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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

The U.S. currently has more confirmed cases of the coronavirus than any country in the world. Coronavirus is real it is not a hoax. Coronavirus is not the flu no matter what they say, you can get a flu shot which reduces the chances of you getting the flu, you cannot get a coronavirus shot because there are currently no coronavirus vaccines shots. Coronavirus is deadlier than the flu and spreads faster than the flu. Currently there are no shots or cures for the coronavirus. Coronavirus kills people of all ages. Coronavirus can remain in the air and on surfaces for more than an hour. Someone who is not showing any signs of illness can infect you. Be safe; stay home if directed, keep your distance from others, stay home if sick to prevent possible spread of the disease, wash your hands with soap before you touch your face and wash your hands with soap frequently. Below you can find the latest coronavirus updates statistics, totals, new cases, deaths per day, mortality and recovery rates, current active cases, recoveries, trends, timelines and more. #TrumpFlu, #Coronavirus, #Covid, #Virus, #Covid-19, #Corona


Donald J. Trump failure to act quickly and reasonably to protect the American people from the Coronavirus has put America lives at risks.

Live statistics and coronavirus news tracking the number of confirmed cases, recovered patients, and death toll by country due to the COVID 19 coronavirus from Wuhan, China. Coronavirus counter with new cases, historical data, and info. Daily charts, graphs, news and updates

View United States Coronavirus update with statistics and graphs: total and new cases, deaths per day, mortality and recovery rates, current active cases, recoveries, trends and timeline.

Johns Hopkins experts in global public health, infectious disease, and emergency preparedness have been at the forefront of the international response to COVID-19.

A map of cases around the world

By Elena Renken, Daniel Wood

Since the first U.S. case of the coronavirus was identified in Washington state on Jan. 21, health officials have identified more than 160,000 cases across the United States and more than 3,000 deaths. By March 17, the virus had expanded its presence from several isolated clusters in Washington, New York and California to all 50 states and the District of Columbia. To avoid spreading the disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends basic precautions such as hand-washing and cleaning frequently touched surfaces every day.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China.

COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates
From the evidence so far, the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather. Regardless of climate, adopt protective measures if you live in, or travel to an area reporting COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.

Cold weather and snow CANNOT kill the new coronavirus.
There is no reason to believe that cold weather can kill the new coronavirus or other diseases. The normal human body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the external temperature or weather. The most effective way to protect yourself against the new coronavirus is by frequently cleaning your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or washing them with soap and water.

On February 24, President Trump tweeted, ‘The coronavirus is very much under control in the USA.’ It wasn’t.
By Michael A. Cohen Globe Columnist

“I want every American to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead. We’re going to go through a very tough two weeks.” With these words, on Tuesday afternoon, President Trump sounded a new and welcomed tone on the coronavirus. But make no mistake, hard days lie ahead because of the president’s botched, selfish, and incompetent response to the coronavirus crisis. A change in tone can’t change that catastrophic reality. Trump’s calls for vigilance are a bit like declaring it’s time to close the barn doors after the horses have escaped — and the barn is on fire and it’s threatening to burn the entire farm down. Tens of thousands of Americans (and possibly more) are likely to die because of the president. Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, Trump’s public statements and actions have followed a similar trajectory: They have been dishonest, misleading, fantastical, and dangerous. It would blow over soon, he said early on. It would go away when the weather got warmer. “The coronavirus is very much under control in the USA,” he tweeted. It wasn’t.

   The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!
   — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2020

While thankfully there’s no more talk of re-opening the economy on Easter, the damage has been done. America has become the epicenter of a global pandemic. Consider that the United States and South Korea reported their first coronavirus cases on the same day — Jan. 20. More than two months later, South Korea has just under 10,000 confirmed cases and 169 deaths. By comparison, the United States has more than 216,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 5,000 people have died. Taking into account population differences (the US has 327 million people and South Korea has around 51 million people), the number of cases is more than three times greater than South Korea — and the death toll is nearly four times as great. These horrific numbers could have been avoided with genuine presidential leadership. After the initial case was diagnosed in January, South Korea immediately began aggressive testing and quarantines. Private companies were encouraged to develop diagnostic tests. Within a month drive-through screening centers had been set up and thousands were being tested daily. In the United States, Trump refused to focus on the issue. Two days after that initial positive case he declared "We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming from China. It’s going to be just fine.” When Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar was first able to talk to Trump about the coronavirus on Jan. 18, Trump wanted to talk about a recently announced vaping ban. Into February, Trump was still stubbornly resisting bureaucratic efforts to deal with the emerging crisis. The weeks lost in ramping up testing were a lost — and unforgivable —opportunity to save lives. Trump’s obstinance is bad enough — but the delay was also undoubtedly influenced by Trump’s diktat that testing should not be a priority. The more testing that was done, the more positive results there would be and that was an outcome the president did not want. Keeping the numbers low in order to avoid spooking Wall Street and negatively affecting Trump’s reelection became the administration’s focus. Those presidential-created obstacles did more than prevent essential equipment from getting to communities in need — it seeded a deadly message of doubt, particularly to Trump supporters. While more than 30 states have issued stay-at-home orders, a host of states have either not made such state-wide declarations or done partial orders. Nearly all are helmed by Republican governors. In Arizona, GOP Governor, Doug Ducey prevented cities and counties from putting in effect stay-at-home orders. He didn’t issue his own statewide decree until this week. Last week, the Republican governor of Mississippi Tate Reeves overruled city and county social distancing measures. Under pressure, he announced a stay-at-home order on Wednesday that will go into effect Friday. Trump has also publicly suggested that Democratic governors who don’t show him proper veneration will have to get in the back of the line for medical supplies. And there is emerging evidence that Republican states are having their requests for ventilators and protective equipment met while blue states are getting the short end of the stick. How many people, simply because they live in a blue state, are going to die because of this president’s petty cruelty?

healthfeedback.org

The group World Doctors Alliance spreads misinformation about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus, and the reliability of diagnostic tests

CLAIM: COVID-19 is a type of flu and is not a pandemic; PCR tests are up to 94% false positive; only 98 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported in Ireland.

