Trump urges supporters to get vaccinated – National & International News – WED 17Mar2021

Former President Trump urges his vaccine-skeptic supporters to get COVID jabs.

Trump urges fans to get COVID vaccine. 6 Asian women among 8 dead in Atlanta spa shootings. China requires Chinese vaccines for foreign travelers. Guinea Ebola survivor triggered new outbreak.

NATIONAL NEWS

Trump urges supporters to get COVID vaccine

In a TV interview yesterday, former President Trump broke his silence to encourage Americans to get COVID jabs. Trump said, “It’s a great vaccine, it’s a safe vaccine and it’s something that works”. Trump directly addressed his own loyal fanbase, saying “I would recommend it to a lot of people that don’t want to get it and a lot of those people voted for me, frankly”.

Although, Trump and his wife quietly received vaccines in January, his core supporters have been among the most reluctant to get the jab. A recent poll showed that about a third of Republicans had no interest in getting the vaccine, compared to 10% among Democrats.

Trump’s statement came a day after Biden’s Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters, “If former President Trump woke up tomorrow and wanted to be more vocal about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, certainly we’d support that”. Psaki pointed out that Trump was the only living ex-president that had not yet done so publicly.

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6 Asian women among 8 dead in Atlanta spa shootings

Police have arrested a 21-year-old suspect in a deadly shooting spree at 3 Atlanta-area massage parlors. Eight people were killed, including 6 women of Asian descent. Police have not offered an official conclusion as to the motive. However, many fear that the shootings mark an escalation in months of anti-Asian hate crimes across the US.

The organization Stop AAPI (Asian-American/Pacific Islander) Hate has been compiling reports from all 50 states of anti-Asian hate crimes. The attacks range from verbal assaults to lethal physical violence in muggings or other unprovoked attacks. Asians have also reported workplace discrimination and being denied access to transportation and other public services.

The attacks have disproportionately targeted Asian women. Women have reported 2.3 times the number of hate incidents as men.

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

China requires Chinese-made vaccine for foreign travelers

Beijing has announced that it will resume visa processing for visitors from dozens of countries. As usual, negative COVID tests will be required. However, the foreign ministry is also requiring that travelers have received a Chinese-made COVID vaccine at least 14 days prior to travel. This poses some difficulties, since many of the countries to whom China is opening its borders have not approved any Chinese vaccines.

Many foreign health agencies have been wary of China’s secrecy surrounding the development of its vaccines and lack of credible trial data. Even in countries that have approved Chinese vaccines, data as to their efficacy varies widely.

Despite the backlash, Beijing denies that the requirement is an effort to coerce foreign governments into approving vaccines

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Guinea Ebola outbreak traced to survivor of previous outbreak

Health authorities in Guinea believe that a man who survived Ebola 5 years ago may have triggered a new outbreak of the disease. If true, the alarming implication is that the disease can remain dormant for years in an outwardly healthy body.

Previously, the longest recorded time that an ebolavirus remained dormant before causing another infection was 500 days. Experts say that immunity from the virus could last many years after infection. 

Furthermore, it appears the new outbreak may have resulted from sexual transmission. After the 2013-2016 outbreak, researchers found that the virus can quietly linger in “immune privileged” areas of the body, including the testes.

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