COVID-19 Vaccine Pass No Longer Considered Sufficient in Finland as Government Begins 3-Week Lockdown
The rapid spread of Omicron means that evidence of COVID-19 vaccination is no longer a safe protection, according to the Finnish government, which has decided to close down much of society for three weeks.
Starting on Tuesday (Dec. 28), bars and restaurants in Finland must stop serving alcohol from 5 pm. Bars must close at 6 pm and restaurants at 8 pm. The number of customers will also be limited. Additionally, colleges and universities will once again switch to distance education.
Markku Tervahauta, director general of the Institute of Health and Welfare, believes that due to Omicron, COVID-19 vaccinations are no longer sufficient. Therefore the government has decided to abolish the use of COVID-19 vaccine passes until January 17, 2022.
For months, the passes have been used for entry into many public places. The decision to abolish the certificates will lead to theaters, cinemas and other types of sporting and cultural events having to close their doors.
Fauci Now Says He’s Against COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates for Flying After Being Pressed by CNN: “No, Let’s Clarify That, Jim”
Dr. Fauci indicated on Sunday (Dec. 26) that he might not agree with President Biden on airline COVID-19 vaccine requirements during an interview with ABC News. Biden has said he is not in favor of such a mandate, but Fauci seemed to disagree.
A day later, Fauci said he is currently against COVID-19 vaccine mandates for airline passengers during an interview with CNN’s Jim Acosta on Monday (Dec. 27).
“You’ve been saying that vaccine mandates for domestic flights should be seriously considered,” said Acosta. “Is that something that President Biden is seriously considering?”
“No, what I said, Jim, was that everything that comes up as a possibility, we put it on the table and we consider it. That does not mean that it is going to be likely to happen,” Fauci said.
“Right now, I don’t think people should expect that we’re going to have a requirement in domestic flights for people to be vaccinated. When I was asked that question, I gave an honest answer. It’s on the table, and we consider it, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.”
Acosta later asked if there is conflict behind the scenes over the issue, to which Fauci said, “When you say conflict, I’m not sure what you mean.”
Acosta then asked Fauci if he is the lone White House official who is in favor of a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for air travel.
“No, let’s clarify that, Jim. I said that is something that’s open for consideration. It’s not a question of being in favor of it or not,” Fauci explained. “I’m in favor of what we can do to keep the country safe. If the situation arise where that’s something we think should be important to do, we’ll do it. Right now, that’s not going to be done. But we never take anything off the table. We always keep things open for consideration.”
New York Times Editor Dies of a Heart Attack at 49, One Day After Receiving COVID-19 Booster Shot
Carlos Tejada was married and had two children; he spent his career at the Wall Street Journal before joining the New York Times in 2016.
In July 2021, he received a Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. He was very thankful to get it, per his Instagram page.
On December 16, in Seoul, South Korea, he received a Moderna COVID-19 booster shot. No clinical trials have ever been conducted to examine the safety or efficacy of mixing various types of these COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.
Carlos did not give informed consent, as the consent form was in Korean, a language he could not read. At the time he joked that Omicron should “hit me with your wet snot.”
A day later, he suddenly died of a heart attack.
Travel Stocks Fall as Omicron Spurs Mass Flight Cancellations for Fourth Day in a Row
Shares of U.S. airlines and other travel-related companies fell on Monday (Dec. 27) as rising Omicron cases and other problems forced the cancellation of hundreds more flights, leaving travelers stranded across the country during the holidays.
Over 800 flights were canceled within, into, or out of the United States on Monday. That was on top of over 3,000 flight cancellations during the Christmas holiday weekend, typically a peak time for travel for Americans.
Delta and United did not respond to Reuters’ requests for comment, while American Airlines pointed to its statement on Saturday that said the carrier had to cancel flights due to “COVID-related sick calls.”
RIP, ‘Pandemic of the Unvaccinated’
“This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. The unvaccinated. Not the vaccinated, the unvaccinated,” Biden emphasized, on the same day that the Omicron variant produced a one-day positive-case increase of 16% in highly vaccinated New York City.
“That’s the problem. And so everybody talks about ‘freedom,’ and not to have a shot or have a test. Well guess what? How about patriotism? How about making sure that you’re vaccinated, so you do not spread the disease to anybody else? What about that?”
What about that indeed. New York City’s one-shot COVID-19 vaccination rate (of 92% for adults, 83% for kids between 13 and 17) “rivals any number in the free world,” Politico’s Jack Shafer observed last week. The fact-checkers over at The Poynter Institute’s PolitiFact generously rated Biden’s “vaccinated…do not spread the disease” claim as only “mostly” false, despite epidemiologist quotes like “[the] statement is not accurate,” and “vaccinated individuals can definitely infect other people.”
But the problems with the “pandemic of the unvaccinated” message pre-date the variant that rendered it factually ludicrous. On September 16, one week after Biden reversed serial administration promises by announcing an employer vaccine mandate (while using language such as “We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin. And your refusal has cost all of us”), science writer Yasmin Tayag penned an Atlantic piece headlined “Stop Calling It a ‘Pandemic of the Unvaccinated.'”
