Tag: Omicron

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Omicron is declining around the world, but still presents danger


Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for children under 5 could be available by the end of February, people with knowledge say

Pfizer and its partner, BioNTech, the manufacturers of the vaccine, are expected to submit to the Food and Drug Administration as early as Tuesday a request for emergency-use authorization for the vaccine for children 6 months to 5 years old, which would make it the first vaccine available for that age group. Older children already can receive the shot.

The FDA urged the companies to submit the application so that regulators could begin reviewing the two-shot data, according to the knowledgeable individuals, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

The companies in the last few months have been testing a third dose, following disappointing results for the two-shot regimen showing that while the vaccine is safe, two doses did not provide a strong enough immune response in all age groups. But data on a third shot will not be available until at least late March. Once that information is submitted, regulators are expected to authorize a third dose of the pediatric vaccine.


Aaron Blake/WaPo:

Trump toys with the mob — again

In Texas, Trump encouraged people to hold protests over his legal jeopardy and suggested he would pardon Jan. 6 rioters who took such a message to its extreme

What’s the worst that could happen?

Former president Donald Trump on Saturday night sent his strongest signal to date that he will fight his legal problems outside of a court of law. He encouraged people to engage in massive demonstrations in jurisdictions pursuing criminal investigations against him over Jan. 6 and tax-related issues. Then, minutes later, he said that if he’s reinstalled as president, he would consider pardoning some of the Jan. 6 Capitol rioters.

Both Trump comments were, as with many earlier ones about ongoing legal matters, carefully tailored. (Trump seemed to be reading them off a teleprompter rather than speaking extemporaneously.) The combination of the two comments, though, can’t help but conjure a repeat — or at least the suggestive prospect of a repeat — of the kind of lawlessness we saw just over a year ago.

“If these radical, vicious, racist prosecutors do anything wrong or illegal, I hope we are going to have in this country the biggest protests we have ever had in Washington, D.C., in New York, in Atlanta and elsewhere,” Trump said, “because our country and our elections are corrupt.”



4.3 million Americans left their jobs in December as omicron variant disrupted everything

The high number of people leaving their jobs came amid immense pressure on workers and parents, many of whom had to juggle multiple responsibilities as case numbers surged at the end of 2021.

The elevated quitting data, which represented nearly three percent of the country’s employed population, is another window into how the labor market’s patterns have been upended by the pandemic.

While the crisis was originally marked by mass joblessness — more than 20 million people lost their jobs in the earliest days of the pandemic, many temporarily — 2021 was defined by a strong labor market recovery as well as complaints by employers about difficulty finding available workers.

That shortage has meant that many companies have been racing to compete with each other for workers, raising wages, adding cash bonuses and sweetening the pot in other ways to try to attract applicants. And that in turn has created a climate for workers to have more leverage and options than perhaps any other time in recent history.


Bill Scher/Washington Monthly:

What Message Should Biden Use in the Midterms?

Blaming Republicans can only get you so far. The president needs to embrace his bipartisan successes and lay out a plan for more.

Biden wants it both ways: He wants credit for breaking partisan gridlock, and he wants to tag Republicans for worsening partisan gridlock. But that doesn’t make for a coherent midterm message. Biden and the Democrats need to choose between selling a bipartisan success story or blaming Republicans and apostate Dems for screwing everything up.

You can understand why Biden attacks Republicans more than he applauds them. Even the most committed compromiser puts on the gloves in campaign season. Moreover, Democrats would like to take the ambitious ideas that hit a wall of Republican opposition in the past year and use them in November to stimulate turnout—ideas such as voting rights protections, paid family leave, and free community college. Running on such a platform requires drawing a clear and partisan contrast.

Yet this sharp-elbowed partisan strategy is out of whack with how Biden ran in 2020 and with what voters still want today.


Monmouth Poll:

Time to Accept Covid and Move On?

Fully 7 in 10 Americans (70%) agree with the sentiment that “it’s time we accept that Covid is here to stay and we just need to get on with our lives” – including 78% of those who report having gotten Covid and 65% of those who say they have not been infected. The main difference in the sense that it is time to move on is due to partisanship – ranging from 89% of Republicans and 71% of independents to 47% of Democrats. Only one-third of the public (34%) feels the country will get the outbreak under control and return to normal by the end of the year. In fact, more than 1 in 4 (28%) now believe a return to normalcy will never happen, which is up from 22% who felt this way in September and just 6% who were similarly pessimistic exactly a year ago.

“Americans’ worries about Covid haven’t gone away. It seems more to be a realization that we are not going to get this virus under control in a way that we thought was possible just last year,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Four in 10 Americans (40%) report that they have had Covid – or think they have had it – since the pandemic began, including 27% who said their infection was confirmed with a test. About one-third (36%) of people who have been vaccinated report also being infected with Covid (note: the poll did not ask whether infection occurred before or after vaccination) and about 6 in 10 (61%) of those who have not gotten a shot say they have been infected with the virus.

