Hey guys, how are you? Thank you for doing this again. Two things. First, can you give us a sense of how the weather situation, especially in Texas, might be affecting vaccine distribution rollout and testing, for that matter? A lot of vaccine appointments would have been canceled in Texas, or other parts of the country impacted by this winter weather. How might these areas — if you guys have any sense of it — be able to get back on track with the rollout?And then, the President once again talked about the plan for K-through-8 schools, last night, getting to five days a week. He was not asked as explicitly about high schools. Is there a realistic goal of getting them open by the end of the school year, or in your view, is that off the table at this point?MR. ZIENTS: Well, let me let me start with the weather delays, and then I’ll turn to Dr. Walensky on older students and why that creates greater complexity than younger students.You know, the weather is having an impact. It’s having an impact on distribution and deliveries from the delivery companies and the distribution companies. People are working as hard as they can, given the importance of getting the vaccines to the states and to providers. But there is an impact on deliveries.And then, as you pointed out, Ed, you know, there’s certain parts of the country, Texas being one of them, where vaccination sites are understandably closed. And what we’re encouraging governors and other partners to do is to extend hours once they’re able to reopen. You know, many vaccination sites do operate 24/7, you know, through the weekends, through the evenings. And we want to make sure that as we’ve lost some time in some states for people to get needles in arms, that our partners do all they can to make up that lost ground, consistent with distributing the vaccine to people as efficiently and equitably as possible.Over to you, Dr. Walensky.DR. WALENSKY: Great, thanks. So, several points with regard to high schools. One is, the science tells us that — we know as children age, as they get closer to teenage years, that they act, in this disease, similar to adults. That is they are increased transmiss- — — they are increased vectors, in terms of transmission, and that they are increasingly sicker compared to younger kids — get increasingly sicker.So we have to be a little bit more cautious with our high school kids because they act differently from kids who are really young. That’s thing one.Thing two: High school kids are harder to cohort. One of our key mitigation strategies is to try and have small cohorts of kids, and it’s very hard to cohort high school kids and to convey and rely on that real high school experience of getting, you know, different classes and different levels of classes. So that’s a little bit more of a challenge with high school.What I will say is there are opportunities for in-person learning in middle school and in high school through all of our layered — levels of community spread. The most limited, which encourages virtual learning when you’re in the red zone — the most community spread — does have opportunities for high schools to open — high schools and middle schools to open, if you can follow all the mitigation strategies.That having been said, what we have seen with the cases coming down is that while 90 percent of jurisdictions were in the red zone last week when we spoke, this week, with cases coming down, we have about 75 percent in the red zone. So the less community spread out there — the more we do to decrease the amount of disease in the community — there are well more opportunities for our children to get back to school, even in the middle and high school ranges.MR. ZIENTS: I’ll just add that, you know, doing this — smaller class sizes, ensuring there are more school buses, having the equipment and the testing available — this costs money. And that’s why the passage of the American Rescue Plan — the $130 billion for schools — is so important to do. It’s so much more expensive than the $130 billion to not have our kids in school in any setting that is safe and feasible in this environment.MODERATOR: All right, last question. We’ll go to Tom Christopher at Mediaite.Q Hi. Can you hear me now? Hello? Can you hear me?MODERATOR: Yep.Q All right. Good. Yeah, I have two questions for Dr. Fauci, but obviously any of you can chime in if you like. First of all, I’m wondering if you have done any statistical analysis of how many teachers or people in teacher households have died or been hospitalized due to COVID. And have you done modeling for how many will die or be hospitalized under the various reopening scenarios? And I have a follow-up.DR. FAUCI: I don’t have any information on that specifically; perhaps Dr. Walensky does from an epidemiological standpoint. But I don’t — I have not seen it broken down on number of teachers who have died. I don’t think that information is readily available. I might be wrong on that, but, Rochelle.DR. WALENSKY: I am unfamiliar with data there. What I can tell you is most of the data that we have from schools