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Today’s News: September 22, 2020

World News

New Covid-19 restrictions in UK could be in place for SIX MONTHS, BoJo warns

RT – In a pronouncement that will send chills down the spines of UK residents, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has suggested that newly-introduced coronavirus restrictions could be in place for six months.

The harsh new measures were outlined by Johnson in parliament on Tuesday. They include strict new social-distancing rules, an order that pubs be shut by 10pm and a slash in the size of wedding congregations. 

Masks were also made mandatory in a range of settings, and the fines for failing to wear one have been doubled to £200 ($256) for a first offense.

Britons Are Swamping Police Line to Rat on Neighbours: Report

Breitbart – Britons have allegedly been inundating the police non-emergency number 101 with reports of their neighbours breaking the ‘rule of six’ coronavirus law.

It would appear that the case of a woman calling the police on a funeral wake in a pub garden because she thought people were standing too close together was not an isolated incident.

U.N. Chief Guterres Calls for ‘Improved World Governance’

Breitbart – U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Monday called for “improved world governance” as one solution to constant geopolitical upheaval, with the globalist body central to his appeal for the revival of multilateralism.

The Por­tuguese socialist spoke as the U.N. marks its 75th anniversary and the coronavirus pandemic continues its deadly toll.

AP reports Guterres said, “Today, we have a surplus of multilateral challenges and a deficit of multilateral solutions” before pointing to coronavirus and saying it has “laid bare the world’s fragilities,” which can only be addressed together.

“Climate calamity looms, biodiversity is collapsing, poverty is rising, hatred is spreading, geopolitical tensions are escalating, nuclear weapons remain on hair-trigger alert,” Guterres conceded, without specifically adding just what the U.N. has done to alleviate those problems – if anything.

Emphasizing instead the need for a new “multilateral society,” Guterres said,“no one wants a world government — but we must work together to improve world governance.”

This is not the first time Guterres has sought to garner support for more power.

U.N. chief Antonio Guterres called for the world to “urgently redistribute power” so as to end gender inequality which he said “should shame us all in the 21st century because it is not only unacceptable, it is stupid.” https://t.co/sPyAaYudUL

— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) February 28, 2020

In June he said the world needs an overarching level of multilateral governance that can sideline problematic “national interests,” as he lamented existing U.N. instruments such as the Security Council have teeth but “show little or no appetite to bite.”

In response to questions as to exactly what the U.N. has achieved over three-quarters of a century, Guterres said, “at least the Third World War so many people have predicted was avoided.

“We had what many called the ‘long peace’ with many small conflicts, but conflicts in which the big powers did not get involved against each other.”

Now the future must be addressed. To that end U.S. President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping are scheduled to address the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Mike Bloomberg Raises $16 Million to Pay Fines of Black, Hispanic Felons to Vote in Florida

Breitbart – Mike Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City and failed Democratic presidential candidate, has raised $16 million to pay the fines of black and Hispanic felons — only — so that they can be eligible to vote in Florida this fall.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday:

Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and his team have raised more than $16 million to pay the court fines and fees of nearly 32,000 Black and Hispanic Florida voters with felony convictions, an effort aimed at boosting turnout for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

The money will go to fund a program organized by the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition to pay the fines, fees and restitution costs for former prisoners who are already registered to vote in Florida but barred by law from participating in the election because of those outstanding debts.

Bloomberg, who has committed at least $100 million to electing Biden in the state, raised the money from individuals and foundations over the last week, his advisers said. He saw the donations as a more cost-effective way of adding votes to the Democratic column than investing money to persuade voters who already have the right to vote, a Bloomberg memo said.

The Bloomberg effort, which will be pooled with about $5 million already raised by the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, is narrowly focused only on Black and Hispanic voters who are already registered to vote and whose debts are less than $1,500.

Florida voters passed a constitutional amendment restoring the right to vote to convicted felons, though the legislature made that conditional on the payment of all outstanding fines to the state. There are some 775,000 felons who still owe money.

Theoretically, a white felon who wished to see his or her voting rights restored could challenge Bloomberg’s effort on the grounds of racial discrimination. Florida civil rights law bans discrimination on the basis of race.

