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Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 72,786

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COVID-19 vaccination clinics at Seattle-area hospitals raise concerns of equity

Source: Seattle Times

As a frenzy of newly eligible older adults seek COVID-19 vaccinations, hospitals in the Puget Sound region are quietly giving people of influence — including hospital foundation board members and donors — special access to vaccines.

Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett offered on Jan. 25 an invite-only clinic for donors, board members and fundraising campaign volunteers, according to an email addressed to donors obtained by The Seattle Times. At the same time, the hospital was not providing vaccine access to the general public, according to a spokesman.

And in a soft launch of its vaccine rollout to seniors, EvergreenHealth in Kirkland performed a “test” of its scheduling tool by sharing a link to vaccine appointments with certain foundation board members and volunteers, in addition to people who serve older adults.

Special-access vaccine appointments first drew a rebuke from Gov. Jay Inslee Tuesday, when he chastised Overlake Medical Center for launching a program directing donors, board members, retirees and volunteers to reserved appointments.

Read more: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/times-watchdog/special-invitation-only-covid-19-vaccination-clinics-at-seattle-area-hospitals-raise-concerns-of-equity

Late-night freezer failure in Seattle sends hundreds scrambling to get a fast-expiring COVID-19 vax

Seattle Times

Jenny Brackett walked alongside a line of vaccine seekers that snaked out clinic doors, through a parking lot and extended across several blocks of the UW Medical Center — Northwest hospital campus in Seattle.

“Is anyone here over the age of 65?” Brackett, an assistant administrator with UW Medicine, called out to several hundred people who were waiting past midnight on a chilly Northwest evening for a chance at receiving sought-after vaccine.

“Right here! We got one,” someone yelled from the line. An older woman emerged. The crowd cheered her on. Brackett handed her a ticket allowing her access to a vaccination clinic buzzing with frantic energy.

During a chaotic vaccine rollout, this might have been one of the wildest scenes yet: After a freezer failed at a nearby medical center, nurses, firefighters and volunteers scurried throughout the hospital in a mad-dash scramble to use as many doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine as possible before they expired.

Appointments pushed back, confusion reigns over 2nd COVID-19 vaccine dose

Source: Los Angeles Times

The instructions upon getting a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine are clear: People should get the second shot three or four weeks later.

But things get a lot murkier when it comes to actually getting an appointment to meet that deadline.

As more Los Angeles County residents than ever receive their first doses, tightening vaccine supplies and online scheduling problems are hampering their ability to finish the two-dose vaccination process.

On Thursday, potentially thousands of people had their vaccine appointments postponed after the Ralphs supermarket chain — a large vaccine distributor — said the county’s Department of Public Health, at the request of state officials, had “recovered” 10,000 doses previously intended for scheduled appointments, according to emails obtained by The Times. A Ralphs spokesperson said only first-dose customers were affected, but it only added to the confusion.

Read more: https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-01-29/wait-for-second-covid-vaccine-dose-concerns-californians

Conservatives warn culture, political wars will worsen


The verdict is clear: The vast majority of Republicans will stand firm with former President Trump. The next phase is clear, too: Republicans are rallying around a common grievance that big government, big media and big business are trying to shut them up, shut them out and shut them down.

Why it matters: The post-Trump GOP, especially its most powerful media platforms, paint the new reality as an existential threat. This means political attacks are seen — or characterized — as assaults on their very being.

Fox News' Tucker Carlson told us that many in Trump's base feel that the "combined forces of global power have turned on them and are cracking down hard — hilariously, in the name of democracy."

"Not a sustainable moment," Carlson added. "Something will break.”

Ben Shapiro, a media leader on the right, told us this sentiment "is widespread, and it grows more dominant with every NYT columnist calling for a social media crackdown, every WaPo columnist lumping in mainstream conservatives with Capitol rioters, every corporation mirroring woke priorities."

'I'm just furious': Relations in Congress crack after attack


Some House lawmakers are privately refusing to work with each other. Others are afraid to be in the same room. Two members almost got into a fist fight on the floor. And the speaker of the House is warning that “the enemy is within.”

Forget Joe Biden’s calls for unity. Members of Congress couldn't be further divided.

