Friday CoronaBuzz, August 20, 2021: 68 pointers to updates, health information, research news, and more.

Please stay safe. Please get vaccinated. Please wear a mask when you’re inside with a bunch of people. Much love.


New York Times: Put Your Smartphone to Work for Your Return to the Office. “Contactless bagel orders and finding new routes can help you keep social distance in your commute. And don’t forget your vaccination card.”

Mashable: How to live with the Delta variant, according to disease experts. “Here’s how to live with the troubling Delta variant, both during the current fourth wave of U.S. infections, and after. For the current surge, adjusting to Delta has similarities and differences depending on whether you’re vaccinated, unvaccinated, or immunocompromised.”


New York Times: Israel, Once the Model for Beating Covid, Faces New Surge of Infections. “Last spring, Israel’s remarkably swift vaccination campaign was seen as a global model. Coronavirus infections plummeted, an electronic pass allowed the vaccinated to attend indoor concerts and sporting events, and distancing rules and mask mandates were eventually scrapped. Israel offered the world a hopeful glimpse of the way out of the pandemic. No longer.”

AP: ‘Bracing for the worst’ in Florida’s COVID-19 hot zone. “Baptist has over 500 COVID patients, more than twice the number they had at the peak of Florida’s July 2020 surge, and the onslaught isn’t letting up. Hospital officials are anxiously monitoring 10 forecast models, converting empty spaces, adding over 100 beds and ‘bracing for the worst,’ said Dr. Timothy Groover, the hospitals’ interim chief medical officer.”

Yahoo News: Mississippi’s top doctor says COVID is far worse than it’s ever been in the state. “Mississippi’s state health director said the pandemic is worse in the state than it’s ever been, as hospitals run out of beds and thousands of students have already tested positive for the virus since schools opened earlier this month.”


Newswise: Cannabis use rises during Australian COVID lockdown but less meth on the streets. “Wastewater samples taken during 2020 show that methamphetamine (ice) use plunged in Australia during the first COVID-19 lockdown while cannabis use spiked, according to a new study led by the University of South Australia. Western Australia recorded the largest drop in ice loads, falling more than 50 per cent between April and June 2020, attributed to border closures restricting imports of the popular drug. Cannabis is largely produced locally so national supplies were still plentiful, and wastewater samples reflected this, with all states except the Northern Territory showing large increases in cannabis use.”

Tech Xplore: Study: Pandemic speeded trends away from live TV viewing. “The pandemic accelerated changes in how people use their televisions, further reducing the dominance in traditional live viewing of what networks are showing, a new study has found. Nearly two-thirds of people said in June that they viewed free video on demand content on their televisions once a week, up from 46% in February 2020, according to Hub Entertainment Research.”


Beacon (Maine): GOP lawmakers headline conspiracy-laden vaccine mandate protest. “Conservative lawmakers including Reps. Heidi Sampson (R-Alfred), Tracy Quint (R-Hodgdon), Laurel Libby (R-Auburn), Assistant House Republican Leader Joel Stetkis (R-Canaan) and Republican Sen. Lisa Kiem (Oxford) spoke at the event. In their remarks, they validated false and dangerous claims about vaccines, at times framing the public health initiative as a government experiment in violation of individual liberties. Rep. Chris Johansen (R-Monticello) was also present at the rally after losing his wife to COVID on August 10.”

The Register: Magna Carta mayhem: Protesters lay siege to Edinburgh Castle, citing obscure Latin text that has never applied in Scotland . “Livestreaming the siege against one of the oldest fortresses in Scotland (and Europe) via Facebook, protesters appeared to be objecting to COVID-19 lockdown. However, Scotland has followed England for the time being in removing legally enforceable restrictions, so exactly what the problem was remains unclear.” One of the rare articles in this digest that might leave you in a fit of giggles, thanks to the laconic, unflappable Scotland law enforcement.


