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‘Bringing back the pros’ White House renews virus briefings



It has been a Trump show for over a year. President Joe Biden is also calling for leading researchers and public health professionals from the country to periodically brief the American public about the pandemic that has destroyed more than 425,000 lives in the United States.

Starting Wednesday, administration specialists started hosting briefings on the status of the disease, measures to contain it, and the scramble to produce vaccines and therapeutics to end it, three days a week.

The original briefing offered a strong distinction from the iterations of the Trump presidency, where a president who expressed his unproven theories without remorse regularly insulted public health officials.

“We’re bringing back the pros to talk in an unvarnished manner about COVID,” Biden told reporters Tuesday. “If you have any questions, that’s how we’re going to handle them because we’re letting science talk again.”

The latest briefings, starting only a week into the tenure of Biden, are intended as a clear criticism of the response of Donald Trump to the coronavirus epidemic.

The briefing on Wednesday was held electronically, rather than in person at the White House, to allow for health journalists’ inquiries and to retain a fixed scheduling independent of the West Wing situation. It was not without technological glitches, though.

It included Jeff Zients, the pandemic response leader of the Biden administration; his assistant, Andy Slavitt; Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease specialist in the nation; Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, chair of the equity task force of Biden’s COVID-19, and Dr. Rochelle Walensky, chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The White House respects science and will obey it, and scientists will speak independently,” Slavitt said.

In the crucial early days of the epidemic, Trump took centre stage and muddled the message of the nation’s leading public health authorities and ultimately largely muzzled them as the deadly toll of the pandemic became steeper.

The new briefings are part of the effort by Biden to regain public trust in institutions, especially the federal government, committed to sharing the bad news with the nice.

He said Tuesday, echoing a key promise of his inaugural speech, “I will always level with you on the state of affairs.”

This is a message that has helped get Biden to the White House. As a candidate, he cautioned that in what would be a “dark winter,” the country faced a flood of coronavirus cases; Trump, for his part, wrongly believed the worst of the virus was over.

Walensky, the current CDC president, said the latest estimate by her department shows that by Feb. 20, the U.S. would cross between 479,000 and 514,000 fatalities. In the pandemic, more than 425,000 Americans have now died.

Dr. David Hamer, a professor of environmental health and medicine at the School of Public Health at Boston University, said it will go a long way towards enhancing public understanding of the vaccine by getting briefings from health authorities that are “based on serious science.”

“There is a certain amount of hesitancy in the vaccine, so it is really important to educate people about the vaccine, how it works, how it is safe and how it can protect against the disease but also slow transmission,” he said.

The stakes could hardly be higher for Biden, whose presidency relies on his treatment of the pandemic and the biggest vaccine programme in global history.

Biden is urging a tired society to reconnect to steps of social distancing and mask-wearing, referring to scientific models that indicate that practises in the coming months could save 50,000 lives. He also emphasised the right behaviours for the nation among representatives of his administration model.

In the former administration, such warnings had little champions, as Trump publicly flouted science-based advice from his own administration. At his reelection rallies, face coverings were scarce and social isolation was almost nonexistent.

The U.S. registered new infections and confirmed deaths almost daily in the weeks leading up to the inauguration of Biden, as many states reimposed expensive sanctions to slow the spread of the virus. Even then, Trump reduced his top scientists and public health leaders’ media interviews and proceeded to promote disinformation.

Asked by CNN last week if the Trump administration’s lack of candour about the virus had cost lives, Fauci said, “You know, it very likely did.”

Early in the pandemic, the Trump administration stopped the tradition of monthly science briefings, after Trump voiced outrage about dire alerts about the virus by Dr. Nancy Messonnier, immunisation and respiratory director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who leads the COVID-19 activities of the department.

Trump later told journalist Bob Woodward that to avoid causing fear about the outbreak, he had been “playing it down.” Aides said that he was still seeking to preserve the economy to improve his chances for reelection.

“Last spring, when the pandemic took place in the U.S., Trump assumed the position of “wartime president,” attending lengthy briefings at the White House, where he was the star, not science. For his early shows, Trump looked to the high tv ratings and timed the sessions to dominate the national evening news.

Trump expressed his concern about face coverings from the briefing room, considering the scientists’ common observations that wearing a mask helps deter the transmission of the infection. He wondered aloud if, like washing a wall, Americans would swallow toxic bleach to destroy the virus. He persuaded governors, even as cases surged, to “reopen” their governments.

As government scientists, headed by Fauci, have been making frequent media appearances to share their insights, the latest White House briefings arrive. Fauci called his present circumstances “liberating” last week, offering that “one of the new things in this administration is, don’t guess if you don’t know the answer.”