VERDICT: Inaccurate

SOURCE: Doctors For Truth, World Doctors Alliance, Facebook, YouTube, 15 Oct. 2020  

DETAILS
Factually Inaccurate: The video presents several inaccurate statements. The word “pandemic” indicates the geographical distribution of a disease. COVID-19 has spread to every continent, which qualifies it as a pandemic. COVID-19 is not a type of flu as they are caused by different viruses belonging to different families. The COVID-19 death toll for Ireland reported in the video is also inaccurate, as demonstrated by official statistics.
Unsupported: The claim that PCR diagnostic tests generate a lot of false positives is vague. Assuming that the claim refers to the proportion of false positives among positive results, key parameters such as the type of test and the virus prevalence would be necessary to support the claim, yet they are not presented. more...

sfgate.com

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A man who mocked COVID-19 vaccinations died this week at a Los Angeles-area hospital after contracting the virus. Stephen Harmon was 34. Harmon died on Wednesday at Corona Regional Medical Center, about an hour's drive east of Los Angeles. Stephen Harmon posted photos of himself in his hospital bed, wrote that he had pneumonia and critically low oxygen levels and was going to be intubated. In a tweet Wednesday, Harmon wrote: “Don’t know when I’ll wake up, please pray,” KCBS-TV reported. more...

By Paul P. Murphy, CNN

(CNN) For months, conservative Nashville, Tennessee-based radio host Phil Valentine has repeatedly made posts on multiple social media platforms telling his fans that if they weren't at risk for Covid-19, they shouldn't get the vaccine. That message changed on July 23, when the Valentine family made a public statement on the Facebook page of his talk radio station's Facebook page. "Phil contracted the Covid virus a little over a week ago and has since been hospitalized and is in very serious condition, suffering from Covid Pneumonia and the attendant side effects," the family statement reads, which emphasizes that Valentine has never been an anti-vaxxer. "(Phil) regrets not being more vehemently 'Pro-Vaccine' and looks forward to being able to more vigorously advocate that position as soon as he is back on the air, which we all hope will be soon." It ends by urging listeners to continue praying for Valentine and to "PLEASE GO GET VACCINATED!" more...

By Ben Westcott, Isaac Yee and Yong Xiong, CNN

(CNN) The Chinese government will not participate in a second phase of the World Health Organization's investigation into the origins of Covid-19, a top health official announced Thursday, after the possibility of the virus leaking from a Wuhan lab was included on the proposal. Zeng Yixin, deputy head of the National Health Commission, told a press conference in Beijing he had been "surprised" to see the lab leak listed as a research objective under the second phase of the investigation. more...

By Brian Stelter, CNN Business

"Get vaccinated," Senator Mitch McConnell said Tuesday. And, he added, just as importantly, "ignore all of these other voices that are giving demonstrably bad advice." McConnell's words were newsworthy because of the "other voices" he mentioned -- the anti-vaccination talking heads that have overwhelmed common sense in GOP circles this year. For every knowledgeable right-wing leader who has pointed to the vaccines as the only way out of the pandemic, louder know-nothings have instilled doubt and denial via radio, TV and the web. The result has been measurable through maps of deaths and disease. more...

Tom Porter

The Biden administration has confronted Fox News over the bid by some of its top-rated hosts to erode trust in the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines. White House Press secretary Jen Psaki at a press briefing on Tuesday confirmed that officials had held talks with the right-wing Fox News network and other media outlets about their coverage of the vaccine rollout strategy. "We've been in touch with every network and many, many media outlets about coverage of COVID-19 to make sure people have accurate information, to voice concerns when we have them," Psaki said. more...

By Dennis Pillion | dpillion@al.com

Dr. Brytney Cobia said Monday that all but one of her COVID patients in Alabama did not receive the vaccine. The vaccinated patient, she said, just needed a little oxygen and is expected to fully recover. Some of the others are dying. “I’m admitting young healthy people to the hospital with very serious COVID infections,” wrote Cobia, a hospitalist at Grandview Medical Center in Birmingham, in an emotional Facebook post Sunday. “One of the last things they do before they’re intubated is beg me for the vaccine. I hold their hand and tell them that I’m sorry, but it’s too late.” more...

By Sheera Frenkel | The New York Times

SAN FRANCISCO — At the start of the pandemic, a group of data scientists at Facebook held a meeting with executives to ask for resources to help measure the prevalence of misinformation about COVID-19 on the social network. The data scientists said figuring out how many Facebook users saw false or misleading information would be complex, perhaps taking a year or more, according to two people who participated in the meeting. But they added that by putting some new hires on the project and reassigning some existing employees to it, the company could better understand how incorrect facts about the virus spread on the platform. more...

Misinformation ‘superspreader’ accounts found still active even as vaccination rates flag and cases rise in US
a vaccine is prepared in boston
Kari Paul

Facebook is under fire once again over the proliferation of vaccine misinformation on its platform, after Joe Biden said tech giants such as Facebook are “killing people” for failing to tackle the problem. The White House has also zeroed in on the “disinformation dozen”: accounts that have been shown to be responsible for the bulk of anti-vaccine misinformation on social media platforms. And while Facebook has defended itself, saying it has removed more than 18m pieces of Covid misinformation, experts who study online misinformation say it has still largely failed to address the issue and that falsehoods about the vaccine are still reaching millions of people. more...

By Madeline Holcombe and Theresa Waldrop, CNN

(CNN) The more contagious Delta variant of Covid-19 now makes up 83% of sequenced samples in the United States, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Tuesday. "This is a dramatic increase, up from 50% for the week of July 3," Walensky said in a Senate committee hearing. Health experts have said the Delta variant is more transmissible than any other identified variant so far. "We should think about the Delta variant as the 2020 version of Covid-19 on steroids," Andy Slavitt, a former senior adviser to Joe Biden's Covid Response Team, told CNN last week. "It's twice as infectious," Slavitt said. "Fortunately, unlike 2020, we actually have a tool that stops the Delta variant in its tracks: It's called vaccine." more...

Asha C. Gilbert | USA TODAY

More than 80 teens and adult staff have tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a summer camp in central Illinois that did not require masks indoors or vaccination status. Of the 85 people infected, about 70% of the cases were in those not vaccinated, according to a press release from the Illinois Department of Health on Monday. "The perceived risk to children may seem small, but even a mild case of COVID-19 can cause long-term health issues," IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in the release. more...

Holly Ellyatt

The “delta variant” has come to dominate headlines, having been discovered in India where it provoked an extreme surge in Covid-19 cases before spreading around the world. But now a mutation of that variant has emerged, called “delta plus,” which is starting to worry global experts. India has dubbed delta plus a “variant of concern,” and there are fears that it could potentially be more transmissible. In the U.K., Public Health England noted in its last summary that routine scanning of Covid cases in the country (where the delta variant is now responsible for the bulk of new infections) has found almost 40 cases of the delta variant, which has acquired the spike protein mutation K417N, i.e. delta plus. more...