SurvivorNet: ‘Operation Colon Extraction Is Underway’: Stage IV Cancer Patient Gets Life-Saving Surgery in Iowa After Florida Surgery Cancelled Due to COVID Surge. “Jac E. Chace was preparing to have her colon removed last week so that she could begin treatment for colon cancer when she was informed her appointment would have to be rescheduled because of COVID cases utilizing all of the hospital’s facilities. A week later, thanks to a little luck and a lot of coordinating, she was recovering from that canceled surgery after managing to find an available surgeon with an opening in Iowa.”

Daily Memphian: Hospital emergency directors call for immediate countywide mask mandate. “The emergency directors of every hospital system in the city are urging local leaders to ‘reinstitute a mask mandate immediately’ and warning of a crisis for hospitals battling shortages of skilled medical professionals and a COVID rate of hospitalizations expected to double by the end of this month and ‘increase six-fold by the end of September.’ That’s according to a letter being signed Tuesday, Aug. 17, by all of the directors that was read to the City Council by chief operating officer Doug McGowen.”

Washington Post: An Alabama doctor watched patients reject the coronavirus vaccine. Now he’s refusing to treat them.. “In Alabama, where the nation’s lowest vaccination rate has helped push the state closer to a record number of hospitalizations, a physician has sent a clear message to his patients: Don’t come in for medical treatment if you are unvaccinated. Jason Valentine, a physician at Diagnostic and Medical Clinic Infirmary Health in Mobile, Ala., posted a photo on Facebook this week of him pointing to a sign taped to a door informing patients of his new policy coming Oct. 1.”


Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Ga. hospitals stretched with influx of kids battling COVID-19, other viruses. “More kids than ever before are suffering from coronavirus cases so severe that they need to be hospitalized, filling pediatric wards at a time when physicians are also contending with an unseasonable surge of other respiratory viruses. Many area children’s hospitals are reporting that more than three-quarters of their ICU beds are occupied — in some places, it’s closer to 90%.”


The Columbian: Oregon hospitals near breaking point as COVID surges. “As of Wednesday, 850 coronavirus patients were hospitalized in Oregon — surpassing the state’s record, which was set the previous day. Before this month, the hospitalization record was 622 in November, during a winter surge and when vaccines were not yet available. More than a third of the state’s 652 adult ICU beds are being used for COVID-19 patients. Health officials say the overwhelming majority of hospitalized virus patients are unvaccinated.”

CNBC: Florida and Texas open Covid antibody treatment centers as delta surge overwhelms hospitals. “Texas is setting up nine antibody infusion centers, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday, while Florida launched its fifth site Wednesday. With the delta variant surging, more than 46% of Texas’ intensive care beds and over half of Florida’s ICU capacity were filled with coronavirus patients as of Thursday, compared with 27% nationwide, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.”

AL: Expect 5,000 COVID patients in Alabama hospitals next month, UAB projects. “UAB’s Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo said on CNN that 5,000 hospitalizations is a ‘potentially apocalyptic’ scenario for the state, since about a third of unvaccinated patients hospitalized with the delta variant are requiring ICU beds. Already there are not enough available.”

Florida Times-Union: Viral photo of people on floor at Jacksonville Regeneron clinic ‘doesn’t convey how much pain they were in’. “Louie Lopez showed up to the downtown Jacksonville Main Library Conference Center on Wednesday in the early afternoon for a Regeneron therapy appointment. His primary care doctor recommended it after Lopez tested positive for COVID-19 and was experiencing moderate to severe symptoms. While waiting in line for his turn, two other people got in the line behind Lopez. Both of them, he says, sat down on the floor immediately. They eventually laid down ‘sick and moaning.’ Lopez, 59, told the Times-Union the woman pictured in yellow was dragging herself on the floor as the line slowly moved forward. Lopez took a photo and sent it to his wife.”

