Kamala Harris’ awkward laughs spark outrage. Why laughter is not her best medicine



Kamala Harris wearing a suit and tie


Kamala Harris

Senator Kamala Harris, the Democratic Party’s vice-presidential candidate, faced harsh criticism and ridicule from Republicans, including President Donald Trump, for bursting into laughter at a question about her alleged Leftist leanings.

Kamala Harris was mercilessly criticised, even reviled, in the battleground state of Twitter for laughing out loud when CBS reporter Norah O’Donnell asked her if she would push a progressive agenda since she was rated as “the most liberal senator” by the non-partisan, independent Congressional vote tracker, GovTrack.us.

Kamala Harris seemed unprepared for the question and laughed nervously when O’Donnell set the stage with a statement about her being a liberal. Kamala Harris said it was Vice President Mike Pence who had called her liberal during their debate.

The reporter persisted and cited GovTrack as the source of the information, and said Harris had supported the Green New Deal, Medicare-for-all and legalization of marijuana while Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden had not, the senator defended her record.

Kamala Harris again broke into laughter when O’Donnell asked, “Is that a socialist perspective?” Socialism is a bad word in American politics in a way conservatism is not. US politicians can espouse the most extreme right-wing positions and not face questions but anyone who dares to talk about workers and unions can be labeled a socialist and face an onslaught.

Kamala Harris got a bit emotional and explained, “It is the perspective of a woman who grew up a black child in America, who was also a prosecutor, who also has a mother who arrived here at the age of 19 from India, who also likes hip hop.” She finished by chuckling again.

Kamala Harris’ laughter has become a point of ridicule even though this time it probably came from a place of disbelief because she was being labeled as left of Bernie Sanders. But she does tend to break into awkward laughter at inopportune moments, something that leads to memes and counter memes.

Republican digital hawks are always at the ready to extract a clip from what might have been a longer conversation to portray Kamala Harris negatively. Some of the reactions on Twitter to the latest Kamala Harris outrage were downright vile.

Donald Trump made fun of Kamala Harris’ laughter at a rally on Monday hours after his “rapid response team” flooded Twitter about the incident. Two days ago, he went on a rant against her saying the US would never see a “socialist” president, “especially a female socialist we’re not going to put up with it.” The attacks would be deemed sexist by any definition.

Last month, Donald Trump said, “If a woman is going to become the first president of the United States, it can’t be her,” referring to Kamala Harris since Joe Biden has indicated he would be a one-term president. It is a scare tactic Republicans use with aplomb.

The fight for the White House in 2020 has gone down to a level that would have been unimaginable a decade ago. Misogyny, dog whistles,

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South Korean deaths spark flu vaccine safety fears

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korean officials refused to suspend the country’s seasonal flu inoculation programme on Thursday, despite growing calls to do so following the deaths of at least 13 people who were vaccinated in recent days.

FILE PHOTO: A man gets an influenza vaccine at a hospital in Seoul, South Korea, October 21, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

Health authorities said they have found no direct links between the deaths, which include a 17-year-old boy, and the vaccines being given under a programme to inoculate some 19 million teenagers and senior citizens for free.

“The number of deaths has increased, but our team sees low possibility that the deaths resulted from the shots,” Jeong Eun-kyeong, director of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), told parliament.

South Korea ordered 20% more flu vaccines this year to ward off what it calls a “twindemic” of people with flu developing potential COVID-19 complications, and overburdening hospitals over the winter.

“I understand and regret that people are concerned about the vaccine,” Health Minister Park Neung-hoo said on Thursday, while confirming the free programme would go ahead.

“We’re looking into the causes but will again thoroughly examine the entire process in which various government agencies are involved, from production to distribution,” he added.

The country’s free vaccine programme uses doses manufactured by local drug makers GC Pharma, SK Bioscience and Ilyang Pharmaceutical Co 007570.KS, along with France’s Sanofi SASY.PA and Britain’s Glaxosmithkline GSK.L. The vaccines are distributed by local companies LG Chem Ltd 051910.KS and Boryung Biopharma Co. Ltd., a unit of Boryung Pharm Co. Ltd. 003850.KS.

