Biden administration defends vaccine mandates in Supreme Court docket arguments

A protester holds a banner at a rally against mandates for the vaccines against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in front of the New York State Capitol in Albany, New York, the United States, Jan. 5, 2022.

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The Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments on Friday on two cases that challenged the Biden government’s Covid vaccination and testing requirements for private companies and healthcare workers.

The arguments, which began at 10 a.m. ET, began with a lawyer for a national small business group arguing against private business regulations that would apply to tens of millions of workers.

National Federation of Independent Business attorney Scott Keller was grilled by the court’s three Liberal justices who sometimes sounded incredulous at the proposal to end workplace health care while Covid cases reached new heights.

Conservative Chief Justice John Roberts asked Keller why the Department of Labor was not empowered to regulate the “special job problem” caused by the pandemic.

Roberts is likely an indispensable voice for the rules of the Biden administration in order to survive the Conservative 6-3 majority in the Supreme Court.

A protester holds a sign reading “Freedoms & Mandates Don’t Mix” in front of the US Supreme Court during the dispute over two federal coronavirus vaccine mandate measures in Washington, DC, USA on Friday, January 7, 2022.

Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The debate on whether the federal government has the power to enforce the comprehensive public health requirements comes before the Supreme Court when the global pandemic enters its third year.

Challenges to the rules include business associations, Republican-led states, and religious groups. Urgent rulings are expected relatively soon.

For companies with 100 or more employees, the rule of the occupational health and safety administration applies, which stipulates that employees must be vaccinated or tested for Covid on a weekly basis. The Department of Health’s rule would require vaccination for medical personnel in facilities that treat Medicare and Medicaid patients.

The two mandates cover about two-thirds of all US workers – about 100 million Americans, according to the White House.

president Joe Biden issued The mandates in early November, weeks before the first evidence of the highly transmissible Omikron variant, drove infection rates across the country to breathtaking new highs.

Days later, the U.S. 5th District Court of Appeals blocks the mandate from taking effect for companies, with a three-person committee that saw its requirements as “astonishingly broad”.

But another federal appeals court the rule reintroduced in Decemberwho noted that OSHA has had a great deal of leeway in the past to enact safety measures and highlights the danger posed by the pandemic to workers.

Early data suggests that omicron infections are typically less severe than previous iterations of the coronavirus, although vaccination remains an effective protection against hospitalization and death from Covid. Health experts say.

All nine Supreme Court justices have been vaccinated against Covid and all have received a booster. The court heard arguments in favor of much of the pandemic remotely and broadcast the proceedings via livestream for the first time in its history. They returned for a personal battle last October while keeping the building closed to the public and implementation of other pandemic-related security measures.

This is a developing story. Check again for updates.

Patrick Mahomes passionately defends enjoying fashion

There was a time when Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs looked invincible. However, they are far from this form this season. The Chiefs are 5-4, and getting a ticket to the playoffs is no longer a ban on the team that was supposed to rule AFC West ahead of the season. There are a handful of reasons the Chiefs are struggling, including Mahomes’ turnover problem.

But if someone thinks they should change their style of play to reduce their mistakes on the field, then don’t expect them to stick with that idea.

Above Sam McDowell of the Kansas City Star:

“I mean, I’ll shoot,” Mahomes said. “I’ve been taking these recordings for the past few years and they have worked. I took these shots and they didn’t work (again this season) and we still found ways to earn points. “Whenever I have a player who has the chance to make a game in the field, I give him the chance to make a game.”

In nine weeks of the 2021 NFL regular season, Mahomes already has 10 interceptions, the second most in the league. Only Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold and Cincinnati Bengal Caller Joe Burrow has more, with 11 picks each. If anything, Mahomes was not selected in the week 9 home win against the Green Bay Packers, the first time he has not been intercepted since week 1 against them Cleveland Browns.

Despite Mahomes’ sales problems, the Chiefs have every confidence that he will deliver for them at a crucial time in the season. The hope is that Kansas City will finally come around the corner after that, this time for real to win over Green Bay. Next up for the Chiefs is a date on the road with the Las Vegas Raiders next Sunday.

Vitality secretary defends Tesla EV tax credit score exclusion

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Friday defended the Biden government’s proposal to provide tax credits for electric vehicles from unionized automakers, a move that could rule out non-unions Tesla.

