The Monday Politics Thread is Sponsored by Vaccine Science, not Horse Dewormer

The big difference between this pandemic and the one that killed 50 million people

As Nancy Bristow wrote in her 2012 book, which cited Ravenel’s appraisal, “American Pandemic: The Lost Worlds of the 1918 Influenza Epidemic,” the pandemic that would kill about 50 million people was the “worst health disaster in recorded history.”

For those living through today’s Covid-19 pandemic, it’s small comfort that the 1918-20 outbreaks were much worse — the worldwide death toll then was more than 10 times larger than the Covid mortality count to date (though the pandemic is far from over).

But it should be reassuring that we have tools proven to fight the new disease — including vaccines. On Monday, the US Food and Drug Administration gave formal approval to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which had been authorized last year on an emergency basis, and Americans are starting to get booster shots to prolong immunity to the virus.


Vaccine Refusers Don’t Get to Dictate Terms Anymore

People who opt out of shots shouldn’t expect their employers, health insurers, and fellow citizens to accommodate them.

The Atlantic

Could COVID-19 become endemic? An expert explains what that means

The expectation that COVID-19 will become endemic essentially means that the pandemic will not end with the virus disappearing; instead, the optimistic view is that enough people will gain immune protection from vaccination and from natural infection such that there will be less transmission and much less COVID-19-related hospitalization and death, even as the virus continues to circulate.

World Economic Forum

Live Blog/Hurricane Ida makes landfall in Louisiana as powerful Category 4

The center of Ida made landfall in Port Fourcheron, Louisiana, Sunday around noon local time, according to the National Hurricane Center.

NBC News

Rev. Jesse Jackson goes to physical therapy, as his wife moved to ICU

The Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., 79, has been transferred to the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab at Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he will begin “intensive occupational and physical therapy” for his Parkinson’s disease as his COVID-19 symptoms abate, according to a statement from his family.

Jackson’s wife, Jacqueline, 77, has been moved to the ICU at Northwestern as her COVID-19 symptoms persist. She’s not on a ventilator but is receiving increased oxygen and breathing on her own, according to the statement.

Chicago Sun-Times

The Pandemic Broke a Fundamental Principle of Teaching

America’s schoolchildren spent less time in the classroom last year than ever before in modern history. Now teachers are scrambling to fill in the gaps.

The Atlantic

Veteran dies of treatable illness as COVID fills hospital beds, leaving doctors “playing musical chairs”

When U.S. Army veteran Daniel Wilkinson started feeling sick last week, he went to the hospital in Bellville, Texas, outside Houston. His health problem wasn’t related to COVID-19, but Wilkinson needed advanced care, and with the coronavirus filling up intensive care beds, he couldn’t get it in time to save his life.

“He loved his country,” his mother, Michelle Puget, told “CBS This Morning” lead national correspondent David Begnaud. “He served two deployments in Afghanistan, came home with a Purple Heart, and it was a gallstone that took him out.”

CBS News

Bolsonaro says he will either be arrested, killed or win Brazil’s next election

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has said he sees only three possibilities for his future: death, prison or winning the 2022 presidential elections.

“I have three alternatives for my future: being arrested, killed or victory,” Bolsonaro said Saturday in remarks to a meeting of evangelical leaders that were broadcast on social media.

“I’m certain that the first alternative, being arrested, won’t happen. No man on Earth scares me. I’m conscious that I’m doing the right thing. I owe nobody anything,” added Bolsonaro, who was stabbed in the stomach during a campaign rally in 2018.


The Troubled History Of Vaccines And Conflict Zones

On March 23, 2020, with the deadly coronavirus reported in 167 countries and territories, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called for a global ceasefire to support a public health response. It was the first global ceasefire appeal since the agency was founded in 1945, in the aftermath of World War II. “The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war,” Guterres said. “End the sickness of war and fight the disease that is ravaging our world.”

On the ground, little changed. More than a dozen armed groups, from the National Liberation Army in Colombia to the Communist Party of the Philippines, initially endorsed Guterres’ appeal, but most offers to lay down arms were either one-sided or did not culminate in a formal ceasefire agreement. A U.N. Security Council resolution that July, which affirmed Guterres’ plea, also went nowhere. By fall 2020, the idea of a global ceasefire — which, in all of world history, has never taken place — was off the table.


COVID-19 presents greater blood clot risk than vaccines, study finds

The risk of developing blood clots is substantially higher and more prolonged if you contract COVID-19 compared to receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, according to a new study.

The study found that while there is a small increased risk of potentially deadly clots for a short time after receiving a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, the chances of such adverse events are nearly 200 times higher if one becomes infected with the virus.

“People should be aware of these increased risks after COVID-19 vaccination and seek medical attention promptly if they develop symptoms, but also be aware that the risks are considerably higher and over longer periods of time if they become infected with SARS-CoV-2,” Julia Hippisley-Cox, professor of clinical epidemiology and general practice at the University of Oxford and lead author of the study, said in a press release.

CTV News

Yes, the Olympics Have Always Been This Racist

From putting indigenous peoples in zoos to facilitating Nazi propaganda, the modern Olympic Games have fostered white supremacy from the beginning.


August 28 in Black History: Why This Date Is So Important

This op-ed talks about the significance of August 28 for Black Americans.

Teen Vogue