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Joe Biden pledges ‘to require masks where I have authority’



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President-Elect Joe Biden pledged Friday to require mask-wearing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m asking you to mask up for the next 100 days,” Biden said. “This is not a political issue. And I will issue an executive order to require masks where I have the authority to do that.”

Further, Biden said that order will extend to federal workers and federal property. It will also extend to “interstate travel,” he added.

“We’ll also be working with mayors and governors in red states and blue states and ask them to require masking up in their cities and their states,” said the President-Elect.

Biden then slammed those who oppose such orders, focusing on republican lawmakers who were heavily criticized for refusing to wear masks while the Capitol building was on lockdown amid the Jan. 6 riot. Following that day, Congress confirmed four COVID-19 cases among lawmakers.

“Look, I hope we now know this is not a political issue, this is about saving lives,” he said. “I know it’s become a partisan issue, but what a stupid, stupid thing for it to happen. This is a patriotic act. We’re asking you, we’re in a war with this virus and experts say and have shown that wearing a mask now until April will save as many as 50,000 lives.”

“Quite frankly, it was shocking to see members of the Congress while the Capitol was under siege while the deadly mob of thugs refused to wear a mask while they were in secure locations. I’m so proud of my Congresswoman… Lisa Blunt Rochester, trying to hand out masks while people are lying on the floor, huddled up and Republican colleagues refusing to put them on. What the hell’s the matter with them? It’s time to grow up.”

Follow Jennie Taer on Twitter @JennieSTaer

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NY Gov Hochul issues executive order: Polio ‘an official diisaster’



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New York Democrat Governor Kathy Hochul on Friday issued an executive order that Polio is now considered an official disaster. 

“On polio, we simply cannot roll the dice,” said Dr. Mary T. Bassett, New York State Health Commissioner. “If you or your child are unvaccinated or not up-to-date with vaccinations, the risk of paralytic disease is real. I urge New Yorkers to not accept any risk at all.”

The virus that causes polio has been found in the wastewater of more than one county, according to state health officials. “A sewage sample from Nassau County collected in August tested positive for poliovirus, following the prior detection of the virus in wastewater samples in Rockland County, Orange County, Sullivan County and New York City, further indicating that the virus is spreading in the area to some degree” reports The Wall Street Journal.

“The Nassau County sample was also genetically linked to the single confirmed case of paralytic polio that had been identified this summer in a young adult resident in Rockland County who was unvaccinated.”

Hochul’s executive order has been issued through Oct. 9, and expands the network of providers able to administer polio vaccinations to “include emergency-medical-services workers, midwives and pharmacists.”

The new order makes providers send polio-immunization data to the New York State Department of Health in order to better help health officials “focus vaccination efforts on areas of low uptake.”

New York state health officials have sent out alerts to providers, have hung fliers “in houses of worship, grocery stores and summer camps and talked with community leaders about boosting vaccination rates this summer.”

The Wall Street Journal Reports:

The poliovirus spreads mostly when a person touches their mouth after coming in contact with an infected person’s feces. Most infected people don’t develop any symptoms but can still spread the virus, a major concern for health officials, and around a quarter develop flulike symptoms. Those who are vaccinated are at low risk, health officials have said, as getting three doses of the polio vaccine administered in the U.S. is at least 99% effective at preventing paralytic disease.

Health officials, however, also said that certain New Yorkers who are fully vaccinated but at high-risk should receive a single lifetime booster. That applies to individuals who will or might have close contact with a suspected or confirmed polio patient, as well as healthcare workers in those areas who might handle poliovirus samples or treat patients who might have polio…

Two forms of the virus can cause paralysis, one of them being the wild poliovirus found in nature. The case in New York, on the other hand, is caused by vaccine-derived poliovirus, a mutated form of a strain used in an oral polio vaccine…

The oral polio vaccine, used in many parts of the world outside of the U.S., relies on a weakened, live form of the virus that recently inoculated children shed in their feces. In places with lower vaccine uptake, the weakened virus can sometimes circulate and mutate to become more like the wild virus and potentially paralyze people who are not fully vaccinated.


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