US Averaging 107,000 New COVID-19 Cases a Day

The U.S. averaged more than 107,000 new COVID-19 cases a day for the first week of August, according to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center on Saturday.
For comparison, on June 7, the U.S. reported just more than 10,000 new COVID-19 cases, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The increase in coronavirus infections comes as the highly contagious delta variant continues to spread quickly throughout the United States.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in an interview with CNN earlier this week that government data shows infections in the U.S. “could be up to several hundred thousand cases a day, similar to our surge in early January.”
After peaking at nearly 250,000 infections per day in early January, cases bottomed out in June, but began ramping up even as U.S. adults were being vaccinated. More than 70% of all U.S. adults have been at least partially vaccinated, AP reported.
The seven-day average for daily fatalities in the U.S. increased from about 270 a day to almost 500 a day over the past week as of Friday, according to Johns Hopkins.

More than 166.2 million people, or 50.6% of the population, have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins’ vaccine tracker.
The southeast U.S. has some of the lowest vaccinations rates in the country, such as Alabama and Mississippi, in which fewer than 35% of residents are vaccinated, AP reported. The region also has seen the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients increase 50%, to a daily average of 17,600 over the past week from 11,600 the previous week, according to the CDC, as reported by AP.
Florida, which last week was called the national epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic by the CDC, broke another record for the number of COVID-19 cases on Saturday.
The CDC said the state reported 23,903 new infections in a 24-hour period ending Friday. The figure is the largest single-day number of cases in Florida since the pandemic began more than a year ago.
A week before, on July 30, the state had set a record with 21,683 new cases.
The delta variant of the coronavirus is fueling the rise in cases in Florida and across the U.S.
In Houston, health officials are warning that COVID-19 cases are on the rise.
Texas health officials are concerned, chief state epidemiologist Jennifer Shuford told Houston Public Media.
“We’ve been living this pandemic now for a year and a half,” she told the news organization. “We thought we had seen the worst of it with those first two pandemic waves that we experienced. This third wave that we’re having right now in Texas is showing a very steep increase in cases and hospitalizations, as great or even steeper than what we were seeing with those first two waves.”

Coronavirus-related hospitalizations in Harris County, where Houston is located, have increased nearly 262% over the past month, the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council reported on Thursday, according to Houston Public Media.
On Friday, there were 8,522 people in Texas hospitals with COVID-19, the most since February 11, the AP reported. In Harris County, the state’s largest with more than 4.5 million residents, nearly 1,700 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, according to the Houston Public Media report.
Dr. David Persse, who is serving as the chief medical officer for the city of Houston, spoke to the AP about the latest increase in COVID-19 cases.
“The health care system right now is nearly at a breaking point. … For the next three weeks or so, I see no relief on what’s happening in emergency departments,” he said.
Persse said some ambulances were waiting hours to offload patients at Houston area hospitals because no beds were available. He told AP that he feared this would lead to prolonged respond times to 911 medical calls.
In the U.S. Midwest, more than 98% of all new COVID-19 cases are from the delta variant, according to the CDC.
The Omaha Board of Education, which oversees the largest school district in Nebraska with 52,000 students, will discuss on Monday whether to require face coverings inside school and district buildings.
The Omaha Education Association, a union that represents teachers and staff, is concerned by the rise in delta variant cases and the state’s middling vaccination rate. The group had called on the district to require masks, according to an Omaha World-Herald report.
Of the state’s nearly 2 million residents, roughly half (49.9%) are fully vaccinated, similar to the U.S. figure of 50.6% announced, according to Johns Hopkins.
As of midday Saturday, there were more than 202 million infections and nearly 4.3 million deaths worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins. The U.S. continued to lead the world in cases, with more than 35.7 million, and fatalities, with more than 616,000, according to Johns Hopkins.

