News Round-Up: July 20, 2021

International superstar Dolly Parton
International superstar Dolly Parton
International superstar Dolly Parton (via Twitter)

Some news items you might have missed:

NBC News: The federal government has announced that almost all health insurers must cover the HIV prevention pill, known as PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, with no cost sharing — including for the drug itself and, crucially, for clinic visits and lab tests.

Twitter: For the record, Dolly Parton is every kind of treasure we could want. Check out her little video about her birthday present for her husband.

Atlanta Blackstar: A Black woman has filed a lawsuit against the Delaware Division of state police after she was blockaded, had her back window bashed in, and held at gunpoint by plainclothes officers last month until they realized she was not the suspect they were looking for.

CNBC: White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci and Sen. Rand Paul got in a heated exchange at a Senate hearing Tuesday. “Sen. Paul, you do not know what you are talking about, quite frankly, and I would like to say that officially. You do not know what you are talking about.”

Washington Post: Fascinating read interviewing Capitol rioters and what they ‘thought’ they were doing on January 6.

Outsider: It was 30 years ago this week that Mark Wahlberg, then ‘Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch,’ dropped that iconic music video, “Good Vibrations.” And Calvin Klein underwear was never the same…

Fauci: 99% Of Recent COVID Deaths Involved Unvaccinated People

Dr. Anthony Fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci
Dr. Anthony Fauci (screen capture)

During an interview on NBC’s Meet The Press, Dr. Anthony Fauci said about 99.2% of recent COVID-19 deaths in the United States involved unvaccinated people.

“It’s really sad and tragic that most all of these are avoidable and preventable,” he added.

Fauci shared that it is frustrating when “you have a formidable enemy” in the coronavirus and “yet we do have a countermeasure that’s highly, highly effective. And that’s the reason why it’s all the more sad and all the more tragic why it isn’t being completely implemented in this country.”

The United States has registered over 605,000 deaths in the pandemic, the highest national toll in the world.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 157 million Americans have been fully vaccinated, representing 47.4% of the country’s total population. But vaccination rates remain low in many parts of the South and Midwest.

(source)

Fauci: ‘I Would Have No Hesitancy’ Taking J&J Vaccine

Dr. Anthony Fauci
Dr. Anthony Fauci
Dr. Anthony Fauci (screen capture)

During an appearance on Meet The Press today, Dr. Anthony Fauci was asked about differences between the Moderna and Pfizer coronavirus vaccines versus the newly-approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The primary difference is the J&J vaccine is a single shot vaccination where the first two you have to return for a follow-up shot 3-4 weeks later. Also, the J&J vaccine can be shipped and stored at normal refrigerator temperatures compared to the other two which have to be stored frozen at ultra-cold temperatures.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines demonstrated higher efficacy rates in trials but Fauci says direct comparisons with the J&J vaccine is difficult because J&J’s was conducted as more contagious variants of the virus were circulating.

According to the New York Times, the FDA approved the J&J version this weekend following presentations showing the vaccine was 85 percent protective against severe Covid-19 disease across all clinical trial sites and provided 100% protection against hospitalizations and deaths.

“All three of them are really quite good, and people should take the one that’s most available to them,” Fauci told NBC News host Chuck Todd. “If you go to a place and you have J&J, and that’s the one that’s available now, I would take it.”

News Round-Up: February 15, 2021

Fitness trainer Adrian Aguilar handles a wild Covidiot with amazing calm (screen captures)

Some  news items you might have missed:

LGBTQ Nation: The Mississippi state Senate passed a bill to ban transgender girls and women from competing in school sports by a vote of 34-9 late last week. Nine senators voted “present” or did not vote at all.

Instinct Magazine: I admit I’m not the biggest expert on RuPaul’s Drag Race, but watch Denali walk away with this lip-sync battle. Poor Kahmora was stuck in a tight dress and couldn’t bring much to the battle.

Washington Blade: Following President Biden’s reversal of the transgender military ban, trans service members welcome the opportunity to serve openly.

Calendars:  A new calendar, On Fire: The Firefighters of France, is a sexy homage to firefighters, spotlighting the proud members of fire squads from all over France, who have discarded their helmets and gear to flash their best smiles and flex their muscles.