By Kateryna Khinkulova

Russia is facing a sharp increase in the number of new Covid-19 infections, while at the same time hosting European Championship football matches. The mayor of Moscow has spoken of an "explosion" of cases and authorities say the numbers are close to last year's peaks. Twenty million people live in the Moscow region and compulsory vaccinations have now been ordered for service sector staff such as catering and public transport. No Euro 2020 matches are taking place in Moscow itself, but a special fan zone with a big screen has now been closed. St Petersburg, which is hosting six matches, is facing a steep rise too. Doctors across Russia have seen a 30% increase in cases in the past week, say officials, amid a significant spread in the Delta variant that originated in India. more...

GINA SUNSERI and MEREDITH DELISO

Joshua Garza had a chance to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in January but he passed it up, thinking he didn't really need it. Now, the 43-year-old Texan is hoping to inspire others to get the shot after he became so ill following his COVID-19 diagnosis that he needed a rare double lung transplant to survive. "COVID ended up attacking my lungs," Garza, of Sugarland, told ABC News. After testing positive for COVID-19 in late January, Garza's health deteriorated rapidly. On Feb. 2, when he ended up falling while trying to walk, his wife called for an ambulance to take him to the hospital. He was ultimately transferred to Houston Methodist, where he was put on an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine to pump and oxygenate his blood for him. more...

By Eric Levenson and Cheri Mossburg, CNN

(CNN) California lifted most of its Covid-19 restrictions Tuesday as part of a grand reopening in which the state will end capacity limits, physical distancing and -- at least for those vaccinated -- mask requirements. The new health order went into effect Tuesday and allows vaccinated people to go without a face covering in most situations, putting the state in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Masks are still required on public transportation, in hospitals and jails, as well as at schools, child care centers and K-12, pending updated guidance from the CDC. more...

They push for a “timely, transparent, expert-led, and science-based WHO convened” investigation.
By MYAH WARD

The G-7 nations on Sunday called for a “timely, transparent, expert-led, and science-based WHO-convened” investigation into the origins of Covid-19, including in China. “Strengthening transparency and accountability, including reiterating our commitment to the full implementation of, and improved compliance with, the International Health Regulations 2005,” the countries said in a joint statement. “This includes investigating, reporting and responding to outbreaks of unknown origin. We also call for a timely, transparent, expert-led, and science-based WHO-convened Phase 2 Covid-19 Origins study including, as recommended by the experts’ report, in China.” more...

Andrew Romano·West Coast Correspondent

Many conservative-leaning U.S. states and communities are nowhere near reaching the level of COVID-19 vaccination that could keep them safe from future outbreaks of the highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And numbers from the National Institutes of Health suggest they probably shouldn’t be relying on natural immunity to protect them, either. Across America, the people most at risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19 — senior citizens — have been vaccinated at the highest rates so deaths and hospitalizations will never again reach their horrific winter highs. Overall, experts agree, the worst of the pandemic is behind us. more...

Alexander Nazaryan

WASHINGTON — Just three weeks ago, Great Britain celebrated the success of its vaccination campaign by lifting many coronavirus-related restrictions. “Goodbye, lockdown,” one headline said. But since then, a more transmissible new strain of the coronavirus has taken hold, imperiling plans to fully reopen the country on June 21. Public health officials in the United States are now grappling with the possibility that a similar regression could take place here and, just as in the U.K., place in jeopardy the end of the pandemic that many had foreseen for this summer. more...

Saheli Roy Choudhury

India’s daily reported death toll from the coronavirus crisis reached a record high on Thursday, with more than 6,000 people succumbing to the disease. That surpassed a record number of daily fatalities reported by the United States this year. India’s health ministry data showed 6,148 Covid-related deaths were recorded over a 24-hour period, as daily reported cases remained below 100,000 for the third consecutive day. more...

Domenico Montanaro

Less than a month remains until the Fourth of July, which was President Biden's goal for 70% of American adults to have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. It looks like it's going to be a stretch to get there. As of Tuesday, nearly 64% of U.S. adults have had at least one shot, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The key issue is that demand has dropped off. After an initial crush, the number of doses being administered daily is on a steep decline from the early April peak. So what's going on? A few things to note: more...

CBS News

A former pharmacist in Wisconsin who intentionally tampered with more than 500 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine was sentenced to three years in prison on Tuesday. Steven Brandenburg, 46, pleaded guilty in February to two felony counts of attempting to tamper with a consumer product. He had admitted to intentionally removing the doses manufactured by Moderna from a refrigerator for hours at Aurora Medical Center in Grafton, located just north of Milwaukee. In a statement before receiving his sentence, Brandenburg said he felt "great shame" and accepted responsibility for his actions. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported he apologized to his co-workers, family and the community. more...

Of the mutations found in the patient, both the UK and South African variants were noted to be present at one point or another throughout the length of the woman's infection.
By ZACHARY KEYSER

An HIV-positive woman with a persistent coronavirus infection that lasted 216 days straight had the virus mutate within her over 30 times, according to new research. The study, which has yet to be peer-reviewed, detailed the HIV-positive patient's more than seven month infection as part of a cohort study of 300 other people with HIV - exploring the effect of a SARS-CoV-2 infection when introduced to an immune system with a present HIV infection. more...

Vaccine-related freebies get more and more creative.
Nur Ibrahim

Numerous states have been offering a range of free items or prizes in the hopes of getting more Americans to sign up for the COVID-19 shot. Now West Virginia has joined the trend. The state government announced a lottery for Father’s Day, which falls on June 20, 2021, with numerous prizes offered including shotguns and rifles, and only people who are vaccinated at least once will qualify. Gov. Jim Justice announced the initiative on June 1. The government will be giving away two brand-new trucks, two scholarships for students from the ages of 12 to 25, a number of weekend getaways to state parks, five lifetime hunting and fishing licenses, and even $1 million to a lucky winner. But that’s not all. “We are gonna give 5 custom hunting rifles, and 5 custom hunting shotguns away, on Father’s Day,” Justice said. more...