Source: Voice of America

Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 Vaccine Proves Successful in South Africa

Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 has had positive results in South Africa, the co-head of a trial, Glenda Gray, told reporters Friday.
A research study conducted from mid-February to May with upwards of 470,000 health workers showed positive results in those inoculated, and the country’s health regulator approved the single-shot J&J vaccine in Apri. It is being used in addition to Pfizer’s.
The study showed 91% to 96.2% protection against death, Gray said, and 67% efficacy against infection when the beta coronavirus dominated and 71% when the delta variant did.
As of Thursday, more than 8.3 million people had been vaccinated in South Africa.
Worldwide, about 4.3 billion people have been vaccinated.
Despite the introduction of new COVID-19 vaccines in recent months, however, the virus continues to spread across all parts of the world, primarily the highly contagious Delta variant, infecting a growing number of people and triggering a new round of strict social restrictions and lockdowns.
More than 20 months after the first cases were detected in Wuhan, China, the COVID-19 global pandemic has far surpassed 200 million total confirmed infections, including 4.2 million fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center data released Friday.
The United States tops the list with more than 35 million cases, including at least 600,000 deaths, followed by India, Brazil, France and Russia.
Meanwhile, in Tokyo, Olympics organizers report 29 new Games-related coronavirus cases.

Information from the Associated Press and Reuters was used in this report.

Source: Voice of America

US Employers Add 943,000 Jobs in July, Beating Expectations

U.S. employers added more than 940,000 jobs in July, the U.S. Labor Department reported Friday, beating analyst expectations and providing the latest sign the job market may be recovering from steep losses sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 943,000 jobs added last month topped the 850,000 from the previous month, despite a shortage of available workers.
July’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.4% from 5.9% the month before.
“While it is doubtless we will have ups and downs along the way as we continue to battle the delta surge of COVID, what is indisputable now is this: The Biden plan is working, the Biden plan is producing results and the Biden plan is moving the country forward,” said President Joe Biden at the White House Friday.
The president said his administration is the first in U.S. history to oversee an economy that added jobs “every single month in our first six months in office” and noted that “economic growth is the fastest in 40 years.”
The rollout of the coronavirus vaccine encouraged restaurants and other businesses to reopen after being forced to close for months after the pandemic began. But Biden warned there was more to be done not just on the economy, but also on fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
“Because of our success with the vaccination effort, this new delta variant wave of COVID-19 will be very different to deal with than the one that was underway when I took office,” Biden warned. “Yes, cases are going to go up before they come back down. This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”
The prospects of a strong monthly jobs report were bolstered Thursday when the Labor Department reported that 385,000 jobless workers filed for compensation, down 14,000 from the revised figure of the week before.
The U.S. said a week ago that the economy expanded at a 6.5% annual rate of growth from April through June, a slightly faster pace than in the first three months of the year.
The size of the U.S. economy – nearly $23 trillion – now exceeds its pre-pandemic level as it recovers faster than many economists had predicted during the worst of the business closings more than a year ago.
But the surging delta variant of the coronavirus is threatening to impair business activity in some regions of the U.S. and, as a result, analysts say the economy could cool somewhat in coming months.

The second quarter growth was fueled by widespread business reopenings, vaccinations for millions of people and trillions of dollars of government pandemic aid that was sent to all but the wealthiest American families. Some economists and many Republican lawmakers have warned of inflation risks sparked by record-high government stimulus.

“Inflation is skyrocketing & Americans are paying higher prices after Dems’ wild spending spree earlier this year,” Republican Sen. John Thune of South Dakota tweeted earlier this week.
The number of weekly unemployment benefit claims has tracked unevenly in recent weeks, but overall has fallen by more than 40% since early April, while remaining well above the pre-pandemic levels.
About 9.5 million people remain unemployed in the U.S. and are looking for work. There also are 9.2 million job openings, the government says, although the skill sets of the jobless do not necessarily match the needs of employers.
Some employers are offering cash bonuses to new hires.
State governors and municipal officials across the U.S. have been ending coronavirus restrictions, in many cases allowing businesses for the first time in a year to completely reopen to customers. That could lead to more hiring of workers.
But the number of new coronavirus infections recorded each day has increased by tens of thousands in recent weeks and is still growing, especially in parts of the U.S. where millions of people have, for one reason or another, resisted getting vaccination shots.
The number of new vaccinations had been falling in the U.S. but now is increasing again as more people see others in their communities hospitalized from the virus and their lives endangered.
More than 60% of U.S. adults have now been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Source: Voice of America