NPR: Many Hospitals With No Beds Left Are Forced To Send COVID Patients To Cities Far Away. “Many overwhelmed hospitals, with no beds to offer, are putting critically ill COVID-19 patients on planes, helicopters and ambulances and sending them hundreds of miles to far-flung states for treatment. The surge in the delta variant of the virus, combined with low vaccination rates, has pushed hospitals to the brink in many states and resulted in a desperate scramble to find beds for patients.”


AP: At Midwest state fairs no masks required, vaccines are free. “Nestled between corn dog stands, animal barns and booths touting hot tubs and John Deere tractors, a Hy-Vee pharmacist and several nurses have been administering COVID-19 vaccines at the Iowa State Fair to anyone eligible that wants one. Their booth didn’t have the long lines of more popular attractions, but by Monday more than 150 people had received a shot since the 11-day fair started on Thursday. More than 400,000 people attended the fair in its first four days.”


CBS News: Travelers are canceling trips with COVID numbers rising again: “It was really kind of heartbreaking”. “After a rebound in travel this summer, people are once again canceling plans for trips because of the surging number of COVID cases. In a recent survey, 27% of respondents said they postponed a trip and more than 54% said the Delta variant has made them less interested in traveling right now.”

Wall Street Journal: Florida, Texas Turn to Antibody Treatments as Covid-19 Surges. “Regeneron estimates that as recently as June, fewer than 5% of high-risk patients were receiving treatment, before increasing recently to as much as 30%, said Chief Executive Leonard Schleifer in an interview. The drugs, which have been shown to prevent hospitalizations, are paid for by the federal government, and distributed to patients free of charge. In January 2021, the federal government agreed to pay $2.63 billion for 1.25 million doses, equivalent to $2,100 per dose of Regeneron’s drug, which is a cocktail of two antibodies. The contract followed a previous agreement in July 2020 in which the U.S. paid $450 million for 300,000 doses.”

CNN: Fox News mandates employees disclose vaccination status, contradicting rhetoric from top stars. “The right-wing channel Fox News, whose top personalities have for months assailed the concept of vaccine passports and argued that asking about vaccine status amounts to a major intrusion of privacy, told employees this week that they must disclose their vaccination status to the company.”

The Guardian: Apple delays return to corporate offices until 2022 as Covid cases rise. “Apple Inc is delaying its return to corporate offices from October until January at the earliest because of rising Covid-19 cases and concerns about new variants. The iPhone maker told staff in a memo that it would confirm the reopening plans one month before employees were required to return to the office, according to Bloomberg News.”

Nikkei Asia: COVID slows Apple and Google production shift away from China . “Recent outbreaks of COVID-19 are disrupting plans by Apple, Google, Amazon and their key suppliers to shift production from China to Vietnam as governments tighten border controls to contain outbreaks of new variants of the virus. Google’s upcoming Pixel 6 smartphone range, for example, will be built in China even though the company had planned to move production of the handsets to northern Vietnam early last year, four people familiar with the matter said.”


CNN: TSA to extend transportation mask mandate into January. “The Transportation Security Administration will extend its US federal transportation mask mandate through January 18, the agency confirmed late Tuesday afternoon. The mandate was set to expire on September 13.”

VOA: US Ships Pfizer Vaccine to Kosovo amid Delta Variant Surge. “Thursday, the United States plans to ship 35,100 doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to Kosovo through COVAX, the United Nations vaccine-sharing mechanism, a White House official told VOA. The doses are part of the purchase of half-a-billion Pfizer doses secured by the Biden administration earlier this year.”

Washington Post: How CDC data problems put the U.S. behind on the delta variant. “When Pfizer representatives met with senior U.S. government health officials on July 12, they laid out why they thought booster shots would soon be necessary in the United States. Data from Israel showed the vaccine’s effectiveness waned over time, especially in older and immunocompromised people. But officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention disagreed, saying their own data showed something quite different, according to four people with direct knowledge of the meeting who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Other senior health officials in the meeting were stunned. Why hadn’t the CDC looped other government officials on the data?”


