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Make the COVID vaccine mandatory

Political division, disinformation and, frankly, stupidity are costing lives. It is not authoritarian to mandate vaccines in America. In fact, there is historical precedent. Making vaccine uptake a requirement will save tens of thousands of lives and maybe many more than that. There really aren't two sides to this argument, there is just the science.

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here. Hope you're having a good week. I wanted to kick it off by talking about vaccines. We all know the recent spike in cases and even hospitalizations that we have experienced in this country over the past couple of weeks. It looks like that's going to continue. It is overwhelmingly because of Delta variant. The hospitalizations and deaths are overwhelmingly because too many people are un-vaccinated.

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What We’re Watching: EU COVID pass mess, Bolsonaro in trouble, Kim Jong Un’s latest shakeup

EU rolls out COVID digital certificate: As of today, the EU's long-awaited COVID Digital Certificate system — a centralized database of residents' vaccination status and test results — is up and running. Good news for those wishing to travel around the bloc again this summer, right? Not so fast. First, countries worried about the more infectious Delta COVID variant are still permitted to restrict travel from countries where the strain is prevalent. Second, some EU member states are still not fully integrated with the system, so the usual testing and quarantine requirements are in place. Third, the system greenlights people who have received vaccines approved by the European Medical Agency, but not others such as the WHO-approved Sinovac or Sputnik V, which are being administered, for example, in Hungary. As with its vaccine rollout, we predict the bloc's vaccine (gasp!) "passport" scheme will be initially glitchy, but ultimately work out fine.

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What We’re Watching: China bans crypto, commandos kill Jesús, EU opens anew

China bans cryptocurrency: China has banned financial institutions and payment companies from processing online transactions in cryptocurrencies. The move, which follows an earlier ban on cryptocurrency trading by Chinese firms, is a clear sign of China's suspicion of any digital currencies that it cannot control. In fact, what China really wants is to promote its own digital yuan that would track every single transaction. Other governments would love to do the same, of course, but they don't have nearly as much financial firepower as China. Meanwhile, the news from Beijing made the price of Bitcoin — the world's most prominent cryptocurrency — plunge to its lowest in three months. Who would have guessed just a couple of weeks ago, when everyone was still frantically buying Bitcoin, Etherium or Dogecoin on RobinHood, that all it would take to burst the digital currency bubble would be an Elon Musk tweet and China.

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Why it’s time to “be done with” anti-vaxxers: Tom Nichols

International relations expert and Atlantic contributor Tom Nichols has little patience for the anti-vaccination movement. "The people who say things like, 'I'm not getting the vaccine. And if there are passports, I'll get a fake one'... It's time to begin stigmatizing them in the same way that we would have stigmatized people who didn't want to get a polio vaccine or a smallpox vaccine in an earlier time." In a conversation with Ian Bremmer, Nichols shares his views on whether vaccines should be mandatory and the merits of vaccine passports. The interview on GZERO World airs on US public television starting April 30 - check local listings.

Watch the episode: Make politics "boring" again: Joe Biden's first 100 Days

Israel's election results, US-Iran nuclear talks, and vaccine passports

Ian Bremmer discusses Netanyahu's challenge, the US-Iran nuclear talks, and why vaccine passports are a good idea on this edition of World In 60 Seconds.

Will Israel's Netanyahu be able to successfully form a new government?

Well, he's been given the charge to. I guess he has 28 days to do it. It's a really, really tight equation. He'd have to get both an ultra-right party that's got a bunch of serious Islamophobes in it and a Muslim party to join. I think they're heading for no-such-luck, and the fifth election in just a couple of years. Israel just keep getting it done. Not as much to worry about, given that the pandemic's been handled with all those vaccines, but still quite a problem.

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Vaccine papers, please!

"Welcome to our country," says the immigration officer, "your passport please?"

You fumble through your travel wallet, pull out your national passport, and helpfully open it to the photo page.

"Thank you," she says, "Now, the other one."

But you don't have the other one. You haven't gotten the COVID vaccine, so you don't have the "vaccine passport" that this country now requires for entry.

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