have demonstrated that — and teachers specifically have demonstrated — that when disease comes into the school, it is not because of spread that is happening in the school, it is because the members who are attending school — teachers, staff, bus workers, and what not, bus drivers — have gotten disease from the community, not from one another in schools.Q Okay. And so my follow-up question is: Dr. Fauci, I’ve seen you on TV saying that, you know, you can’t vaccinate all the teachers before you reopen the schools, but I’ve also seen the President and the Vice President saying, “Look, it’s really, really important that we vaccinate teachers and they need to be prioritized.”And so, I know you don’t have the data, but assuming that the number isn’t zero, what do you say to the teacher or the person who lives in a teacher household who says, “You know, I don’t want to be the next or last person to die of COVID because we were forced to go back to school?” Or do you say that the number is zero?DR. FAUCI: Well, first of all, let me just clarify the issue of having to get every teacher vaccinated before you can really open schools and get children back to schools. That really is rather impractical to make that a sine qua non of opening the schools.At the same time that we say that, we do say and we feel strongly that we should try as best as we possibly can to vaccinate teachers. And they should be, as a high priority, within the area of essential personnel. So you definitely want to make sure that you don’t get that confused. Even though we don’t feel that every teacher needs to be vaccinated before you can open a school, that doesn’t take away from the fact that we strongly support the vaccination of teachers.The second part of your question I think relates to what Dr. Walensky just said. When you talk about the danger of teachers getting infected, we know that when you talk about infection within the school setting, it’s what really is going on in the community that is the risk of infection to anyone, including teachers.MR. ZIENTS: Yeah. Let me just —Q But does that mean that if, like, a teacher gets COVID out in the community, are they then spreading it to other teachers in the school? Because, I mean, it sounds to me like — like that wouldn’t be very —DR. FAUCI: No, the data that we have right now — and Rochelle could come in and, sort of, supplement what I’m saying — is that when you see infections in the school setting, personnel or students, that it is really reflective of what is going on in the community, not a very special situation of a particular super-spreading type of a situation in a school. That’s not what we are seeing. We’re seeing it reflective of what’s going on in the community.MR. ZIENTS: Yeah. Let me just add one point of emphasis here and then we’ll close. You know, the President and Vice President think states should ensure teachers are prioritized, which has already being done — that prioritization of teacher teachers for vaccinations — by about half the states in the country.Teachers should be vaccinated, as Dr. Fauci said, like other frontline workers. And like other frontline workers, we should be grateful for their service. But the President and Vice President agree with the CDC guidelines that it’s not a requirement to reopening schools.So with that, I want to thank everybody for joining today. The next briefing will be on Friday. Thank you. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Africa, america, Asia, california, EU, Europe, Government, Israel, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, South Africa, Spain, Texas, UK, United States, White House, Zambialast_img read more

No. 6 UWF Cruises by Alabama Huntsville

first_img Full Schedule Roster Mississippi College 9/22/2017 – 7:30 pm West Florida will play its first ranked opponent of the year on Friday, September 22, when No. 17 Mississippi College visits Pensacola. Kickoff for that match is scheduled for 7:30 pm. With a 1-0 coming out of halftime, Leonie Kreil quickly extended the UWF lead to 2-0 by taking advantage of a loose ball in front of the net with Buford down after an Argonaut free kick in the 46th minute. The Argos would not have to wait much longer for another goal, as freshman Jessica Quixley found the net for the second time this weekend and the third time this year. Live Stats HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Goals from four different Argonauts pushed the sixth-ranked University of West Florida women’s soccer team past Gulf South Conference opponent Alabama Huntsville on Sunday afternoon by a score of 4-0. With the win, UWF improved to 5-0 on the year and 2-0 in GSC play, which continues on Friday. Next Game: Preview Shantell Thompson stretched the lead a little more in the 89th minute, with her first goal of the season to put the score at 4-0.center_img Kaljit Atwal’s corner kick found Victoria Swift in the 31st minute and Swift delivered a header past UAH keeper Megan Buford to put West Florida ahead 1-0. It was Swift’s second goal of the year and Atwal’s first assist in her