Court Blocks Company Vaccine Mandate; U.S. Lifts Travel Restrictions; Pfizer Seeks OK for COVID Pill – Democracy Now!

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A federal appeals court on Saturday temporarily blocked President Biden’s COVID vaccine mandate for large businesses, after a group of Republican attorneys general challenged the order. The mandate would require workers at companies with at least 100 employees to be vaccinated or get tested weekly.
In Los Angeles, patrons 12 and older must now provide proof of vaccination before entering indoor restaurants, bars, movie theaters, malls, gyms, salons and other venues.
The U.S. is lifting entry restrictions today for fully vaccinated international travelers from a host of countries that had been barred because of the pandemic, including Brazil, China, India, South Africa, the United Kingdom and much of the European Union. Exceptions will be made for children and people arriving from certain countries where vaccines are not widely available. All travelers will also have to provide a negative COVID test.
In medical news, Pfizer said Friday its experimental antiviral COVID pill cut rates of hospitalization and death by nearly 90% in high-risk adults, and will ask the FDA and other regulators for approval. Last week, the U.K. became the first country to approve Merck’s oral antiviral drug.
In India, a fire killed at least 11 patients from a COVID ward at a hospital in the state of Maharashtra. It’s at least the third hospital fire in India in recent months that resulted in mass casualties.


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