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.

While the political right is praising the decision, there is an outcry from the medical community, and from the left. MSNBC host Joy Reid called the justices who chose to strike down the mandate “right-wing ideologues”.

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.

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Premium: Fauci called a GOP senator a ‘moron’ after unrelenting conservative criticism

Oliver O’Connell13 January 2022 16:50

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Un-vaxxed Quebec father temporarily loses right to see child

A father in Quebec, Canada has temporarily lost the right to see his 12-year-old child because he isn’t vaccinated.

A judge in the province ruled that it wasn’t in the child’s “best interest” to see the parent after the father requested to extend his visiting time during the holiday season.

A family law expert told the Le Devoir paper that it’s the first case of a parent being banned from seeing their child because of their vaccination status.

Oliver O’Connell13 January 2022 17:13

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ICYMI: Five times Fauci and Paul clashed over leaked emails, masks and Omicron

The Republican Senator and the federal government’s lead infectious disease expert clashed over emails from early in the pandemic warning of possible “gain of function” research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in the creation of Covid-19.

Mr Paul asked Dr Fauci it was appropriate to use his $420,000 salary to attack scientists who disagreed with the science of Dr Fauci’s, who has become the public face of the federal government’s Covid response.

Oliver O’Connell13 January 2022 17:35

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270 scientists write letter demanding Spotify address Joe Rogan anti-vax misinformation

Spotify is being asked to address Covid misinformation by hundreds of scientists and medical professionals, following another controversial Joe Rogan anti-vax episode.

Rogan, who has a reported $100m podcast deal with the streaming giant, interviewed medical doctor Robert Malone in a recent episode, who claimed on his show that Americans were “hypnotised” into wearing masks and getting vaccines.

Malone also told The Joe Rogan Experience that the country suffered from “mass formation psychosis”, which psychology experts say is a concept that does not even exist.

Oliver O’Connell13 January 2022 17:56

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Trump slams GOP politicians who dodge vaccine questions as ‘gutless’

Former President Donald Trump blasted GOP politicians who refuse to say if they’ve received a Covid-19 booster shot on Tuesday – a rant that some are viewing as an indirect attack on Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Oliver O’Connell13 January 2022 18:15

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Biden offers free masks and 1 billion tests

President Joe Biden said his administration will unveil a plan to provide free masks to Americans, to encourage their use in order to stem the spread of Covid-19.

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 500,000 placed by the administration last month.

Andrew Feinberg reports from Washington, DC.

Oliver O’Connell13 January 2022 18:45

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Rand Paul: Fauci ‘ deserves everything he gets’

Senator Rand Paul has suggested that Dr Anthony Fauci “deserves” criticism for his handling of Covid and told The Independent he ‘resented’ the US chief medical adviser blaming him for threats made against the top infectious diseases expert.

Gino Spocchia has the story.

Oliver O’Connell13 January 2022 19:03

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Ann Coulter hits out at Trump over ‘gutless’ dig over booster shots

Donald Trump has called politicians who refuse to say whether they’ve had a Covid-19 booster shot “gutless” – and he appeared to be referring to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has dodged questions on if he has taken up the latest coronavirus shot.

Speaking on conservative One America News Network, the former president said “You gotta say it. Whether you had it or not, say it.”

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter lashed out at Mr Trump in defence of Mr DeSantis on Twitter.

Oliver O’Connell13 January 2022 19:18

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Scientists rally to defend Fauci

Dozens of scientists and medical professionals have signed a letter of support for Dr Anthony Fauci following the fierce criticism he has faced from Republican lawmakers this week.

In the letter, Dr Fauci, one of the leading experts on infectious diseases in the US and the White House chief medical adviser, is lauded for his 40 years of service to the country through HIV, ebola, and now Covid.

Oliver O’Connell13 January 2022 19:24

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Covid-19 pill rollout stymied by shortages

Two brand-new Covid-19 pills that were supposed to be an important weapon against the pandemic in the US are in short supply and have played little role in the fight against the omicron wave of infections.

The problem is that production is not yet at full strength and that the pill considered to be far superior, Pfizer’s, takes six to eight months to manufacture.

While the supply is expected to improve dramatically in the coming months, doctors are clamouring for the pills now, not just because omicron is causing an explosion of cases but because two antibody drugs that were once the go-to treatments don’t work as well against the variant.

“This should be a really joyous time because we now have highly effective antiviral pills,” said Erin McCreary, a pharmacist and administrator at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “Instead, this feels like the hardest and most chaotic stretch of the pandemic.”

The pills — and other Covid-19 drugs, for that matter — are being carefully rationed, reserved for the highest-risk patients.

Oliver O’Connell13 January 2022 19:40



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