Covid-19 live updates: Iowa passes bill allowing unemployment benefits for those fired over vaccine mandates

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imageThis live coverage has ended.For the latest coronavirus news, click here .Ten states with GOP leaderships filed a joint lawsuit Friday to challenge the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors, and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) filed a separate challenge.The lawsuits are part of a broader opposition by Republican-led states to requirements for immunizations that curb the spread of the coronavirus.Attorneys general in Missouri, Nebraska, Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming sued Biden and other federal officials Friday, arguing a mandate encompassing one-fifth of U.S.

workers infringes on states’ powers and is unconstitutional.On Friday regulators authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for children 5 to 11 years old, a watershed moment celebrated by parents yearning for a return to normal life but viewed with ambivalence and outright skepticism by others worried about the potential risk of unknown side effects.U.S.coronavirus cases tracker and map Here’s what to know Key update What happened to America’s teens when coronavirus disrupted high school? Return to menu By Moriah Balingit 11:30 p.m.Link copied Link

Before the pandemic, high school had been defined for millions of teenagers by familiar rituals: meeting new friends, big games, agonizing over college admissions, prom, yearbook signing, graduations, tearful goodbyes.Now, the pandemic has become the signature feature of high school for this cohort of adolescents.

The forced isolation and lockdowns wrought havoc on teenage lives and shaped them in ways they will never forget.Unlike adults, many of the events and milestones they missed out on are irretrievable.Vacations and family reunions can be rescheduled.But once a school year is lost, it is gone forever.

Advertisement Updates continue below advertisement The pandemic was the final blow for some dance companies.How do the survivors stay nimble? Return to menu By Sarah Kaufman 11:00 p.m.Link copied Link

Sloan Pearson was expecting good news from the Zoom call with her director and fellow members of Taylor 2, the dance troupe she’d performed with for four years.With only six dancers, the group was an intimate, highly mobile offshoot of the celebrated Paul Taylor Dance Company , designed to bring Taylor’s beautifully made works to colleges and small towns.“Maybe they’ll take us into the main company,” Pearson, 27, remembers thinking before that call, in the spring of 2020.Instead, as she and her colleagues stared in shocked disbelief at their computer screens, they were notified that Taylor 2 was closing.Permanently.Suddenly, these elite dancers were out of work, at a time when no one was hiring.“It was brutal,” Pearson says.

“Everyone was instantly in mourning.This dream job, which was an amazing experience, an amazing company — that was it.”They weren’t alone.Last year, as the pandemic forced the world to cancel in-person activities, the premise of dance was essentially outlawed.Income that depended on performances, teaching and touring vanished overnight.

Advertisement Updates continue below advertisement Safety of coronavirus vaccine for children was a main focus of regulators Return to menu By Laurie McGinley and Katie Shepherd 10:45 p.m.Link copied Link

Regulators on Friday authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for children 5 to 11 years old, a watershed moment celebrated by parents yearning for a return to normal life but viewed with ambivalence and outright skepticism by others worried about the potential risk of unknown side effects.The Food and Drug Administration’s emergency clearance is for a two-shot regimen administered three weeks apart.The dose, 10 micrograms, is one-third that used for adolescents and adults.In a clinical trial of 5- to 11-year-olds, the vaccine was almost 91 percent effective at preventing covid-19, the illness caused by the virus, and did not cause any serious complications.The issue of safety, nevertheless, was a main focus of regulators and their advisers, partly because the vaccine has been linked to rare cases of cardiac side effects in another group — male adolescents and young men.The symptoms have tended to be mild and treatable, doctors say.

Advertisement Updates continue below advertisement More than 10 GOP states sue Biden administration over vaccine mandates Return to menu By Meryl Kornfield 10:09 p.m.

