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Bill Gates Says He’s Taken the Brunt of COVID Conspiracy Abuse Because People Don’t Know Anthony Fauci Outside the U.S.

Fortune reported:

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Bill Gates through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has spent over $2 billion to strengthen the global response to the pandemic by making vaccines available to lower-income countries and funding the development of antivirals or immunotherapies.

But in the minds of a small sector of the population, the Microsoft founder, along with Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to the U.S. President, did a lot more: They orchestrated the whole pandemic as a way of controlling the population.

While the theories were founded in the U.S. — mainly by QAnon conspiracy theorists — and have engulfed both Gates’ and Fauci’s domestic work in the COVID-19 response, when the rumors spread to Europe, it was Gates who bore the brunt of the abuse due to his global status as Microsoft founder.

New York’s COVID State of Emergency to Expire, Says Gov. Hochul

New York Daily News reported:

New York’s COVID-19 state of emergency is coming to an end, Gov. Hochul announced on Monday. The governor said she will not extend special pandemic powers that included a suspension of state contract rules and the easing of regulations related to hospitals and healthcare workers.

The move comes amid falling case numbers as well as criticism from Republicans who have accused Hochul of granting sweetheart deals to donors.

Hochul has already scaled back many COVID-era safety guidelines, including relaxing rules for schools and dropping mask mandates for public transportation.

Several other health-related emergency declarations remain in place as the state continues to face a monkeypox outbreak and officials attempt to increase polio vaccinations after the first U.S. case of the disease was recorded in New York this summer.

Are Doctors Getting Their COVID Boosters? — MedPage Today Asked a Dozen Doctors About Their Plans for the Latest Bivalent Shots

MedPage Today reported:

Now that bivalent Omicron BA.4/5 COVID boosters are becoming more widely available, MedPage Today asked about a dozen physicians if and when they’re planning to get the latest COVID shots.

Many said they would take their boosters right away, but a few had other plans — including not taking a booster at all.

Moderna Shot Copied by WHO’s Africa Hub May Be Made Globally

Bloomberg reported:

Afrigen Biologics & Vaccines plans to start human trials of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate by May, part of a World Health Organization-backed plan to develop locally-made inoculations in the developing world.

Afrigen, which is part of the WHO’s mRNA vaccine technology transfer hub in Cape Town, said in a joint statement the vaccine has shown “a strong immune response” in pre-clinical trials in mice. The vaccine was made by copying the publicly-available sequence of the Moderna Inc. shot provided by Stanford University.

The next stage, the so-called phase 1, 2 trial, will involve about 150 people at sites near Cape Town with the aim of including both vaccinated and unvaccinated people and proving whether it can be used as an initial dose or a booster, said Petro Terblanche, Afrigen’s managing director.

The locally-developed shots could end up being made by at least 15 production facilities in low and middle-income countries around the world.

COVID Caused Huge Shortages in U.S. Labor Market, Study Shows

The Guardian reported:

Research into the lingering effects of COVID-19 on the U.S. workforce has confirmed what anybody who has waited an extended time for a delivery — or been unable to get a restaurant table — already knows: the pandemic has caused massive shortages in the labor market.

On top of the quarter-million people of working age who have died from coronavirus, at least twice that number across all ages have permanently disappeared from the workforce, the analysis by the National Bureau of Economic Research shows.

Other studies have shown the impact on the workforce of long COVID, where symptoms remain months or years after the initial infection has passed. A Brookings study estimated last month that as many as 2.4 million have missed work, are temporarily absent or are working reduced hours because of the lingering effects of the virus.

However, this new study focuses more on the apparent effect on labor supply caused by the pandemic and those who have permanently stopped working — through choice or necessity — as a result of their sickness.

Thousands of Nurses Strike in Minnesota, Affecting More Than a Dozen Hospitals

CBS News reported:

Thousands of nurses in Minnesota launched a three-day strike Monday over issues of pay and what they say is understaffing that has been worsened by the strains of the coronavirus pandemic.

The labor action includes 15,000 nurses and seven healthcare systems in the Minneapolis and Duluth areas. Those healthcare systems said they have recruited temporary nurses and are expected to maintain most services.

The nurses said they’ve been trying to negotiate higher wages under a new contract since March, but hospital executives have called their demands too expensive. Nurses were seeking more than 30% increases in compensation by the end of the three-year contract.

The Minnesota Nurses Association said that unless benefits are substantially improved, the continued loss of nurses will leave hospitals vulnerable. Nurses said they’re striking because hospitals refuse to hire more staff, a decision that means patients must endure long stints in the waiting room instead of receiving the care they need.

Axios-Ipsos Poll: Roll Credits on the Pandemic

Axios reported:

Two and a half years into the pandemic, Americans say they’re doing well in most aspects of their lives — except possibly their personal finances, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: Many of us appear ready to roll the credits on the pandemic, despite lingering political divisions over the response and some residual distrust of government and some health institutions.

The public’s perception of personal risk also is at a low point, and people are starting to pick and choose more where they deem it necessary to take precautions like masking. Between the lines: While there haven’t been significant behavioral shifts since last spring, there’s been an across-the-board improvement in the public’s mood.

What they’re saying: “Most Americans have turned the page on the COVID pandemic, even as most acknowledge the virus is likely to be with us for the long term,” said Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs.

WHO Report: 17 Million in EU May Have Suffered Long COVID

Associated Press reported:

New research suggests at least 17 million people in the European Union may have experienced long COVID-19 symptoms during the first two years of the coronavirus pandemic, with women more likely than men to suffer from the condition, the World Health Organization said Tuesday.

The research, conducted for the WHO/Europe, was unclear on whether the symptoms that linger, recur or first appear at least one month after a coronavirus infection was more common in vaccinated or unvaccinated people. At least 17 million people met the WHO’s criteria of long COVID-19 — with symptoms lasting at least three months in 2020 and 2021, the report said.

The modeling also suggests that women are twice as likely as men to experience long COVID-19, and the risk increases dramatically among severe infections needing hospitalization, the report said. One-in-three women and one-in-five men are likely to develop long COVID-19, according to the report.

The research, which represents estimates and not actual numbers of affected people, tracks with some other recent studies on the constellation of longer-term symptoms after coronavirus infections.

As Demand for the Monkeypox Vaccine Stalls, Outreach Goes Hyperlocal

Politico reported:

Federal health officials working to stem the monkeypox outbreak are shifting tactics in their immunization campaign as interest in the vaccine wanes and gaps in getting the shot to communities of color persist.

Earlier this summer, eager people snapped up vaccination appointments in cities from New York to Los Angeles. But a POLITICO review of a Biden administration pilot program that began last month to offer shots at large events found that supply outpaced demand, a trend mirrored nationwide as vaccine uptake has slowed.

Now the administration says it’s widening the net, creating another pilot to send vaccines to smaller venues and clinics.