White House Weighs Proof of Vaccination for Foreign Visitors

The White House has confirmed that it is considering requiring foreign visitors to show proof of vaccination to potentially restart international travel.
Jeff Zients, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator, told the Reuters news agency that multiple federal agencies are looking into the possibility.
The United States still has no timetable for resuming international travel given the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease.
The U.S. first imposed travel restrictions on China in January 2020. Since then, several other countries, including India and many in Europe, have faced similar restrictions.
Two issues facing a proof-of-vaccination plan are what would be considered proof and whether the U.S. would accept documentation from people who have been vaccinated with products that have not been approved in the U.S.
In contrast, at the U.S.-Mexico border, which is still seeing record numbers of migrants attempting to cross, proof of vaccine is not required before migrants are released into the U.S.

During the last week of July, about 7,000 migrants were released in the border town of McAllen, Texas, with 1,500 testing positive for COVID, according to the Washington Examiner.
The Biden administration is reportedly drawing up plans to vaccinate migrants, The Washington Post reported.

Source: Voice of America

Sydney Hits Record Number of New COVID-19 Cases

Australia continued Thursday to struggle against the delta variant of the coronavirus, with its largest city, Sydney, reporting a record daily number of new cases and the state of Victoria announcing a one-week lockdown.
Sydney, which is near the seventh week of a nine-week lockdown, reported 262 cases and five deaths in the past 24 hours.
So far, the country as a whole has seen relatively few cases and deaths, but vaccination rates are low, with only about 20% of people over 16 fully vaccinated.
Victoria’s lockdown was triggered by eight new cases.
“Nothing about this is optional. This is a lockdown. It will be enforced, for the best of reasons and the best purposes, to bring these case numbers down, under control so we can once again be open,” Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters in Melbourne.
All three of Australia’s biggest cities – Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane – are currently locked down.
Some health officials told Reuters they expected more lockdowns until the country reached a higher vaccination rate.
Some feared the measures could force the country into its second recession in two years, because many are unable to work with so many businesses closed.

Source: Voice of America

Microsoft Is Latest Large US Employer to Require COVID-19 Vaccinations

Computer giant Microsoft became the latest large employer to require workers to provide proof of a coronavirus vaccination before entering its offices in the United States.
The Seattle Times reported the Redmond, Washington, company sent an email to its employees Tuesday, saying it would have a process to accommodate those employees who have medical conditions or other reasons that might prevent them from getting vaccinated.
The company also said it was pushing back the return of employees to the office by nearly a month, to October. 4. It said caregivers of people who are immunosuppressed or parents of children who are too young to receive vaccines could work from home until January. Microsoft has about 100,000 U.S. employees.
Microsoft is following the lead of other major U.S. employers requiring vaccinations for their employees. Tuesday, Tyson Foods, the biggest U.S. food company, said it was requiring all its employees to be fully vaccinated.
The federal government said in May it was legal for employers to require their workers to get vaccinated.

