By SETH J. FRANTZMAN
This is a developing blog post of links to interesting content about the crises
My first tweet on Covid is here looking back at January 11.
I wrote about the spread of Covid in Iran.
I inquired about sending PPE to the Kurdistan region and Erbil. I learned at the time that Israel was preparing for the possible worst case scenario here with regards to the virus.
I flew to attend AIPAC, later the conference would be a center of concern after attendees tested positive, back in Israel attendees were asked to self-quarantine on March 7. People were already wearing masks on the flight and it was impossible to find masks in DC area.
CNN: Masks may actually increase your Coronavirus risk. (January 2021 CNN would report that double masking was necessary).
CNN warns of mask shortages due to “coronavirus hysteria”
Malaysia attempts to “flatten the curve” in two weeks.
WHO declares pandemic.
US announced “two weeks to slow the spread”; details.
SIX MONTHS of social distancing; After England’s deputy chief medical officer warned on Sunday that the UK’s coronavirus lockdown could last for “six months or more”, experts say that prolonged social distancing measures – if not full-blown confinements – may well be necessary and that some permanent changes to behaviour are likely.
Lockdown could last six months, UK chief medical officer says
The poor have no place to socially distance.
UK coronavirus response criticized as people are filmed by drones and stopped while shopping; Widespread debate about police coronavirus tactics first emerged last week, when Derbyshire’s force posted a video of drone footage showing unwitting people walking through the area’s Peak District National Park.
Old people meet at border despite restrictions
Sweden has some of the fewest limits on social movement in any European country. Its containment of the novel coronavirus is largely based on voluntary action. CNN’s Bianca Nobilo report
Neil Ferguson and his models of death rates
British Airways suspends flights from Gatwick.
– Paris Orly airport to shut amid coronavirus.
CNBC urges people to follow Singapore
The “Second Curve” in Israel of unemployment
Police attack people inSouth Africa during lockdown
Drop in China cell users may mean death toll higher
China didn’t count coronavirus positives if they didn’t have symptoms.
“Any place but China is safe,” they said. China after the lockdown.
Why Iceland has chosen no to implement a lockdown.
Bolsonaro continues to prevent lockdown.
What happens to food supply if farmers can’t farm
Panama mandates which day men and women can leave home: “Panama has 1075 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 27 deaths, according to health officials, and has already taken some of the toughest measures in the region to stop the spread of the illness. The country has banned all domestic and international travel. It has shut down airports and — after a March 22 deadline — prevented even Panamanian citizens from traveling to the country. A nightly curfew already keeps Panamanians from leaving their homes from 9pm to 5am each day.”
CNN: France, like many other countries around the world, has entered a stringent lockdown and ordered residents to stay indoors. Any non-essential outing can draw a fine of up to €200 ($210)…I plotted the one-kilometer radius around our apartment to see how far I could possibly go, painstakingly wrote out my permission slip indicating my reason for going outdoors to exercise, and set off to explore my new ‘hood.
Security forces uses violence to enforce lockdowns across Africa.
April 4: Antibody testing may be the new way out of the crises.
April 5: A tiger has the virus.
Boris Johnson taken to hospital.
April 6: Israel failed against coronavirus, relating to testing and also quarantining areas.
US wasted months preparing to get masks.
Japan, which avoided lockdowns, may have state of emergency.
George W. Bush urged for plans for pandemic in 2005.
Austria plans to start reopening areas in mid-April.
Sweden considers u-turn on its more free view on the pandemic, considers closures.
US scrambles for ventilators, blocks some on way to Barbados, gets from Russians, tries to prevent exports to Canada. Everyone relies onChina. But quality control an issue. A $3.4 million check to a middleman in a Mcdonalds parking lot as states strive to get material.
UAE puts in place harsh new restrictions.
Wuhan ends lockdown, people say “please learn from our mistakes.”
BBC: But although there’s evidence that there may be other ways to contain the spread of infection other than harsh lockdowns, both men believe China is on the right path.
Wuhan has endured one of the most extensive and toughest set of quarantine restrictions on the planet. To begin with, people were allowed out to shop for food but by mid-February, nobody was allowed to leave their residential compounds. Delivery drivers became a vital lifeline. It’s a testament to the effectiveness of the lockdown which, despite doubts over the accuracy of the official figures, has undoubtedly slowed the infection rate dramatically. Over the past few weeks, some of the restrictions inside Wuhan have been slowly relaxed with some people being allowed out of their residential compounds and businesses beginning to reopen.
Guardian: Uncertainty of origin
In the public mind, the origin story of coronavirus seems well fixed: in late 2019 someone at the now world-famous Huanan seafood market in Wuhan was infected with a virus from an animal. The rest is part of an awful history still in the making, with Covid-19 spreading from that first cluster in the capital of China’s Hubei province to a pandemic that has killed about 80,000 people so far. Stock footage of pangolins – a scaly mammal that looks like an anteater – have made it on to news bulletins, suggesting this animal was the staging post for the virus before it jumped to humans. But there is uncertainty about several aspects of the Covid-19 origin story that scientists are trying hard to unravel, including which species passed it to a human. They’re trying hard because knowing how a pandemic starts is a key to stopping the next one.
CNN uncertainty of origin:
It’s “the most simple,obvious and likely explanation,” said Dr. Simon Anthony, a professor at the public health grad school of Columbia University and a key member of PREDICT, a federally funded global program investigating viruses in animal hosts with pandemic potential. PREDICT has discovered 180 coronaviruses over a decade. Though the scientists discount conspiracy theories about bioweapons, on other questions they are divided.
60% of ship tests positive: The ship set out on 15 March from the Argentinian port of Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. It was to have undertaken a 16-day cruise to Antarctica and South Georgia, christened “In Shackleton’s Footsteps” after the Irish polar explorer, Ernest Shackleton…On Tuesday (April 7), the ship’s operator, Aurora Expeditions, said that of 132 passengers and 85 crew, 128 people had tested positive for Covid-19. Most on board are understood to be Australian, although there are also citizens of New Zealand, the US and the UK.
Japan to give economic support to those in sex industry “Those working legally in Japan’s sex industry will be able to access assistance in the government’s economic relief package, Health and Labor Minister Kazunobu Kato said in a news conference Tuesday.” Also “The government will provide a subsidy of 8,330 yen ($76) per day to businesses that allow employees to take leave to care for children out of school.” Bangladesh also supports sex workers with food.
Massive map of Israel police checkpoints.
New model shows less deaths in US.
CNN: Coronavirus may have been with us for years.Leading scientists tell CNN that it’s possible the virus didn’t just come from bats in the past months, but that it may have existed in humans many months or even years before it grew into a deadly pandemic. CNN’s Nick Paton Walsh reports.
Intelligence sources warned of outbreak in November.
Sweden “refuses” to lockdown.
Germany: Region eases Baltic coastal beach ban after court order.
Macron visitsdoctor who pioneered new drug to fight virus.
Japan pushes $1 trillion stimulus, EU has $500 billion, Singapore $48 billion,
Italy says more than 100 doctors have died of virus.
France considers digital tracking, raising privacy concerns.
Lockdown can’t end until vaccinne found, study clams.
India extends lockdown, Iran eases lockdown and Sweden concerned as deaths mount to 887 total.
NYT: Study shows virus outbreak in NY began in Europe.
Spain to ease lockdown. Israel increases lockdown for holiday. Adds military and police checkpoints in Jerusalem.
Iceland has tested ten percent of country, found half of cases asymptomatic.
Israel struggles to increase tests, one testing machine breaks on way from Switzerland, airport confusion and people sent to hotels, nursing home find numerous cases but can’t get them tested.
China imposes restrictions on academic papers about origins of virus.
Many older people may have died in nursing homes or at home and not been recorded.
How coronavirus spread in ultra-Orthodox communities via denial and stigma.
New Passover lockdown for Israel.
Handicapped children suffer under lockdowns, Amazon told to stop delivering “non-essential goods” in France, isolating children further. The lockdowns are a war on the poor and young.
McDonalds banned black people in China.
World facing depression worse than 1930s.
Austria and Italy reopen some shops.
Billionaires on yachts, Israel’s president apologizes for violating guidelines.
Social distancing may go on until 2022
Denmark children return to school.
People shamed for not social distancing when jogging.
France $110 billion for stimulus.
China concealed pandemic, M16 expert.
Bahrain sentences people for violating quarantine.
How come international community is so slow to work together on coordinated concerted effort toward vaccine? WHO only has a signed document now, most firms are private that are working on it, funds are short, disparate 115 efforts.
Amazon may stop shipping France due to court order of only bringing essential goods.
Antibody tests may not be the promise they seemed.
China didn’t warn of pandemic for six key days.
Condolezza Rice notes that China needs pushback about how it handled virus.
Paris police check people for signed forms that they were only out for two hours a day, Israel police breakup synagogue service in Beit Shemesh, fine group that had mass gathering. “5000ILS for leader of the Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok sect after the mass gathering over the holiday.” Israel police breakup testing facility in Silwan.
Israeli leaders under fire for not obeying guidelines: Netanyahu, Gallant, Liberman, Litzman, Rivlin.
Report that virus spreads through air conditioners.