By Madeline Holcombe, CNN

(CNN) The US is pushing to have 70% of adults get at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine by July 4, but an expert said that number is important to reach at the state level too -- and those states who are falling well below may be vulnerable to another outbreak. "There are 12 states that are already at 70%. I worry about the ones that are way below that, and they are sitting ducks for the next outbreak of Covid-19 -- which shouldn't have to happen now," National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins told CNN's Chris Cuomo. Sixty-three percent of adults have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose, according to data published Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But President Joe Biden's goal of 70% of adults having at least one vaccine dose has met a significant obstacle -- a dwindling number of people who want to get vaccinated. more...

By Megan Cerullo

Employers are allowed to require the COVID-19 vaccine, and can also legally provide incentives, including cash, to workers who get jabbed, according to updated guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Companies must still provide reasonable accommodation for employees who are exempt from mandatory immunization under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The commission also stated that employer incentives must not be "coercive," but stopped short of providing examples of illegal offers. more...

Over the space of a few brutal hours, the British prime minister’s former right hand-man painted a picture of utter incompetence as the pandemic took hold.
Jamie Ross

It normally takes decades for the full behind-the-scenes story of how a government messed up its response to a once-in-a-generation crisis to be shared with the public. This time, thanks to Boris Johnson’s former top adviser, all it took was a few short but devastating hours. Dominic Cummings was forced out of his job as the U.K. prime minister’s chief adviser late last year after a bitter factional dispute. On Wednesday morning, when he was invited to give evidence in parliament about the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, he took full advantage of the opportunity to torch his incredibly long list of enemies. more...

Analysis by Zachary B. Wolf, CNN

(CNN) The United States is closer than ever to beating Covid-19, with half the country vaccinated and more restrictions lifting. But we're as far as ever from knowing how this virus, which shut down the world, came to be -- which is as frightening as anything, since there's growing suggestions that it didn't just occur naturally, as many experts have long argued. The US, with increasing urgency, is calling for more study, warning about the stakes for future pandemics, and more openly considering the idea that mistakes or an accident in a Chinese lab caused the Covid-19 pandemic. more...


US intelligence report found that several researchers at China's Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill in November 2019 and had to be hospitalized, a new detail about the severity of their symptoms that could fuel further debate about the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, according to two people briefed on the intelligence. video...

Kelly Tyko USA TODAY

A day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new masking guidelines, retailers started announcing changes to mask policies for fully vaccinated customers. Trader Joe's, Walmart, Sam's Club, Costco and Publix were the first to confirm updates to mask requirements, leading the way for mask-free shopping except where required by state or local mandate. In some cases, vaccinated store employees can also go to work without a mask. Many retailers, including Apple, Target, CVS and Walgreens, say they are still evaluating the CDC guidance but say they could update policies. more...

BBC

The panel, set up by the World Health Organization, said the combined response of the WHO and global governments was a "toxic cocktail". The WHO should have declared a global emergency earlier than it did, its report said, adding that without urgent change the world was vulnerable to another major disease outbreak. More than 3.3 million people around the world have now died of Covid. While the US and Europe are beginning to ease restrictions and resume some aspects of pre-pandemic life, the virus is still devastating parts of Asia. India in particular is seeing record-breaking numbers of new cases and deaths, with severe oxygen shortages in hospitals across the country. more...

By Elliot Hannon

It’s always been near certain that the U.S., along with every other nation, has severely undercounted the number of coronavirus cases and deaths attributed to the virus. The speed and scale of the pandemic made getting an accurate reading of its impact a challenge, but, as of Friday, the numbers in the U.S. currently stand at more than 32 million reported cases resulting in 580,000 deaths. Those numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins are grim, but a new analysis by researchers at the University of Washington puts the death toll in the U.S. far higher, at 905,000 deaths. more...

Widely circulating coronavirus variants and persistent hesitancy about vaccines will keep the goal out of reach. The virus is here to stay, but vaccinating the most vulnerable may be enough to restore normalcy.
By Apoorva Mandavilli

Early in the pandemic, when vaccines for the coronavirus were still just a glimmer on the horizon, the term “herd immunity” came to signify the endgame: the point when enough Americans would be protected from the virus so we could be rid of the pathogen and reclaim our lives. Now, more than half of adults in the United States have been inoculated with at least one dose of a vaccine. But daily vaccination rates are slipping, and there is widespread consensus among scientists and public health experts that the herd immunity threshold is not attainable — at least not in the foreseeable future, and perhaps not ever. more...

Tucker Carlson is the dumbest person on earth or he wants you and children your to die from the corona virus.

"As for forcing children to wear masks outside, that should be illegal," Carlson declared
By Zachary Petrizzo

Fox News host Tucker Carlson dramatically escalated his incendiary anti-mask message with a Monday night diatribe directing his audience to call the police on people using the proper personal protective equipment while the nation still grapples with a pandemic. "Call the police immediately," Carlson instructed his Fox News audience if they see a child wearing a mask outside. "As for forcing children to wear masks outside, that should be illegal. Your response when you see children wearing masks as they play should be no different from your response to seeing someone beat a kid in Walmart. Call the police immediately, contact child protective services. Keep calling until someone arrives," Carlson declared. "What you're looking at is abuse, it's child abuse, and you are morally obligated to attempt to prevent it." "If it's your own children being abused, then act accordingly," Carlson continued on his anti-mask tirade. more...

Grace Hauck | USA TODAY

President Joe Biden's administration plans to restrict travel between the U.S. and India beginning Tuesday due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the country of 1.4 billion people. India set another daily global record of new cases Saturday, with more than 400,000 new cases and 3,500 deaths, according to official totals experts suspect are undercounts. Less than 2% of the country is fully vaccinated, with just under 150 million doses administered. more...

CNBC

The United States is sending supplies worth more than $100 million to India to help it fight a surge of Covid-19 cases, the White House said in a statement on Wednesday. The supplies, which will begin arriving on Thursday and continue into next week, include 1,000 oxygen cylinders, 15 million N95 masks and 1 million rapid diagnostic tests, the statement said. The United States also has redirected its own order of AstraZeneca manufacturing supplies to India, which will allow it to make over 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, according to the White House. more...

By CNN Newsource

Miami — A private school in Miami is warning its staff against getting COVID-19 vaccines and says it's their policy not to employ anyone who has been vaccinated. A letter stating the new guidance was sent to parents of students at the Centner Academy. In the letter, the school discourages teachers and staff from getting COVID-19 vaccines or asks them to wait until the end of the school year. The letter even states that legal action will be taken if staff lie. "Here we have one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal to protect ourselves and prevent this problem, and they are discouraging the use of it," said Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease expert at Florida International University. "It's tragic." more...