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Ten states with GOP leaderships filed a joint lawsuit Friday to challenge the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors, and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) filed a separate challenge.The lawsuits are part of a broader opposition by Republican-led states to requirements for immunizations that curb the spread of the coronavirus.Attorneys general in Missouri, Nebraska, Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming sued Biden and other federal officials Friday, arguing that a mandate encompassing one-fifth of U.S.workers infringes on states’ powers and is unconstitutional.The lawsuit comes a day after Florida Gov.Ron DeSantis (R) filed a similar case against the federal government.Georgia Gov.Brian Kemp (R) said in a statement that he also intends to file a legal challenge.The Republican officials argue that Biden lacks the authority to issue such an order impacting a large swath of the U.S.

workforce.“President Biden has arrogated to the Executive Branch the unilateral power to mandate that all employees of federal contractors be vaccinated,” the attorneys general wrote in a complaint filed with the U.S.District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.“This power grab is sweeping in its scope.”Paxton filed his lawsuit in the U.S.District Court for the Southern District of Texas.The White House is gearing up for challenges, saying the mandates are legal and protect public health.“Have at it,” Biden dared Republicans this month .Legal experts have said that similar lawsuits from other states were unlikely to succeed, pointing to other vaccines the government has required.“Carefully crafted coronavirus vaccination laws, with appropriate exemptions and penalties, are likely to survive constitutional challenges,” Lindsay F.Wiley, a professor of law at the American University Washington College of Law, and Steve Vladeck, a professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law, wrote in a post on Lawfare .

A House panel is launching an investigation into online telemedicine businesses on allegations of pushing ineffective and potentially dangerous coronavirus treatments, according to letters made public Friday.According a letter signed by Rep.James E.

Clyburn (D-S.C.), chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, the telemedicine provider SpeakWithAnMD.com has collected millions in fees from prescribing such treatments as the animal parasite drug ivermectin and the malaria medication hydroxychloroquine for the coronavirus, even though neither is authorized for that use by the Food and Drug Administration.He said many of the consultations were arranged through referrals from a separate business called America’s Frontline Doctors, which also received a letter.Lawmakers contend that the companies’ respective founders ― Jerome Corsi, a conservative author who has promoted political conspiracy theories , and noted hydroxychloroquine proponent Simone Gold ― are endangering American lives while profiting from a crisis.

Advertisement Updates continue below advertisement Should you travel with kids during the pandemic? Consider these 6 trip scenarios.Return to menu By Hannah Sampson 8:00 p.m.Link copied Link

In late spring and early summer, with vaccines widely available and covid-19 infections plummeting, parents might have understood the risks of traveling with unvaccinated kids.It’s more complicated now, but relief for parents is coming.With the Food and Drug Administration’s authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot for kids 5 to 11 on Oct.

29, it will be many weeks still before children are fully vaccinated.“The delta variant has upended everything.It is very important for people to recalibrate their risk,” said Leana Wen, an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University.“Some people may decide that nothing has changed for them, and that’s reasonable.But for families with young children in particular who are not yet vaccinated, they should consider using much more caution than before.”Not every trip carries the same level of risk, and experts say some types of travel can be fairly safe.For higher-risk vacations, families should take additional precautions.

Advertisement Updates continue below advertisement Citigroup requires proof of vaccination for employees as workplace mandates increase Return to menu By María Paúl 7:20 p.m.Link copied Link

Citigroup on Thursday became the first major banking corporation to tell U.S.-based employees that it would require vaccination as a condition of employment — another example of how this policy is becoming more common in workplaces across the county.“Our people are our most important asset, and we will do all we can to help our colleagues comply with this new requirement,” Sara Wechter, the company’s head of human resources, wrote in a LinkedIn post .While Wechter acknowledged the “range of views” surrounding the policy, she said the decision stemmed from two factors: ensuring all employees’ safety and compliance with the Biden administration’s federal vaccine mandate.“The U.S.

government is a large and important client of Citi, we have an obligation to comply with the Executive Order issued by the White House mandating that individuals supporting government contracts be fully vaccinated — an order that would impact the vast majority of our U.S.colleagues,” she wrote.Like Citigroup, General Electric — a federal contractor — is requiring its workers to be vaccinated.Other companies — including Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Google and Microsoft — have ordered vaccination for workers entering their offices but have not made them a requirement for employment.Still, this policy has become more widespread in the country, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation.The report, published Thursday, found that a quarter of workers in the United States said their employer implemented vaccine requirements — a 16 percentage point increase since June.