Bloomberg spent $1 billion earlier this year on his short-lived presidential campaign, which ended after Super Tuesday. He faced criticism for his policy of “stop-and-frisk,” which was called racist, even though it was credited for reducing crime. After defending the policy for years, he apologized for it during the presidential primary.

He is currently being sued by former campaign staff for allegedly reneging on a promise to keep paying them through the November election.

In Stunning Reversal, CDC Says It Published New Guidance On Risks Of ‘Airborne’ COVID-19 “In Error”

ZeroHedge – After publishing guidance warning about the serious risks of “airborne” infection associated with SARS-CoV-2, the CDC just seriously harmed its own credibility by acknowledging Monday that it had posted the new guidance “in error”, following a pressure campaign from the WHO.

Scientists have been gathering evidence that the novel coronavirus plaguing the world spreads via aerosol particles practically since it first emerged, and back in July, a group of 200 scientists sent a letter to the WHO urging the international public health agency to change its guidance on the spread of the disease. The problem scientists argued is that the WHO hasn’t updated its views to incorporate new research showing that aerosol spread is a much greater threat than touching contaminated surfaces, or via large droplets spread by close contact between individuals.

Yet, the WHO has refused these overtures, and this week it successfully convinced the CDC to do the same.

After the WHO announced earlier that it had reached out to the CDC over the guidance change, the agency informed American media outlets that a “draft version” of the guidance had been “posted in error”.

“A draft version of proposed changes to these recommendations was posted in error to the agency’s official website,” the CDC said. “CDC is currently updating its recommendations regarding airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). Once this process has been completed, the update language will be posted.”

Even so, the American media has grown increasingly convinced that aerosols significantly contribute to overall spread of the virus, with ABC News suggesting yesterday that expensive UV-light powered surface cleaners were merely examples of “hygiene theater”. For months, the CDC has insisted that these large droplets are the primary mode of transmission, which is why – it argued – people must wear masks in public, because masks are effective at blocking large particles.

However, masks – at least, homemade clothe masks with imperfect seals – aren’t as effective at filtering all aerosol particles. Furthermore, research suggests aerosol particles released when a person sneezes can reach up to 26 feet.

Source: WSJ

Experts quoted in the US press reports are already slamming the CDC for injecting more confusion into the conversation surrounding COVID-19 prevention at a particularly risky time. After all, schools are still reopening across the US and many are diving headlong into the unknown, fearful that all of this activity could cause another wave of the pandemic, as Dr. Scott Gottlieb warned yesterday.

The FDA is already under fire for its allegedly “premature” approval of convalescent plasma, which critics claim is the result of untoward political pressure from the president. On Friday, the CDC also abandoned controversial guidance saying not everybody who comes into contact with an infected person needs to be tested, and that tests should only be required for those experiencing symptoms.

All this scrutiny is helping to cement a new nickname for the agency.

Centers For Damage Control

— zerohedge (@zerohedge) September 21, 2020

It could also give more fodder to people like Bill Gates, who has started attacking the FDA’s credibility as the agency rushes toward emergency approval of a vaccine.

Romney Agrees to Back Trump On SCOTUS Pick

ZeroHedge – Utah Senator Mitt Romney (R) announced on Tuesday that he would support a floor vote on President Trump’s Supreme Court pick – giving Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) a 53-seat majority and the votes needed to move forward in replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, according to Politico.

“I intend to follow the Constitution and precedent in considering the president’s nominee. If the nominee reaches the Senate floor, I intend to vote based upon their qualifications,” Romney said in a statement.

Romney said he was merely following the law in making his decision rather than taking a position based on the recent blockade of President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, during the 2016 election. Romney said the “historical precedent of election year nominations is that the Senate generally does not confirm an opposing party’s nominee but does confirm a nominee of its own.”

He added that his decision is “not the result of a subjective test of ‘fairness’ which, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. It is based on the immutable fairness of following the law, which in this case is the Constitution and precedent.” –Politico

Congressional Report Concludes China Could Easily Have Prevented Pandemic

Infowars – A new report from GOP members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee has concluded that China covered up the coronavirus pandemic, and failed to follow international health guidelines which would have likely prevented the global pandemic.

The report, which was released Monday, concludes that “It is highly likely the ongoing pandemic could have been prevented” had China been transparent after the outbreak began in Wuhan.