senior campaign. Watch Live The 3-0 lead did not slow UWF’s attack down, however, as the Argonauts found other close opportunities off free kicks in the 67th and 68th minutes. The first of those deflected off Buford and was cleared away by UAH defenders at the goal line, and the second was a long ball from Quixley that got through a crowd of Charger defenders and one-hopped into Buford’s arms. Quixley’s goal came off a corner kick from Kreil that found the far post, which Quixley collected and scored after flying by Buford. In standard Argonaut fashion, UWF outshot the Chargers 19-3 and had 10 shots go on target, compared to just 1 for UAH. West Florida is now 21-0 all-time against UAH, and the Argos have had more shots on goal than their opponents in 25 of the team’s last 29 matches, including all five this year. #ARGOS#Print Friendly Version It was an evenly matched first 30 minutes of play at Charger Park, before West Florida put its foot on the gas and put the game out of reach for UAH.last_img read more

Excess imports

first_imgHappily, though, both leagues have come up with rules that will cut the presence of the imports in their lineups. In November 2014, the UAAP started the process of banning foreign players from the league, limiting teams to one import each and stopping the recruitment altogether next season.But Caidic has seen something that makes him believe that the schools will not adhere to the new rule.“When their import is about to graduate, you can be sure that schools are already planning to enroll replacement imports,” he says.“The sad part of it is that these imports don’t have a [playing] career to look forward to here after graduating. They are totally different from the overseas-based players with Filipino roots who can be asked to play for the national team.”As far as these schools are concerned, national team interest and the welfare of the local players seem to have taken the backseat because some of them even have two imports. Take for instance, University of Perpetual Help, which plays 6-foot-8 Bright Akhuetie and 6-11 Prince Eze, both Nigerians.Schools with money to spend gamble on hiring standout imports to power their teams to collegiate titles and thus gain bragging rights to lure more enrollees.Winning championships has been paramount, and from where collegiate greats Cadic, Alas and Ravena sit, it seems that’s the biggest reason of all. Foreign players or imports have gone on to dominate action in the NCAA and the UAAP with impunity. Very recently, reinforcements showed what they could do when they cornered four of the five spots on the NCAA’s Mythical Team, with only Arellano University’s talented Jio Jalalon averting a foreign sweep.Does this augur well for the development of the collegiate leagues, or Philippine basketball for that matter?FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSWe are youngSPORTSCone plans to speak with Slaughter, agentAllan Caidic, perhaps the next biggest name to don the jersey of the University of the East Red Warriors after the legendary Robert Jaworski; Louie Alas, a standout big guard at Adamson University before knee injuries prevented him from making a lucrative career in the PBA; and Bong Ravena, who took over as King Warrior when Caidic took his craft to the pros, all think that imports in the collegiate leagues are both good and bad.“The presence of these imports has a big negative effect among the local players,” says Caidic, a member of the PBA’s first 25 Greatest Players list and, without a doubt, the best outside gunner UE has ever produced. Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town “What would you call them otherwise?” says Alas, a three-time NCAA champion coach with Letran (1998, 2003, 2005) when his Knights played without a foreign player. “It would be okay if these players really came to the country to study, got discovered in the school intramurals and improved tremendously enough to make it to their schools’ lineups.“But being recruited abroad to play first and then study later is a different story. I’ve even heard of stories in which some of these players were comparing the allowances they get from their schools.”What happened in the recent NCAA player awards rite has forced the hand of the league’s management committee to come up with a “Best Import” plum for foreigners starting next year. From then on, only Filipino players can vie for the MVP trophy or be voted into the Mythical Team.Apart from Cagayan de Oro’s Jalalon, the best five players in the NCAA’s 92nd Season, were Allwell Oraeme of Mapua, who bagged his second straight MVP award on top of the Defensive Player of the Year plum; fellow Nigerian Bright Akhuetie of Perpetual Help, and Cameroonians Donald Tankoua of San Beda and Hamadou Laminou of Emilio Aguinaldo College.