State of New Mexico: New Mexico to re-implement indoor mask mandate; vaccinations required in hospitals, congregate settings. “Given the slowing of vaccination rates since a peak several months ago, the governor also announced the state will issue a requirement for all workers in certain medical close-contact congregate settings – including hospitals, nursing homes, juvenile justice facilities, rehabilitation facilities, state correctional facilities and more – to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The state also issued a requirement that all workers at private, public and charter schools in New Mexico either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or otherwise submit to COVID-19 testing on a weekly basis. This policy aligns with the state’s requirement for all state government personnel.”

AP: DeSantis top donor invests in COVID drug governor promotes. “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — who has been criticized for opposing mask mandates and vaccine passports — is now touting a COVID-19 antibody treatment in which a top donor’s company has invested millions of dollars. DeSantis has been flying around the state promoting a monoclonal antibody treatment sold by Regeneron, which was used on then-President Donald Trump after he tested positive for COVID-19. The governor first began talking about it as a treatment last year.”

WDEF: Georgia Governor bans cities from imposing Covid restrictions on businesses. “Georgia’s Republican governor has issued an executive order banning cities from requiring businesses to enforce local pandemic restrictions. But what impact, if any, the measure signed Thursday would have on new mask requirements in Atlanta, Savannah and other cities was not clear. At a news conference, Gov. Brian Kemp said his order will prevent local governments from forcing businesses to be the city’s mask and vaccine police.”


WGN: Chicago reinstates indoor mask mandate due to rising COVID-19 cases; adds 8 states to travel advisory. “The mandate, which takes effect Friday for everyone over age 2, is similar to rules in place for much of last year. It will apply to gyms, stores, common areas of apartment buildings and in restaurants, though people will be allowed to remove face coverings while eating and drinking. Masks are already required in schools under Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s statewide order.”

ABC 4: Charleston City Council meeting erupts into chaos during public comment. “The Charleston City Council meeting on Tuesday night erupted into a shouting match during the hour and a half public comment. Most of the people shouting were against a potential mask mandate for schools in the city limits, which eventually failed to pass.”


CNN: 2 US senators announce positive Covid tests Thursday. “Two US senators — Angus King of Maine and Roger Wicker of Mississippi — announced separately Thursday they have tested positive for Covid-19. Both senators are fully vaccinated.”

Axios: Scoop: Probe finds evidence fired Tennessee vaccine official bought dog muzzle sent to her. “A Tennessee investigation found evidence that the state’s fired vaccine chief, Michelle Fiscus, purchased a dog muzzle that she previously claimed someone had mailed in an attempt to intimidate her.”

TMZ: Jerry Messing On Ventilator With Covid-19. “Jerry Messing — the “Freaks and Geeks” actor who’s also the face of a famous meme — has COVID and is fighting for his life in Florida … TMZ has learned. His father, James, tells us … Jerry lives with his parents in an apartment in Tampa, and a few days ago he started feeling really sick all of a sudden and having shortness of breath, but assured his dad he was breathing fine.”

Washington Post: Montgomery County Health Officer Travis Gayles resigns. “Over the course of the pandemic, Gayles advocated for stringent measures to curtail the spread of covid-19, pushed for health equity in vaccine distribution and led a rollout that has resulted in one of the highest vaccination rates in the country. He earned accolades for his positions — including being featured this year on CBS’s ’60 Minutes’ — but also criticism from some who felt he was too cautious, especially when it came to his advice on schools.”

NewsChannel 5 Nashville: ‘I’m fed up,’ says member of Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s COVID-19 task force. “A member of Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s own COVID-19 task force is breaking ranks with the governor and his approach to the crisis, saying she is ‘fed up.’ In an exclusive interview with NewsChannel 5 Investigates, Dr. Sara Cross of Memphis said she decided to speak up following Lee’s decision to allow parents to opt out of their schools’ mask mandates. That decision, the infectious disease expert said, is not what the science suggests is needed.”


