After several previous workouts with Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, this time Dr. Anthony Fauci took off the gloves.
The government’s top infectious disease expert appeared before Congress again on Tuesday and again engaged in a heated discussion with Paul, who accused him of lying in a previous hearing on the funding by the National Institutes of Health of a laboratory in Wuhan that Paul suggested to contribute to the COVID -19 pandemic.
When Fauci explained that the project Paul was referring to did not qualify as a job search, which could include increasing the transmissibility of viruses, the senator interrupted and insisted. Fauci scolded him sharply.
“Sen. Paul, you don’t know what you’re talking about, quite frankly,” Fauci said. “And I want to say it officially. You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
After an exchange in which they cut each other off, Paul said: “You are trying to obscure the responsibility of 4 million people who have died worldwide from a pandemic,” Paul said.
Paul was told to let Fauci speak, and the White House chief medical adviser replied, “You are implying that what we did was responsible for the deaths of people. I don’t like that at all. , and if anyone is lying here, senator, it is you. “
– Jordan Mendoza
Also in the news:
►A White House official and Assistant to the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, both fully vaccinated, tested positive for the coronavirus after attending an event together.
►Costco will continue to organize special hours of operation for members 60 and over and vulnerable buyers, reducing them to two days per week.
►The United States has improved its travel warnings for Britain, Indonesia and three other destinations, advising against visiting those countries due to the surge in coronavirus infections.
►Canada will reopen its doors to U.S. citizens and fully vaccinated permanent residents starting August 9.
►Spanish authorities are celebrating that half of the country’s population, or around 24 million people, have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, although they say a sharp rise in infections is sending a worrying number of patients to hospitals.
Numbers of the day: The United States has recorded more than 34.1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 609,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Global totals: Over 191 million cases and 4.1 million deaths. More than 161.4 million Americans – 48.6% of the population – have been fully immunized, according to the CDC.
What we read: At a time when the infection rate has doubled, many go unvaccinated, and the delta variant is much more contagious than the original, it’s important to recognize that vaccines aren’t perfect.
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Increasing push to “vax it and hide it”
Even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said people vaccinated didn’t need to wear masks indoors two months ago, experts are now calling on people to “vax it and mask it.”
Los Angeles County imposed masks indoors this weekend, although the county sheriff said he would not apply it. Other counties in California have recommended indoor masks as well. Arkansas, Missouri and New York are assessing mask warrants as cases increase in those states.
And the American Academy of Pediatrics on Monday released recommendations for the 2021-22 school year that include all people over the age of 2 wearing masks, regardless of their immunization status.
“Instead of vaxing it OR masking it, emerging data suggests the CDC should advise vaxing it and masking it in areas with (increasing) cases and positivity until the numbers come down again,” former US surgeon general Dr Jerome Adams said. said on Twitter.
The weekly moving average of cases in the United States has nearly tripled in the past month. The rate of deaths is also up sharply – 24.7% from its low point two weeks ago.
Survey: 78% of adults think vaccines work
A new survey from the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania reveals growing public confidence in the safety and efficacy of COVID vaccines.
Of the 1,719 American adults surveyed, 78% believe it is definitely or probably true that vaccines work – an increase from 74% in April. Meanwhile, 76% of those polled believe it is certainly or probably true that it is safer to get the vaccine than to contract COVID-19.
The survey also showed that public trust in U.S. health officials continues, with 76% of respondents expressing confidence in the CDC and 68% in Dr Anthony Fauci, the face of the country’s viral response.
But there is good news and bad news, Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, said in a statement. The survey also found that people who rely on conservative media are more likely to have less confidence in Fauci and vaccines, as well as more likely to believe misinformation about both.
“Those who trust health authorities are more likely to get the vaccine,” Jamieson said. “The misleading messages that undermine confidence in a health expert like Dr Fauci are deeply disturbing.”
Low vaccination rates, delta variant fuel surge in southern cases
New cases linked to the highly infectious delta variant are on the increase and disproportionately affect unvaccinated populations, creating a precarious situation in several southern states. In many of these states, health workers continue to grapple with widespread reluctance and misinformation regarding immunization, which has resulted in some of the lowest immunization rates in the country.