“In a way, the imports’ presence can help the local players improve because they will be playing against bigger and heftier opponents, many of whom are superior talent-wise,” says Caidic. “But at the same time, the slots in the teams these foreigners take deny local players the opportunity to shine.”Caidic echoes Alas’ opinion on foreign student-athletes who play not for financial considerations. He recalls the case of Anthony Williams, the American medical student who powered Far Eastern University to two undefeated seasons.The bull-strong Williams went on to become a physician and now practices in the United States. He was never heard of as a basketball player, though, after ending his collegiate career here.“If that’s the case, it’s good,” Caidic says. “Williams was able to help his school win the championship and become a doctor for which he came here. But I was there [at UE], I think, during the last year of Williams. We couldn’t beat them (Tamaraws). It was both fair and unfair because he was a legitimate student but unlike us, FEU had an import.”Alas blames the lack of talented big men joining the PBA Draft on the presence of these college imports. Alaska, where Alas is a deputy to coach Alex Compton, has the 11th pick in today’s rookie pool but can’t see a big man worth drafting.“The [imports] are taking away the opportunity for local centers to polish their games on the big collegiate stage,” says Alas. “If you’re not playing in the UAAP or the NCAA, where would you get the chance to show your abilities?” 30 Filipinos from Wuhan quarantined in Capas EDITORS’ PICK Mainland China virus cases exceed 40,000; deaths rise to 908 Against all odds Ginebra teammates show love for Slaughter BREAKING: Solicitor General asks SC to forfeit ABS CBN’s franchise MOST READ View comments PH among economies most vulnerable to virus Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The NCAA Season 92 Mythical Five Team: Mapua’s Allwell Oraeme, Arellano’s Jio Jalalon, Perpetual Help’s Bright Akhuetie, San Beda’s Donald Tankoua, and Emilio Aguinaldo College’s Hamadou Laminou. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netThree former collegiate basketball greats are missing the good, old days. Not exactly the days when they led their respective schools in the UAAP four decades ago, but the time when play was furious, tight and physical most of the time.And when action was totally homegrown.ADVERTISEMENT For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan PLAY LIST 01:31Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan01:33WHO: ‘Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient’01:01WHO: now 31,211 virus cases in China 102:02Vitamin C prevents but doesn’t cure diseases like coronavirus—medic03:07’HINDI PANG-SPORTS LANG!’03:03SILIP SA INTEL FUND We are young Ravena shares Caidic’s view but goes one step further: He believes that imports should not be allowed to play in school leagues.“You can’t show your worth on the floor, especially if you play the same position as your import,” says the father of past and present Ateneo stalwarts Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena. Hindi mo mailabas ang laro mo dahil sa kanila (You can’t play your game because of them).“Imports should be in the PBA, not in college leagues. And just like in the PBA, where height limits [for imports] reinforced, the management committees of both the UAAP and NCAA should do the same.”Ravena, the 1992 PBA Rookie of the Year who is now an assistant coach at TNT KaTropa, says it behooves the two leagues to regulate the participation of the imports—almost all of whom are tall, muscular players from Africa.Alas believes that many of these student-athletes are nothing but mercenaries tapped to enroll and play for their respective schools for pay.ADVERTISEMENT Brad Pitt wins his first acting Oscar as awards get underwaylast_img read more

FIFA to discuss Chelsea doctor case

first_imgThey have since been excluded from the team bench by Mourinho and have consulted lawyers.Carneiro and Fearn’s medical intervention — called on by Hazard and the referee — reduced Chelsea to nine players as goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois had already been sent off. An angry Mourinho called it “impulsive and naive”.FIFA’s top medical experts have already backed Carneiro and FIFA’s medical commission is expected to issue a statement backing the Chelsea doctor after a meeting on Friday.“You would expect me to support the team doctor,” said medical commission chairman Michel D’Hooghe, a longstanding FIFA executive member, when he announced it would be discussed.Mary O’Rourke, one of Britain’s top medical lawyers who has been involved in landmark cases on football injuries, said FIFA would back the 41-year-old Carneiro.“It is an important point of principle,” she said on the sidelines of the Soccerex convention in Manchester.“I would like to see the message go round the world — and I think you will see FIFA on Friday saying the same — they did nothing wrong because their duty was to the player as a patient, their duty was to the referee,” O’Rourke said.“Their job in the club is to look after the players, and not to run the team and not to be tactically aware.”O’Rourke said clubs have to be even more wary of injuries after the Peter Cech case at Chelsea and Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Loris’s recent concussion.But the leading barrister said there were signs that a settlement is being discussed without the need for court proceedings by Carneiro or an apology by Mourinho.