Newsweek: “Less well understoodin this debacle is the role that the United States, and its allies in the developed world, played in allowing Beijing to become so influential in the WHO, with consequences that now appear to be ruinous. The coronavirus catastrophe is the second massive ‘China shock’ to hit the United States and the rest of developed world in the last 20 years. The first unfolded in slow motion, in the years after Beijing, with the U.S’s enthusiastic support, joined the World Trade Organization in 2001. What followed over the next decade and a half was, in the words of a landmark 2016 study by three U.S. economists for the National Bureau of Economic Research, “an epochal shift in patterns of world trade.” In industry after industry—including, we now learn, the pharmaceutical and medical equipment industry— large companies shifted their supply chains out of the United States and into China, lured by the extraordinarily plentiful and cheap labor available there. Entire industries were hollowed out, and in the Rust Belt in particular, entire towns were devastated.”
Poor communities with multigenerational families in cities suffer most in US.
Virus lockdowns empower “little tyrants,” also a concern about rising domestic abuse.
US funds 15% of WHO on eve of Trump’s cuts, while China funds around 1% but has more influence than US on WHO.
Liberal globalization has been harmed by pandemic.
The Diplomat: Did china deliberately sicken the world?
Kushners ignore guidelines.
How Taiwan got it right.
60% of those on US carrier were symptom-free.
While small businesses get denied for stimulus large corporations that laid off staff get paid.
Police in UK enforce new “reasonable guidelines” for leaving the house.
Five NY zip codes with largest death toll are poor and minority areas.
China revises death toll. Read the original February WHO report that showed China’s cases rise and fall on a curve. China’s history of revisions go back to February when they revised the number of cases upwards by thousands, and then in April when it turned out they hadn’t included asymptomatic cases.
How the FT creates its charts.
Australia may keep lockdowns for a year.
Barcelona calls for children to be freed from lockdown. They are forbidden to leave home.
Germany says virus under control, will end lockdowns.
Saudi Arabia predicts air travel won’t resume for a year.
More than 20 million newly unemployed in the US.
UK paid $20 million for antibody tests that didn’t work.
CNN: China may emerge stronger
Denmark returns to school.
Turkey’s mixed lockdown policy as its cases are about to exceed Iran.
Remember when Turkey revealed Iran had 750 cases but only admitted 18?
Dart championship held at home wi-fi.
In Israel people go surfing and out in Florentine while in America armed men hold a rally against lockdown.
Did virus appear in context of US-China trade war?
Trump calls for liberation of several US states, “LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!”
US and Canada funded lab in Wuhan.
Police threatened to arrest a teen for posting that she had virus, claiming it caused panic.
Navy reviewing crozier case.
France denies lab it funded is linked to pandemic.
France considers phone tracking app.
Belgium biotech firm rolls out antibody tests
Clashes in Paris over “heavy handed enforcement” of lockdowns.
Italy promises lockdown plan.
Oil below zero. The black swan event, second curve rattles markets for oil futures.
Virgin Australia to go bankrupt.
Harvard got $9 million stimulus despite massive endowment…Shake Shake gave back $10 million it received as “small business”
China says it has found 30 mutated strains of the virus.
Spain to extend lockdown to mid-May
Germany to make masks mandatory, Austria has made them mandatory in shops while Switzerland has not.
US warns “Second wave” could be worse.
US says it has identified deaths due to virus earlier in year; “Autopsies on two people who died on 6 February and 17 February show they died with Covid-19.”
Antibody tests in California reveal more people had it than previously thought. This “is very consistent with the fact that the virus is very common but not killing at the rate we thought,” Dr. Ioannidis said. It may not be as lethal as we believe.
UN warns of “biblical famines.”
Half of France private sector unemployed.
Harvard profits from Us stimulus, while Bath Spa university charges students for unused dorms.
US failed to block virus vaccine resolution at UN.
China says virus can survive in human eye.
China shows off virus lab after claims the virus escaped from lab.
Syria’s Kurdish region angry at lack of support over pandemic.
Missouri sues China. US South wants to re-open. Protests increase in US.
In France riots in Paris suburbs over harsh police enforcement.
People starve in Nigeria amid lockdown.
The UAE’s National Disinfection Program has been so effective that international experts are now calling upon the US Homeland Security Dept to sit down and learn from them.
Comparing annual deaths this year and last.
Antibody tests: A total of 3,000 customers at supermarkets across the state of New York were randomly tested for coronavirus antibodies this week, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Thursday. Almost 14 percent of them registered positive, he told reporters. In New York City, 21 percent of tests came back positive.
China installs surveillance cameras to quarantine people.
New Zealand says it is virus free
As WHO says world should have listened, a remind that on Feb. 25 it misled people and waited until March 11, when outside China, 32,778 cases across at least 109 countries had been confirmed, to declare a pandemic.
Germany to give fines of up to $5,000 for improper wearing of masks.
Mystery as to low death toll in India.
Australians download virus tracking software.
Some children are returning to school.
Mystery of low death toll in India continues.
De Blasio slamsJews over coronavirus.
Argentina stopped al flights untilSeptember.
California closes beaches
Michigan – armed militia comes to capitol building.
WHO praisesSweden’s non-lockdown because people obey guidelines.
Human rights abuses in Central Asia during lockdown.
False positives continue to be a problem.
Coronavirus pushes people into poverty.
Half the world’s workers could lose their jobs.
Cyber spying by governments increases during coronavirus. Increased removals of context by social media giants. YouTube removes media interviews also: “We quickly remove flagged content that violate our Community Guidelines, including content that explicitly disputes the efficacy of local healthy authority recommended guidance on social distancing that may lead others to act against that guidance,” said the statement. “However, content that provides sufficient educational, documentary, scientific or artistic (EDSA) context is allowed — for example, news coverage of this interview with additional context…23ABC’s Bayan Wang asked Russomanno that with over 1 billion users and a haven for expression is YouTube considered a public forum that should uphold freedom of speech?”; In other cases anonymous “fact checkers” are able to flag and have content removed on Facebook that disputes scientific consensus. “Inaccurate: Genomic analyses of the coronavirus shows it was not engineered. So-called “HIV insertions” are actually found in many organisms. Genomic analyses of the novel coronavirus shows that it has a natural origin and was not engineered. The claim that the virus has genetic material from HIV is based on a preprint with significant flaws in study design and execution that was later withdrawn by the authors. As it turned out, the so-ca…”
China’s “mask diplomacy“
Arlines say it will be years until things are open.
“Before publicly acknowledging COVID-19 was capable of human transmission, China secretly launched a global plan to buy up personal protection equipment, contributing to world-wide shortages of the desperately needed pandemic supplies.”
ABC reported two days ago “Trump admin pulls NIH grant for coronavirus research over ties to Wuhan lab at heart of conspiracy theories”…and National Interest noted on April 29 “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended U.S. funding for the Wuhan Institute of Virology as a program “to protect American people from labs that aren’t up to standard” in a Fox and Friends interview on Wednesday.”
Canada also funded the lab: “The Canadian government did not explain why the Wuhan lab was chosen, in particular, as a research partner,” the Globe and Mail says.
Throwback to March 31 “WHO stands by recommendation to not wear masks if you are not sick or not caring for someone who is sick.” Same WHO wrote on February 24-25 that China “strategy that underpinned this containment effort was initially a national approach that promoted universal temperature monitoring, masking, and hand washing,” and affirmed wearing masks in general public.” Yet the WHO and western governments urged against masks for the next month. Now $1,000 fines for not wearing masks in some parts of US, includingTexas and Calfornia. On May 1 both San Diego and Denver made masks mandatory.
US government report assesses China intentionally concealed severity of coronavirus.
France confirms a virus case from December, upending previous data.
Thousands of cruise ship crew still stuck at sea.
400,000 gowns from Turkey useless in UK
Virus began last year.
A new way to look at the ‘curve.’
Timeline of China’s response to the coronavirus.
“The European Union has acknowledged it allowed the Chinese government to censor an opinion piece published in the country, removing a reference to the origin of the coronavirus outbreak and its subsequent spread worldwide.”
Sex workers in Spain struggle amid pandemic.
Were lockdowns based on crude guesswork.
Minorities and people who stayed home make up new cases in NY.
BBC: Why we should all be wearing face masks.
Europe eases lockdowns, France let’s people out without permits.
China postponed and pressured WHO during early crisis.
China says it will test 11 million people in Wuhan due to new cases.
Emirates to restart flights
Virus may never go away-WHO
Boris Johnson promises virus alert level
Greta Thunberg on CNN “expert” panel about coronavirus.
Russia didn’t count 60% of virus deaths.
Controversy at French drug maker after claims US would get first vaccine shipments.
US sacked health expert warns of “darkest winter” as worldwide deaths cross 300,000
Baltic states coronavirus corridor.
US Senator investigated for insider trading “Mr Burr and his wife sold as much as $1.7m (£1.4m) of equities in February, just before markets plunged on fears of an economic crisis.”
Israel airport to try virus free areas, corridor proposed with Czech and other states as schools reopen.
Global inquiry into Covid-19 response.
Leaked database claims 640,000 may have been infected in China.
NY Mayor slams Jews a second time in tweet about “Yeshiva” after bashing funeral, adid rise in antisemitic attacks.
