Monday, May 3, 2021
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1/ Scientists and public health experts say that “herd immunity” in the U.S. may not be attainable due to vaccine hesitancy. About 30% of the U.S. population remains reluctant to be vaccinated. The original herd immunity threshold, meanwhile, was estimated to be about 60 to 70% of the population. Experts, however, now estimate that the herd immunity threshold to be at least 80% due to more contagious variants circulating in the U.S. Experts also say the coronavirus will most likely continue to circulate in the U.S., causing hospitalizations and deaths but in much smaller numbers. (New York Times)
Los Angeles County reported no new deaths related to Covid-19 and just 313 new cases of the coronavirus. Infections in L.A. County are at their lowest levels since the start of the pandemic. (Los Angeles Times)
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended the state’s remaining Covid-19 public health restrictions, saying “we are no longer in a state of emergency.” Since the beginning of the pandemic, Florida has reported the third-most Covid-19 cases in the U.S. at more than 2.2 million and the fourth-highest death toll at more than 35,000 fatalities. (CNBC / ABC News)
2/ The U.S. will restrict travel from India starting Tuesday, citing a surge in Covid-19 cases in the country and the emergence of coronavirus variants. The policy does not apply to American citizens, lawful permanent residents or other people with exemptions. India recorded 386,452 Covid-19 cases on Friday – the ninth day in a row the country has added more than 300,000 cases a day. The country also reported 3,498 deaths, bringing the death toll to 208,330. (Associated Press / CNN / NBC News)
3/ The EPA proposed phasing out the use of a common refrigerant blamed for driving global warming. The proposed regulation would cut down on the production and use of hydrofluorocarbons in cooling appliances in the U.S. by 85% over the next 15 years. It’s the first time the federal government has set national limits on hydrofluorocarbons, a class of man-made chemicals thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide at warming the planet. Phasing out HFCs worldwide is expected to avert up to 0.5 degrees Celsius of global warming by the end of the century. (New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / Wall Street Journal)
4/ The Biden administration will raise the refugee ceiling to 62,500 this fiscal year. In a statement, Biden said that raising the cap “erases the historically low number set by the previous administration of 15,000, which did not reflect America’s values as a nation that welcomes and supports refuge...
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