“I don’t think you need to say that Mourinho has to apologise. I think you get the message out there if you have the pair of them back out there on the bench.“We don’t need to start making people eat humble pie or anything. It is a recognition that they did nothing wrong.”– ‘heat of the moment’ –O’Rourke said the referee had to call on a doctor after Hazard signalled his injury. She said that in rugby union, referees have been sued for not bringing on medical assistance.The lawyer said Mourinho’s comments had were “heat of the moment” after a game that Chelsea should have won and had “not been thought through”.“As much as one understands the passion of the manager or a coach, or their needs, you have to at the end of the day prioritise the player, because apart from anything else if the player sues he is not suing the manager he is suing the doctor and the physio.”O’Rourke said there signs that Chelsea wanted to “mend” its relationship with the doctor.“Some situations are not mendable. This one may not be.“You should take something from it that Chelsea have said nothing and that Eva Carneiro has said nothing — there may well be a will to see if this situation can be mended.”O’Rourke, who has written widely about football injury cases, said it was disappointing that the Football Association and Premier League have not spoken about the case. But she said it could be a sign that both are in contact with Chelsea.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho reacts during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Chelsea at Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain, 16 August 2015. PHOTO/EFEMANCHESTER, September 8- FIFA’s medical commission will this week discuss Jose Mourinho’s battle with Chelsea club doctor Eva Carneiro amid growing pressure for a settlement by the English Premier League Champions.Mourinho has refused to back down from criticism of Carneiro and head physio Jon Fearn after they went on the pitch to treat Eden Hazard in the 2-2 home draw with Swansea last month.last_img read more

Gallant Amajimbos have much to be proud of

first_img2 March 2015The Amajimbos, the South African national under-17 team, went down 2-0 to Mali in the 2015 CAF African Youth Championship final in Niamey, Niger, on Sunday night – but coach Molefi Ntseki said he was happy with his charges’ performance despite the defeat.It was a high-tempo game that saw the physically bigger Malians using their imposing stature to dictate the pace, although the Amajimbos gave as much as they received for the full 90 minutes.Stand-out goalkeeper Mondli Mpoto and defender Reeve Frosler were in the thick of action from the word go and came to the rescue of the South Africans as the West Africans sought for an early goal.Gilt-edged chancesIt was a physical first half with Amajimbos handling aerial balls well but Mali keeping up the pressure. Despite going to half-time goalless, both teams created gilt-edged chances.After some constant pressure at the start of the second half, the Malians took the lead thanks to striker Siaka Bagayoko in the 65th minute.Mpoto had made a number of saves to keep South Africa in the game, with one in particularly impressive, while the Malians also missed several chances with shots that went wide.It was game over in the 78th minute when Aly Malle doubled Mali’s lead with a curling that shot that gave Mpoto no chance.The Malians showed superior physical dominance and endurance, the Amajimbos never gave up and they kept on pushing to the end.South Africa had a Khanyiso Mayo goal ruled out for offside in the 88th minute, following good work by the lively Sibongakonke Mbatha.Amajimbos end as runners-up, with Guinea claiming third place earlier on Sunday after beating Nigeria 3-1 in the play offs.“On another day, the result could have been different. They bullied us off the ball but we always threatened on counter-attacks. We will now focus our attention to the World Cup in Chile. I am proud of the boys,” he said.Amajimbos XI: Mpoto, Ngcobo, Frosler, Mohamme, Mukumela, Dlala, Meyiwa, Maluleke (c), Mbatha, Mkatshana, Mayo.Mali XI: Traore, Dante, Bagayoko, Sangare, I. Traore, Mamadou Fofana, Koita, Malle. Maiga, B. Traore.Source: South African Football Associationlast_img read more

#Nextchat: Award Winning Workflex