CNN notes that China could exploit time before review of WHO behavior. “Waiting until, in Xi’s words, the pandemic is “brought under control to sum up experience and address deficiencies,” could be a long wait indeed. By that time, China’s position globally could be vastly changed. The country’s economy has begun to reopen, and as it does it will become even more important to many of its trading allies, who have fewer partners to choose from right now. Beijing is also not blind to the potential opportunity to emerge from the crisis not weakened but stronger, taking advantage of how the crisis is affecting the US and the attractive sheen it is putting on China’s own brand of authoritarian control for some governments.”
America puts white circles in park to show how to social distance.
UN accused of failed response.
Covid-19 destroyed a generationin northern Italy.
Oxfam ends work in many countries.
Sweden’s approach questioned as numbersdon’t reach ‘herd immunity.’
China’s New Outbreak Shows Signs the Virus Could Be Changing
UK Prime Minister advisor accused of breaking lock down, “Dominic Cummings drove more than 260 miles (420 km) from London to Durham, where he stayed with family members just days after Johnson put the UK into lockdown and banned family visits, an investigation by The Guardian and Daily Mirror found.” He joins a growing list of officials who appear to have broke regulations, including Israel’s health minister, Presidentand PM, and Trump and Kushner and New Zealand’s Health Minister who took a trip to the beach; and Prof. Ferguson, Cabinet Minister Jenrick; in addition “Scotland’s chief medical officer resigned in April after twice breaking lockdown restrictions in order to visit her second home, which was located more than an hour away from her main residence in Edinburgh.”
Executives dump stock of company after vaccine results.
US billionaires got $434 billion wealthier during pandemic.
By sending Covid-19 patients to nursing homes, New York may have helped increase deaths by 5,000. “The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, known as AMDA, had warned from the beginning that Cuomo’s order admitting infected patients posed a ‘clear and present danger’ to nursing home residents. Now, Jeffrey N. Nichols, who serves on the executive committee of the group, said ‘the effect of that order was to contribute to 5,000 deaths.'”
Beaches besieged by people going despite lockdown.
“The Lancet on Thursday retracted a study that raised safety fears over the use of a drug favored by President Donald Trump to treat COVID-19, after the paper’s authors said they could no longer vouch for its underlying data.”…Chris Chambers, a professor of psychology at Cardiff University, added the affair “raises serious questions about the standard of editing at the Lancet and NEJM — ostensibly two of the world’s most prestigious medical journals.”
No second wave in China: Central China’s Hubei Province cleared all its confirmed COVID-19 cases on Thursday, the provincial health commission said Friday
US protests continue across the country for a week now, with hundreds of protests, more than 11,000 arrests. Unclear Covid-19 impact.
Spike in Israel leads to more than 50 school closures and fear of “second wave.”
Australia bans“black lives matter” protest due to Covid-19
GAP loses $1 billion due to virus.
Doctors support protests in the US, claim it outweighs virus threat.
WHO: Coronavirus fight not over“until there is no virus anywhere in the world,” WHO says.
Philippines, India with huge jumps in cases,Mexico now has world’s largest death tolk.
Germans protest Covid restrictions.
Vaccine trial paused after unexplained illness.
UK puts restrictions back in place not meeting more than 6 people due to virus surge in numbers.
Israel reaches record daily cases over 3,000
France sees new record cases
Trump promised vaccine by election day.
Guardian: Masks could give immunity by protecting against viral load.
UAE: Significant moment in fight against COVID-19: UAE Government approved vaccine for emergency use following successful phase III trials, jointly operated by UAE’s G42 & Chinese company Sinopharm. Frontline workers will grt 1st access. 31,000 volunteers took the vaccine in the UAE.
Israel moves toward second lockdown.
New Zealand moves into recession amid major GDP decline due to Covid.
New fear in Europe for second wave
Trump says vaccines for everyone by April, unclear on costs (some say around $200 a piece).
New science on how people may get infected, learning about masks and surfaces.
Australia cases decline after recent lockdown as UK considers harsher measures.
Trump moved to hospital after getting Covid-19
Israel doctor warns of ravages of Covid-19
China millions travel but do two-weeks quarantine before returning to classrooms.
Cuba lockdown is toughest in world for six months, driving many out of business.
Spain puts part of Madrid under lockdown.
Worldwide: 34 million cases, 1,033,746 deaths.
Trump timeline emerges of when he was diagnosed and events he attended as many others get Covid in his circle.
President Trump would not have been discharged before he was ready. But what sort of treatment did he received as an in-patient?
According to his doctors, he has been treated with a number of different drugs:
- Dexamethasone, a steroid that saves lives by calming the immune system
- Remdesivir, an antiviral drug was first developed as a treatment for Ebola
- Monoclonal antibody therapy, made by the company Regeneron
UK: Covid-19 killed three times more people than flu and pneumonia in England and Wales in 2020, the Office for National Statistics says.
Italy has recorded 4,458 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, the biggest daily rise since mid-April when the country was under a national lockdown, enforces masks outside.
Dr Fauci, a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, said the president’s unveiling of his judicial nominee was a “superspreader event”.
Thousands of Mink dead of Covid-19.
UK could have new lockdown. On Saturday, 15,166 people in the UK were reported to have tested positive for coronavirus and there were a further 81 deaths. MP Ferrier, who was positive, also used public transit.
Israel tests vaccine, and thirty seconds test. Israel staff infected by air released from ventilator.
Covid-19 survives on some surfaces for up to 28 days.
New lockdown rules for the UK.
The Chinese city of Qingdao is testing its entire population of nine million people for Covid-19 over a period of five days. The mass testing comes after a dozen cases were found linked back to a hospital treating coronavirus patients arriving from overseas.
Covid reinfection could be worst than first time.
Johnson and Johnson says person got sick during vaccine trial and suspends trials.
Claims that children very unlikely to get COVID-19
Masks made Czech envy of Europe now the country has the most cases (11,100) per day.
Wales goes into 17-day sharp deep lockdown.
All bars in Belgium closed due to “second war tsunami” of cases.
Italy puts in place new restrictions.
Australia eases lockdown in Victoria.
China “bounce back” from pandemic with 4.9% GDP growth.
Macron warns crisis may remain until summer of 2021
Polish leader gets Covid-19.
Czech health minister caught out dining despite lockdown.
According to a study, depression has increased five-fold; three out of four people have sleep problems and one in two have had to stop their daily activities to preserve their health
WHO concerned about Europe; The five countries with the highest rate of infection worldwide are all in Europe, according to Johns Hopkins University’s latest moving averages, as analyzed by CNN…On the same day France reported 42,032 new cases in 24 hours, a new record, according to the French Health Agency. Around 46 million people in the country are subject to a night-time coronavirus curfew in France.
US elections see massive lines.
Fear of “rushed” vaccines.
New lockdowns in UK, Portugal
Slovakia tries to do national test.
Mutant Covid-19 on mink farms in Denmark and elsewhere raises concerns.
Pfizer BioNTech announces vaccine that is 90% protective, promising to submit to regulators by end of November and hope to have 50 million doses by end of the year and 1.3 billion by end of 2021. People will need two doses but it isn’t clear how long it lasts or if it stops transmission.
Will day-to-day life ever be the same?
“Pfizer is one of various vaccine manufacturers participating in Operation Warp Speed as a supplier of a potential COVID-19 vaccine.”
Brazil suspends trial of Sinovac vaccine from China.
Virus was in Italy in September 2019.
Moderna says vaccine is 94.5% effective.
Plant manager in US bet on which workers would get Covid.
BBC Was the scientific advice for lockdowns flawed.
Japan has more suicides in one month than all its Covid deaths.
In Scotland, Sturgeon says she won’t spend Christmas with parents
Hungary offers entrance to people who had Covid.
Experts call these types of policies a kind of “immunity passport.” But does beating the virus actually give you immunity? The evidence so far suggests that for most people, it does.”It’s certainly theoretically possible that some people even who have antibodies may not be protected,” Dr. Ania Wajnberg tells CNN outside her lab at Mount Sinai Hospital’s Icahn School of Medicine in New York.”But I think the majority of people that test positive for antibodies will be protected for some time.”
Guliani has Covid.
First round of vaccinations to begin Monday, December 21. The US public will start receiving the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine from Monday after it was authorised for emergency use, officials say. The first three million doses of the vaccine would be shipped “across all states” this weekend, said Gen Gustave Perna, who is overseeing distribution.
Lockdown looms in Bethlehem for Christmas
Russian airline designates seats for people who don’t wear masks.
Macron has Covid-19.
Swedish King says country’s approach was a mistake.
WHO to investigate origins of Covid-19 in China. “It’s really not about finding a guilty country,” Fabian Leendertz of Germany’s Robert Koch Institute said. “It’s about trying to understand what happened and then see if, based on those data, we can try to reduce the risk in the future.”
Israel to quarantine arrivals from UK due to new virus strain, some refuse to go.
Questions over what UK told other countries.
Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said he had known about the mutation since Saturday due to “a kind of leak from friendly sources.” He said that he had been asked to keep the matter secret but that the National Security Council had been updated the same day. “What do you mean secret?” Netanyahu hit back. “Such a thing cannot be kept secret.” visitors from UK, Denmark and South Africa banned from Israel.
WHO says it is in close contact with UK over new strain.
