News Round-Up: July 22, 2021

(image via Provincetown Bears)

Some news items you might have missed:

WCVB: Massachusetts health officials now say 256 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been linked to a Fourth of July holiday cluster in Provincetown. Many of those who tested positive had been vaccinated, but the good news is…(see next item)

The Hill: Two doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are 88 percent effective against the delta variant, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

OUT: Just ahead of the release of his latest single “Industry Baby,” Lil Nas X took to social media to post an emotional letter he wrote to his young, 20-year-old self, and his words of love and affirmation really hit home to anyone who has ever felt stuck in their lives.

Edge Media: Federal judges have temporarily blocked an Arkansas law banning gender confirming treatments for transgender youth and a West Virginia ban on trans athletes in women’s sports, two major victories for LGBTQ advocates against a wave of restrictions approved by Republican legislators.

Washington Blade: The U.S. Senate has confirmed two Biden nominees — one lesbian, another transgender — for high-profile positions at the Defense Department by unanimous consent. Gina Ortiz Jones, a lesbian former Air Force pilot, was confirmed as under secretary of the Air Force, and Shawn Skelly, a transgender 20-year U.S. Navy veteran, was confirmed as assistant secretary of defense for readiness.

HuffPost: Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) on Thursday tried to shame Democrats for not saying whether they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19 ― except every Democratic lawmaker is vaccinated and has confirmed as much, unlike a huge portion of Republicans who either aren’t vaccinated or won’t say.

COVID Patient Would Still Refuse Vaccine: ‘Don’t Shove It Down My Throat’

In his report for CBS This Morning, national correspondent David Begnaud recently spoke to a Louisiana man, Scott Roe, who is currently recovering from COVID-19 but remains adamant he will not be getting any of the vaccines available to the public.

Roughly one in three Louisianans are fully vaccinated. This week, the state’s health department reported the highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations since late February. Scott Roe is one of them. “Here I am recovering, getting out of here finally tomorrow. Am I going to get a vaccine? No,” Roe said. “Because there’s too many issues with these vaccines.” This father, former baseball coach, small business owner and hunter caught COVID and then developed pneumonia.

“Before you got sick,” Begnaud asked Roe, “if you would have had a chance to get the vaccine and prevent this, would you have taken the vaccine?” “No,” Roe said. “I would have gone through this, yes sir… Don’t shove it down my throat. That’s what local, state, federal administration is trying to do – shove it down your throat.” “What are they shoving,” Begnaud asked, “the science?” “No they’re shoving the fact that that’s their agenda,” Roe said, “their agenda is to get you vaccinated.”

GOP Rep. Steve Scalise, Roe’s representative in Congress, announced this week he just received his first Pfizer shot, and urged his constituents to follow suit saying the shots are “safe and effective.”

Roe’s response? “Not proven.”

My question of late has been: “What would constitute ‘proof’ that the vaccines are safe and effective to these folks? Is it a matter of time? Are they saying they would take the shot in a year? Two years? Ten years?

Or have the vaccines become such a politicalized topic that those folks will never cross that divide?

Here’s the full report from CBS This Morning.

(h/t JoeMyGod)

Doctor: Dying COVID Patients Beg For Vaccine ‘But It’s Too Late’

Image of a vaccine shot
Image of a vaccine shot
(stock image via Depositphotos)

A Facebook post from Dr. Brytney Cobia in Alabama went viral after she shared some of her experience treating COVID-19 at her hospital.

From AL.com:

“I’m admitting young healthy people to the hospital with very serious COVID infections,” wrote Dr. Brytney Cobia, a hospitalist at Grandview Medical Center in Birmingham, in an emotional Facebook post Sunday. “One of the last things they do before they’re intubated is beg me for the vaccine. I hold their hand and tell them that I’m sorry, but it’s too late.”

“A few days later when I call time of death,” continued Cobia on Facebook, “I hug their family members and I tell them the best way to honor their loved one is to go get vaccinated and encourage everyone they know to do the same.”

“They cry. And they tell me they didn’t know. They thought it was a hoax. They thought it was political. They thought because they had a certain blood type or a certain skin color they wouldn’t get as sick. They thought it was ‘just the flu’. But they were wrong. And they wish they could go back. But they can’t.”

COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations are surging yet again due to the more contagious Delta variant of the virus and Alabama’s low vaccination rate.

Alabama currently ranks last in the nation in vaccination rate, with only 33.7 percent of the population fully vaccinated.

Read full report here.

