Do Americans Need Vax Passport to Travel in Country?
As the nation loosens restrictions on COVID-19 protocols and reopens for business, one U.S. state is pushing for an official “passport” showing immunizations have been given. New York state has unveiled its “Excelsior Pass” as an app to download with all the pertinent information that will allow folks to attend any event – weddings, games, concerts. Without said pass showing vaccination records or COVID-19-free health, the state’s officials are saying stay home.
Many states have bandied the idea about, but New York has taken the first of many steps necessary to employ such drastic measures. The state has been hit hard, with now over 50,000 deaths and 1.9 million total cases.
But detractors say making a person carry health papers to display to board a plane, cross state lines in a vehicle, or see the latest flick at the multi-plex is taking away an American’s right to a lot of freedoms. Another concern is the lack of credibility with the COVID-19 tests themselves. False positives and constant retaking of the test have skewed results enough that some medical professionals find themselves delivering negative results when the patient tests positive and vice versa.
As Liberty Nation Editor-at-Large James Fite recently wrote, “No matter that the tests have proven unreliable at best and that many researchers claim – or, at least, claimed – the vaccines don’t stop the transmission of COVID. Sure, folks are saying now that it almost certainly does, but it’s hard to take that seriously when there’s no quantifiable measurement given.”
Perhaps New York is reacting to the number of tragic deaths they have had and not a realistic policy to keep citizens of the state safe. It will be interesting to see if other heavily impacted states will also demand people carry health papers. Eyes now turn to the state of California, which also experienced high percentages of infection rates and fatalities and eventually surpassed even New York’s numbers.
Galapagos Tortoises Rescued From Smugglers
Recently the Galápagos National Park staff discovered 185 hatchling tortoises wrapped in plastic and crammed into a small suitcase during a routine inspection at the airport on the island of Baltra, Ecuador. The heartless smuggling attempt left ten of the critically endangered tortoises, ranging from one to six months old, dead. The remaining babies, as one official stated, are in “dreadful” condition.
Galapagos Conservancy Director of Conservation Wacho Tapia believes the hatchlings were removed from their nest on Santa Cruz Island, then wrapped in plastic to immobilize them to pass through x-ray machines during transportation. An airport staffer became suspicious and opened the suitcase.
Ecuador’s environment minister, Marcelo Mata, described the incident as a crime against the country’s wild fauna and natural heritage. These tortoises grow to 500 pounds and live over 100 years. The black market can net between $3,000 and $5,000 for a healthy Galápagos tortoise, making it a common target for exotic collectors.
The region is home to flora and fauna unique to Galápagos, including the archipelago giant tortoise made famous by evolutionist Charles Darwin. He was on the islands in the 1830s conducting research.
The surviving babies are under veterinarian care and are safe and secure. No arrests have been made, but the people that checked in the suitcase labeled “souvenirs” have been detained as further assessment by national and environmental police continues. Whoever is responsible for this crime against nature faces one to three years in an Ecuadoran prison.
AstraZeneca Vaccine Banned in 24 Countries
As nations feel relief beginning to set in after a year-long worldwide pandemic with new vaccines and fewer cases of the virus reported, 24 countries around the world have stopped the use of the experimental AstraZeneca vaccine. Italy, Germany, France, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Canada have pulled the vaccination due to potentially causing blood clots. The United States Federal Drug Administration has not yet approved the drug for emergency use.
It all started after a seemingly healthy physician, Dr. Gregory Michael, was given the vaccine and immediately suffered blood clotting that caused his death. AstraZeneca defended their product in a written statement: “Around 17 million people in the E.U. and U.K. have now received our vaccine, and the number of cases of blood clots reported in this group is lower than the hundreds of cases that would be expected among the general population.”
Is the rush to vaccinate more dangerous than exposure to the virus itself? That is what those European nations who put the use of the drug on hold want to know. Moving forward, will the U.S. accept the risk and use this drug when and if the FDA says it is safe?
Recently, the CDC issued a statement stating only 6% of COVID deaths can be attributed to the virus alone. Most fatalities – 94% – involve other co-morbidities. Is that death rate cause to rush through a vaccine that has not been in use long enough to record data and determine if it’s, in fact, safe to use?