A number of European countries have banned, or are planning to ban, travel from the UK to prevent the spread of a more infectious coronavirus variant. The Netherlands and Belgium have halted flights, with Italy to follow suit. Trains to Belgium are also suspended.
“An infectious mutation of the Covid-19 virus is circulating in the United Kingdom. It is said to spread more easily and faster and is more difficult to detect,” the Dutch health ministry said in a statement. The Dutch public health body, the RIVM, therefore “recommends that any introduction of this virus strain from the United Kingdom be limited as much as possible by limiting and/or controlling passenger movements”.
US has debated martial law due to Trump denying election loss.
Hackers release details of China censorship over Covid.
CNN highlights Finland, Denmark and Norway as success stories for no lockdowns. CNN publishes unique Covid map.
Health reporter, BBC News
Just as we’ve got used to the idea of one worrying variant of this coronavirus, another one comes along.
The newest one, which has been brought from South Africa in recent weeks and infected two people in the UK, is “highly concerning”, says Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
It comes hot on the heels of the discovery of another variant in Kent causing sharply rising cases in the south and east of England, which will mean strict tier four restrictions being introduced in more areas of England on Boxing Day.
These are two different variants, but they have some similarities and share a mutation.
Crucially they are both concerning, leading to large increases in cases in South African and the UK.
UK scientists are skilled at genomic sequencing – the technique used to track mutations of the virus. That’s the main reason these variants have been found quickly and acted upon, but just because other countries haven’t detected them yet doesn’t mean they aren’t present.
The faster they can be found, the more quickly they can be squashed. With hospital admissions rising to near levels of the spring peak and deaths increasing daily, ministers have no choice but to act quickly.
Cutting social contact between people, tighter rules on travel and rapid testing – which is being rolled out to workers in care homes and is planned in schools and many local authorities – are the tools they are using to fight the virus on all fronts.
Ehud Barak skips mandatory quarantine coming back from UK
To travel next year people may need vaccination passports.
Israel has vaccinated 260,000, aiming for 150,000 a day.
EU begins mass vaccination
Japan closes borders to foreigners after first new variant of Covid found.
Unprecedented infection rate in UK, More than 200 British skiers fled a coronavirus quarantine in the popular Swiss resort of Verbier on Saturday night, reports say.
- India becomes the latest country to detect the new, more transmissible coronavirus variant
- The variant – first indentified in the UK – has also been detected in South Korea, Canada, and across Europe
- Spain says it will set up a register of people who refuse to have the Covid vaccination
- The head of England’s health service says workers are “back in the eye of the storm” as cases rise
- The military is to support mass testing in England’s secondary schools next month
- But school leaders warn the return of pupils may have to be delayed
- Globally there have been 81m confirmed cases since the outbreak began, and almost 1.8m deaths
UK approves Astra Zeneca vaccine
Slow rate of vaccination in France “But in the first three days of the campaign less than 100 people have been given the jab, — compared to 42,000 so far in Germany.” In Israel over 650,000 people have been vaccinated with the first shot of the Pfizer.
41 year old US Congressman dies of Covid.
January 1, 2021
Israel has vaccinated one million people, Netanyahu poses with man in Umm al-Fahm.
Crowds fill streets of Wuhan, where pandemic began, as most other western cities cancel New Years.
Taiwan New Years held as normal. “Taiwan hosted its usual fireworks display by its capital city’s iconic tower, Taipei 101. For its annual flag-raising ceremony in front of the Presidential Office Building on New Year’s morning, attendance was limited to government officials and invited guests. The island has been a success story in the pandemic, registering only seven deaths and 700 confirmed cases of COVID-19.”
January 3, 2021
Hadassah to close vaccination point.
France introduces 6pm curfew in some areas due to Covid.
Vaccine shortages: Scientists weight what one dose will do instead of two. “Some scientists have called for governments to give out single Covid-19 doses after preliminary research suggested they appear to provide a degree of protection, despite manufacturers recommending the full two. But other scientists warn that one inoculation is not enough to confer durable immunity.”…”The efficacy of one Moderna vaccine dose was around 80 to 90 percent, researchers found in stage 3 trials ahead of its approval by the US regulator in January. Scientists found that the Pfizer-BioNTech jab is 70 percent effective after one dose compared to 95 percent effective after two. And after approving the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, British regulators said it was around 70 percent effective in the 12 weeks after the first dose.”
Uk warns of further restrictions amid new virus “surge.”
US hospitals on breaking point with 100,000 Covid patients a day.
British couple detained in Barbados after trying to flee “positive” test.
Canada politician critiqued for faking posts and going to St. Barts while locals told to quarantine. Conservative MP goes on vacation despite lockdowns. Reports in Sweden that “Dan Eliasson be Director-General of the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency go for vacation to Las Palmas.”
Larry King has Covid.
Canada police raid houses that have several people gathering despite “guidelines.”
Student jailed for months for violating Covid rules. “Skylar Mack, a pre-med student at Mercer University, left for the Islands November 27 after testing negative for Covid-19 at home, her grandmother, Jeanne Mack, told CNN. When Mack landed, she was given another COVID-19 test, which came back negative and she was told to remain in isolation for two weeks. Instead, she decided to attend her boyfriend’s jet ski competition two days later.”
Process of quarantine on arrival in South Korea.
NY detects UK variant of Covid.
Japan may enter a state of emergency this week as the country grapples with soaring coronavirus cases, a number of which have been linked to a new, potentially more infectious variant….”lf necessary, we won’t hesitate to dispatch the medical staff from Self Defense Force,” Suga added, saying the government will support medical facilities to ensure they are not overwhelmed.
“UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson reimposed a lockdown in England on Monday as a more transmissible variant of Covid-19 fuels a surge in infections and hospitalizations in the country.”…All schools and colleges will close to most pupils and switch to remote learning until the middle of February…”hardest yet”…and “last phase of struggle.”
Germany extends lockdown by three weeks.
France slow start saw only 516 people vaccinated, “But the real deadline is to reach 5-10 million (vaccinations) by the end of March, because that’s the point at which you have a real impact on the spread of the virus.” Pupils back in school.
Britain began inoculating its citizens with the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine against Covid-19 on Monday, giving the shot to Brian Pinker, an 82-year-old dialysis patient, at a hospital a few hundred metres away from where the vaccine was developed.
85 million cases, 1.8 million deaths.
Mayor de Blasio said the state has approved new groups of New Yorkers who can receive the coronavirus vaccine, starting Monday. The groups include testing site workers, contact tracers, outpatient and ambulatory care providers, dentists, physical therapists, workers at specialized health clinics and NYPD medical staff.
People arriving by plane, train or boat, including UK nationals, will have to take a test up to 72 hours before leaving the country they are in.
The Louvre, the world’s biggest museum, suffered a drop in visitor numbers of over 70 percent last year as Covid restrictions kept art lovers away, it said on Friday.
Biden favors single doses and faster rollout
Coumo fines New Rochelle for giving vaccine to first responders. Others denied vaccine.
German company BioNTech said Friday a preliminary study shows that its vaccine works against a key mutation in coronavirus variants uncovered in Britain and South Africa which experts have said is more contagious than normal coronavirus strains.
Wuhan patients had symptoms six months after Covid, such as fatigue.
Canadians who have endured a travel ban, 14-day quarantines and weeks-long lockdowns are angry with politicians and government workers who are flouting the very health guidelines they helped put in place.
Second, the vaccine has not yet been shown to reduce transmission of the virus.
China-Africa vaccines. China has the resources to honor Xi’s pledge. Its Sinopharm vaccine has been approved for domestic use, and four other Chinese candidates are in Phase 3 clinical trials — the last step of testing before regulatory approval is sought. Unlike some other vaccines, it doesn’t require storage at an ultra-low temperature, making shipment easier in developing countries.
US to require tests for passengers arriving.
Malaysia declares state of emergency over Covid.
Iraq: Update the Cabinet Decision No. (Britain, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Spain, Brazil, America, India, Australia, Japan, South Africa, Zambia), as well as preventing entry to arrivals from them (except Iraqis and compulsory quarantine for a period of 14 days, and they are not allowed to mix with others until it is proven that they are not infected with the disease through the examination of the PCR) for a period of two weeks, and until the global and regional situation is clear for the spread of this strain. In embassies, international organizations and experts working in service projects), provided that they are brought for a PCR examination within (72) hours before their entry into Iraq.
One year anniversary of WHO: “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #ChinaFlag of China.“
Tennis players have Covid and travel. Lisa Neville, Australia’s Minister for Police and Emergency Services, confirmed on Twitter that Sandgren’s positive result had been reviewed by health experts and “determined to be viral shedding from a previous infection, so was given the all clear to fly.”
Covid can provide months of immunity.
How worrying are new Covid variants.
Australia like to keep borders closed throughout 2021.
US State Department: “The virus could have emerged naturally from human contact with infected animals, spreading in a pattern consistent with a natural epidemic. Alternatively, a laboratory accident could resemble a natural outbreak if the initial exposure included only a few individuals and was compounded by asymptomatic infection. Scientists in China have researched animal-derived coronaviruses under conditions that increased the risk for accidental and potentially unwitting exposure.”
I receive my second Pfizer vaccine
Biden tackles Covid on first day in office with executive orders, hoping for 100 million vaccines in 100 days through March.