first_imgWork is complex.  So are the lives of today’s workers.  Employers understand that the 21st century workplace requires a culture that encourages and supports flexibility. That’s why the smartest businesses have redefined where, when and how people do their best work.Businesses are pioneering new environments that focus on results and are creating flexible schedules that encourage greater autonomy.  As a result, they’re seeing higher employee retention rates and greater productivity.Who are these model employers and how can you learn from them?  The Sloan Award recognizes organizations across the U.S. for their innovative and effective workplace practices.  In 2012, 352 organizations were recognized with Sloan Awards for their Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility.  How can you create an award-winning workflex program for your worksite, or do you already have one?  Share your ideas and ask the award winners.Please join @weknownext at 3 p.m. ET on May 1 for a #Nextchat about award-winning flexible workplaces with the following Sloan Award winners: Allison Karl O’Kelly of Mom Corps (@AllisonOKelly)Lora Geiger of Turck (@LifeWorksTurck)Rod Lacey of 1-800 Contacts  (@contactsjobs)Delta Emerson of Ryan, LLC (@DeltaEmerson) We’ll also be joined by SHRM’s Cassidy Neal (@WhenWorkWorks) and Family Work Institute’s Eve Tahmincioglu (@FWINews).Q1.  What are the ingredients of an award-winning workflex program?Q2.  How do you build a culture that encourages and supports workplace flexibility?Q3.  In what innovative ways is your organization implementing workflex?Q4a. How can employers benefit from a well-constructed and properly managed workflex program? Q4b. Question for the winners: How has winning a Sloan award helped your organization?Q5.  What new trends do you see emerging in workflex?Q6.  How do you convince the hesitant CEO to implement a workflex policy?Q7.  Why is performance management so critical to a successful workflex program? Winner Profiles:Mom CorpsPlacement FirmWinning Site: Atlanta, GA, 10 Employeeswww.momcorps.comMom Corps, a professional staffing firm that specializes in flexible workplacesolutions, offers that same flexibility to its own employees. Such acommitment to flexibility has enabled employees to find a healthy synthesisbetween their work and personal lives. This has resulted in a happy and loyalworkforce with less stress and conflict at work and at home. The company is100% virtual and all employees are able to work from home thanks to robusttechnology. Various software suites from Microsoft store documents centrallyso that all employees can reach them and provide e-mail, instant messaging,video chat, web conferencing, call forwarding and shared calendars. Employeesare also encouraged to manage their work hours by taking time offafter a large time-consuming project is over. Flexibility has been instrumentalin helping Mom Corps achieve its business goals. The company has grown toinclude 18 franchises and was named to the Inc. 500/5000 list for fastestgrowing companies in the U.S. 1-800-ContactsDirect-to-Consumer Retail Contact BusinessWinning Site: Draper, UT, 830 Employeeswww.1800contacts.com1-800 CONTACTS has found a way to provide lots of flexibility within itsorganization, even to call center employees who, typically, aren’t able to workfrom home or have much control over their schedules. The company has providedmany call center employees with at-home workstations and offers over200 shifts to call center employees who work onsite. Veterans receive extraflexibility and are allowed to work part time as they transition back into civilianlife. The families of military members families are given extra flexibilityon a case-by-case basis and offered up to six weeks of personal leave uponrequest. Employees have access to subsidized meals, low cost medical plansand emergency financial assistance; these programs are especially helpfulto low-wage employees. Video conferencing, laptops and Smartphones helpemployees work remotely. Summer family picnics, movie events and an associatefitness center have improved morale. Hundreds of employees enrolledin a personal finance training session offered last year. Leadership is convincedthat these measures have had a positive impact on productivity andhealth insurance renewal rates. 1-800 CONTACTS rarely has to advertiseopen job positions—80% of applicants come from employee referrals. TurckManufacturing and Product DevelopmentWinning Site: Twin Cities, MN (Campus Drive), 126 Employeeswww.turck-usa.comAs a leading manufacturer in industrial automation, TURCK, Inc. showsthat work-life practices are anything but automatic. In April 2010, it announcedthat teleworking was available to everyone. TURCK, Inc. encouragesemployees to work with their supervisors to see how their jobs would beenhanced by teleworking and flexible scheduling. This includes everythingfrom part-time work schedules to six month sabbaticals for reasons such asspending time with children or elderly parent(s), traveling abroad, volunteeringto serve a community or charitable organization, taking a full-time educationalprogram, extending the transition period back from maternity leavebeyond FMLA or easing the transition into retirement. In addition, TURCK,Inc. took a broader perspective toward its employees’ health and wellnessby instituting a free onsite clinic, prescriptions available at no cost, an onsitewell-being coach, regular seminars on work-life topics and an onlinelearning module called “From Stress to Resiliency” (from Working FamilyResources, 2010) to support efforts to overcome stress in new ways. Ryan LLCTax Services793 Employees in the U.S.www.ryan.comThis multi-site professional tax services firm has demonstrated a deep commitment to workplace flexibility for its employees that goes back to 2008. CEO Brint Ryan realized that things needed to change because of a loss of what he calls the “shining stars.” He realized the firm was creating a “sweat-shop reputation” and they needed to do “something truly radical.” The result is called myRyan. It enables employees to work wherever they want, whenever they want, as long as their work responsibilities are met.  