"I'm going to infect you all with the coronavirus."
Adolfo Flores BuzzFeed News Reporter

Police in Spain arrested a 40-year-old man after he allegedly infected 22 people with the coronavirus, including three 1-year-olds, when he went to work and the gym despite having symptoms of COVID-19. Spain's national police said the agency started to investigate the infections in January when authorities became aware of a COVID-19 outbreak at a “well known” workplace in the town of Manacor on the island of Mallorca. The man believed to be at the center of the outbreak showed up to work, and even after his colleagues expressed concern about his symptoms, he refused to go home, police said. more...


Ted Nugent, who has railed against precautions against the coronavirus from the beginning, has shown everyone that he doesn’t know what the F**K he’s talking about. In a stunning unwitting rant about COVID-19 on Facebook, he said the following (courtesy Metal Sucks, who diligently sat through the Facebook video below in order to transcribe this bullshit.) more...

Asha C. Gilbert, USA TODAY

As the coronavirus continues to disproportionately affect communities of color, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared racism a "serious public health threat." In a statement Thursday, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said communities of color were severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and were facing higher case counts and deaths compared to other races. "Racism is not just the discrimination against one group based on the color of their skin or their race or ethnicity, but the structural barriers that impact racial and ethnic groups differently to influence where a person lives, where they work, where their children play, and where they worship and gather in community," Walensky said. more...

Chinese vaccines “don’t have very high protection rates,” said the director of the China Centers for Disease Control.
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

BEIJING — In a rare admission of the weakness of Chinese coronavirus vaccines, the country’s top disease control official says their effectiveness is low and the government is considering mixing them to get a boost. Chinese vaccines “don’t have very high protection rates,” said the director of the China Centers for Disease Control, Gao Fu, at a conference Saturday in the southwestern city of Chengdu. more...

By Nikki Battiste CBS News

Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine is facing a double dose of problems. Georgia is the third state to temporarily shut down a vaccine site after eight people suffered adverse reactions to the shot. Earlier this week, 18 people in North Carolina reported side effects, while 11 people in Colorado reacted to the shot with symptoms ranging from dizziness, nausea and fainting. "This is a really potent vaccine, and what we're seeing is some of that potency relating at a very rare side effect that we just have to be aware of," said Dr. David Agus, a CBS News medical contributor. All three major U.S. vaccines produced adverse reactions in more than 60,000 people nationwide. For each manufacturer — Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson — just one-tenth of 1% of all people have reported side effects. Another problem facing Johnson & Johnson is distribution. The company is dramatically scaling back shipments to states by 86% next week. more...

Sharyn Alfonsi reports on corruption allegations clouding Florida's efforts to vaccinate its residents.
Sharyn Alfonsi

This past week, President Biden said 90% of U.S. adults will be eligible for the COVID vaccine by April 19 and will be able to get their shots within five miles of their home. That will be welcome news to many in Florida. For three months, we've been reporting around Palm Beach County, the third-largest in the state. It's home to old-monied millionaires but also some of the poorest day laborers and farm workers in America. During those months, we watched Florida's vaccine rollout deteriorate into a virtual free for all and watched as some wealthy and well-connected residents cut the line, leaving other Floridians without a fair shot. This is the town of Palm Beach. Privacy hedges hide beachfront mansions and a healthy share of billionaires. More than 80% of the town's seniors have been vaccinated. Bram Majtlis was one of the first. more...

Adrianna Rodriguez | USA TODAY

A massive study conducted during the pandemic estimates 1 in 3 COVID-19 survivors were diagnosed with a neurological or psychiatric condition within six months of infection. The study, published Tuesday in the peer-reviewed journal The Lancet Psychiatry, used more than 230,000 electronic health records of COVID-19 patients mostly in the U.S. looking at 14 different brain and mental health disorders. Thirty-four percent of survivors were diagnosed with at least one of these conditions, with 13% of these people being their first recorded neurological or psychiatric diagnosis. Mental health diagnoses were most common among patients, with 17% diagnosed with anxiety and 14% diagnosed with a mood disorder. Although neurological diagnoses were more uncommon, they were more prevalent in patients who had been seriously ill during a COVID-19 infection. For example, 7% of patients who were admitted to intensive care had a stroke and 2% were diagnosed with dementia. more...

Holly Ellyatt

One in 3 Covid survivors has suffered a neurological or psychiatric disorder within six months of infection with the virus, an observational study of more than 230,000 patient health records has estimated. The study, published Tuesday in The Lancet Psychiatry journal, analyzed data from the electronic health records of 236,379 Covid patients from the U.S.-based TriNetX network, which includes more than 81 million people. This group was compared with 105,579 patients diagnosed with influenza and 236,038 patients diagnosed with any respiratory tract infection, including influenza. Overall, the estimated incidence of being diagnosed with a neurological or mental health disorder following a Covid infection was 34%, the study led by researchers at the University of Oxford found when looking at 14 neurological and mental health disorders. more...

Sam Meredith

LONDON — Europe’s medicines regulator on Wednesday announced a possible link between the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford and rare blood clotting issues in adults who received the shot. It comes after a review of all currently available evidence into extremely rare cases of unusual blood clots in some vaccinated people. Emer Cooke, executive director of the European Medicines Agency, said in a televised press conference that the regulator’s safety committee “has confirmed that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine in preventing Covid-19 overall outweigh the risks of side effects.” “A plausible explanation for these rare side events is an immune response to the vaccine similar to one seen in patients treated with heparin,” Cooke said, noting that it’s called heparin-induced thrombocytopenia. more...

By Ciara Linnane

The University of Oxford has paused administering doses of the COVID-19 vaccine it developed with AstraZeneca PLC AZN, -0.63% AZN, +0.15% in a small U.K. study aimed at evaluating its safety and effectiveness in children and teenagers, to wait for further information on rare blood-clotting issues that have been found in a small group of adults that received it, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. The trial was started in mid-February and involves more than 200 young people aged 6 to 17 years old, the paper said. It cited an Oxford spokesman as saying that the trial had not found any safety issues, but that broader concerns and a review of the vaccine by regulators in the U.K. and European Unions were behind the move. The European Medicines Agency said earlier it expects to update the public on its investigation of the blood-clotting issue later this week. more...