Haredim riot in Israel over lockdown extensions, send kids back to school.
WHO warns of catastrophic failure as wealthy nations don’t share vaccines.
UAE and Hungary begin to approve Russia’s Sputnik vaccine.
Wuhan entered lockdown a year ago “The Chinese city where the pandemic is believed to have started...At the time, the wider world was shocked by the harsh restrictions and rigid enforcement. From late January until June, the city was effectively sealed off from the rest of the country. But even though it came at a significant cost, it proved to be a highly successful method of tackling the virus….On January 23, two days before the country celebrated Chinese New Year, the streets of Wuhan fell silent: some 11 million people were put under tight quarantine, and face masks and social distancing became mandatory.”
Israel to close international airport for two weeks to prevent new “variants” entering the country
Wuhan marks one year anniversary of pandemic and lockdowns.
What ‘vaccine passports’ mean for vacations.
Under Lebanon’s harsh new lockdown. “People in Lebanon are living under one of the world’s strictest lockdowns. Under the round-the-clock curfew, citizens who are not “essential workers” have been barred from leaving their homes since 14 January.“
BBC: Australia suspends travel bubble. “The South African variant of the virus is believed to be more contagious, but there is currently no evidence that it causes more serious illness.” The travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand had opened in October 2020, though it was a one-way arrangement. Australia currently has a travel ban in place preventing residents from overseas travel. The infected patient had served 14-days in quarantine and tested negative twice before developing symptoms later.
“It is recommended all passengers from New Zealand with a flight scheduled in the next 72 hours reconsider their need to travel,” he told reporters, adding that the decision was made following advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC).
ANTI-LOCKDOWN AND anti-mask demonstrators clash with police in Canada and Holland.
Details on which countries have given out how many vaccines.
Israel closes airport to travel for a month.
Israel police made secret deal with haredim not to enforce lockdown in Bnei Brak. Haredim return to schools while others in lockdown. Haredim attack light rail. Police forced to fire warning shots after bus attacked. Burn a bus. Journalists attacked. Video and video and video. Most infections in haredi and Arab areas, stats show. Video of the bus.
Barbados: Prime Minister Mia Mottley on Tuesday night announced new measures to fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Barbados. Restricted movement will go into effect from February 3 to 17 over a 15-day period during which she says the island needs to pause. A national curfew will be in effect from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. during that time, tightening up on the current 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. directive.
Holland riots continue: In Den Bosch in the south, rioters set off fireworks, broke windows, looted a supermarket and overturned cars. A local woman told Dutch radio that masked youths had left a trail of destruction in the city centre. “I saw windows smashed and fireworks going off. Really crazy, just like a war zone,” she said. Dutch leaders condemn them.
EU demands vaccines first. Last week, AstraZeneca told the EU it was falling behind on its supply target because of production problems and Pfizer-BioNTech has also said supplies of its vaccine will be lower.
IMF concerned about new variants, while Moderna appears to work against them. “Although new restrictions following the surge in infections (particularly in Europe) suggest growth could be weaker than projected in early 2021, other factors pull the distribution of risks in the opposite direction,” the IMF said.If the vaccine distribution and efficacy go smoothly, for example, output could exceed expectations by as much as 1% globally, with companies hiring and expanding capacity in anticipation of rising demand.
One of Israel’s leading infectious disease experts warned Tuesday that the country’s coronavirus morbidity levels mean it cannot end the current lockdown on Jan. 31 as planned, and that it must be extended by an extra week.
Israel closes land borders due to Covid.
In May, 348 people were buried here, the worst month until now. Through just the first three weeks of January, that number stood at 1,333. Four epidemiologists told CNN that a new coronavirus variant, called P.1, is likely driving the new round of devastation that’s befallen Manaus.
France closes borders to non-EU citizens. “From Saturday, Germany will ban most travellers from countries hit hard by new variants. The countries are the UK, Ireland, Portugal, Brazil, South Africa, Lesotho and Eswatini. The move is expected to last until 17 February. Also from Saturday, the Czech Republic has banned non-essential entry into the country, again to try to curb the new variants. Portugal on Thursday banned non-essential overseas travel by air, land or sea for its citizens for a fortnight. Belgium on Wednesday banned non-essential trips out of the country until 1 March. In contrast, Italy said on Friday it would move more areas into less-restrictive rules from Monday, despite health officials warning it was risky. No areas would be classified as “red”, which brings tough travel and business restrictions.”
France resists imposing third national lockdown but imposes curfews.
EU imposes vaccine export controls.
Up to three million now vaccinated in UAE. US, UK, Bahrain, UAE and Israel lead world in vaccinations.
Canada bans flights to Caribbean and Mexico.
WHO team investigating Covid is now free to travel in Wuhan after two-week quarantine.
Johnson and Johnson one-shot vaccine has 66% efficacy, most other vaccines shown to work against new variants.
Countries praised for Covid response include Taiwan, Cyprus, New Zealand, UAE, Thailand, Rwanda, Iceland, Australia, Latvia, Sri Lanka.
43 year old died mother of eight of massive heart attack in Israel after having Covid, children possibly have rare disorder after Covid.
Wealthy donors at hospitals get vaccines before average people in US, and wealthy people go to Latino area to get them.
World powers are competing over Covid-19 vaccines, with national interests taking precedence over the World Health Organisation’s call for multilateralism. But as Western countries turn inward, China is exporting inoculations and extending its soft power.
France24: As a possible third lockdown hovers in the air in France, several thousand French people have fled to Madrid to enjoy restaurants, museums, cinemas and theatres, finding refuge in one of the last European cities to be spared severe Covid-19 restrictions. FRANCE 24’s Jean-Emile Jammine, Laura Cambaud, Maxime Rousseau and Kilian Le Bouquin report from the Spanish capital.
(CNN)A new forecast from the University of Washington’s pandemic forecasting team is frightening. Even in a best-case scenario, close to another 200,000 Americans are likely to die between now and May 1.
Canada: Health officials back reopening schools in ‘green’ and ‘yellow’ cities;
Canada: That still leaves Canada with a significant shortage of vaccines in the short term. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are the only vaccines so far approved for use in Canada.
“Of particular concern … is the emergence of the E484K mutation (found in the South African variant), which so far has only been seen in a relatively small number of individuals,” said Ravi Gupta, a professor at Cambridge University’s Institute of Therapeutic Immunology & Infectious Disease, who co-led the study.
Scientists working with Public Health England found a small number of cases of the UK ‘Kent’ variant with the E484K mutation – it was seen in 11 out of 214,159 samples that they tested, and predominantly from the South West of England. People in areas that have been singled out for enhanced testing for the South African variant should further limit the time they spend away from home, a minister has said.
Israel says reopening could take months. “While infection rates, serious cases are dropping among over-60s, experts say reopening country will still take months, complicated by coronavirus mutations, refusal among some sectors to adhere to safety rules and wobbles in pace of inoculations“
Canada takes COVAX despite having secured side deals.
Israel sees worrying transmission among children: In November 2020, some 400 toddlers had been diagnosed with COVID-19, by February that number had jumped to more than 5,800; health experts attribute massive increase to recently discovered mutations of pathogen.
Nearly four in ten people in France, more than 25% of those in the US and 23% in Germany say they definitely or probably will not get vaccinated against Covid-19, according to a survey that underlines the challenge facing governments.
Israeli hospital says it may have found cure for Covid.
“Life is fleeting,” says CBS, noting that for the first time the number vaccined daily is more than the number of new cases, but many dying in Portugal, twice as deadly as last year. New Zealand and Australia not vaccinating. CBS says 1.4 million are being vaccinated a day, concerns of staying ahead of variants. These include Brazil, South Africa, UK and also a new one in Southern California. Expert says vaccined 50-60% effective against variants. AstraZeneca is very concerned about South Africa. New version could be available in fall. Expert on CBS says that WHO team won’t find original strain in Wuhan or put to rest concerned it was from a lab. CBS says it is now an “endemic” disease, not a pandemic, it is “here to stay.”
Vaccines offer China inroads in MidEast.
Russia’s Vaccine more respected today.
In interview with Biden he is asked about 20 million children returning to school, he says “safely.” Read Biden’s recent speech.
South Africa concerned that Oxford vaccine doesn’t work against variant.
Israel airport closed until February 21, but lockdown begins to end. Israel at 2 million with two doses and 3.2 million with three.
China’s drug authorities have given “conditional” approval for a second Covid-19 vaccine, Sinovac’s CoronaVac jab, the pharmaceutical company said Saturday.
“Dubai pays price” for opening during Covid pandemic.
WHO says it is extremely unlikely Covid originally leaked from a lab.
Tel Aviv provides vaccines for asylum seekers, undocumented workers.
Patient in France in critical condition after reinfection with Covid South Africa variant
Germany re-instates border controls over virus variants, border with Czech and Tyrol in Austria closed. “Travelers coming from certain areas of Austria or the Czech Republic will have to provide proof of a negative coronavirus test in order to enter Germany, a requirement that will present a hurdle for thousands of cross-border workers.”
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The UK had carried out more than 14m vaccinations by Friday morning and was fast approaching the target of inoculating the 14.6m most at risk from Covid-19 by the start of next week. Only Israel and the United Arab Emirates, among larger countries, have inoculated more per head of the population.