“Bullying the unvaccinated into getting their shots isn’t going to work in the long run,” Tayag predicted, in a piece surveying a field of study (behavioral science) to which the White House seems oblivious. “The way the mandates are being presented is driving a wedge between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. If the goal is to inoculate enough people to reach herd immunity, this approach may eventually backfire.”
So how have mandates worked in practice? The New York Times on December 18 published a survey of all 50 states and the country’s largest 100 cities, and concluded that the government orders “have not provided the significant boost to state and local vaccination rates that some experts had hoped for.”
To the contrary: “In most locations, the number of adults with at least one shot grew at a slower pace after states and cities announced mandates than it did nationwide in the same time periods.”
New Research Paper Claims “COVID-19 Vaccination Reduces Anxiety and Depression Symptoms by Nearly 30%”
COVID-19 vaccines can magically help alleviate anxiety and depression, according to a new research paper from the University of Southern California and the RAND Corporation.
The scientists used data from U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey and cross-referenced those figures to state-level COVID-19 vaccination eligibility data to estimate secondary benefits of vaccination on mental-health outcomes.
“We estimate that COVID-19 vaccination reduces anxiety and depression symptoms by nearly 30%,” they concluded.
The researchers noted larger reductions in anxiety or depression symptoms among individuals with lower education levels, who rent their homes, who are not able to work remotely, and who have children in their household
CDC Cuts Isolation Time for Asymptomatic Americans Who Test Positive for SARS-CoV-2 in Half to 5 Days
The U.S. CDC on Monday (Dec. 27) shortened the recommended isolation time for asymptomatic Americans who test positive for SARS-CoV-2 to five days from the previous guidance of 10 days. Those who still test positive after quarantining should then spend the next five days wearing a mask when around others.
The CDC also gave guidance for people who are unvaccinated or are more than six months out from their second COVID-19 shot and not yet boosted, recommending quarantine for five days followed by mask use for an additional six days.
Additionally, individuals who have received their booster shot do not need to quarantine following exposure to COVID-19 but should wear a mask for 10 days, the CDC said.
London-Based Rights Group Launches Legal Challenge to England’s COVID-19 Pass
London-based rights group Big Brother Watch has launched a legal challenge in court to a scheme it considers an example of divisive and discriminatory dystopia.
After raising nearly a quarter of a million pounds online to fund its cause—which Big Brother Watch said would go entirely towards fighting against COVID-19 passes, including via costly legal challenges—the group has decided to oppose the government’s COVID-19 pass in court.
Big Brother Watch is challenging the law on mandatory COVID-19 passports in England claiming that it violates privacy, and is draconian and discriminatory in nature. They are also raising concerns that the Human Rights Act and equality law may fall victim to the new COVID-19 pass rules.
Previously, the rights group urged people to speak out against the scheme as unnecessary and counterproductive. They also warned it would introduce a potentially irreversible checkpoint society and surveillance state.
France Now Recommends COVID-19 Booster Shot for All Adults Just Three Months After They Are “Fully Vaccinated”
France on Friday (Dec. 24) recommended that adults receive a COVID-19 booster shot just three months after their initial jabs, reducing the guideline of five months.
It comes as COVID-19 cases are surging in France due to Omicron, which spreads faster than any other variant seen so far.
France’s health authority also recommended that the booster shot rollout be expanded to now include teenagers who are deemed to be at risk, days after France opened up the COVID-19 vaccination rollout to children aged five and over.
New Jersey Agrees to Pay $52.9 Million to Families of Veterans Who Died of COVID-19 in State-Run Homes
The state of New Jersey, which was accused of gross negligence and incompetence over its handling of state-run veterans homes during the pandemic, has agreed to pay nearly $53 million to the families of 119 residents whose deaths were attributed to COVID-19 in 2020.
The families on average will receive $445,000, based on arbitration proceedings.
“Cases settle for a variety of reasons. The families of those who have lost their lives to COVID-19 have gone through so much,” said the official. “This settlement will hopefully allow them to move forward without years of protracted and uncertain litigation.”
Two of the veterans homes—one in Menlo Park and a second in Paramus—reported some of the highest COVID-related death tolls in the country. COVID-19 quickly claimed the lives of more than 200 residents, prompting the state to send in emergency assistance from the National Guard.
Both facilities remain the focus of an ongoing federal investigation.
“Look, There is No Federal Solution”: Biden Backtracks on Vow to “Shut Down” COVID-19
On October 22, 2020, then-candidate Joe Biden vowed to “shut down the virus, not the country.” Fourteen months later, now-President Biden has admitted there’s “no federal solution” to COVID-19 days after warning of a “winter of severe illness and death” for the unvaccinated.
“Look, there is no federal solution,” he said during a call with state governors. “This gets solved at state level.”
“My message to the governors is simple: if you need something, say something. We’re going to have your back in any way we can.”
Soon after delivering the remarks, Biden was seen departing for Delaware, where he is expected to stay for the next seven days.