Today’s TIP News: Texas governor asks feds to open more COVID testing sites and to send more monoclonal antibody treatments; Texas schools remain open as the number of teen COVID hospitalizations rises; and two big names end up in permanent Twitter timeout for spreading misleading COVID information.
Hello, and welcome to TIP News for Jan. 3, 2022. TIP News is a podcast production of The Immunization Partnership. My name is John David Powell.
In today’s TIP News: Texas governor Greg Abbott asks the federal government to open more COVID testing sites and to send more monoclonal antibody treatments; Texas schools remain open as the number of teens hospitalized with COVID rises; and two big names end up in permanent Twitter timeout for spreading misleading COVID information.
We begin the new year, 2022, with news that Texas’ anti-mandator-in-chief, Gov. Greg Abbott, has asked the federal government to open more COVID testing sites in Bexar, Cameron, Dallas, Harris, and Tarrant counties. That’s because of their high infection rates and hospitalization levels, all thanks to the Omicron variant.
And, in a classic “closing the barn door” move, Abbott also asked for more shipments of monoclonal antibody treatments, because, apparently it’s better to treat for COVID than try to prevent it.
The Texas Department of State Health Services reports the state’s COVID positivity rate was 26.5 percent as of Dec. 29. That’s the percentage of COVID tests that return positive for the virus. Hospitalizations climbed to more than 5,500, also as of last Wednesday.
The state health department known as DSHS says regional infusion centers in Austin, El Paso, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and The Woodlands are out of the monoclonal antibody so-tro-vi-mad.
Meantime, most of Texas’ public school districts are open for business this week, even as COVID cases increase in Texas and while school administrators in other states consider vaccine mandates for students and teachers, something Texas schools cannot do, thanks to the governor who now wants help from Washington to fight the disease.
The Houston Independent School District, which is the largest in Texas, will continue its mask mandate in defiance of the governor, and will offer free COVID testing for students and staff. Same for the Austin Independent School District.
The Texas Tribune reports that Cook Children’s Health Care System in Tarrant County sees up to 400 kids a day testing positive for COVID.
Twitter started the new year by muzzling folks spreading COVID-related misinformation. Twitter calls it misinformation, but others are less politically correct, preferring to say those folks spread lies.
The latest: Georgia’s Republican representative Marjorie Taylor Green. Twitter permanently pulled the plug after Green shared a graph supposedly showing COVID-related deaths, which Green claims have been ignored.
She wasn’t none too happy, either, releasing a statement that said social media, Big Tech, and Communist Democrats can’t stop the truth.
Robert Malone joins Green in Twitter time-out. If you don’t know him, Malone claims to have invented the mRNA vaccine technology, and has more than half-a-million Twitter followers.
Not only did Twitter ban him after tweeting a video about supposed harmful effects of the Pfizer vaccine, but Youtube also removed an episode of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast featuring Malone. In that episode, Malone compared today’s US society with Germany in the 1920s and 30s when the Nazis rose to power.
While we appreciate platforms such as Twitter and Youtube banning folks who spread lies and fears, we wonder if this is a slippery slope regarding free speech and expression. Could the pendulum swing the other way and cut off information that promotes sound, science-based information? Tweet us your opinion at immunize underscore USA.
Finally today, remember the warning of a twindemic this flu season? A dual outbreak of flu and COVID? Well, reports out of Israel say that country has its first case of Flurona, a combination of flu and coronavirus. It was in a young, unvaccinated, pregnant woman who presented with relatively mild symptoms that cause difficulty breathing.
The Mirror reports that about 75 percent of expectant mothers in the U.K. and about 65 percent in the U.S. remain unvaccinated. So, if you’re pregnant, talk with your healthcare provider about what’s right for you. Meantime, everyone else, make sure you get both vaccines.
That’s our TIP News for today, Jan. 3, 2022.
TIP News is a podcast production of The Immunization Partnership. We invite you to subscribe to our podcasts, Vaxx Voice, which deals with vaccines in general, and Vaxx to the Future, where we feature information specifically related to COVID-19 and its vaccines. You can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube. You can also find more information on our webpage, immunizeusa.org. For all of us at The Immunization Partnership, I’m John David Powell. Thanks for listening.