Half the public is either very (23%) or somewhat (27%) concerned about catching one of the new Covid variants. This concern includes 58% of those who have not had Covid, but also includes 38% of those who have already had it. The number of adults who are very concerned about catching a new variant is up somewhat from early December (14%) before the omicron variant really hit the U.S. Similarly, the number of people who are very concerned about a family member becoming seriously ill from the virus (38%) has increased since December (30%), but it is still lower than concern in September (45%) when the delta variant was spreading.


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Miami landlords are raising rents and evicting vulnerable tenants as omicron surges

Cities across Florida, where low taxes and few pandemic restrictions lured snowbirds and tech entrepreneurs, made up 25% of the top 20 list of cities with the fastest growth in rent prices. Miami came in...

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Omicron continues to batter schools, with staffing shortages forcing many to close

Wichita isn’t unique in Kansas: Schools in Olathe, Kansas City, Eudora, Desoto, Manhattan-Ogden, Bonner Springs, and El Dorado have also had recent closures because of high COVID-19 rates. In Alabama,...

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Abortion care mutual aid funds see spike in calls as omicron surges

“Folks are out of jobs; capitalism is failing everybody, our health care systems are failing everybody,” Bourne said. “Our whole health care system was founded on racism and paternalism. All of...

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Biden admin doesn’t have to repeat past mistakes. It should release immigrants amid omicron surge

Per ICE data, Otay Mesa is reporting 79 confirmed cases as of Jan. 11. The facility, operated by private prison profiteer CoreCivic, has reported 744 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic. In...

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Emergency services and the omicron surge

The omicron strain isn’t “just a cold,” particularly to unvaccinated people. It’s ridiculous that people want to think that. “Oh, South Africa is past their peak!” What, the South...

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Omicron closing schools despite political vows; Republican support for violence rises

Political promises are one thing, but if you simply don’t have enough still-healthy staff to keep a school open then it’s not going to open. The point of social distancing (back when we were...

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Citing quickly spreading omicron variant, advocates renew calls for release of detained immigrants

“The most important thing to remember about immigration detention is that people who are in detention are awaiting adjudication of their civil immigration cases. They could very well be waiting these...


Omarion Hilariously Explains He is NOT the Omicron Variant

Play video content @omarion / TikTok The Omicron/Omarion jokes have reached the source — and the man (not the variant) is here to set the record straight about the difference between himself …...

Hip-Hop Now

Omarion Responds To Omicron Jokes: "I Am An Artist, Not A Variant"

Omarion has responded to the ongoing jokes comparing his name to the new COVID-19 variant, omicron. The R&B singer played into the memes on TikTok, Saturday. “Hi everybody, this is...

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COVID and Omicron continue to lead the news

James Surowiecki/Medium: You Shouldn’t Have to Pay $24 for a 2-Pack of At-Home Covid Tests Getting tested for Covid is a social good. It only makes sense for governments to help pay for it. Local...

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A calm before the Omicron storm as counting pauses for the holidays

x Good morning to everyone working in our hospitals. I don’t know how you’re holding up, but bless you. I’m sorry we’re putting you through this. — Mike Corey (@MLCorey1982) December 26, 2021 We...

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Have a Merry Christmas. Omicron is coming but we are here.

Katherine Eban/Vanity Fair: The Biden Administration Rejected an October Proposal for “Free Rapid Tests for the Holidays” With omicron cases spreading like wildfire, the White House is finally taking...

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Omicron surges; military believed Trump might use them to seize power

Even Trump’s top defense officials believed he might betray the nation rather than give up power. Everyone around him knew he was capable of it. In the news today: The omicron variant of COVID-19 is...

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Manchin tries to kill Biden infrastructure plan for good; omicron posing big new risks

Biden and Democrats kept trimming the bill down, but Manchin kept coming up with new reasons for delay. In the news today: Sen. Joe Manchin faced harsh statements from the White House and fellow Democrats...


Vegas NYE Parties Rage on Despite COVID Omicron Surge

Cases of COVID-19 are ramping up again in the United States — and the omicron variant has firmly planted roots — but that doesn’t mean things will slow down on the Las Vegas Strip, which...

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And so this is omicron; that feeling when you almost like Liz Cheney; and … cats

As omicron surges, Christmas—that bright and wintry holiday that atheists, agnostics, and Christians alike tend to enjoy—looms. Across the world, those who enjoy a big meal, a sparkling tree, and...


‘SNL’ Bans Live Audience for Paul Rudd Taping Due to Omicron Spike

The Omicron variant is all over the Big Apple, and a new spike in cases has got everyone spooked — including the folks over at ‘SNL’ … who will go without a live audience tonight....


Santas Back in Biz, Still on Alert for Omicron and Unvaxxed Young Kids

Santas of all varieties — malls, town squares and backyards — are back to putting smiles (mostly) on kids faces, thanks to the COVID vaccines, but with omicron creeping … it’s...

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Educators in states without school mask mandates are concerned about the COVID-19 omicron variant

In Mississippi, where school mask mandates are optional, Black people make up 38% of COVID-19 cases and 40% of deaths despite making up 38% of the population. In Florida, Black people make up 14% of cases...

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Omicron, SCOTUS and media reluctance to face GOP anti-democratic forces

x First the spatial spread. Recall previous variants and the pace with which they were reported in different locations. Omicron is already on all continents other than Antarctica in slightly over a week...