The Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis administration took Orange County Health Director Dr. Raul Pino on vacation this week after urging his staff to be vaccinated.
Pino wrote to his staff in an email on Jan. 4: “I’m having a hard time figuring out how we can maintain public health and not follow it,” WMFE, a public radio station in Orlando, wrote.
Pino’s e-mail to his staff details that only 219 of his 568 employees received two doses. “I’m sorry, but it is irresponsible not to be vaccinated unless there are logical and real reasons. We’ve been doing this for two years, we were the first to vaccinate the public, we did more than 300,000, and we’re not even 50% sad, ”he wrote.
DeSantis and his state chief surgeon, Joseph Ladapo, questioned the effectiveness of the masks and vaccines. The State Department of Health also recommended that the test not be performed for people without symptoms, noting that “the clinical benefit of the COVID-19 test is unlikely.”
– Frank Gluck, Fort Myers News-Press
Also in the news:
►Singer Adele has left her Las Vegas residence due to COVID-related production delays, the singer announced a day before the start of her first show.
►The passenger’s refusal to wear a face mask on board forced an American Airlines flight to London to return to Miami this week, as required by federal law. Police did not arrest the woman, and a department spokeswoman said American Airlines would resolve the incident administratively.
► The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has ordered nursing homes to provide COVID-19 vaccines to local residents.
📈Today’s numbers: More than 69 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 860,000 deaths have been reported in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University. Global total: more than 340 million cases and more than 5.57 million deaths. More than 209 million Americans – 63 percent – are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
📘 What we read: A nationwide network of coronavirus testing sites, known as the Coronavirus Surveillance Center, has been under increasing scrutiny since reporter Grace Hawk began asking questions. Read more.
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Key workers who come to the U.S. need proof of vaccination
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced Thursday that key workers, such as truck drivers and nurses crossing U.S. land borders, must submit documents confirming COVID-19 vaccination from Saturday.
In November, the United States began allowing fully vaccinated foreigners to cross land borders for non-essential purposes, such as tourism or visiting friends and family, for the first time since March 2020. The new announcement also extends the vaccine demand to key workers who are not U.S. citizens. or legal permanent residents.
Unlike those arriving by plane, those arriving by land do not have to show a negative COVID-19 test to enter.
“These updated travel requirements reflect the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to safeguard the health of the population while safely facilitating cross-border trade and travel, which is important for our economy,” DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas said in a press release.
Earlier this month, U.S. federal officials raised U.S. level 3 travel health alerts to level 4, the highest alert level, warning U.S. travelers to flee Canada due to “very high” COVID-19 levels.
“If you need to travel to Canada, make sure you are fully vaccinated before the trip,” the CDC warned on its website. “Because of the current situation in Canada, even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk of receiving and distributing COVID-19 options.”
A Massachusetts man died while waiting to be hospitalized with COVID
A man and owner of a pizza shop in Massachusetts died while waiting for a hospital bed to open after signing a contract with COVID-19.
Antonios “Tony” Tsantinis, 68, of East Brookfield, Massachusetts, died Dec. 10. He became ill after Thanksgiving, and his longtime companion Angela DiUlio was also ill. During a trip to the emergency department, both passed a positive test for COVID-19.
Tsantinis was hospitalized in Southbridge, Massachusetts, where his daughter, Rona Tsantinis-Roy, realized she was seriously ill. He needed extra help that the hospital could not provide, and began searching for a bed available at the hospital.
“They called every hospital 75 miles away,” Tsantinis-Roy said, and when he was in a hospital in Connecticut, he said he was very ill and could not be relocated.
According to NPR, as he struggled with COVID-19, his kidneys began to fail and he needed dialysis. Soon, Tsantinis-Roy and his brother Andy Tsantinis saw their father, but it was to say goodbye.
“He literally looked me in the eye and told me it didn’t have to happen,” Tsantinis-Roy told NPR when the doctor told him his father had died.
– Asha C. Gilbert, and Kim Ring, Telegram & Gazette