Joe Biden provides update on federal peak response to Omicron
The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a Biden administration vaccination mandate that would have required 80 million workers to be vaccinated against Covid-19 or undergo regular testing.
In a blow to the president’s efforts to get more Americans vaccinated, the decision comes as health experts believe the United States could be nearing the peak of the latest wave of Covid caused by the highly contagious variant of Omicron.
Meanwhile, a number of Republican politicians have vowed they will defy Washington, DC’s proposed vaccination mandate for businesses.
The mandate, which was announced by Mayor Muriel Bowser in December, requires many establishments — from gyms and theaters to bars and restaurants — to require patrons over the age of 12 to show proof of vaccinations before entering. Such requirements have been adopted in several cities in the United States.
Last month, New York City became the first municipality in the United States to expand its vaccine requirements to all private sector employees.
The Biden administration will also begin offering up to four free at-home rapid tests for Covid-19 next week through a website portal, to be delivered within seven to 12 days. The move comes as the administration expands free testing options and requires private insurance companies to cover their costs.
How does the cost of rapid tests in the United States compare to other countries?
The Biden administration is ordering 500 million home Covid-19 test kits to distribute to Americans in addition to the 500 million tests announced by the administration last month.
The federal government also plans to launch a website next week for Americans to order such tests to their homes for free.
The measures follow a plan to require private health insurance providers to cover the costs of up to eight over-the-counter tests per month.
Home testing can be relatively expensive — tests can range from $10 to $35 — with out-of-pocket fees adding up quickly for families or individuals who need results for work and other activities.
And they can also be free, depending on demand and availability, in public health centers and other sites.
Here’s how the costs of rapid tests in the United States compare to those in other countries:
Alex WoodwardJanuary 15, 2022 3:09 p.m.
Government could claw back millions in Arizona Covid aid over mask policies
Federal officials are threatening to claw back billions in coronavirus aid from Arizona, accusing the state of promoting Covid education programs that undermine efforts to stop the spread and penalize districts that require masks or stop the virus. in-person teaching.
Olivier O’ConnellJanuary 14, 2022 10:05 p.m.
The number of countries that may have seen Omicron’s peak increase
Data from Johns Hopkins shows that other countries, in addition to the United States and the United Kingdom, which have been hit hard by the sudden wave of the highly transmissible variant of Covid-19 Omicron, could also turn the page.
Ireland, Denmark, Iceland, Italy and Canada also appear to have seen the peak in the number of cases according to their seven-day moving averages.
Olivier O’ConnellJanuary 14, 2022 9:55 p.m.
Canada requires U.S. truckers to be vaccinated
Canada plans to start turning back unvaccinated U.S. truckers at the border this weekend, a move that threatens to upend the flow of everything from food to auto parts to building materials between two of the biggest partners world trade.
Only 50 to 60 percent of American truck drivers are vaccinated, according to an estimate by the American Trucking Associations. The rules will make thousands of drivers ineligible for cross-border shipments, worsening a shortage at a time when the transport industry is already strained.
Delivery will be disrupted in both directions as the United States prepares to impose its own vaccination mandate on foreign travelers on January 22. In Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government confirmed Thursday that truckers across Canada would also be affected — forced into quarantine if they attempt to return to their own country and cannot present proof of vaccination.
Olivier O’ConnellJanuary 14, 2022 9:45 p.m.
DeSantis: Justices Roberts and Kavanaugh lack ‘backbone’ on medical vaccine mandate
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis says Supreme Court Justices John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh lack a ‘backbone’ after their ruling on the Biden administration’s vaccination mandate for healthcare workers .
Mr DeSantis slammed them during an appearance on the Conservative Podcast Ruthless Friday.
“On the nurse’s warrant and the doctor’s warrant, Roberts and Kavanaugh joined the liberals in allowing the nurse’s warrant,” he said.
“So here’s what happens, think how crazy it is,” Mr. DeSantis continued. “Now in Florida we have protected nurses, so we have people working. But in other states they fired nurses who weren’t vaccinated.
He said that in some hospitals in states where this was not the case, they allowed employees who were vaccinated but positive for Covid to return to work because they were understaffed.
“So they have Covid-positive people again, while unvaccinated nurses, probably immune from a previous infection, are being fired,” the governor said, again calling the policies crazy.
“Roberts and Kavanaugh had no backbone on this decision,” he added. “That’s just the end result.”
The governor said he will continue to protect the right to work of unvaccinated medical personnel.
Olivier O’ConnellJanuary 14, 2022 9:25 p.m.
29% “surprisingly high” positivity rate in the United States
Former CDC director Tom Frieden calls the current 29% positivity rate in the United States surprisingly high and notes that many infections are missed.
Olivier O’ConnellJanuary 14, 2022 8:44 p.m.
GE suspends COVID-19 vaccine or testing requirement
General Electric Co said on Friday it suspended the Covid-19 vaccine or testing requirement for employees after the Supreme Court ruling.
The court on Thursday blocked President Joe Biden’s Covid-19 vaccination or testing mandate for big business – a policy that conservative justices have seen as an improper imposition on the lives and health of many Americans – while approving a separate federal vaccine requirement for healthcare facilities.
Companies can still impose their own vaccination or testing requirements and the court ruling does not affect their ability to do so.
The Biden administration has said it will continue to encourage this kind of private sector-mandated action.
With information from Reuters
Olivier O’ConnellJanuary 14, 2022 8:36 p.m.
How to Spot a Fake KN95 Mask
Jade Bremner explains how to spot a counterfeit KN95 mask.
Olivier O’ConnellJanuary 14, 2022 8:23 p.m.
Kentucky lawmaker torn for ‘brave’ stance against vaccine rules
Republican Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky is being mocked for his stance against takeout from DC restaurants that require proof of vaccination to enter.
He tweeted: “DC vaccine mandate goes into effect this weekend. My office will not comply. We will not show any papers. We will not be ordering takeout from restaurants that require dinner paperwork. We will get our food from Virginia or bring it to work. Shame has descended on our nation’s capital.
California Democrat Eric Swalwell replied, “I never thought I would serve with a braver colleague than John Lewis. Then Thomas Massie stood up and refused to order takeout from DC. Fight, Thomas! We will vanquish !
Journalist Aaron Rupar also said, “Previous generations of great Americans held the line at Gettysburg or stormed the beaches of Normandy. Rep Massie gets Five Guys from Virginia instead of DC. What heroism.
Olivier O’ConnellJanuary 14, 2022 8:16 p.m.
A “moron” senator claims to be writing the “FAUCI law”
Days after being called a “moron” by White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci for making false claims about his financial disclosures, Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall plans to introduce legislation bearing the name of the federal government’s top infectious disease expert who would facilitate these disclosures. find.
According to multiple reports, Sen. Marshall plans to introduce a One-Time Compensation Financial Accountability Bill – or FAUCI Act for short – to make Dr. Fauci’s financial disclosure forms public.
The veteran virologist told a Senate hearing this week: ‘I don’t understand why you are asking me this question. My financial disclosure is public knowledge and has been for about 37 years – 35 years that I have been a director.
Andrew Feinberg reports from Washington, DC.
Olivier O’ConnellJanuary 14, 2022 8:09 p.m.
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