At Ryan, there is no defined organization-wide schedule, no minimum hours and no requirement that work be done in the office. Instead of tracking hours spent at work, employees are held responsible for their performance and results. By tracking client service scores, revenues, leadership, core competencies and other firm-wide initiatives through an online dashboard called myRyan Measures, employees can easily track their performance. Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff Delta Emerson says, “We focus completely on our people getting done what they’re supposed to be getting done. myRyan is built on results.” This focus on results, quantified by a “score,” means that Ryan employees are responsible for creating and managing their performance and their schedules. Maintaining a high score has replaced the need to work a certain number of billable hours, which is the traditional metric by which professional service firms are measured. All employees are given laptops, access to phone conference bridges, WebEx meeting tools, voice mail, video conferencing and other technology tools that allow them to work with total flexibility. Ryan has also taken a number of steps to improve work for young employees, employees nearing retirement and for military members and their families. Ryan recently implemented an 18-month development track for senior consultants, usually in their 20’s, who wish to transition to more senior management roles within the firm. At the other end of the career spectrum, employees nearing retirement have the option of slowly reducing the number of hours they work per week. And for employees serving in the military, Ryan pays the salary differential (between employee and military pay) and keeps employees’ benefits in tact while on duty. When military members return from duty, they are allowed whatever flexibility they need as they transition back into civilian life. Flexibility is also sought for support staff. Executive assistants work with their executives to identify days that they can work from home, for example, when an executive is traveling or when an assistant is working on a project that could be completed remotely. These flexibility options have resulted in a more positive and comfortable work environment—turnover is low, employee satisfaction has increased, the cost of benefits is lower than average and revenues and client satisfaction scores are high. Ryan is currently involved in a research program with Boston College and Life Meets Work to further improve its flexibility program by equipping managers with better workplace flexibility training. Ryan has also demonstrated its commitment to philanthropy; since 2005, employees have donated over $4 million dollars to various charities and the company recently formed the Ryan Foundation, a 501(c)(3) focused on helping organizations that address health, poverty and distress, and educational needslast_img read more

Twice the Performance…same number of cores. How’d they do that?

first_imgNo # Cores Queues and execution resources PCI Express FSB – 1.6GHz 4 Gen 2 4 Xeon 5400 Discrete 2 x 6MB 45nm Intel VT + Enhancements L2 Cache Size –          Did they double the number of cores?-          No…same number of cores. Xeon 5500 DDR3 16 DDR2-FB-DIMM 3.4GHz 45nm –          Did they make major changes to the CPU micro-architecture…like issuing and retiring many more instructions per clock? –          No.  Same 4-instruction per clock issue/retire capabilities. 4 4 Core Frequency Baseline Yes The various changes added up to “major” improvements in performance.  Some of these changes are listed below…shown in comparison to the previous generation Xeon 5400 series platform which was/is no slouch.  Even today, more than a year after its introduction, the Xeon 5400 was still was the highest performing 2-scoket platform on many benchmarks.  That is until the Xeon 5500. N/A So how did they “double’ the performance?  This is what truly amazes me.  This team was able to essentially double the performance of the platform, without changing the most obvious (e.g. # of cores, CPU frequency, major micro-architecture changes, Si process technology or cache size).  Instead, they made many changes and optimizations to the entire “platform” as well as some incremental enhancements to the processor micro-architecture (like deeper queues)…which collectively removed bottle necks in many different places and the results are nothing short of fantastic.  