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Americans who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 are still waiting for information.

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Americans who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 are still waiting for information.

 

More than 28 million Americans who have been completely vaccinated against the coronavirus will have to wait for federal health officials to give them advice about what they should and shouldn’t do.

The Biden administration said on Friday that it is concentrating on having the guidelines correct and accommodating new research, but the delays are adding to the confusion about ending the pandemic as the country’s virus fatigue rises.

“These are complicated problems, and research is rapidly evolving,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday. “We are taking our time to ensure that this is done correctly, and we will be publishing this guidance soon.”

A flood of questions from people who have been completely vaccinated against COVID-19 will be answered by such guidance: Is it always necessary for me to wear a mask? Is it possible for me to go to a bar right now? Is it possible for me to actually see my grandchildren?

Since January, when the first Americans began to finish the two-dose series of COVID-19 vaccines that were then affordable, the demand has gradually increased. According to Andy Slavitt, a senior administration advisor on the pandemic, more than half of people 65 and older have now taken at least one shot.

Raul Espinoza Gomez has 22 grandchildren and great-grandchildren in Washington county, and he has a coronavirus vaccine appointment on Saturday.

The 77-year-immune old’s system will be able to battle the virus by Easter. But, according to Melissa Espinoza, 47, of Carnation, Washington, who plans to drive Gomez, her father-in-law, to get his second shot, how the family celebrates will be determined by government advice.

“At Christmas, we didn’t get together as a big family,” she said. “We follow the recommendations of the state and federal guidelines. COVID has had a negative impact on some of our family members. We’re well aware of the dangers.”

Concerned about the high number of cases and deaths, the Biden administration has slammed attempts to loosen state virus controls and pleaded with the public for more patience for several months.

The caution has sparked criticism, with critics pointing to the administration’s own warnings that “fatigue is winning” as proof that they need to be more positive about the road ahead in order to ensure the cooperation of those who have not yet been vaccinated.

Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said of the CDC guidelines, “I think it’s going to be overly proscriptive and conservative, and that’s the wrong message.” “If we continue to be overly prescriptive and fail to provide people with a reasonable view of what a better future might look like, they will begin to disregard public health advice.”

Dr. Jeremy Faust, an emergency physician in the Division of Health Policy and Public Health at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, urged the CDC to be more transparent on when and how it expects to release recommendations for the vaccinated.

“Deciding to go by the science often means deciding that you’ll have to make a decision, which is very complicated because the science isn’t settled,” he told the Associated Press. “They’re drinking from a firehose of science, and it can get a little messy at times.”

About 55.5 million Americans have received at least one vaccine dose, with slightly more than half — 28.7 million — receiving the required two doses. The single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot will soon add a few million more Americans to the list of people who are unsure about their newfound freedoms.

Rolando Solar, 92, who got his second dose in Miami on Wednesday, said, “I really hope I get to see my great-grandchildren more.” “However, I am well aware that things will not return to normal, and for an elderly man like me, this is as good as it will get.”

Tami Katz-Freiman, 65, of Miami, received her second dose three weeks ago and plans to digitally watch the Miami Film Festival at the home of unvaccinated friends on Sunday. Masks will be worn by everyone.

“We didn’t have to talk about it because it’s very clear to me that if there is a question and there isn’t a clear CDC guideline, you should be on the safe side and take care of yourself,” Katz-Freiman said.

The CDC declared three weeks ago that people who are completely vaccinated do not need to be quarantined if they come into contact with someone who has a reported infection (for 90 days after the final shot). But, as Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University, pointed out, the department said nothing more.

“That (quarantine guidance) seems to mean to me that the chances of contracting COVID-19 and passing it on to others is pretty low,” said Wen, who previously served as the director of Baltimore’s health department.

“However, we need to concentrate on what matters most to people’s lives, and my patients aren’t asking me, ‘If I’m vaccinated, do I still need to quarantine if I’m exposed?’” she added.

“The most popular question I get is, ‘Can I visit my grandchildren?’” says the author. Wen remarked.

Experts believe the CDC’s caution is appropriate given the many scientific concerns that remain, such as how long vaccine-induced immunity lasts and if vaccinated people can still spread the virus to others. When advising others about what kind of danger they face in various situations and how much of a risk they are to others, the answers are crucial.

“At their best, the vaccines were 95 percent successful in clinical trials; I didn’t say 100 percent. That’s why, for the most part, we have to wear masks,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University.

