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    The outlet also pointed out that according to a report from Education Week, at least 422 active teachers died during the COVID-19 pandemic. "Given that there are over 3 million public school teachers in the United States, plus 500,000 in private schools, 'so many' deaths equates to a 0.012 percent death rate," the report concluded. The Education Week report also documented personal information of those teachers lost during the pandemic, such as their names, schools in which they taught, and ages. You can view the full list here. Penn State professor just deleted this tweet:pic.twitter.com/as5ipv2nBy — Corey A. DeAngelis (@Corey A. DeAngelis) 1642374142
    That batch of information didn't even include Fauci's current employment agreement or confidentiality and conflict of interest documents, the watchdog group reported, noting the latter could be numerous. Following more pressure and an official lawsuit filed in October alongside Judicial Watch, the agency "admitted they were holding 1,200 pages subject to our request," Andrzejewski recounted. "So think about this, we got 51 pages — there were redactions — and there are 1,200 pages," Andrzejewski added. "So they admitted to holding 1,200 pages that were subject to the request and 3,000 pages of line-by-line royalty payments. Every line is a potential conflict of interest and there are up to 1,000 NIH scientists receiving royalty payments. It's legal, but it should be disclosed." Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit on behalf of http://OpenTheBooks.com\u00a0 against the HHS for calendars and calendar entries of Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Dr. Anthony Fauci. READ NOW: http://jwatch.us/LPaHzY\u00a0https://twitter.com/FreedomWorks/status/1483505359453106180\u00a0\u2026 — Judicial Watch \u2696\ufe0f (@Judicial Watch \u2696\ufe0f) 1642531590 Due to a reported backlog in FOIA requests, the NIH told OpenTheBooks.com that it is only...
    Biden administration lawyers are due in court on Wednesday to defend their use of a Trump-era immigration restriction that has led to more than a million migrants being expelled at the US-Mexico border. The Biden administration says the use of Title 42 public health protections are essential to stem the entry of COVID-19 into the country.  But human rights campaigners say its use deprives arrivals of their right to claim asylum and offers no public health benefit when the coronavirus is already widespread.  In September, a federal court in Washington, DC, issued a injunction barring the Biden administration from using the measure to expel families. However, that was overturned on appeal. Campaigners return to the appeals court on Wednesday where they will argue that they have documented thousands of murders, kidnappings, sexual assaults, and other forms of violence against expelled migrants. Asylum-seeking migrants from Haiti walk near the border wall after crossing the Rio Bravo river to turn themselves in to U.S. Border Patrol agents to request asylum in El Paso, Texas Critics have accused President Joe Biden of failing...
              by Eric Lendrum   A recent report claims that the world’s top 10 richest men all saw their wealth double over the course of the Coronavirus pandemic, while 99 percent of global income dropped dramatically during the same period. As reported by ABC News, a study published on Monday by the group Oxfam showed that the collective wealth of the top 10 doubled from approximately $700 billion to over $1.5 trillion between March of 2020 and November of 2021. During that same time, over 160 million people fell into poverty as incomes plummeted. The increase for the top 10 in less than two years represented a greater increase for their wealth than their growth over the previous 14 years combined. The 10 men who were the focus of Oxfam’s study were: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bernard Arnault, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Ballmer and Warren Buffett. The data for the study was gathered from the World Bank. “Billionaires have had a terrific pandemic,” said Oxfam’s International Executive Director Gabriela Bucher. “Central banks pumped trillions of...
    (CNN)Cate Blanchett dressed up as her daughter's teacher during the early months of the pandemic in order to get homeschooling done. When Blanchett's 7-year-old daughter began staying home in March 2020 due to Covid-19, Blanchett had to take on the role of teacher, which, she tells the BBC, wasn't easy. She said her daughter "wouldn't allow me at all to teach math or do phonics unless I dressed up as her teacher and put on her teacher's voice."A pile of stuffed animals also joined the class."I had an array of stuffed animals who also had to be taught. It wasn't an offer I made. It was a request she made," Blanchett added. "One thing that really came home to me was just how incredible teachers are."She said,"That is an inherently dramatic situation where you have to stand up in front of a class of 30 often disinterested pupils and try and get them engaged in medieval history."Read MoreAlong with homeschooling duties, Blanchett has spent some o fher time during the pandemic attending to her pigs and the chickens and "watching...
    Donald Trump listens to the crowd cheer during a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa.Mark Kauzlarich | Bloomberg | Getty Images Populist parties and politicians lost support all over the world during the coronavirus pandemic, a survey of more than half a million people has found. Published Tuesday by Cambridge University's Bennett Institute for Public Policy, the study had more than half a million participants across 109 countries. The research team has been monitoring participants' political attitudes since 2020. According to the report, there are clear signs that the so-called "populist wave" — which saw radical and anti-establishment leaders, including former U.S. President Donald Trump, rise to power — could be diminishing. The mishandling of the Covid-19 crisis by populist leaders, a desire for stability and a decline in polarizing attitudes were swaying public opinion away from populist sentiment, researchers said. Populist leaders were also considered to be less trustworthy as sources of Covid-related information than their centrist counterparts, the poll found. The pandemic prompted a shift toward technocratic politics, the paper said, which bolstered trust in governments and experts...
