Breakthrough COVID-19 Infections Disrupt ‘Aladdin’ Reopening, In-person Harvard Classes

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
September 30, 2021 Updated: September 30, 2021

Breakthrough COVID-19 infections canceled a Broadway performance of “Aladdin” a day after it reopened for the first time in more than a year due to the pandemic.

Producers of the Disney-backed performance told the audience at 7 p.m. on Wednesday that its testing protocols detected CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus cases at The New Amsterdam Theatre in Manhattan.

“Because the wellness and safety of our guests, casts, and crew are our top priority, tonight’s performance, Wednesday, September 29th, is canceled,” the producers wrote in a Twitter post on Wednesday, coming right before the show was slated to start.

“We will continue to provide support to the affected Aladdin company members as they recover,” the Twitter post added, saying that the status of future performances will be announced in the near future.

“Aladdin” returned to Broadway on Tuesday night after an 18-month suspension due to the pandemic shutdown. Broadway now requires all company members and audiences to be vaccinated against COVID-19, while audience members are mandated to wear masks throughout the performance.

The episode shines more light on breakthrough cases, highlighting previous studies that suggest COVID-19 vaccines cannot prevent transmission of the CCP virus.

Federal health agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have still recommended vaccines, saying they protect against severe illness and hospitalization. Those officials have spent very little time publicly weighing the merits of the protection afforded by a previous COVID-19 infection, known as natural immunity, although some lawyers and states have started to push for it to be included under vaccine mandates.

Last week, the Harvard Business School, which has over 95 percent vaccination rate, announced it would move its classes online due to a rise in breakthrough infections.

“In recent days, we’ve seen a steady rise in breakthrough infections among our student population, despite high vaccination rates and frequent testing,” Mark Cautela, the head of communications for the college, told a local news website. “Contact tracers who have worked with positive cases highlight that transmission is not occurring in classrooms or other academic settings on campus. Nor is it occurring among individuals who are masked.”

Brown University, with a vaccine mandate in place, has nearly 98 percent of students and 96 percent of faculty and staff vaccinated.

However, Brown officials announced a series of restrictive measures in response to what they see as a “significant increase” of COVID-19 cases on campus. Social gatherings for undergraduate students are limited to no more than five people—whether indoors or outdoors—except for those sharing living space with more than five other students. This restriction applies to both on- and off-campus activities.

GQ Pan contributed to this report.

Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.