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The White House extends Covid-19-related travel bans to Brazil and much of Europe and adds South Africa.

Travel by non-citizens to the United States from South Africa will be banned due to concerns about the spread of a variant of the coronavirus in that country. And the bans put in place last year on travel from Brazil, 27 European countries and Britain will be extended, the Biden administration said on Monday.

The move comes as officials in the new administration try to get their hands on a rapidly evolving pandemic, with public health officials rushing to vaccinate the public – and expand vaccine supply – as more contagious variants of the coronavirus are spreading.

Dr Anthony S. Fauci, the government’s leading infectious disease specialist, said the variant of the virus in South Africa appears to be more highly contagious.

Moderna said his vaccine was effective against new variants of the coronavirus that have emerged in Britain and South Africa. But the immune response is slightly weaker against the South African variant, so the company is developing a new form of vaccine that could be used as a booster shot against this virus.

The new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr Rochelle Walensky, predicted that the vaccine supply would not increase until the end of March. Federal health officials and business executives have said it would be impossible to increase the immediate supply of vaccines until April due to a lack of manufacturing capacity. But a third vaccine maker, Johnson & Johnson, is set to release its clinical trial results soon; if approved, this vaccine would also help support production.

Mr Biden’s travel ban will take effect on Saturday and will apply to non-U.S. Citizens who have spent time in South Africa in the past 14 days. The new policy will not affect U.S. citizens or permanent residents, officials said.

On his last full day in office, President Donald J. Trump attempted to lift the Covid-19 travel ban from Britain, Ireland, 26 countries in Europe and Brazil , claiming that this was no longer necessary. Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said on Monday that the ban would remain in place.

“With the pandemic worsening and more contagious variants spreading, now is not the time to lift restrictions on international travel,” she said.

Ms Psaki also said the Biden administration intended to hold regular public health briefings three times a week, starting Wednesday.

The first confirmed case of the Brazilian variant in the United States has been identified in Minnesota, the state health department said on Monday. It was found in a resident of Minnesota who had recently visited Brazil.

The variant that is now spreading in South Africa does not seem to have reached the United States yet. More than two dozen countries have now reported cases of the variant.

In addition to travel bans, Mr Biden issued an executive order last week requiring all international travelers to show negative coronavirus tests before traveling to the United States. The move extended a CDC requirement for testing that was released by the Trump administration but was due to expire on Tuesday.

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Biden Increases Daily Vaccination Target, Extends Travel Bans

On Monday, Moderna said its vaccine was effective against new variants that have emerged in Britain and South Africa. But the immune response is slightly weaker compared to the variant discovered in South Africa, so the company is developing a new form of vaccine that could be used as a booster shot against this virus.

And Dr Rochelle Walensky, the new CDC director, offered a direct assessment of the vaccination campaign on Sunday, predicting that the supply would not increase until the end of March.

Federal health officials and business leaders agree that it will not be possible to increase immediate vaccine supply until April due to lack of manufacturing capacity. A third vaccine manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson, is expected to publish the results of its clinical trial soon. If approved, this vaccine would also help boost production eventually, although the company has its own manufacturing issues.

“I can’t tell you how many vaccines we have, and if I can’t tell you, I can’t tell the governors and I can’t tell the state health officials,” Dr Walensky told “Fox News Sunday”.

Mr. Biden’s travel ban is a presidential proclamation, not an executive order. Typically, proclamations govern the actions of individuals, while executive orders are directives to federal agencies. It will come into effect on Saturday and will apply to non-U.S. Citizens who have spent time in South Africa in the past 14 days. The new policy, which was reported earlier by Reuters, will not affect U.S. citizens or permanent residents, officials said.

The airline industry made no immediate comment on the new travel bans. But airline officials cite studies from the World Health Organization showing that the impact of travel bans on tackling the spread of infectious diseases is limited. President Donald J. Trump came under heavy criticism after banning travel from China, and the ban proved porous as tens of thousands still arrived in the United States from this country.