6abc.com

New developments in the COVID-19 pandemic has one leading epidemiologist re-evaluating his own advice. Dr. Michael Osterholm is the Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. He was also a member of Joe Biden's COVID-19 Advisory Board during the time between Biden being elected president and inaugurated. Osterholm previously supported sending children back to school. He said the virus was not a major threat to children. Now, the situation has changed. more...

By Benoit Van Overstraeten and Richard Lough

PARIS (Reuters) - France imposed a month-long lockdown on Paris and parts of the north after a faltering vaccine rollout and spread of highly contagious coronavirus variants forced President Emmanuel Macron to shift course. Since late January, when he defied the calls of scientists and some in his government to lock the country down, Macron has said he would do whatever it took to keep the euro zone's second largest economy as open as possible. However, this week he ran out of options just as France and other European countries briefly suspended use of the AstraZenca vaccine. His prime minister, Jean Castex, said France was in the grip of a third wave, with the virulent variant first detected in Britain now accounting for some 75% of cases. Intensive care wards are under severe strain, notably in Paris where the incidence rate surpasses 400 infections in every 100,000 inhabitants. more...

Dr. Catherine Schuster-Bruce

The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said she was "pleading for the sake of the nation's health" after more than 1.3 million Americans traveled by air on Friday, the most during the coronavirus pandemic. "This is all in the context of still 50,000 cases per day," Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC director, said at a press briefing Monday. Some Americans enjoyed their spring break "maskless," she said. Her comments came after the Transportation Security Administration recorded more than 1.3 million Americans going through airport security screening on Friday. more...

By Ivana Kottasová, CNN

(CNN)The United States must avoid making the same mistakes as Europe if it wants to have a chance of the kind of Independence Day party President Joe Biden promised last week, Dr. Anthony Fauci has warned. The coronavirus is still spreading across the US, infection levels remain high and new variants are putting the progress made so far at risk. "When you see a plateau at a level as high as 60,000 cases a day, that is a very vulnerable time to have a surge, to go back up. That's what exactly happened in Europe," Fauci told CNN yesterday. Europe is struggling to contain the third wave of the epidemic, which appears to have been caused by the new, more infectious and deadlier variant of the virus first identified in the UK. At the same time, the continent has been lagging behind the UK and the US in vaccination rates. The worsening situation has left some European governments no other option than to tighten the restrictions once again. Half of Italy's 20 regions, including the cities of Rome, Milan and Venice, have gone into a new lockdown today, with people now banned from leaving their houses except for work or health reasons. more...

Germany has temporarily suspended the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as a precaution, with Italy, France and Spain issuing the same decision soon after.
DW.com

Germany on Monday halted use of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, the Health Ministry announced in a statement, with Italy, France and Spain following suit later in the day. Several other EU countries have stopped use of the vaccine because of the possibility of blood clots. The Health Ministry announced that use of the vaccine was "suspended as a precaution" on the basis of advice from the national health regulator, the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI). According to the Health Ministry, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will decide "whether and how the new information will affect the authorization of the vaccine" pending an investigation. "After new reports of thrombroses of the cerebral veins in connection with the vaccination in Germany and Europe, the PEI considers further investigations to be necessary," the Health Ministry announced. more...

Grace Dean

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said on Wednesday that he would sue the city of Austin after it said it would still enforce mask-wearing. Gov. Greg Abbott lifted the statewide mask mandate via executive order on Wednesday, making Texas the largest state to do so. He also lifted other COVID-19 safety protocols, such as capacity restrictions for bars and restaurants. On Tuesday, Austin-Travis County authorities announced that a local mask mandate would remain until April 15 to "avoid another surge of cases." The county has mandated face masks on business premises since July, and people can be fined if they don't comply. In Austin, people who are "outside of their residence" and people over the age of 6 who are on or in city property must wear masks. more...

By Joseph Choi

Switzerland has narrowly voted to ban full-face coverings, including niqabs and burqas, from most public spaces. CNN reports the controversial referendum passed with 52.21 percent of the vote. It bans full-face coverings from publicly accessible places including streets, public offices, public transport, restaurants and shops. Exceptions will be made for places of worship, sacred sites and for health and safety reasons. However, exceptions will not be made for tourists. The referendum has been criticized by religious groups, human rights groups and the federal government, CNN reports. The Swiss Federal Council, Switzerland’s federal government, and the Swiss Parliament both advised voters against supporting the referendum. Critics also contend that because almost no one in Switzerland wears a burqa and the number of people who wear niqab are in the low dozens at most, the proposal is essentially pointless. more...

By Jennifer Hansler, Pamela Brown and Devan Cole, CNN

Washington (CNN) Online platforms directed by Russian intelligence are spreading disinformation about two of the coronavirus vaccines being used in the US, a State Department spokesperson confirmed to CNN on Sunday. The agency's Global Engagement Center identified three Russian outlets -- News Front, New Eastern Outlook and Oriental Review -- that are spreading not only misinformation about the virus, but also regarding "international organizations, military conflicts, protests; and any divisive issue that they can exploit," according to the spokesperson. "These sites all vary in their reach, tone, and audience -- but they all are spreading Russian propaganda and disinformation. The State Department's finding of a link between these sites and Russian Intelligence is a result of a joint interagency conclusion," the spokesperson said. The GEC leads efforts "to recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining or influencing the policies, security, or stability of the United States, its allies, and partner nations," according to its website. The Wall Street Journal first reported on the disinformation. more...

Websites linked to Russian intelligence services publish false information questioning vaccines’ safety, efficacy
By Michael R. Gordon and Dustin Volz

WASHINGTON—Russian intelligence agencies have mounted a campaign to undermine confidence in Pfizer Inc.’s and other Western vaccines, using online publications that in recent months have questioned the vaccines’ development and safety, U.S. officials said. An official with the State Department’s Global Engagement Center, which monitors foreign disinformation efforts, identified four publications that he said have served as fronts for Russian intelligence. The websites played up the vaccines’ risk of side effects, questioned their efficacy, and said the U.S. had rushed the Pfizer vaccine through the approval process, among other false or misleading claims. Though the outlets’ readership is small, U.S. officials say they inject false narratives that can be amplified by other Russian and international media. more...

By Kate Gibson

As Texas and Mississippi move to join a dozen other U.S. states without statewide mask requirements, many major retailers and employers aren't ready to nix face covering requirements amid a pandemic that killed more than 1,800 Americans on Tuesday alone. The governors of both states said they are dispensing with mask mandates and allowing businesses to operate at full capacity. "We must now do more to restore livelihoods and normalcy for Texans by opening Texas 100 percent," Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in a statement. "We are ensuring that all businesses and families in Texas have the freedom to determine their own destiny." more...

By Bill Ruthhart Chicago Tribune

Former Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner made a $250,000 campaign contribution to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis last week after seniors in the uber-wealthy Florida Keys enclave where Rauner owns a home were among the first in the state to receive COVID-19 vaccinations in January. Rauner’s connection to the favorable treatment first was reported Wednesday by the Miami Herald, which obtained a memo the management of the exclusive Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo sent to residents noting that its medical center had vaccinations for residents age 65 and over while most Floridians struggled to access the shots. DeSantis has used the state’s vaccination program to open special distribution sites in select communities while skipping state and local vaccine registration logs, various Florida news outlets have reported. more...

Kelsey Vlamis

Nearly every eligible resident of a gated community in the Florida Keys had received coronavirus vaccinations by mid-January as the rest of the state struggled to get doses, the Miami Herald reported. Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo had vaccinated nearly all of its 65-and-over residents, according to a January 22 email newsletter reviewed by the Herald. "We are fortunate to have received enough vaccines to ensure both the first and second for those vaccinated," the newsletter said, going on to acknowledge most of the state was in a very different situation. "At this time, however, the majority of the State has not received an allocation of first doses of vaccines for this week and beyond, and the timing of any subsequent deliveries remains unclear." The Herald's reporting came amid ongoing criticism of Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has been accused of playing favorites with vaccine distribution in Florida by providing doses to wealthy communities. more...

City and county leaders urged residents in their areas to still follow recommendations from health experts and officials that call for wearing face masks in public.
by Juan Pablo Garnham

Mayors and county judges in some of Texas’ largest urban areas criticized Gov. Greg Abbott over his decision to lift the statewide face mask mandate next week, saying it contradicts health officials’ advice as infections continue to spread throughout the state, which averaged over 200 reported deaths a day over the last week. Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, a fellow Republican, called Abbott’s order “premature” and asked him to allow more people to get the vaccine. “I am calling on Gov. Abbott to open up additional vaccine tier categories so that more people are eligible to get a vaccine if they want one,” Price said in a statement. “As the state’s directive has changed, so must our response. Now, more than ever, vaccines and testing must be readily available.” more...

Public health experts say the move is risky and comes much too soon.
By Allie Morris and Sue Ambrose

AUSTIN — Texans will no longer be required to wear a face mask in public and all businesses can open at full capacity starting next week, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday. The Republican made the sweeping move — on Texas Independence Day — even as public health officials say restrictions are still critical to control the pandemic, which has killed more than 42,500 Texans. Abbott cited growing vaccination rates in his decision, although fewer than 2 million Texans are fully inoculated against COVID-19. The announcement puts Texas at odds with federal experts, who have said that even as vaccinations rise, people still need to wear masks, avoid crowds and socially distance. Abbott also pointed to declining hospitalizations, but experts warn those gains are slowing and could reverse. Texans will be in charge of managing their own individual safety, Abbott said, using practices learned over the pandemic. more...

By Sophie Lewis

Hydroxychloroquine should not be used to prevent or treat COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) advised this week. The anti-inflammatory drug was once touted by former President Donald Trump, who said he was taking the treatment to prevent contracting coronavirus last spring. A panel of WHO experts found that the drug has no meaningful effect on deaths or hospitalizations due to coronavirus. They added that it may even increase the risk of adverse effects. With high certainty, "the guideline development panel made a strong recommendation against the use of hydroxychloroquine for individuals who do not have covid-19," the panel wrote in the peer-reviewed medical journal The BMJ on Tuesday. more...

President Joe Biden publicly received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine in an effort to boost confidence about its safety and efficacy.
By Dartunorro Clark and Monica Alba

Former President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump quietly received the Covid-19 vaccine at the White House in January, a Trump advisor told NBC News on Monday. It is not clear which type of vaccine they received and they were not disclosed at the time by the Trump White House. This news was first reported by The New York Times. Trump, who spent months publicly downplaying the virus' impact and eschewing mask-wearing, announced in October that he had tested positive for Covid-19. The first lady also tested positive, but they both later recovered. more...

By Rosa Flores, Sara Weisfeldt and Scottie Andrew, CNN

(CNN) A Florida sheriff's office is investigating whether a Manatee County official broke the law when she organized a Covid-19 vaccine drive limited to two of the county's most affluent ZIP codes. The Manatee County Sheriff's Office said it has launched the investigation after a citizen watchdog filed a complaint regarding County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh, who last week admitted she chose the ZIP codes herself and also selected some people for the vaccination list, so she and others could access the Covid-19 vaccine. more...

Noah Higgins-Dunn

A new CDC study found that some elderly people who apparently recovered from the coronavirus later came down with a second, even worse case — indicating that asymptomatic or mild cases may not provide a lot of protection against becoming reinfected with Covid-19. The study, published Thursday in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, studied two separate outbreaks that occurred three months apart at a skilled nursing facility in Kentucky. Between mid-July and mid-August, 20 residents and five health-care personnel tested positive for the virus, according to the study. The second outbreak, between late October and the beginning of December, was worse — 85 residents and 43 health-care personnel tested positive for the virus. Among the residents who tested positive during the first outbreak and were still living in the facility, five of them tested positive a second time more than 90 days after their first positive test. more...

By Maggie Fox, CNN

(CNN)Two separate teams of researchers said this week they have found a worrying new coronavirus variant in New York City and elsewhere in the Northeast that carries mutations that help it evade the body's natural immune response -- as well as the effects of monoclonal antibody treatments. Genomics researchers have named the variant B.1.526. It appears in people affected in diverse neighborhoods of New York City, they said, and is "scattered in the Northeast." One of the mutations in this variant is the same concerning change found in the variant first seen in South Africa and known as B.1.351. It appears to evade, somewhat, the body's response to vaccines, as well. And it's becoming more common. "We observed a steady increase in the detection rate from late December to mid-February, with an alarming rise to 12.7% in the past two weeks," one team, at Columbia University Medical Center, write in a report that has yet to be published, although it is scheduled to appear in pre-print version this week. more...

