World What’s happening in India? The latest on its COVID-19 outbreak
No saving the planet without booming India
Global efforts to arrest climate change and keep Earth liveable will fail without a jumbo-sized effort from India to halt emissions growth that could wipe out ambitious carbon reduction targets elsewhere. But one thing India doesn't need, its leaders have made clear, is lectures from the West on what path to take. The world's third-biggest carbon emitter, already home to 1.3 billion people, is projected by the UN to become the planet's mostBut one thing India doesn't need, its leaders have made clear, is lectures from the West on what path to take.
Several years ago, two sociologistswhether Americans were willing to take a novel vaccine during a pandemic. Taking poll data from the midst of the 2009 H1N1 swine-flu outbreak, they broke out hesitancy by race, age, and partisanship, among other factors. Although the H1N1 pandemic was very different from today’s COVID-19 pandemic—not nearly as many people in the United States fell ill, far fewer died, and vaccines were not as widely available as they are now—the results were striking.
The researchers found widespread hesitation. Nearly two-thirds of Americans were unwilling to receive a shot. But those qualms were relatively evenly distributed in the population. Older people were more willing to get the vaccine than younger ones, and white and Latino people (about 37 percent each) were more willing than Black people (25 percent). Democrats (39.6 percent) were more willing than Republicans (32.2 percent), but the spread was small.
Delhi hospitals run out of oxygen amid Covid spike
Hospitals are overwhelmed, with more than 99% of intensive care beds occupied.A number of people have died while waiting for oxygen, and more than 99% of all intensive care beds are full.
Twelve years later, there’s another pandemic, another vaccine, and more vaccine hesitancy—but that hesitancy has spread differently within the population. Although public-health experts initiallythat Black Americans would be highly vaccine-hesitant, there’s now racial parity among people who want shots. Instead, young conservatives are the great outlier. According to Kaiser Family Foundation , 13 percent of Americans say they definitely won’t get a COVID-19 vaccine, but that includes 18 percent of people ages 30 to 49, and a whopping 29 percent of Republicans. Hesitancy is particularly high among people who live in rural areas and white evangelicals—for whom increased church attendance correlates with increased hesitancy, according to a from the Public Religion Research Institute.
China Says Ready to Help India, U.S. Also in Talks as Lack of Oxygen Fuels COVID-19 Crisis
China's Foreign Ministry said it's "ready to provide support and help according to India's need, and is in communication" with the country, and the White House said the U.S. "is working closely with Indian officials at both political and experts level to identify ways to help address the crisis."The number of daily COVID-19 cases in India hit internationally unprecedented levels for the second day in a row, with some 332,730 recorded on Friday, along with 2,263 deaths. Authorities across the country have meanwhile rushed to address a lack of oxygen used to treat patients suffering from severe reactions to a disease that sparked a global pandemic.
COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy doesn’t line up with the H1N1 polling, nor with standard patterns of hesitancy—for example, crunchy left-wing opposition to childhood vaccinations. But the patterns do line up with resistance to mask wearing and stay-at-home orders.
In other words, the pattern of resistance to the coronavirus vaccinesCOVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and more like COVID-19 denialism. While a significant chunk of Americans profess to be uneasy about getting shots to prevent COVID-19, most come from the swath of the population that has tended to downplay the disease’s severity and to resist other measures to fight it, rather than the swaths that have resisted vaccines for other diseases.
The U.S. has reached a turning point in its fight against COVID-19; all FDA-approved vaccines are now open to all adults. Soon anyone who wants one will be able to get one, and scarcity will no longer be a controlling factor. The Biden administrationto reach out to vaccine-hesitant groups, including rural Americans and Republicans, in an effort to move closer to herd immunity. But some Americans seem to believe that scientific concern is being weaponized for partisan ends, and see their own resistance as a defense of freedom. And if the problem is not vaccine hesitancy but COVID-19 denialism, then overcoming it may prove much harder.
India Is a Warning
The world’s largest vaccine producer is struggling to overcome its latest COVID-19 surge—and that’s everyone’s problem.What is taking place in India isn’t so much a wave as it is a wall: Charts showing the country’s infection rate and death toll, which has also reached record numbers in the country, depict curves that have shot up into vertical lines. Public-health experts aren’t optimistic that they will slope down anytime soon.
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The same demographic splits presenting now on vaccines have existed all along. In both May and December 2020, Kaisermore-than-30-point splits between Republicans and Democrats on mask wearing, and NBC News similarly large gaps. Other pollsters found differences of a similar size between Democrats and Republicans on whether respondents were and supporting . All these factors move roughly in line; the partisan split also corresponds to the divergent approaches that Presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden took toward the pandemic on the campaign trail.
If vaccine hesitancy was driven primarily by worries about the vaccines, then the government’s decision to pause distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine over blood-clotting concerns would likely drive increased hesitancy. Public-health experts wrung their hands over the pause for exactly this reason. But so far,has shown in how willing people are to get a vaccine, even as . Meanwhile, roughly three-quarters of Republican men ages 18 to 49 are “not concerned at all” about a coronavirus outbreak in their area, .