Photographer Fred Goudon honors firefighters in a new calendar out February 16

AP: Dr. Anthony Fauci has been awarded $1 million by the Israel-based Dan David Foundation for “defending science” and advocating for vaccines now being administered worldwide to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Washington Post: An Atlanta-area prosecutor plans to scrutinize a post-Election Day phone call between Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger as part of a criminal investigation into whether Donald Trump broke Georgia laws while trying to reverse his defeat in the state.

Kenneth-in-the-212: Talk about COVID nutjobs… fitness trainer (and Broadway veteran) Adrian Aguilar (top photos) had this wiiiiiiiild encounter with a male ‘Karen’ in Chicago when he asked the guy (later identified as Austin Tony Myers) to mask up per current pandemic guidelines.

The guy goes nutso, starts poking a very calm Aguilar, and trying to escalate things even further. The police were called, and Myers tried to say HE had been assaulted. But with several gym members recording the encounter plus security cameras, officers eventually (the incident lasted hours) arrested Myers for assault and trespassing. You can read the full account here.

Fauci: Vaccines Should Be Available To All By April

Vials of vaccine
Vials of vaccine
(image via Depositphotos)

Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s highest-ranking infectious-disease expert, told viewers of NBC’s The Today Show that he believes the availability of coronavirus vaccines should reach what he referred to as ‘open season’ by April.

“By the time we get to April, that will be what I would call, for better wording, ‘open season,’ namely, virtually everybody and anybody in any category could start to get vaccinated,” said Fauci.

This past Sunday, Fauci told NBC’s Meet The Press that he felt “things are going to get better as we get from February into March, into April, because the number of vaccine doses that will be available will increase substantially.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci On COVID-19: ‘The Deaths Are Real’

Dr. Anthony Fauci
Dr. Anthony Fauci
Dr. Anthony Fauci on ‘This Week’ (screen capture)

During an appearance on ABC News’s This Week, Dr. Anthony Fauci shared that he did not foresee how the COVID-19 pandemic death toll in the United States would spin out to such high levels.

Fauci pointed to indoor activities and holiday travel for aiding transmission of the virus. He also repeated his call for Americans to take public health precautions seriously if we ever hope to slow the current surge.

From ABC News:

“To have 300,000 cases in a given day, and between two and 3,000 deaths a day is just terrible,” the nation’s top infectious disease expert told ABC’s “This Week” Co-anchor Martha Raddatz Sunday. “There’s no running away from the numbers, Martha. It’s something that we absolutely got to grasp and get our arms around and turn that inflection down by very intensive adherence to the public health measures, uniformly, throughout the country, with no exception.”

“The deaths are real deaths,” Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said, when asked by Raddatz for his response to the president’s tweet. “All you need to do is go out into the trenches. Go to the hospitals and see what the health care workers are dealing with. They are under very stressful situations in many areas of the country. The hospital beds are stretched, people are running out of beds, running out of trained personnel who are exhausted.”

“That’s real,” he continued. “That’s not fake. That’s real.”

Just prior to Fauci’s appearance, Donald Trump tweeted (with no evidence) that the numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of infected persons and deaths in the country are “exaggerated.” That’s in spite of nearly every state reporting increased coronavirus infections nationwide.

According to Johns Hopkins University COVID tracker, the U.S. this weekend surpassed 20 million reported cases of COVID-19, and the number of deaths has now exceeded 351,000 since the pandemic began 10 months ago.

Dr. Fauci Gets COVID Shot To Convey Confidence & Safety In Vaccine

Dr. Anthony Fauci receives the Moderna vaccine

From ABC News:

The country’s most prominent infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, received his first dose of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday in a ceremonial event at the National Institutes of Health.

The event was shown live on national television as part of an effort to reassure Americans that the vaccine was safe and effective.

“I feel extreme confidence in the safety and the efficacy of this vaccine and I want to encourage everyone who has the opportunity to get vaccinated so that we can have a veil of protection over this country, that would end this pandemic,” he said as he waited for his shot.

I sure hope my arm looks that good when I’m 80-years-old.

