The Mon-Wed-Fri news U.S. News Digest
CDC Removes Guidance for School Re-openings
Without fanfare or a formal announcement, the Centers for Disease Control has silently taken down guidance that pushed for school re-openings and which downplayed COVID-19 transmission from children to others and vice-versa.
One of the now-removed documents, which was penned by political appointees outside of the center, asserted the children seemed to be at a “lower risk” for contracting COVID-19 when compared to adults and said children aren’t likely to be large-scale spreaders of the virus. The CDC took down the documents quietly and when asked, a spokesperson was quoted as saying, “Some of the prior content was outdated and as new scientific information has emerged the site has been updated to reflect current knowledge about COVID-19 and schools.
“Though it has been discovered that children are less likely to contract the virus, their role in spreading COVID-19 to teachers, staff, and others was unknown. Rep. James Clyburn (SC), Chairman of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, had stated the guidance was out of date before the removal, “I am pleased that, in response to this request, CDC has now removed two guidance documents unsupported by science and has agreed to update two more that Director Redfield concedes are ‘out of date'”.
CDC’s deputy incident manager for the COVID-19 response stated, “It does appear that children can become infected, clearly can transmit.” However, there is data that contradicts the role of children in the spread and that schools are not hotspots for the transmission.
Opinion: If you are a parent, you know children can bring home all types of viruses home. I would like to see the data about the schools not being hotspots. If anything, they can be super-spreader locations just with the cafeteria alone, unless you are going to have the kids bring their own food and eat in the classroom.
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COVID-19 Vaccine Race: Pfizer Ends Trial with 95% Success Rate
Pfizer and BioNTech end their Phase Three trial of the COVID-19 vaccine with a 95% effectiveness.
The trial had close to 44,000 volunteers, many of which were from diverse backgrounds. It showed to be effective across different age groups, races, and ethnicity.
The vaccine does not contain the virus. Instead, they developed it with new messenger RNA (mRNA) that has genetic instructions to train the human immune system to make virus-slaying antibodies.
The trial will gather data for two more years on efficacy and safety. Like the Moderna vaccine, priorities will be to first responders and healthcare workers.
Lightfoot allocates $3.7 Billion for Infrastructure
After a post-election drive, Mayor Lightfoot has put $3.7 Billion on the books for infrastructure plans for Chicago as a whole. These plans include the city borrowing $1.4 Billion to fund plans to fix roads and much more over two years before they have to ask for more borrowed funds. Necessary work on bridges and completing spaces for bicycles and pedestrians to increase road accessibility are two of the key projects. Lightfoot touts it as the most ambitious plan to update Chicago’s infrastructure. It includes:
replacing the aging light poles,
improvements to bike lanes,
priority bus routes,
renovating Department of Family and Public Health Centers,
libraries, and other buildings, and
even includes funding to improve the city’s fleets and IT systems.
The Mayor has yet to lock in the votes needed for her 2021 budget plan.
Opinion: The fact she has to borrow money to do these shows her lack of budgeting her cities money to do this without loans. It does not bode well that she hasn’t been able to lock down a budget either.
DeWine Imposes Curfew and Old Restrictions
Due to the rising cases of COVID-19 in Ohio, DeWine imposed a three-week curfew with a goal to reduce the number of contacts to 25 percent. This would be a decrease of 20 percent.
Establishments are to close by 10 p.m. and people should be home by the curfew set.
The curfew will run until 5 a.m. with exceptions for workers, those with an emergency, and those needing medical care.
Restaurants are back to carry-out and delivery only. DeWine was not specific as to how the curfew would be enforced.
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