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Covid-19

Sweden suspends Moderna vaccine for those 30 and under

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Swedish health authorities on Wednesday suspended the use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for those ages 30 and under, saying the move was done out of precaution.

The reason for the pausing is “signals of an increased risk of side effects such as inflammation of the heart muscle or the pericardium” — the double-walled sac containing the heart and the roots of the main vessels, Sweden’s Public Health Agency said in a statement. “The risk of being affected is very small.”

In July, the European Medicines Agency recommended authorizing Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12 to 17, the first time the shot has been authorized for people under 18. 
Moderna’s vaccine was given the green light for use in anyone 18 and over across the 27-nation European Union in January. It has also been licensed in countries including Britain, Canada and the U.S., but so far its use hasn’t been extended to children. To date, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is the only one approved for children under 18 in Europe and North America.

Hundreds of millions of Moderna doses already have been administered to adults. In a study of more than 3,700 children ages 12 to 17, the vaccine triggered the same signs of immune protection, and no COVID-19 diagnoses arose in the vaccinated group compared with four cases among those given dummy shots. 
Sore arms, headache and fatigue were the most common side effects in the young vaccine recipients, the same ones as for adults. 
U.S. and European regulators caution, however, that both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines appear linked to a rare reaction in teenagers and young adults — chest pain and heart inflammation. 
The Swedish health authorities said that the heart symptoms “usually go away on their own,” but they must be assessed by a doctor. The conditions are most common among young men, in connection with, for example, viral infections such as COVID-19. In 2019, approximately 300 people under the age of 30 were treated in hospital with myocarditis.

Data point to an increased incidence also in connection with vaccination against COVID-19, mainly in adolescents and young adults and mainly in boys and men. 
New preliminary Nordic analyzes indicate that the connection is especially clear when it comes to Moderna’s vaccine, especially after the second dose, the agency said. 
“The increase in risk is seen within four weeks after the vaccination, mainly within the first two weeks,” it said.

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In Denmark, people under the age of 18 won’t be offered the Moderna vaccine out of precaution, the Danish Health Authority said Wednesday. It said that data, collected from four Nordic countries, show that there is a suspicion of an increased risk of heart inflammation when vaccinated with Moderna shots, although the number of cases of heart inflammation remains very low. 

The Swedish agency said the vaccine from Pfizer is recommended for these age groups instead. Its decision to suspend the Moderna vaccine is valid until Dec. 1. 
The preliminary data from the Nordic study have been sent to the European Medicines Agency’s adverse reaction committee and will now be assessed. 
The study was conducted by Denmark’s Statens Serum Institut — a government agency that maps the spread of the coronavirus in the country — the Medical Products Agency in Sweden, the National Institute of Public Health in Norway and the Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) in Finland. The final results were expected in about a month, the Danish official said. 

In this June 9, 2020 file photo, Sweden’s State epidemiologist Anders Tegnell of the Public Health Agency of Sweden speaks during a news conference, in Stockholm, Sweden.AP 
In Denmark, children and young people ages 12-17 have primarily been invited to receive the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech. 
“Based on the precautionary principle, we will in future only invite children and young people to receive this vaccine, not least in view of the fact that it is for this vaccine that the largest amount of data from use exists for children and young people, especially from the USA and Israel, said Bolette Soeborg of the government health agency.

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Democrat

McConnell Proposes Deal With Democrats on Suspending Debt Limit

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday proposed a deal with Democrats that would help them suspend the debt ceiling before the United States defaults.

McConnell in a statement said Republicans would help Democrats expedite the process known as reconciliation to address the debt limit. He also said the GOP would let Democrats pass an emergency debt limit extension at a fixed dollar amount, which would cover current spending levels into December.

“This will moot Democrats’ excuses about the time crunch they created and give the unified Democratic government more than enough time to pass standalone debt limit legislation through reconciliation,” he said. “Alternatively, if Democrats abandon their efforts to ram through another historically reckless taxing and spending spree that will hurt families and help China, a more traditional bipartisan governing conversation could be possible.”

The proposal seeks to quench Democrat complaints that Republicans may seek to delay a reconciliation vote, making it a risky maneuver because the U.S. faces a crisis if the ceiling isn’t suspended or raised by Oct. 18, while reinforcing McConnell’s position that most Republicans won’t vote with Democrats to address the limit.

Democrats were facing the prospect of being unable to muster 60 votes to bypass a filibuster on a House of Representatives bill that would suspend the ceiling until December 2022. A procedural vote on the measure was expected to happen on Wednesday afternoon.

Party leaders have repeatedly exhorted Republicans not to filibuster the bill but McConnell and other top GOP senators say Democrats should turn to reconciliation, which the party has already used once this year and plans to use at least once more to ram through a m ammoth, multitrillion spending package.

