Author: Mike Harrison

This week, the dam broke. With COVID-19 surging around the United States and vaccination rates stagnating, federal agencies and state governments started announcing vaccine mandates for their workers. The Department of Veterans Affairs was the first federal agency to introduce a mandate, and Thursday, President Joe Biden announced that all federal employees would have to be vaccinated or face testing and other protocols. New York City and Los Angeles will also require city workers to get vaccinated. Private companies are doing the same. Google said Wednesday that employees would have to be vaccinated to come to the office, and Facebook…

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The Biden administration wants states and local governments to give $100 to “every newly vaccinated American,” the Treasury Department said in a statement today. It’s the latest federal effort to improve vaccination rates as COVID-19 continues to surge around the country, driven by the highly contagious Delta variant. States could use funding from the American Rescue Plan to fund the payments. The administration is not mandating the incentive, but the Treasury Department said it was partnering with the Department of Health and Human Services to help governments roll it out. New York City announced this week that it would give…

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Facebook will require its US employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 when they return to the office, the company confirmed to The Verge on Wednesday. “As our offices reopen, we will be requiring anyone coming to work at any of our US campuses to be vaccinated,” Facebook’s vice president of people Lori Goler said in a statement. “How we implement this policy will depend on local conditions and regulations. We will have a process for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or other reasons and will be evaluating our approach in other regions as the situation evolves. We continue…

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Apple will be requiring customers and staff at most of its more than 270 US retail stores to wear masks even if they are vaccinated, according to a new Bloomberg report, bringing back a requirement that had been removed starting in June. The change goes into effect Thursday. “After carefully reviewing the latest CDC recommendations, and analyzing the health and safety data for your local area, we are updating our guidance on face masks for your store,” Apple informed workers in a memo obtained by Bloomberg. “Starting July 29, face masks will be required in store for customers and team…

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The Pfizer / BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine’s protection against severe cases of the disease holds steady after six months, according to new data released by the companies. But its ability to protect people from developing any symptoms of the disease dropped over time, the analysis showed. The data could add to the debate around if and when people may need booster doses of the vaccines, which the Biden administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other experts have been deliberating on for the past few months. The issue became more pressing when cases of COVID-19 in the United States started…

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During a summer of deadly heatwaves, Democratic senators are pressing for a bigger federal response to the danger posed by extreme heat. Senators Ed Markey (D-MA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) reintroduced the Preventing Heat Illness and Deaths Act today. Representative Charlie Crist (D-FL) will introduce similar legislation in the US House of Representatives. They are pushing for its measures to be included in either the bipartisan infrastructure or budget reconciliation package that Democrats are scrambling to advance. “We’ve heard that extreme heat is among the White House priorities in the climate space, and I am fighting to…

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Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller, who is leaving the Stellantis brand, has been named CEO at VinFast Global, the car arm of Vietnamese combination Vingroup. Lohscheller will lead VinFast’s push to turn into a “worldwide keen electric vehicle organization,” with an accentuation on developing the brand’s business in Europe and North America, as indicated by a delivery. He will be situated in Vietnam. Photo: AutoTimes Opel said recently that Lohscheller would be supplanted as CEO by previous Renault chief Uwe Hochgeschurtz beginning Sept. 1. VinFast plans to dispatch deals in business sectors including Germany, France, the Netherlands, the U.S. what’s more,…

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new recommendations today that people who are vaccinated against COVID-19 should wear masks in public, indoor settings in areas with high rates of disease. The CDC also said that students, teachers, and staffers should wear masks in school, even if they’re vaccinated. The American Academy of Pediatrics issued similar recommendations for schools earlier this month. The announcements are a reversal of the agency’s May guidance that fully vaccinated people did not need to wear masks in most situations. At that point, cases counts were falling around the country. Now, the highly contagious…

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A Harvard biostatistician is rethinking plans to use Apple Watches as part of a research study after finding inconsistencies in the heart rate variability data collected by the devices. Because Apple tweaks the watch’s algorithms as needed, the data from the same time period can change without warning. “These algorithms are what we would call black boxes — they’re not transparent. So it’s impossible to know what’s in them,” JP Onnela, associate professor of biostatistics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and developer of the open-source data platform Beiwe, told The Verge. Onnela doesn’t usually include commercial…

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Elon Musk took a swipe at Apple twice during the second quarter of the 2021 earnings call of Tesla, criticizing its App Store and device batteries. (Photo : by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)FREMONT, CA – SEPTEMBER 29: Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during an event to launch the new Tesla Model X Crossover SUV on September 29, 2015 in Fremont, California. After several production delays, Elon Musk officially launched the much anticipated Tesla Model X Crossover SUV. The It is not the first time that the Tesla CEO talked about the Cupertino giant. For instance, Elon Musk previously revealed that Tim…

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