The Anglo-Saxonization of England happened through a mass migration

The Anglo-Saxon migration and the formation of the early English gene pool:

The history of the British Isles and Ireland is characterized by multiple periods of major cultural change, including the influential transformation after the end of Roman rule, which precipitated shifts in language, settlement patterns and material culture…The extent to which migration from continental Europe mediated these transitions is a matter of long-standing debate…Here we study genome-wide ancient DNA from 460 medieval northwestern Europeans—including 278 individuals from England—alongside archaeological data, to infer contemporary population dynamics. We identify a substantial increase of continental northern European ancestry in early medieval England, which is closely related to the early medieval and present-day inhabitants of Germany and Denmark, implying large-scale substantial migration across the North Sea into Britain during the Early Middle Ages. As a result, the individuals who we analysed from eastern England derived up to 76% of their ancestry from the continental North Sea zone, albeit with substantial regional variation and heterogeneity within sites. We show that women with immigrant ancestry were more often furnished with grave goods than women with local ancestry, whereas men with weapons were as likely not to be of immigrant ancestry. A comparison with present-day Britain indicates that subsequent demographic events reduced the fraction of continental northern European ancestry while introducing further ancestry components into the English gene pool, including substantial southwestern European ancestry most closely related to that seen in Iron Age France

1) More migration than earlier papers. Looks like increasing ancient DNA coverage helped
2) 75% Y chromosomal turnover in eastern England
3) A third component, detected in the PoBI paper, is confirmed, and seems related to continuous later gene flow from northern France. This is ubiquitous across England, and I do wonder now what the Norman Conquest and the unification of large regions of northern France with England did in the early medieval period

Septimius Severus was not black, who cares?

Septimius Severus is important because he brought the Roman Empire back from the chaos ushered in by the assassination of Commodus. He was born in 145 AD and so grew into adulthood during the later Antonine period. He remembered the tail end of the time of peace and prosperity that characterized the reigns of the rulers up until Marcus Aurelius, who had to deal with German invasions and plague.

Though Severus and his heirs did not usher in the despotic “Dominate” phase of the Roman Empire, I think it is correct that his military regime ended some of the illusions of the late Principate. During Severus’ reign, the rubber-stamp role of the Senate faded more as he nakedly asserted that his will and word were the law.

But Severus is important for another reason. He was the first “African” Emperor. More precisely, he was born in the Libyan city of Leptis Magna, near modern Tripoli.  His father was of Punic background, as Leptis Magna was once a Phoenician colony. His mother was of colonial Italian stock.

In the current era, he has become newly relevant. Challenging the whiteness of classics – remembering the Black Romans:

There is a gap here between the likely racial make-up of the Roman population and how that has been understood. This gap, I suggest, derives from a systematic erasure of Black Romans from Roman history. This erasure is similar to the “whitening” of histories and cultures, in which the presence and contribution of Black people is ignored.

Greeks and Romans didn’t think in these ways. They were aware of differences. But for Romans, White or Black were not meaningful social categories. As a result, our sources hardly ever mention skin pigmentation, since it wasn’t important to them. It is normally impossible for us to associate particular ancients with those modern racial categories. But this absence of evidence has allowed the assumption that most prominent Romans were, in our terms, White.

However, there is every reason to think that many leading Romans were, in our terms, Black.

Septimius Severus was a Roman general who became emperor in 193 CE. He was born in Leptis Magna in modern Libya. Almost all depictions of Severus are statues or on coins. They show him as having curly short hair and a beard, which is sometimes forked. Such depictions do not represent his skin pigmentation.

After centuries of interaction, it is almost impossible to imagine that there were visible differences between the citizens of Leptis and the surrounding African inhabitants. We cannot prove Severus’ skin colour, but it is wrong to assume that he was light-skinned.

Roman Africa was an economic and cultural powerhouse in the later Roman Empire. Goods from Africa circulated throughout the Roman world. One of the first Roman dramatists, Terence, came from Carthage in Tunisia and his appearance is described by the historian Suetonius as fuscus, “dark”.

The second-century CE rhetorician, philosopher and novelist Apuleius was from Madouros, modern M’Daourouch, Algeria. Saint Augustine of Hippo studied in the same town. He and Cyprian of Carthage were major figures in Christian theology. Egypt was a major centre of literary and theological innovation in the late imperial period. Why would we imagine any of these individuals as White?