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“Democrats are willing to step up and stop this economic catastrophe if our Republican friends just get out of the way,” President Joe Biden said during a meeting with business leaders at the White House.

Democrats mulled carving out an exception to the filibuster for the debt limit but were stopped by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who refused to back that play.

McConnell’s new statement comes after he harshly criticized Democrats on the Senate floor, noting that Democrats in both legislative chambers have admitted this week they could handle the debt limit crisis using reconciliation.

“Our colleagues have plenty of time to get it done before the earliest projected deadline. There would be potential for time agreements to wrap it up well before any danger, but the Democratic leaders wanted solutions. They wanted to turn their failure into everybody else’s crisis, playing risky games with our economy, using manufactured drama to bully their own members, indulging petty politics instead of governing. Their entire failed approach to governing in a nutshell on full display for the country to see,” he said.

McConnell’s offer “is going to give us a way out of the woods, which is what we want,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) told reporters on Capitol Hill.

Democrats, though, appeared unimpressed.

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) unleashed an expletive, telling reporters, “What kind of an offer is that?”

“That sounds like a terrible idea,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) added. “I’m obviously willing to listen to any new ideas, but just pushing this crisis off for a couple of months sounds like a disaster. It sounds like an invitation to get downgraded.”

Others were more willing to consider the offer.

“I’m going to have to look at it and see what it is. I want to get this done,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said.

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Border crisis

11 GOP governors to convene in Texas border town for summit on open border impacts in states

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“A crisis that began at our southern border now extends beyond to every state and requires immediate action before the situation worsens,” a group of 26 governors wrote to the president recently.

On Wednesday, 11 Republican governors are joining forces in Mission, Texas to oppose what they see as Biden administration open border policies that have wreaked havoc both on their respective states and the U.S. collectively.

Their announcement comes after they, as part of a group of 26 governors, called on President Joe Biden to end his open border policies and requested a meeting at the White House — to which they have not received a response.  

“The months-long surge in illegal crossings has instigated an international humanitarian crisis, spurred a spike in international criminal activity, and opened the floodgates to human traffickers and drug smugglers endangering public health and safety in our states,” the governors, led by Republicans Doug Ducey of Arizona and Greg Abbott of Texas, argue.

“A crisis that began at our southern border now extends beyond to every state and requires immediate action before the situation worsens,” they assert. “The negative impacts of an unenforced border policy on the American people can no longer be ignored.”

The meeting is the result of an interstate compact announced on June 10 by Abbott and Ducey when they first called on other governors for help to secure the southern border. The pact allows for law enforcement from other states to perform apprehensions in Arizona and Texas with the full force of the law. 

The surge of refugees, illegal aliens, and migrants (RIMs) at the southern border, Ducey and Abbott argue, was already at a crisis point in June, and has only gotten worse since then. 

“Border apprehensions are up almost 500% compared to last year, totaling more than 1.3 million — more people than the populations of nine U.S. states,” the group of 26 governors wrote to Biden on Sept. 20.

In August alone, almost 209,000 people were apprehended illegally entering the U.S. 

Despite illegal apprehensions reaching a 21-year-high in August, last month roughly 15,000 Haitians illegally congregated under the Del Rio International Bridge in Texas. The only thing that eventually stopped the flow was Texas DPS officers coming from all over the state to build a physical barrier with their trucks and cars along the riverbank to act as a deterrent.  

“Texas and Arizona have stepped up to secure the border in the federal government’s absence, and now the Emergency Management Assistance Compact gives your State a chance to stand strong with us,” Ducey and Abbott said in their joint statement in June. Both governors issued disaster and emergency declarations in their states earlier this year, citing increased crime and financial strains on county governments and law enforcement.

The governors attending on Wednesday in response to Abbott’s and Ducey’s call for help are: Brian Kemp of Georgia, Brad Little of Idaho, Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Greg Gianforte of Montana, Pete Ricketts of Nebraska, Mike DeWine of Ohio, Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma, Kristi Noem of South Dakota, and Mark Gordon of Wyoming. 

The governors have already sent members of their national guard, state troopers, or a combination of law enforcement from sheriffs’ offices and state agencies like drug interdiction or fish and wildlife to Arizona or Texas. They’ve all said that their states are experiencing a surge in drug overdoses due to the abundance of cheap supplies of meth and fentanyl coming in through the southern border. 

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was the first governor to send law enforcement to Texas. He won’t be in attendance Wednesday, after announcing his wife was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. 

The meeting comes after the Biden administration admitted last week it is preparing for an even greater surge — expecting up to 400,000 RIMs arriving in the U.S. this month alone.

