World Covid-19's obesity link, 'neanderthal thinking,' and skipping the queue. What you need to know about Covid-19 this Thursday.
'Neanderthal thinking': Biden swipes at Texas reopening, mask mandate's end
President Biden is lashing out at Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott over his decision to re-open businesses and rollback his statewide mask mandate during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, calling it "Neanderthal thinking."Biden slammed decisions being made by states such as Texas and Mississippi to relax coronavirus restrictions, including social distancing measures and face covering orders, as "a big mistake.
Countries where more than half the population is overweight, such as the US and the UK, have recorded much higher death rates from Covid-19, according to a report released Wednesday
The research found that by the end of 2020, global coronavirus death tolls were more than 10 times higher in nations where over half the adults are overweight, compared to those where fewer than half are overweight.
Using mortality data from Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and the World Health Organization (WHO), the team discovered that of 2.5 million Covid-19 deaths reported by the end of February, 2.2 million were in countries where more than half the population is overweight. Mortality rates also increased along with countries' prevalence of obesity. The researchers also noted that the link persisted even after adjusting for age and national wealth.
Reeves responds to Biden criticism: 'Mississippians don't need handlers'
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) pushed back on criticism from President Biden on Wednesday over his decision to lift coronavirus restrictions in the state, saying "Mississippians don't need handlers.""President Biden said allowing Mississippians to decide how to protect themselves is 'neanderthal thinking,'" Reeves tweeted on Wednesday. "Mississippians don't need handlers. As numbers drop, they can assess their choices and listen to experts. I guess I just think we should trust Americans, not insult them."President Biden said allowing Mississippians to decide how to protect themselves is "neanderthal thinking.
The findings follow hundreds of worldwide studies, which also confirmed the increased need for medical care for Covid-19 patients who are overweight, the report notes. A study in China found overweight people had 84% increased odds for developing a severe form of the disease. Another US study found obese people were more than twice as likely to need hospitalization and more than six times as likely to die, or need mechanically assisted breathing,
The authors of the World Obesity Forum report have called for people living with obesity to be prioritized for coronavirus testing and vaccination. "Covid-19 is not the first respiratory viral infection exacerbated by overweight. Data from the last two decades on the impact of MERS, H1N1 influenza and other influenza-related infections show worse outcomes linked to excess bodyweight," the study added. "An overweight population is an unhealthy population, and a pandemic waiting to happen."
COVID battle lines harden ahead of Senate vote: The Note
The fight over the COVID relief bill emphasizes the close divide in the Senate. The day the Senate moved toward approving the first and biggest priority of the Biden presidency was a day Washington spent debating the relative merits of Neanderthals.
YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED
Q: How many cases caused by Covid-19 variants are there in the US?
A: At least 2,581 cases of coronavirus variants first spotted in the UK, South Africa and Brazil have been reported in the US, according to data updated Tuesday by
The vast majority of these infections, 2,506, are caused by the more contagious strain known as B.1.1.7, which was originally detected in the UK. In addition, 65 cases have been reported of a variant initially seen in South Africa, called B.1.351. Lastly, 10 cases of the P.1 variant first found in Brazil have been discovered in five states.
. Are you a health care worker fighting Covid-19? Message us on WhatsApp about the challenges you're facing: +1 347-322-0415.
WHAT'S IMPORTANT TODAY
'Neanderthal thinking.' Biden slams Texas and Mississippi for lifting restrictions
Republicans are attacking Democrats by framing Biden's 'Neanderthal' comment like one of Trump's racist remarks
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted that Biden "should apologize for his insensitive comments and seek training on unconscious bias."Biden was commenting on states like Texas and Mississippi drastically rolling back their COVID-19 restrictions, with the Lone Star State abandoning its mask mandate in anticipation of being fully reopening
US President Joe Biden sharply criticized states such as Texas and Mississippi for lifting Covid-19 restrictions and mask mandates against pleas from the CDC and other top public health officials, accusing those in power of "Neanderthal thinking.