Source: Voice of America

Why Some Libertarians Support Vaccine Mandates

WASHINGTON – The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing proponents of America’s libertarian movement to question just what their philosophy demands of them.
Many libertarians, who champion individual freedom and are generally skeptical of government authority, have been outspoken in denouncing vaccine mandates and social distancing measures as an unwarranted intrusion on personal liberty.
But others are just as voluble in defending the measures, arguing that libertarian principles prohibit reckless behavior – such as going maskless in a crowded room – that puts innocent others at risk.
“There’s been a real split among libertarians about how to respond to the pandemic,” said Matt Zwolinski, a philosophy professor at the University of San Diego who runs the “Bleeding Heart Libertarians” blog.
“Some libertarians supported lockdowns, some libertarians supported face mask requirements, and some libertarians now are supporting vaccine mandates,” he said. “On the other hand, there are also a lot of libertarians who opposed in very strong terms all of those things.”
With large swaths of Americans declining to get vaccinated, the debate has real-world implications. While many anti-vaxxers question the safety and efficacy of vaccines, opposition to vaccination is often couched in libertarian terms: It’s my body, my choice.
“Governors say things like, ‘We expect citizens to be responsible and make their own choices, and it’s not the role of government to tell people what to do,’ ” said Justin Bernstein, a philosophy professor at Florida Atlantic University who has advised the Centers for Disease Control on vaccine allocation and distribution.
This is a view that is widely shared by many card-carrying libertarians. One of the staunchest critics of government-mandated vaccination is Dave Smith, a comedian and a rising figure in the Libertarian Party. Although he doesn’t question the effectiveness of vaccines, Smith, who is mulling a presidential run as a Libertarian Party candidate in 2024, sees vaccine mandates as an infringement on individual liberty.
“On a purely principled level, I believe you own yourself, and once you concede that you don’t own yourself, on the practical level, you’re going to get a lot of really bad outcomes from that, and egregiously immoral ones,” Smith told the libertarian “Reason TV” last week.
Yet as important as the right to “bodily autonomy” is to libertarianism, other libertarians say it doesn’t justify exposing others to the virus. These libertarians defend mandatory vaccination not by reason of promoting public good but on the ground that vaccine refusal puts others, including those who can’t get vaccinated for medical reasons, at risk.
Libertarian philosopher Jessica Flanigan has likened vaccine refusal to firing a gun into the air on Independence Day, inadvertently injuring innocent bystanders.
“Citizens do not have the right to turn themselves into biological weapons that expose innocent bystanders to undue risks of harm.” Flanigan wrote in a 2014 journal article, “ADefense of Compulsory Vaccination.” “Mandatory vaccination policies are therefore justifiable in most cases because citizens do not have a right to remain unvaccinated.”
Other libertarian academics have advanced similar arguments in defense of measures that require vaccination as a condition for admission into public buildings or events.
“Libertarians have the view that we have limits to how much risk of harm we can impose upon other people,” said Jason Brennan, a libertarian philosopher at Georgetown University who made the “libertarian case for mandatory vaccination” in a 2016 journal article.
“The real complicated question is: At what point do we think other people are imposing a sufficiently high risk of harm onto third-party bystanders that the people imposing that risk can be interfered with as a way of protecting others?” Brennan said in an interview.
With COVID vaccines widely available, however, the case for a COVID-19 vaccine mandate has grown weaker, Brennan said. Vaccine resisters, Brennan said, voluntarily put themselves at risk.
“Part of the complication is the people who want to be immune are mostly immune and the people who aren’t immune, most of them aren’t really a high risk,” Brennan said, noting that the virus has been found to be less dangerous for children than adults – an assertion the delta variant is putting to the test.
The debate over vaccines comes as a growing number of colleges, universities and businesses around the country have announced vaccine mandates. Although the federal government’s authority to impose a national vaccine mandate is in question, the U.S. military is considering requiring military personnel to get vaccinated.
Last month, eight Indiana University students sued the school over its vaccine mandate, claiming it violated their constitutional rights. While rejecting “blind deference to the government” on matters of public health, a federal judge later dismissed the lawsuit, delivering vaccine advocates a major victory.
Some libertarians hailed the judge’s relatively narrow ruling.
“If you’re a libertarian, you take individual liberty really seriously, and so even if you think that we can restrict liberty by forcing people to get vaccines, you want to use as gentle a hand as you can in that mandate,” Zwolinski said.

Zwolinski said the rift among libertarians over vaccine mandates reflects a similar divide over social distancing measures during the pandemic.
“You find basically the same people on the same side of the debate no matter what the specific restriction is,” Zwolinski said.
While academic libertarians are generally supportive of vaccine mandates and other restrictions, “popular movement-based libertarians” such as activists and members of Congress tend to oppose them, Zwolinski said.
But libertarian support for vaccine mandates doesn’t appear to be limited to academic circles. A recent Reddit thread titled “Where do libertarians stand on vaccine mandates?” prompted hundreds of comments, the responses in equal measure critical and supportive.
“It is the right of an individual to make the choice for themselves. If they want to die, they are free to do so,” one commentator wrote.
Another wrote, “I don’t view vaccine mandates as too much of an infringement on liberty. It’s got zero cost to the individual and there are obvious externalities to not being vaccinated.”