New York cover-up of nursing home deaths finally revealed. “Today, as the virus continues to ravage New York, slightly more than 15,000 residents of nursing homes and other adult care facilities have died of COVID-19, more than in any other state. Roughly 13,000 of those were nursing home residents, close to 13% of the state’s nursing home population.”
WHO mission returns from China, unable to access some data. “
Embarek declined to draw conclusions about what the 13 strains could have meant for the disease’s history before December.But the discovery of so many different possible variants of the virus could suggest it had been circulating for longer than just that month, as some virologists have previously suggested. This genetic material is likely the first physical evidence to emerge internationally to bolster such a theory.”
Moshe Bar Siman Tov “Opinion: The government must stop lifting restrictions while the pandemic is surging and the numbers of daily new infections are so high that any other country would be tightening health regulations and not reducing them.”
Denmark plans Covid passports.
New Zealand starts new lockdown over three cases in capital city.
US says up to 600,000 could die of Covid.
Fetus dies of Covid in Israel. “Health officials issue warning as evidence showing children being more vulnerable to British variant mounts, accounting for 80 percent of all Israel’s cases; extreme scenarios predict thousands of daily cases among children.”
Where can you travel if vaccinated.
Israel mutations concern
Schools reopen in Israel even though more infections among young.
Gym owners complain.
1/1000th chance of getting Covid if vaccinated.
Israel offers beer for vaccines and other incentives.
NPR article on Covid mutations.
Children increasingly suffer Covid.
Regional air travel has dismal outlook.
Germany and other wealthy countries may need to give some of their own stock of vaccines to developing countries in addition to money, since only vaccinating the whole world will end the coronavirus pandemic, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday.
Brazil to experiment with vaccinating 30,000 people in one city.
Woman dies of Covid after lung transplant.
Humans are spreading Covid to animals.
France new restrictions
Pregnant woman and baby die of Covid in Israel.
No consensus in EU on vaccine passports.
WHO urges listening to people with long term affects after Covid.
Europe’s vaccination effort stalls.
Children in the pandemic.
US approves third vaccine hopes to be done vaccinating by June.
WHO finds earlier outbreak evidence.
Politico: US warned about risky lab in Wuhan in 2018.
People who at first experience no symptoms when they have Covid-19 may still go on to become “long-haulers” – meaning they may develop and experience long-term symptoms later, according to early research, which has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
Mossad number 2 slams Israel’s handling of Covid.
Israel launched rapid Covid testing at airport as United cancels flights due to travel chaos.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that fully vaccinated Americans can return to some sense of normalcy. No masks.
Churches in Scotland to reopen for Easter.
Brazil surge in deaths surpasses 2,000 a day.
More than 5 million now had at least one jab in Israel.
Biden says he hopes people can gather in small groups for July 4.
Several US states stop requiring masks.
Fears US could enter lockdowns like Italy.
Police claim “Covid health” regulations to crack down on women’s protest in UK.
Astra Zeneca production problems.
Italy in new major lockdown.
US local governments ignore public records requests, claiming pandemic excuses.
Netherlands leads EU countries to suspend Astra Zeneca vaccine, then Germany and Spain and others follow.
“NY Mag: “That experts sometimes misled the public on key points out of fear that advising them honestly would lead them to take more risk; that hard rules (six feet apart, for no more than 15 minutes) were offered in place of broad principles (“like Japan’s, which emphasize avoiding the three C’s — closed spaces, crowded places, and close contact”); and a preference for false certainty (“There is no evidence of human-to-human transmission”) rather than honest nuance (“There is increasing likelihood that human-to-human transmission is taking place, but we haven’t yet proven this”)….much of the problematic guidance came from the WHO. But in East Asia, countries didn’t wait for the WHO’s guidance to change on aerosols or asymptomatic transmission before masking up, social-distancing, and quarantining. “They acted fast.”
US warns of spread of concerning variant.
WHO says Covid likely came from an animal, not a lab. However they still can’t trace its full origins. WHO is scheduled to release the final report on its investigation into the origins of coronavirus on Tuesday, but a draft version of the report obtained by CNN shows there’s still no smoking gun and no evidence suggesting the virus was spreading any earlier than the very end of 2019.
Former US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield told CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta that his personal opinion was the virus was released from a lab.
The director of the US public health agency, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), was speaking at a White House briefing when she said she was going to go “off script”….”I’m going to reflect on the reoccurring feeling I have of impending doom,” Dr Rochelle Walensky said, adding “we have so much reason for hope, but right now I’m scared”. New Covid cases have reached around 60,000 a day in the past week, a rise of around 7%.
Should vaccine stamps be laminated, the US has more states expressing controversy over currently non-existence “vaccine passports.” While doctors ponder how long vaccines protect people, CNN wonders if Covid will become like the flu with annual vaccines. Surge of cases in Michagin. Fauci says it won’t last forever.
Kurdish region in Iraq reinstates travel ban.
Australians stranded abroad for a year complain to UN.
EU concerned over “vaccine passports.” Travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand.
60% of adults received vaccine in UK. Astra Zeneca blot clot issues continues to ba an issue.
A third of people who had Covid report neurological and mental issues after.
Undercover parties in Paris.
In US returning kids to schools is a controversy, private school kids were allowed to go back to school, not public schools.
Another lockdown in Germany
Israel finally lets in families of Jewish olim.
Astra Zeneca concerns continue but “Scientist on #Newsnight saying that having the #AstraZeneca vaccine on any given day would be safer than having a bath, walking down the stairs, even eating your breakfast.”
NYT: Virus origins still obscure: “The suspicion of a lab leak is built on the notion that labs in China do collect and study these viruses and that the Chinese scientists are lying about the research they do or are unaware of what goes on in their institutions.”
A look at the long haul affects of Covid.
Paris police find secret restaurant.
More than halfof the people who tested positive for Covid-19 in the UK did not have symptoms, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said Thursday in its latest Infection Survey.
Uruguay death rate grows
Denmark bans AstraZeneca vaccine
Merkel takes AstraZeneca vaccine
New Zealand and Australia behind in vaccine rollout.
Fears over blood clots cast shadow over J and J and AstraZeneca vaccines.
“Now Maldives is striving to be ahead of the game when it comes to vaccine tourism.Officials for the Indian Ocean destination have announced plans to offer vaccinations to tourists on arrival in a bid to lure more visitors over.”
India cases massively rise
Istanbul allows prayers but not May Day
EU says benefits of J and J outweigh risks.
Dead body in. Vanuatu prompts Covid quarantine.
NZ airport worker who was vaccinated gets Covid.
US deaths acclerating.
India variant worries world, authorities said hospitals in the Indian capital of Delhi would start running out of medical oxygen by Wednesday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country faced a coronavirus “storm” overwhelming its health system. The health ministry said 1,761 people had died in the past day, raising India’s toll to 180,530 – still well below the 567,538 reported in the United States, though experts believe India’s actual toll far exceeds the official count.
Canada sends army to Ontario as Covid increases. Canada has strict lockdowns and people compl ion that rules are onerous, for instance if you leave and come back you get put in a special hotel for up to $2,000 for three days. Parks were recently closed. Education is remote learning.
Israel has first day with no Covid deaths.
Trump admin gave firm $1.7 billion for vaccine applicator it never made.
52 passengers. on India flight to Hong Kong test positive despite “negative” tests before flying.
UK Prime Minister Johnson said the bodies will pile high rather than a third lockdown.
Turkey announces new lockdowns.
Greece tries to revive tourism.
Biden encourages vaccination as evidence of why outdoor non-masking works.
US CDC: Fully vaccinated people can now unmask at small outdoor gatherings, or when dining outside with friends from multiple households. The CDC is telling unvaccinated people that they still need to wear a mask at such gatherings. “There’s increasing data that suggests that most of transmission is happening indoors rather than outdoors — less than 10% of documented transmission in many studies have occurred outdoors,” Walensky said. “We also know that there’s an almost 20-fold increased risk of transmission in the indoor setting than in the outdoor setting. That, coupled with the fact that we now have 37% of people over the age of 18 fully vaccinated and the fact that our case rates are now starting to come down, motivated our change in guidance…The CDC is able to make this announcement because our scientists are convinced by the data that the odds of getting or giving the virus to others is very, very low if you’ve both been fully vaccinated and out in the open air,” he said.
Nicholas Wade: Origin of Covid.
Donald McNeil: Lab leek needs another look.
Science Magazine publishes letter seeking investigation into origins of Covid.
“Three researchers from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology became sick enough in November 2019 that they sought hospital care, according to a previously undisclosed U.S. intelligence report that could add weight to growing calls for a fuller probe of whether the Covid-19 virus may have escaped from the laboratory…“
New look at “gain of function” and virus.
“Confronting Dr. Anthony Fauci at a Senate committee hearing on the COVID-19 pandemic, Sen. Rand Paul argued that the United States collaborated with the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China to make a more deadly coronavirus….Second, the first outbreak occurred close to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where researchers studied bat coronaviruses, including the world’s closest relative to SARS-CoV-2. The laboratory searched for horseshoe bat colonies in caves in Yunnan province, and then brought those viruses back to Wuhan, where they were mass-produced, genetically manipulated and studied. Third, Ebright says, some of the bat-SARS-related coronavirus projects at the Wuhan Institute were conducted at biosafety standards that would pose a potentially high risk of infection if laboratory staff were to come in contact with the virus.”
