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‘Pivotal moment’: CDC chief issues stark warning over surge in Delta Covid variant – live ‘Pivotal moment’: CDC chief issues stark warning over surge in Delta Covid variant – live
(32 minutes later)
Rochelle Walensky raises concern while public figures urge Americans to get vaccinated – follow the latest newsRochelle Walensky raises concern while public figures urge Americans to get vaccinated – follow the latest news
Mississippi’s attorney general urged the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade, saying it was “egregiously wrong”. He also asked the court o allow a controversial law that bans abortions after 15 weeks to go into effect in Mississippi. Sarah Betancourt reports:
“The conclusion that abortion is a constitutional right has no basis in text, structure, history, or tradition,” Attorney General Lynn Fitch said in brief. What the US government is calling “the pandemic of the unvaccinated” is playing out in painful ways as some realize too late that they wish they had had the shot, while others hold out even as they suffer in hospital amid a national surge of new Covid-19 infections, primarily caused by the Delta variant.
At least 99% of those in the US who died of coronavirus in the last six months had not been vaccinated, Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has said.
Meanwhile vaccination rates have slowed down nationwide and are especially low in some of the more conservative, southern parts of the country, despite more than 610,000 people in the US dying of the virus since the pandemic hit in early 2020.
In places such as Alabama, only 33% of people who can receive the vaccine had been fully vaccinated, as of 20 July.
On Monday, a doctor in a Birmingham, Alabama, hospital, Brytney Cobia, said that all but one of her Covid patients at Grandview medical center didn’t receive the vaccine, with the one who had expected to make a full recovery after receiving oxygen, she told the Birmingham News. Several others are dying.
“I’m admitting young, healthy people to the hospital with very serious Covid infections,” wrote Cobia in a Facebook post on 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,” she added, referring to patients who have to be put on a ventilator.
Alabama public health officials recently reported 96% of Alabamians who have died of Covid since April were not fully vaccinated.
Among the people succumbing to the deadly disease are those who are increasingly catching the Delta variant of the coronavirus, which is far more contagious than the original.
The variant now makes up 83% of new cases in the US, according to Walensky.
“This is a dramatic increase, up from 50% for the week of July 3,” she said.
Read more:
Unemployed workers are pushing for reforms and changes to America’s unemployment insurance system after millions of workers experienced severe problems in receiving benefits throughout the pandemic.
Workers across America faced long delays in receiving unemployment benefits as state systems were quickly overwhelmed with the mass influx of applications that caused months-long backlogs. Meanwhile, workers who made errors on their applications, had missing records or had their claims flagged had their benefits stopped – and often had difficulty restarting them once problems were resolved.
About 9 million Americans are estimated to have lost work due to the pandemic but received no unemployment benefits.
Sharon Corpening, 60, a freelance writer in Roswell, Georgia, lost all her work contracts when the pandemic shutdowns occurred throughout the US in March last year.
As a gig worker, Corpening’s initial unemployment application was denied by the Georgia department of labor, until the Cares Act provided pandemic unemployment assistance for gig workers a few weeks later. She spent weeks trying to process her application and encountered issues with the unemployment website, and would sit on the phone for hours daily failing to reach a service representative.
Like thousands of Americans having trouble with their unemployment applications, Corpening joined a Facebook group and got involved in helping others through the unemployment process, advocating for systemic reforms and countering narratives that try to portray unemployed workers as “lazy” and “not wanting to work”.
Corpening took offense at these characterizations and a push from Republican governors to prematurely cancel federal unemployment benefits while unemployment systems remain broken.
“We still have people who applied eight months ago who have not received a dime,” said Corpening. “Georgia is one of the 26 states that cut off federal benefits, and a week out I will tell you all my bank accounts are overdrawn.”
The impacts were detrimental to workers around the US, who fell behind on rent or mortgage or car payments, experienced utility shutoffs and relied on food banks and assistance programs to feed themselves and their families.