“I think travel bans are helpful but not foolproof,” said Dr Ashish Jha, Dean of Brown University School of Public Health. Mr. Trump’s travel ban to China “has probably slowed things down, and that’s reasonable,” he said. But travel bans have to be combined with other policies to be helpful, he said.

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US Extends Border Closures with Mexico and Canada

The borders between the United States and Mexico and Canada have been closed for at least another month due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

According to WWNYTV.com, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday that the US-Canada border would remain closed to non-essential travel until at least February 21.

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

The current travel restrictions have been in effect since March, when the COVID-19 outbreak began in North America. The 30-day extension maintains the order that expires on January 21.

Regarding the border between Mexico and the United States, government officials also requested to extend non-essential travel restrictions. The border closure was initially instituted on March 21 and is now scheduled to last until February 21.

“Due to the development of the spread of COVID-19 and because several states are in orange (threat level),” the Mexican Foreign Ministry told Fox San Diego. “Mexico proposed to the United States the extension, for another month, of the restrictions on non-essential land traffic on their common border.”

While decisions to extend border closures have been sympathetically accepted by most Americans due to the high number of confirmed coronavirus cases, Mexicans have complained that no one is preventing US citizens from traveling south of the border.

The news comes hours after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that it would begin requiring a negative COVID-19 test of all air passengers entering the United States, effective January 26. .

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Late explosion of climate denial extends era of Trump disinformation

WASHINGTON – President Trump’s Twitter megaphone may be silenced, but disinformation from his administration continues.

David Legates, a climate denier installed last year by the Trump administration to oversee scientific work on climate change, has released a series of debunked reports that appear to purport to represent global warming research produced for state government -United, pulling a disavowal from the White House Science Office.

His reports do not appear on a government website but on a private site that espouses climate denial. However, they bear the logo of the President’s Executive Office and claim to be the copyrighted work of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy depicting the “current state of science” on climate change. .

The response from the White House science office was swift.

“These documents were not created under the direction of the Office for Science and Technology Policy of the White House, nor were they approved or approved by the leadership of the OSTP,” said Kristina Baum, door -Office speech, in a statement Monday evening.

The articles include long discredited claims that climate change happens naturally; that the sun, and not human pollution, is responsible for recent warming; and that the effects on the planet, if any, of climate change will be minimal. One of the featured authors is William Happer, a physicist who compared the emphasis on carbon dioxide to “demonizing the poor Jews under Hitler”. Another is Wei-Hock Soon, known as Willie, an astrophysicist whose work in minimizing the risk of greenhouse gas emissions has been funded by the fossil fuel industry.

Mr. Legates’ bet appears to be a dishonest effort by some of the more extreme elements of Mr. Trump’s administration to put the federal government imprimatur on research that aims to undermine the established science of climate change . In doing so, many deniers have openly acknowledged, could give more weight to such studies when they are subject to prosecution, testimony in Congress or even the next national climate assessment, the government’s main contribution to the knowledge of climate.

According to a Trump administration official and an outside adviser, both familiar with the effort, officials from the White House personnel office asked Mr. Legates last year to compile a body of research for Mr. Trump in what was supposed to be an internal project. . Mr. Legates is currently head of the Global Change Research Program in the United States, which oversees the National Climate Assessment. Kelvin K. Droegemeier, chief science adviser to the president and director of the White House’s science office, was unaware of the project, according to the two people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to speak publicly about the episode. .

Dr Roy Spencer, a climate denier who wrote an article for the package titled ‘The Religious Nature of Man-Made Global Warming’, said in a blog post Monday night that Mr Legates “hopes he can get them. . posted on the White House website by Jan. 20, “probably for inclusion in the official record of the outgoing administration.” But, he added, “there is no guarantee given recent events.”

