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Gender: Male
Hometown: TX
Home country: USA
Member since: Thu Jul 23, 2020, 07:05 PM
Number of posts: 624

Journal Archives

'Grave concern' over Covid in Europe as German cases soar

Source: AFP

Frankfurt (AFP) – The World Health Organization expressed "grave concern" Thursday over the rising pace of coronavirus infections in Europe, as Germany registered its biggest daily increase since the start of the pandemic.

"We are, once again, at the epicentre," WHO Europe director Hans Kluge told a press conference.

He warned that according to "one reliable projection" the current trajectory would mean "another half a million Covid-19 deaths" by February.

Alarm bells were ringing especially in Germany, the European Union's most populous country, where the number of new cases over the past 24 hours soared to almost 34,000 on Thursday -- an all-time high, according to the Robert Koch Institute health agency.

Read more: https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20211104-grave-concern-over-covid-in-europe-as-german-cases-soar

A potentially faster-spreading Delta variant, AY.4.2, has been spotted in 8 states

Source: CBS News

A potentially faster-spreading "sub-lineage" of the coronavirus Delta variant named AY.4.2 has been spotted by labs in at least 8 states, and health authorities in the United Kingdom say they are investigating a growing share of cases from this strain of the virus.

Labs in California, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Washington state, plus the District of Columbia, have so far spotted at least one case of AY.4.2.

While it may spread somewhat faster, health authorities have not found evidence of more severe illness caused by the variant, and they say current vaccines remain effective against it.

The sub-lineage has remained a small fraction of circulating cases in the U.S. for several weeks, but American health officials say they are already ramping up efforts to study the new Delta variant descendant.

Read more: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/covid-delta-plus-variant-ay-4-2-states/

New Delta Sub-variant Rising in UK

A new variant of the Delta coronavirus strain thought to account for 6 per cent of all new UK cases is being closely monitored by scientists.

Sub-variant AY. 4.2 could be 10 to 15 per cent more infectious than the original Delta variant that was first spotted in India in December and has become the dominant Covid-19 strain.

Francois Balloux, director of the University College London Genetics Institute, published an analysis on Twitter suggesting that the data implied it was “intrinsically more transmissible”.

He said that research showed AY. 4.2 could be the most infectious variant of the virus to date. It is expected to be placed under investigation by the World Health Organisation.


Homeland Security secretary tests positive for Covid-19

Source: CNN

(CNN)Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who is vaccinated, tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday morning, according to department spokesperson Marsha Espinosa.

"Secretary Mayorkas tested positive this morning for the COVID-19 virus after taking a test as part of routine pre-travel protocols. Secretary Mayorkas is experiencing only mild congestion; he is fully vaccinated and will isolate and work at home per CDC protocols and medical advice. Contact tracing is underway," Espinosa said in a statement.

The secretary was scheduled to travel to Colombia along with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, but he is now working from home.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/19/politics/homeland-security-secretary-mayorkas-covid-positive/index.html

Feds to Deploy Non-Toxic Gas in NYC Transit Locations and Landmarks

New York City's response plans for a chemical or biological attack will be put to the test in the coming weeks as part of a federal preparedness study.

The MTA says the Department of Homeland Security working alongside a team of researchers and city agencies will deploy a non-toxic gas this month at about 120 locations across the city.

Most of the locations will be above ground, including some parks. A number of below-ground subway stations will also be included, though details on which ones weren't known.

The tests will be conducted on five separate days between Oct. 18 and 29.


'There will be things that people can't get,' at Christmas, White House warns

Source: Reuters

WASHINGTON, Oct 12 (Reuters) - White House officials, scrambling to relieve global supply bottlenecks choking U.S. ports, highways and railways, warn that Americans may face higher prices and some empty shelves this Christmas season.

The supply crisis, driven in part by the global COVID-19 pandemic, not only threatens to dampen U.S. spending at a critical time, it also poses a political risk for President Joe Biden.

The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll shows the economy continues to be the most important issue for Democrats and Republicans alike.

The White House has been trying to tackle inflation-inducing supply bottlenecks of everything from meat to semiconductors, and formed a task force in June that meets weekly and named a "bottleneck" czar to push private-sector companies to ease snarls.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/world/us/americans-may-not-get-some-christmas-treats-white-house-officials-warn-2021-10-12/

Pelosi Steers Party Toward Biden Agenda With 'Fewer Things'

Source: Bloomberg

Fractious Democrats are grappling with how to fit their priorities into a shrunken tax and spending bill, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is signaling that President Joe Biden’s signature plan will be scaled back by focusing on fewer, well-executed programs.

“We have some important decisions to make in the next few days so that we can proceed,” Pelosi said Tuesday at a news conference. “If there are fewer dollars to be spent, there are choices to be made.”

Democrats must slim down a bill worth at least $3.5 trillion that was crafted by House committees last month to roughly $2 trillion -- a figure Biden has floated as a potential compromise between progressives pushing for more and West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin, a moderate who says he supports a number closer to $1.5 trillion.

Pelosi said she is “very disappointed” the level of spending will be less than $3.5 trillion.

Read more: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/pelosi-steers-democrats-toward-biden-agenda-with-e2-80-98fewer-things-e2-80-99/ar-AAPqozr?ocid=uxbndlbing

More Americans died of COVID this year than all of 2020


The United States has been facing a COVID-19 surge as the more contagious delta variant continues to spread.

More than 707,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 while over 4.8 million people have died from the disease worldwide, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Just 65.7% of Americans ages 12 and up are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the CDC

And still 3 months to go… What a grim statistic.

Gallup: Party Favorable Ratings Near Parity; Both Viewed Negatively

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans' opinions of the Democratic Party have fallen slightly from an elevated level this year, and more again view the party unfavorably (55%) than favorably (43%). Meanwhile, 56% have an unfavorable view of the Republican and 40% a favorable one. .

The three-percentage-point gap in party favorable ratings is down from 11 points earlier this year, shortly after President Joe Biden's inauguration and as the Senate was preparing to try former President Donald Trump on impeachment charges for his actions related to the January 6 Capitol Hill riot. At that point, the Democratic Party had a 48% to 37% edge in favorability.


Biden's loss of popularity, primarily among independents, is likely a factor in the lower favorable ratings of his party. The party's favorable image is also down mostly among independents, from 48% in January to 35% in the current poll.

As might be expected, Democrats' (92% favorable) and Republicans' (5% favorable) opinions of the Democratic Party are essentially unchanged, from 94% and 4%, respectively, in January.


1 in 3 Americans say they're open to abolishing or limiting the Supreme Court

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — A surprisingly significant portion of Americans would like to see the Supreme Court become the “Subordinate Court,” according to new research. A recent poll conducted by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania finds over a third of Americans “might be willing” to abolish the Supreme Court altogether or at least permit Congress to limit its power if it were to issue rulings either they or Congress disagree with.

Consisting of 1,008 participants, this research indicates a notable increase in the number of Americans are willing to consider doing away with or at least reducing the power of the nation’s highest court.

More specifically, the survey finds 34 percent of respondents told researchers “it might be better to do away with the court altogether” if it “started making a lot of rulings that most Americans disagreed with.” Another 38 percent believe that if Congress disagrees with the Supreme Court’s decisions, “Congress should pass legislation saying the Supreme Court can no longer rule on that issue or topic.”

“Respect for judicial independence appears to be eroding,” says Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC), in a university release. “The willingness of more than 1 in 3 Americans to entertain the idea of abolishing the court or stripping jurisdiction from it is alarming.”

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