The Supreme Court Friday turned down a request from a group of Maine health-care workers to block a state coronavirus vaccination mandate that does not contain an exception for religious objectors.Three conservative justices dissented from the decision.While the majority did not give a reason for denying the request, Justice Neil M.Gorsuch wrote that the workers deserved an exemption.“No one questions that these individuals have served patients on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic with bravery and grace for 18 months now,” wrote Gorsuch, who was joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A.Alito Jr.

Advertisement Updates continue below advertisement Fact checker: The repeated claim that Fauci lied to Congress about ‘gain-of-function’ research Return to menu By Glenn Kessler 6:04 p.m.Link copied Link

In May, we examined a high-profile spat between Sen.

Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Anthony S.Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.At issue was whether the National Institutes of Health had funded “gain-of-function” experiments at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).At a Senate hearing, Paul said “super viruses” had been created, and Fauci shot back that the senator was “entirely and completely incorrect.”We awarded Two Pinocchios to Paul, saying “there still are enough questions about the work at the Wuhan lab to warrant further scrutiny, even if the NIH connection to possible gain-of-function research appears so far to be elusive.”Readers have been asking for an update ever since a top NIH official sent a letter to Congress on Oct.

20 saying that the nongovernmental organization EcoHealth Alliance — which received NIH funding to do the research on the potential for bat-specific pathogens in nature to jump to humans — did not report an experimental finding that indicated a spike in viral growth.Both Cruz and Cotton have cited the NIH letter to assert that Fauci lied to Congress.Cruz even told Attorney General Merrick Garland that Fauci should be prosecuted.The issue is important because of speculation that the virus that caused the coronavirus pandemic might have been created in a lab .But the NIH letter does not say what they claim — and, in fact, the NIH letter appears to have inaccuracies.

What you need to know about the coronavirus vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11 Return to menu By Lindsey Bever and Lateshia Beachum 5:38 p.m.

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The Food and Drug Administration authorized the coronavirus vaccine Friday for children 5 to 11 years old.About 28 million additional children will be eligible for the two-shot regimen, issued three weeks apart.The vaccine must still clear additional hurdles: an advisory panel to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must recommend how to use the vaccine, and the shots cannot be administered until CDC director Rochelle Walensky gives the green light.The panel meets Tuesday and Walensky is expected to sign off on the vaccine the same day, allowing immunizations to start immediately.Children are contracting covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.And whether it makes children ill themselves or is spread by them to other members of their communities, vaccines can help stave off deadly mutations and prevent serious illness, experts said.“The most important thing about vaccination is that we want to prevent serious illness and death in children, decrease infections and prevent further variants,” said Jennifer Shu, a pediatrician and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics.Shu said parents and guardians should speak with their children’s pediatricians with any questions or concerns about the vaccine.

We have also tried to answer some common questions here and will be updating as more information becomes available.

CDC: Vaccination gives stronger protection than previous coronavirus infection Return to menu By Lena H.Sun and Joel Achenbach 4:45 p.m.

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Immunity acquired through vaccination protects people better from coronavirus infections than natural immunity spurred by a previous infection, according to a report Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The study reinforces the importance of vaccination for people previously infected by the virus, researchers said.Both infections and vaccination spur the body to recognize the virus and build immunity against reinfection and illness.In this study, researchers concluded that three to six months after either a coronavirus infection or full vaccination, the protection against hospitalization with covid-19 was substantially better after two doses of Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines compared with the protection from a previous infection.Among hospitalized patients with covid-like symptoms, unvaccinated people who had a previous coronavirus infection were more than five times more likely to test positive for the virus than similarly hospitalized patients who had been fully vaccinated.The study looked only at people who were vaccinated with Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech shots.“We now have additional evidence that reaffirms the importance of coronavirus vaccines, even if you have had prior infection,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement.“This study adds more to the body of knowledge demonstrating the protection of vaccines against severe disease from covid-19.The best way to stop covid-19, including the emergence of variants, is with widespread covid-19 vaccination and with disease prevention actions such as mask-wearing, washing hands often, physical distancing, and staying home when sick.”Researchers collected data on 7,348 patients treated at 187 hospitals in nine states for covid-like illnesses from Jan.1 to Sept.1, a period that included the predominance of the highly transmissible delta variant.All were tested for the coronavirus.The report acknowledges seven limitations in the research, including the possibility of incomplete data covering infections among vaccinated people.

