Deep Dive (Nov. 30): NY Declares State of Emergency Again Over New Variant

New York is back under a state of emergency to deal with the new variant, despite no detection of Omicron in the state. But the governor says “it’s coming.” New York City’s new mask advisory comes as the city requires vaccines for child care workers. New Yorkers will be required to wear a mask even if they’re vaccinated, according to the mayor and health commissioner.

A federal judge has blocked the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for health workers in ten states, after those ten states sued the Biden administration over the mandate, saying the mandate is unconstitutional. The judge wrote: “Congress did not clearly authorize CMS to enact this politically and economically vast, federalism-altering, and boundary-pushing mandate, which Supreme Court precedent requires.” This comes as some federal employees will have until after the holidays to be vaccinated, according to a memo sent to some federal agencies by the Office of Management and Budget. The OMB said managers can wait to fire or suspend their employees until after the holidays. White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the memo on Monday. Psaki did downplay it, saying “nothing has changed” regarding the deadline.

A top South African doctor says Omicron cases have been “extremely mild.” She calls the travel restrictions due to the variant an overreaction. “The majority of what we are presenting to primary health care practitioners are extremely mild cases,” said Dr. Angelique Coetzee, national chair of the South African Medical Association. “Mild to moderate. And, so these patients, … that means they don’t need to be hospitalized for now. I have seen vaccinated people and not really very sick. That might change going forward. As we say, this is early days.” Coetzee says those mild symptoms include fatigue, scratchy throat, and body aches.

Tune into Deep Dive as we explore these topics and more.

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