Heard on Morning Edition
Melissa Block | NPR

How do we wrap our minds around the fact that more than half a million people have died of COVID-19 in the United States alone? The nation just passed that milestone: 500,000 lives lost, in one year. For the families of those who died of COVID-19, each successive milestone of this pandemic may seem irrelevant to their particular, punishing loss. "Every day is a milestone for me," says Sabila Khan. "These round numbers don't really mean anything to me. Every day is just as shocking." Her father Shafqat Khan was an organizer in the Pakistani immigrant community in New Jersey. When he died of COVID-19 at age 76 last April, near the beginning of the pandemic, the virus had claimed the lives of some 32,000 Americans. Now, with COVID deaths topping half a million, Sabila fears the country has grown numb. more...

By Thuc Nhi Nguyen Staff Writer

Good evening. I’m Thuc Nhi Nguyen, and it’s Tuesday, Feb. 23. Here’s what’s happening with the coronavirus in California and beyond. Coronavirus variants aren’t just an international problem anymore. Scientists at UC San Francisco are ready to tag California’s homegrown coronavirus strain as a “variant of concern,” putting it in the company of those from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil. The state’s dominant strain packs a triple-threat punch: It can spread more easily than its predecessors, it shows some resistance to antibodies generated by COVID-19 vaccines or prior infection, and it’s associated with severe illness and death, my colleague Melissa Healy reports. more...

by: Los Angeles Times

A coronavirus variant that emerged in mid-2020 and surged to become the dominant strain in California not only spreads more readily than its predecessors, but also evades antibodies generated by COVID-19 vaccines or prior infection and it’s associated with severe illness and death, researchers said. In a study that helps explain the state’s dramatic surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths — and portends further trouble ahead — scientists at UC San Francisco said the cluster of mutations that characterizes the homegrown strain should mark it as a “variant of concern” on par with those from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil. “The devil is already here,” said Dr. Charles Chiu, who led the UCSF team of geneticists, epidemiologists, statisticians and other scientists in a wide-ranging analysis of the new variant, which they call B.1.427/B.1.429. “I wish it were different. But the science is the science.” more...

*** A year ago, Trump said it was under control only 15 cases and it was going down, it did not go down over 500,000 Americans have died and more will die. Trump said it would go away after thee election it did not. Trump lied to the American people, now over 500,000 American have died, and many more will do to his failure to act and failure to inform the America people how bad the virus was. ***

By Christina Maxouris and Holly Yan, CNN

(CNN) Just over a year since the first known US Covid-19 death, more than 500,000 people will have died from the disease by the end of this week. "It's something that is historic. It's nothing like we've ever been though in the last 102 years since the 1918 influenza pandemic," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "It really is a terrible situation that we've been through and that we're still going through. And that's the reason why we keep insisting to continue with the public health measures -- because we don't want this to get much worse than it already is." More than 497,600 people have died from Covid-19 in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University. more...

CBS News

In Manatee County, Florida, this week, thousands of people got called to come to the affluent Lakewood Ranch development and get a coronavirus vaccine. It was a call many had been waiting for. "We were very fortunate, we got the call, we came right down," one woman told CBS News' Jim Axelrod. It was more than good fortune. Those who received the call all lived in two specific zip codes. Their doses came through a deal struck by Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis and the CEO of Lakewood Ranch's parent company, owned by major Republican donors. Manatee County Commissioner Misty Servia said in a county meeting that the deal bypassed county protocol, allowing a select group of residents to go the front of the vaccine line. "So rather than this randomized pool where everybody gets a fair shake, these two zip codes were going to receive preferential treatment," she said. At a county meeting, Servia, who is also a Republican, told the room that the optics are horrible. The zip codes are two of the county's wealthiest and whitest, and they're in the bottom half of COVID-19 rates countywide. more...

by: Associated Press

All members of a San Francisco Bay Area school board resigned days after they were heard making disparaging comments about parents at a virtual board meeting they didn’t realize was being broadcast to the public. The four members of Oakley Union Elementary School District Board had stepped down by Friday amid growing outrage that began with the board’s Wednesday meeting. Before the meeting officially began and unaware the public could see and hear them, they used profanity and made jokes about parents just wanting a babysitter or to smoke pot in their home. The incident garnered national attention and widespread condemnation. The district’s superintendent, Greg Hetrick, announced the resignation in a letter Friday and said that Contra Costa County education board members will replace them in an interim capacity, the Mercury News reported. more...

By Lexi Lonas

Members of a San Francisco-area school board are being called to resign after they were heard making derogatory remarks about parents on a Zoom call. The remark that has perhaps gained the most attention and criticism came from the school board president, who said the parents looked at teachers as their babysitters. “It’s really unfortunate that they want to pick on us because they want their babysitters back,” Lisa Brizendine, Oakley Union Elementary School Board president, said on the Zoom call. more...

By Konstantin Toropin, CNN

(CNN) Florida's Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has threatened to move a pop-up vaccination clinic that his state has set up in an affluent community in Manatee County after he was confronted with allegations of political favoritism and preference for the wealthy at a news conference Wednesday. Manatee County announced on Tuesday that Florida's Division of Emergency Management would host a "pop-up" vaccination spot at Lakewood Ranch this week for 3,000 Manatee County residents, according to a statement from the county. The vaccines, however, would be limited to people living in only two zip codes -- 34202 and 34211. Manatee County Commissioner Misty Servia, a Republican, criticized the selection of these two areas at a Board of County Commissioners work session on Tuesday. more...

"I'll tell you what, I wouldn't be complaining," DeSantis told critics.
By Corky Siemaszko

Florida’s governor was slow to respond to the pandemic and his Covid-19 vaccine distribution plan has been marked by chaos, but critics say he’s been quick to recognize the political gold in those precious doses. Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, ignored federal guidelines and prioritized getting senior citizens — one of Florida’s most potent voting blocs — vaccinated first. When Holocaust survivors and Cuban survivors of the Bay of Pigs debacle — revered members of two other key Florida voting blocs — got their first shots, DeSantis made sure he was there for the news conferences. And now the governor stands accused of using the Covid-19 vaccine to reward powerful political supporters and developers by setting up pop-up vaccination sites in planned communities they developed and where GOP voters predominate. more...

By Zack Budryk

Vatican officials have told employees they may risk getting fired if they refuse a coronavirus vaccination, Reuters reported Thursday. Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello said in a decree that employees who are unable to get the shot for health reasons may be transferred to less public-facing positions with no reduction in pay. However, the decree went on to say that those who did not have a health reason for refusing the vaccine will be subject to a 2011 law that states they will face “varying degrees of consequences that could lead to dismissal” for failing to take “preventive measures.” more...


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