In the wake of the mass unemployment caused by the pandemic, several organizations, including the Economic Policy Institute and National Employment Law Project, created a report with unemployed workers outlining reforms needed to fix the widespread issues to unemployment insurance that were exposed by Covid-19.
Read more:
Mississippi’s attorney general urged the supreme court to overturn Roe v Wade, saying it was “egregiously wrong”. He also asked the court to allow a controversial law that bans abortions after 15 weeks to go into effect in Mississippi.
“The conclusion that abortion is a constitutional right has no basis in text, structure, history, or tradition,” said attorney general Lynn Fitch in a brief.
The court will hear arguments on 15 weeks ban in the fall, when the new conservative iteration of the court will decide whether Americans have the right to end pregnancies.The court will hear arguments on 15 weeks ban in the fall, when the new conservative iteration of the court will decide whether Americans have the right to end pregnancies.
“The Constitution does not protect a right to abortion,” Fitch wrote. “The Constitution’s text says nothing about abortion. Nothing in the Constitution’s structure implies a right to abortion or prohibits states from restricting it.” “The constitution does not protect a right to abortion,” Fitch wrote. “The constitution’s text says nothing about abortion. Nothing in the constitution’s structure implies a right to abortion or prohibits states from restricting it.”
Here’s more background on the case, from my colleague Jessica Glenza:Here’s more background on the case, from my colleague Jessica Glenza:
That’s it for me. I’m passing the blogging baton over to my capable colleague Maanvi Singh on the west coast. To review, here’s what happened today:That’s it for me. I’m passing the blogging baton over to my capable colleague Maanvi Singh on the west coast. To review, here’s what happened today:
Dr Rochelle Walensky warned that the country is at a “pivotal” moment in fighting the spread of Covid-19.Dr Rochelle Walensky warned that the country is at a “pivotal” moment in fighting the spread of Covid-19.
House speaker Nancy Pelosi floated appointing congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois to the committee charged with investigating the 6 January mob attack on the Capitol.House speaker Nancy Pelosi floated appointing congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois to the committee charged with investigating the 6 January mob attack on the Capitol.
The Biden administration announced it would impose new sanctions on Cuban regime officials.The Biden administration announced it would impose new sanctions on Cuban regime officials.
Pelosi also said it would be “ridiculous” to have congressman Jim Banks and Jim Jordan on the panel investigating the mob attack.Pelosi also said it would be “ridiculous” to have congressman Jim Banks and Jim Jordan on the panel investigating the mob attack.
Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control, warned that the US is at a “pivotal moment in this pandemic” because of the spread of variants of Covid-19, my colleague Joanna Walters writes.Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control, warned that the US is at a “pivotal moment in this pandemic” because of the spread of variants of Covid-19, my colleague Joanna Walters writes.
Walensky made the comments amid increasing numbers of cases across the country and as lawmakers and public figures urge Americans with increasing urgency to get vaccinated.Walensky made the comments amid increasing numbers of cases across the country and as lawmakers and public figures urge Americans with increasing urgency to get vaccinated.
Inside the White House there is reportedly an ongoing debate over whether to start a new push urge to Americans to wear masks like in the earlier days of the pandemic.Inside the White House there is reportedly an ongoing debate over whether to start a new push urge to Americans to wear masks like in the earlier days of the pandemic.
Walensky, speaking at a briefing on Thursday, said of the Delta variant of Covid that it “is one of the most infectious respiratory viruses we know of and that I have seen in my 20-year career”.Walensky, speaking at a briefing on Thursday, said of the Delta variant of Covid that it “is one of the most infectious respiratory viruses we know of and that I have seen in my 20-year career”.
She added: “We are at another pivotal moment in this pandemic, with cases rising again and some hospitals reaching their capacity in some areas.”She added: “We are at another pivotal moment in this pandemic, with cases rising again and some hospitals reaching their capacity in some areas.”
Anthony Fauci, the chief medical adviser to Joe Biden, praised Republicans who have been encouraging Americans to get vaccinated. He made those comments in an interview with The Hill newspaper.Anthony Fauci, the chief medical adviser to Joe Biden, praised Republicans who have been encouraging Americans to get vaccinated. He made those comments in an interview with The Hill newspaper.