James Anderson is currently working on his second novel, a YA fantasy called Reaper, and on a number of freelance projects. His first novel, Allegedly, is available on Amazon.

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The Definitive Handbook on DOT Drug Testing for Workplace Safety





In today’s world, ensuring workplace safety is a top priority for employers across various industries. When it comes to safety-sensitive positions, such as those in transportation, maintaining a drug-free workplace is crucial. The Department of Transportation (DOT) recognizes this importance and has established comprehensive drug testing regulations to promote safety and prevent accidents.

In this definitive handbook, we will delve into the intricacies of DOT drug testing, its significance, procedures, and the responsibilities of both employers and employees.

What is DOT Drug Testing?

DOT drug testing is a standardized procedure mandated by the Department of Transportation to screen employees in safety-sensitive positions for drug use. The objective is to ensure that individuals responsible for critical tasks, such as operating commercial motor vehicles, are free from the influence of drugs that may impair their ability to perform their duties safely.

The Importance of DOT Drug Testing for Workplace Safety

Workplace safety is not something to be taken lightly, especially in industries where lives are at stake. DOT drug testing plays a pivotal role in maintaining a safe work environment by deterring drug use and identifying employees who may pose a risk due to substance abuse. By implementing rigorous drug testing programs, employers can significantly reduce the likelihood of accidents, protect their workforce, and safeguard public safety.

DOT Drug Testing Regulations and Requirements

The DOT has established comprehensive regulations that outline specific circumstances under which drug testing is required. These regulations encompass various testing scenarios, including pre-employment, random, post-accident, reasonable suspicion, return-to-duty, and follow-up testing.

· Pre-Employment Testing

Before an individual assumes a safety-sensitive position, they must undergo a drug test. This test serves as a crucial screening process to ensure that prospective employees are drug-free before joining the workforce.

· Random Testing

Random drug testing is an essential component of DOT drug testing programs. It involves selecting employees for testing without prior notice or suspicion. The randomness of this testing method acts as a strong deterrent against drug use among employees.

· Post-Accident Testing

In the unfortunate event of a workplace accident, DOT regulations require drug testing of employees involved in the accident. This testing aims to determine if drug use contributed to the incident and helps employers take appropriate measures to prevent future accidents.

· Reasonable Suspicion Testing

If an employer has reasonable suspicion that an employee is using drugs, they have the right to request a drug test. This type of testing is based on observable signs, such as behavioral changes, erratic performance, or physical symptoms, that raise suspicion of drug use.

· Return-to-Duty Testing

Employees who have tested positive for drugs or violated drug testing regulations must complete a return-to-duty process, which includes a drug test. This testing ensures that employees are no longer using drugs before they resume safety-sensitive duties.

· Follow-Up Testing

Following a positive test result or a violation, employees may be subjected to follow-up testing as part of their rehabilitation program. This testing helps monitor their progress and ensures their continued compliance with drug-free workplace policies.


Ensuring workplace safety is a shared responsibility between employers and employees, especially in safety-sensitive positions. DOT drug testing plays a vital role in promoting a drug-free work environment and safeguarding public safety. By adhering to DOT regulations and implementing comprehensive drug testing programs, employers can reduce the risks associated with substance abuse, protect their workforce, and foster a culture of safety.

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How to Pick the Best School in West Bengal For Your Kid in 2023?




The educational landscape, as a whole, keeps changing with time. The same goes well with the state of West Bengal. A vast array of school options are available in the state, and it can be overwhelming to select one out of the lot. Finding the best fit that aligns with your child’s unique needs, interests, and learning capabilities is paramount to boosting their academic and personal growth.

In this guide, you can find the essential factors to weigh the primary aspects in 2023 that the educational sector beholds. Learn how to select the best schools in Kolkata and the rest of West Bengal. Secure your child’s educational future by discovering the perfect match with a few easy steps.

Factors to Look Out for When Selecting a School for Your Child

While choosing a school, one should keep a few primary factors in check. Here are the factors that can make a huge difference while selecting the best schools in Darjeeling and other parts of the state.


The significance of location cannot be overstated when selecting the ideal school for your child. One of the most practical reasons to consider location is the daily commute. Opting for a school conveniently located near your home can significantly reduce travel time. It eases the morning rush and ensures your child arrives at school fresh and ready to learn. A shorter commute can also offer parents more time with their children, promoting a balanced family life.

Moreover, proximity to the school allows your child to participate in extracurricular activities and events frequently. Whether attending after-school clubs, sports practices, or parent-teacher conferences, being closer to the school ensures more accessible involvement in your child’s academic journey. Further, it enhances communication and collaboration with teachers and other parents.


The second crucial aspect to consider is the school’s offered curriculum. In West Bengal, you will find a diverse range of curriculums, including the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE), Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), and West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE). Each of these curricula possesses its unique advantages and limitations. So it is essential to conduct thorough research to pinpoint the most suitable school for your kid.

ICSE: This curriculum is regarded as an elite education board that strongly focuses on language acquisition, science, mathematics, and social studies.

CBSE: It is the most widely adopted board of education in the country. It is renowned for its keen attention towards mathematics and science, making it a most sorted choice nationwide.

WBBSE: This is a state-run board of West Bengal that primarily aims to shape every child’s future in the state.

Teaching and Non-Teaching Staff

Another essential factor while selecting a school is considering the quality of both faculty and non-teaching staff. The teaching staff’s qualifications, experience, and expertise are of utmost importance. Highly qualified and experienced teachers are better equipped to deliver effective and engaging lessons, catering to the diverse learning needs of students. Equally vital is the student-to-teacher ratio, as smaller class sizes often translate to more personalised attention and support for each student.

Apart from teaching staff, non-teaching staff contribute significantly to a school’s success. Administrative staff, librarians, counsellors, and other support personnel are essential in ensuring smooth school operations. They significantly provide comprehensive support to students and teachers to keep the educational institution running in the heartiest way.

Infrastructure and Facilities

When evaluating the best schools in Asansol or anywhere on the lands of the Ganges, one crucial factor that should not be overlooked is the infrastructure and facilities offered by the institution. A well-designed and equipped school environment enhances the overall learning experience. It is a primary necessity to provide a scope for the holistic development of students.

When considering the physical infrastructure, scrutinise whether the classrooms are spacious, well-maintained, and safe. The physical space is a critical factor in creating a conducive learning atmosphere. The availability of specialised facilities is also essential. Look for schools that offer dedicated laboratories for science subjects, computer labs with up-to-date technology, and well-stocked libraries that encourage a culture of reading and research.

Sports and co-curricular facilities are vital for promoting physical fitness and extracurricular development. A school with playgrounds, sports fields, and facilities for other extracurricular activities can encourage students to participate in physical activities. It promotes a healthy lifestyle and provides a sound recreational space for the students.

Academic Performance

Assessing a school’s academic performance is crucial in making an informed decision about your child’s education. A school’s track record in academic achievements reflects its instructional quality and the success of its students. One key metric is to assess their board exam performance, be it CBSE or ICSE, and look for the overall academic score of the students. Compare the subject scores with national and state averages. Consistently high scores indicate a school’s dedication to imparting quality education and preparing students effectively. Choosing a school with a constantly excellent academic record helps in making wise decisions.

Fee Structure

It is not always true that the best schools in Kolkata and anywhere else have a hefty fee to be paid. One should stick to their budget while opting for a school as it is a long-term commitment and going beyond your limits can cost your child’s future. Understanding the fee structure of a school is a crucial step in the decision-making process. It allows parents to assess the affordability of the institution and plan their finances accordingly. While comparing fees, one should consider the value offered in terms of educational quality, facilities, and extracurricular opportunities.

Transparent and well-structured fee policies help build trust between the school and parents, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free educational journey for the child.


Whether in West Bengal or anywhere else worldwide, a few factors hold the most importance while selecting an ideal school as a parent. By prioritizing your child’s unique needs and learning styles, you can navigate various curricula, teaching staff, infrastructure, academic performance, and fee structures. Thorough research and open communication with schools will empower you to make an informed decision promoting your child’s academic growth, personal development, and overall well-being. Remember, the ideal school ignites their passion for learning, provides a nurturing environment, and equips them with the skills and knowledge they need to win over the competitive academic world. So, choose wisely.

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Exploring the Best Boarding Schools, Play Schools, and Preschools in Kolkata




Choosing the best school for a child is essential because education is the foundation of society’s advancement. The city of Kolkata provides a variety of educational facilities, from prestigious boarding schools to modern play schools and preschools. Through this blog, learn about the best boarding schools, playschools, and preschools in Kolkata and make an ideal choice for your little one.

Best Boarding Schools in Kolkata

Today’s highly competitive times have significantly increased demand for boarding institutions. Parents know that sending their children to a prestigious boarding school will be in their best interests and prepare them for success as highly educated adults. Due to the abundance of top boarding schools in Kolkata, it is a popular location for boarding schools. Here are some of the best boarding schools in Kolkata that are renowned for their educational standards and extracurricular activities:

1. Lakshmipat Singhania Academy

Lakshmipat Singhania Academy, an institution of quality education in Kolkata, West Bengal, has been giving knowledge since its establishment in 1996. As a premier co-educational institution affiliated with CBSE, the school has consistently upheld its commitment to academic excellence and character building. It follows the student-centric approach that encourages critical thinking, creativity, and personal growth.

