Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Charlie LeDuff wrote in a recent tweet: “We are preparing a lawsuit against Gov. Whitmer of Michigan. She refuses to turn over COVID death data and accurate nursing home numbers to the public.
“All the way to the Supreme Court, Madam. Thanks to the [Mackinac Center Legal Foundation], who has agreed to take our case.”
Connecticut to Ease Some CCP Virus Restrictions but ‘Not Going to Be Like Mississippi and Texas’
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced plans on Thursday to ease some of the state’s restrictions related to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus but said Connecticut won’t be like Mississippi or Texas.
According to Lamont’s plans, from March 19, Connecticut is lifting capacity limits for most venues like retail, libraries, personal services, indoor recreation, gyms/fitness centers, museums, aquariums, and zoos, offices, and houses of worship. Theaters will remain limited to 50 percent capacity and restaurants can have no more than eight persons per table with doors to close at 11 p.m.
Masks, social distancing, and cleaning protocols also remain in place.
WHO Won’t Release Interim Report on Virus Origins
The World Health Organization team that announced in February it was “extremely unlikely” that COVID-19 could have accidentally leaked from a Wuhan lab has scrapped previously announced plans to release an interim report on its findings.
WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic said on Feb. 10 that the report would be released “in coming days.” But the team’s lead researcher, Dr. Peter Ben Embarek, told The Wall Street Journal on Thursday that it will not release an interim report and will instead publish a comprehensive report that “in coming weeks and will include key findings.”
“By definition, a summary report does not have all the details,” Embarek said.
McDonald’s to Keep Dining Rooms Closed in Texas, Mississippi
McDonald’s Corp will keep dining rooms in its Texas and Mississippi restaurants closed, even as the two U.S. states lifted coronavirus curbs allowing businesses to reopen at full capacity.
The fast-food chain told Reuters on Thursday it was not planning to make any changes to its COVID-19 protocols right away.
The decline in the new number of daily COVID-19 cases and the rollout of vaccines prompted state and local governments to ease business restrictions in recent weeks, reopening movie theaters at limited capacity and resuming indoor dining in some parts of the country.
US Travel Demand Remains Low
U.S. travel demand remains low, with just 12 percent planning a spring break trip this year, the industry said Thursday.
The industry has been devastated over the last year by the collapse in travel demand because of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic, which causes the disease COVID-19.
The U.S. Travel Association said polling it commissioned suggested Americans remain wary about travel and said it is “far from clear when demand for travel will rebound on its own.” The industry again urged new tax credits to encourage leisure and business travel.
Listen to Health Experts on Masks: Biden
The White House says President Joe Biden was expressing “frustration” after Republican governors lifted mask mandates, saying they were acting like “Neanderthals.”
Press secretary Jen Psaki says Biden will continue to make outreach to governors who disagree with him, adding that Biden asked Americans to diligently wear masks for his first 100 days in office.
Ottawa Extends Wage and Rent Subsidies, Lockdown Support Through June
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland says the federal government will extend three CCP virus support programs until June to continue support for Canadian jobs and businesses through the government-mandated shutdowns amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Specifically, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, and Lockdown support will be extended from March 14 to June 5, with the current rate structures remaining the same.
Brazil Health Officials Urge Nationwide Lockdowns
Brazilian health officials are urging nationwide lockdowns and curfews because hospitals are running short of intensive-care unit beds as the CCP virus claims more than 1,000 lives each day in the country.
“The return of the pandemic in several states is making their private and their public assistance networks collapse and has brought imminent risk of spreading it to all regions of Brazil,” Brazil’s National Council of Health Secretaries said Monday in an open letter, adding that the nation is experiencing its worst moment since the pandemic began.
Man Develops Fever and Rashes Following China-Made Vaccine
A woman in China said her husband developed serious adverse reactions after receiving a Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccine, including prolonged high fever and extensive rashes. Doctors said they cannot rule out the possibility that his symptoms were related to the vaccine.
The woman, who is from Beijing and whose surname is Zhang, described her husband’s story in a March 1 post on China’s mini-blogging platform Weibo.
Germany Agrees Easing Curbs, More Testing
Chancellor Angela Merkel and German state leaders have agreed to a phased easing of CCP virus curbs, along with an “emergency brake” to let authorities reimpose restrictions if case numbers spike again.
With elections looming, Merkel and the regional leaders have faced growing pressure to set out plans to restore normal activities after four months of lockdown. Daily cases in the EU nation are creeping up again and about 5 percent of the population received a first vaccine shot.
EU Cases up 9 percent in ‘Significant Shift’
CCP virus cases rose 9 percent last week over a 53-country region of Europe, snapping a six-week run of declines, the World Health Organization said Thursday as its European chief insisted that countries need to get “back to the basics.”
Dr. Hans Kluge says more than 1 million cases were tallied over the last week in the region. He said the resurgence was particularly noticeable in central and eastern Europe, but some Western European countries saw increases as well.
Hong Kong Woman Jailed for Breaching Quarantine Requirements
Hong Kong’s government says a court has sentenced a woman to 10 days in jail for breaching CCP virus quarantine requirements.
A news release Thursday said the 61-year-old, who wasn’t further identified, had been ordered to quarantine at home for 14 days last June. However, she left the place of quarantine on June 26 “without reasonable excuse nor permission given by an authorized officer,” the news release said.
A total of 115 people in Hong Kong have been convicted for violating quarantine rules and received fines and sentences of up to 14 days.
Tom Ozimek, Gary Du, Isaac Teo, Frank Yue, The Daily Caller, The Associated Press, and Reuters contributed to this report.