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NY Hospitals Fear Staff Shortage as Vaccine Deadline Looms

Associated Press reported:

Hospitals and nursing homes in New York are bracing for the possibility that a statewide COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers could lead to staff shortages when it takes effect Monday.

Doctors and nurses — and also support staff, like food service workers and cleaners — have been given until Sept. 27 to get at least their first vaccine shot in one of the nation’s most aggressive plans to protect patients.

With just days left to go before the deadline, many still hadn’t. That left the prospect of potentially thousands of healthcare workers being forced off the job next week.

Judge Denies Mass. State Police Bid for Injunction on Vaccine Mandate

NBC Boston reported:

A Superior Court judge late Thursday denied the request of the union representing 1,800 members of the State Police to block the implementation of Gov. Charlie Baker’s vaccine mandate until the details can be collectively bargained.

The decision leaves unvaccinated troopers with just days to get their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine or face potential disciplinary action, including the loss of their job, when they are not fully vaccinated by mid-October.

Judge Jackie Cowin ruled that the State Police Association of Massachusetts had failed to show that the implementation of the mandate on Oct. 17 would either cause irreparable harm to its members or that a delay would serve the public interest.

Voters Want to Curb the Influence of Big Tech Companies, New Poll Shows

PR Newswire reported:

An overwhelming majority of American voters support strong online privacy protections while eight out of ten strongly support holding social media companies more accountable for “illegal and harmful content” posted on their sites, according to a recent survey conducted by the Benenson Strategy Group and Public Opinion Strategies for The Future of Tech Commission.

Americans demonstrated grave concerns that tech companies can reach too far into their lives, and expressed strong bipartisan support for government action. The survey finds that nine in ten voters across party lines support ‘privacy by default’ and that eighty percent of American voters overall — 83% of Democrats and 78% of Republicans — believe the federal government “needs to do everything it can to curb the influence of big tech companies that have grown too powerful and now use our data to reach too far into our lives.”

Black Lives Matter of Greater New York Leader Blasts Vaccine Mandates as Racist and Disrespectful

Washington Examiner reported:

Black Lives Matter activists have turned on New York City’s leadership over what they claim are racist COVID-19 vaccine requirements.

Mayor Bill De Blasio has aggressively pushed a “vaccine passport” system that bars entry to restaurants, gyms, and other public places without proof of COVID-19 inoculation. But with black residents lagging the overall population in vaccinations, the rules are disproportionately affecting a minority group usually in step with Democratic policies. The schism came to a head on Monday, when Black Lives Matter of Greater New York launched a protest outside a restaurant where enforcement of the policy sparked a melee.

Hawk Newsome is a black activist and co-founder of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. Newsome spoke with the Washington Examiner about the difficulties vaccine-hesitant blacks are facing in the era of medical passports.

CNN Health Experts Cling to COVID Restrictions, Call for Extending Masks in Schools, Separating Kids in ‘Pods’

Fox News reported:

Despite a decreasing national case average and a wide-reaching vaccine mandate in place, CNN medical contributors and guests are not ready to bid farewell to the overreaching COVID-19 regulations that continue to upend daily life in the U.S.

Asked whether it would still be necessary for children to wear facemasks in their classrooms now that they can get the vaccine, the “Uncontrolled Spread” author, former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, suggested asymptomatic students be tested twice a week to “cut down the risk of transmission in schools dramatically.” Gottlieb also encouraged schools to keep students in “defined social pods” to prevent them from intermingling with those outside their immediate classrooms.

CNN medical contributor Dr. Leana Wen said the country was “nowhere near” ready to start lifting mask regulations in schools.

Flying the Vaccinated Skies: Where Major Airlines Stand With Employee Mandates

The Washington Post via MSN reported:

There is no requirement for air travelers within the United States to be vaccinated against COVID-19. But depending on which airline you fly, there might be a mandate for employees.

While all major U.S. carriers are trying to get their workforces vaccinated, some are going further than others, with United being the first to mandate vaccinations, in August. Other airlines instead have been offering their employees incentives, mandating testing for the unvaccinated or tacking on an extra insurance charge.

But President Biden’s order this month — which said companies with 100 or more employees must mandate vaccination or weekly testing — will probably change the game.

Shadowdragon: Inside the Social Media Surveillance Software That Can Watch Your Every Move

The Intercept reported:

A Michigan state police contract, obtained by The Intercept, sheds new light on the growing use of little-known surveillance software that helps law enforcement agencies and corporations watch people’s social media and other website activity.

The software, put out by a Wyoming company called ShadowDragon, allows police to suck in data from social media and other internet sources, including Amazon, dating apps, and the dark web, so they can identify persons of interest and map out their networks during investigations. By providing powerful searches of more than 120 different online platforms and a decade’s worth of archives, the company claims to speed up profiling work from months to minutes.

This new revelation about the Michigan contract raises questions about what digital surveillance capabilities other police departments and law enforcement agencies in the U.S. might be quietly acquiring. And it comes at a time when previously known government social media surveillance is under fire from civil rights and liberties advocates like MediaJustice and the American Civil Liberties Union.

3 East Bay School Districts Go All-In on Student Vaccine Mandates

CBS News San Francisco reported:

State leaders are now discussing whether a COVID vaccine should be required for all students age 12 and older to attend in-person classes.

State Health Director, Dr. Mark Ghaly, made the comments during a teleconference Thursday afternoon and Gov. Gavin Newsom echoed the idea later that same day saying, “Our health director said this is on the table. It’s being debated and, over the next few days, we’ll come out with some recommendations.”

Three districts in the Bay Area have already said they’ll be implementing vaccine mandates for students 12 and older: Oakland Unified, Hayward and Piedmont.

Campaign Pushes Back, Threatens to Sue City of Raleigh Over Vaccine Mandate for Employees

CBS 17 reported:

It has been roughly a week since the City of Raleigh’s new vaccine requirement for its employees kicked in. Employees must be fully vaccinated to be eligible for promotions.

However, the people behind a GoFundMe campaign representing city employees say the city is wrong.

The fundraiser said there are plans to sue and file a complaint against this “overreach of power and medical discrimination.”