“It is beyond doubt that the [Chinese Communist Party] actively engaged in a cover-up designed to obfuscate data, hide relevant public health information, and suppress doctors and journalists who attempted to warn the world,” the report notes.

“Research shows the CCP could have reduced the number of cases in China by up to 95 percent had it fulfilled its obligations under international law and responded to the outbreak in a manner consistent with best practices.” it adds.

The 95% figure stems from Research out of the University of Southampton in the UK, which discovered “that if interventions in [China] could have been conducted one week, two weeks, or three weeks earlier, cases could have been reduced by 66 percent, 86 percent and 95 percent respectively – significantly limiting the geographical spread of the disease.”

Infowars reported on these findings back in March as the pandemic took hold.

An Obscure Law In Pennsylvania Could Result In 100,000 Mail-In Ballots Being Thrown Out Without Ever Being Counted

Michael Snyder – We are still more than 40 days away from the election, and already we are seeing huge red flags regarding the integrity of the voting process in some states.  No matter who you support, you should want the upcoming election to be fair.  Every American should be able to vote, all of those votes should be counted, and the decision that the American people make should be respected.  Unfortunately, it appears that this is likely to be the most chaotic election in modern American history, and wrangling over what votes should be counted and what votes should not be counted is likely to persist long after election night is over.  In the end, it would not be surprising to see the outcome of the election end up at the Supreme Court, and that is a scenario that none of us should want to see.Let me give you an example that shows why I am so concerned.  In Pennsylvania, a recent legal decision requires officials to throw out mail-in ballots without counting them if voters do not return them in “secrecy envelopes”

Philadelphia’s top elections official is warning of electoral chaos in the presidential battleground state if lawmakers there do not remove a provision in Pennsylvania law that, under a days-old court decision, requires counties to throw out mail-in ballots returned without secrecy envelopes.

This is a very big deal, because large numbers of votes could be voided in one of our most important swing states.

According to the Washington Times, it is being estimated that “more than 100,000 mail-in ballots” could potentially be thrown out…

Some 30,000 to 40,000 mail-in ballots could arrive without secrecy envelopes in Philadelphia alone in November’s presidential election, Deeley estimated, and the state Supreme Court’s interpretation of current law forces election officials to throw them out.

Statewide, that could mean throwing out more than 100,000 mail-in ballots in the Nov. 3 presidential election, according to some estimates.

In 2016, President Trump won the state of Pennsylvania by just 44,292 votes.

So eliminating 100,000 votes could potentially swing the outcome from one candidate to the other.

Pentagon used taxpayer money meant for masks, swabs to make jet engine parts, body armor.

WP – A $1 billion fund Congress gave the Pentagon in March to build up the country’s supplies of medical equipment has instead been mostly funneled to defense contractors and used to make things such as jet engine parts, body armor and dress uniforms.

The change illustrates how one taxpayer-backed effort to battle the novel coronavirus, which has killed about 200,000 Americans, was instead diverted toward patching up long-standing perceived gaps in military supplies.

The Cares Act, which Congress passed earlier this year, gave the Pentagon money to “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.” But a few weeks later, the Defense Department began reshaping how it would award the money in a way that represented a major departure from Congress’s intent.

The payments were made even though U.S. health officials think major funding gaps in pandemic response still remain. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in Senate testimony last week that states desperately need $6 billion to distribute vaccines to Americans early next year. Many U.S. hospitals still face a severe shortage of N95 masks. These are the types of problems that the money was originally intended to address.

“This is part and parcel of whether we have budget priorities that actually serve our public safety or whether we have a government that is captured by special interests,” said Mandy Smithberger, a defense analyst at the Project on Government Oversight, a watchdog group.

The $1 billion fund is just a fraction of the $3 trillion in emergency spending that Congress approved earlier this year to deal with the pandemic. But it shows how the blizzard of bailout cash was — in some cases — redirected to firms that weren’t originally targeted for assistance. It also shows how difficult it has been for officials to track how money is spent and — in the case of Congress — intervene when changes are made. The Trump administration has done little to limit the defense firms from accessing multiple bailout funds at once and is not requiring the companies to refrain from layoffs as a condition of receiving the awards.

