Supreme Court blow to Biden vaccine mandate means more suffering, deaths and overfilled hospitals, expert says, as U.S. sets fresh COVID record

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The number of Americans hospitalized with COVID-19 hit a new record Thursday of nearly 150,000, as experts lamented the Supreme Court’s decision to rescind President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for big businesses.

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There were 148,782 COVID patients in US hospitals, According to the New York Times Tracker, It continues to spread rapidly as a highly permeable Omicron variant, up 79% from two weeks ago and since the start of the pandemic.

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The seven-day average for new cases stood at 803,736, up 133% from two weeks ago, while deaths, which include cases and hospitalizations, rose 53% compared to two weeks ago, to 1,873.

Against that backdrop, health experts expressed their dismay at the Supreme Court’s decision on the vaccine mandate, with the court’s conservative majority concluding that the administration sought to impose an Occupational Safety and Health Administration vaccine-or-test rule on US businesses. having taken away his right. With at least 100 employees, as the Associated Press reported. More than 80 million people would have been affected.

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“OSHA has never imposed such a mandate before. Neither has Congress. In fact, although Congress has enacted significant legislation addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, none of the measures similar to what OSHA has promulgated here has refused to implement it,” the conservatives wrote in an unsigned opinion.

The court’s three liberal judges countered, arguing that it was an overreach of the Supreme Court rather than a decision by health experts.

“Outside of its competence and without legal basis, the Court supersedes the decisions of government officials to respond to workplace health emergencies,” Justices Stephen Breuer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor wrote in a joint dissent.

Don’t miss: Experts are starting to say that most Americans will contract COVID as Omicron variant spreads

Dr. Zeke Emanuel, Vice Provost for Global Initiatives and Biden Advisor at the University of Pennsylvania, called it a “terrible decision” and a disaster in the fight against COVID, in a tweet. “Vaccination in the workplace is the key to reducing the risk to workers and the risk to all of us from this disease,” he wrote.

It was widely remarked during the oral arguments that the Supreme Court itself functions under the vaccination requirement and that Two lawyers from the states suing the Biden administration over the vaccine mandate had tested positive for the COVID-19-caused coronavirus And were only able to participate remotely.

Dr Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, highlights the misinformation that has “poisoned” many and discouraged them from getting their shots, even though vaccines are the best protection against serious illness and death. .

Hospitals in nearly two dozen states are already under extreme stress and are nearing capacity limits. According to data from the US Department of Health and Human Services.

According to the Times Tracker, the numbers are increasing at the fastest pace in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. The majority of those hospitalized are non-vaccinated people who are at highest risk of serious illness.

Biden said on Thursday he was deploying 1,000 military medical personnel to six states to help tackle the high case load and would order an additional 500 million tests.

Other COVID-19 news you should know:

• In the latest blow to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, his office has apologized to the royal family for holding a staff party in Downing Street on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral last year – allegedly for lockdown-violating gatherings. The latest in an episode of The Associated Press reported that they are threatening to topple. The farewell party for Johnson’s late spin doctor, complete with late-night drinking and dancing, took place on April 16, 2021, before Queen Elizabeth II sat alone at her husband’s funeral, due to a slow walk. There were rules for social-rules. spread of coronavirus.

• The World Health Organization is recommending two new drugs as treatments for COVID-19, saying the extent to which they can save lives will depend on how widely available and affordable they are. The first drug, baricitinib, a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, is recommended for patients with severe or severe disease. “It is part of a class of drugs called Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors that suppress over-stimulation of the immune system,” the WHO said in a statement. “WHO recommends that it be given with corticosteroids.” The second drug is the monoclonal antibody sotrovimab, which the agency is recommending for patients who will have mild or moderate COVID. That drug is an alternative to cisarivimab-imdevimab, a monoclonal antibody cocktail recommended by the WHO in September 2021.

Read now: Europe’s banks on even tighter mask rules to beat winter’s COVID wave

• According to media reports, Germany and the Netherlands registered record one-day cases on Friday. Germany counted more than 90,000 new cases, while the Netherlands counted 35,000, Reuters reported. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte was expected to order the reopening of most stores, hairdressers and gyms at a nationally televised press conference on Friday evening, as popular support for the month-long lockdown evaporated despite strain on hospitals. and enters new infections.

• Hong Kong International Airport is banning travelers from more than 150 countries and territories to and from the city for a month, AP reported. According to a notice posted by the airport, passengers who have stayed at more than 150 places in the last 21 days, including the US and UK, will be banned from transit in Hong Kong from January 16 to February 15. ,

Hospital staff in the US are struggling to access medical facilities as a wave of Covid-19 cases bypass healthcare workers. Some hospital administrators are being forced to take the last resort to ensure quality of care. Photo: Joseph Prezioso / AFP / Getty Images

what do the numbers say here

The global number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 topped 320.7 million, and the death toll now exceeds 5.52 million, According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.

The US leads the world with 64 million cases and 846,506 deaths.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vaccine Tracker showing that approximately 209 million people living in the US have been fully vaccinated, equivalent to 62.8% of the total population.

Some 78 million have received a booster, which equates to 37.5% of complete vaccinations.

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