The US Commerce Department says we’re so short of semi-conductors that production shutdowns could occur downline. Car and medical device industries are anticipated to feel the impacts the most.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jerusalem are experiencing snow. Folks in parts of Egypt are particularly concerned as residential dwellings and other buildings are not generally constructed with insulation made for very cold weather.
There’s been a coup in Burkina Faso, with the military taking control. Mali is also experiencing instability. Neighboring countries in West Africa are wary of the spread of instability. People in Mali and Burkina Faso have been calling for help from France and even Russia. There’s definitely a power vacuum, and it will be interesting to see who fills it.
Burkina Faso's army says it has ousted President Kabore, suspended the constitution, dissolved government, and closed the border – REU
— BNO News (@BNONews) January 24, 2022
Breast milk banks are low on donations in the COVID era. Interest in donor milk is rising over time, but supply has decreased by 20% or more over the last two years. Donor milk is often used in hospitals for babies of mothers who are not able to produce their own or for babies in the NICU who flourish more readily on breast milk versus formula—a concrete example would be a baby at risk for (or having survived) necrotizing enterocolitis.
In good news, Biden backs the Right to Repair Movement. He’s vocally against anti-competitive business practices. In practice, he has asked the FTC to draft some right-to-repair rules.
The world has 366.4 million COVID cases. The world has gained 23.8 million cases in the last week. There have been over 5.65 million deaths in total. The US has had a cumulative 74.6 million cases—about 4.3 million cases were added in the last week. Over 901,000 Americans have died—about 18,000 in the last week. The US is still leading global daily case gain followed by India, Brazil, France, and the UK. The US added over 555,000 new cases Wednesday and over 390,000 by late afternoon Thursday. Daily case counts in the US are on the decline. Deaths, however, are rising:
US Covid deaths are now averaging 2,400 per day.
3,000 more lost souls were reported today.
The death toll is still rising sharply during the Omicron wave
Nearly all these fatalities were preventable@KBAndersen's piece @TheAtlantic provides key insights https://t.co/aQiLJDGsRz pic.twitter.com/mDejNvjfsW
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) January 26, 2022
Omicron-specific vaccine work has begun. I’d like to see bivalent vaccines with more than one variant targeted, but I’m happy to see any kind of agility in addressing new variants and I suppose picking the dominant one is fine:
— STAT (@statnews) January 25, 2022
A lab worker in Taiwan was infected by the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 in a lab accident and exposed over 100 other lab workers in November of last year. The lab’s transparency in reporting and accounting for the breach is laudable. Let’s put to rest the idea that lab accidents involving the transmission of these viruses are rare or even uncommon.
Vaccines are keeping people alive:
How to reduce your chance of dying from Covid by 99%?
Get vaccinated and a booster.
One of the most impressive graphs I've seen for the impact of vaccination in the US pandemic
(thanks @redouad @OurWorldinData for re-plotting my makeshift graph from earlier today) pic.twitter.com/MePRT06zg5
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) January 24, 2022
Omicron doesn’t really care if you’ve been infected before. Up to two-thirds of folks infected with the new variant du jour report having been infected with other variants in the past. The BA.2 subvariant has also branched off of Omicron and seems to be spreading quickly. We don’t yet what properties it has.