Last month, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan halted implementation of Title 42, a federal law that allows for the deportation and prohibition of entry for most asylum seekers during a public health crisis/pandemic. On Sept. 30, a federal appeals court overruled Sullivan and reinstated Title 42.

While Texas already sued the Biden administration for not fully enforcing it, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told NBC News that Title 42 was necessary. He said, “the Centers for Disease Control has found it to be necessary in light of where we are in the arc of the pandemic.”

But just a few months earlier, on May 12, Mayorkas had announced a list of exemptions to Title 42, to “streamline a system for identifying and lawfully processing particularly vulnerable individuals who warrant humanitarian exceptions under the order.” 

“This humanitarian exception process,” Mayorkas added, “involves close coordination with international and non-governmental organizations in Mexico and COVID-19 testing before those identified through this process are allowed to enter the country.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argues that when Title 42 “was faithfully enforced,” prior to the changes enacted by Mayorkas, it “was extraordinarily successful in expelling illegal aliens, protecting Americans’ public health, and preserving our limited public resources.” 

But the Biden Administration “unlawfully abandoned its legal duties, resulting in a massive increase in illegal immigration at the border, and in turn forced Texas to bear additional massive costs and harms,” Paxton argued. “The Court must intervene to stop this insanity.”

Mayorkas acknowledged that the majority of Haitians in Del Rio were not tested for COVID prior to being released. While the secretary claimed the majority would be deported, DHS later confirmed the majority were not.

Mayorkas also recently announced new DHS guidelines that state the act of entering the U.S. illegally — violating immigration laws established by Congress — is no longer in and of itself an arrestable offense.

“The fact an individual is a removable noncitizen therefore should not alone be the basis of an enforcement action against them,” he wrote in a memorandum to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials. “We will use our discretion and focus our enforcement resources in a more targeted way. Justice and our country’s well-being require it.”

The announcement came after Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody sued the Biden administration over its “catch-and-release” policy, and Paxton sued the administration over immigration law violations multiple times.

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Border crisis

Double standard? Democrats nix COVID tests for illegal migrants, mandate vaccines for Border Patrol

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Iowa Republican Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks’ amendment was rejected by 217 Democrats voting against it.

House Democrats blocked an effort to require COVID-19 testing and vaccinations for migrants stopped at the border before they are released into U.S. communities. 

The move comes as President Biden requires federal employees, including members of the U.S. military and Border Patrol, to receive the COVID vaccine. The U.S. government will reportedly fund COVID testing for federal workers who are not yet vaccinated. 

The amendment to require the testing of migrants was introduced by Iowa Republican Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks as part of the continuing resolution that Congress was debating to keep the government funded through early December. The legislation ultimately passed the House without the amendment after House Democrats rejected it.

“My commonsense legislation would require the Department of Homeland Security to test all migrants illegally crossing our border who they plan to release into our communities, and they should be tested for COVID-19,” Miller-Meeks said.

Today, I offered my REACT Act on the House floor, which would require DHS to give a COVID test to everyone crossing our border illegally.The majority chose to block this commonsense bill that would ensure the health and safety of border patrol and border communities.

#IA02pic.twitter.com/Qwbc2ZjH04

— Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, M.D. (@RepMMM)

September 29, 2021

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said recently that the 15,000 Haitian migrants who arrived at at the border in Del Rio, Texas were not tested by DHS for COVID-19.

The Biden Administration has been processing and releasing thousands of migrants who arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border. Rather than provide all of the released migrants with a court date to appear for their asylum claim, many are reportedly being asked to voluntarily report to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Republicans in Congress have argued that such as system is unsustainable and serves as a magnet for more illegal immigration into the U.S.

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“Think about what they’re asking them to do,” New York Republican Rep. John Katko, ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, said during an interview with Just the News. “Don’t call us until this date and on this date, after you’ve settled into our country — where you have much more than you had in your own country you came from — then at that point call us so we can start deportation proceedings against you. I mean, come on, man, you know, they’re not going to do that.”

Miller-Meeks’ amendment was rejected by 217 Democrats voting against it.

“The majority chose to block this commonsense bill that would ensure the health and safety of border patrol and border communities,” Miller-Meeks wrote on Twitter.

A similar amendment from Miller-Meeks was blocked in March. According to House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office, 970,000 migrants have crossed the border since her original amendment was defeated. 

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Biden

[VIDEO] Jesse Watters: Biden’s credibility crisis

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‘Watters’ World’ host discusses Biden’s ‘lies’ about migrants being ‘whipped’ by Border Patrol agents.

Watters criticized Biden for failure to manage COVID, the southern border, Afghanistan or inflation in the United States.

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