Fauci: Herd Immunity Possible By Summer If Majority Of Americans Vaccinated

A man wearing a face mask during the pandemic

Dr. Anthony Fauci told reporters on Tuesday that ‘herd immunity’ to the coronavirus could be attained in the U.S. by the end of summer 2021 if a large majority of Americans are vaccinated.

From The Hill:

In a Tuesday news conference with Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D), Fauci predicted that high-risk groups of Americans, as well as health care workers and some others, could begin to be vaccinated beginning this month, with inoculations continuing through March.

The National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases director predicted that “the general population” will begin being vaccinated in April.

He later added that if the U.S. has a “good uptake” for the vaccine, the country could have the “overwhelming majority of people” vaccinated by the end of the second quarter in the U.S.  

Coronavirus Update 11/11/20

A man wearing a face mask during the pandemic

No, Donald Trump Jr., the coronavirus has not ‘magically’ gone away now that the 2020 election has passed.

With the virus surging in so many places both here and around the world, I wanted to create a way to share news related to the pandemic in an abbreviated manner. For more information on any of the stories below, please feel free to click the links.

Per Johns Hopkins Hospital coronavirus tracking, the U.S.  has now reported 10,353,604 cases of COVID-19 resulting in 240,688 deaths.

CBS News: Texas became the first state to surpass 1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. The second-most populous U.S. state, Texas now has more coronavirus cases than all of Italy, which was previously one of the major hot spots of the virus. California is close behind with over 986,000 confirmed cases, as is Florida with more than 852,000.

ABC News: Faced with more than 2,000 new daily COVID-19 cases in his state and hospitals at capacity, Utah’s Gov. Gary Herbert has declared a state of emergency and issued a mandate for all residents to wear masks in public until further notice. Herbert’s announcement implored all state residents “to do everything in your power to stop the spread of this disease.”

CNN: Following the positive news regarding the effectiveness of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN’s Jake Tapper that an average American could potentially have access to a coronavirus vaccine by April of 2021.

Pink News: Brazil’s homophobic president Jair Bolsonaro has told his country to accept coronavirus and stop dealing with it like “a country of fags”. The far-right leader made the remarks as his country has suffered over 5.7 million infections and 163,000 deaths from coronavirus. “We have to stop being a country of fags… We have to face up to it and fight. I hate this faggot stuff.”

Nevada Current: With the coronavirus surging in Nevada and nearly every state in the nation, Gov. Steve Sisolak urged people Tuesday to “to operate in a ‘Stay at Home 2.0’ mentality to get things under control so our public health response infrastructure can catch up.” Nevada has seen more than 1,300 cases a day over the most recent seven day period and hospitalization rates not seen since August.

The Hill: A top health department official in Wisconsin says that the state is nearing a tipping point at which some patients who need lifesaving care will be unable to receive it due to overcrowding in hospitals resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.

Trump On COVID: People Are Saying ‘Whatever – Just Leave Us Alone’

Donald Trump is D-O-N-E done with the coronavirus pandemic.

During a conference call with campaign staffers, Trump expressed frustration with infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci and other health officials calling them ‘idiots.’

From Politico:

“People are tired of Covid. People are saying, ‘Whatever, just leave us alone.’ People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots,” Trump said on the call, which included press.

“He’s been here for, like, 500 years. He’s like this wonderful sage telling us how — Fauci, if we listened to him, we’d have 700,000 [or] 800,000 deaths.”

Trump described Fauci as a “disaster” and added that “every time he goes on television, there’s always a bomb. But there’s a bigger bomb if you fire him.”

Trump also commented on the call that he “couldn’t care less” if the media reported the remarks.

“If there’s a reporter on, you can have it just the way I said it. I couldn’t care less.”

Trump’s statement was probably in response to an interview Fauci gave CBS’s 60 Minutes where he told the venerable news magazine that Trump’s reluctance to wear a face mask in public is because he “equates wearing a mask with weakness.”

“You know, a statement of strength,” Fauci said. “Like, ‘We’re strong. We don’t need a mask.’ That kind of thing.”

Asked if that makes sense from a scientific stand point when facing a pandemic, Fauci answered, “No, it doesn’t. Of course not.”