“You’re lying on your bed and you are on your own,” Sir Alex Ferguson says as he remembers being in hospital exactly three years ago this week when, after suffering a brain haemorrhage, he came close to death. “It can become lonely and frightening,” the greatest manager in the history of British football continues as he relives that raw memory.Ferguson and I are just starting an interview which is shaped by so many layered and rollicking recollections. Memories of the ghostly shipyards of Glasgow and his teeming life as a boy in Govan ripple through him. He relives the pain and sectarianism he experienced at Rangers, the fire and transformation he generated at Aberdeen and the early abuse and enduring glory of his 27 years at Manchester United. Memories of his father, with whom he fell out until football reunited them, merge into an evocation of everything his wife Cathy has done for him.We are joined by his son, Jason, who has made a moving and absorbing documentary about Ferguson’s life. Jason will describe the harrowing events of Saturday 5 May 2018 but, first, we are in the grip of Ferguson’s “terrifying” fear that he could have lost his memory and his voice.“That was a big worry for me,” he says. “It happened after the operation when I lost my voice. That was the most frightening part. I knew I was alive but, on my own, I started thinking: ‘I wonder if they’re telling me the truth?’ The operation was a success but you’re in that loneliness. It can be frightening. When I lost my voice I thought: ‘They never told me this [might happen].’”Ferguson could not speak for 10 days. A permanent silence would have haunted him, but losing his memory would have been devastating. The documentary opens with the 79-year-old sounding uncertain as his son begins with a quiz: “A quiz?” Ferguson says. “Test … test my memory?”After confirming the name of the street he was born on and his wedding date, Ferguson looks confident when asked who scored the first goal of his managerial tenure at United.“John Sivebæk,” he says firmly as he remembers the Danish full-back’s winner against QPR on 22 November 1986. He reels off his sons’ birthdays and smiles when asked to name the travel agent that Aberdeen used when they shook up Scottish and European football from 1978 to 1986. “Harry Hines,” he says as the laughter bubbles inside him. “Harry ‘Disaster’ Hines.”“What do you remember about Saturday 5 May, 2018?” his son asks.There is a long pause. “Nothing,” Ferguson says.Sir Alex Ferguson thanks medical staff in first message since surgery – videoA Ferguson interview is extremely rare and it comes with a stipulation. He will not answer questions about Manchester United today, about the Glazer family or Ed Woodward, or anything about the aborted European Super League he has already dismissed as a terrible misjudgment.I still try, later, but the absence of any railing against the sins of contemporary football allows us to delve deeper into the past. “As a manager I depended on my memory,” Ferguson says. “You see games today where some managers take notes during the match. I never did that. I always depended on my memory and when I went to the dressing room that was very powerful for me. I can’t understand why a manager would take notes during the game. Put your head down to write and you miss a goal?”He and Jason began working on a series of audio interviews in 2016 and they spent 18 months recreating Ferguson’s life. Jason knew the material was powerful and he met Andrew Macdonald, who had produced Trainspotting and various feature films, and John Battsek, who has a venerable record in outstanding documentaries.Sir Alex Ferguson celebrates a victory against Chelsea in 2011. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian“Bizarrely,” he says, “John and Andrew set up a call to suggest, after dealing with them for a year, I should direct it. That threw me. There was trepidation around the fact it’s such a big thing and I hadn’t made a film before. I asked for 24 hours to think about it and then I went back the following night and said: ‘I’m really up for it.’ I started the first draft of a treatment and went to bed at 1.30 in the morning. Around 6.30 the phone rang. It was my mum, telling me that dad had had a fall.”In the film we hear a police recording of Jason calling 999. “Is the patient breathing?” he is asked. He says yes but tells the operator: “He’s not good.”There is hesitation when he is asked for his father’s name. Then, with his voice cracking, Jason says: “Alexander Ferguson.”They said: ‘Look, he’s 76 and he’s had a massive bleed on the brain. Just prepare yourself for the worst’Jason FergusonDid that long pause, and the strange use of his father’s full name, mean Jason was trying to protect their privacy amid acute distress? “That’s pretty astute, and the only reason I can give for it. I’ve never referred to him as Alexander Ferguson before. It’s not to throw out Sir Alex Ferguson, but can we contain this a bit longer?”Jason remembers “machines and wires everywhere at Salford Royal. They’d actually prepared him for surgery at Macclesfield. Then two neurosurgeons beckoned me towards a side room and I was like: ‘Oh, fuck.’ They said: ‘Look, he’s 76 and he’s had a massive bleed on the brain. Just prepare yourself for the worst.’”He was told his father had a 20% chance of surviving. But Ferguson, from his boyhood in Govan to his domination of English football, has always been a fighter. He came through the operation but he still put his head in his hands and said: “I hope there’s nothing wrong with my memory. There had better be nothing wrong with my memory.”He began scrawling the same word over and over: “Remember … remember …remember … ”Ferguson shakes his head and smiles. “But the speech therapist came in every day and she was phenomenal. She had me writing down all the names of my family and my players. Then she started on animals, fish and birds to see if I could remember the names. Gradually my voice came back. But the more important thing was my memory was OK. She got me writing letters. I wrote a letter to Cathy which, at that point, was a scribble.”As Jason recalls: “He’d written to my mum, to me, my brothers and all his grandchildren. They were, basically, goodbye letters.”Ferguson recovered, slowly, but he leans forward when I ask how long it was before he felt normal again? “I wasn’t allowed a glass of wine for nine months,” he says with a lovely old growl. “It was tough.”Hopefully he poured himself a glass of one of his most expensive wines when he was finally allowed a drink? “It was a good one, don’t worry. But there were times I couldn’t drive – and even when I was allowed to I couldn’t drive on motorways or at night. A lot of these restrictions lasted almost three years. But I was on the right way back.”Glasgow remains the foundation of Ferguson’s life, and of the documentary, which features gritty archive footage of the shipyards where his father worked. We linger over his Glaswegian roots and the fact he and his dad stopped talking to each other from 1961 to 1963. Ferguson played for St Johnstone and he says: “My father had a plan for me as a footballer which I didn’t agree with. It created that abyss between us.”Ferguson “went off the rails a bit” and, as he was not always being picked for the first team, he started going out on Friday nights. When his dad challenged him to show more discipline Ferguson protested. He was only playing for the reserves. His father was furious. “Go your own way!” he said. Ferguson went into town, got drunk and ended up spending the night in jail.“I surrendered,” he suggests. “Football was going nowhere.”Near the end of that bleak period, he tried to escape another reserve-team game. He persuaded his brother’s girlfriend to phone the manager and pretend to be his mother and say he had flu. The St Johnstone manager rumbled them and contacted Ferguson’s mother who went “berserk”. Ferguson rocks with amusement: “That was the Friday before the game. We didn’t have a bathroom in our house, just an inside toilet, so I went to the swimming baths with my mates and got home at seven. You see smoke simmering and my mother going crazy: ‘You get to that phone box and apologise [to the manager].’ I always remember the number: Stanley 269. I put a handkerchief over the phone so it sounded like I had flu. He absolutely saw me. He said: ‘You’re playing [against Rangers] at Ibrox tomorrow. I’ve got players injured.’”Ferguson sinks back in his chair and smiles: “I scored a hat-trick that changed my life.”It also healed the rift with his dad. “I went home that evening and it was only a few hundred yards to the house from Ibrox. My mother’s all excited and dad’s sat, as usual, at the fireplace with his book. He was always reading. She goes: ‘Have a word with your dad.’ I say: ‘What did you think, Dad?’ Aye, OK.”Ferguson laughs. His father’s natural reticence soon gave way to enthusiasm. Father and son were reconciled. “We were back together.”He was signed by Rangers, the club he revered as a boy, and became the most expensive footballer in Scotland. But his two years at Rangers, from 1967-69, were soured by sectarianism and Jason stresses that this bruising experience hurt and motivated his father. “I knew how proud he was playing for Rangers, and the sadness he felt with how it ended after a cup final loss where he was made a scapegoat. It became his driving force.”Alex Ferguson in action for Rangers against Celtic during the 1969 Scottish FA Cup final at Hampden Park. Ferguson was made a scapegoat after a 4-0 defeat. Photograph: Colorsport/REX/ShutterstockFerguson was asked early on by a Rangers director if his marriage to Cathy had been in a Catholic church. When he heard that it had been held at a register office the bigoted director was placated – but Ferguson still sounds irate. “I let my wife down when he asked me that question. I should have told him to bugger off. Cathy was a devout Catholic, I was Protestant. Getting married in a register office was simple and sensible. But I should have stuck up for her.“The players were great because they had no interest in that kind of thing. So it was a blow when Rangers decided to let me go. For four months I never played. I was training on my own and then I got transferred to Falkirk. But the one thing about playing for a club like Rangers was there’s an expectation and responsibility in terms of the standards they set for a hundred years. I used that a lot in management. I understood what it meant to live up to expectations.”Half a century later how did Ferguson feel when Rangers won their first league title in 10 years this season? “The only time I really support Rangers is when they play Celtic. The big one. Jason is a Celtic fan. I love phoning him up when Rangers have beaten them. The funny thing is that the one team I always look for on Saturday night is Queen’s Park, my first club. I had a great learning experience as a 16-year-old lad playing for them. People think it’s an amateur team but you had to be tough to play for Queen’s Park. That was a great foundation for me.”What does Ferguson think of Steven Gerrard’s work as manager of Rangers? “Oh, he’s done magnificent. He really has, both on and off the field. A press interview can lose you your job in management. But Steven’s press conferences are fantastic. He’s cool, he’s composed, he gives the right answers. He’s really top because it’s an art.”Aberdeen manager Alex Ferguson discusses team tactics before extra time at the 1983 Scottish Cup final. Photograph: Colorsport/REX/ShutterstockThere is wonderful old footage of Ferguson’s years at Aberdeen when he broke the Old Firm’s rule. After becoming Scottish champions Aberdeen won the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1983 and beat both Bayern Munich and Real Madrid. But they didn’t have a training ground. They used a local park, where they had to clear dog mess off the ground, and the beach. “I had to phone the coastguard to find out the times of the tide and you relay that to the players to say what time we would train. I would be down there with Archie Knox [his assistant] and the players had balaclavas and thermals on because, on the beach, it was -25C with the wind chill.”Ferguson became Manchester United’s manager in November 1986 and the documentary is powerful in capturing the abuse he suffered in his first three years at a club which now reveres him as a towering figure. His family was also badly affected.Ferguson with wife Cathy and twins Jason and Darren in 1977. Photograph: Manchester Daily Express/SSPL via Getty ImagesJason admits that “everything was bigger [than Aberdeen]. The club, the stadium, the media. This was the first time I’d experienced my dad’s team losing and the adverse reaction was quite difficult.” He and his twin Darren joined their older brother Mark in the kitchen with their dad. Mark told his father: “It’s not working. You’re not going to succeed here. It’s killing us.’”Ferguson assured his sons, who all wanted the family to return to Aberdeen, that he would turn the situation around. Mark thought his dad was “deluded”. What did Jason think at 16? “It didn’t make sense that he could be so confident this was going to have a happy ending.”The spirit of that club in my time was through the young players – Beckham, Giggs, Scholes, the NevillesSir Alex FergusonIt must have been difficult for Ferguson as his wife Cathy was also unhappy in Manchester. “I recognise that,” he says, “but we were making great strides in the youth department. Matt Busby had rebuilt the club [in the 1950s and 60s] with fantastic young footballers. I wanted to do the same. People have an opinion of Manchester United in terms of the great players like [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Roy] Keane. But the spirit of that club in my time was through the young players – Beckham, Giggs, Scholes, the Nevilles. I knew we were on the way. I just needed support from the board.”Youth team coach Eric Harrison with prodigies Ryan Giggs, Nick Butt, David Beckham, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Paul Scholes and Terry Cooke. Photograph: Manchester Evening NewsAnd time? “Absolutely. But it was so refreshing this group of supporters came to the training ground every day. One was a former postman, Norman Williamson. He was a fanatic, and he kept telling me: ‘You’ll be all right, son. You’re doing the right thing.’ It was great having him as a sounding board. He and his friends were fantastic.“We started watching the youth team and at first there were 50 spectators – fathers, uncles, pals. Then there were a thousand watching the kids on Saturday mornings and going to Old Trafford in the afternoon. I was on the right road. I just needed a break. But, the whole of December 1989, I never won a game. We lost every game or drew. So the FA Cup [third round] draw comes out. Nottingham Forest, away. God! Arguably the best cup team in the country under Brian Clough.“We went there and supporters today would find it hard to name the team because we had so many injuries. But you know who won the game? The fans. Their defiance was unbelievable. Right through the game they chanted and urged us on and we won. It changed everything.”Would Norman Williamson have been there?“Absolutely!” Ferguson exclaims. “The only ground he would not go to was Maine Road. He said: ‘I’ll never set foot in that place.’ The day we won our 19th [league title in 2011] he came to training on the Monday morning and hugged all the players. Gave me a wee hug. Norman died that night, a happy man.”The ‘Ta Ra Fergie’ banner which was held up by Manchester United fans early in his reign as United manager. Photograph: YouTubeDid Ferguson doubt himself in those early years? “When you lose a number of games and the fan holds up that [“Three years of excuses and it’s still crap. Ta-Ra Fergie”] banner [in 1989], you examine where you’re going. I was sure that training sessions were fine. I thought my interaction with the players was fine. The chairman kept saying everything is OK. Bobby Charlton used to come down the trenches and say: ‘Don’t worry, you’ll be OK.’ There was a support system but in print some of the journalists were vicious. There was this writer – a pain in the arse – who worked for the Sunday People. When we won the FA Cup in 1990, he said: ‘You’ve proved you can win a cup. Go back to Scotland.’ You shouldn’t pay much attention to the media – like some of them say I’m a great genius. Ignore that.I was thinking what I’d say to the players: ‘You had a great season.’ But then we won it.Alex Ferguson“I remember my first away game as a manager, 1974, [with St Mirren]. We got beat 5-2 by Albion Rovers. I went home that night and, Donald, I told myself: ‘If I don’t get mental toughness in my players, I’ll never make it as a manager.’ That was at the forefront of all my methods of management – to make sure players could cope with the strains and challenges of being a top footballer. I’ve always tried to endow them with that talent of being mentally tough. I’m very lucky. Aberdeen had some mentally tough players. At United, all the best players were mentally tough. Ronaldo is tough, honestly, as old boots. He was always going to be a great player because he had it up there [Ferguson taps his head]. We played a part in that because Eric Harrison, the [youth] coach, made it tougher for the youngsters. He said: ‘If you don’t have mental toughness, you’ll never make United’s first team.”Ferguson is so relaxed that, even though I am being told by a publicist that we have used our allotted 45 minutes, I suggest we add some Fergie-time.“Fergie-time!” Ferguson chortles. “Yes.” We agree on another 10 minutes.The Champions League trophy is raised aloft by Ferguson and goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel after Manchester United’s victory over Bayern Munich in the final in 1999. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The GuardianI reference the working-class socialist values that define him. Did he feel proud of the supporters who came out in vehement unity against the European Super League and the way in which modern football clubs are now owned? Ferguson is about to answer when Jason puts a hand on his arm. “I don’t think we should go into that,” he says.The documentary builds to a climax with United winning the treble in 1999 when they scored two goals in the last three minutes to beat Bayern Munich 2-1 in the Champions League final. Did he really believe late in the game that they could still win? “No chance! I was thinking what I’d say to the players: ‘You had a great season.’ But then we won it.”Quick GuideFrom The Vault: United snatch Treble chanceShowHow we reported that night in BarcelonaMartin Thorpe at Nou Camp, BarcelonaManchester United 2 (Sheringham 90, Solskjaer, 90) Bayern Munich 1 (Basler 6)One-nil down with 90 minutes played. The prize was gone, the dream merely a mirage. Or so it appeared. In one of the most astounding climaxes to any game, let alone a European Cup final, Manchester United conjured up two goals in two injury-time minutes to snatch the European Cup from the seemingly secure grasp of Bayern Munich last night.It was an unbelievable finish and never did Queen’s triumphant anthem resound more meaningfully. ‘We are the champions, my friend, and we’ll keep fighting to the end.’In fact, in singing his team’s praises before the game, Alex Ferguson had given the distinct impression that even he was surprised by the relish with which his players had risen to meet each new challenge this season. ‘They are special,’ he said. ‘I trust them and I’ll be trusting them tomorrow.’His faith was not misplaced. Two goals from two substitutes, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, brought the European Cup back to Old Trafford for the first time in 31 years, on what would have been Sir Matt Busby’s 90th birthday, and back to England for the first time since 1984. It also, of course, clinched a unique Treble which included the Premiership and FA Cup.And so the task of lifting Europe’s grandest trophy went fittingly to the hands which have saved United so often during his team’s dominance of a decade. For Peter Schmeichel it represented a glittering conclusion to a brilliant career at United, for his team and manager an amazing end to the pursuit of the ultimate accolade.But United’s start could hardly have been worse. The game was just over four minutes old when Bayern’s giant striker Carsten Jancker was unceremoniously brought down by Ronny Johnsen some 19 yards out on the left.As the Germans loitered over the free-kick, United arranged a long wall which Markus Babbel infiltrated. And when Mario Basler hammered his shot towards the crimson sentries, Babbel peeled off, taking the end of the wall with him and the ball fizzed through the hole much to Schmeichel’s anger.In the absence of the suspended Roy Keane and Paul Scholes, the United manager took a huge gamble in this, the most important game of his life, by risking David Beckham alongside Nicky Butt in the middle of midfield. The player constantly praised as the best crosser of the ball in Europe had filled this central role hardly at all in his career and once previously this season – in last Saturday’s FA Cup final.And the move did not entail just one risk. Ryan Giggs was relocated to an equally unfamiliar position on the right wing, and Jesper Blomqvist brought in on the left.Now, going a goal behind so early on, it presented an even stiffer test to Ferguson’s brave redesign. But slowly, as they have done so many times before, United worked their way into the game. Bayern, though, were always dangerous and three times almost extended their lead. The substitute Mehmet Scholl hit the post with a 19-yard chip over Schmeichel before forcing the keeper to make a diving save from a fierce shot. Then, with only six minutes left, Jancker rattled the underside of the bar.United were riding their luck and in need of a change of personnel if they were ever to find the winning post. And so off came Blomqvist to make way for last Saturday’s man-of-the-match Sheringham while Solskjaer replaced Andy Cole.And just when it seemed impossible, United finally found a winning hand. Forty seconds past the 90-minute mark Sheringham swept in a half-cleared corner to equalise and hardly had the refuge of extra-time been appreciated when on 92min 24sec Sheringham nodded on Beckham’s corner for Solskjaer to shoot home from close range and leave Nou Camp in an unparalleled state of disbelief.Ferguson made his famous “Football? Bloody hell!” comment in the immediate aftermath and hailed his team’s extraordinary spirit. They would “never give in”. That phrase gives the documentary its title. Ferguson nods when I say the most moving part of the film for me is when he reads the letter he wrote in hospital to Cathy, his wife of 55 years. It’s a letter full of gratitude for her and a little regret that he was consumed by work.Jason Ferguson (left) has filmed a documentary on his father’s life. Photograph: seanpollock.com/Sean Pollock“It was a thank you, really,” he says, “because at the stage I was still not sure which way it was going [if he would live or die].”Jason turns to the final scene in the film, after United have just beaten Bayern: “Within 30 seconds of the final whistle he’s looking up. He’s looking for my mum.”His father, the mighty Fergie, looks up again. “I only saw the film when it was finished,” he says. “I never got involved in the making of it. But when I saw it for the first time I was crying. It was so emotional and I thought Jason did a fantastic job. It got to me.”Sir Alex Ferguson: Never Give In, trailer for documentary on legendary manager – videoDid it make him appreciate all he had done as a manager? “Absolutely. It made me reflect and think: ‘God, I had a great career.’ I’m very lucky. I got to Aberdeen at the right time, when I was young, energetic, dynamic and understood what Aberdeen needed to do to be a big team. They had to beat Rangers and Celtic. The challenge was simple. Two teams to beat, to win everything in Scotland. Got to Manchester United, one team to beat, Liverpool. Just two teams and two wee challenges, one in Scotland, one in England. It made for a fantastic career.”Sir Alex Ferguson: Never Give In is released in UK cinemas from 27 May. Available on Amazon Prime Video from 29 May
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Pfizer said Tuesday it plans to file for full U.S. approval of its Covid-19 vaccine with German drugmaker BioNTech at the end of this month. If the FDA signs off, the company will be able to market the shot directly to consumers.In its earnings report, Pfizer said first-quarter sales of its Covid-19 vaccine was $3.5 billion, roughly 24% of its revenue for the quarter. Its profit and revenue beat Wall Street’s expectations.Here’s how Pfizer did compared with what Wall Street expected, according to average estimates compiled by Refinitiv:Adjusted EPS: 93 cents per share vs. 77 cents expectedRevenue: $14.58 billion vs. $13.51 billion expectedThe company now expects full-year sales of $26 billion from the vaccine, up from its previous forecast of about $15 billion. It expects an adjusted pretax profit in the high 20% range of revenue for the vaccine.Shares of Pfizer rose 1.3% in premarket trading.”Based on what we’ve seen, we believe that a durable demand for our Covid-19 vaccine, similar to that of the flu vaccines, is a likely outcome,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told investors on an earnings call.Revenue from Pfizer’s oncology, internal medicine, hospital and rare disease units rose by double digits during the quarter, according to the earnings report. The company’s inflammation and immunology unit generated about $1 billion in sales, a 9% increase from a year earlier.Pfizer reported double-digit growth in sales for many of its cancer drugs, including Inlyta, Bosulif and Lorbrena.The company received U.S. authorization of its Covid vaccine in late December. Since then, Pfizer has distributed millions of doses to the U.S., with the goal of delivering 300 million doses by the end of July.During an earnings call, Bourla addressed a recent slow down in the pace of vaccinations in the U.S.He said it is “normal” as more people get vaccinated and the people leftover are those reluctant to get the shots. He expects an increase in vaccinations once the FDA authorizes the shots for kids ages 12 to 15, which is expected to happen this month.Usually, it takes the Food and Drug Administration nearly a year or longer to determine whether a drug is safe and effective for use in the general public. Due to the once-in-a-century pandemic, which has killed nearly 600,000 people in the United States, the FDA permitted the use of the shots under an Emergency Use Authorization.The authorization grants conditional approval based on two months of data. It’s not the same as a Biologic License Application, which requires six months of data and secures full approval.The company also said it expects to apply for an EUA for a booster shot that could protect against Covid variants during the second half of July, according to a slide presentation that accompanied the company’s earnings release. It expects to apply for authorization for its vaccine for use in toddlers and younger children in September and infants in November.It also expects vaccine safety data for pregnant women in late July.On April 1, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that new data from their clinical trial showed their two-dose vaccine was safe and more than 91% effective six months after the second dose. At the time, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said the new data positions the companies “to submit a Biologics License Application to the U.S. FDA.”If the vaccine is fully approved, it sets the stage for Pfizer and BioNTech to begin advertising the shots directly to consumers and change its pricing. It also allows the shot to stay on the market once the pandemic is over and the U.S. is no longer considered in an “emergency.”
A group of scientists from the United Arab Emirates have injected camels with dead samples of Covid-19, hoping that the antibodies produced by the animals – which are immune to the virus – can someday be used to cure humans.