    London (CNN Business)Billionaires added $5 trillion to their fortunes during the pandemic, according to Oxfam, exacerbating economic inequality as the pandemic pushed millions of people around the world into poverty.Using data compiled by Forbes, Oxfam says in a new report that the total wealth of billionaires jumped from $8.6 trillion in March 2020 to $13.8 trillion in November 2021, a bigger increase than in the previous 14 years combined. The world's richest 10 men saw their collective wealth more than double, shooting up by $1.3 billion a day. The report was released ahead of the World Economic Forum's online Davos Agenda, which will take place this week after the group's annual in-person meeting was delayed due to Omicron. Oxfam argues that governments should tax gains made by the super-rich during the pandemic and use the money to fund health care systems, pay for vaccines, fight discrimination and address the climate crisis. As millions fell into poverty during the pandemic, billionaires wealth soared"Billionaires have had a terrific pandemic. Central banks pumped trillions of dollars into financial markets to save the economy,...
                 State Senator Ryan Aument (R-Lititz) on Thursday introduced legislation that will expand parents’ access to school choice during the coronavirus pandemic. The measure, Senate Bill 1015, will create an Education Savings Account, allowing parents to potentially receive funding to send their children to schools that are better equipped to address their child’s needs. “Parents have seen the negative impact on their children from not having in-person instruction,” said Senator Aument. “If schools will not remain open, students and their families deserve options to ensure every child receives a high-quality education.” Because of transitions to virtual learning, parents who meet the eligibility requirements would be given funds to offset certain costs connected to educational alternatives to their current public school. Some examples include tutors, at-home instructional content, tuition, and testing. “By removing financial barriers to accessing these valuable tools, Pennsylvania students struggling with learning loss will have a greater chance of getting back on track,” wrote Aument in a recent opinion piece. “Education Savings Accounts will increase access to expanded educational options, offering students, parents, and teachers alike more learning...
    A Chinese restaurant chain in the north west of England has been forced to make use of robotic waiters, after struggling for staff during the Covid pandemic. Directors at The Chinese Buffet unleashed one BellaBot in each of four restaurants in Liverpool, St Helens, Bolton and Wigan, to serve food to diners.  When the buffet re-opened after the last lockdown, its owners decided to serve food to people at the table, ordered via an app, rather than allow them to serve themselves. This added an extra strain on the already short waiting staff, according to owners Paolo Hu and Peter Wu, who said the BellaBots had already proved popular with diners. The guide price for the friendly-faced robots is $20,000 (£14,500), which is less than the cost of employing a waiter at minimum wage for 40 hours per week.  Quirky footage shows Bella, who features a wide-eyed feline face, sweeping across the restaurant floor dishing out delicacies to delighted customers.  A Chinese restaurant chain in the north west of England has been forced to make use of robotic waiters, after...
    (CNN)The Supreme Court on Thursday undermined the Biden administration's effort to stop the spread of Covid-19 among workers and, equally important, revealed how much conservative justices want the federal government out of American life. Justices on the right-wing expressed concerns of US agencies regulating "the daily lives and liberties of millions of Americans," as Neil Gorsuch put it, and that "the Executive Branch already touches nearly every aspect of Americans' lives," as Samuel Alito wrote. Day of defeats threatens Bidens attempt at second year reset"These cases are not about the efficacy or importance of COVID--19 vaccines," Justice Clarence Thomas added in one of the paired controversies. "They are only about whether (a federal agency) has the statutory authority to force healthcare workers, by coercing their employers, to undergo a medical procedure they do not want and cannot undo." RELATED: Day of defeats threatens Biden's attempt at second year resetTheir views, intensifying in recent years, are likely to result in limits on federal power over public health and safety, labor protections and environmental safeguards. Immediately on the horizon, in cases to...
    Nearly a third of Asian Americans in the San Gabriel Valley said they or their family members have experienced anti-Asian hate during the COVID-19 pandemic, with most incidents involving verbal attacks, a new survey found. Nearly half of those surveyed said they feel less safe than before the pandemic, and the majority said they are more “vigilant and defensive” when they leave home, according to the survey released Wednesday by the Asian Youth Center and Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles. Of those who are parents, about half said they are concerned about their children being the victims of racist bullying or insults at school. The San Gabriel Valley is home to more than half a million Asian Americans — one of the highest concentrations in the United States. One survey respondent expressed dismay about anti-Asian racism in an area where many cities, including Arcadia, Monterey Park and San Gabriel, are majority Asian. “There has been a noticeable shift in how people perceive APIs, and to experience racism in an area that’s predominantly API shows that we’re...
    The White House acknowledged Monday that people who had three shots of the coronavirus vaccine could still catch the virus. “I had been triple-vaxxed, I had minor symptoms,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during the daily press briefing, recalling her experience with the virus to Fox News reporter Peter Doocy. Doocy reported that he also caught the virus, despite being triple-vaccinated, asking Psaki why President Joe Biden continued to call the coronavirus pandemic “a pandemic of the unvaccinated.” Psaki defended Biden’s slogan by noting the coronavirus symptoms among the vaccinated were less severe compared to the unvaccinated. “Those are significant serious statistics,” she said, calling the health impact on unvaccinated Americans “far more dire.” Psaki said the White House and Biden always acknowledged that “breakthrough cases” would occur among the vaccinated. “I think our president has said, as have we a number of times, that there will be breakthrough cases, there will be people who get COVID,” Psaki said. White House officials argued for months that getting the vaccine would stop the virus and prevent it from spreading...
    Dr. Sal Iaquinta  COVID has had many unexpected effects on us. Perhaps the most unpredictable change is the increase in traffic accidents. In 2020, insurance companies reported that about 13% fewer miles were driven than in 2019, yet traffic deaths were up 7%. Then, the first half of 2021 showed an increase of nearly 20% compared to the same time period the year earlier. It seems paradoxical. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a few papers last year describing its findings on crashes. It found that people in accidents were more likely to have alcohol or other drugs in their system compared to previous years. After March 2020, the presence of marijuana in seriously or fatally injured drivers increased 50% and the incidence of opioids almost doubled. Studies looking at the latter half of 2020 found more than half of seriously injured drivers had at least one drug present in their system. Since the start of the pandemic, the sales of alcohol and marijuana have been continuing to climb. The misuse of drugs and alcohol are not the only...
