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Omicron taking over in South Africa

Omicron taking over in South Africa

PROMIT MUKHERJEE THE heavily mutated Omicron variant of the coronavirus is rapidly becoming dominant in South Africa, less than four weeks after being detected there, authorities have said, as other countries tightened their borders against the new threat. The United States identified its first case of the new variant in a fully vaccinated traveller who had returned from South Africa on November 22 and had mild symptoms, top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said. Hours earlier, airlines in the United States had been told to hand over the names of passengers from parts of southern Africa hit by Omicron,…
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Fauci says he hopes U.S. travel ban from southern Africa can be lifted in ‘reasonable period’

Fauci says he hopes U.S. travel ban from southern Africa can be lifted in ‘reasonable period’

ANTHONY Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease official, said on Sunday he hopes the ban on travellers from southern African countries can be lifted in a "reasonable period of time" as more information is gathered on the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. Fauci said on CNN's "State of the Union" program that U.S. authorities are mindful of the hardship the travel ban is causing in those countries and are constantly re-evaluating the policy.
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Fauci hopes Trump will push his supporters to get COVID-19 vaccine

Fauci hopes Trump will push his supporters to get COVID-19 vaccine

DR Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, hopes former President Donald Trump will push his supporters to get the COVID-19 vaccine and emphasized that pandemic-related restrictions should not be lifted prematurely. In a PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll released last week, about half of U.S. men who identified themselves as Republicans said they had no plans to get the vaccine. Asked whether Trump should speak to his supporters directly, given those poll numbers, Fauci said on the "Fox News Sunday" program: "I think it would make all the difference in the world." Trump, Fauci said, "is a such a strongly…
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U.S. finds first cases of new variant, in South Carolina

U.S. finds first cases of new variant, in South Carolina

JULIE STEENHUYSEN THE United States has found its first cases of a potent coronavirus variant first detected in South Africa, health officials in the state of South Carolina said on Thursday. Viruses mutate frequently, and several mutated viruses have been identified. The presence of the South African variant in the United States is especially concerning because several laboratory studies have shown that it reduces vaccine effectiveness. Another concern, according to the nominee for U.S. surgeon general, is that the South African variant could require larger doses of an antibody for treatment. "The thing that's troublesome now that we really need…
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‘Crazy and evil’: Bill Gates surprised by pandemic conspiracies

‘Crazy and evil’: Bill Gates surprised by pandemic conspiracies

KATE KELLAND MICROSOFT co-founder turned philanthropist Bill Gates says he has been taken aback by the volume of "crazy" and "evil" conspiracy theories about him spreading on social media during the COVID-19 pandemic, but said he would like to explore what is behind them. In an interview with Reuters, Gates said the millions of online posts and "crazy conspiracy theories" about him and about top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci had likely taken hold in part because of the combination of a frightening viral pandemic and the rise of social media. "Nobody would have predicted that I and Dr.…
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U.S. stays in the World Health Organisation

U.S. stays in the World Health Organisation

STEPHANIE NEBEHAY THE United States under President Joe Biden intends to join the COVAX vaccine facility that aims to deliver coronavirus vaccines to poor countries, his chief medical adviser, Anthony Fauci, has told the World Health Organization (WHO). Fauci, speaking to the WHO executive board, confirmed that the United States would remain a member of the U.N. agency and said it would work multilaterally on issues from the COVID-19 pandemic to HIV/AIDS. "This is a good day for WHO and a good day for global health," WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. "WHO is a family of nations and we…
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Politics contributed to 500 000 COVID-19 deaths in US

Politics contributed to 500 000 COVID-19 deaths in US

JULIE STEENHUYSEN  DR. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said political divisiveness contributed significantly to the "stunning" U.S. COVID-19 death toll, which on Monday surpassed 500,000 lives lost. The country had recorded more than 28 million COVID-19 cases and 500,054 fatalities as of Monday afternoon, according to a Reuters tally of public health data. In an interview with Reuters, Fauci on Monday said the pandemic arrived in the United States as the country was riven by political divisions in which wearing a mask became a political statement rather than a public health measure. "Even under the best of…
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