The Arabs have relied on camels for millennia and continue to do so in the 21st century, this time recruiting the desert animals in the battle against the coronavirus.The head of the UAE’s Central Veterinary Research Laboratory, Dr. Ulrich Wernery, and his team have chosen dromedaries or one-humped camels for their experiments because they’re known to be immune to Covid-19 and its predecessor, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Unlike humans and some other animals, they simply lack a virus receptor, which the disease uses as a gateway into cells.“MERS-CoV, [camels] can harbor but they don’t get sick. With Covid-19, the virus cannot attach to the camels’ mucosa cells of the respiratory tract as the receptor is absent or dull,” Wernery told Al Arabiya.“This makes it all very interesting. Besides humans, minks and cats – small and big, such as such tigers and lions – can get Covid-19 and can transmit the virus to other cats and to humans and vice versa. But not camels.”
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The scientist explained that camels had been injected with the dead coronavirus so that they could produce antibodies to it. The blood samples from those animals will then facilitate “better tests for the diagnosis for Covid-19,” he said.“We hope that maybe one day we can use the blood – the antibodies – from camels to treat humans against Covid-19 infections,” Wernery stated.Covid-19 has already infected over 153 million people and killed more than 3.2 million around the globe. And it turned out that animals weren’t immune to the disease. During the pandemic, reports emerged of cats, dogs, monkeys, tigers, lions and others getting sick and even dying of the virus. Last year, Denmark had to cull its whole population of mink due to a mutated coronavirus strain.
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The exact origins of the coronavirus are currently unknown, but one of the likely scenarios considered by the World Health Organization is that the virus was transmitted from bats to humans through another animal host.Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
Starbucks’ president and CEO Kevin Johnson speaks during a press conference in Shanghai on August 2, 2018.AFP | Getty ImagesStarbucks on Tuesday reported mixed quarterly results and raised its full-year forecast for earnings and revenue.While the company’s earnings topped Wall Street’s expectations, its revenue missed estimates, dragged down by some international markets’ slower recovery.Shares of the company dropped nearly 2% in extended trading.Here’s what the company reported compared with what Wall Street was expecting, based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:Earnings per share: 62 cents adjusted vs. 53 cents expectedRevenue: $6.7 billion vs. $6.8 billion expectedStarbucks reported fiscal second-quarter net income of $659.4 million, or 56 cents per share, up from $328.4 million, or 28 cents per share, a year earlier.Excluding items, the coffee chain earned 62 cents per share, topping the 53 cents per share expected by analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.Net sales rose 11% to $6.7 billion, missing expectations of $6.8 billion. Global same-store sales grew by 15% as the company lapped a decline of 10% from the year-ago period.U.S. same-store sales rose 9%, returning to pre-pandemic levels. A year ago, same-store sales in Starbucks’ home market fell 3% as lockdowns were implemented across the United States. This quarter, customers bought larger coffee orders, sending the average ticket up 21%. Traffic, however, is still down by 10%.Outside the U.S., same-store sales rose 35% despite many European countries extending lockdowns. In China, Starbucks’ second-largest market, same-store sales surged 91% as it faced comparisons with last year’s 50% plummet during the same period. Transactions in China soared 93% in the quarter, but average ticket fell 1%.The company opened five net new cafes during the quarter. That includes the impact of closing roughly 300 locations in the U.S. and Canada, which it previously announced in June as part of a broader strategy to update its restaurant footprint.For all of fiscal 2021, Starbucks now expects to earn $2.65 to $2.75 per share, up from its prior range of $2.42 to $2.62 per share. It’s expecting earnings on an adjusted basis of $2.90 to $3 per share, up from its previous outlook of $2.70 to $2.90 per share. Analysts were expecting earnings per share of $2.85 for the fiscal year.The company also raised its full-year outlook for revenue to a range of $28.5 billion to $29.3 billion, up from a prior range of $28 billion to $29 billion. Wall Street was forecasting revenue of $28.6 billion. Fiscal 2021 includes a 53rd week, which Starbucks expects will add about $500 million in revenue.