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‘A Tipping Point’: Government Officials, Health Groups Move to Require Coronavirus Vaccines for Workers
The Department of Veterans Affairs, which runs one of the nation’s largest health systems, announced Monday it would mandate coronavirus vaccines for its front-line workers, becoming the first federal agency to do so and signaling what some experts said could be a national pivot to such requirements.
Faced with the explosive growth of a new virus variant, the state of California and the city of New York gave workers a choice: Get vaccinated or face weekly testing. And an array of hospitals from coast to coast, including the prestigious Mayo Clinic, declared they would require staff to get vaccinated, following a joint plea from the nation’s major medical groups.
Rutgers Sent ‘False and Misleading’ Emails to Students About COVID Vaccine Mandate, Attorney Says
A New Jersey attorney last week accused Rutgers university officials of sending “false and misleading” communications to students about the university’s COVID-19 vaccine policy.
In a letter to Jay Hoffman, Rutgers senior vice president and general counsel, attorney Julio C. Gomez asked Hoffman to investigate the misleading communications and direct university officials to retract them.
DOJ Says Federal Law Doesn’t Bar Businesses, Agencies From Mandating COVID Vaccines
Justice Department lawyers say that federal law doesn’t stop private businesses or public agencies from mandating COVID vaccines, according to an opinion released on Monday just hours after the Department of Veterans Affairs became the first federal agency to mandate inoculations for some of its employees.
The opinion from the department’s Office of Legal Counsel, dated July 6, opens the door for more businesses to require the shots for U.S. workers as COVID spreads among the unvaccinated, and comes two months after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released guidance saying U.S. employers could require all employees physically entering an office space to get the vaccine.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Says Voices Against the COVID Vaccinations Are ‘Criminal’
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that anti-vaccine voices are “criminal” at this juncture in the pandemic, as the country fights a fast-moving coronavirus variant and schools get ready to reopen.
“What they are doing to this country is undermining our future. They really are. They’re taking away the future of this country, because if we go backwards, if we go back to restrictions and shutdowns, this country’s going to be in a horrible, dangerous place in terms of our lives, our livelihoods, our economy,” Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “And if we don’t get it right on vaccination, we’re going to lose a huge number of Americans.”
San Francisco Bars Saw a ‘Surge’ of Breakthrough COVID Cases. Now They’re Requiring Vaccine Cards to Enter.
At the Latin American Club on Monday night, the rule was already in effect. Bouncer Jason Voisine, 54, asked patrons for proof of vaccination at the San Francisco bar known for its stiff margaritas. A photo of the vaccination record, he said, would do just fine.
“You’re going to see a lot of bars doing this now,” he warned.
Indeed, starting Thursday, hundreds of San Francisco bars will require patrons to show proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test before they can drink inside. It was a decision made Monday by the San Francisco Bar Owner Alliance, a coalition of more than 500 bars in the densely populated city. While it’s up to individual bars to participate, most members have opted in, Ben Bleiman, the organization’s founder, told The Washington Post.
CDC: Vaccinated People Should Wear Masks Indoors Again Amid Spread of COVID Delta Variant
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released stricter mask guidance Tuesday afternoon in response to the highly-contagious delta variant of COVID-19, but little is known about what that guidance could mean for Coloradans.
The CDC recommended that fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors in counties with high or substantial community transmission as COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the majority of which are now believed to be the delta variant, said CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.
Tech’s Massive Money Shield
The tech industry’s leading giants are floating on a cushion of record profits in lakes of reserve cash, and all that money makes them just about unsinkable.
Driving the news: Tech’s big five — Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft — all report their earnings between Tuesday and Thursday this week. Recent quarters have delivered blowout results for these companies, and many observers expect the same again.
As David Streitfeld writes in the New York Times: “Silicon Valley, still the world headquarters for tech start-ups, has never seen so much loot.”
Biden’s ‘Antitrust Revolution’ Overlooks AI — at Americans’ Peril
DESPITE THE EXECUTIVE orders and congressional hearings of the “Biden antitrust revolution,” the most profound anti-competitive shift is happening under policymakers’ noses: the cornering of artificial intelligence and automation by a handful of tech companies. This needs to change.
There is little doubt that the impact of AI will be widely felt. It is shaping product innovations, creating new research, discovery, and development pathways, and reinventing business models. AI is making inroads in the development of autonomous vehicles, which may eventually improve road safety, reduce urban congestion, and help drivers make better use of their time. AI recently predicted the molecular structure of almost every protein in the human body, and it helped develop and roll out a COVID vaccine in record time.
Joint Open Letter by Civil Society Organizations and Independent Experts Calling on States to Implement an Immediate Moratorium on the Sale, Transfer and Use of Surveillance Technology
In this joint open letter, 146 civil society organizations and 28 independent experts worldwide call on states to implement an immediate moratorium on the sale, transfer and use of surveillance technology. Alarmed by the Pegasus Project revelations that NSO Group’s spyware has been used to facilitate human rights violations around the world on a massive scale, the undersigned highlight the key human rights implications of this major exposé and issue a series of recommendations to states, as well as states that export surveillance technology.
Portland Will Not Mandate Vaccinations or Weekly COVID Tests for City Workers
Portland officials said Monday the city will not require municipal workers to get vaccinated or submit to weekly coronavirus tests, hours after the largest state and city in the U.S. each imposed similar mandates.
Instead, the city will continue to promote “evidence-based information campaigns” about the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine and encourage high-risk or unvaccinated workers to wear face coverings and take other safety precautions, said Heather Hafer, a spokeswoman for the Office of Management and Finance.
Missouri AG Sues Over St. Louis Area Mask Mandate
The attorney general in Missouri has sued in an effort to halt a mask mandate that took effect Monday in the St. Louis area amid a rise in COVID-19 cases that are burdening a growing number of hospitals around the state.
The mandate, one of the first to be reinstated in the country, requires everyone age 5 or older to wear masks in indoor public places and on public transportation in St. Louis city and St. Louis County even if they are vaccinated. Wearing masks outdoors is strongly encouraged, especially in group settings.
Vaccine Should Be Mandatory for Those Receiving Government Healthcare, ABC News’s Margaret Hoover Says
ABC News panelist Margaret Hoover said on Sunday that patients receiving government healthcare should be required to get the coronavirus vaccine. During a segment on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Hoover explained that she thinks the government should make life “almost impossible” for those who are unvaccinated.