Source: Voice of America

Nigerian Doctors Strike Amid Coronavirus Third Wave

ABUJA, NIGERIA – Doctors in Nigeria’s state-run hospitals have walked off the job over what they call poor salaries, insurance, and facilities despite a third wave of coronavirus infections. Hospitals were already struggling to cope with the caseload and health authorities fear the strike, which began Monday, could overwhelm them and end up costing lives.
The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, or NARD, said the goal is to compel the government to uphold an earlier agreement on pay arrears, hazard allowances and honor benefits for families of members who die in service to the country. The government, for its part, said it was not aware of the plan for the doctors to go on strike.
But as the country faces a third coronavirus wave caused by the lethal delta variant, health authorities said the strike action is dangerous.

Ndaeyo Iwot is the executive secretary at the Abuja Primary Health Care Board.
“It is expected to affect those that are 50 years and above particularly those with co-morbidities,” Iwot said. “The effect of the disease is most likely to be aggravated.”
Out of about 42,000 registered doctors in Nigeria, some 16,800 or 40%, are residents.
Union officials have said there will be no exception for doctors responding to coronavirus cases at hospitals.
Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi is the national president of the association.
“There’s no better time to have a strike action,” Okhuaihesuyi said. “And as it stands, we have waited patiently for them to try and sort out the issues concerning the welfare of our members, those we lost, those that are still alive. And we actually want to apologize to Nigerians generally but at this stage you can’t blame us.”
Nineteen members of NARD have died since the pandemic started. The union is also demanding improvement on health care facilities across state-run centers.
In April, the union suspended a 10-day strike that stalled activities in various state health facilities.
The latest strike action comes as President Muhammadu Buhari visits Britain for medical reasons. He is expected to return to Nigeria during the second week of August.

Source: Voice of America

Biggest US Food Company Mandates Coronavirus Vaccinations

WASHINGTON – Tyson Foods, the biggest U.S. food company, said Tuesday it is requiring all its employees to be fully vaccinated, joining a growing list of employers who are making vaccination a condition of further employment.
For months, Tyson said it has encouraged its 139,000 workers to get vaccinated, but to date only about 56,000 have been inoculated.
“We did not take this decision lightly,” Donnie King, Tyson’s president and chief executive, said of the mandatory vaccination requirement.
“We take this step today because nothing is more important than our team members’ health and safety, and we thank them for the work they do, every day, to help us feed this country, and our world,” he said in a letter to Tyson workers.
Under the Arkansas-based company’s policy, Tyson workers at its U.S. locations must be vaccinated by October 1, with workers at its foreign locations vaccinated by November 1, although it plans to make exceptions to the directive for legitimate medical or religious reasons.
After individual workers are vaccinated, Tysons said it would pay them a $200 bonus, similar to what some other companies are doing to encourage vaccinations.
The U.S. meat-packing industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with critics saying Tyson, among others, has not done enough to protect its workers. Early in the pandemic last year, Tyson was forced to close some of its meat processing plants because of an outbreak of the virus.
The federal government said in May it was legal for employers to require their workers to get vaccinated.
As the virus seemed to be a diminished threat weeks ago, many companies started to make plans to reopen offices and there was little talk of requiring mandatory vaccinations.
Now, with the surging spread of the highly transmissible delta variant of the virus, major employers by the day are requiring vaccinations before employees can return to offices in the coming weeks.
U.S. President Joe Biden ordered more than 2 million federal workers to get vaccinated, without threatening to fire them if they did not. But he said they would be required to undergo frequent testing for the virus if they refused to get inoculated.
“Unlike a year ago, we have the ability to save lives and keep our economy growing,” Biden said Monday on Twitter. “We know we can dramatically lower the cases in the country. We can do this. Get vaccinated.”
The number of vaccinations in the U.S. had dropped for weeks, but with the spread of the delta variant, first discovered in India, the number of inoculations is on the rise again, to about 800,000 on Sunday.
But so are the number of new infections, to about 85,000 a day in the last week, up from about 10,000 daily a month ago. Some analysts say the number of new daily cases could reach 300,000 this month.
With the surge in the new cases, numerous companies have ordered their employees to get vaccinated, including the search engine company Google, social media company Facebook, the movie supply company Netflix, giant retailer Walmart, clothier Saks Fifth Avenue, The Washington Post newspaper, financial firms BlackRock and Morgan Stanley and ride share companies Uber and Lyft.
Major U.S. medical professional groups have called for mandatory vaccinations, but millions of health workers remain unvaccinated, with many workers resisting.
On Monday, the U.S. said it reached a new milestone, with 70% of all adults having at least one vaccination shot of the typical two-shot regimen, a figure achieved a month after the July 4 Independence Day goal that Biden had called for.
The government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that not quite half of the country’s total population of 332 million people has been fully vaccinated.

Source: Voice of America

Britain Opens Borders to Fully Vaccinated Travelers From US, Most of EU

Britain has opened its borders to fully vaccinated travelers from the United States and much of Europe, as the government continues to ease coronavirus travel restrictions.
Monday was the first day that travelers arriving in Britain from the United States and most parts of the European Union could do so without going into quarantine.
New arrivals must still be tested for the coronavirus before boarding a flight to Britain and within two days of arrival.
Britain is maintaining quarantine requirements for French travelers, saying the country has a concerning number of cases of the beta variant in some areas. The beta variant was first detected in South Africa.
Britain has one of the highest vaccination rates for its population with nearly 90% of adults having at least one shot.

The country will begin offering a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to 32 million Britons starting in early September, The Telegraph reported Sunday. The shots will be available in as many as 2,000 pharmacies with the goal of getting them into arms by early December.
The government has been preparing since at least June, when the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) called for a plan to offer the third shot to people 70 years old or older, home care residents and those who are vulnerable for health reasons.
US rules
In the U.S., more jurisdictions are requiring employees to get vaccinated or submit to regular testing as the country grapples with a rise of infections blamed on the delta variant.
Denver, Colorado, Mayor Michael Hancock announced Monday the city will mandate all city employees and private sector workers in high-risk settings to be vaccinated against the virus by the end of September.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said state health care workers, along with workers in corrections facilities or assisted living centers, must be vaccinated or face testing twice a week.

In New York State, Governor Andrew Cuomo urged businesses to turn away unvaccinated customers. He said it is in businesses’ best interests because many customers want to know that the customer next to them is vaccinated.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that 70% of U.S. adults have received at least one shot of a coronavirus vaccine. President Joe Biden had originally aimed to pass that milestone by July 4.
In Myanmar
A group of 16 humanitarian aid organizations has issued a joint statement warning about the “spiraling humanitarian catastrophe in Myanmar triggered by skyrocketing COVID-19 cases and widespread violence.”
“Over 60 percent of reported deaths from COVID-19 in Myanmar have occurred in the past month alone, with the number of confirmed cases doubling in the last two months,” according to the statement issued Monday.
“Health care facilities from Kachin to Mandalay to Yangon remain shuttered as health care workers face violence and threats,” the statement said. “More than 400 doctors and 180 nurses have been given arrest warrants since the military takeover in February 2021.”
“The communities we work with are desperate and dying. … The population needs safe and fair access to humanitarian aid and health care now,” Laura Marshall, country director for the Norwegian Refugee Council in Myanmar, said in the statement.
Around the globe
In Australia, officials extended a lockdown in Brisbane, the country’s third-largest city until Sunday because of a growing COVID-19 outbreak. Sydney, the biggest city in the country, is beginning its sixth week of lockdown.
Olympics organizers in Tokyo reported 17 new coronavirus cases tied to the Games, including one athlete. That brings the total number since the beginning of July to 276.

Germany said Monday that beginning in September, it will start to offer a booster shot against COVID-19 to vulnerable individuals, including the elderly and those with weak immune systems.
In Berlin, thousands marched Sunday to protest pandemic restrictions, and about 600 protesters were detained after clashes with police, The Associated Press reported.
While Germany eased many of its restrictions in May, large gatherings remain banned.
More than 200,000 people turned out Saturday in France to protest vaccination requirements.
There are 198.7 million cases of COVID-19 as of Monday and 4.2 million deaths globally, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

Source: Voice of America