Mr. Legates did not respond to a request for comment. Meanwhile, the legal implications of putting the studies on a private site while using the White House logo and copyright in a seemingly unauthorized manner were unclear on Monday evening. Federal law states that anyone who “fraudulently or falsely” affixes the seal of a US department or agency can be fined or jailed for up to five years.

John Holdren, who headed President Barack Obama’s science office, said a disavowal from a spokesperson for the disinformation effort was not enough.

“Kelvin himself must step up and strongly denounce this farce committed in the name of the OSTP,” he said.

Peter Gleick, a climatologist and member of the National Academy of Sciences who noticed the posts and drew attention to them on Twitter, called them “ridiculous” and a clumsy effort to give a veneer of government respectability to junk science before president- elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. takes office Jan. 20. He said he expected the studies to have no lasting political implications.

“Maybe as part of the next national climate assessment, someone will try to cite them as having some merit,” Dr Gleick said. But, he added, “for climate science itself, they pose very little danger because they are pseudoscience, because they are ridiculous and because no one in the scientific community is serious. will not pay them any attention. “

The articles appeared late last week on the website of the Center for Environmental Research and Earth Sciences, an organization associated with Dr. Soon.

In an introduction, Mr. Legates describes the articles as “the current state of science on various topics related to climate change”. He called the documents leaflets written by “top scientists from leading institutions” across the country.

“The Office of Science and Technology Policy is pleased to bring you these notes to deepen your understanding of climate change by learning from these scholarly researchers,” he wrote. The introduction identifies Mr. Legates as a professor of climatology at the University of Delaware rather than by his government title.

Many reports, the scientists noted, are repackaged summaries of previously published articles. One of the articles is touted as being written by Ryan Maue, a senior official in the White House’s science office, who downplayed the effects of climate change and the links between global warming and extreme weather events. On the site, Dr Maue’s article does not list his government affiliation, but rather describes him as a “private sector meteorologist.” Dr Maue could not be reached for comment.

Current and former federal officials involved in the national climate assessment have expressed dismay that the documents are being presented as representing the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The documents, they said, marked the latest low point in the Trump administration’s approach to climate science.

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Video: DC Mayor Extends State of Emergency Order

new video loaded: DC mayor extends state of emergency

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DC mayor extends state of emergency

Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, DC, discussed the state of emergency in the district as well as security plans in the run-up to inauguration day.

What we saw was an affront not only to our democracy, but also to our values, the values ​​that make the District of Columbia a welcoming, diverse and inclusive city. When I tell the people of the District of Columbia to stay with you or that you could be arrested, it is an extraordinary thing. In the state of emergency, DC residents, visitors and our businesses are warned that we may need to do something extraordinary like this that requires you to stay home or shut down your business or shut down transit or other public transportation sooner so that we can maintain public safety in the district. The fence that rises around the Capitol, a non-evolving fence, will be in place until the inauguration. And the Guard force, which will come onto the field by this weekend, up to 6,200, will also be available at the inauguration.

Recent episodes of United States and politics

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Mexico Extends Ban on Nonessential US Border Crossings

Mexico has announced an extension of the ban on nonessential land border crossing with the United States due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

According to The Riviera Maya News, the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Marcelo Ebrard, said that his agency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE), reviewed the latest COVID-19 data and determined that the continued increase in confirmed cases in the US Extension of the order not to travel.

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Ebrard told a virtual press conference that the international border between Mexico and the United States would remain closed to non-essential ground travel until 11:59 p.m. local time on November 21.

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

Officials will evaluate the order again before it expires next month.

Nonessential international land border crossings between the countries were initially banned in March, but the orders do not affect commerce or Mexicans working on permits in the United States.

Earlier this month, United Airlines revealed that it would expand service on more than 20 routes to popular beach destinations throughout Mexico, including a new sewing service to Acapulco and Zihuatanejo and increased service to Cancun, Cozumel, Cabo San Lucas and Vallarta Port.

On the same day, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced that the country would build an airport in Tulum, Quintana Roo.

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