WHO maintains 2 billon estimate for likely H1N1 cases

* Rough estimate of likely H1N1 cases by end is 2 billion

* No precise estimate of current infections

* High proportion of southern hemisphere flu cases are H1N1

* WHO to update on vaccine efforts this week

* WHO names African expert as H1N1 chief

By Jonathan Lynn

GENEVA, Aug 4 (Reuters) - The World Health Organization stuck on Tuesday to its statement that about two billion people could catch H1N1 influenza by the time the flu pandemic ends.

But the estimate comes with a big health warning: no one knows how many people so far have caught the new strain, known as swine flu, and the final number will never be known as many cases are so mild they may go unnoticed.

"By the end of a pandemic, anywhere between 15-45 percent of a population will have been infected by the new pandemic virus," WHO spokeswoman Aphaluck Bhatiasevi said in a statement.

"Thirty percent is a midpoint estimate and 30 percent of the world's population is 2 billion."

But she added: "We must remember however, that attempts to estimate infection rates can only be very rough."

Early in the outbreak, which was first detected in April, Dr Keiji Fukuda, acting Assistant Director-General of the U.N. agency, fuelled accusations the WHO was creating panic about the disease when he used the two billion figure.

But the WHO, which raised its global flu alert to the highest level on June 11, declaring a worldwide pandemic, has since said the strain is already spreading much faster than previous flu pandemics.

At the same time, because most victims suffer only mild symptoms, it has told countries they no longer need to try to report each case, but concentrate on monitoring suspicious concentrations of the disease and tracking deaths.

AUTUMN RISK

Bhatiasevi earlier told a briefing the WHO was coordinating a network of independent institutions trying to project the total number of cases. Because no one currently has such an estimate, it is not possible to state the H1N1 mortality rate.

The WHO's latest update on July 27 said a total of 816 people had died from H1N1, while the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases, including deaths, was 134,503 -- a figure well below the likely real total of infections which may already be in the millions, according to health experts.

As the northern hemisphere autumn approaches, and with it the onset of seasonal flu, the WHO is working with drug companies to ensure vaccines to cope both with H1N1 and seasonal flu will be available.

WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib said the agency hoped to give an update on its vaccine plans later this week. Leading flu vaccine makers include Sanofi-Aventis, Novartis, Baxter, GlaxoSmithKline and Solvay.

H1N1 rapidly became the most commonly isolated virus in flu cases in South America and Australia after seasonal flu started there, Bhatiasevi said. But that may be a distorted picture, because specimens for testing were often associated with events such as school closures or screening of travellers where H1N1 was suspected anyway.

In South Africa, where H1N1 arrived later, many cases of the seasonal flu virus H3N2 were reported, but as the flu season wanes and H3N2 cases decrease, H1N1 has begun to make up a much higher proportion of flu cases there.

The WHO has appointed Dr Mohamed Hacen as project manager for H1N1 in Dr Fukuda's influenza team, Bhatiasevi said.

A Mauritanian, Dr Hacen has served as WHO representative in several African countries and has extensive experience in the field and in communicable diseases.

Copyright 2009 Reuters. click for restrictions

Did Google create a SENTIENT artificial intelligence?

(Left) Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images/(Right) Photo by Martin Klimek for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Did Google create a sentient artificial intelligence?

A software engineer on Google’s artificial intelligence development team, Blake Lemoine, is convinced that the company's A.I. is now sentient and able to hold conversations at the level of a 7 or 8-year-old child. Google has dismissed Lemoine's claims and suspended him, but as Glenn Beck noted on the radio program, this isn't the first time a company insider has warned of the possible existence, and potential threat, of artificial general intelligence.

Glenn shared the details of Lemoine's "very disturbing story" and broke down the pros (curing cancer and other deadly diseases) and cons (the complete inhalation of the human race) of the remarkable scientific advancements in artificial intelligence.

"Because of high tech, we're going to see miracles in our lives," Glenn said. "The tricky part is to not see horror shows in our lifetimes."

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn Beck. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

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Here's why oil companies REALLY aren't producing more gas

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Biden administration has been accusing oil producers of refusing to expand operations to help offset skyrocketing gas prices. On Wednesday, President Joe Biden even wrote a letter to seven major U.S. oil refiners, essentially saying that the administration is prepared to use emergency orders to force companies into compliance if their "greed" just doesn't stop.

"Your companies need to work with my Administration to bring forward concrete, near-term solutions that address the crisis,” Biden wrote. The letter went on to accuse refineries of capitalizing on the war between Russia and Ukraine, gleaning record-high profits while Americans suffer record-high pain at the pump.

But no matter how he tries to convince you otherwise, President Joe Biden isn't trying to bring down gas prices. In fact, he's doing just the opposite, Glenn Beck said on the radio program Thursday.

"Why aren't the oil companies putting more oil out? Well, they're a couple of reasons. And none of those have to do with Joe Biden. None of them, even though it was Joe Biden that said, when he was running [for president] that he was going to put oil out of business."

Glenn first played a clip of then-candidate Biden saying, "No more drilling on federal lands. No more drilling including offshore. No ability for the oil industry to continue to drill, period."

The next clip had White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre shifting the blame for high gas prices from Russia's war with Ukraine to U.S. oil refineries.

"We want you to act. It's time to act," Jean-Pierre said, addressing U.S. oil companies. "We have done our part, with the strategic oil reserve. We are calling on them to do the right thing, to be patriots here. And to not use the war as an excuse or as a reason to not put -- to not put out a production, to not do the capacity that is needed there."

A third clip showed Biden’s climate envoy John Kerry saying in no uncertain terms that the U.S. “absolutely" does not need to drill for more oil and gas, during a talk with the USC Center for Public Diplomacy

The Biden administration has made it clear that insanely high gas prices are all part of the plan to eliminate fossil fuels. But the problem doesn't stop there. The ESG war against oil industries is being waged across the world.

Glenn read an op-ed from Vivek Ramaswamy that explains how BlackRock is manipulating corporations like Exxon to decrease oil production, while Americans continue to suffer majorly at the pump.

Watch the video clip below to hear Glenn break it all down. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

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Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has been telling those naughty Americans who are struggling to afford fuel for their older, gas-guzzling vehicles to just go get a brand-new electric vehicle like the Ford Mustang Mach-E (listed at a market average of $47,553 in Consumer Reports.)

Here he is, all "charged up, ready to go" and, oh, so "excited to go pick up a friend" (Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm) and share the "momentous" news about a new" national network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers."

And who could forget the transportation secretary's helpful advice to people who can't afford record-high gas prices in March?

"Clean transportation can bring significant cost savings for the American people, as well," said Buttigieg. "Last month we announced a $5 billion investment to build out a nationwide electric vehicle charging network, so the people from rural to suburban to urban communities can all benefit from the gas savings of driving an EV."

Pete Buttigieg Says People Upset With Near-Record Gas Prices Should Buy An Electric Vehicleyoutu.be

But now that Ford is recalling 48,924 Mustang Mach-E electric vehicles because of a defect in the vehicle’s "battery contactor," will Buttigieg have to go back to riding his bike — back and forth from his security detail's giant SUV that follows along behind him, which was definitely not ever a publicity stunt?

According to Consumer Reports, Ford is recalling the Mach-E because the vehicle’s battery contactor may overheat, causing the vehicle to lose power while driving. A Ford spokesperson said the company plans to send an over-the-air software update for current Mach-E owners in July.

Ford Pulls Plug on Pete Buttigieg's $44K Electric SUV (Made in Mexico)youtu.be

Unlike out-of-touch Buttigieg, Washington Examiner national political reporter Salena Zito understands the current sentiments of the average American. She joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to talk about sky-high gas prices, spreading crime, the never-ending border crisis, and all the other reasons Americans are fed up with the current administration.

While Democrats try to get us to focus on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, most of us are struggling to afford the insane gas prices, which recently passed $5 on average across the country.

"There isn't a time that I don't pull up to a gas station where you don't hear someone cuss at the gas pump," Zito told Glenn. And that news, she predicted, could be "monstrous" for Democrats in the upcoming midterms.

Watch the video clip below to catch more of the conversation:


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To enjoy more of Glenn’s masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

In his episode “Famine & Blackouts: How Biden-Made Disasters Will Cripple America,” Glenn Beck exposed the new global-based rule changes that gave the World Health Organization expedited authority over our nation. He traced the changes to the SEC and revealed Bank of America’s fawning praise for climate-related market changes.

So, Glenn decided to dig further, and what he uncovered shocked him. Financial records, dark money groups, and groups tied to the U.N. and the World Economic Forum are all pushing for a total reorganization of our financial system. You never voted for globalist leadership outside our borders, but IT IS HAPPENING.

Glenn reveals the foreign actors who are REALLY running our country right now and the domestic TRAITORS who are helping to fund the implementation on Main Street, USA. There will be catastrophic consequences for this betrayal of America First ideas. If you think food, gas, and labor shortages are bad now, just wait until all of this goes through.

Watch the full episode of "Glenn TV" below:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn’s masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.