WBRZ: Baton Rouge nurse recognized by Governor, Mayor for vaccination efforts. “Nurse Carla Brown was recognized Tuesday by Gov. John Bel Edwards and East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broom for her efforts in fighting COVID-19. After her husband passed away from COVID, Brown traveled door to door giving COVID vaccinations. Nurse Brown vaccinated more than 2,000 people. ”

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee: From the other side of the world, girl in Kenya learns computer coding at UWM. “‘I use the computer for school, and I wanted to understand more about how they work,’ said Elsie Maingi, who is 10 years old and lives in Nairobi. However, computer classes in Kenya were geared to high school students and business people and were usually quite expensive, said her mother, Lilian Wangechi. So in the fall of 2020, they turned to Google and found the free Girls Who Code program at UWM. Because of the time difference, Elsie got up at 2 a.m. for every class during that semester and the spring 2021 semester.”


Greenville News: Greenville County GOP leader Pressley Stutts dies from COVID-19. “Greenville County Republican Party leader Pressley Stutts died Thursday morning after battling COVID-19 for nearly a month. Stutts’ death was confirmed by Dan Harvell, who represents the Anderson County Republican Party on the South Carolina Republican Party’s executive committee.”


ABC News: Over 10,000 students in Florida school district isolated or quarantined a week into school year. “Just a week into the school year, over 10,000 students and staff in the Hillsborough County Public Schools district in Florida have been isolated or quarantined as districts across the state grapple with COVID-19.”

Politico: Texas drops mask mandate ban enforcement in public schools. “Enforcement in the state’s public school systems of Gov. Greg Abbott’s ban on mask mandates has been dropped, for now, the Texas Education Agency said Thursday. In a public health guidance letter, the TEA said enforcement was being dropped because of ongoing court challenges to the ban. The letter said the new guidance is effective immediately and further guidance will be issued once the litigations are resolved.”

WKRN: Fairview Middle School in Williamson County closed Friday due to illness. “Fairview Middle School will be closed Friday due to a faculty/staff illness and “an inability to staff the building and classrooms.” According to a Williamson County Schools spokesperson, the school will use one of ten days set aside in the school year typically used for inclement weather. New state guidelines do not allow the school to hold a remote learning day.”

CBS 4 Miami: Miami-Dade County Schools Issue Mask Mandate, Defying DeSantis Order. “The Miami-Dade County School Board has voted to implement a mask mandate for the start of the 2021-2022 school year. Parents can opt out their child out with a doctor’s note. The move defies an order from Gov. Ron DeSantis that states the decision must be left up to parents.”


Rice University: From the Provost – Fall Course Instruction Update Aug. 19. “Much remains to be learned about the delta variant and we need to pay close attention to the current surge that is especially pronounced in Texas. We need time to test and assess the prevalence of COVID-19 in the Rice community and its related health outcomes, and to implement any appropriate risk mitigation actions, keeping in mind the effectiveness of vaccination in preventing serious illness. For these reasons, we will move to online instruction for at least the first two weeks of the semester.”


CNN: As Covid-19 cases rise among teens, so do vaccinations, CNN analysis finds. “The rise in Covid-19 vaccinations among adolescents parallels an increase in Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations, mostly fueled by the Delta variant — leading some experts to speculate that parents who were once hesitant to get their children vaccinated are now reconsidering their decision after seeing more young people falling ill. Over the course of the summer, the Covid-19 case rate among adolescents grew nearly five times.”

Science: COVID-19 vaccines may trigger superimmunity in people who had SARS long ago. “Former SARS patients who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 appear able to fend off all variants of SARS-CoV-2 in circulation, as well as ones that may soon emerge, a new study suggests. Their formidable antibodies may even protect against coronaviruses in other species that have yet to make the jump into humans—and may hold clues to how to make a so-called pancoronavirus vaccine that could forestall future outbreaks.”

New York Times: Those Anti-Covid Plastic Barriers Probably Don’t Help and May Make Things Worse. “Under normal conditions in stores, classrooms and offices, exhaled breath particles disperse, carried by air currents and, depending on the ventilation system, are replaced by fresh air roughly every 15 to 30 minutes. But erecting plastic barriers can change air flow in a room, disrupt normal ventilation and create ‘dead zones,’ where viral aerosol particles can build up and become highly concentrated.”

WVTM: UAB seeing increase in unvaccinated pregnant women hospitalized with COVID-19. “Alabama has seen a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations in recent weeks, with over 2700 people currently being treated at hospitals across the state, and doctors at the University of Alabama at Birmingham say they are noticeably admitting more unvaccinated pregnant women.”

National Geographic: How does COVID-19 affect the brain? A troubling picture emerges.. “Hannah Davis contracted COVID-19 in March 2020, the early days of the pandemic. At the time, the New Yorker was a healthy, 32-year-old freelance data scientist and artist. But unlike many people who come down with the disease, Davis’s first sign of infection wasn’t a dry cough or fever. Her first symptom was that she couldn’t read a text message from a friend. She thought she was just tired, but the fuzziness she felt didn’t go away after a full night’s sleep. More neurological issues followed.”


Newswise: Joking about COVID-19 Won’t Create Marital Bliss. “Making jokes about COVID-19 to alleviate stress is not necessarily a good way to communicate with your spouse or keep your relationship intact, according to a study by Rutgers and other researchers. Instead, keeping up communication, networking with others, and maintaining a sense of self, is more apt to keep you together, researchers report in findings published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.”

PsyPost: A person’s attachment style predicts the quality of their romantic relationships during the COVID-19 lockdown. “Attachment security predicts better relationship quality during the trying times of lockdown, according to research published in Frontiers in Psychology. By contrast, infection rates, perceived threat from the virus, and level of governmental restrictions were not significant predictors of relationship quality.”

CBS News: Study: Fully vaccinated people with “breakthrough” COVID Delta infections carry as much virus as the unvaccinated. “A study by University of Oxford scientists has found that people who contract the Delta variant of COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated carry a similar amount of the coronavirus as those who catch the disease and have not been inoculated. The researchers stressed that vaccination still offers good protection against catching the disease in the first place, and protects against getting seriously ill with it.”

Nature: Delta’s rise is fuelled by rampant spread from people who feel fine. “People infected with the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 are more likely to spread the virus before developing symptoms than are people infected with earlier versions, suggests a detailed analysis of an outbreak in Guangdong, China.”

Washington Post: U.S. officials reviewing possibility Moderna vaccine is linked to higher risk of uncommon side effect than previously thought. “Federal health officials are investigating emerging reports that the Moderna coronavirus vaccine may be associated with a higher risk of a heart condition called myocarditis in younger adults than previously believed, according to two people familiar with the review who emphasized the side effect still probably remains uncommon.”

NBC San Diego: UCSD Researchers Find ‘Gate’ That Allows COVID Infection, Now Need Key to Lock it. “A UC San Diego research team has discovered how a molecule on the outside of the SARS-Cov-2 spike protein acts as a “gate” for the virus that causes COVID-19 infection, which could help find a way to counter the virus; all that’s needed is a ‘key’ to lock it, a new study says.”

PsyPost: Massive study provides evidence that a cognitive technique can help people psychologically cope with COVID-19. “New research published in Nature Human Behaviour suggests that a cognitive strategy can help people to regulate their reactions to emotionally charged events during the COVID-19 pandemic. The technique, known as reappraisal, involves changing how one thinks about a situation to change the emotional response to it.”


Route Fifty: Poll Finds Weak Support for State Bans on Local Mask Mandates. “Only about 33% of respondents to the Axios/Ipsos survey favored states blocking localities from imposing mask requirements, while 66% were opposed. Support for state restrictions on local mask orders was much stronger among Republicans (57%) than Democrats (16%). The findings come as GOP leaders in multiple states have barred mask mandates by localities and in schools, sparking court challenges and push back from local officials.”