But, he said, the CDC needed to come up with something better for vaccinated people than the same old mask-wearing, social-distancing advice.

“People are so excited to get involved, and they want to see tangible results from vaccinations. Americans have a short attention span. Schaffner said, “They want to get on with it.”

Indeed, “there is a real cost to deferring this guidance,” as people seek advice from their own doctors or make their own conclusions and decisions, according to Wen.

Waiting too long can reduce the CDC’s importance in this region, according to Wen, who believes the agency should have issued some kind of guidelines for vaccinated people in January.

Clearly, people who had been vaccinated should have been advised to get cancer scans, dental treatment, and other necessary medical appointments. According to her, CDC officials should have said it’s fine for small groups of fully vaccinated people — say, two or three couples — to get together for a dinner or other small gathering.

At a recent White House briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious diseases doctor, said that “the relative risk is so low that you wouldn’t have to wear a mask, that you could have a nice social gathering inside the home.”

Some experts speculated that movie theaters, cruise ships, and other businesses could open their doors to vaccinated patrons and require proof of vaccination status. Anyone who has obtained two doses of COVID vaccine from an approved vaccination provider in Israel is now eligible for a “green pass” vaccination certificate.

Wen said, “I’m not sure if we will tolerate the federal government issuing any kind of pass, as they did in Israel.” However, such passes could be desired by companies, and they may serve as an incentive to increase vaccination rates overall, according to Wen.

Espinoza’s family was only motivated to get vaccinated after having her and her husband diagnosed with COVID-19 this winter. She is still healing and relies on oxygen at home.

The vaccination of the family elders brings them one step closer to resuming their favorite traditions: Palm Sunday church, followed by an Easter egg search for the kids and a meal featuring slow-cooked barbacoa, a Mexican beef dish, a week later.

“I hope people can stay at home and be as healthy as possible before we can all be vaccinated and this disease is eradicated,” Espinoza said.

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Breaking down Robin Lod’s record-setting goals for Minnesota United

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Breaking down Robin Lod’s record-setting goals for Minnesota United

Odds in 2019 that Robin Lod would become Minnesota United’s leading scorer in MLS regular-season games would have been a mile long.

The Finnish attacking midfielder had arrived from Sporting Gijon in Spain’s second division that August and didn’t score a single goal in 582 league minutes his first season with the Loons. There was sticker shock toward his nearly $1 million salary.

But Lod has become the team’s most-consistent scorer over the past three seasons. The 29-year-old Finn lacks flash, but his fundamentals are refined, especially if he gets the ball on his favored left foot in the 18-yard box.

Lod broke a four-way club-record tie for most MLS regular-season goals in Sunday’s 2-1 victory at FC Dallas. He has 22 total goals: seven in 2020, nine in 2021 and already six this season.

“He’s a quality player, quality man, great professional,” manager Adrian Heath said Sunday. “… He’s been a terrific pick up for us. I couldn’t thank him enough for what he has done for us all.”

Heath defended Lod’s early struggles in 2019, which came on the heels after the Spanish season which ran from August 2018-May 2019. But Heath also seemed to do Lod a disservice by playing the left-footer on the left side of the attack, where it’s more difficult to cut inside and be goal dangerous.

Lod was later flipped to the right side as part of a three-man attacking midfield in a 4-2-3-1 formation, and has stepped in to a striker role both now and during the club’s run to the Western Conference final in 2020. Minnesota also has asked Lod to play central midfield sporadically.

Here’s a look at Lod’s key goals while wearing Minnesota’s black and blue colors:

OPENING HOPE

Lod’s first goal for Minnesota came in a massive moment in the 2019 U.S. Open Cup final. Trailing 2-0 to start the second half, he made a near-post run to get on the end of Kevin Molino’s cross and his right-footed finish gave the Loons hope they could raise the first trophy of its MLS era.

The Loons couldn’t find a second goal and lost 2-1 to Atlanta United. While this goal doesn’t count for his MLS totals, it gave a reason to believe Lod could finish in front of net in future years.

SPARK A RUN

In the first round of the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs, Lod slotted in a left-footed shot inside the post to stake the team to a 2-0 lead over Colorado Rapids. It’s his go-to shot.

While it was Lod’s only goal of the three-game playoff run, it put the momentum in the Loons’ direction.

WINNERS

Minnesota infamously started 0-4 last season, but Lod built his team-high nine goals in some big moments to get them back in the playoffs.

Lod’s 94th-minute goal was the difference in a 1-0 win over FC Dallas in May; his 81st-minute finish led to a 1-0 win over Seattle Sounders in July, and his 85th-minute goal was instrumental in a 2-1 win over Portland Timbers a week later.

On Decision Day, Lod was lurking at the back post and roofed a shot on a corner kick that helped lead to a 3-3 draw with L.A. Galaxy and a spot in the playoffs for a third straight season.

FASTEST

The Loons sliced open the Houston Dynamo with Lod’s lethal run and goal only 51 seconds into a 2-0 win last September. It stands as the quickest goal scored in the club’s MLS era.

SOME FLASH

Lod has only one goal outside of the 18-yard box with MNUFC, and the majority of his tallies are left-footed finishes or doorstep tap-ins that are not in contention for goal of the week awards. But he did nutmeg former Loons defender Wyatt Omsberg before a goal in April.

WHAT AND WHERE

Lod has scored 71 percent of his MNUFC goals with his left foot, 25 percent with his right foot and 4 percent with his head.

Exactly one-third (33 percent) of Lod’s goals have come inside the 6-yard box, with 63 percent elsewhere in the 18-yard box and 4 percent from long range.

He has scored 46 percent of his goals in open play, 29 percent on counter attacks and 25 percent on set pieces, including his record-breaker off a rebound from Emanuel Reynoso’s free kick.

BIGGER RECORD

When counting goals in the U.S. Open Cup and MLS Cup Playoffs, Lod still has some work to do to reach No. 1 in Loons records.

Darwin Quintero scored six goals in the club’s run to the Open Cup final and won the national tournament’s golden boot for top scorer. But the player known as the Scientist did not score in the MLS Cup Playoffs. He leads MNUFC’s list with 27 total goals in all competitions.

Kevin Molino scored four times in the 2020 playoff run but didn’t get on the score sheet in the Open Cup, putting him second in all competitions with 25 goals.

Lod has one goal apiece in Open Cup and MLS Cup Playoffs, so he has climbed to 24 total, putting him four away from taking the overall mark.

Lod has five goals in his previous six games and leads the team with six overall this season. He is well on his way to putting separation between himself and the rest of Loons’ scorers.

TWENTY CLUB

Minnesota United’s 20-goal scorers across all competitions since 2017:
(Player: regular season + U.S. Open Cup + MLS Cup Playoffs = career total)

Darwin Quintero: 21 + 6 + 0 = 27
Kevin Molino: 21 + 0 + 4 = 25
Robin Lod: 22 + 1 + 1 = 24
Christian Ramirez: 21 + 0 + 0 = 21
Ethan Finlay: 19 + 1 + 0 = 20

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Violent fight at Newark Airport that left employee bloodied is caught on camera

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Violent fight at Newark Airport that left employee bloodied is caught on camera

Turbulence unfolded at Newark Liberty International Airport when a man, reportedly identified as a former NFL player, and a United Airlines employee got into a violent altercation, video shows.

Several clips of the fight that began circulating on social media on Sunday appear to show different stages of the fight, with TMZ reporting Monday that former Denver Broncos cornerback Brendan Langley was one of the men involved.

One video seems to show the employee hit the man identified as Langley, who then struck the employee. The employee then fell over a United Airlines desk and landed on the ground before getting up and continuing the confrontation.

It’s unclear who started the altercation, or what caused it. Police said Langley was arrested and charged with simple assault, according to TMZ.

The United staffer, who has not been identified, appeared to suffer a bloodied face in the video. The employee works for United Ground Express, a subsidiary of United Airlines.

“United Airlines does not tolerate violence of any kind at our airports or onboard our planes and we are working with local authorities to further investigate this matter,” United Airlines said in a statement obtained by the Daily News.

Langley, 27, played for the Broncos in 2017 and 2018. He later changed positions to wide receiver, and now plays for the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League.

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Column: All eyes are on MLB’s investigation into — and ruling on — the Josh Donaldson-Tim Anderson incident

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Column: All eyes are on MLB’s investigation into — and ruling on — the Josh Donaldson-Tim Anderson incident

Modern baseball is boring.

That was Tim Anderson’s feeling in the spring of 2019 when the Chicago White Sox shortstop spoke to Sports Illustrated for a lengthy profile.

Anderson told SI writer Stephanie Apstein he felt like “today’s Jackie Robinson” in crossing what he called the “have-fun barrier,” hoping to make the game interesting to today’s fans.

“That’s huge to say,” he said of the Robinson reference. “But it’s cool, man, because he changed the game and I feel like I’m getting to a point where I need to change the game.”

The quote was a small part of a long-form article on Anderson’s emergence as a star. It came out on May 6, 2019, when the Sox still were rebuilding and the 25-year-old was beginning to make a name for himself in a season he later would win the American League batting title.

Three years later, MLB is investigating an incident from Saturday’s game at Yankee Stadium in which New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson called Anderson “Jackie” multiple times, precipitating a clearing of both teams’ benches and a war of words after the game.

On paper, it appears to be a cut-and-dried case, with only the punishment to be determined.

Donaldson surely is guilty. But of what, exactly? And what’s the penalty for instigating during a major-league game?

Donaldson admitted to calling Anderson “Jackie,” explaining it was in reference to the 2019 SI interview. Donaldson’s defense was that he called Anderson “Jackie” during a previous series when he was with the Atlanta Braves, calling it an “inside joke.”

That series took place Aug. 30-Sept. 1, 2019 — about four months after the SI article appeared. The Braves swept the Sox, who already were out of contention. There were no reported flare-ups and Donaldson signed with the Minnesota Twins after the season.

Anderson didn’t speak to the media Sunday in New York and hasn’t been asked whether he recalled the “inside joke” Donaldson said they share. Anderson is expected to address the media before Tuesday’s game against the Boston Red Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Donaldson also did not speak to the media Sunday. Yankees manager Aaron Boone gently suggested the remark was inappropriate, saying that mentioning Robinson’s name to Anderson “is just somewhere, in my opinion, he should not be going.” Boone said it was a “sensitive” issue and “you’ve got to read the room.”

After hearing Donaldson’s explanation, Boone said: “I sit here, as a white guy, that did change the context for me. But I also understand how it can be offensive or upsetting.”

Sox closer Liam Hendriks, who admittedly dislikes Donaldson from their days as Toronto Blue Jays teammates, called the inside joke defense “utter bull(bleep),” saying you don’t joke around with someone with whom you “don’t get along at all.”

Was it a “racist” comment, as Sox manager Tony La Russa alleged? Or just a poor choice of words that had no “malicious intent,” as Boone believed?

That’s what MLB must determine.

MLB has dealt with racial and ethnic slurs in the past. Former Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott was suspended one year and fined $25,000 in 1993 for “racially and ethnically offensive language” for making anti-Black and anti-Jewish slurs.

MLB’s decision on Donaldson, however, could have an effect on what is acceptable language in the game, even if it’s not an overt slur. If Donaldson gets off lightly, it would suggest MLB believed his intent was not malicious. If Donaldson is suspended, it would send the message MLB won’t tolerate language that others can interpret as racist.

Anderson was involved in a similar incident in 2019 over a remark he made during a brawl to a Kansas City Royals pitcher. Anderson received a one-game suspension from MLB for “conduct” stemming from the undisclosed remark to Mitch Keller, who received a five-game suspension for throwing at Anderson in apparent retaliation for an epic bat flip following a home run.

In the 2019 SI article, Anderson admitted he called Keller a “weak-ass (bleeping N-word).” He said he did not regret calling Keller, who is white, the N-word.

“That’s a word in my vocabulary,” Anderson said. “When’s the last time (then-MLB disciplinarian Joe Torre) heard that word?”

Michael Hill, a former Miami Marlins executive, currently holds the job of MLB disciplinarian. Anderson received a one-game suspension and fine from MLB on April 22 for making an obscene gesture toward fans during a game in Cleveland. But he appealed and won, receiving only an undisclosed fine. Now Donaldson faces the music for allegedly disrespecting Anderson.

Anderson is the face of the Sox organization and the undisputed leader of the clubhouse. He leads the AL again with a .359 average and finally is getting his due from the national media.

What’s more, Anderson seems to thrive on being in the spotlight, as evidenced by his walk-off home run in last season’s Field of Dreams game and his three-run blast Sunday night after being booed all night and called “Jackie” by Yankees fans.

Modern baseball may be boring.

But you can’t say the same about the White Sox.

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