Leading scientists, once skeptical of the hypothesis that Covid-19 leaked from a Wuhan lab, are asking for a fuller probe: “The goal of all of this is to follow the science”; others push back and say it might harm relations with China.
Covid origin story has massive political consequences.
Biden orders investigation into origins of Covid.
Facebook will no longer remove claims that Covid was man-made.
Melbourne and Bahrain enter lockdowns.
China puts pressure on Lithuania.
I have a question. When the pandemic first began two serious questions stood out that deserved more scrutiny from media in democracies. The media that “speaks truth to power” and does investigative journalism. The one that says “democracy dies in darkness” and “the truth matters more than ever.” The two issues that needed scrutiny were how it just happened the the leading institute researching these precise viruses just happened to be in the same city as the outbreak. What a coincidence. If this happened in a democracy, say France, and there was a leading institute researching coronaviruses and it was in Rennes in Brittany…and then suddenly a new mysterious virus began in Rennes…we’d ask serious questions. We’d ask ALSO how it’s possible they have the leading lab in Rennes and yet the researchers aren’t the first on the scene of the outbreak to advise government how to stop it…since it is such a miracle to have the leading researchers a few miles away. It’s not like it began in the Congo.
Second, when the pandemic began the WHO was told by China to say that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission through January 14, when in fact there likely was evidence for a month. China closed. off Wuhan on January 23. This played a key role in luring people into a false sense of calm. But it gets worse. The WHO and China had a joint team come to China to praise China’s efforts at containing the outbreak and that team put out a report on February 24. That report praised China for having mask wearing (the same WHO that praised this didn’t advise mask wearing in other countries until June)…and that report made it appear that the “curve” had gone down in two weeks and all was well.
All was not well. I know because when I was trying to help get PPE to Iraq on February 25 officials told me that they were expecting a worst case scenario. Meanwhile the WHO didn’t declare a pandemic until March 11, by which time the virus was raging in Iran, Italy and dozens of countries. How did the WHO take from mid-January to March 11 to not do more? Investigative journalists and democracies would normal question this much more.
But not only were we told not to question. We were in fact censored on social media if we even asked about the lab leak and shouted down as conspiracy theorist far-right “Trump supporting racists.” But it was a perfectly good question to ask. How is it possible a huge outbreak takes place in the same city as one of the world’s labs doing research on these viruses.
If Chernobyl had been reported and dealt with the way this pandemic was the Soviets would have denied anything happened and simply let the thing meltdown and then blamed the meltdown on the West and said there was no evidence that anything went wrong at Chernobyl. Then international organizations wouldn’t be allowed in and instead would write glowing reports about Russia’s efficiency. Our media would have told us it was a “right wing conspiracy theory” to say that Soviet incompetence led. to Chernobyl melting down and media would say “a meltdown is actually a very unlikely cause of the radiation sickness now killing millions.” We would be told that nothing happened for a year until the US president finally ordered intel agencies to look into what happened.
The very fact we had a global pandemic and millions died and there has been no unfettered, transparent and independent access to Wuhan…that basic details, records and early cases are not available for independent researchers to examine…that we are in the dark still more than a year later, and there isn’t some huge media outcry, illustrates what was done to us. We were told basically that any questioning of the official, mostly Chinese version of what happened, was some kind of conspiracy, as if we already live in a world where Beijing controls our media. Asking basic journalistic questions was seen as “against science.”
Even if the lab leak did not happen…the questions about the handling of the outbreak from January 13 to March 11 should raise red flags. How did this happen, how did it leave Wuhan, why were we told the curve was declining so quickly in China and why did the WHO wait so long to declare a pandemic? How come China, along among the world’s countries almost, had this magic two-week curve to “stop the spread”…the one we were told about but which in our countries we had several waves of the virus, while China had none, supposedly.
Basic questions. No answers.
CNN: We need to know how Covid-19 emerged so we can stop it happening again.
Rudd: Countries should unite against China’s growing economic and geopolitical coercion or risk being singled out and punished by Beijing. “
BBC: It was really Australia’s call for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic that set off a new storm between the two sides. China retaliated by placing sanctions on Australian imports – including wine, beef, lobster and barley – and has hinted more may come.”
FoxNews: Explosive study on gain of function claims China created Covid. British Professor Angus Dalgleish and Norwegian scientist Dr. Birger Sørensen wrote they’ve had primary evidence “of retro-engineering in China” since last year, but were ignored by academics and major medical journals, The Daily Mail reported Saturday, citing the soon-to-be-published study…
NYPost: Scientists at the Chinese lab eyed as a possible source of the coronavirus pandemic were previously filmed getting bitten and spattered with blood while handling bats without protection, according to reports…China has tested more than 50,000 animals, including thousands of bats, to find evidence of COVID-19’s origins — amid a renewed international focus on whether the virus actually leaked from a laboratory.
Nate Silver: I swear I’m sick of posting about the lab-leak stuff, but it seems very warped that a bunch of prominent scientists are saying we shouldn’t investigate the claims for reasons that have little to do with science and lots to do with politics.
“One company that also made a presentation at the Harvard meeting was Twist Bioscience. Twist, interestingly, is one of the few cos. that provides made-to-order DNA which is essential for viral cloning, like that done by Ralph Baric’s lab.”
Why the Lab leak theory matters by Douthat. “The Chait-Yglesias argument is that this was a case study in media groupthink, and especially the way that putatively neutral institutions increasingly cover controversial questions, as Chait puts it, “based entirely on how they believe political actors will use the answer.” In this case, because the lab leak theory was associated early on with Republican China hawks like Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, given prominence by conservative publications (Jim Geraghty of National Review has been an essential and evenhanded voice on the subject) and eventually picked up by the Trump administration, there was self-reinforcing pressure — among journalists who covered the story and Twitter experts who opined on it — to put the possibility in the QAnon box and leave it there….But if we could find out the truth, and it turned out that the Wuhan Institute of Virology really was the epicenter of a once-in-a-century pandemic, the revelation would itself be a major political and scientific event. First, to the extent that the United States is engaged in a conflict of propaganda and soft power with the regime in Beijing, there’s a pretty big difference between a world where the Chinese regime can say, We weren’t responsible for Covid but we crushed the virus and the West did not, because we’re strong and they’re decadent, and a world where this was basically their Chernobyl except their incompetence and cover-up sickened not just one of their own cities but also the entire globe….This is especially true if there’s any chance that the Covid-19 virus was engineered, in so-called gain of function research, to be more transmissible and lethal — a possibility raised by, among others, a former science writer for this newspaper, Nicholas Wade.”
CBS: “Gottlieb said the theory that the source of the coronavirus was a wet market in Wuhan has been “fully disproven,” and he stressed that China could provide evidence that would help identify its origins, including blood samples from employees of the lab in Wuhan, the original source strains and early samples of the virus that could be sequenced. “The challenge is that the side of the ledger that suggests that this could have come out of a lab has continued to expand. And a side of the ledger that suggests that this could have come from a zoonotic source, come out of nature, really hasn’t budged,” Gottlieb said in an interview with “Face the Nation.” “And if anything, you can argue that that side of the ledger has contracted because we’ve done an exhaustive search for the so-called intermediate host, the animal that could have been exposed to this virus before it spread to humans. We have not found such an animal.” “If we assess that there is a probability or a possibility that this came out of a lab, it’s going to affect how we respond to this,” he said. “We’re going to need to focus on trying to get better controls in this sort of high-risk research going forward and get better controls over these BSL-4, these high security labs that conduct this research.” Gottlieb said lab leaks aren’t rare and “mishaps” have occurred even in the U.S. But he said it’s important to understand the possibility the coronavirus came out of a lab so there can be heightened international attention on such facilities, including from intelligence services. “We need to also look at public health through the lens of national security,” he said. “This was an asymmetric harm to the United States. COVID hurt the U.S. a lot more than it hurt many other countries.”
Washington Post stealth edits of old headlines claiming lab leak was “debunked”, now it “disputed.”
Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan says Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will continue coordination after Kuwaiti leader visit to Kingdom, discussed Iran also.
Protests in Brazil due to Bolsonaro handling of Covid.
Copa America moves to Brazil after Argentina cases worsen.
Dr. Fauci emails under scrutiny for being against masks and discussing lab leak.
“Delta” variant is 40% more transmissible.
New variant shows rising cases in UK.
Tigers in India have Covid.
A monthslong Vanity Fair investigation details how efforts to probe the Wuhan lab leak theory were suppressed within parts of the U.S. government. Contributing editor Katherine Eban joined CBSN to discuss more of what her investigation uncovered. Interview shows how US government funded Wuhan lab research, how State Dept urged media not to discuss it after, and how because of Trump’s comments, major media and social media labelled the “lab leak” a conspiracy even though there were reasonable questions to be asked.
US gets new support from EU on new study into Covid origins.
Details on how China bought up world’s masks in early 2020.
Sen. Lindsey Graham on coronavirus origins on Fox News: “This is lab-gate, China-gate, call it whatever you want to call it.”
