New York Post Announces COVID Is Over. It’s Still Running Rampant.

Good news, everyone! The COVID-19/Omicron/BA.5 pandemic is apparently all over! Done! Gone! How do I know this? Because the editorial board of the Murdoch-owned fa-chrissakes New York Post says so. Why? Because President Biden is still alive. “Biden’s mild COVID case is proof the pandemic is over, and everyone should stop pretending otherwise,” reads the headline. All that’s missing is a “So there!” at the end. I’m just going to splash this on the stoop and see if the cat licks it up… but isn’t it at least possible the president of the United States is recovering so well in…

US Counted Over 126,000 New COVID Infections Yesterday. What Are We Doing?

A friend’s little girl couldn’t come out to play with my daughter the other day. She had the sniffles, and Dad was playing it safe, because his next door neighbors all have COVID. One of them works in an elder care facility, where my friend says the virus is moving like wildfire. Meanwhile, a relative just wrote to me with an email headline reading, “It’s in the building…” She works for the town, and her fellow employees at the tiny town hall are going down with COVID one by one by one, popping like virus firecrackers. State law prohibits closing…

COVID Policies Should Be Decided by Public Health Agencies, Not Corporations

The grinding two-plus years of the pandemic have yielded outsize benefits for one company — Pfizer — making it both highly influential and hugely profitable as COVID-19 continues to infect tens of thousands of people and kill hundreds each day. Its success in developing COVID medicines has given the drugmaker unusual weight in determining U.S. health policy. Based on internal research, the company’s executives have frequently announced the next stage in the fight against the pandemic before government officials have had time to study the issue, annoying many experts in the medical field and leaving some patients unsure whom to…

Activists Say WTO Deal on Vaccine Patents Is “Sham” Dictated by Rich Nations

The World Trade Organization’s 12th Ministerial Conference ended Friday with an agreement on patent rights that campaigners said would do virtually nothing to address vast global inequities in coronavirus vaccine and treatment access, a failure they attributed to relentless obstruction by rich countries and the pharmaceutical industry. Reached after marathon negotiations, the narrow deal clarifies governments’ ability to use compulsory licensing to ramp up vaccine production without the consent of patent-holding pharmaceutical companies. The agreement also temporarily eases restrictions on the export of vaccines produced under compulsory licenses. The final text, which is set to remain in effect for a…

COVID Is Not Behind Us — It’s Still Sending Children to the Emergency Room

“Americans have declared an unofficial end to the pandemic,” writes Robert Pearl, M.D. for Forbes. “Most people are no longer willing to mask up, keep their kids out of school or avoid spending time with family and friends…. Americans are moving on from Covid-19, whether or not health-policy experts believe they should.” All over, you say? Someone forgot to tell that to the preschool-aged son of my dear friend and colleague, a 4-year-old who presented with a viciously spiked fever over the weekend. As with nearly 4 million children in the U.S., my colleague’s child is susceptible to seizures if…

COVID Vaccines for Kids Under 5 Could be Available in June, FDA Official Says

An official with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said that coronavirus vaccines for children under the age of 5 will be considered — and likely approved — as soon as June. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, suggested that the vaccines will be available shortly in an interview published on Friday in The Washington Post. So far, only Moderna has submitted a request for emergency use authorization of its version of the COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 months to 4 years old. But Pfizer and BioNTech have said that they will…

Dwindling Public Concern About COVID Is Handing Republicans a Gift

Of all the things I expected to say at this point in 2022, “it’s great to be a Republican right now” was nowhere among them. If you had told me a year ago that the post-Trump GOP would be anything other than a shattered shambles today, I would have belly-laughed like Jabba the Hutt and then questioned your fitness as a political observer… yet here we are, so who’s the smart guy? Not me. Despite all that has taken place — Donald Trump’s crashing mismanagement of COVID, the economic and social upheaval caused by the pandemic, the loss of one…

White House Says Funding for Testing and Vaccines for Uninsured May Run Out Soon

On Tuesday, the White House announced that the government may soon have to stop providing free COVID vaccines, testing and treatments for uninsured people because Congress failed to approve more funding to address the pandemic in recent spending packages. If COVID funding continues to stall, providers won’t be able to submit claims for COVID testing and treatments starting next week, the White House warned. In April, the program will run out of funds to allow people without health insurance to get COVID vaccines for free. People without health insurance have been at a higher risk of dying due to COVID…

Far Right Truckers in “Freedom Convoy” Stopped by Ottawa Neighborhood Residents

Fed up with far right truck drivers and other extremist supporters in their city, residents from a neighborhood in Ottawa, Ontario, confronted and disrupted several truckers who were on their way downtown to join the so-called “Freedom Convoy.” Upon learning that the route of some trucks was located nearby, Sean Burges, a senior instructor at Carleton University, posted in a neighborhood Facebook group about a plan to protest the truckers’ arrival, according to a report by Ottawa Citizen. Around two dozen residents of his neighborhood initially joined him at the intersection at Riverside Drive and Bronson Avenue at 9 a.m.…

Only 10 Percent of Africa’s Population Is Fully Vaccinated

As new cases of the highly infectious Omicron variant continue to climb in undervaccinated parts of the world, we speak to the head of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about how vaccine inequity could lead to even more variants of the coronavirus. Dr. John Nkengasong says only 10% of the population is fully immunized in Africa, a continent of 1.3 billion people, and millions of vaccines donated by COVAX went unused because of their short shelf life. Meanwhile, several countries in Africa have begun manufacturing their own vaccines. “We have to shift our focus to vaccinating —…

South Carolina Lawmakers Propose Fines or Prison Time for Asking Vaccine Status

A bill proposed by the South Carolina state legislature would make it a crime for employers or business owners — and possibly even state residents in general — to ask someone if they have been vaccinated for protection against COVID-19. The lead sponsor of the bill, Republican Rep. Mike Burns, defended the proposal by claiming that it would protect state residents’ privacy rights. “Your private health information is still your private health information,” Burns said to a local news affiliate in the state, adding that he is opposed to private companies imposing vaccine rules for their workers. “We have a…

Capitalism Is Preventing Bold Steps to Curb COVID as Cases Skyrocket

The conversation on shutting down massive swaths of the economy and daily life, in order to corral the dual COVID-19 variant explosions of Delta and Omicron, has become brittle. President Biden has stated repeatedly that the U.S. is not “in the shutdown business,” a sentiment echoed by many of his political allies as well as members of the business community. Their hesitancy, while not as scientifically responsible as it should be, definitely has its reasons. Along with causing significant financial losses, the upheaval among the parents of young children was extremely punishing when schools closed and a haphazard form of…

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