Top of the Morning: Bloomberg Gives Polio Eradication a Big Boost; USA To Aid Syrian Rebels; Investigating Corona Virus

Top Stories from DAWNS Digest.

USA Announces $60 Million Aid Package for Syrian Rebels. Politicizing Aid to Syria, UN Says it’s Capacity is Overwhelmed

In a big policy shift, the USA will start to channel aid directly to rebel groups. “The Obama administration will provide military rations and medical supplies to Syrian rebel fighters, Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Thursday, announcing a cautious U.S. foray into frontline battlefield support that falls far short of the heavy weapons or high-tech gear the rebels have said they need…The Unites States will also send an additional $60 million to help the umbrella Syrian Opposition Coalition provide basic services such as sanitation and education in areas the rebels now control, Kerry said. He spoke following meetings with coalition chairman Mouaz al-Khatib.” (WaPo

Bloomberg Donates $100 Million to Polio Eradication

The boost comes at a critical times. From Gates Foundation: “Michael R. Bloomberg today announced a $100 million donation to support polio eradication efforts through Bloomberg Philanthropies. The donation will help fund the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s (GPEI) six year plan to eradicate polio…’It’s unthinkable that polio still exists in the world when we have the tools and technology to protect children from this preventable, debilitating disease. Now is the time to invest in making polio history. Doing so will protect future generations of children and pave the way for other life-saving interventions to reach the world’s most vulnerable populations,’ said Bloomberg. ‘We are thrilled to join the Gates Foundation and other partners in the effort to end this disease once and for all.’” (Gates Foundation Email Press Release)

Medical Researchers Alarmed over Mysterious Coronavirus

An in depth story about a health issue that has been popping up on our DAWNS radar. “The emergence of a deadly virus previously unseen in humans that has already killed half those known to be infected requires speedy scientific detective work to figure out its potential. Experts in virology and infectious diseases say that while they already have unprecedented detail about the genetics and capabilities of the novel coronavirus, or NCoV, what worries them more is what they don’t know. The virus, which belongs to the same family as viruses that cause the common cold and the one that caused Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), emerged in the Middle East last year and has so far killed seven of the 13 people it is known to have infected worldwide. Of those, six have been in Saudi Arabia, two in Jordan, and others in Britain and Germany linked to travel in the Middle East or to family clusters. (NewsMaxHealth )