    "Compounding my fury was a complete lack of sympathy or outright hostility from my own 'team,'" Schmidt wrote of Democrats. Schmidt said that when she spoke out against school closures on social media she was "shouted down and abused, accused of being a Trumper who didn’t care if teachers died." She accused the Democratic Party of "exaggerating the risks of COVID-19 to children," and not acknowledging the negatives of children wearing face masks. Schmidt admitted that she lost her "trust that the party is truly motivated to act in the interests of those they claim to serve." Despite all of her grievances toward Democrats, she proclaimed, "None of this has shaken my support for the Democratic agenda, which I still endorse wholesale." Schmidt did say that more and more, she feels "politically homeless."
    Here’s a feel-good story for the beginning of 2022! Forbes reports that even though the golf industry has seen a boom during the pandemic, Donald Trump’s European golf interests have tanked to the tune of $100-plus million. It’s almost like the guy who has reportedly squandered hundreds of millions of unearned capitol numerous times over the last five decades continues to be terrible at everything he does. It is almost a talent to be as bad at business as Donald Trump is. You could probably run an organization better by making binary decisions using a goldfish’s location in a fishbowl. According to Forbes, the issue for Trump is that his golf courses in Europe are tied to large-scale resorts, and so while tee times increased at golf courses all over the world, people booking “resort” time decreased sharply—you know, global pandemic and all that. One of the shiniest objects on the list is Trump’s money pit investment in the Turnberry golf resort in Scotland. Turnberry was reportedly purchased for more than $60 million back in 2014. Trump then poured upwards of 200 million into the place and...
    COVID-19 during pregnancy surprisingly did not increase the chance of babies' neurodevelopmental delay, although those born during the pandemic were associated with higher neurodevelopmental delays compared to those born prior to the pandemic, according to a recent JAMA Pediatrics study.   Columbia University Irving Medical Center established a prospective cohort study called COVID-19 Mother Baby Outcomes (COMBO) Initiative in the spring of 2020 to study the associations between the exposure of the virus while the baby is still in the mother’s womb with the well-being of the baby.  The researchers studied a cohort of infants who were exposed to COVID-19 during pregnancy and compared them to a control group of similar gestational age at birth, birthday, sex, and mode of delivery who were not exposed to the virus.  Whether or not kids should be required to wear masks has been a polarizing topic thorough the COVID-19 pandemic.  "Infants born to mothers who have viral infections during pregnancy have a higher risk of neurodevelopmental deficits, so we thought we would find some changes in the neurodevelopment of babies whose mothers...
    Last year saw large numbers of people migrate from blue states such as New York and California to red states such as Florida and Texas, according to research. The Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan group that generally favors low taxes, used data from the census and commercial datasets from U-Haul and United Van Lines to compile a list of which states had the biggest population inflows and outflows. The group noted that many of the states people are leaving have higher taxes than states where people have been relocating. New York, which is notorious for its high taxes, was the state with the largest percentage decrease, with a drop of 1.8% from April 2020 to July 2021. Washington, D.C., experienced a whopping 2.8% loss. Other states with big losses include Illinois, California, Massachusetts, and West Virginia. (Tax Foundation) As for increased migration, Idaho clocked in with the most growth at 3.4%, followed by states such as Utah, Montana, Arizona, South Carolina, Texas, Nevada, and Florida. MUSK’S RECORD TAX BILL FOLLOWS MASSIVE 2021 STOCK SELL-OFF BY HIM...
    Eric LeVine, founder and CEO of CellarTracker, visits the cellar at his Seattle home.Talia LeVine Before there was Facebook, there was CellarTracker. Eric LeVine, a former Microsoft employee who fell in love with wine on a bicycling trip in Italy, created the website for his own use in 2003 and released it to the public a year later. In 2005, he left his day job. CellarTracker's growth popped during the Covid-19 pandemic as wine retailers went digital and consumers sought out places to learn more about wine. CNBC caught up with LeVine for the inside story on the app's beginnings — and how CellarTracker's founder sees his prospects for the future. CellarTracker made a name for itself as a place to look up wine varietals and buy bottles through other sites, such as Vivino. E-commerce itself was never LeVine's top priority. Instead, the wine app helped enthusiasts manage what they have on hand, decide when to open wine bottles and figure out what they might want next. That seemed to be precisely what users wanted. CellarTracker counts 11...
    (CNN)Imagine going to your favorite restaurant and opening a menu that's been created specifically for you.That's what Opaala, a platform launched in Dubai by Giles Wright and Marwan Saab in 2019, can do.Opaala creates bespoke menus for individual diners by offering their favorite dishes, taking allergies and dietary requirements into account."Opaala is (also) a virtual waiter," Wright says. "Customers have got the menu in their phone, in their hand ... They can ask for the bill, they can pay their bill, or they can put an order through directly to the kitchen." Customers scan a regular QR code, but Saab and Wright say it's the technology behind the platform "where the real magic comes in." Read MoreThe duo call the platform a "dynamic menu." By using AI and machine-learning, Opaala can track a user's eating habits and create increasingly personalized menus over time. The data is not only improving the user experience, say Saab and Wright -- restaurants are using Opaala's analytics to adjust their menus according to diners' preferences.One venue "built their entire menu based on our data," Saab...
