President Joe Biden said Americans should be wearing masks to protect against coronavirus through the next year, during a speech at the National Institutes of Health Thursday.
Biden was giving an update on coronavirus vaccine supply in the U.S. and mentioned that in order to save a “significant number of lives” masks should be worn “through the next year.”
“You know that wearing this mask through the next year here can save lives, a significant number of lives,” Biden said. “Masking is the easiest thing to do to save lives. We need everyone to mask-up. And by the way, I know it’s a pain in the neck, but it’s a patriotic responsibility, we’re in the middle of a war with this virus.”
Biden also said that the U.S. will have enough supply of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the summer to vaccinate 300 million Americans.
According to the CDC guidelines, after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, it is still necessary to continue to wear a mask and to stay six feet away from others.
The CDC also now recommends wearing two masks to protect against the coronavirus.
“Wear one disposable mask underneath a cloth mask. The second mask should push the edges of the inner mask against your face,” the CDC website reads.
10.5% of the U.S. population has received one or more doses of COVID-19 vaccine so far.
In an interview on CBS Sunday before the Super Bowl, Biden said, “The idea that this can be done and we can get to herd immunity much before the end of this summer is very difficult.”
The Biden administration has set a goal of 100 million doses during Biden’s first 100 days as a minimum. Biden said during the interview that he was exploring new ways to speed up vaccinations. Moreover, he is confident that the U.S. could administer up to 1.5 million doses per day.
Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has said at least 75% of the public must be vaccinated against Covid-19 to achieve herd immunity. He has predicted a return to normal some time next fall.
Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy
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REPORT: China has vast network of covert police stations around the world
China has a vast network of covert police stations abroad, according to a recent report by Safeguard Defenders, an NGO that focuses on human rights violations in China and other Asian countries. These police stations serve consular functions, but are also used by China to crack down on what the CCP deems “illegal” activity of Chinese nationals abroad. The police stations include at least 38 run by the Fuzhou City police, and 22 run by the Qingtian City police. Cities housing these police stations include New York, Toronto (which has three stations), London (two), Paris (three), Buenos Aires, Rio De Janeiro, and Tokyo.
Key findings of the report are below.
“Persuaded to return”
According to China, China has “persuaded to return [to China]” 230,000 Chinese nationals living aboard from April 2021 to July 2022 alone to face charges of fraud and telecommunications fraud. A Yangxia police station set up in Mozambique, for example, persuaded a Chinese national to return to China after being accused of stealing money from his employer. Chinese authorities also put pressure on the accused family to convince the accused to surrender.
Roughly 54,000 Chinese nationals were persuaded to return from northern Myanmar alone, in the first nine months of 2021. In July 2022, the government of Wenchang City warned that its citizens living in northern Myanmar must check in with their local police stations or face multiple penalties including blocking their children from attending urban schools back in China. Similarly, in February 2022, the government of Liayang City stated that Chinese “illegally staying” in northern Myanmar must return or the bank accounts of their immediate family members could be frozen.
The Nine Forbidden Countries
China has claimed that nine countries contain serious levels of fraud and telecom fraud perpetrated by Chinese nationals. Since November 2021, China has declared that Chinese citizens living in these nine countries must return to China immediately unless they have an “emergency reason” or a “strict necessity” to travel or stay in those countries. Those countries are: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, the UAE, and Turkey. However, the report questions whether these countries are truly awash in such fraud, as most of China’s oversees police stations are in the West, and only one of the nine countries (Cambodia) has such a police station. Chinese staying in the nine forbidden countries, as well as threats to family members as stated above, creates a “guilt-by-association” atmosphere intended to repatriate the Chinese nationals.
According to the report, Chinese police stations abroad serve to bypass “bilateral extradition treaties or other mechanisms of judicial cooperation” to cooperate with CCP-linked NGOs which effectively “[sets] up an alternative policing and judicial system within third countries.” Instead of using international judicial cooperation, which establishes due process, the presumption of innocence, and the right to a fair trial, China uses the above “persuade-to-return” methods and transnational police stations to circumvent international law and coerce Chinese nationals to return to China for trials. These policies show the power of China’s long-arm oppression over its own subjects.
You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic
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