In particular Fauci praised Congressman Steve Scalise of Louisiana, a member of House Republican leadership, for encouraging Americans to get vaccinated.In particular Fauci praised Congressman Steve Scalise of Louisiana, a member of House Republican leadership, for encouraging Americans to get vaccinated.
“I was very pleased to hear Congressman Scalise ... make that statement about vaccines,” Fauci told The Hill. “That was very helpful.”“I was very pleased to hear Congressman Scalise ... make that statement about vaccines,” Fauci told The Hill. “That was very helpful.”
Fauci also said “I think when they see a Republican leader like Congressman Scalise lean strongly towards people getting vaccinated, I think that’s a very positive thing.”Fauci also said “I think when they see a Republican leader like Congressman Scalise lean strongly towards people getting vaccinated, I think that’s a very positive thing.”
The White House press pool has passed along the guest list for the bill signing, which should start soon. It’s a long list:The White House press pool has passed along the guest list for the bill signing, which should start soon. It’s a long list:
The Vice PresidentThe Vice President
The Second GentlemanThe Second Gentleman
Associate Attorney General Vanita GuptaAssociate Attorney General Vanita Gupta
Acting Assistant Attorney General Amy Solomon, Office of Justice Programs, DOJActing Assistant Attorney General Amy Solomon, Office of Justice Programs, DOJ
Kristina Rose, Director, Office for Victims of Crime, DOJKristina Rose, Director, Office for Victims of Crime, DOJ
Maryland Attorney General Brian FroshMaryland Attorney General Brian Frosh
Virginia Attorney General Mark HerringVirginia Attorney General Mark Herring
Senator Tammy BaldwinSenator Tammy Baldwin
Senator Richard BlumenthalSenator Richard Blumenthal
Senator Shelley CapitoSenator Shelley Capito
Senator John CornynSenator John Cornyn
Senator Catherine Cortez MastoSenator Catherine Cortez Masto
Senator Joni ErnstSenator Joni Ernst
Senator Dianne FeinsteinSenator Dianne Feinstein
Senator Lindsey GrahamSenator Lindsey Graham
Senator Amy KlobucharSenator Amy Klobuchar
Senator Patrick LeahySenator Patrick Leahy
Senator Cynthia LummisSenator Cynthia Lummis
Senator Lisa MurkowskiSenator Lisa Murkowski
Senator Chris Van HollenSenator Chris Van Hollen
Representative Deborah DingellRepresentative Deborah Dingell
Representative Brian FitzpatrickRepresentative Brian Fitzpatrick
Representative Sheila Jackson LeeRepresentative Sheila Jackson Lee
Representative Ann McLane KusterRepresentative Ann McLane Kuster
Representative James LangevinRepresentative James Langevin
Representative Lucy McBathRepresentative Lucy McBath
Representative Gwen MooreRepresentative Gwen Moore
Representative Jerrold NadlerRepresentative Jerrold Nadler
Representative Ayanna PressleyRepresentative Ayanna Pressley
Representative Mary Gay ScanlonRepresentative Mary Gay Scanlon
Representative Jackie SpeierRepresentative Jackie Speier
Representative Ann WagnerRepresentative Ann Wagner
Representative Jennifer WextonRepresentative Jennifer Wexton
Even as some of the most famous Republicans in the country urge Americans to get vaccinated, half of all Republicans in the House of Representatives won’t say whether they’ve been vaccinated or not. That’s according to a new report from CNN:Even as some of the most famous Republicans in the country urge Americans to get vaccinated, half of all Republicans in the House of Representatives won’t say whether they’ve been vaccinated or not. That’s according to a new report from CNN:
More here.More here.