The classical world is a part of our cultural traditions. Colonialism has whitened classics. Such Whitening marginalises Black people. Making Black Romans visible resists colonial mentalities. It embeds Black people in that cultural tradition.

We have a fair amount of ancient DNA from Rome. Combined with analysis of ancestry tracts in modern populations it is pretty clear that most of the Sub-Saharan African ancestry, that is, black ancestry, on the southern shores of the Mediterranean date to the Islamic period or later. Not imperial Rome.

This plot below shows consistent but usually low levels of Sub-Saharan African ancestry in southern shore Mediterranean populations today:

From the paper that that plot comes from, “We estimate that a migration of western African origin into Morocco began about 40 generations ago (approximately 1,200 ya); a migration of individuals with Nilotic ancestry into Egypt occurred about 25 generations ago (approximately 750 ya).” They look at ancestry segment lengths and fit it to a model of decay over time due to recombination. It’s not rocket science.

The upshot is that only a very small minority of the population of the Roman Empire were of black African appearance. Though as noted by the scholar above, these people were salient and notable and crop up in the literature as objects of curiosity. Septimius Severus may have had dark skin, but that does not mean he was of black African background or identity (I have dark skin, and people routinely accuse me of being a white-adjacent Asian, so it’s not like they can’t reason when given proper incentives).

I do believe it was likely Septimius Severus was culturally Punic but of mixed heritage, as colonial settlements often exhibited a level of intermarriage with the local populations (I suspect his “Italian” mother also had indigenous ancestry due to the generations elapsed). In the case of Leptis Magna, that would be the indigenous Berber Libyans. We know what these people looked like from the Greeks and the Egyptians. Below is some reconstructed wall art:

Four Libyan kings on the left

I would caution against taking the skin colors too literally, but the Egyptians describe and depict the Libyans as light-skinned like their West Asian neighbors, while the Nubians are shown to be darker in complexion. The Nubians are Sub-Saharan African, or black, while the Libyans are not.

What’s the point of this? Most of you know this? Well, a Ph.D. geneticist who isn’t even particularly woke pointed me to the article about Septimius Severus being black as if it wasn’t a farce. The lie has become true, even if you laugh it off.

What’s going on? Since 2020 and the “racial reckoning” white scholars have been engaging in political activism. The classicist above understands the “need” for racial representation, so is making the best case in a lawyerly manner.

Though the Greco-Romans didn’t have our racial classifications and understandings, they were not ignorant and even distinguished between the physical appearance of North and South Indians, correctly observing that South Indians resemble “Aethiopians” in color but differ in having straighter hair. The ancients were also aware that Mediterranean people differed in complexion, with Egyptians being darker in complexion than Thracians, and individuals had color terms in their names such as Albinus and Niger.

The Roman-era Egyptian portraits probably correctly depict the range in complexion in northern Africa, from relatively fair to medium-brown, with most people being brunette white or light brown. Without a deeper investigation, it is reasonable that Septimius Severus had darker skin than the average Italian, but it is also reasonable that his subjects did not perceive him to be black, or more accurately for the time “Ethiopian.” Instead, he was a provincial from Libya. Part of the problem with classicists trying to concoct a black identity and appearance for Septimius of Severus, Augustine of Hippo and Terence is that they are engaging in what is now fashionably called “erasure.” The history, achievements, and identity of the Afro-Asiatic people of North Africa, from the Maghreb to Egypt, are co-opted to make the case for black representation in antiquity because during this period the Sahara was far less penetrable than it became under Islamic states deploying camel caravans. It is one thing when Afrocentrist ideologues engage in this, but when intellectuals and scholars do so, it is very alarming.

The job of scholars in the modern West is, to tell the truth and represent facts as they are. They may miss the mark often, but they should aim as best as they can. The problem with classicists over the last few years is they temporize, equivocate, and intentionally mislead their audiences when they very well know that the North African people that suggest “may have been black” were likely no more black than the typical West Asian. This is not to say they were “white” (though many people from the MENA do identify as such today and did in the past), but scholars should have the courage to admit that the past was not black and white, and it does not always easily fit in our narratives, whether we are 19th-century Victorian white supremacists or 21st-century anti-racists.