"I think it's a big mistake. Look, I hope everybody's realized by now, these masks make a difference. We are on the cusp of being able to fundamentally change the nature of this disease becausewe're able to get vaccines in people's arms," Biden said when asked about the decisions by the Republican governors of Texas and Mississippi to relax restrictions.
Russian vaccine expands its reach in Latin America while Cuba goes its own way
Russia's Sputnik V shot has seen rising popularity across Latin America as more countries announce shipments and deals to purchase the Covid-19 vaccine. Nine Latin American countries have approved its use. The shot is cheaper and can be stored at higher temperatures than the Pfizer vaccine, which has made it appealingn countries with less-developed economies and infrastructures.
Neanderthals Were Smarter Than Anti-Mask Republicans
The right is angry, but Biden was probably too kind to Greg Abbott.Republicans quickly expressed indignation. It’s not clear if they considered the comparison between their opposition to masks and the thinking of Neanderthals offensive to Republicans or to Neanderthals. As an example of the former: “For a president that called for unity to degrade himself to name-calling doesn’t make any sense at all,” complained Montana governor Greg Gianforte, whose own personal method of handling disagreement is not name-calling but physical violence.
Meanwhile, Cuba. Starting in March, two of the island's four homegrown vaccine candidates will begin their third and final trials, the Cuban government has announced. For much of 2020, Cuba was able to keep the spread of the pandemic under control but a bungled reopening to international travelers in December led to a surge in cases.
Spanish princesses' vaccinations abroad spark controversy at home
Two Spanish princesses, who got vaccinated against Covid-19 in the United Arab Emirates much earlier than they would have back in Spain, have sparked outrage for skipping the vaccine line. Several Spanish ministers on Wednesday publicly criticized the two princesses, Elena and Cristina, who were inoculated while visiting their father,
In response to media reports about the vaccination, Princess Elena said in a statement they took the shot with the aim of a getting a health passport so that they could visit their father regularly. A royal household spokesman noted that while they are sisters of Spain's King Felipe, the princesses have not had any official duties as members of the royal family since at least 2014.
ON OUR RADAR
- As Covid-19 cases continue to slide, California may soon allow fans to attend
- While vaccines will be available for all US adults by the end of May, teenagers will still have to wait until the fall,
- The B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant first seen in the UK is more contagious than older circulating versions of the virus and it's likely to drive a large new surge of infections,
- A global fake Covid-19 vaccine distribution network has been dismantled in
- The US is still holding firm to the strategy of administering two doses of the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer John Oates and his wife Aimee are reviving the Oates Song Fest 7908 to fundraise for Feeding America, the nation's largest hunger-relief organization.
Psaki: Biden's 'Neanderthal' comment was a 'reflection of his frustration'
Psaki defended President Joe Biden's comments comparing some Republican governors' decision to lift mask mandates to "Neanderthal thinking," calling it a "reflection of his frustration" about Americans refusing to follow public health guidance. Your browser does not support this video © Samuel Corum, Getty Images White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during the daily press briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on March 4, 2021 in Washington, DC.
The economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic is driving up food insecurity across the US. Feeding America estimates that one in six Americans could face food insecurity as a result of the pandemic.
The virtual star-studded fundraiser will stream on Nugs.tv on March 20 at 8 p.m. ET. Oates and YouTube sensation Saxsquatch will host the event.
"The reality is that when you're out of sight, you're really out of mind. And a lot of remote workers feel like they miss out on a lot of these opportunities because they're not getting access to the projects and opportunities that would help get them promoted." -- Andrew Hewitt, senior analyst at Forrester
The coronavirus has fundamentally changed the American workplace, but which changes can we expect to stick around permanently? Hewitt, a remote work expert, shares his predictions for the post-pandemic future of office work..
Biden's 'Neanderthal Thinking' Remark Prompts Furor in Mississippi, Texas .
"When President Biden said that we were all Neanderthals, it struck me as someone who needs to get outside of Washington, D.C., and actually travel to Middle America," Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves, who recently lifted the statewide mask mandate, said in response to the president's remarks.Biden told reporters it "a big mistake" that some governors are loosening COVID-19 restrictions on Wednesday, adding, "The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking.