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Omicron Will Be Home for Christmas | Quick Take | GZERO Media

Omicron will be home for Christmas

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Happy Monday, and yeah, I think I'm still talking to you about the pandemic. I was hoping I would be talking a lot less about the pandemic these days, but we are in the midst of very significant learning on the omicron variant, and I thought I would share what we know and what we really don't know, because the headlines obscure that.

What we know: Big news is that the vaccines don't work very well at all to prevent spread. And that's even true for the mRNA vaccines, the best vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, that if you've taken two shots, which means that you're considered fully vaccinated and you've got your app, or you've got your vaccine passport, you really aren't protected from getting infected from omicron. Pfizer showing after two vaccine jabs something like 23% effectiveness, which is not effective at all. And the non-mRNA vaccines look like they're even worse, which means that a very, very transmissible strain is not being prevented by the vaccines. That's the bad news, and it's bad news.

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Impact of Omicron Variant Remains Uncertain | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Omicron variant unlikely to lead to lockdowns by governments

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week with a look at the omicron variant, the Honduras presidential election, and the pros and cons of getting stuck in a UK pub for three days in a snowstorm.

As the omicron variant emerges, is a return to lockdown next?

The answer is, only in a few play places, because people are exhausted from lockdowns. They're angry with their governments from doing it. Governments are going to be very reluctant to have the economic hit as a consequence, especially when they know they can't pay out the relief money that they've been paying over the last couple of years, and they're not yet sure about just how much of a danger omicron is. I think all sorts of travel restrictions, but unless and until you see that the spread starts leading to significant lethality, hospitalizations, and once again, the potential for ICUs to be overwhelmed, I do not expect many significant lockdowns that are countrywide at this point. Not least in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the populations are very young and as a consequence, you can have a lot of spread and they're not paying attention to it, frankly.

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Don’t jump out the omicron window

With cases, and fears, of the new omicron variant spreading rapidly around the world, we sat down with Eurasia Group’s top public health expert, Scott Rosenstein, for a little perspective on what to worry about, what not to, and whether the pandemic will ever actually end.

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Who’s politically vulnerable to omicron?

The new COVID variant, omicron, has already spread around the world. Though there are more questions than answers about its characteristics, omicron is already spooking global leaders who had hoped that the era of snap lockdowns and travel bans was a thing of the past.

After almost two years of disruptions to lives and economies, the stakes for world leaders are very high. So, who’s vulnerable to the political fallout from new cases and costly precautions?

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Return to International Travel | Biden-Xi Virtual Summit Breakthroughs | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Biden-Xi virtual summit shows breakthroughs in US-China relationship

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week with a look at his return to international travel, Joe Biden & Xi Jinping's virtual summit, and the Belarus-Poland border crisis.

How was your return to international travel?

Well, actually it was pretty straightforward. I mean, you think that you hear all these lockdowns and all these quarantines, but the fact is Singapore is incredibly efficient. The one thing that's kind of unusual is you have this app you have to put on your phone. You turn it on, you have to keep your phone on and they track you absolutely everywhere, which is pretty weird and kind of dystopian, but it works for closing down COVID. Aside from that though, no problems getting in here. No problem walking around.

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The Graphic Truth: Now arriving in NYC

After a grueling 20 months, the US opened its borders this week to all foreign nationals vaccinated against COVID. For many, a visit to America is synonymous with a jaunt to New York City – famously described by the cast of Rent as the "center of the universe." Almost 67 million tourists visited New York City in the year before the pandemic. Where do most of the internationals come from — and how much cash do they infuse into the economy? We take a look at the top 10 NYC tourist arrivals by country of origin, as well as average spending per tourist.

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