Thursday, October 21, 2021

William R. Harris died at 79; Hoped to limit the risks of nuclear war

This obituary is part of a series about people who died in the coronavirus pandemic. Read about others here.

William R. Harris devoted nearly four decades to protecting his fellow citizens.

As an international advocate and a sought-after consultant, he drafted treaties to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and to reduce the risk of civil war. He created a framework for the government to continue to function during a national catastrophe. He helped save sunlight to save fuel. And he focuses officials on protecting the electrical network from digital sabotage.

Mr. Harris also practiced what he preached, making sure he gets his first coronavirus vaccine in early February, as soon as he is eligible and the vaccine is available. He completed the regime by the end of the month.

At the end of March, however, his family said he had received a frightening diagnosis: Covid-19. Harris also had chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and family members said that a few weeks after learning that he had Covid, a article in a scientific journal which suggests that the vaccine may not be fully effective for people with this type of leukemia.

One week later, on April 21, he died at a hospital in Burlington, Massachusetts. He was 79. His wife, Elizabeth, said the cause was Covid-19.

Leukemia and other diseases, as well as some treatments, can endanger the immune system and prevent it from responding to vaccines, leaving people still vulnerable to infections.

“They will walk around outside thinking they are protected, but maybe not,” Dr. Lee Greenberger, chief scientific officer of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, told The New York Times last month.

No vaccine is 100 percent effective, and some so-called breakthrough infections can be expected, even in healthy people who have been fully vaccinated. But these cases are rare. From 26 April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 9 245 breakthrough cases reported, out of 95 million fully vaccinated Americans; 132 people died.

In a eulogy on Facebook, Harris ‘daughter, Darcy R. Harris, described him as:’ As an international advocate and policy winner, his work has stretched on arms control treaties and verification, energy policy, space legislation. He was a complete researcher, an early contractor, an innovator. On top of that, he always worked for free and helped others. ”

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Mr. Harris left a legacy of community service. As a parent, he was committed to integrating schools. He coached football. In Newburyport, Mass., Where he and his wife have lived since 2003, he has campaigned for the preservation of the city’s historic waterfront and made it accessible to the public.

He spent half of his career, from 1972 to 1991, as an analyst at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California. He has also worked as a consultant to agencies such as the National Security Council and the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and also to congressional committees.

During the Arab oil ban in the 1970s, he called for daytime, which was temporarily introduced in 1974, as well as a speed limit of 55 kilometers per hour to save petrol. To promote the use of solar energy, he supported the legislation, which was passed in some states, to protect a property’s access to sunlight.

Mr. Harris was concerned with improving the ‘hotline’ communication link between the White House and the Kremlin and setting legal boundaries for the use of outer space. He was also the vice chairman of the InfraGard National Disaster Resilience Council, a collaboration between the FBI and the private sector to protect key services.

William Robert Horwitz (he changed his surname as a teenager) was born on July 30, 1941 in Manhattan to Dr. William A. Horwitz and Dr. Henriette Klein, who were both professors of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University.

He attended Dalton School in Manhattan and, after graduating from Choate School, now Choate Rosemary Hall, in Wallingford, Conn., Earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard College in 1962 and a 1966 degree. law degree from Harvard Law School.

In 1968, he married Elizabeth Jones. Along with his wife and their daughter Darcy, he is survived by another daughter, Rebecca Harris Deane; a son, William Proctor Harris; four grandchildren; and his sister, Susan Harris Molnar.

Nation World News Desk
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