President Biden is due soon to deliver remarks at a bill signing for “H.R. 1652, the VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021” as the White House press pool noted earlier today.President Biden is due soon to deliver remarks at a bill signing for “H.R. 1652, the VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021” as the White House press pool noted earlier today.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, one of the signatories of a letter expressing concern to the FBI about its investigation into now supreme court justice Brett Kavanaugh. Whitehouse’s tweets illustrate the sense of dissatisfaction he and the other Democratic senators feel about the FBI’s response to tips about Kavanaugh and its probe of his past conduct years before he became a judge.Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, one of the signatories of a letter expressing concern to the FBI about its investigation into now supreme court justice Brett Kavanaugh. Whitehouse’s tweets illustrate the sense of dissatisfaction he and the other Democratic senators feel about the FBI’s response to tips about Kavanaugh and its probe of his past conduct years before he became a judge.
The Biden administration just released a new statement confirming earlier reports about incoming sanctions on new sanctions targeting specific Cuban regime officials.The Biden administration just released a new statement confirming earlier reports about incoming sanctions on new sanctions targeting specific Cuban regime officials.
Here’s the key passage:Here’s the key passage:
“Today, my Administration is imposing new sanctions targeting elements of the Cuban regime responsible for this crackdown—the head of the Cuban military and the division of the Cuban Ministry of the Interior driving the crackdown—to hold them accountable for their actions. This is just the beginning–the United States will continue to sanction individuals responsible for oppression of the Cuban people.”“Today, my Administration is imposing new sanctions targeting elements of the Cuban regime responsible for this crackdown—the head of the Cuban military and the division of the Cuban Ministry of the Interior driving the crackdown—to hold them accountable for their actions. This is just the beginning–the United States will continue to sanction individuals responsible for oppression of the Cuban people.”
Asked about the president’s filibuster comments last night Jen Psaki digressed. First she said that the Senate makes the decisions on the filibuster. She said that Biden was only addressing what the process would look like to change the filibuster and not weighing in one way or another.Asked about the president’s filibuster comments last night Jen Psaki digressed. First she said that the Senate makes the decisions on the filibuster. She said that Biden was only addressing what the process would look like to change the filibuster and not weighing in one way or another.
But she also said she Biden’s position had not changed.But she also said she Biden’s position had not changed.
“What he was referring to was simply to what that process would look like,” Psaki said, going on to say that Biden would “continue to advocate for the For the People Act...and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.”“What he was referring to was simply to what that process would look like,” Psaki said, going on to say that Biden would “continue to advocate for the For the People Act...and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.”
That’s in reference to two major voting rights bills Democrats want to pass into law. Psaki stressed though that Biden did not want to weigh in closely on Senate procedure though.That’s in reference to two major voting rights bills Democrats want to pass into law. Psaki stressed though that Biden did not want to weigh in closely on Senate procedure though.
“He alone doesn’t have a role in making these changes in the Senate,” Psaki said.“He alone doesn’t have a role in making these changes in the Senate,” Psaki said.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki just said there would be more from the State Department and the Treasury Department on the sanctions against Cuban officials later today.White House press secretary Jen Psaki just said there would be more from the State Department and the Treasury Department on the sanctions against Cuban officials later today.
Background on that here.Background on that here.
The White House’s daily press briefing is under way and commerce department secretary Gina Raimondo is addressing the country’s semiconductor chip shortage.The White House’s daily press briefing is under way and commerce department secretary Gina Raimondo is addressing the country’s semiconductor chip shortage.
The country’s semiconductor chip shortage is an ongoing problem that nevertheless has been under the radar to much of the population.The country’s semiconductor chip shortage is an ongoing problem that nevertheless has been under the radar to much of the population.
A number of Senate Democrats are questioning the FBI’s handling of tips into Brett Kavanaugh during the now Supreme Court justice’s confirmation process. Per The New York Times:A number of Senate Democrats are questioning the FBI’s handling of tips into Brett Kavanaugh during the now Supreme Court justice’s confirmation process. Per The New York Times:
Here’s the letter from the senators to the FBI. Here’s a statement from Whitehouse’s office on the letter:Here’s the letter from the senators to the FBI. Here’s a statement from Whitehouse’s office on the letter: