When will these Congressional seditionists be brought to justice?
More January 6 investigation news
Mother Jones: A Di.sturbing Gun Case Further Reveals the Peril of January 6.
Dana Millbank at The Washington Post: Opinion: ‘We are closer to civil war than any of us would like to believe,’ new study says
The New York Times: Jan. 6 Committee May Add New Expertise for Investigation.
On the threat from the omicron variant of Covid
USA Today: Omicron is spreading ‘every place at once,’ experts say. What it could mean for holiday plans.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The omicron variant of the coronavirus is moving faster than surveillance systems can track it and has so unnerved some medical experts that they’re starting to put the brakes on preparations for their holiday gatherings.
“Personally, I’m reevaluating plans for the holidays,” Bronwyn MacInnis, director of pathogen genomic surveillance at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard University, said on a call with reporters Tuesday. “It’s the responsible thing to do and what feels right given the risk.”
She and a handful of other Massachusetts-based researchers on the call said they’ve been stunned by the pace by which omicron has been crowding out other variants and taking over the pandemic.
By Tetsuo Takahara
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about 3% of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. are omicron. But MacInnis said she believes that number was probably an underestimate on Dec. 11 – just three days ago – when the CDC first announced it, and now it’s likely much higher.
“At the rate that it seems to be spreading, there isn’t a surveillance system on the planet truly that could keep up with it,” MacInnis said.
In some parts of the country, there are hints omicron already accounts for about 15% of cases, said Jeremy Luban, a virus expert at the UMass Chan Medical School .
Omicron has been moving “faster even than the most pessimistic among us thought that it was going to move,” said Dr. Jacob Lemieux, an infectious disease expert at Massachusetts General Hospital. “There’s a high likelihood that it will come to your holiday gathering.”
NPR: Omicron may be less severe in South Africa. That may not be the case for the U.S.
It’s been about a month since scientists first detected the highly mutated coronavirus variant dubbed “omicron.”
Since then, scientists have come to learn that omicron spreads faster than the delta variant and is the quickest-spreading variant the world has yet faced. It also has a huge ability to bypass immune protection and cause breakthrough infections.
The big open-ended question right now centers on omicron’s severity: Does omicron cause milder disease, compared to previous variants? Does it thereby lower the risk of severe disease and hospitalization?
There’s no doubt everyone wants this to be the case. And some recent data out of South Africa sure makes it look like that might be the case. Researchers there have found that South Africans infected with omicron are, on average, less likely to end up in the hospital, and they also appear to recover more quickly from illness, compared to the other variants.
However, as many scientists have been pointing out, that evidence from South Africa could be misleading. The omicron variant may end up acting differently in the U.S.
Read the explanations at the link.
The Washington Post: Highly vaccinated countries thought they were over the worst. Denmark says the pandemic’s toughest month is just beginning.
COPENHAGEN — In a country that tracks the spread of coronavirus variants as closely as any in the world, the signals have never been more concerning. Omicron positives are doubling nearly every two days. The country is setting one daily case record after another. The lab analyzing positive tests recently added an overnight shift just to keep up.
Tea Cats, by Francesca Buchko
And scientists say the surge is just beginning.
As omicron drives a new phase of the pandemic, many are looking to Denmark — and particularly the government institute devoted to testing, surveillance and modeling — for warnings about what to expect.
The emerging answer — even in this highly vaccinated, wealthy northern European country — is dire. For all the defenses built over the last year, the virus is about to sprint out of control, and scientists here expect a similar pattern in much of the world.
“The next month will be the hardest period of the pandemic,” said Tyra Grove Krause, the chief epidemiologist at Denmark’s State Serum Institute, a campus of brick buildings along a canal.
Ever since the omicron variant emerged in November, the best hope has been that it might cause less severe sickness than the delta version it is competing with, which in turn might make this wave more manageable and help the transition of covid-19 into an endemic disease. But Denmark’s projections show the wave so fully inundating the country that even a lessened strain will deliver an unprecedented blow.