An anthropomorphic avocado reading a newspaper

The Wednesday Politics Thread Read The News Today

It’s been a rollicking tumble into September and when not (unprompted) trying to excuse my infatuation with AI text-to-image generation to my educated artist spouse, I peeked at the news. Good news? Updated COVID-19 boosters! Go jab ’em if ya can grab ’em 💉

Want other news? Look down if you still haven’t smashed that ToComments button 👀

The Covid Pandemic May Be Making Other Diseases Worse

There was severe liver inflammation in kids in April, monkeypox in May, polio in July, and “tomato flu” in August. Each appears to be the result of an unusual manifestation or proliferation of a virus scientists have studied for decades. So why are they a problem now?

“Viruses have been doing strange things since the Covid pandemic started,” [wrote] Sarah Pitt, a principal lecturer in the University of Brighton’s school of applied sciences.

Bloomberg [archive]

Wastewater surveillance becomes more targeted in search for poliovirus, monkeypox and coronavirus

“With the increase in rapid tests and the decline of federal funding for the Covid response this spring, wastewater testing was an affordable, easy way for us to track the presence of Covid in the community without needing patients to take a test,” Dr. Mitchell Katz, president and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals, said in the announcement. “Now, with the arrival of monkeypox and polio in New York City, we have a system in place to test for those viruses and use that data to inform our response.”

CBS News [archive]

Measles in Zimbabwe: Government struggles to contain outbreak as more deaths reported

The government has announced a mass vaccination campaign targeting children between the ages of six months and 15 years. Authorities are also trying to engage traditional and faith leaders to support the drive.

Zimbabwe has continued vaccinating children against measles during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the drive has been hampered by religious groups preaching against vaccines.

Before the current outbreak, Zimbabwe had not recorded a single measles case for more than 10 years. Public health authorities are hoping the current outbreak can be contained before it becomes an epidemic.

Deutsche Welle [archive]

Why Raila Odinga’s petition fell flat at Kenya Supreme Court

The judges dismissed all the nine grounds they had broadly framed as the issues for determination in the election petitions filed by Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party presidential candidate Raila Odinga and six others.

With the verdict that Dr Ruto, who polled 7.2 million or 50.49 per cent of the total votes cast, was validly elected, this paves the way for his swearing-in as the country’s fifth president next Tuesday. All the 23 grounds listed in the 72-page petition filed by Mr Odinga and his running mate Martha Karua in the petition fell flat, as the seven judges unanimously found that Dr Ruto won fairly.

Nation Africa [archive]

What lies behind Kenyan president-elect William Ruto’s homophobia

Trans and queer people all over Kenya are bracing themselves for the day William Ruto assumes office as the country’s president.

Ruto’s 2015 attack on the LGBTIQ community was likely the first thing that came to mind for many queer Kenyans upon hearing the news.

Back then, in his capacity as deputy president – and in anticipation of the visit of US secretary of state John Kerry, which would begin later that day (3 May 2015) – Ruto told the congregation at a Nairobi church service: “The Republic of Kenya is a republic that worships God. There is no room for homosexuality in Kenya.”

Ruto’s homophobia is linked to several structures of oppression that shape anti-queer violence in Kenya and throughout Africa: Christian fundamentalism, imperialism, cisheteropatriarchy and capitalism.

Open Democracy [archive]

Oh politics, never change… not! 🙄

Welcome to Wednesday, Politicados — McSquirrel Rule 👀 Note the clams 📝to keep things tidy 🧹 — and above all, stop me if I go wild and spam AI-generated madness 😯