COVID19 🦠 Newsbites
More U.S. Travelers Are Flying Again Despite COVID-19 Risks
As COVID-19 vaccines roll out across the U.S., more travelers are taking to the skies.

Friday marked the busiest day for the nation's airports since the middle of March 2020, when COVID-19 caused air travel to plummet.

About 1.36 million passengers passed through security checkpoints Friday, according to figures from the Transportation Security Administration. That is the highest volume since March 15, 2020, when checkpoints reported more than 1.5 million passengers.

But travel remains well below pre-COVID levels. In March of 2019, checkpoint traffic averaged more than 2 million passengers a day.

Friday's uptick comes as the total number of COVID-19 doses administered in the U.S. has climbed past 100 million and about 35 million people are now fully vaccinated. The U.S. is currently administering more than 2.3 million shots a day.

The high number of travelers also comes during a period when many students traditionally travel for spring break vacations.

Despite the growing number of vaccinated Americans, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is still advising people to "delay travel and stay home to protect yourself and others from COVID-19."

If people must travel, the CDC says they should get a vaccine, if possible, get tested for the virus less than three days before a trip, wear a mask and avoid crowds.
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Only About 22 States Give Postal Workers Vaccine Access
Beleaguered in the pandemic and thrust into the spotlight by the 2020 election, the United States Postal Service now finds itself competing for its share of the vaccine.

The Postal Service has endured tumultuous months amid a significant increase in online shopping, understaffing, government funding issues and an explosion of mail-in ballots during a contentious election. Thousands of postal workers have contracted the coronavirus, and more than 150 have died. Still, fewer than half of the states across the country — at least 22 — have begun administering shots to Postal Service workers, at least in some counties, even as they rapidly expand access to more groups of people, according to a New York Times survey.

Postal workers are among several categories of essential workers that a committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that states prioritize early. In a letter penned to the Biden administration in January, Mark Dimondstein, the president of the American Postal Workers Union, noted that “numerous states have not followed this recommendation and have chosen to place postal workers further down in the order of those with early access to the vaccine.”

Postal workers might not have to wait too much longer to be vaccinated. On Thursday, President Biden promised to bring cohesion to the national rollout, directing states to make every adult eligible by May 1, and announcing a series of initiatives to ramp up the pace of vaccinations.
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Fauci: it's 'disturbing' that Trump voters say they won't get vaccinated for COVID-19
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said it was "disturbing" Trump supporters were avoiding the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • A poll conducted in March found that 47% of Trump voters said they wouldn't get the vaccine.
  • Just 10% of people who voted for Biden said they wouldn't get the vaccine, according to the poll.
During an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," Fauci said he hoped that Trump would speak out and encourage his supporters to get the COVID-19 vaccine after all former living presidents, except for Trump, appeared last week in a PSA from the nonprofit Ad Council urging Americans to get the vaccination. The Ad Council said the commercial was filmed during Biden's inauguration, which Trump did not attend. Portions of the PSA featuring former President Jimmy Carter, who was unable to attend the inauguration, were filmed separately, according to Deadline.

Fauci, who frequently disagreed with Trump and his administration about the coronavirus pandemic, encouraged the former president to speak up in support of vaccinations.

"I hope he does because the numbers that you gave are so disturbing, how such a large proportion of a certain group of people would not want to make — would not want to get vaccinated merely because of political consideration," Fauci told "Meet the Press" moderator Chuck Todd. "It makes absolutely no sense."

... Fauci said Sunday that it was imperative to remove politics from public health. Issues from the vaccine to the wearing of face masks have over the past year served as major dividers between politicians and their followers on the right and left.

"We've got to dissociate political persuasion from what's common sense, no-brainer public health things," he continued. "The history of vaccinology has rescued us from smallpox, from polio, from measles, from all of the other diseases. What is the problem here?"

Fauci said at this point last year he knew the pandemic was going to be "bad" but said he was unaware of just how bad it would be.

The US death toll, which has surpassed 528,000, remains the highest in the world.

"Not only suffering health-wise and deaths and loss of loved ones, but what, what it has done to society, to the economy, and how it has kind of deepened some of the divisiveness that we've had in our, in our country to begin with. It's just made it even more intense," he said. "It's just been a bad time all around."
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Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a contagious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The first case was identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. It has since spread worldwide, leading to an ongoing pandemic.

Symptoms of COVID-19 are variable, but often include fever, cough, fatigue, breathing difficulties, and loss of smell and taste. Symptoms begin one to fourteen days after exposure to the virus. Most people (81%) develop mild to moderate symptoms (up to mild pneumonia), while 14% develop severe symptoms (dyspnea, hypoxia, or more than 50% lung involvement on imaging) and 5% of patients suffer critical symptoms (respiratory failure, shock, or multiorgan dysfunction). At least a third of the people who are infected with the virus remain asymptomatic and do not develop noticeable symptoms at any point in time, but can spread the disease. Some patients continue to experience a range of effects—known as long COVID—for months after recovery and damage to organs has been observed. Multi-year studies are underway to further investigate the long term effects of the disease.

Source: Coronavirus disease 2019 - Wikipedia