Washington Post: Gulf Coast’s beloved ‘Redneck Riviera’ now a virus hotspot. ” Tourists and servers alike dance atop tables and in the aisles at one restaurant on the ‘Redneck Riviera,’ a beloved stretch of towns along the northern Gulf Coast where beaches, bars and stores are packed. Yet just a few miles away, a hospital is running out of critical care beds, its rooms full of unvaccinated people fighting for their lives. On maps that show virus ‘hot spots’ in red, this part of the U.S. coast is glowing like a bad sunburn. And a summer of booming tourism that followed the lockdowns and travel restrictions of 2020 is making the turn toward fall with only a few signs of slowing down.”

CNET: How the delta variant breached Australia’s COVID fortress. “Delta flipped the script. It exposed ineptitude and complacency among the country’s political leaders and uncovered a creeping pandemic fatigue that had infected the population. It divided Australia’s most populous states and showed how quickly the health response can unravel in an unvaccinated country because of poor communication and rising levels of vaccine hesitancy.”

Chattanooga Times Free Press: Dalton declares state of emergency as Hamilton Medical Center sees jump in COVID-19 hospitalizations. “The city of Dalton, Georgia, has declared a state of emergency in response to the rising number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Whitfield County, permitting city employees to provide much-needed assistance at Hamilton Medical Center. Monday’s decision came just days after the hospital announced it would suspend some elective procedures due to an observed 53% increase in positive cases of the virus.”


CNN: FAA proposes more than $500,000 in new fines against unruly airline passengers. “Federal authorities are proposing more than a half-million dollars in new fines against commercial airline passengers they say refused to wear masks, hit flight attendants and even threw luggage across the cabin.”

BBC: Covishield: WHO flags fake jabs in India, Africa. “The World Health Organization (WHO) said it has identified counterfeit versions of India’s primary Covid vaccine, Covishield. The doses were seized by authorities in India and Africa between July and August, a WHO statement said.”

Tech Xplore: Indiana notifying 750K after COVID-19 tracing data accessed. “Indiana health officials said Tuesday they are notifying nearly 750,000 state residents that a cybersecurity company “improperly accessed” their personal data from the state’s online COVID-19 contact tracing survey—a description the company disputed as a ‘falsehood.'”

WKRG: Florida couple arrested in Hawaii with fake COVID vaccination cards, officials say. “Court documents show Florida couple Enzo and Daniela Dalmazzo were arrested on Aug. 11 in Honolulu for having fake vaccination cards after flying from Miami to Hawaii with their two children. She was also charged with having fake vaccine cards for the children ages 4 and 5, who are not yet old enough to be vaccinated.”

KGW: Feds seize over 3,000 fake vaccination cards in Anchorage. “More than 3,000 fake COVID-19 vaccination cards have been confiscated at cargo freight facilities at the Anchorage airport as they were being shipped from China, officials said Thursday. Officers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized the cards in the past week as they arrived in small packages, said Jaime Ruiz, an agency spokesperson.”


Fresno Bee: The GOP usually loves US military vets, but not the Fresno State College Republicans. “The mean tweet criticizing a U.S. military veteran was cutting in its sarcasm: ‘You’re such a hero that you’ll break down when I light fireworks next door.’ The reference was to how many vets who served in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and have difficulties when hearing loud sounds that remind them of explosions.”

Washington Post: Opinion: Govs. DeSantis and Abbott, in denial and risking lives, have betrayed the public trust. “In covid-19′s dismal fourth wave, some things haven’t changed. Vaccination still dramatically reduces the chance of serious disease. Mask-wearing and distancing are still effective tools in fighting an easily aerosolized pathogen. But some of the pandemic’s moral mathematics have become harder to figure. Because of the delta variant, more people who did the right thing and took the vaccines are testing positive for covid (though they are far less likely to become dangerously ill). Whole nations that did the right thing — such as Israel, which has vaccinated as much as 78 percent of its population age 12 and older — are seeing new cases rise. The delta virus falls on the just and the unjust.”

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