Philly Weatherman Shares Delta Variant Diagnosis Despite Vaccination

Philadelphia meterologist Adam Joseph
Philadelphia meterologist Adam Joseph
Philadelphia meteorologist Adam Joseph

Philadelphia meteorologist Adam Joseph has shared with his social media followers that after a year of doing “everything right” in regard to COVID-19 protocols, including getting himself and his husband vaccinated, several people in his household have become infected with the Delta variant after they allowed a family member to visit even though they weren’t vaccinated.

Now, Joseph, his husband, and two children (who aren’t eligible to be vaccinated), have tested positive for COVID and are quarantining at home.

While the children are on the road to recovery, Adam took to social media to encourage people to wear masks if they’re not vaccinated, stay away from children if you are unvaccinated (as children under twelve are not able to be vaccinated yet) and most of all, expressed the importance of vaccinations in general.

For information about the coronavirus or how to get vaccinated, click over to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

In related news, my friends Joe and Jim, located in Nashville, Tennessee, also shared this weekend that they have become ‘breakthough cases’ as well.

 

News Round-Up: July 16, 2021

Voters stand in line waiting to vote
Voters stand in line waiting to vote
Investigation by AP found few potential cases of voting irregularities in Arizona

Some news items you might have missed:

LGBTQ Nation: It seems Caitlyn Jenner is filming her ‘campaign’ for governor of California – any guesses why the reality TV celeb might be doing that?

OUT: Two gay men vacationing on the French island of Corsica were brutally attacked by group of up to 20 men while a large crowd gathered and watched but did nothing to stop the brutal assault.

It Gets Better: Regular readers of TRR know I’m not only a huge supporter of the Olympic Games but especially the Paralympic Games. Check out the journey of out lesbian Courtney journey who will be competing in wheelchair basketball for Team USA at this year’s Games.

Instinct Magazine: Michael Henderson, the popular head coach of Murrieta Valley High School’s cheer and student program in southern California, was abruptly fired from his job last month. Henderson says he was fired for being gay and has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit alleging that the process leading to his dismissal was “flawed.”

Kenneth-in-the-212: Check out Kenneth’s round-up of the what’s what in LGBTQ publications including out swimmer Michael Gunning covering the latest from Attitude Magazine.

(image via Attitude Magazine)

4WWL: Alan Scott Lanoix tested positive for COVID-19 and spent 17 days in the hospital with several on a ventilator. His wife and 3 sons all tested positive too. Lanoix died June 9 at 54 years old. According to his sister, “He thought the vaccine was poison.”

AP: Investigation by the Associated Press finds fewer than 200 cases of potential voter fraud identified by Arizona’s local election officials out of 3.4 million ballots cast in last year’s presidential election.

States With Lower Vaccination Rates Have Higher COVID-19 Hospitalizations

Quel surprise.

From the Washington Post:

States with higher vaccination rates now have markedly fewer coronavirus cases, as infections are dropping in places where most residents have been immunized and are rising in many places people have not, a Washington Post analysis has found.

States with lower vaccination also have significantly higher hospitalization rates, The Post found. Poorly vaccinated communities have not been reporting catastrophic conditions. Instead, they are usually seeing new infections holding steady or increasing without overwhelming local hospitals.

As recently as 10 days ago, vaccination rates did not predict a difference in coronavirus cases, but immunization rates have diverged, and case counts in the highly vaccinated states are dropping quickly.

News Round-Up: June 8, 2021

(screen capture from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia)

Some news items you might have missed:

Gallup Polling: U.S. support for legal same-sex marriage continues to trend upward, now at 70% – a new high in Gallup’s trend since 1996. This latest figure marks an increase of 10 percentage points since 2015, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that all states must recognize same-sex marriages.

Gothamist: Governor Andrew Cuomo announced today that the vast majority of New York’s coronavirus restrictions and safety measures will be lifted once 70% of adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine—which he estimated could happen within the next two weeks.

Washington Blade: An East Texas bakery shared a photo of rainbow Pride cookies on Facebook and immediately got slammed with homophobic hate including customers cancelling huge orders. But by the next morning, the owners were deluged with orders offering to buy the cancelled cookies and a line of customers down the block buying out the entire bakery in a show of support.

NBC4i: An anti-vaccine physician told Ohio lawmakers Tuesday that COVID-19 vaccines can magnetize people. “I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures all over the internet of people who have had these shots and now they’re magnetized. They can put a key on their forehead. It sticks.”

NBC News: Wisconsin pharmacist Steven Brandenburg has been sentenced to 3 years in prison after pleading guilty to destroying 500 doses of COVID-19 vaccine in January. Brandenburg admitted he removed doses of Moderna vaccine from refrigeration storage overnight knowing it would render them ineffective.

Buzzfeed: Check out this list of 33 great LGBTQ-themed shows to watch on Hulu for Pride Month like Love, Victor or that awesome coming out dance sequence on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (top image).