Some defense contractors received the Pentagon money even though they had already dipped into another pot of bailout funding, the Paycheck Protection Program.

Judge rules Snowden to give up millions from book, speeches

The Hill – Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor charged with espionage in 2013 after releasing classified documents on U.S. surveillance programs, has agreed to pay more than $5 million in profits from his book and speaking fees to the U.S. government, CNN reported Monday

A federal judge ruled in favor of the Justice Department in a 2019 lawsuit filed against Snowden that argued the whistleblower’s autobiography, “Permanent Record,” violated a nondisclosure agreement, according to court records.

As of this month, Snowden has earned approximately $4.2 million from book sales, royalties and related rights, according to CNN. The court filing from the Justice Department claims that Snowden’s 56 paid speeches included information that violated his government secrecy agreement.

CNN reported that the money will be put into a trust based on a plan agreed on by Snowden and the Trump administration. 

The court decision comes after President Trump said last month that he was “looking at” pardoning Snowden, despite calling Snowden a “terrible threat” and a “terrible traitor” in 2013. 

“There are many, many people — it seems to be a split decision that many people think that he should be somehow treated differently, and other people think he did very bad things,” Trump said of Snowden at a news conference at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J. “And I’m going to take a very good look at it.”

NFL coaches fined for violating mask policy on sidelines.

The Hill – Three NFL teams are facing fines of up to $250,000 each because their coaches did not wear masks or face coverings during games on Sunday, according to multiple reports.

The three teams being fined are the Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers.

The three head coaches of the teams, the Seahawks’s Pete Carroll, the Broncos’s Vic Fangio and the 49ers’s Kyle Shanahan were also each fined $100,000.

The NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, Troy Vincent, sent a memo to all 32 of the league’s teams a week ago calling on coaching employees to wear their masks at all times, CNN reported. Vincent warned in the memo that failure to follow the public health guidelines would result in sanctions.

“We must remain vigilant and disciplined in following the processes and protocols put in place by not only the league, union and clubs, but also by state and local governments,” Vincent said in the memo.  

During games on Monday night, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and Saints head coach Sean Payton were seen not wearing a mask or face coverings. Payton in March tested positive for coronavirus.

Science & Technology

Frankenbeasts: Scientists Create GMO Animals To Boost Food Production

Technocracy News – The same Technocrat crowd that is trying to destroy the red meat industry, is now creating GMO animals to produce more meat. More appropriately their creations could be called Frankenbeasts because nobody can predict the ultimate outcomes. ⁃ TN Editor

Scientists have created gene-edited pigs, goats and cattle to produce sperm with traits such as disease resistance and higher meat quality in what they say is a step towards genetically enhancing livestock to improve food production.

The animals, created for the first time by researchers in the United States and Britain using a gene-editing tool called CRISPR-Cas9, could be used as “surrogate sires”, essentially sterile blank slates that could then be transplanted with stem cells that produce the desired sperm, the scientists said. The process could help farmers rear healthier, more productive animals using fewer resources such as feed, medicines and water, they said. It could also give breeders in remote regions of the world better access to genetic material of elite animals from elsewhere, allowing for “precision breeding”.

“With this technology, we can get better dissemination of desirable traits and improve the efficiency of food production,” said Jon Oatley, a reproductive biologist at Washington State University in the United States, who co-led the work.

He said this could have a major impact on addressing food insecurity around the world. “If we can tackle this genetically, then that means less water, less feed and fewer antibiotics we have to put into the animals.”

Yet gene-editing has long been a contentious subject, and the latest advance could face resistance from critics opposed to the genetic modification of animals, which they regard as dangerous tampering with nature.

The researchers stressed that the gene-editing process they used was designed only to bring about changes within an animal species that could occur naturally.

This research was a “proof of concept”, they said, and showed that the technique could work. Current regulations, however, mean that gene-edited surrogate sires could not be used in the food chain anywhere in the world, even though their offspring would not be gene-edited, the researchers added.