    Jackson, Mississippi (CNN)Around Thanksgiving, this crisis-plagued state capital saw a series of shootings that pushed the year's homicide total past 130, setting a grim annual record for a city that over the last two years has quietly become one of the country's deadliest.The killings, like so many in another record-setting year of American gun violence, are not the kind that receive national attention. A local business owner was shot outside a barbershop while sitting in his car. A few days later, a man was killed in a shooting that also wounded a 13-year-old boy. A 22-year-old inside a car was sprayed with gunfire at a gas station. A 63-year-old man whose death by gunfire is still largely unexplained.In the state's most populous city, a former Confederate stronghold that would later give way to thriving Black business districts and serve as a hub for the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, residents are now grappling with a gun violence epidemic that spiked at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and shows no signs of abating."We see lifelong friends kill each other,...
    President BidenJoe BidenThe 10 races that will decide the Senate majority Bidens: Desmond Tutu's legacy will 'echo throughout the ages' Media love bad news; you don't have to MORE's chief medical adviser Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFauci on lack of tests during holiday season: 'We've got to do better' Fauci on domestic air travel mandate: Anything to get people more vaccinated 'would be welcome' Fauci says he was 'stunned' by boos from Trump supporters over booster revelation MORE on Monday appeared to accuse former President TrumpDonald TrumpThe 10 races that will decide the Senate majority How American conservatives normalize anti-Semitism VP dilemma: The establishment or the base? MORE of "poisoning the well" on vaccines during his administration. Fauci, during an interview on CNN's "New Day," said he was "stunned" after Trump spoke recently about getting a vaccine booster shot and was booed by some supporters. “I was stunned by the fact that he’s doing that, and he’s getting booed in some places for doing that,” Fauci said in comments first reported by Mediate.   "Which means that you know, poisoning the well early...
    Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y., told "Fox & Friends" on Monday that many New Yorkers have had enough with the government overreach during the coronavirus pandemic, and that there are Americans who are ‘concerned’ about the implications on both federal and local levels. Malliotakis' comments came on the heels of Mayor de Blasio's new vaccine mandate that hit the Big Apple Monday.NYC MAYOR DE BLASIO ANNOUNCES COVID-19 VACCINE MANDATE FOR PRIVATE SECTOR WORKERS  NICOLE MALLIOTAKIS: I think it’s very split, but there are people who have had enough of the overreach of government and they are concerned and it’s businesses too. Look, we had a round table in Washington from industry leaders, particularly those in the transportation sector, that are saying that this is going to have a huge impact if the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate actually takes effect.  … Now two things are happening, right? Next week we’ll get a new mayor here in New York City, and we’re hoping that mayor will revisit some of these policies and the Supreme Court will be looking at the Biden mandate as...
    \u201cThey will be paying for our generation\u2019s decisions the rest of their lives\u201d: @JanCBS explains why she thinks 2021's biggest underreported story was the devastating impact of COVID policies on childrenpic.twitter.com/AUU1f6AFNi — Face The Nation (@Face The Nation) 1640552417 Highlighting "school closures, lockdowns, [and the] cancellation of sports," Crawford noted that during the height of the pandemic, children in Washington, D.C., could not even use playgrounds "without cops scurrying, shooing the kids off." "Tremendous negative impact on kids, and it’s been an afterthought. It’s hurt their dreams, their future, learning loss, risk of abuse, their mental health," Crawford lamented. "And now, with our knowledge, our vaccines, if our policies don’t reflect a more measured and reasonable approach for our children, they will be paying for our generation’s decisions the rest of their lives."Any additional context?Data shows that, as Crawford explained, suicide rates among teenagers have soared during the pandemic. Equally problematic is how education took a back seat to a commonsense approach to the pandemic. For example, one survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation discovered that about 40% of...
    New York (CNN Business)McDonald's manager Deatric Edie was hospitalized last year after getting Covid-19. She missed two months of work, while her bills piled up and an eviction notice was slapped on her door.She describes the experience as "the scariest thing you can ever imagine in your life. I don't want to go through that again."Edie has diabetes and is "very concerned" about the Covid-19 Omicron variant and rising coronavirus cases. But the McDonald's (MCD) she currently works at in Hollywood, Florida, for $10 an hour is not prioritizing her safety or the 30 or so employees she manages, she said. This Mcdonald's, like most of the chain's outlets, is franchise-owned and operated and sets its own pay and benefit policies. McDonald's this year said it was raising wages at company-owned stores. Deatric Edie, a McDonald's manager in Florida, is "very concerned" about the Omicron variant. She is a member of the Fight for $15 movement. She is photograpohed here rallying support for a minimum wage increase in September. She wants McDonald's to "force" the issue of safety on it's...
    THE plan is that there will be no Premier League lockdown this winter. That was the conclusion from Monday’s meeting of club representatives in which the matter was discussed. 2Football fans will be desperate to see their heroes in action over the Christmas period Despite the fact that there have been 14 applications from PL clubs to postpone matches, ten approved (three on the day) and four rejected. The strong signs are that PM Boris Johnson and his cabinet have decided, as a political variation of human VAR, that there will be no Covid special penalty for football, and play may continue at present. No such luck in Scotland or Wales. Matches will go ahead as long as you have 14 fit players, including anyone over the age of 21 to be placed on the available list if they have played one game (for any length of time) this season. Matches in PL2 and EFL Trophy do not count. Many have questioned low vaccination uptake among players. This is misguided — 84 per cent of squads and 92 per cent of backroom staff have...
