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, Dr Anthony Fauci has defended remarks made during a recent hearing of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director was heard calling Senator Roger Marshall “a moron” when the senator questioned if he should have a publicly available financial disclosure form on Tuesday.
Dr Fauci told MSNBC on Wednesday that he was stunned to know “that a sitting United States senator doesn’t realise that my financial statement is public knowledge”.
The infectious diseases expert also clashed with Senator Rand Paul during the hearing, who he accused of politicising the pandemic and “kindling the crazies” with his remarks. Dr Paul has since doubled down on his remarks.
Biden administration to send medical teams to six states
President Joe Biden announced on Thursday that the federal government will be sending medical teams to six states to help with Covid-19 care where hospitals and healthcare systems have been overwhelmed by the spread of the Omicron variant.
Military medical teams will be sent to New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, Michigan and New Mexico.
The teams will support the healthcare systems in major hospitals in the states.
A defence official said that more than 40 medical teams from the Army, Air Force and Navy that include a total of 1,000 active duty military medical personnel are available.
Teams will continue to be mobilized and deployed where they are needed in the coming weeks.
A White House official says that this is a “first wave of deployments,” and other teams will also be sent to areas where they’re needed.
Sravasti Dasgupta14 January 2022 04:34
US surgeon general ‘disappointed’ with SCOTUS blocking vaccine mandate
US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy has said that the Supreme Court’s decision to block a nationwide vaccine and testing mandate for large businesses, is “disappointing.”
Speaking to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Dr Murthy said, “As a doctor and a public health professional today’s news was disappointing.”
“We know that the requirements for vaccines in workplaces are an important part of how we can keep workplaces safer, for both workers as well as for customers.”
He added that as the US records surging cases driven by the Omicron variant, the next few weeks will remain challenging.
“I think the next few weeks are going to be challenging. We are going to continue to see high numbers of cases. Our hospital systems in parts of the country are strained and that will continue,” he said.
Sravasti Dasgupta14 January 2022 04:19
SCOTUS halts Biden vaccine mandate for businesses
The Supreme Court voted 6-3 to toss out Joe Biden’s mandate for businesses requiring those with more than 100 workers to institute vaccination or regular testing requirements on Thursday.
John Bowden reports from Washington, DC.
Oliver O’Connell14 January 2022 03:45
KN95 and N95: What you need to know
As the US fights to slow the spread of Covid-19’s Omicron variant, reports have surfaced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is considering recommending that those who can should wear a higher standard of mask when in public – specifically the KN95 and N95 masks that have been in high demand for the last two years.
Oliver O’Connell14 January 2022 02:45
Coming soon: Free masks and 1 billion Covid tests
Mr Biden also said on Thursday that his administration will order another half-billion at-home Covid-19 tests for mailing to any American who requests one on a yet-to-be unveiled website, adding to a previous order of 500 million placed by the administration last month.
Oliver O’Connell14 January 2022 01:45
ABC News criticised for editing CDC director interview
Oliver O’Connell14 January 2022 00:45
United Airlines: Vaccine mandate ended weekly deaths
Oliver O’Connell13 January 2022 23:51
Ruling does not prevent employers from requiring vaccination
The Scotus ruling does not prevent private employers from requiring vaccination, nor does it undermine existing workplace vaccination requirements that were put in place voluntarily by employers.
The White House will continue to encourage private employers to institute their own mandates.
Oliver O’Connell13 January 2022 23:20
NBC News: 1 million new cases of Covid in 24 hours
NBC News reports that the number of Covid-19 cases in the US has now topped 63 million since the start of the pandemic.
There were 1 million new cases in 24 hours from the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
Oliver O’Connell13 January 2022 22:45
Before mandates there were incentives
Before the White House introduced vaccine mandates in the late summer of 2021, the vaccine had been available for almost nine months.
To encourage take-up, a number of incentive schemes around the country received White House support.
Ben Wakana of the Covid-19 response team provides a few examples:
Oliver O’Connell13 January 2022 22:30