Health

Coronavirus Disinfectants May Be Hazardous to Humans

GreenMedInfo – Health officials’ ‘List N’ includes disinfectants approved for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that reportedly causes COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean they’ve been approved as safe for humans. Now experts are worried we’ll be facing a new epidemic of health problems linked to these toxic chemical exposures

The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic may turn out to be worse than the reported disease itself. Experts have predicted a coming mental health crisis in the U.S., as Americans struggle with financial insecurity, job losses, social isolation and fears about returning to public life.[i] Privacy concerns also continue to emerge, as contact tracing apps and other methods of surveillance morph into the new “normal.”

Unchecked disinfection procedures, including those recommended by public health agencies, are another major concern. Prior to the pandemic, chemical disinfectants had been linked to health problems, but the accelerated pace at which these toxic chemicals are now being used is causing unprecedented levels of exposure — with unknown consequences to human health.

‘List N’ Disinfectants May Not Be Proven Safe for Humans

In response to COVID-19, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released “List N,” which is a list of about 400 disinfectants[ii] that meet the EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2.[iii] To meet the criteria, the disinfectants must demonstrate effectiveness against a harder-to-kill virus or demonstrate efficacy against a human coronavirus similar to SARS-CoV-2.

“[T]his doesn’t mean that they have been approved because they’re considered safe with regard to human health,” exposure scientist Lesliam Quirós-Alcalá, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told Bloomberg.[iv] While studies on many of the chemicals are limited, some have been linked to asthma and other respiratory conditions, reproductive effects and neurological and dermatological problems.[v]

Exposure to disinfectants and cleaning products has long been linked to health risks. Among nurses, for instance, exposure to cleaning chemicals at work was associated with a 25% to 38% increased risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).[vi] This included disinfectants with the active ingredients glutaraldehyde and quaternary ammonium compounds, variants of which are included on the EPA’s List N.

Research published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine also found that women responsible for cleaning at home, or who worked as house cleaners, had accelerated declines in lung function, and long-term respiratory health was impaired 10 to 20 years after cleaning activities.[vii]

“[E]xposures related to cleaning activities may constitute a risk to long-term respiratory health,” the study concluded, with researchers stating that the damage to respiratory function for women cleaners was similar to smoking a pack of cigarettes every day for 10 to 20 years.

“The effect size was comparable to the effect size related to 10-20 pack-years of tobacco smoking,” they wrote[viii] — one “pack-year” is equivalent to smoking 20 cigarettes (one pack) per day for one year. Other common symptoms that can occur from exposure to chemical disinfectants include nausea, eye irritation and headaches.

Ramped Up Disinfecting a ‘Hazardous Proposition’

Health risks likely increase with increased levels of disinfectant exposure, making coronavirus disinfectants particularly risky due to the high frequency of application.

The EPA, in their guidance for cleaning and disinfecting public spaces and homes against COVID-19, recommends surfaces frequently touched by multiple people, such as door handles, desks, faucets and light switches, be disinfected at least daily, with certain surfaces, such as shopping carts and sale keypads, being disinfected more often, including before each use.[ix]

Speaking with Bloomberg, Rich Feczko, national director of systems, standards and innovation at Crothall Healthcare, said the pace at which the company is cleaning hundreds of hospitals has accelerated. “Our frequencies have ramped up in public places like lobbies and elevators to 6-8 times per day,” with restrooms cleaned every two hours.[x]

“This is a hazardous proposition,” immunologist and allergist Dr. Claudia Miller told the news outlet. “Cleaners tend to go in with hugely toxic chemicals. We’re creating another problem for a whole group of people, and I’m not sure we’re actually controlling infections.”[xi]

Spraying Disinfectants May Be Especially Dangerous

Adding to the problem is the way some of the disinfectants are being applied. Using sprayers that aerosolized disinfectants is becoming increasingly popular during the pandemic, as it allows cleaners to cover far more space in a shorter period of time. Electrostatic sprayers also add a positive charge so the chemicals stick to surfaces.

Not only have the risks of aerosolized disinfectants not been explored, but most of the disinfectants on List N have not been approved for aerosolizing, misting or fogging.[xii] Further, it’s likely that spraying the chemicals poses increased inhalation risks, as it generates micro-particles and possibly even smaller nanoparticles, which are absorbed into the body faster and in greater quantities than larger particles.

The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) issued a health alert bulletin that fogging ambulances with toxic disinfectants may cause illness after four emergency medical technicians were diagnosed with work-related asthma.