Over the past two weeks, health officials in the region have issued warnings alerting the public to the widespread spread of the delta variant, which is more contagious.
“It is very reminiscent of where we were at the start of the pandemic,” said Mississippi state epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers. “It feels like we’re in the same situation now with the delta variant.” Read more here.
– Maria Clark, Melissa Brown and Sarah Haselhorst, The American South
Americans struggle to pay their medical bills during pandemic
Americans have found it increasingly difficult to pay their medical bills during the pandemic due to being infected with COVID-19, losing income or losing their employer’s health insurance coverage, new investigation finds .
More than a third of insured adults and half of uninsured adults reported having difficulty paying a medical bill. The national survey conducted by the Commonwealth Fund between March and June 2021 questioned 5,450 working-age adults on the impact of the pandemic on their health insurance coverage and their medical debt.
“They suffered ruined credit scores. They couldn’t afford basic necessities like food, heat or rent, ”said lead author Dr Sara Collins, Commonwealth Fund vice president for coverage, access and health care monitoring.
This trend has become a chronic problem in the U.S. healthcare system, she said. Read more here.
These are the biggest COVID vaccine myths spreading online
Health officials say misinformation continues to hamper vaccination efforts, and they call on social media companies to do more to address it.
“They’re killing people,” President Joe Biden said when NBC News asked him what his message was to platforms like Facebook. “The only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated. And they kill people.
In a statement, Facebook said the company would not be “distracted by accusations that are not supported by the facts.” Biden clarified on Monday that his comments were aimed at those who spread lies about the vaccine on social media platforms.
Health experts agree that more needs to be done to tackle misinformation online, and they have debunked some of social media’s biggest myths about COVID-19 vaccines. Read more here.
– Adrianna Rodriguez
Former senior official accuses Boris Johnson of mismanaging COVID-19 threat last year
Dominic Cummings, a former senior official to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, accused Johnson of dismissing the threat of COVID-19 last year.
Since quitting his job in November, Cummings has launched attacks on his former boss through blog posts, tweets and testimonies to lawmakers, accusing Johnson of failing to act quickly against the coronavirus and causing unrest. thousands of unnecessary deaths.
The latest accusations came from a BBC interview on Tuesday in which Cummings said Johnson’s attitude in fall 2020 “was a weird mix of, in part,” Everything is absurd and the lockdowns don’t work not anyway, “and in part,” Well that’s terrible but the people who die are pretty much all over 80 and we can’t kill the economy just because of the people who die over. 80 years old.”’
Johnson’s office did not deny Cummings’ claims but said that “since the start of the pandemic, the Prime Minister has taken the necessary steps to protect lives and livelihoods, guided by the best scientific advice” .
Groundbreaking cases of COVID – infections of those who are fully vaccinated – are rare but expected. Vaccines against the coronavirus are effective but not 100%.
According to the CDC, the effectiveness of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is 94-95% after the second injection, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was 66.3% effective in preventing infection. Even in the best case scenario, this represents at least 5 in every 100 people vaccinated potentially vulnerable to infection.
There is some evidence that vaccination can make the disease less severe in people who are still infected, according to the CDC. But with the delta variant now accounting for over 80% of new infections in the United States, some experts are even encouraging those vaccinated to wear a mask indoors in public, especially in areas with low vaccination rates.
– CA Bridges, Palm Beach Post
Why did the Dow lose 700 points on Monday?
Concerns about the resurgence of the pandemic caused Wall Street shares in Tokyo to fall on Monday, fueled by fears that faster-spreading variants of the coronavirus could upend the strong economic recovery.
The increased concerns about the virus may seem strange to people in parts of the world where masks come off, or have already done, thanks to COVID-19 vaccinations.
But the World Health Organization said cases and deaths were on the rise globally after a period of decline, spurred by the highly contagious delta variant. And given how tightly connected the global economy is, one blow anywhere can quickly affect others on the other side of the world. Read more here.
Contribute: The Associated Press.