Another potential issue might be differences in behavior among vaccinated and unvaccinated people.The report notes that a study in Israel reached a different conclusion, but said the two research projects used different criteria and patient cohorts.That study looked at people who had been vaccinated six months before or longer.The CDC study also found the benefit of vaccination compared with natural immunity spurred by an infection appeared to be higher for people who received the Moderna vaccine than the Pfizer-BioNTech product, which is consistent with a recent study that found higher vaccine effectiveness against covid-19 hospitalizations for Moderna vaccine recipients.The two vaccines use similar technology, but Moderna’s regimen involves higher doses than Pfizer’s and a longer interval between doses.

Ten Republican state attorneys general filed a lawsuit Friday against the Biden administration for imposing a vaccine mandate on federal employees — a move that underscores how party politics have become entrenched in the country’s pandemic response.Missouri Attorney General Eric S.

Schmitt and his Nebraska counterpart, Douglas J.Peterson, co-led the coalition — which includes the attorneys general in Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming — in filing the 44-page document incorporating a dozen counts decrying how Biden’s “attempts to unconstitutionally exert its will” would allegedly lead to a decimated workforce and an exacerbated supply chain crisis.“My Office has led the nation in taking action to fight back against attempts by petty tyrants to impose their control through mask mandates,” Schmitt, who is running for senator, said in a statement .“Now, we’re leading the nation in fighting back against this absurd federal overreach.”Taking aim at Executive Order 14042 — which requires federal contractors to be fully vaccinated by Dec.8 — the plaintiffs argue that the mandate represents “an unlawful usurpation of states’ police powers” and are seeking from preventing its implementation.“President Biden’s dictate attempting to force injections on employees at federally contracted businesses via executive order is illegal and a gross overreach into the lives of Montanans,” Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen said in a statement .“Workers in our state don’t lose their rights just because their company happens to do some work for the federal government.”According to the U.S.Department of Labor, workers employed by federal contractors constitute about one-fifth of the country’s labor force.The lawsuit alleges that the vaccine mandate would result in “the large-scale resignations” of these workers who are unvaccinated.While the suit cites a Kaiser Family Foundation report showing that 72 percent of unvaccinated workers say that they will quit over required jabs, this same study found that only 5 percent of unvaccinated people reported actually doing so — a figure that accounts for 1 percent of adults nationwide.Party identification and vaccination status cut across people’s attitudes toward the mandate, the study found.About 72 percent of Republicans and 90 percent of unvaccinated individuals indicated they did not want vaccination requirements in their workplace.

In contrast, most Democrats and vaccinated workers said that either proof of immunization was already in place in their job or that they want their employer to impose this policy.

With millions of U.S.children eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine, many health experts are urging parents and guardians to immunize their children — especially since the highly transmissible delta variant is the dominant strain in the United States.There were more than 117,000 pediatric coronavirus cases reported in the United States in the third week of October, according to recent data from the American Academy of Pediatrics .Although children account for a very small number of hospitalizations and deaths related to the virus, research shows the variant has led to an increase in pediatric cases, which is why some pediatricians are calling for vaccinations to protect the youngest Americans.Since most families will have questions about vaccinating their children, we’ve tried to answer some of the most common.

G-20 announces new global body to respond to future pandemics but stops short of committing funds Return to menu By Jeff Stein and Frances Stead Sellers 2:45 p.m.Link copied Link

Senior leaders of the powerful “Group of 20” nations on Friday announced the creation of a new global body for coordinating government responses to the next international pandemic.The G-20’s health and finance ministers, convening in Rome as part of an international summit, said the new “Joint Finance-Health Task Force” would improve planning between the wealthiest nations to respond to pandemics with both additional health care resources and financing measures.But the announcement came without a pledge of any new funding, inviting criticisms from those already furious that the rich nations of the world are doing too little to help poor countries still being ravaged by the coronavirus..

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