2. Aditya Academy Secondary School

With a firm belief in providing an all-rounded education, Aditya Academy Secondary School shapes the future of the students from Nursery to Class XII. The CBSE-affiliated academy has a modern and conducive learning environment. The commitment to quality education is mirrored in their classrooms, designed to engage students in interactive and immersive learning experiences. Recognising the importance of both physical and mental health, the school provides ample opportunities for indoor and outdoor sports.

Best play schools in Kolkata

Play schools play a crucial role in introducing children to the world of education through playful and interactive learning methods. Here are some of the noteworthy play schools in Kolkata:

1. Euro Kids Preschool – Sonarpur

Established in 2001, Euro Kids Preschool in Sonarpur, Kolkata, has been a trailblazer in transforming the landscape of pre-school education in India. The school provides a whole early learning programme for kids from Play Groups to Nursery-I with a focus on nourishing early minds. The institution’s commitment to excellence is reflected in its carefully designed curriculum and interactive teaching methods.

2. Alphabet Preschool – Barisha, Kolkata

Founded in 1988, Alphabet Preschool in Barisha, Kolkata, is a shining example of educational innovation. The brainchild of educator Kavita Saraf, the school’s curriculum and teaching methods are intricately designed to create life-long learners. With an affiliation to CBSE, the school caters to children from Nursery to Class I. The school stands tall as a remarkable example of educational innovation and keeps refining its curriculum to incorporate the latest educational trends into its setup.

3. Arun Nursery School – Kamdahari

Arun Nursery School, established in 1972, has a legacy of nurturing young minds with The Mother’s Blessings. Founded by Shri Arun Tagore, the school’s humble beginnings have led to remarkable growth, now offering education in Nursery to Class I. The curriculum of the school demonstrates its commitment to promoting the complete development of every student. Promoting community engagement and including diverse learning styles, this school can be the right stepping stone for your kid’s bright tomorrow.

4. Sparkling Daffodils School – Dum Dum

Accredited as a Pre-School and Montessori establishment in 1991, Sparkling Daffodils School’s dedication to lifelong learning is reflected in its demanding Montessori curriculum and extensive early childhood development for grades Nursery to Class 1. The school stands out because of its emphasis on tracking student development and promoting general well-being. In response to the changing landscape of education, Sparkling Daffodils School has embraced technology as a powerful tool for enhancing learning experiences.

5. After School – Behala

Established in 1980, After School in Behala, Kolkata, offers an enriching Early Childhood Program that prepares children for future challenges. With a focus on nurturing independence and refined skills, the school’s curriculum is ideal for Nursery – Class 1 grades. Recognising the need for children’s development, After School’s dedicated approach sets it apart.

6. Blossoms Play School – Talpukur

Blossoms Play School, founded in 2012, has a clear mission to prepare children for the ever-evolving modern world. With an affiliation to CBSE, the school’s comprehensive curriculum covers Nursery to Class I grades. The school’s belief in fostering overall development and nurturing innate potential shines through its curriculum. With a focus on refined skills, the school’s holistic approach sets the stage for confident personalities.

Best Preschools in Kolkata

A preschool is where kids can interact, learn, and develop together.  Kolkata is home to some of the top preschools whose curriculum guarantees the development of the child’s social skills, aesthetic creativity, and academic motivation. Here are some of the best preschools in Kolkata:

1. The Orange Door

Situated in Kolkata, The Orange Door has been shaping young minds since 2010, offering an impressive Preschool & Day Care program curriculum from Grades I to VII. The curriculum of the school comprises educational practices with Indian values that creates a learning environment. With individualised attention, the approach ensures growth in a safe and engaging community.

2. Little Scholars

Founded by the Saarf Group, this preschool in Kolkata offers a fine amalgamation of Montessori education and the traditional system. Little Scholars offers a fascinating environment for your child to discover, explore and investigate. Through interesting activities, the faculty of Little Scholars brings the best out of every kid. From an activity room and a music room to a computer centre and well-equipped classes, Little Scholars is all set to provide your kid with the best elementary education in a playful way, encouraging curiosity and discovery.


Education is a vibrant tapestry in Kolkata, offering various choices that fulfil many preferences and requirements. Whether searching for the finest boarding schools, engaging playschools, or preschools, the city has many options. The schools must focus on teaching methodologies, extracurricular engagements, and the overall learning environment. To learn more about the leading schools in the nooks and corners of Kolkata and other cities of India, visit Skoodos, the ultimate stop to discover and explore diverse schools matching a child’s learning and developmental aspirations. This school search engine is everything you need to shortlist the best schools and finalise one. Reach out to their experts for a complete account of the schools and confidently select a school to lead your child towards a successful life ahead.

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