GC Pharma, LG Chem, SK Bioscience and Boryung declined to comment. Ilyang Pharmaceutical, Sanofi and GSK did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

It was not immediately clear if any of the South Korean-manufactured vaccines were exported, or whether those supplied by Sanofi and GSK were also being used in other countries.

Kim Chong-in, leader of the main opposition People Power party, said the programme should be halted until the exact causes of the deaths had been verified.

Health authorities said on Wednesday that a preliminary investigation into six deaths found no direct connection to the vaccines. No toxic substances were found in the vaccines, and at least five of the six people investigated had underlying conditions, officials said.

EARLIER SUSPENSION

The free programme has proved controversial from its launch last month. Its start was suspended for three weeks after it was discovered that some 5 million doses, which need to be refrigerated, had been exposed to room temperature while being transported to a medical facility.

Officials said 8.3 million people had been inoculated since the programme resumed on Oct. 13, with around 350 cases of adverse reactions reported.

The government is also offering a paid vaccine programme which, combined with the free programme, aims to inoculate about 30 million of the country’s 52-million population. Under the paid programme, the purchaser can select the vaccine provider from a larger pool that includes the

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Ultimate Medical Academy Teaches Empathy, Sensitivity Through Virtual Reality at ‘Spark Summit’ Conference for Healthcare Employers

The nonprofit higher education institution hosted more than 40 industry partner attendees at the 5th annual Spark Summit.

Spark Summit guests kicked off the conference from a virtual amphitheater which allowed them to enjoy some of the beautiful sites downtown Tampa has to offer.
Spark Summit guests kicked off the conference from a virtual amphitheater which allowed them to enjoy some of the beautiful sites downtown Tampa has to offer.
Spark Summit guests kicked off the conference from a virtual amphitheater which allowed them to enjoy some of the beautiful sites downtown Tampa has to offer.

TAMPA, Fla., Oct. 16, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ultimate Medical Academy (UMA), a nonprofit higher education institution with the mission of equipping and empowering students to excel in healthcare careers, hosted more than 40 industry partner attendees at the 5th annual Spark Summit. Each year, the Summit brings together healthcare leaders from across the nation who partner with UMA to match graduates to much-needed healthcare roles within their organizations. Summit participants get to connect, share achievements, and gain new insights about trends in healthcare education, recruitment and professional development. This year’s Summit looked different than usual due to social distancing measures and travel restrictions, and due to a new and unique conference element – virtual reality (VR).

“VR has been a buzz-term for decades but in the last five years, it has really begun to emerge in practice, and education is a key area of opportunity,” said Geordie Hyland, UMA’s Executive Vice President. “Over the next decade, emerging technologies are expected to play a significant role in the transformation of education. The Spark Summit is giving UMA the chance to showcase some of our new VR learning experiences which are available now and were designed to help Healthcare employers upskill their workforces.”

During the 2020 Spark Summit, attendees donned VR goggles first to ‘meet and greet’ each other during an opening session hosted in a virtual downtown Tampa amphitheater and then to participate in empathy training vignettes.

Empathy and sensitivity are critical skills in healthcare – driving patient satisfaction, compliance and trust, which are good for patient health outcomes as well as a company’s success.

“UMA has more than a decade of experience in online learning, and the circumstances of this year presented an opportunity to share our expertise with partners in a new way,” said April Neumann, UMA’s Senior Vice President of Career Services. “Empathy is a vital skill for all industries that interact with customers and patients, especially healthcare. We wanted to provide a unique and meaningful VR experience that was educational while also being impactful.” 

The training vignettes were created to be as realistic as possible, drawing on real-world experiences that patient-facing healthcare workers encounter working in a retail environment as a pharmacy technician, or even in a work-from-home environment supporting open enrollment for healthcare insurance organizations. The environments themselves were also crafted to be as realistic as possible, from the items present on the pharmacy counter to the number of screens an employee would have in a typical work-from-home position. Summit participants got to play the role of a healthcare worker in the VR

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