    Paxlovid, a Pfizer's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pill, is seen manufactured in Ascoli, Italy, in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters on November 16, 2021.Pfizer | Handout | via Reuters The Food and Drug Administration has granted emergency authorization to Pfizer's Covid treatment pill, a major milestone that promises to revolutionize the fight against the virus. Pfizer's pill is the first oral antiviral drugs authorized by the FDA that are specifically designed to fight Covid. The authorization comes at a crucial turning point in the pandemic, as hospital systems across the U.S. have been battered by a wave of delta infections, and are now bracing for another wave of patients infected with the highly contagious omicron variant. The drug provides a new tool in the arsenal to fight Covid. While the vaccines have proven effective in preventing severe illness from the virus, health-care providers need medications to treat the tens of millions of people in the U.S. who still have not gotten vaccinated. The pill, if delivered in time, could help alleviate strain on health-care systems during an expected wave...
    The COVID-19 pandemic cut short US life expectancy by nearly two years, with the death rate for black and Hispanic Americans spiking since the outbreak began, according to a new report. The average American born in 2020 can expect to live to 77 years old, down from 78.8 in 2019, according to a Centers for Disease Control report published Tuesday. The drop in life expectancy is the most dramatic since at least World War II, with COVID-19 being the driving factor for the plunge in life span in the U.S. The virus is now the third leading cause of death in the country, but still behind heart disease and cancer.   Elizabeth Arias, a demographer at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, said the drop was much bigger she had anticipated.  'I knew there was going to be a decline, but I didn't expect it to be this large. For some groups, life expectancy declined three years or more,' Arias told the Wall Street Journal.   Men saw the biggest decline - more than two years - in reaching their golden...
    US population growth has plunged to its lowest level since the nation's founding, after the COVID-19 pandemic curtailed births and immigration, according to new Census figures.    The United States grew by only 0.1 percent from July 2020 to July 2021, with only an additional 392,665 added to the U.S. population, according to population estimates released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau. The U.S. has been experiencing slow population growth for years, but the pandemic exacerbated that trend by killing hundreds of thousands, prompting couples to delay pregnancies, and sending net migration rates plunging.  Nevertheless, immigration has rebounded in 2021, and in November foreign-born residents made up 14.2 percent of the U.S population, the highest level in 111 years.   The United States grew by only 0.1 percent from July 2020 to July 2021, with only an additional 392,665 added to the U.S. population in the slowest growth since the nation's founding The empty streets of Manhattan are seen in April 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic curtailed pregnancies and immigration, according to new Census figures RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next ...
    The holidays are a time of joy, giving, family and friends. They can also be a time of stress, sadness and loneliness — all compounded by a pandemic stretching into its second year. “The holidays are so romanticized and I think that really can make people feel isolated and lonely — that things should be a particular way, or I should feel a particular way, and then spending time to try to create that ideal, which sometimes just isn’t feasible,” said Neda Gould, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Many put undue pressure on themselves by setting unrealistic expectations during the holidays — pressure that has been exacerbated by COVID-19. “There’s, broadly speaking, so much grief associated with the past couple of years,” Gould said. “And it’s of course related to the loss of loved ones, but also there’s financial losses and the loss of the way things were — getting together with family that may not be feasible during this time of year. And then, on top of that, the...
    (CNN) — The great Covid-19 lockdown of March to June 2020 created more than a run on toilet paper, masks and hand sanitizers. A new analysis of alcohol sales in a sampling of American states has found panic buying of hard liquor and wine also spiked. Sales of beer, however, remained steady or slumped in most states. “Understanding how alcohol purchase behavior is changed by events such as Covid is important because heavy alcohol use is known to be associated with numerous social problems, especially within the home,” said study coauthor Brian Quigley, a research assistant professor of medicine in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo in New York. READ MORE: Local Silver Diner Servers Get Nearly $5K In Tips From Jolly Customers“Our findings suggest the need for a more comprehensive policy relating to alcohol availability, as to whether it should be considered an ‘essential’ product,” said study coauthor Yingjie Hu, an assistant professor in the department of geography at the University at Buffalo. “Hopefully this could help our society as a whole...
    (CNN)The great Covid-19 lockdown of March to June 2020 created more than a run on toilet paper, masks and hand sanitizers. A new analysis of alcohol sales in a sampling of American states has found panic buying of hard liquor and wine also spiked. Sales of beer, however, remained steady or slumped in most states. Drinking any amount of alcohol causes damage to the brain, study finds"Understanding how alcohol purchase behavior is changed by events such as Covid is important because heavy alcohol use is known to be associated with numerous social problems, especially within the home," said study coauthor Brian Quigley, a research assistant professor of medicine in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo in New York. "Our findings suggest the need for a more comprehensive policy relating to alcohol availability, as to whether it should be considered an 'essential' product," said study coauthor Yingjie Hu, an assistant professor in the department of geography at the University at Buffalo. "Hopefully this could help our society as a whole address problems related to...
    ljubaphoto | E+ | Getty Images The Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated many differences between haves and have-nots in the U.S. Now, a new survey shows that it also made the savings gap more pronounced between those groups. Of those with incomes less than $50,000, 36% say they now have less savings than before the pandemic, versus 13% who say they have more, according to findings from the national coalition Funding Our Future and payment technology company DailyPay. For those with incomes of $100,000 or more, 41% say they now have more money set aside, versus 20% who have less. More from Personal Finance:The December child tax credit payment may be the lastInflation is hitting the 3 big areas of household budgetsWhy unemployment claims are at their lowest in decades In fact, 58% of Americans say they are anxious about their current financial situation, the poll found. That was most prevalent in younger Americans ages 18 to 34, with 71%; renters, 70%; and those with less than $50,000 in income, 67%. The online poll was taken between Nov. 30 and Dec. 2,...
    The number of people moving to California from other states has dropped significantly since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and more Californians are leaving the state, according to a new study released Wednesday. The two trends signal that population loss due to domestic migration out of the Golden State has more than doubled since the beginning of the pandemic. The pattern has rippled across California: New entrances to the state have dropped in every county since the end of March 2020. When Californians do move, researchers said they are slightly more likely to leave the state than they were before the start of the pandemic. Entrances to California from other states have dropped 38% since March of last year, while the number of residents leaving to other states has increased 12%, the report from the nonpartisan California Policy Lab said. “The public’s attention has been focused on the so-called ‘CalExodus’ phenomenon, but the reality is that the dramatic drop in ‘CalEntrances’ since the pandemic began has been a bigger driver of recent population changes in the state,” Natalie...
    The head of the European Union's executive branch said Wednesday that omicron is expected to be the dominant coronavirus variant in the 27-nation bloc by mid-January, amid concerns that a dramatic rise in infections will leave Europe shrouded in gloom during the holiday season.  European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU is well prepared to fight omicron with 66.6% of the bloc's population fully vaccinated. Von der Leyen expressed disappointment that the pandemic will again disrupt year-end celebrations but said she was confident the EU has the "strength" and "means" to overcome COVID-19.  VACCINATED PEOPLE NO LONGER HAVE TO FOLLOW LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS IN AUSTRIA  European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivers a speech during a plenary session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021.  (Julien Warnand, Pool Photo via AP) "Like many of you, I'm sad that once again this Christmas will be overshadowed by the pandemic," she said.  Continental Europe can look to Britain for a sense of what lies ahead as omicron spreads.  The head of the U.K. Health Security...
    MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Last year millions of Americans canceled holiday travel plans during the pandemic, but that is changing this year. Whether by plane, train or automobile, AAA predicts 109 million people will travel during the holidays – 28 million more than last year. READ MORE: Only Days Away From Noche Buena, Miami Holds 4th Annual Pardoning Of The Pigs“This holiday travel season is going to feel like a pre-pandemic travel season,” says Andy Gross with AAA. He says airline travel is expected to see a 184% increase over last year. “There will be lines at the airport, so our advice is get there early.” Sean Willis is flying for the holidays. He and his family are leaving town early and making up for lost time. Last year they didn’t travel because of the pandemic. He says he’s well aware the trip comes as COVID cases are rising. READ MORE: Firefighters Battle 2-Alarm Apartment Fire In Miami Gardens“Of course, there is a little bit of concern here and there,” Willis says. “Everybody is masked up, vaccinated up, so outside of...
    Religious affiliation in the U.S. has continued to fall during the pandemic, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center. The percentage of Americans who identify as Christians now stands at 63%, down from 65% in 2019 and from 78% in 2007. Meanwhile, 29% of Americans now identify as having no religion, up from 26% in 2019 and 16% in 2007, when Pew began tracking religious identity. At least 44 cases of the virus are linked to the services at Genesis Community Church, which held four services on Dec. 23 and Dec. 24.  (iStock) Many places of worship closed during the pandemic—some voluntarily, others as a result of state and local social-distancing rules—and in-person church attendance is roughly 30% to 50% lower than it was before the pandemic, estimates Barna Group, a research firm that studies faith in the U.S. Millions of Americans moved to worshiping online, and questions linger about how many will come back in person. GOP SENATORS STATE DEPARTMENT TO PUT NIGERIA BACK ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ‘CONCERN’ LIST Sarah Rosenberg, an ordination program student, studies...
    High school students studying in some of California's largest school districts will no longer be given a D or F grade for poor work, and will instead be allowed to take the tests or complete the work again. The new system has been introduced due to the pandemic, with supporters arguing that it reduces the stress levels for already-traumatized and unsettled students. Proponents say it will particularly help black, Latino and lower-income students, who have statistically been disproportionately affected by pandemic upheaval to school routines. Critics say that it dumbs down education, leaving students unequipped to cope with the harsh realities of the modern world. The scheme was first reported at the beginning of this month by Ed Source. A student is seen on March 24 taking her exam at St Anthony Catholic High School in Long Beach, California. Several California school districts have now decided to get rid of D and F grades Nidya Baez, assistant principal at Fremont High in Oakland Unified (right) and Devin Vodicka, chief executive of the Learning-Centered Collaborative, have both backed the scheme to...
    (CBS DETROIT) – ACCORDING TO MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS, DURING THE PANDEMIC THOSE SEEKING OUT MENTAL HEALTH ASSISTANCE HAS INCREASED BY 300%, AND THAT NUMBER ONLY EXPECTED TO GROW DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON. “OUR DOORS HAVE BEEN SLAMMED EVERYDAY WITH MORE PEOPLE SEEKING HELP OFTEN THEN WE HAVE THE CAPACITY TO SERVE.” SAID MICHAEL GARRETT, PRESIDENT, CEO CNS HEALTHCARE READ MORE: Michigan Reports 25,240 New COVID-19 Cases, 160 DeathsHOWEVER; GARRETT WITH CNS HEALTHCARE, AN ORGANIZATION THAT PROVIDES A VARIETY OF MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES IN SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN SAYS, THEY WILL NOT TURN ANYONE AWAY, NOT DURING THIS VERY CRITICAL TIME WHERE THEY’RE SEEING A CRITICAL NEED. “JUST AS THE HOSPITAL SYSTEMS IN 2020 WERE OVERLOADED, THE MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM RIGHT NOW IS BUSTING AT THE SEAMS,” SAID GARRETT GARRETT SAYS PEOPLE ARE SUFFERING FROM STRESS, DEPRESSION, AND ANXIETY MAINLY DUE TO BEING ISOLATED DURING THE PANDEMIC. THERES ALSO JOB LOSS, AND NOT BEING ABLE TO PROPERLY GREIVE FOR THOSE WHO’S LOSSED LOVED ONES DURING THIS TIME. HE SAYS FOR THOSE ALREADY SUFFERING FROM MENTAL HEALTH BEFORE, COVID AND THE PANDEMIC HAS ONLY ADDED...