“Fogging is not recommended in ambulances,” NJDOH warned, adding, “Often, the active ingredients are respiratory irritants and sensitizers and include chemicals such as, chlorine, phenol, quaternary ammonium compounds (“quats”), alcohols, or hydrogen peroxide compounds (listed in decreasing order of toxicity).”[xiii]

The World Health Organization (WHO) similarly warned, “In indoor spaces, routine application of disinfectants to surfaces via spraying is not recommended for COVID-19. If disinfectants are to be applied, these should be via a cloth or wipe which is soaked in the disinfectant.”[xiv] Despite this, industrial cleaning companies are moving to use spraying technologies once reserved for hospitals in school busses.

“If we can spray it in a Hershey’s food plant or at a hospital, we can certainly spray it on a school bus,” Bob Gorski, president of cleaning company Merrick Group, told Bloomberg.[xv] Around the world, clouds of disinfectant are even being dispersed into the sky via drones, even though experts have warned the practice likely is not effective and could be toxic to humans.[xvi]

When it comes to chemical disinfectants, reducing your exposure is wise, especially if they’re being used in an enclosed space like a vehicle, elevator or high-rise building with poor circulation. For times when cleaning is necessary, there are many natural methods available for cleaning purposes, as well as safer disinfectants like ultraviolet light. As it stands, however, the aggressive disinfection procedures being implemented in the name of COVID-19 could end up causing far more harm than good.

Good Workout Can Boost Your Thinking up to 2 Hours

Newsmax – A few minutes of moderate- to high-intensity aerobic activity — like running or biking — can boost young adults’ memory and concentration for up to two hours, a new research review shows.

That’s the takeaway from 13 studies published between 2009 and 2019. All looked at the short-term impact of bicycling, walking and/or running on the mental health of 18- to 35-year-olds.

“We found that two minutes to one hour of aerobic exercise at moderate to high intensity improves the learning ability and storage in memory for up to two hours in young adults,” said Dr. Peter Blomstrand, who led the research review. He works with the department of clinical physiology at County Hospital Ryhov in Jönköping, Sweden.

The workouts and five-minute recovery periods were linked to an improved ability to plan and solve problems, better concentration and stronger verbal skills. The gains lasted anywhere from 30 to 120 minutes. 

Aerobic activity also appeared to boost young adults’ ability to learn and remember new things (“encoding”), to stimulate long-term storage of new memories (“consolidation”) and to improve the ability to access already stored memories (“retrieval”).

Blomstrand stressed, however, that he focused only on aerobic activity. So the jury is still out as to whether non-aerobic strength training might have a similar benefit. Nor is it clear that bicycling, walking and running are any better at strengthening mental skills (“cognition”) than other aerobics, such as swimming.

He said it is “very likely” that the results also apply to children and middle-aged and older adults.

“We know that regular aerobic exercise makes children smarter, improves their results on tests of memory and cognitive function, and regular exercise in elderly counteracts dementia,” Blomstrand said. Taken together, the research suggests that, at any age, “exercise improves cognition, learning and mental health. It makes us happier and more focused.”

That thought was seconded by Lona Sandon, director of the Master Clinical Nutrition Coordinated Program at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. She lauded the review for underscoring “that we are built to move, not sit on our tails.”

Sandon said, “It is pretty clear that there is strong agreement on the benefits of exercise for brain function regardless of age. We know exercise is good for us for a number of reasons. And we also know kids perform better in school when they get time to exercise and have a good meal. The question is: Why do we still seem to ignore it?”

She suggested people regard the mental health benefits of both exercise and good nutrition as peas of a pod.

“Quality nutrition is important along with the exercise,” Sandon said, with hunger or nutritional deficiencies in carbohydrates and iron leading to diminished mental acuity. “From a diet perspective, there is plenty of research to support the benefits of being well-fed and academic performance.”

As to what’s specifically driving the aerobic exercise-mental health connection, Blomstrand noted that several explanations have been proposed. 

On the one hand, he said, aerobic activity may trigger neurochemical and electrophysiological changes — like faster synapse connections — that improve brain function. “We know, for example, that dopamine receptors are activated during exercise,” Blomstrand said.

“We need more research to fully understand the hows and whys” of the link between physical activity and improved attention, concentration and learning, he added.