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Psaki: ‘Even after you’re vaccinated, social distancing and wearing masks will be essential’

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On Thursday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that even after a person has received a vaccine, “social distancing and wearing masks will be essential.”

A reporter had asked Psaki at Thursday’s press briefing what the Biden administration will do to combat people refusing to wear masks beyond urging people to wear them, amid new strains of the coronavirus starting to reach the United States.

Psaki replied saying that the White House is trying to communicate about wearing masks “as frequently as possible” and she went on to say that she and all the reporters were listening to health experts by wearing masks. She also touted President Joe Biden mandating mask-wearing on public lands and airplanes as a step taken in enforcing masks.

“But part of what we are also trying to do is make our health and medical experts available to ensure people understand—and I’ll reiterate it here today—it’s not just a vaccine,” which she called a “medical breakthrough” and said “we want every American to have one”.

“But even after you’re vaccinated,” she added, “social distancing and wearing masks will be essential.”

As of Thursday afternoon, 35 million vaccine doses have been administered to Americans, according to state-by-state data compiled by the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker. While the tracker says that 8.5% of Americans have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, only 2.1% have received two doses. So far during the pandemic, over 450,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus and 26 million have tested positive, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

RELATED: Michael Bloomberg: Pres. Biden needs to ‘stand up’ to teachers unions

RELATED: CDC Director: Vaccinating teachers ‘not a prerequisite’ for safely reopening schools

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Boston Celtics Player Legally Changing Name to ‘Enes Kanter Freedom’ to Celebrate U.S. Citizenship

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Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter is celebrating becoming a U.S. citizen in an incredible way. The 29-year-old athlete from Turkey is having his citizenship oath ceremony Monday, and will legally change his name to Enes Kanter Freedom.

Kanter is an outspoken human rights advocate who had his Turkish passport revoked in 2017 after he criticized Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Mediaite reports “he has also criticized NBA stars Michael Jordan and LeBron James for not doing enough to help the Black community and not speaking out against exploitative labor practices in China respectively.”

Celtics head coach Ime Udoka told the Boston Globe the team is “all for” the player’s name change. Kanter’s manager says the player will complete his legal name change to have Kanter become his middle name and Freedom be his new last name at Monday’s ceremony.

“We congratulated him as a group for getting his American citizenship last week,” Udoka said. “That’s who Enes is, we’re proud of him. Enes is who he is. He’s passionate about his stances and the name change; you look at [Ron] Artest [who changed his name to Metta Sandiford-Artest in the middle of the COVID-19 outbreak] and guys that have done it in the past. It’s something he wants to express and we’re all for it.”

Kanter has already changed his official Twitter account to Enes Kanter FREEDOM with his new last name in all caps. Freedom made waves when he tweeted the following on November 18: Money over Morals for the ‘King’. Sad & disgusting how these athletes pretend they care about social justice. They really do ‘shut up & dribble’ when Big Boss [inserted Chinese flag] says so. Did you educate yourself about the slave labor that made your shoes or is that not part of your research?”

The tweet included photos of basketball shoes he wore painted with human rights depictions and phrases such as “hey still researching and getting educated?” as well as “I am informed and educated on the situation.”

The statement is with regard to his criticism of LeBron James’ partnership with Nike. “Nike remains one of the NBA’s biggest sponsors as both organizations feed off their partnerships with China” reports Mediaite. Kanter Freedom also made an offer to take Michael Jordan and Nike co-founder Phil Knight to China in order for the men to “visit these slave labor camps and you can see it with your own eyes.”

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