Joe Biden gives an update on federal surge response to Omicron
The Supreme Court has tossed out a Biden administration vaccine mandate that would have required 80 million workers to either get vaccinated or submit to regular testing.
In a blow to the president’s push to get more Americans vaccinated, the ruling comes as health experts believe that the US may be approaching the peak of the latest wave of Covid-19 brought on by the highly contagious Omicron variant.
Meanwhile, a number of Republican politicians have vowed that they will defy Washington, D.C.’s own proposed vaccination mandate for businesses.
The mandate, which was announced by Mayor Muriel Bowser in December, will force many establishments — from gyms and theatres to bars and restaurants — to require that patrons over the age of 12 show proof of COVID-19 vaccination before entering.
How does your vaccination status change Covid-19 symptoms?
Dr Craig Spencer, a New York emergency room doctor, has explained which symptoms his Covid patients typically get, depending on which – and how many – vaccine shots they’ve received. Unsurprisingly, the unvaccinated patients fare the worst.
Nathan Place reports on what the doctor observed in the ER.
Oliver O’Connell14 January 2022 14:25
Omicron numbers ‘push hospitals to capacity’ in 24 US states
At least 80 per cent of staffed hospital beds were occupied in 24 states on Thursday, including Georgia, Maryland and Massachusetts, data shows.
Furthermore, in 18 states of those states, at least 85 per cent of beds in adult intensive care units were full, with the biggest shortage of beds being in Alabama, Missouri, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Texas.
On Wednesday, Oregon Governor Kate Brown said she was sending an additional 700 members of the state’s National Guard to help hospitals deal with a rise in coronavirus patients. “Our hospitals are under extreme pressure,” she wrote on Twitter.
Thomas Fenton14 January 2022 13:45
Marine Corps become first military branch to grant religious Covid vaccine exemptions
The Marine Corps granted two religious exemptions to the military’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate, making it the first — and so far only — branch to grant religious exceptions since the requirement went into effect in August.
As CNN first reported, the Marine Corps on Wednesday said it had received 3,350 requests for religious exemptions and had processed 3,212 of them. However, for the first time, they have now granted two of the requests.
Each of the services has received several thousand requests for religious exemptions to the military’s vaccine mandate. But until this week, none of those requests had been granted, although the services still have many requests to process and vet.
Pressed earlier this week on why the services had not granted any religious exemptions, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said that each branch considers the requests “in good faith.”
Thomas Fenton14 January 2022 13:14
GOP politician mulls introduction of ‘Fauci Act’ after hearing clash
Republican Senator Roger Marshall plans to introduce the “Fauci Act” after he clashed with the infectious disease expert at a Senate hearing earlier this week.
The Kansas-native will be introducing the Financial Accountability for Uniquely Compensated Individuals (FAUCI) Act following his claim that Fauci’s records were not readily accessible to the public, a spokesperson for the Senator told The Hill.
The Act would require the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) website to provide the financial records of administration officials like Fauci and a list of those in the government whose financial records are not public.
“I don’t understand why you’re asking me that question,” Dr Fauci said at the hearing after being questioned by Marshall about the records. “My financial disclosure is public knowledge and has been so for the last 37 years or so.”
Thomas Fenton14 January 2022 12:45
Conservatives push for boycott of GOP club over DC vaccine mandate
Freedom Caucus member Representative Bob Good stood up in a closed-door GOP Conference meeting on Tuesday, telling colleagues they should refuse to patronize the 70-year-old Capitol Hill Club, sources told The Hill.
The club stated on its website that starting Saturday it will begin requiring that members and guests show their COVID-19 vaccination cards before they can enter the facilities.
“For some, there’s a mentality of ‘burn the house down,’” said one GOP member who was present at Tuesday’s meeting. “The majority of the conference was in the camp of you need to protect the club.”
Thomas Fenton14 January 2022 12:15
ICYMI – How the Supreme Court voted on Biden’s proposed vaccine mandate
The Supreme Court voted 6-3 along ideological lines to toss out Joe Biden’s mandate for businesses requiring those with more than 100 workers to institute vaccination or regular testing requirements.
A second 5-4 ruling in the court allowed the administration’s requirement for healthcare workers to be vaccinated to remain in place. Conservative justices John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh sided with the liberal justices on that decision.
However, the first ruling is nevertheless a major blow to the plan the president announced last year.
In their majority opinion, the six justices wrote that although Covid-19 was indeed a hazard faced by many employees at their workplaces, it did not fall under the legal definition of an “occupational hazard” that OSHA, the US government agency which enforces labour standards, could regulate.
Thomas Fenton14 January 2022 11:45
Joe Rogan and Robert F. Kennedy Jr to appear at ‘Defeat the Mandates’ protest
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and controversial podcast host Joe Rogan are set to appear as guest speakers at a conspiracy theory-linked COVID-19 vaccine protest in Washington, D.C.
Mr Kennedy, son of former senator Bobby Kennedy and nephew of the former president John F. Kennedy, is slated to appear at the “Defeat the Mandates” rally in D.C. on January 23, Newsweek reports.
The Defeat the Mandates demonstration aims to protest against “forcing vaccinations on Americans” and other COVID-related restrictions.
The 23 January protest is set to coincide with a “World Wide Rally for Freedom” rally in D.C. The “World Wide Rally for Freedom” is a coordinated international anti-vaccine protest movement with ties to conspiracy theory and QAnon groups.
Thomas Fenton14 January 2022 11:20
Republicans make Nazi regime comparisons ahead of new D.C. vaccine mandates
A vaccine mandate that is being introduced for Washington D.C. businesses has been met with hostility by several GOP politicians.
The mandate, which was announced by Mayor Muriel Bowser in December, will force many businesses — from gyms and theaters to bars and restaurants — to require that patrons over the age of 12 show proof of COVID-19 vaccination before entering, DCist reports.
News of the new law, which is set to be introduced on 15 January, sparked fury amongst many Republicans – although none were quite as hyperbolic as Rep Warren Davidson (R-Ohio). In a recent Tweet, he compared the mandate to Nazism and seemed to imply that D.C. would eventually round up and kill people who opt not the get vaccinated.
“Let’s recall that the Nazis dehumanized Jewish people before segregating them, segregated them before imprisoning them, imprisoned them before enslaving them, and enslaved them before massacring them,” he wrote, also encouraging people not to comply.
Thomas Fenton14 January 2022 10:57
Less than One-Third of Voters Trust Coronavirus Information from Fauci – Poll
A NewsNation poll of 1,000 voters taken this week found that less than a third (30.8 percent) trust Dr Anthony Fauci when it comes to coronavirus information.
The question asked participants to select from a list of sources who they trusted when it comes to information about Covid-19. They could choose more than one answer.
Listed were Dr Fauci (30.8 percent), President Biden (15. percent), federal health authorities (49.8 percent), your doctor (63.2 percent) and the news media (10.2 percent).
It said there was a margin of error of 5.8 percent.
Former Trump adviser Steve Cortes hit out at Dr Fauci when he shared the results on Twitter Thursday.
ella glover14 January 2022 10:10
Biden urges businesses to institute their own vaccine mandates
Following the Supreme Court’s decision to halt the Biden administration’s plans to introduce a vaccine mandate for large businesses, the president said he was “disappointed that the Supreme Court has chosen to block common-sense life-saving requirements for employees at large businesses that were grounded squarely in both science and the law.”
He called on businesses to institute their own vaccination requirements, noting that a third of Fortune 100 companies already have done so.
The US companies that have their own vaccine mandates include Door Dash, Deloitte, McDonalds, Google, Facebook and more.
Ella Glover14 January 2022 09:10