Although Thanksgiving hasn’t happened yet, Dr. Anthony Fauci appears to already be in the Christmas spirit.
The nation’s leading infectious diseases expert this week in an interview with USA TODAY joked that old Saint Nick, while he will be spreading the spirit of Christmas, won’t be spreading the coronavirus.
“Santa is exempt from this because Santa, of all the good qualities, has a lot of good innate immunity,” Fauci told USA TODAY.
According to the USA TODAY article, many children have been worried this year about Santa, especially when he visits billions of people on Christmas Eve. On top of that, Kris Kringle, being elderly and overweight, falls into a demographic that is particularly prone to the worst effects of COVID-19.
Fauci is telling kids to be rest assured that Santa won’t give them and their loved ones the virus, saying that “Santa is not going to be spreading any infections to anybody.”
As Adrianna Rodriguez and Grace Huack noted in their USA TODAY article, the Santa Clauses that people would see under normal circumstances at shopping malls and street corners have been social distancing this time around, instead taking to Zoom and the internet to spread the joy.
This isn’t the first time in history, however, that people were concerned that Father Christmas would get sick. According to USA TODAY, he has “gotten sick” from the flu before. More than a century ago during the last major pandemic, one newspaper, the St. Paul Daily News, wrote on December 6, 1918 that “SANTA CLAUS IS DOWN WITH THE FLU.”
Doctors and health experts have been urging everyone to get their annual flu shots to avoid a flu crisis while they are already trying to contain the growing spread of COVID-19 cases across the country. Additionally, health experts and many government officials have been urging people to reconsider big travel plans for the holiday season, with Fauci having said that people should “think twice” about traveling or holding big indoor gatherings in a Wednesday meeting with the USA TODAY editorial board.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Trump: Tanks to Ukraine could escalate to use of ‘NUKES’
Former President Donald Trump stated bluntly on Truth Social, “FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!”
Trump was referring to the escalation of war in Ukraine. He, like many other commentators and lawmakers, are warning that the decision to continue sending weapons – and now tanks – could potentially lead to the use of “nuclear weapons.”
It’s mission creep and it’s dangerous, they say.
Why? Because Russian President Valdimir Putin has indicated in two different speeches that he would use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, if needed. Those warnings are not just bluster but a very real possibility.
And the escalation of war is visible.
Russia launched 55 missiles strikes across Ukraine Thursday, leaving 11 dead. The strikes come one day after the United States and Germany agreed to send tanks to Ukraine in an effort to aide the country. 47 of the 55 missiles were shot down according to Ukraine’s Air Force command.
Eleven lives were lost and another 11 were injured additionally leaving 35 buildings damaged in the wake of the attacks. According to The New York Times, Denys Shmyhal, said in a post on Telegram. “The main goal is energy facilities, providing Ukrainians with light and heat,” he said.
Ukraine is now demanding that they need F-16 fighter jets. In a post on twitter Ukrainian lawmaker, Oleksiy Goncharenko said, “Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.”
Morning. Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.
— Oleksiy Goncharenko (@GoncharenkoUa) January 26, 2023
The US has abstained from sending advanced jets in the chances that a volatile decision could foster more dangerous attacks like former President Trump’s post on Truth referred to. If the US did authorize the decision to lend Ukraine the F-16 jets Netherlands’ foreign minister, Wopke Hoekstra, would be willing to supply them. According to The New York Times, Hoekstra told Dutch lawmakers, “We are open-minded… There are no taboos.”
F-16 fighter jets are complex to work on, they are not the average aircraft that can be learned in a matter of weeks. It can take months for pilots to learn how to fly these birds. European and US officials have the concern that Ukrainian forces could potentially use the jets to fly into Russian airspace and launch attacks on Russian soil.
Western allies are trying to avoid such a provocation, because that could lead to nuclear warfare in reference to what Putin has said he would do to defend his country.
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