I write this in 2022 with the clear understanding that the lie will likely become the truth. But some of you will remember the truth, and the more I write and talk about this, the more the truth shall not die. The will come when the darkness will end, and we or our descendants should be prepared to remember the world as it was rather than only have the understanding of priests who preach how it should have been.

Nick Barksdale, R.I.P.

My friend Nick Barksdale recently died at the young age of 30. I knew Nick through his YouTube Channel, Study of Antiquity and the Middle Ages. About a year and a half ago Nick wanted people who would talk about paleogenomics, and he found me through the Google machine. I guested several times on his show, and it was a fruitful relationship for both of us.

Because of the nature of video we actually talked a lot more than you got to see in the final edit. Some of it was serious content, but a lot of it was joking and bantering. Nick and I got to know each other a bit, and I really appreciated his passion for history. On his channel he had to speak in plain and simple language, but when he chatted off-camera he really let his nerd side come out. In early August of 2021, we recorded a few shows (Nick liked to bank them and edit them months later), and I assumed he would be in contact in a month or so, as was his usual custom and practice. That didn’t happen, but I thought perhaps he was busy.

Then in November, I was alerted to a new GoFundMe page for Nick. He had been feeling ill already when we were talking, and it turned out that in September he had gone to the hospital to get himself checked out, and they found inflammation in his heart valve. You can read about the whole ordeal that Nick underwent between September and June on his wife’s GoFundMe updates, but I want to note that Nick had turned 30 in June, had a toddler daughter, and another due in December of 2021. Obviously, this was a tragic and trying circumstance for all.

There was an optimistic period in the Spring when Nick started DMing me again on Twitter about his future plans (he had had amputations, and he was thinking about doing a Substack). My last message from him is April 16th. He’s gone now. I will say that off-camera he is what you would expect, a funny and honorable person. As usually occurs when someone has me on he received attacks, but he brushed them off and took me as I was rather than what people asserted about me. He told me privately that I shouldn’t worry, he had my back.

What his passing should remind us is that you never know when you go. Make an impression on those around you while you are here, and cherish your time. Nick left us far too early, and you are no better than he. Whether you believe in a life after (Nick did) or not (I don’t), after you go the world of the living will have your memory, your deeds, to honor you.

Avars were Rourans

genomes reveal origin and rapid trans-Eurasian migration of 7th century Avar elites:

The Avars settled the Carpathian Basin in 567/68 CE, establishing an empire lasting over 200 years. Who they were and where they came from is highly debated. Contemporaries have disagreed about whether they were, as they claimed, the direct successors of the Mongolian Steppe Rouran empire that was destroyed by the Turks in ∼550 CE. Here, we analyze new genome-wide data from 66 pre-Avar and Avar-period Carpathian Basin individuals, including the 8 richest Avar-period burials and further elite sites from Avar’s empire core region. Our results provide support for a rapid long-distance trans-Eurasian migration of Avar-period elites. These individuals carried Northeast Asian ancestry matching the profile of preceding Mongolian Steppe populations, particularly a genome available from the Rouran period. Some of the later elite individuals carried an additional non-local ancestry component broadly matching the steppe, which could point to a later migration or reflect greater genetic diversity within the initial migrant population.

No big surprises, but I think it is important to note that it looks like the East Eurasian Avar elites brought a lot of Iranian-steppe people as cadet elites. So a lot of the elite non-East Eurasian ancestry turns out to be non-European, and more Central Eurasian (probably Alanic and the like).

Open Thread – 9/12/2021 – Gene Expression

Adrian Wooldridge has a new book out, The Aristocracy of Talent: How Meritocracy Made the Modern World. The juxtaposition between the terms aristocracy and meritocracy is amusing.

Obviously, I’ve had less time for this weblog due to other things, like my Substack. Please check out Among Afghans: jewel of the dragon if you haven’t. I post correspondence from a reader here there at the end, so it will be familiar.

Also, my mid-month link round-up is up over at Substack. Please check that out!

I don’t know if I mentioned this elsewhere, but I’m a paying subscriber of FdB. Mostly because I want him to be paid to write stuff like this and this. Most Left-liberals outside of genetics aren’t aware of the decreasing cost of sequencing plot from the NIH, or the existence of companies like Genomic Prediction and Orchid. Freddie is woke to all that. He’s an irascible character; I had my run-ins with him when he decided to send me unsolicited emails telling me what he thinks about me (mixed reviews). But I’ve come to the conclusion only the irascible can really speak the truth at this point. So here we are.

Unless you’ve been asleep, you’ve seen Can Progressives Be Convinced That Genetics Matters?, which is a pretty hagiographic profile of Dr. Kathryn Paige Harden in The New Yorker. This is from the same writer who wrote a hit-piece against David Reich. Is it something in journalism that they can only write hit-pieces or hagiographies? Is this demand side?

Two observations:

– The warm-glow of The New Yorker seems to be allowing the left/mainstream press to approach Harden’s ideas fairly instead of dismissing or demonizing

– A lot of scientists really dislike the profile and there’s been a lot of blowback. This, in contrast to the “circle the wagons” reaction around David Reich more or less. I think this is due to the fact that scientists would prefer more neutrality and a mixed portrait. They thought the profile of Reich was one-sided, and they think the profile of Harden is also one-sided. To be frank, I support both Reich and Harden’s projects.

There are some digs at Reich in Harden’s book, The Genetic Lottery. I actually sent the chapter in question to some human population geneticists to make sure my reaction wasn’t too biased (yes, I’m biased, I admire Reich a lot as a scientist and a human), and they told me I wasn’t crazy. So I have some defense of Reich in my full review of the Harden book (this didn’t make the final cut at UnHerd).

As for Harden’s project, I’m on the more pessimistic side because on social media scientists are connecting it to racism. Whether she’s correct or not if that sticks the project is obviously over. It’s a word of power, and will sink the project before it launches.

The Other Afghan Women. This is basically a story that explains how the rural Afghans viewed the American occupation and intervention, and all the horror we generated. This was published in 2021, but really it could have been published as early as 2001. From what I’ve heard American forces caused a lot of “collateral damage.” In the early years, the press was sympathetic, so they never reported on that. And, the US military has clamped down on leaking too much about the atrocities. When I was in grad school I randomly had beers with some construction workers at UC Davis. One of the guys went into a mental fugue and told us that he shot a dozen Iraqi prisoners in the head after one of his buddies got blown up by an IED. He kind of apologized for freaking us out, and explained: “you all don’t know anything about what’s going on, they cover it up when they can.” Others have told me the same, though they haven’t copped to war crimes.

Week 6, Gene Expression Book Club – Not Born Yesterday

“Who To Trust?” That’s the title of chapter 6 of Not Born Yesterday, and this has a very Robert Triver’s vibe (e.g., his book The Folly of Fools: The Logic of Deceit and Self-Deception in Human Life). With the subtitle “The Science of Who We Trust and What We Believe,” I kind of wonder why this chapter exists, since much of the material is implicit across the earlier chapters.

Basically, we trust those who have an incentive to be truthful. We trust people with expertise. We trust people who are confident…but once someone is wrong, we trust those who were more provisional and less confident. Humans have a host of heuristics and cues to figure out who is less likely to lie.

Not surprisingly, the chapter throws cold water on the idea that scientists have a good analytic understanding of cues so that liars and cheats can be easily detected. None of the metrics and expressions seem to have passed peer review. Rather, the problem with lying is that it takes effort and deception is hard to maintain in terms of coherency and consistency. Liars trip up because it’s hard work, they don’t exhibit subtle physical clues (well, they might, but not well enough to turn it into a consistently applied system of detection).

A key concept in the book is vigilence. The gullible dodos are exceptions, not the rule. I do wonder about social differences due to cultural conditions, implied and hinted at in this chapter. People in WEIRD and high-trust societies are presumably less vigilant. A friend told me years ago Mormons made bad politicians in Congress because their peers always lied to their faces, and they simply never expected it. Mormon culture is high-trust, and lying in a brazen manner is not socially acceptable, so these individuals were not vigilant for it.

Week 5, Gene Expression Book Club – Not Born Yesterday

James Surowiecki’s Wisdom of the Crowds came out in 2005. The basic insight is groups of people are often much more accurate than individuals. Not Born Yesterday accepts this finding, but chapter 5, “Who Knows Best,” punches back against overreading the result in all domains.

Wisdom of the Crowds came out in a decade when all sorts of cool psychology and neuroscience books were being published. Counterintuitive stuff that was entertaining sold (e.g., Jonah Lehrer’s How We Decide). That was before the replication crisis, and it turned out that a lot of the counterintuitive results were one-off’s and not general results. The 2010’s became the decade of boring psychology due to a correction against this pattern.

In this chapter, Hugo Mercier starts coming through on his claim that we’re not that gullible. People go along with the crowd, but not unreasonably so. The famous experiments that show conformity are actually not as illuminating as they’ve been made out to be. People know very well which line is longer, they just admit that they conform in public. And even then, most people refuse to conform. Preschoolers are aware of expertise. They know that doctors know more about plants, while mechanics know more about how to fix a toy. They trust adult judgment in things adults presumably can understand, but not where their opinions shouldn’t be weighted (e.g., children see that the adult has no more information than they do).

Humans are OK at weighing expertise, and gauging a sense when majority opinion can likely be right (e.g., situations when errors are independent and random). When you tell people that the majority went along with a particularly charismatic person, they discount the majority consensus.

Moving up the “technology” category

Believe it or not, my Substack is now #8 for paid newsletters in the “Technology” category. Substack allows you to put in three categories. I selected Genetics, History, and Technology. Technology is the only tag that is being reported for the leader board, so there I am. I really wish there was a “Science” option, but there isn’t (I’ve complained to Substack about this).

I justify my inclusion there because I will be talking now and then about genomics and genetic engineering, and these are technologies. If I focused more on technology I could certainly charge more, since it would be industry relevant. But I really do enjoy writing about Zhou China and talking to scholars such as Armand Leroi, so I will continue to keep it a “dilettante’s corner.”

The leader right now is my friend Byrne Hobart’s The Diff. Some of the stuff he writes about is pretty incredible.

2020 Holiday reading and beyond

Over at Substack someone asked if L. L. Cavalli-Sforza’s works from the 1990’s are worth reading. I had to say, sadly, that probably not. It’s 2020, and they’re just too out of date.

If you haven’t, you should read David Reich’s Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past. It’s already a little out of date, partly due to work from his own lab, but it’s mostly on-point. If you haven’t read it, do so. I can’t see why anyone wouldn’t want to read this book, because you can “hum” through the statistical genetics parts if that’s not your cup of tea. If you aren’t into history, the statistical genetics is still interesting unless you are deeply involved in this field.

Adam Rutherford’s A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes is also pretty good and relatively up-to-date.

In 2017 I posted about books you should read. I began to think about stuff I’ve read since then that has stuck with me. First and foremost, Imperial China, 900–1800. This is an excellent big-think book that will stay with you, and covers the period that really helps you understand modern China today.

An older book that I always recommend people, When Asia Was the World: Traveling Merchants, Scholars, Warriors, and Monks Who Created the “Riches of the East”. I think this book is relevant since we increasingly live in a multipolar world that’s recentering on Asia.

Another book that is essential reading is The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire. It’s an excellent environmental history that illuminates a topic most of us are interested in. Additionally, there are facts that are important to know. The author claims that pandemics are really a feature of the broad empires that arose around 0 A.D., while the Neolithic was characterized by endemic local outbreaks.

Outside of my usual domains, John Keay’s Midnight’s Descendents is a quick and readable history of India after 1947. Key is a writer who produces pretty good histories for laypeople, so I recommend most of his books

The First Farmers of Europe is a good academic book for non-academics. I found it via Peter Turchin. No fancy man, lots of facts. Just go slow is what I suggest.

Rulers, Religion, and Riches: Why the West Got Rich and the Middle East Did Not is another book I’d recommend to people despite it being academic. This work changed my priors a bit on the importance of ideology (perhaps more important than I’d thought).

I haven’t read many “dinosaur books” since I was a kid. But The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World is one of those I have. I highly recommend it despite its academic perspective.

Walter Scheidel is one of those scholars where I would recommend being a completist. He has a lot to say, and it’s novel. I can’t recommend Escape from Rome: The Failure of Empire and the Road to Prosperity enough.

I don’t plan on reading much about the Reformation in the future, as I’ve read a lot in the past. But Rebel in the Ranks: Martin Luther, the Reformation, and the Conflicts That Continue to Shape Our World was worth reading.

If you haven’t read Joe Henrich’s The WEIRDest People in the World: How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous, do so. It’s not necessarily going to convince you. But, it’s a place where you need to be to start a discussion about all things “Great Divergence.” Even if you think it’s full of crap, it’s something you’re going to have to engage. On the whole, I think your mileage will vary based on the portions of the book you agree or disagree with.

Of the fathers of population genetics, J. B. S. Haldane had the most interesting biography. So if that interests you, I would check out A Dominant Character: The Radical Science and Restless Politics of J. B. S. Haldane.

Stuart Ritchie is always worth reading. So check out Science Fictions: How Fraud, Bias, Negligence, and Hype Undermine the Search for Truth if you get a chance.

Richard Eaton’s India in the Persianate Age: 1000–1765 is important to read even if you aren’t interested in India. It illustrates global and cosmopolitan culture in a non-Western context. As the European West becomes less of the universal culture of the modern age, it will be useful to know about the past when it wasn’t as well.

Then, there is One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger. Why am I recommending this? I think some of you should “hate-read” this. At some point, it is quite likely in the next decade that the “woke” wave will break, and we’ll be back to dealing with neoliberal shills like Matt Yglesias as the “Left” party. Instead of language games, there will be real policy direct from on high.

This is useful in the same way reading theology is useful. You may think it’s nonsense, but people take nonsense seriously. Honestly, I’m not sure if this is the best book to read if you already agree broadly with neoliberalism. But then again, I don’t read books for personal validation.

As a bonus, my favorite book from the 1980s. And from the 1990s. And 2000s. Not a surprise to long-time readers…perhaps.

And finally, I’m no longer the youngest obsessive reader in my line, so here are a few recommendations from the elementary-aged Khans for your own younger kids or grandkids.

My eldest raced through Sayantani DasGupta’s The Serpent’s Secret and Game of Stars when she found them (no ethnocentrism here… she picked them up based on the cover) and was proud to be the first on the waiting list at the library when the Chaos Curse released this spring.

She has also adored the Mysterious Benedict Society series.

Her highest recommendation though is for linguist and prolific author Donna Jo Napoli‘s mythology series. The National Geographic editions are oversized, beautifully produced and lushly illustrated by Christina Balit. Napoli comes at each project with a scholar’s delight in small details. There are frequent sidebars about the geographical settings depicted, historical and biological references and the linguistic considerations Napoli made in translating. So far, my restless child who won’t even so much as look at an ordinary book she’s already read has circled back and reread these editions cover-to-cover as many as five times each. Her favorites in order are Tales from the Arabian Nights, Treasury of Greek Mythology, Treasury of Egyptian Mythology, Treasury of Norse Mythology. The only one she has left is Treasury of Bible Stories.

One of her siblings meanwhile is dabbling in the deep-thinking currents of our time, with all the subtlety of early elementary school. His simplistic pronouncements, alas, are almost indistinguishable from what that great eminence of 2020 gifts us with here.

Learning from variation in Northern Italy in response to COVID-19

One of the major issues when discussing pretty much anything is the tendency to aggregate nations into a single unit and then compare to other nations that are not comparable. For example, the United States is a federal republic of 330 million people. New York state is not Washington state. And neither is Texas.

The same applies to Italy, which is a diverse nation of 60 million. The normal way to understanding Italian variation is from north to south. But, during the recent COVID-19 outbreak one aspect that is important to note is that Lombardy and Veneto in the Po river valley have taken very different tracks. Lombardy is about twice as populous as Veneto but has five times as many confirmed cases of Covid-19. And 15 times the death toll (8905 vs. 631 dead as of April 5th).

A Italian-speaking friend, who has been tracking the Italian press notes that the big difference seems to be that Veneto is attempting to implement the test-and-trace philosophy that South Korea rolled out. And, in Veneto, they aggressively test people who are not symptomatic to catch silent spreaders who don’t exhibit Covid-19 (in contrast to Lombardy where they tend to test once symptoms present and not even always then).

Below is a recent interview with professor Andrea Crisanti, quickly translated from Italian, where he outlines his philosophy and the path he sees forward for getting COVID-19 under control.

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