800, 1066, 1333MHz Deeper queues & more resources Process Technologycenter_img In my last blog I talked about working on great projects which were “special”. Special in that everyone enjoyed coming to work, they worked well together, and part of the “magic” was we all knew we were working on something revolutionary.  Well that special, revolutionary project is now available for all to see, and it is known as the Intel® Xeon® processor 5500 series and Intel Xeon® 5500 series chipset. 4 x 256MB Instructions per clock 533, 667, 800MHz Intel® Turbo-Boost Technology 18 Bus Connection No QPI – 6.4GT/s Memory Controller Feature Integrated What amazes me the most about this project/platform is the incredible leap in performance compared to its previous generation platform which was based on the Intel Xeon processor 5400 series. For a new generation platform, 20-30% improvements in performance is typical.  And 50% vs. the previous generation platform is above normal, but the new Xeon 5500 series platform out performs the previous generation platform (Xeon 5400) by 2X or more on many benchmarks.  That’s right…nearly twice the performance!  (Click here for performance details.) Max # DIMMS                (2 Socket Platform) –          Did they use a new silicon process technology? –          No…both use the same 45nm process. Memory Type L3 Cache Size 8MB Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology Yes So how did they achieve this monster leap in performance? –          Did they double the core frequency? –          No…in fact core frequency has gone down slightly. Gen 1 Memory Channels         (2 Socket platform) 6 Virtualization Features Memory Frequency 3.2GHz 4 Intel VT –          Did they increase cache size? –          No…total L2 + L3 cache size actually went down (9MB vs 12MB). All I can say is wow!  And all this performance comes in a lower platform power envelope than the Xeon 5400.  The performance and power savings are a true testament to this team’s ability to work together and deliver a truly revolutionary product. Congratulations to the entire “Nehalem” team (aka Xeon 5500)!    Click the link below to find out more about “Nehalem”. http://www.intel.com/products/processor/xeon5000/index.htmlast_img read more

World Cup 2015: Upbeat Ireland looking to upset in-form India

first_imgIreland will lock horns with India in the ICC World Cup, Pool B clash on TuesdayDefending champion India has the consolation of knowing it has a quarterfinal place securely booked before it takes on over-achieving Ireland at the Cricket World Cup on Tuesday.If India’s qualification for the knockout stage was still in the balance, the team would likely be far more concerned about its match against Ireland at Seddon Park. But so far, India’s progress through Pool B has been untroubled: it is unbeaten in four matches with impressive wins over Pakistan (by 76 runs) and South Africa (by 130 runs).India also disposed of the United Arab Emirates by nine wickets and the West Indies by four wickets.Ireland still remains in quarterfinal contention with three wins from five matches in pool play. The Irish struck the first blow of the tournament for second-tier nations when they beat the West Indies by four wickets and then followed that by topping Zimbabwe by five runs in a thriller decided in the final over.Though Ireland was badly beaten by South Africa and scraped past UAE by two wickets with four balls left, its performances have shown that associate nations can not only hold their own against full members of the International Cricket Council, but also beat them.India fast bowler Mohit Sharma made it clear that his teammates would go into Tuesday’s match expecting a major challenge.”They played good games earlier, like two or three games, and still, they have a chance to qualify.” he said. “They have a good team. We have to play well to beat them, and we’ll try to do it.”advertisementFrom Ireland’s side, the mindset is equally positive. While some associate nations came to this World Cup with moderate goals of winning a match or two or beating a test-playing nation, Ireland has set its sights much higher.Ireland has established a giant-killing reputation with wins at previous World Cups over Pakistan, Bangladesh and England, but captain William Porterfield said before Ireland won its opening match against the West Indies this year that such victories should no longer be regarded as major surprises.”We go into every game (thinking) there is two points up for grabs,” Porterfield said. “We’ve just got to keep all the momentum going and keep on improving at the little things we want to and keep taking things forward.Porterfield said although India has already qualified for the quarterfinals, he doesn’t believe it will put forth a sub-par effort against Ireland.”They’re not going to look to lose any momentum,” he said. “We’ve just got to look to restrict them with the ball and take wickets.”We’ve got to go out there with than mentality of taking wickets throughout the 50 overs. Whatever we do first, with the bat or with the ball, we have to start the game well and get into it.”last_img read more