“This President is very, very positive about organized labor because organized labor has raised the living standards of so many Americans, and we want to make sure that we do everything we can to encourage that the economy and the labor force really focus on the standards for ordinary Americans, “Granholm told CNBC.Squawk box. “

The tax credit in question would lower the cost by $ 12,500 for a middle-class family who purchases an electric vehicle made in America with U.S. materials and union labor, under the $ 1.75 trillion framework for President Joe Biden’s climate and environmental priorities Social spending. Biden announced the blueprint on Thursday after working out a deal with the Senate Democratic objectors. No details were given beyond the White House factsheet.

Elon Musk’s Tesla is the largest electric vehicle manufacturer and recently launched one $ 1 trillion market valuewhat makes it more valuable than General Motors, ford and several other of the largest global automakers together. The EV Titan’s workforce is not unionized, so Tesla products are not eligible for government tax credits as suggested by the Democrats.

In March it was Tesla ordered by the National Labor Relations Board to urge Musk to remove a threatening and anti-union tweet as the company’s financial records consider Musk’s tweets to be official corporate communications. In the tweet, Musk said his workforce was free to unionize but said they would gain “nothing” because they would lose stock options and pay union dues if they were unionized.

Granholm said Biden is keen to create a level playing field in economic terms.

“He wants to close the prosperity gap in this country,” she said. “He wants to raise the middle class. He wants a policy that builds the middle class from the bottom up and the middle out, not from the top down.” She said the president believes trade unions can help make this happen.

The Energy Secretary also said she was “totally optimistic” about investing in the $ 23 trillion global clean energy market, which she believes will be there by 2030, and said the US could get a share of that market instead of “standing on the sidelines”.

“We haven’t brought more alternatives online. We haven’t put more technology into the vehicles to make them affordable for everyone,” she said. Tesla is often viewed as a luxury automaker.

“So that requires investment,” said Granholm. “That is why the tax breaks that come with incentives for the private sector to go from the fringes when investing in clean energy are so important to moving this forward.”

CDC director defends controversial name on Pfizer’s Covid boosters

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, insisted Friday that she did not override a vaccine advisory committee by getting approval from the CDC for Pfizers Covid boosters are supposed to accept a proposal that has been rejected by the committee.

In an unusual move, Walensky broke out of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which on Thursday voted 9 to 6 against approving vaccines for those in high-risk environments.

Walensky adopted the other recommendations of the panel Distribute third syringes to adults with pre-existing conditions and to anyone aged 65 and over. She said the final vote to release additional doses for teachers, health workers and other key employees was a “scientific scarcity”.

“I want to be very clear that I have not overridden an advisory committee,” said Walensky at a Covid briefing in the White House on Friday. “I have listened to all of the FDA advisory committee proceedings and listened carefully to this extraordinary group of scientists who spent hours publicly and very transparently on some of these very difficult questions and where the science stood.”

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, selected as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, speaks during an event at The Queen Theater in Wilmington, Del., Tuesday, December 8, 2020.

Susan Walsh | AP

Walensky’s directive is closely based on that of the Food and Drug Administration Verdict on boosters Wednesday. This agency similarly defied the advice of its scientific advisory board by authorizing the recordings for a wider audience than it was advocating Advisory Committee on Vaccines and Related Biological Products.

“This was a scientific scarcity,” said Walensky, noting the lengthy two-day meeting and robust debate. “It was my call. If I had been in the room I would have voted yes.”

She tried to build public confidence by encouraging people to go back and listen to the committee’s deliberations. “We made it public, we made it transparent, and we did it with some of the best scientists in the country,” she added.

Dr. Paul Offit, an infectious disease doctor at Philadelphia Children’s Hospital and a voting member of the FDA’s advisory committee, turned down boosters for young people fearing they could cause myocarditis. Offit called Walensky’s expansion of the ACIP recommendation “a first,” adding that he felt Pfizer should have conducted more extensive booster studies before submitting its results to the FDA and CDC.

“As a healthy person under 30, I would wait and see how that goes,” Offit told CNBC. “Wait for a few million cans to get out of there.”

But with the US recording a seven-day average of 2,011 deaths per day on Thursday, 6% more than a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University, other doctors support Walensky’s decision.

Adjusting the panel’s guidelines was Walensky’s responsibility, even if it broke the precedent, said Dr. Arturo Casadevall, Chair of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

“These committees are advisory,” said Casadevall. “Ultimately, this is a matter of policy, and politics requires judgment.”

President Joe Biden said at a briefing Friday that the CDC’s recommendation had widened the boosters to roughly 60 million Americans, including educators, health workers and supermarket employees. The broader booster criteria better protect frontline workers and account for the vaccine delivery inequalities that affect people of color, Walensky said.

“I am also aware of the disproportionate impact of this pandemic on racial and ethnic minority communities,” Walensky said. “Many of our frontline workers, key workers, and those in meeting places come from communities that are already hardest hit.”

She said denying these groups access to boosters will only exacerbate inequalities in the pandemic, which have caused black and Hispanic Covid patients to die more often than whites.

More than 55% of the US is fully vaccinated, and more than 2.4 million Americans have received boosters since the agency approved them for people with compromised immune systems on Aug. 13, according to the CDC.

Walensky said the agency will work to evaluate the booster data from Quickly Modern and Johnson & Johnson In the coming weeks.

“We intend to have numerous advisory boards at the CDC to review many pending decisions, including Moderna, J&J, and pediatric vaccinations,” said Walensky.

Fauci defends FDA panel determination to reject third doses for all People

The leading expert on infectious diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, responds to allegations made by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) as he testifies before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on July 20, 2021.

J. Scott Applewhite | Swimming pool | Reuters

Dr. Anthony Fauci defended the Decision of the Board of the Food and Drug Administration refuse to offer a third booster shot PfizerBioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for the general US population.

“I don’t think you made a mistake,” the White House chief medical officer told CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday.

Fauci added that he would support a third dose if future data shows it is effective. As the FDA continues to gather new information about boosters, persuading unvaccinated Americans to get vaccinated remains a priority.

Fauci’s comments come after the FDA advisory committee on Friday Voted against giving third shots of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine to all Americans, although she recommended booster doses for people aged 65 and over and those with underlying medical conditions.

The FDA panel’s decision added to the confusion over the booster dose after President Joe Biden said last month that boosters would be available to all Americans starting the week of September 20th.

“I understand why there might be confusion because I think people have not understood the difference between planning something and actually not understanding what element of it, what portion of it is actually being introduced, and that’s exactly what happened,” he said “Meet the Press” from NBC.

He later told ABC’s This Week that the government had set the September 20 deadline as a wildcard, depending on input from the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The plan was that we have to be ready to do this as soon as a decision is made,” he said. “And when you have a plan, put a date on it and say, ‘We want to be able to prepare for the week of September 20th'” “

Current data from Israel indicates the effectiveness of the vaccine As time decreases, a third shot of Pfizer could restore infection protection to 95% six months after a second dose.

As of September 18, more than 181 million Americans were fully vaccinated. Nationwide, more than 670,000 people have died of Covid-19.

Data on boosters from Modern and Johnson & Johnson is expected in the coming weeks, said Fauci. He also said “This Week” that there will “certainly” be a vaccine for children this fall.

CDC director defends lifting masks steering for vaccinated

CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky defended the agency’s decision to tell people fully vaccinated against Covid-19 that they can go without a mask as state and local officials grapple with whether to follow suit.

“We ask people to be honest with themselves,” Walensky said on NBCs.Meet the press“which were broadcast on Sunday.” If they are vaccinated and do not wear a mask, they are safe. If they are not vaccinated and are not wearing a mask then they are not safe. “

The CDC recommendation has created some confusion as it does not override local mask mandates. States, municipalities and corporations can decide whether or not to follow suit. There is also no definitive way of tracking who received a vaccine, forcing companies to work on some kind of honor system.

“This wasn’t permission to take off masks for everyone everywhere. This was a really science-based, individualized assessment of your risk,” Walensky said Sunday morning on NBCs.Meet the press. “

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated his manual Thursday said it is safe for fully vaccinated Americans to remove their masks in most environments, whether they are outdoors or indoors. It is the first time in more than a year that the federal government has endorsed the shedding of masks and marks a major turning point for the pandemic.

Masks are still required on airplanes, buses, and public transport.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House Chief Medical Officer confirmed the instructions while later that morning on CBS’s “Face The Nation”.

“There has been an accumulation of data showing the effectiveness of the vaccines in the real world,” said Fauci. “It is even better than in the clinical studies, well over 90% protect you from the disease.”

“Although breakthrough infections do occur in people who have been vaccinated, people are almost always asymptomatic and virus levels are so low that it is extremely unlikely, not impossible, but very, very small, that they will be transmitted,” said Fauci.

President Joe Biden, who was criticized last month for not removing his mask after the CDC declared that fully vaccinated Americans could go outdoors without them, has followed the new guidelines. Biden shared a picture of him on Sunday afternoon meeting six people in the Oval Office without a mask last week.

Nevertheless, some states have decided to keep the mask mandates for the time being. New Jersey and Hawaii will ask people to continue wearing masks indoors.

National Nurses United, which describes itself as the largest union of registered nurses in the United States, sentenced the CDC’s guidelines in a statement on Friday calling on the agency to revise the guidelines.

“These latest CDC guidelines are not scientifically based, do not protect public health, or threaten the lives of patients, nurses and other frontline workers across the country,” said Bonnie Castillo, executive director of the NNU, in a statement. She added that relaxing mask rules will disproportionately harm people with color.

“Now is not the time to loosen safeguards and we are outraged that the CDC did just that while we are in the midst of the deadliest pandemic in a century,” Castillo said.

The CDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Some states follow the advice of the CDC. Illinois, Connecticut, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, Minnesota, Nevada, Kentucky, and Oregon have all said they were relaxing their mask rules. Texas had canceled its mask mandates prior to the CDC’s recommendation.

Officials from New York and California, two of the hardest-hit states, are currently reviewing the CDC’s changes and have not yet given any guidance as to what means mandates remain.

Some retailers including aim, gap, Home Depot and Ulta Beauty, I have also said they will keep the pandemic protocols.

“Elementary workers are still being forced to play masked police for shoppers who are not vaccinated and who refuse to follow local COVID safety measures. Should they become the vaccination police now?” Said Marc Perrone, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Union in a statement shared with CNBC on Friday.

Fauci said the CDC will come out in the next few weeks and clarify in more detail when masks are appropriate.

As of Friday, more than 156 million Americans had received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine, according to the CDC. According to the agency, around 121 million are fully vaccinated.

Bruno Mars defends himself in opposition to cultural appropriation accusations | Leisure

Bruno Mars responded to allegations that he appropriated black culture through his musical work.

In an interview with The breakfast club On Friday, the Grammy-winning artist said, “You can’t find an interview in which I didn’t talk about the entertainers who came before me. The only reason I’m here is James Brown, Prince, Michael.”

“This music comes from love and if you can’t hear that I don’t know what to tell you,” he added.

Mars, who was born to a Filipino mother and a half Puerto Rican, half Ashkenazi Jewish father, went on to explain that musicians learn from artists who came before them and are happy to use those artists as inspiration for athletes who love the NBA legend Michael use Jordan as a blueprint for their athletic career.

In the past, celebrities have spoken out in favor of it Mars and its music, but these culture-appropriation accusations have followed Mars for years.

In 2018, writer and activist Seren Sensei said in a video clip that Mars “is playing its racial ambiguity to cross genres”.

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“What Bruno Mars is doing is taking pre-existing work and completely recreating and extrapolating it word for word,” said Sensei. “He doesn’t make it, he doesn’t improve it, he doesn’t do it better.”

The moderator of the interview, Charlamagne, the God, urged Mars to see if this criticism would ever reach him.

“It comes with the gig,” said Mars. “It really is to credit what people say about black entertainers who don’t get their flowers.”

Mars announced that he wears his heart on his sleeve and hopes that other artists will be as inspired by his work as he is by others.

“I hope that later on there will be a band on the street that will take what we did, turn it around and freak out and put its own spin on it – because if they don’t, what was that?” Point where do we do this? “

CNN’s Deena Zaru contributed to this report.

Okta CEO defends $6.5 billion deal for rival Auth0 after shares fall

Octa CEO Todd McKinnon on Friday defended his company’s move to acquire Auth0, citing the competitor as a complementary asset to its identity and access management business.

Okta stocks have since fallen 10% announced the all-stock transaction valued at $ 6.5 billion after Wednesday closing. The sales figure is more than a fifth of Okta’s market capitalization and a $ 1.92 billion valuation premium that Auth0 received after a round of funding last summer.

“This is a company that is about to go public and, as you know, public markets value public companies in some ways,” McKinnon told CNBC’s Jim Cramer.

He appeared on “Bad money“next to Eugenio Pace, the managing director of Auth0.

“If you look at how we rate it, the growth is positive for us,” added McKinnon. “We have actually paid many times more income that is slightly below ours but is in the same stadium.”

Auth0 is an identity management platform for app developers based in Bellevue, Washington. It competes with Okta, a $ 28 billion cybersecurity company based in San Francisco. Okta offers security tools to authenticate users, e. B. Password permissions and access to online networks.

Auth0 will act as an independent branch within Okta when the transaction closes in late July.

When asked about the need to acquire a different identity provider if Okta already has its own offerings, McKinnon said the merger would provide his company with a better way to tackle customer identity and access management.

He stated that the $ 30 billion personal identity market accounts for 75% of Okta’s sales, while the $ 25 billion customer identity market accounts for 25% of sales. Okta is more focused on out-of-the-box, pre-built solutions, while Auth0 is more focused on purpose-built app developers, he added.

Auth0 is “a product that is much more flexible, extensible, and does exactly what the developer has to do, and that’s why the two solutions together are so compelling,” said McKinnon. “They give customers great choice, flexibility, and value for money, and they really solidify that $ 25 billion [total addressable market]. “

Okta’s shares fell 4.54% to $ 215.96 on Friday. The company reported fourth quarter revenue of $ 234.7 million on Wednesday, up 40% year over year. A net loss of $ 75.8 million was reported, compared to a loss of $ 50.5 million in the year-ago quarter.

Langer’s teaching fashion not appreciated by gamers, coach defends himself: Australian media report | Cricket Information

MELBOURNE: Australia Head Coach Justin LongerThe intense coaching style of “micromanagement” apparently did not go down well with many players, although the earlier opening described the allegations as something that “couldn’t be further from the truth”.
The cracks in the Australian camp came open after a weak India returned from behind to hammer Australia 2-1 into its own cave.
According to a report in the ‘Sydney Morning Herald cites several sources close to the Australian construction. Some players appear to be dissatisfied with Langer’s leadership style due to his intensity and mood swings.
According to the report, Langer is no longer able to meet the requirements of a three-format coach.
“Sources in the locker room say Langer’s leadership style weakened during a busy summer with some players who not only had to live in a bubble for months but were also exhausted from its intensity and mood swings,” the SMH reported.
“… some older players are frustrated with the atmosphere in the team, affected by the coach’s shifting emotions and what they see as being overly micromanaged. They say bowlers bombarded themselves with stats and instructions about it where to go. ” Bowl during lunch breaks, including during the fourth and final test against India in the gabba, “the report continued.
However, Langer denied claims that his relationship with the players had grown dramatically.
“Couldn’t be further from the truth,” he added. “Leadership is not a popularity contest.”
“If the players just want someone to tickle their stomach all the time, then I’m not doing my job.
“It’s actually the opposite of what’s happening. I never talk to the bowlers about statistics. I don’t go to any of the bowler meetings. That’s what the bowler trainer is supposed to do,” he said.
“I don’t do any of this. I never speak to any of the bowlers about things like that. And the realizations over the past few months are that I should take a closer look.”
Langer has 18 months left in his contract and the 50-year-old former left-handed opening partner of Matthew Hayden said he had no problems with his workload.
“The job is stressful. It’s a great job,” he said.
The report goes on to say that many current Australian team players have now developed an affinity for the assistant coach Andrew McDonaldwho they feel is more accessible.
“The players believe Langer means well and respect his legacy in the sport, but some have turned to assistant coach Andrew McDonald for support because they increasingly don’t know where they stand with the boss,” it says in it.
“During the Brisbane Test, Langer ordered a player not to keep the habit of putting a toasted sandwich in their pocket to eat on the field.”
“… the headmaster-like nature and difficulty of the coach in dealing with pressure became increasingly incompatible with a team that was mostly made up of experienced players in their late 20s or 30s.”
But Langer defended the decision, saying such a habit was unacceptable for a national cricketer as the team was aiming for a friendly win over a team like India.
“You’re up against India, we’re trying to win a friendly and one of our players goes on with a toasted sandwich,” said Langer.
“I talked to (the player) about it at length yesterday. I said, ‘How do you think it looks, buddy?’ Shouldn’t I say that? ”He said without revealing the player’s name.