    Michael Caputo A Trump administration political appointee broke the law with a gag order banning Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) staff from talking to the media, the Office of Special Counsel concluded. That gag order came from Michael Caputo, HHS assistant secretary of public affairs for a brief time, but an important one: mid-April through mid-September, 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic really gained hold, abated, and surged again.  During those months, scientists were beginning to understand how the virus worked, how it was transmitted, what ways of controlling its spread might be most effective. But Caputo didn’t want HHS scientists or experts talking to the media without his sign-off. “There are no exceptions,” he wrote. His language omitted a legal requirement that any gag order on federal workers must include a notice that “These provisions are consistent with and do not supersede, conflict with, or otherwise alter the employee obligations, rights, or liabilities created by existing statute or Executive order relating to (1) classified information, (2) communications to Congress, (3) the reporting to an Inspector General of a violation of any...
    Despite the massive hit the economy took during the COVID-19 crisis, a new study suggests the pandemic didn’t push huge numbers of Bay Area residents into financial trouble — a surprising finding that experts say highlights the success of emergency cash assistance programs. Before COVID hit, 29% of people who responded to a Tipping Point Community survey reported having a hard time making ends meet. Ten months into the pandemic, that number had barely budged — 31% of people reported struggling. Similarly, the study found the Bay Area’s poverty rate didn’t jump — it rose from 17% in 2018 to 18% in early 2021. Experts say that’s because federal stimulus payments, increases in unemployment benefits and nonprofit aid programs prevented huge swaths of the population from falling into poverty — a win they hope will push policymakers to enact more long-term cash assistance programs. But not everyone made it out unscathed. Low-income residents and residents of color were far more likely to suffer financial hardships as a result of the pandemic. “The good news is the poverty rate didn’t increase, didn’t...
    At this point in the novel coronavirus pandemic, we’re still learning about the long-term effects of the virus, and how those risks might vary based on age, socioeconomic class, region, and so on. Whether you’ve lived with COVID-19 or not, though, it’s certainly possible the pandemic has still affected your physical and mental health. According to a recent study from the Cleveland Clinic, there has been a serious increase in blood pressure during the pandemic, especially among women.  The study, which was published in the journal Circulation on Monday, Dec. 6, included people from 50 states plus Washington, D.C., with more than 460,000 people surveyed. The data came from a wellness program put on by several employers through Quest Diagnostics. The study included both employees and their spouses or partners. The average age of study participants was 45 years old and slightly more than half of the participants were women. Frustratingly, the data doesn’t include information on race and ethnicity.  That said, these wellness programs happen every year, so there was ample data for means of comparison in at least some categories....
    Over the years, Hope’s Corner has become more than just a place where Mikey Garden could get a shower and a hot meal. The 52-year-old has been chronically homeless for four decades now, moving from one foster home to the next as a young child. He first came to Hope’s Corner seven-and-a-half years ago when a friend invited him to breakfast. But in the last few years, Garden, who is known at Hope’s Corner for his “heart of gold” has not only been a regular for Saturday morning breakfast, but a frequent volunteer — often helping out with mopping floors or setting up and taking down tables. He says it’s “good will” that has kept him coming back all these years to help other homeless individuals like himself. “[They] were giving me something to eat,” he said. “If a guy drops his tray, common sense would be to help him pick it up. That’s what I did.” If it wasn’t for Hope’s Corner, Garden says he’s not sure what he’d be doing with his time. “I’m grateful to have those...
    Blood pressure measurements of nearly a half-million adults saw statistically significant increases in 2020, compared with 2019, according to a new research letter in the journal Circulation. A Northern Virginia doctor has advice for everyone to protect themselves from risk. Do you know your numbers? “If you don’t know what your blood pressure is, or haven’t known what it is in the last two years, I would say find a way to get it checked,” said Dr. Ameya Kulkarni, an interventional cardiologist with Kaiser Permanente in Tysons, Virginia. “We can certainly treat blood pressure, and we can prevent the bad things that happen when somebody’s blood pressure is elevated. But the first step to doing all that is figuring out whether or not you have an elevated blood pressure,” he said. Dr. Amey Kulkarni is an Interventional Cardiologist at the mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group with an office in Tysons, Virginia. (Courtesy Kaiser Permanente) Numbers of factors can have an impact on blood pressure readings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website has tips to help ensure getting a correct reading....
    Fox News host Laura Ingraham slammed the medical community for politicizing the pandemic as well as the detrimental effects she believed lockdown policies have had on America's youth on "Ingraham Angle" Wednesday.  "Let’s get one thing straight," she said, "the pandemic is as much to blame for teen suicides and depression as the car is to blame for the Waukesha parade massacre. The real culprit is the response to the virus." According to the surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy, the pandemic has had a catastrophic effect on the mental health of Americans, especially young people.  DEPRESSION, ANXIETY FELL AS US COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS ENDED IN 2021: CDC DATA "Mental health challenges in children, adolescents and young adults are real and widespread," a Tuesday report said. "Early estimates... suggest there were tragically more than 6,600 deaths by suicide among the 10-24 age group in 2020 ... In early 2021, emergency department visits for suspected suicide attempts were 51 percent higher for adolescent girls compared to early 2019." iStock "The same people who lit the fire of hysteria on COVID and locked us...
    NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City is providing a $100 million grant for small business owners.Mayor Bill de Blasio made the big announcement during a private luncheon on Wednesday.It's an initiative for low and moderate-income communities that the city has been working on for months.Commissioner Jonnell Doris says the grant is projected to serve 10,000 small businesses and builds on more than $500 million in assistance already provided to businesses during the pandemic.The NYC Small Business Resilience Grant promises to provide immediate funding to small businesses in the arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food sectors to help them recover.SBS helped businesses to stay resilient by launching 51 initiatives and campaigns, providing over 337,000 services including, handling more than 75,000 calls to its hotline, visiting over 175 commercial corridors, and hosting 865 webinars to some 56,800 attendees.Access to capital has been the most critical need in the small business community during the pandemic.Since March 2020, SBS has helped more than 10,000 businesses connect to $623 million in local, state, federal, and private funding to weather the crisis and build...
    The world's richest 0.01 per cent saw their share of the $418 trillion global wealth hit 11 per cent this year, up about $420 billion from 10 per cent in 2020 due to the pandemic - all while 100 million people fell into extreme poverty. Analysts from the 2022 World Inequality Report said the 520,000 individuals who make up the 0.01 per cent have benefited greatly from the shift online of much of the world's economy during lockdowns. The super-rich also saw significant gains from rising asset prices as financial markets bet on the speed and shape of the global recovery.    Belonging to the top 0.01 percent category meant having household wealth of at least 16.7 million euros, or $19 million, adjusted for purchasing power parity across currencies, according to the report.  'The COVID crisis has exacerbated inequalities between the very wealthy and the rest of the population,' Lucas Chancel, the lead author of the report said.  'While the wealth of [all] billionaires rose by more than 3.6 trillion euros ($4 trillion), 100 million more people joined the ranks of extreme...
    New York (CNN Business)The coronavirus pandemic has worsened the massive financial gap between rich and poor around the world, a new report has found.Global billionaires last year enjoyed the steepest increase in their share of wealth since the World Inequality Lab began keeping records in 1995, according to the research group's analysis released Tuesday. Their net worth grew by more than $3.6 trillion in 2020 alone, boosting their share of global household wealth to 3.5%.At the same time, the pandemic pushed about 100 million people into extreme poverty, raising the global total to 711 million in 2021, according to a World Bank estimate cited by the analysis. Even more people would have fallen into poverty had many developed nations not enacted relief efforts to shield their residents from the financial fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic."The Covid crisis has exacerbated inequalities between the very wealthy and the rest of the population," said Lucas Chancel, the report's lead author and lab's co-director. "Yet, in rich countries, government intervention prevented a massive rise in poverty, this was not the case in poor countries."The...
    In the wake of one of the most stressful periods of modern U.S. history, thousands of Americans suffered substantial increases to their blood pressure last year. Researchers from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio gathered blood pressure data from 464,585 employees and family members of Quest Diagnostics from the years 2018, 2019 and 2020. They found that changes in both systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure increased by much more in 2020 than they did on average in 2019. Average change is SBP among participants increased by 2.5 millimeters of mercury (mm HG) - the standard measurement of blood pressure - compared to an increase of around 1.1 mm HG the year before. For DBP, there was an increase of 0.53 mm HG found, compared to an increase of only 0.14 mm HG the year before. Researchers warn the pandemic may have exacerbated America's already problematic levels of hypertension. Researchers found that both SBP (left) and (DBP) increased than usual last year among study participants. Levels of SBP jumped by 2.5 mm HG, compared to 1.1 the year before, while DBP increased...
    Few companies have gained more of an advantage during the pandemic than America’s warehouse club giants. During the early days of Covid, shoppers flooded into Costco, BJ’s and Sam’s Club — which were deemed “essential” businesses and stayed open through lockdowns — to load up on groceries and household staples such as toilet paper. Those customers are still coming 22 months later and many are buying even more stuff for their homes and families than they did before the crisis. Millions of customers signed up for club memberships for the first time and held onto them, pushing the chains’ member rolls to all-time highs. Warehouse clubs have “gained quite a bit of share during Covid and continue to,” said KK Davey, the president of strategic analytics at market research firm IRI. “Lots of members have signed up. Once you’re in the club, you continue to buy.” Club stores gained 0.5% of market share in 2020 and 0.5% in 2021, adding up to around $16 billion, according to IRI data. They have also had the fastest sales growth in 2021 from...
    Australians are officially the world’s biggest binge drinkers, but Britain and the US don’t lag far behind featuring in the top five of the latest Global Drug Survey Denmark and Finland ranked at second and third in the survey of more than 32,000 people from 22 countries which collected data from December 2020 to March 2021. The data also shows that the Irish felt the most remorse after drinking.    Researchers believes extending Covid lockdowns contributed to the results RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next Australia is officially the DRUNKEST country in the world -... Man, 26, lost £18,000 'after his drink was spiked' in a... Share this article Share The survey found that the pandemic saw more experiment with 'microdosing' with psychedelics but people on average consumed less alcohol, cannabis, cocaine and LSD.   According to the findings unveiled this week, Australians got drunk an average 27 times in 2021, almost double the global average of 15. Australians filled up their beer or wine glass with booze two days per week on...