Alabama health officials said Wednesday that the more highly transmissible CCP virus variant seen in the United Kingdom has been found in the state.
The Alabama Department of Public Health said the variant is thought to be more contagious. It is the first time the variant has been identified in the state, although it has been detected in at least 24 other states, including Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina.
Colombia Bans Flights From Brazil
Colombia will ban flights from Brazil effective Friday over concerns of a variant of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus that is circulating in that country.
Colombia President Ivan Duque on Wednesday announced the 30-day measure. No flights will take off from Colombia to Brazil either. Anyone who arrived from Brazil to Colombia between Jan. 18 and Wednesday will have to quarantine for 14 days.
US May Reach 514,000 Deaths by Feb. 20
As many as 90,000 Americans are projected to die from the CCP virus in the next four weeks, the Biden administration warned in its first science briefing on the pandemic.
Rochelle Walensky, the new head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says her agency’s latest forecast indicates the United States will record between 479,000 to 514,000 deaths by Feb. 20.
IOC, Tokyo Olympics to Unveil Rule Book
The IOC and Tokyo organizers are set to roll out next week to explain how 15,400 Olympic and Paralympic athletes and tens of thousands of others will try to safely enter Japan when the Olympics open in just under six months.
Organizers and the International Olympic Committee are finally going public with their planning, hoping to push back against reports the Olympics will be canceled with Tokyo and much of Japan still under a state of emergency with COVID-19 cases rising.
Chicago Teachers to Defy Order to Return to Classroom
Chicago teachers are poised to defy an order to return to classrooms on Wednesday, claiming the school system has failed to put in place COVID-19 protocols necessary for a safe reopening of in-person learning after a year-long hiatus.
Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), which represents the city’s 25,000 public school educators, has been locked in negotiations with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) for months over a gradual reopening of schools for the system’s 355,000 students.
Moscow Mayor Lifts Some Restrictions
Moscow’s mayor on Wednesday lifted some CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus restrictions in the Russian capital, citing a downward trend in new infections.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said starting Wednesday, employers are no longer required to have 30 percent of staff work from home, although a recommendation to continue doing that remains. Sobyanin has also allowed cafes, restaurants, and bars to operate between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.
White House: Biden Didn’t Set New Goal on Vaccines
President Joe Biden didn’t set a new goal this week when he said the United States could vaccinate 1.5 million people a day against the CCP virus, the White House clarified on Tuesday.
Prior to taking office Biden said his goal was to have 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines injected during his first 100 days in office. But the United States had reached around 1 million doses a day before he was sworn in.
Alaska Detects First Case of Variant
Alaska has detected the state’s first known case of the COVID-19 variant identified last year in the United Kingdom, officials said Tuesday.
The infected person is an Anchorage resident who had traveled to a state where the variant had already been detected, the Alaska health department said. The person first experienced symptoms on Dec. 17, was tested three days later, and received a positive result on Dec. 22.
China Sought Animal, Human Samples in Origin Probe: Leaked Documents
The Epoch Times obtained leaked documents that show the Chinese regime sought to investigate the source of the virus via testing animal and human biological samples. This comes to light as the Chinese regime faces criticism for its lack of transparency and delaying the arrival of international experts into China to investigate the virus’s origins.
China’s National Health Commission issued a notice on Feb. 25, 2020, to the health commissions of all Chinese provinces, regions, municipalities, as well as the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, a CCP-run paramilitary organization with jurisdiction over some cities and land in far-western Xinjiang.
Teacher Builds Nearly 800 Desks for Kids Without Home Workspaces for Online Learning
An Iowa school teacher got out his toolbox and headed for the hardware store after learning that many students didn’t have at-home workspaces sufficient to support online learning.
Nate Evans, a 7th Grade literacy teacher from Ankeny, and more than 50 volunteers have since worked together to construct roughly 600 desks, making his vision come true.
Beijing Residents Grow Angry Over Lockdown and Soaring Food Prices
The latest round of the COVID-19 outbreak in China’s capital Beijing is spreading rapidly, with cases popping up in more districts. A local hospital was locked down, and hundreds of residents were urgently relocated for quarantine. The Epoch Times spoke with some Beijing residents who expressed frustration over the government’s handling of the situation and the recent spike in food prices.
Amber Li, Jenni Julander, Zachary Stieber, Alex Wu, Reuters, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.