2 hr 11 min agoA White House official and a senior Pelosi aide, both fully vaccinated, test positive for Covid-19From CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, John Harwood and Annie Grayer
Stefani Reynolds/Getty ImagesA White House official and a senior aide in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, who are both fully vaccinated, have tested positive for Covid-19, CNN has learned.
A White House official confirmed that the White House staffer tested positive off campus.
“In accordance with our rigorous Covid-19 protocols, the official remains off campus as they wait for a confirmatory PCR test. The White House Medical Unit has conducted contact tracing interviews and determined no close contacts among White House principals and staff. The individual has mild symptoms,” the official said.
“We know that there will be breakthrough cases, but as this instance shows, cases in vaccinated individuals are typically mild. The White House is prepared for breakthrough cases with regular testing. This is another reminder of the efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccines against severe illness or hospitalization. We wish our colleague a speedy recovery,” the official continued.The White House official has not had any recent contact with President Biden, another administration official said.
A second administration official told CNN, “If the vaccines are 90-95% effective, you’re going to have 5-10% of the vaccinated population who either test positive but are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. What you won’t have are members of the vaccinated population going to the hospital with a severe illness or dying.”
Axios was first to report the breakthrough cases.
Pelosi Deputy Chief of Staff Drew Hammill said in a statement to CNN that the House Speaker has not had contact with the individual in her office who tested positive since exposure, which Hammill said occurred after contact with Texas Democrats last week.
Some context: Six Texas lawmakers have tested positive for Covid-19 since Saturday. The lawmakers are part of the group that left Texas, flying from Austin to Washington, DC, to break the state House’s quorum and block Republicans from passing a restrictive new voting law.
Officials with the group told CNN that all of the lawmakers participating in the quorum break trip are fully vaccinated, including those who have tested positive for Covid-19.
3 hr 5 min agoIndia’s excess deaths could be up to ten times the official Covid-19 death toll, study findsFrom CNN’s Esha Mitra
The number of excess deaths reported during India’s Covid-19 pandemic could be up to 10 times the official Covid-19 death toll, a working paper published by the US-based Center for Global Development said.
Between 3.4 and 4.9 million estimated excess deaths were reported in India between Jan. 2020 and June 2021, while the Indian health ministry’s reported death toll of approximately 400,000.
“We have no reason to hide deaths…many people have said the Indian government is hiding the death toll, the Indian government simply compiles and publishes the figures sent to us from state governments,” Mansukh Mandaviya, India’s newly-appointed health minister, said in the upper house of parliament on Tuesday, in response to questions regarding the underreporting of deaths. “The Indian government has never asked for deaths to be under-reported,” Mandaviya added.
The Center for Global Development study was based on three different estimates of excess deaths. The first estimate of 3.4 million is based on the excess deaths recorded by India’s civil registration system, that keeps a record of births and deaths, in seven states which account for about half of India’s total population.
The second estimate of four million deaths relies on India’s own seroprevalence surveys which show the proportion of the country’s population that has been infected with Covid-19, applying international infection fatality rates to this data.
The third estimate of 4.9 million excess deaths relies on the Center for the Monitoring of the Indian Economy’s survey of more than 800,000 individuals across all states to capture mortality during the first wave and some of the second wave.
The study acknowledges that each of these three estimates have their limitations and that the number of excess deaths reported in the country do not equate to Covid-specific deaths. The authors specifically note that official death numbers tend to be underreported and that the data from the Center for the Monitoring the Indian Economy has not historically tracked closely with official mortality data.
However it finds that the first wave of the pandemic was “more lethal than is popularly believed” and their estimates show a higher number of excess deaths reported during the first wave than the second.
“Regardless of source and estimate, actual deaths during the Covid pandemic are likely to have been an order of magnitude greater than the official count,” the study noted.
“True deaths are likely to be in the several millions not hundreds of thousands, making this arguably India’s worst human tragedy since partition and independence,” it added.
2 hr 10 min agoCommittee denies deaf-blind US Paralympian’s request for Personal Care Assistant due to Covid-19From CNN’s Kevin Dotson and Alyssa Kraus
Stacy Revere/Getty ImagesAmerican swimmer Becca Meyers is withdrawing from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games after she said the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee denied her request to bring her mother to serve as her Personal Care Assistant.
Meyers, who is deaf and blind, has relied on her mother as her Personal Care Assistant for all of her international meets since 2017, she said. However, the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee denied the request to bring her mother to Tokyo due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Instead, Meyers said the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee will provide one Personal Care Assistant to assist the 33 American Paralympic swimmers, nine of whom are visually impaired.
“With Covid, there are new safety measures and limits on non-essential staff in place, rightfully so, but a trusted PCA is essential for me to compete,” Meyers wrote in a statement.”So, in 2021, why as a disabled person am I still fighting for my rights? I’m speaking up for future generations of Paralympic athletes in hope that they never have to experience the pain I’ve been through. Enough is
A White House official and a senior Pelosi aide, both fully vaccinated, test positive for Covid-19
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