A Nobel prize-winning US biologist, who has been widely quoted describing a “smoking gun” to support the thesis that Covid-19 was genetically modified and escaped from a Wuhan lab, has said he overstated the case. David Baltimore, a distinguished biology professor, had become one of the most prominent figures cited by proponents of the so-called lab leak theory.
China calls ‘lab leak‘ absurd.
G-7 set out global pandemic action plan, promise vaccines to poorer countries, plan to help identify future pandemics and develop vaccines faster.
IMPORTANT youtube video on the lab leak.
Palestinians cancel deal with Israel for 1 million vaccines.
Afghanistan lacks oxygen as it battles third wave.
Delta variant spreads widely in UK.
Israel cancels indoor mask mandate.
China claims its has almost vaccinated 1 billion people. US delivers vaccines to Taiwan.
South America now a Covid hot spot.
China sends vaccines to Bolivia.
D Variant spreads in Israeli schools and Israel considers returning indoor mask mandate.
Moscow says new wave of pandemic due to new strain.
Sydney lockdown extended due to Delta variant.
Israel returns indoor mask mandate as cases rise due to Delta variant.
Spain ends outdoor mask mandate, many continue with masks anyway.
FAA seeks large fines for unruly passengers, many due to mask regulations. Since the beginning of the year, the FAA has received about 3,100 reports of unruly behavior by passengers, including about 2,350 reports of passengers refusing to comply with the federal transportation mask mandate.
WSJ: What we know and don’t know about the origins of Covid.
Matt Hancock resigns in UK after affair that violated Covid guidelines.
NYT opinion article on COvid lab leak. “Nearly every SARS case since the original epidemic has been due to lab leaks — six incidents in three countries, including twice in a single month from a lab in Beijing.”
Australia Covid restrictions grow, in one case just one person with Covid caused a lockdown.
Delta variant a threat to “unvaccinated south.”
Crowds flee Dhaka ahead of new lockdowns.
Brazil children deaths increase.
Australia spike in cases increases.
Israel sees more than 300 cases a day.
Singapore wants to stop counting cases, move on.
UK to scrap most Covid restrictions.
Israel vaccinates teens due to Delta variant rise, as cases climb to some 500 a day.
Israel says third dose. not needed for low risk Israelis.
Australia in panic over Delta variant as lockdowns don’t slow spread. “You should not have visitors to your home, other than for essential caring reasons, if you’re in Greater Sydney (including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour areas). Socialising isn’t a reasonable excuse to have visitors or leave home.” Australia’s biggest city, home to five million people, is under a stay-at-home order until 17 July. The neighbouring Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong, and Shoalhaven regions are also affected…The New South Wales state government reported 38 cases in its capital on Thursday, pushing the case number of this Delta outbreak over 370.
Israel surpasses 500 cases a day, but says lockdowns not likely. France postpones reopening, South Africa has new lockdowns.
Lead Sinovac scientist dies of Covid in Indonesia.
Twenty-four states have seen an uptick of at least 10% in Covid-19 cases over the past week as health experts and the federal government keep pressing for more people to get vaccinated.The rapid spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus has only ratcheted up the pressure.
South Africa thought it was over Covid, then Delta happened.
Heart inflammation linked tp Pfizer and Moderna.
UK reopening: Sajid Javid, the new lockdown-skeptic health secretary, said he is prepared to let cases hit 100,000 a day because the U.K.’s vaccination rollout has weakened the link between cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
Spectators restricted Japan Olympics. Coronavirus infections are rising in Tokyo as the 23 July opening ceremony edges closer.
CNN: Twenty-four states have seen an uptick of at least 10% in Covid-19 cases over the past week, Johns Hopkins University data shows, as health experts and the federal government keep pressing for more people to get vaccinated.The rapid spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus has only ratcheted up the pressure.That variant, first identified in India, accounted for 51.7% of all new Covid-19 infections.
With Israel surpassing 700 cases a day government vows to crackdown on indoor masks. Tourists barred until August.
Nearly half of Jakarta’s residents may have contracted Covid-19, according to a health survey — more than 12 times the number of cases officially recorded in the Indonesian capital at the time when the research was carried out.
Making the situation worse, Australia’s limit on international arrivals has been cut from a little over 6,000 to about 3,000 passengers a week as of July 14, crushing the hopes of roughly 34,000 Australians who have registered with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as being stuck overseas and wanting to come home.
In France the unvaccinated are barred from trains, hotels, cafes and malls, rush for vaccines takes place, France mandates vaccines for health workers.
Covax to take 550 million Chinese vaccines despite concerns they are not effective.
Covid vaccine fear tactic add shows person gasping for air.
In US Fauci advises masks for three-year-olds.
New COVID protocols in Olympics due to increasing spread
California returns mask mandate
Cases of respiratory illness in children.
The head of the World Health Organization acknowledged it was premature to rule out a potential link between the COVID-19 pandemic and a laboratory leak, and he said Thursday he is asking China to be more transparent as scientists search for the origins of the coronavirus.
In a rare departure from his usual deference to powerful member countries, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said getting access to raw data had been a challenge for the international team that traveled to China earlier this year to investigate the source of Covid-19. The first human cases were identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
BBC: Younger adults admitted to hospital with Covid are almost as likely to suffer from complications as those over 50 years old, a study has found.
Singapore and UK contrasted; in June, Singaporean lawmakers unveiled the country’s roadmap to a “new normal” in a letter published in the Straits Times, outlining a radical departure from Singapore’s previous “zero transmission” model.So-called “zero-Covid” approaches have been adopted by several countries and territories across the Asia-Pacific region.But the letter revealed that Singapore’s authorities were looking to change tack, moving away from daily monitoring of cases to a focus on medical outcomes such as “how many fall very sick, how many in the intensive care unit, how many need to be intubated for oxygen, and so on,” they wrote.
US believes Covid misinformation is killing people, travel firms angry over constantly changing rules, UK forces vaccinated from France into quarantine. US says pandemic is now a pandemic of the unvaccinated.
WSJ: The Reassuring Data on the Delta Variant: There’s no sign of a surge in hospitalization/severe illness,and vaccines remain extremely effective.
Abu Dhabi reintroduces measures for Covid.
While US cases rise, reports say most serious hospitalizations are for unvaccinated.
Jpost: “Israel is about to become the first country in the world to test the oral COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oramed Pharmaceuticals, the company’s CEO Nadav Kidron told The Jerusalem Post.
Oramed’s subsidiary, Oravax Medical, is gearing up to commence clinical trials of its vaccine at Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv”
The Israel Health Ministry reported Thursday the efficacy of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine in preventing infection has dropped to 39% but the effectiveness in preventing severe illness still remains relatively high.
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.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the government’s top public health experts, got into a heated exchange at a Senate hearing Tuesday after Paul accused Fauci of lying to Congress about the role the National Institutes of Health played in funding research in Wuhan, China.
Controversy at Olympics as athletes test positive.
CNN: If Joe Biden’s July Fourth fireworks marked a moment to declare the darkest days of the pandemic over, Monday was the day when reality dawned that the nation’s fight against Covid-19 is quickly sliding back in the wrong direction.A hybrid version of American life that will pass for normality for the foreseeable future is coming into view, in which most of the vaccinated live and many of those who refuse their shots get sick or die…The prospect of millions of youngsters over 2-years-old in face coverings in class epitomized how the nation is still under siege from the virus.
Spain’s top court has ruled that last year’s strict coronavirus lockdown was unconstitutional.
AP: “COVID-19 cases nearly tripled in the U.S. over two weeks amid an onslaught of vaccine misinformation that is straining hospitals, exhausting doctors and pushing clergy into the fray.”
Large protests in France against vaccine passports
Protests in Australia against lockdowns, which continue to be extended as several hundred cases were found. By Friday, 15.4% of the nation’s population aged 16 and above have received both jabs for COVID-19.
“Just two months ago, less than 5% of Canadians were fully vaccinated against Covid-19. At the same time, about 40% of Americans were. Today, a little less than 50% of Americans are fully vaccinated, while a little more than 50% of Canadians are.” Progressives more likely to get vaccinated.
Wuhan lab funding controversy in US.
One of the US scientists who collaborated on the 2015 research on bat viruses with the Wuhan institute, Dr Ralph Baric from the University of North Carolina, gave a detailed statement to the Washington Post. He said the work they did was reviewed by both the NIH and the university’s own biosafety committee “for potential of gain-of-function research and were deemed not to be gain-of-function”.
Family tensions in France. “On Wednesday, July 21, French Prime Minister Jean Castex detailed the government’s roadmap for countering the progression of the Delta variant. “We know what the key is … We need to vaccinate,” Castex emphasised, as he defended the tighter health measures announced on July 12 by President Emmanuel Macron.“
CNN: Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey on Thursday called out “the unvaccinated folks” for the rise in Covid-19 cases in her state, a remarkable plea at a time when many GOP leaders are refusing to urge people to get vaccinated even as Covid-19 cases surge in many parts of the country.
LA Times “Rare, breakthrough cases cause confusion and alarm in US.” This refers to those who are vaccinated and get Covid.
WSJ: The Delta variant accounts for 83% of analyzed Covid-19 cases in the U.S, according to genetic sequences from positive tests submitted