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US Ends Federal Mask Mandate; Biden Unlikely to Appeal | US Politics In :60 | GZERO Media

US ends federal mask mandate; COVID protection is personal responsibility

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, discusses the end of federal mask mandates:

What are the implications of the end of the federal mask mandate?

A federal judge in Florida this week ruled that President Biden's order requiring masks, facial coverings on federally regulated forms of transportation, including planes, buses, and trains is unlawful and should not be enforced. The mask mandate was the most visible and impactful mandate handed down by President Biden, who campaigned in 2020 on doing more than his predecessor, Donald Trump to stop the spread of the virus, but was really limited by the limited authorities the federal government has to take drastic measures to control public safety, most of which are controlled by the states. This is the latest setback to Biden's pandemic policies. Earlier this year, a federal judge said that he did not have the ability to impose a vaccine mandate for large employers. And at this point, Biden lacks both the policy tools and the political standing to do much else.

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The End of the Affair (COVID Edition) | PUPPET REGIME | GZERO Media

The end of the affair (COVID edition)

Experts say that the omicron wave may be what ends the acute phase of the pandemic. But one couple isn't ready to let go just yet.

Watch more PUPPET REGIME!

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Biden Administration's COVID Response Likely to Impact Midterms | US Politics In :60 | GZERO Media

Biden administration's COVID response likely to impact midterms

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, discusses the Biden administration's response to the omicron variant:

How is the Biden administration's response to omicron?

Well, it hasn't been great. It started with the travel ban from affected countries that was already probably behind the curve given how widespread the variant was and the administration admitted they did not see this new variant coming. They were caught flat-footed on the surge in demand for testing over the holidays. And while they first promised to make tests reimbursable by insurance, which is, of course, a real pleasure for Americans who love to deal with their insurance companies, they then said they were going to make 500 million tests available for free, but this isn't even enough to have two tests for every American. And news came out that they were instead of investing in increased manufacturing capacity, what they were doing was going to purchase surplus tests, which could exacerbate private sector shortages. But probably, more importantly, it means that the new free tests were going to arrive probably after the current surge in cases is over.

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The Graphic Truth: Omicron dominates America

And just like that, omicron is everywhere in the US. The COVID variant, barely known just a few weeks ago, now accounts for three-quarters of all cases in America, and has quickly outpaced the once-dominant delta. Cases are spreading like wildfire, particularly in Florida, Washington DC, New York, and New Jersey — all of which have recorded massive hikes in recent days. We take a look at what percentage of all cases in the US are now from omicron, as well as the change in daily COVID cases nationwide.

Top 10 countries with the most recent COVID deaths per million people

The Graphic Truth: Where is COVID raging right now?

The COVID delta variant — which first surfaced in India earlier this year — is spreading rampantly throughout every continent, and is now the most dominant strain globally. But low- and middle-income countries, particularly in regions where vaccines have been scarce, are bearing the brunt of the fallout from the more contagious strain. We take a look at the 10 countries now recording the highest number of daily COVID deaths (per 1 million people), and their corresponding vaccination rates.

Biden Expected To Announce Vaccine Mandate for Federal Workers | US Politics In :60 | GZERO Media

Biden expected to announce vaccine mandate for federal workers

Get insights on the latest news in US politics from Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington:

Why can't President Biden order a vaccine mandate for all Americans?

Well, the reason is it's out of his powers. The one of the fundamental challenges in the pandemic is that the federal government has actually been fairly limited in the steps they can take to stop the spread of the virus. So, that's why you've seen President Biden order masks on transit, mass transit, airplanes, and the like. But he can't order masks in workplaces because that's not within his power. That power lies within state governments. State governments and other entities, like employers, can require vaccinations before you come into their buildings, or you come back to school, or you go to work in your office. But the federal government can't do that. What Biden is doing is, allegedly, supposedly going to announce a mandate for federal workers to get vaccinated.

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COVID Vaccine Mandates are Coming | Political Instability in Tunisia | World In :60s | GZERO Media

COVID vaccine mandates are coming; political instability in Tunisia

Ian Bremmer shares his perspective on global politics this week:

As COVID-19 cases rise, are vaccine mandates coming?

Oh, you just want to get me in more trouble. Yeah, some mandates are coming, but they're not national mandates in the United States. In some cases, you're looking at federal and state employees, in some cases you're looking at lots of individual corporations, universities, and such. I mean I've already been to a number of events where vaccines have been mandated in New York. You've got this Excelsior Pass if you want to go to the Brooklyn Nets games, as I certainly do. You show it off and that gets you in with your vaccine. So I think it's really going to be a decentralized process. But clearly, given Delta variant and the number of people that are getting sick and dying because they're not vaccinated, you're going to see moves towards more mandates, as a consequence.

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