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Will COVID Ever End? | GZERO World with Ian Bremmer

How depoliticizing the US health response will save lives (​COVID isn't over)

We're not done with the pandemic — yet.

Although COVID will likely become endemic sometime this year in some parts of the world, the virus will still rage on everywhere else.

On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer catches up on the pandemic's state of play with former CDC chief Tom Frieden, who has a message for everyone who hasn't gotten vaxxed yet: do it.

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A demonstrator holds a banner reading "Where are Dom and Bruno" during a protest.

REUTERS/Suamy Beydoun

Hard Numbers: Amazon arrests, UK and EU tussle (again), Russian spy found at ICC, COVID vaccines … for babies

2: Two brothers have been arrested in connection with the murder of British journalist Dom Phillips and Brazilian indigenous expert Bruno Pereira in the Amazon rainforest. Authorities believe one of the suspects ambushed the victims prior to the attack. Phillips and Pereira worked to expose and prevent illegal fishing and mining in the rainforest.

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Can the World Learn Lessons From Vaccine Inequity? | Missed Shot | GZERO Media

Can the world learn lessons from vaccine inequity?

GZERO Media and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation convened leading experts in public health, research, development, and philanthropy on Thursday to discuss the uneven state of global recovery from health and economic perspectives. Participants included moderator Natasha Kimani of Africa No Filter; Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer; José Manuel Barroso, chair of Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance; Dr. John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control; Melanie Saville, director of vaccine research and development for CEPI; and Mark Suzman, CEO of The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. They discussed vaccine equity and how we can end the COVID pandemic in a way that better equips the world for similar challenges in the future.

On many streets in the UK and US, it’s almost possible to forget that there’s an ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With so many westerners double vaccinated and boosted, the threat of the omicron variant has eased. In fact, the CDC just lifted mask recommendations for much of the US. But that doesn’t mean the pandemic is over. For many countries, that’s far from the case.

Moderator Natasha Kimani, the research and media programs lead at Africa No Filter, kicked off the discussion by asking where things stand today as the world marks the second anniversary of the pandemic.

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COVID at the Beijing Winter Olympics | GZERO World

COVID at the Beijing Winter Olympics

China's zero-COVID strategy will be put to its biggest test to date with the Beijing Winter Olympics approach.

Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, says Chinese officials think they are taking the safest approach, but that may not be enough against the more transmissible omicron variant.

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COVID Immunity Gap Could Spell Disaster for China — Global Health Expert | GZERO World

COVID immunity gap could spell disaster for China — global health expert

China’s homegrown COVID vaccines were once crucial — but they're not as effective against omicron as mRNA jabs.

What's more, with with local cases near zero for the better part of the pandemic, most Chinese have no natural immunity. That could spell disaster for Beijing as omicron surges.

Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, warns that the highly transmissible new variant will make zero COVID harder and harder to sustain.

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Get Vaxxed For Cash And Prizes | Vaccine Incentives Around the World | GZERO World

Get vaxxed for cash and prizes: vaccine incentives around the world

Governments around the world are offering creative incentives for getting a jab.

If you happen to live in New York and are one of the city’s 18% of unvaccinated residents, now might be a good time to go get jabbed. But not just because of omicron.

In late December, now former NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio announced the city would start offering gift cards, free roller coaster rides on Coney Island and trips to the Statue of Liberty to those who get their shots. And it’s not just the Big Apple.

As infections jump, vaccination incentive programs have been brought back around the world. Officials in vaccine-hesitant Missouri have earmarked $11 million dollars for gift cards worth $100. Vermont is awarding schools with per-pupil bonuses if they hit rates higher than 85%.

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Podcast: The problem with China’s Zero COVID strategy

Listen: Xi Jinping's zero-COVID approach faces its toughest test to date with omicron. Why? Because China lacks mRNA jabs, and so few Chinese people have gotten COVID that overall protection is very low. A wave of lockdowns could disrupt the world's second-largest economy — just a month out from the Beijing Winter Olympics.

That could spell disaster for Beijing, Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, tells Ian Bremmer on the GZERO World podcast. If things get really bad, though, Huang believes China will pivot to living with the virus, especially as the cost of keeping zero COVID in the age of omicron becomes too high.

Subscribe to the GZERO World Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your preferred podcast platform to receive new episodes as soon as they're published.

Were the Aussies right to ban Djokovic?

You’ve probably read this week that Novak Djokovic, the world’s number-one ranked tennis player, was caught in an awkward standoff with Australian border police.

A quick catch up: Upon arriving in Melbourne for the Australian Open, one of the world’s four Grand Slam tennis tournaments, the unvaccinated Serbian tennis star was denied entry by federal authorities who said he did not meet the criteria for a vaccine exemption and so does not satisfy entry requirements.

Djokovic explained that he was previously granted a vaccine exemption by Tennis Australia and the Victorian state government. The feds were unmoved.

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