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The highest court in the land has ruled against the White House’s requirement that large businesses require employees to get a vaccine or test regularly and wear a mask on the job. And enforce all that. The good news for the White House is the court is allowing it to proceed with vaccine mandates for most healthcare workers.
Looks like supply chain problems also apply to COVID drugs. Two brand-new pills anticipated to be an effective tool against the pandemic are in short supply. As such, they aren’t playing much of a role during this Omicron surge. Production is still being ramped up and the pills take five to eight months to manufacture. Doctors say they’re needed now, because two antibody drugs that were once the go-to treatments don’t work as well against Omicron.
The U.S. President announced the government will double to 1 billion the rapid, at-home COVID-19 tests to be distributed courtesy of taxpayers, often called “free,” along with “high-quality masks.” Also, starting next week, 1,000 military medical personnel will deploy across the country to help overwhelmed medical facilities ease staff shortages.
Speaking of the military, it’s getting smaller. The Army just relieved six active-duty commanders, including two battalion commanders, and issued 2,994 general officer written reprimands to soldiers for refusing to take the vaccine. They’re waiting on guidance now on kicking them out of the service. The Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines have so far granted zero religious exemptions.
Like it or not, a national digital vaccine card is happening in America. The SMART Health Card is voluntary, for now, and has your information in a QR code. More states and companies have signed on and the card is widely available from more than 400 sources. The next step is getting more public places like venues, bars, restaurants, theaters, amusement parks, etc. to require the card so it soon becomes not that voluntary.
In the United States, cases were up 159%, deaths are up 51%, and hospitalizations are up 82% over 14 days. The 7-day average of new cases has been trending up since December 14.
The five states that had the most daily deaths per 100,000 are Indiana, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Maryland.
There are now over 21 million active cases in the United States, at 21,455,773.
The five areas with the greatest increase in hospitalizations per capita: The U.S. Virgin Islands 467%. Puerto Rico 293%, Louisiana 276%. Florida 241%. And Alabama 186%.
The top 10 areas with the highest number of recent cases per capita according to The New York Times: Teton, WY. Miami-Dade, FL. Greensville, VA. Pitkin, CO. Summit, UT. Tom Green, TX. Providence, RI. Rolette, ND. New York City, NY. And Logan, IL.
There have been at least 846,459 deaths in the U.S. recorded as Covid-related.
The top 3 vaccinating states by percentage of population that’s been fully vaccinated: Vermont at 78.3%, Rhode Island at 77.5%, and Maine at 76.5%. The bottom 3 vaccinating states are Wyoming at 48%, Alabama at 48.2%, and Mississippi at 48.8%. The percentage of the U.S. that’s been fully vaccinated is 62.7%.
Globally, cases were up 132% and deaths up 10% over 14 days, with the 7-day average trending up since October 15.
There are now over 51 million active cases around the world, at 51,329,047.
The five countries with the most new cases: The United States 806,493. France 305,322. India 253,496. Italy 184,615. And Spain 159,161.
There have been 5,520,282 deaths reported as Covid-related worldwide.
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