How deadly is India's Covid variant and is it REALLY behind crisis?
Doctors on the frontline have blamed the B.1.617 strain for the raging second wave that is killing nearly 3,000 Indians a day. But UK scientists have accused India of being too complacent.Doctors on the frontline claim the B.1.617 strain is responsible for the raging second wave which has sparked hundreds of thousands of new infections each day and left the country with a crippling shortage of oxygen and hospital beds.
This suggests that the real reason for hesitancy is that a significant chunk of Americans are simply skeptical about COVID-19. There is room for difference of opinion about the efficacy of certain measures taken to combat it—we’ve seen experts do an about-face on masks, and stay-at-home orders now seem less important than masking. People in this age bracket are also less likely to die or get very sick from COVID-19 than others. But the gap in skepticism surpasses mere degree and extends into type. No wonder vaccine hesitators areby Anthony Fauci, who has become the public face of efforts to fight the pandemic.
For some vaccine refusers, the motivation is simply trolling. Anin American Greatness, which is what passes for the intellectual outpost of Trumpism, published yesterday explains, “My primary reason for refusing the vaccine is much simpler [than worries about personal liberty or medical complications]: I dislike the people who want me to take it, and it makes them mad when they hear about my refusal.”
How widespread this attitude is, or what degree it is a primary motivation, is impossible to know. But it’s probably just one part of a spectrum of COVID-19 denialism. You don’t have to look very hard to find examples. You probably know people who doubt that the disease exists, or who believe that it’s being overhyped. If not, examples abound in reporting on COVID-19. Or you can look at Congress, where Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, the, dabbled in dark theories in a radio interview this week.
Flights from India could resume in weeks, PM says
Flights from India to Australia are likely to resume within weeks, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
“Why is this big push to make sure everybody gets a vaccine?”. “And it’s to the point where you’re going to shame people, you’re going to force them to carry a card to prove that they’ve been vaccinated so they can still stay in society. I’m getting highly suspicious of what’s happening here.”
Johnson did not explain what, or who, it was that made him suspicious. This is typical. Adherents of this kind of thinking are convinced that COVID-19 is a hoax perpetrated by someone, for some reason, but are rarely clear about who might have done so, or for what purpose. The vague, imputed explanation is that restrictions, whether stay-at-home orders or mask mandates or vaccine passports, are part of a plot to restrict Americans’ freedom. But who is behind it or to what end they wish to restrict these freedoms is never made entirely plain.
While Trump was in office, some of his defenders argued that COVID-19 was a hoax cooked up to destroy his presidency. No doubt, Democrats did seek to weaponize Trump’s inept handling of the pandemic against him; although Trump made some real errors—he was himself a leading COVID denier for weeks—countries with more responsible leaders also suffered serious casualties, and it’s unclear how much better the U.S. would have faredIn any case, Trump is now gone, yet the deniers persist.
This is a golden age for conspiracy theories, but conspiracism is not a new phenomenon. In his classicof conspiratorial beliefs on the American right, Richard Hofstadter traced an evolution from “vaguely delineated villains” such as Freemasons and Catholics, in the 19th century, toward specific ones, such as attacks by Joe McCarthy and the John Birch Society on presidents and other officials. Today, the right retains some specific villains. The QAnon theory, for example, is preposterous, but it is coherent: It offers clear villains (a range of American elites), a clear goal (to enable a worldwide child-trafficking ring), and clear mechanisms (wresting control of the federal government).
But COVID-19 denialism of Ron Johnson’s variety has no clear villains, and no such coherence. Why is someone making up the pandemic or exaggerating its dangers? What is their goal? And why do so many people keep dying and getting sick from a hoax? In this way, COVID-19 denialism more closely resembles the right-wing denial of climate change. Unsurprisingly, both Trump and Johnson have also been primary exponents of climate nonsense. Conservative skeptics insist that the planet’s warming is not real, and is simply a plot to destroy freedom. One can tease out some objections to specific policies—some progressives want a carbon tax, which many climate-change deniers oppose—but how one goes from there to an immense conspiracy to deprive everyone of basic liberties is anyone’s guess. Whose idea is this? What’s their goal? And why do global temperatures keep rising if it’s a hoax?
Standard vaccine hesitancy is a public-health problem. So is COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. But its apparent roots in COVID-19 denialism suggest that combatting it will require more than just persuading Americans to trust medical science—it may take convincing them to trust each other, too.
India COVID travel ban shows nation's quarantine system ‘is not working': AMA .
The Australian Medical Association and leading infectious diseases experts say opportunities to improve or expand Australia's hotel quarantine system have been missed.The Australian Medical Association and leading infectious diseases experts say the Federal Government's controversial ban on Australians returning home from India under threat of imprisonment is an acknowledgment the nation's hotel quarantine system "is not working".