Just weeks into the 117th Congress, the bedrock of relationships hasn't been on such shaky ground in more than a generation, with a sense of deep distrust and betrayal that lawmakers worry will linger for years. And those strains could carry long-term effects on an institution where relationships — and reputations — matter more than almost anything else.

“This is a real tension,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), who was among the roughly two dozen Democrats barricaded into the chamber during the Jan. 6 riots and later contracted coronavirus after spending hours in a safe room with Republicans who refused to wear masks. “I don’t know if that’s repairable. It is certainly a massive chasm that exists right now between a large majority of the Republican caucus and all of us Democrats across the ideological spectrum.”

The friction is particularly intense in the House, where two-thirds of the GOP conference voted to overturn the election just hours after lawmakers were attacked by a mob that demanded that very action. The position of those 139 members is now threatening to upend decades of relationships in the House, forcing long-time colleagues to work through their raw emotions and palpable anger in the weeks since the attack.

POLITICO Playbook: Scenes from a wild day witnessing the GOP civil war


TARA WRITES FROM CHEYENNE, Wyo. — When the opportunity arose to fly across the country to see whether a slick-suited, 30-something congressman from Florida could stage a substantial rally in the name of DONALD TRUMP — in the district of a thrice-elected congresswoman with next-level name recognition — I knew I couldn’t resist.

And you know what, MATT GAETZ pulled it off.

On the steps of the Wyoming statehouse Thursday, at least 800 people were chanting “USA! USA!” while the GOP upstart (joined by DONALD TRUMP JR. via phone) blasted the state’s only congresswoman, LIZ CHENEY. It was a pocket-sized crowd compared to an actual Trump rally, but the maskless baby boomers in red MAGA caps emitted that same feverish voltage.

I knew going in this was Trump country, and that Cheney angered his many fans with her vote to impeach him. But I wanted to try to gauge just how deep the anger ran.

My takeaway, after an admittedly short stay and small sample size: If Cheney were up for reelection in 2021 instead of 2022, she’d be in serious trouble.

Time to double or upgrade masks as coronavirus variants emerge, experts say

Source: Washington Post

Wear your mask is becoming wear your masks.

The discovery of highly transmissible coronavirus variants in the United States has public health experts urging Americans to upgrade the simple cloth masks that have become a staple shield during the pandemic.

The change can be as simple as slapping a second mask over the one you already wear, or better yet, donning a fabric mask on top of a surgical mask. Some experts say it is time to buy the highest-quality KN95 or N95 masks that officials hoping to reserve supplies for health-care workers have long discouraged Americans from purchasing.

What you need to know about the coronavirus variants

As with other parts of the pandemic response, the United States lags behind other parts of the world when it comes to masks. Several Asian countries, including Singapore and South Korea, have mass-produced high-quality masks to send directly to residents. In recent weeks, European countries have begun mandating medical-grade masks in public settings as the virus strain first identified in the United Kingdom threatens to ravage communities. British scientists estimate it could be as much as 70 percent more transmissible.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/01/27/double-mask-variants-guidance/

One down, one to go...


30 minutes in and out.

General Motors plans to exclusively offer electric vehicles by 2035

Source: CNBC

DETROIT — General Motors wants to end production of all diesel- and gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs by 2035 and shift its entire new fleet to electric vehicles as part of a broader plan to become carbon neutral by 2040, the company said Thursday.

The company plans to use 100% renewable energy to power its U.S. facilities by 2030 and global facilities by 2035 — five years ahead of a previously announced goal.

GM’s announcement comes a day after President Joe Biden signed a series of executive orders that prioritize climate change across all levels of government and put the U.S. on track to curb planet-warming carbon emissions.

Shares of GM increased as much as 7.4% during intraday trading Thursday morning to $53 a share. As of midday Thursday, shares were up about 3.5%. GM has a market cap of about $73 billion.

Read more: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/28/general-motors-plans-to-exclusively-offer-electric-vehicles-by-2035.html

BREAKING: Biden Administration launches HEALTHDATA.GOV

Welcome to HealthData.gov
This site is dedicated to making high value health data more accessible to entrepreneurs, researchers, and policy makers in the hopes of better health outcomes for all.

HHS COVID-19 Datasets: https://healthdata.gov/search/og_group_ref/286/type/dataset?query=covid-19&sort_by=changed&sort_order=DESC

HHS Protect Public Data Hub: https://protect-public.hhs.gov/

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