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As Russia announced the approval of a new Coronavirus vaccine, legal questions arise about the rights of Americans to decline taking the vaccine.

Vulnerable populations, including Black people, are concerned that their rights will be infringed upon after President Donald Trump announced he would mobilize the military to "distribute" the vaccines.

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According to Dov Fox, a law professor at the University of San Diego, Americans who refuse to take the vaccination can be fined or jailed by law.

"States can compel vaccinations in more or less intrusive ways," he said in an interview.

"They can limit access to schools or services or jobs if people don't get vaccinated. They could force them to pay a fine or even lock them up in jail."

Fox noted authorities in the U.S. have never attempted to jail people for refusing to vaccinate, but some mayors and governors have threatened to jail people who refuse to wear face masks.

"Courts have found that when medical necessity requires it, the public health outweighs the individual rights and liberties at stake," Fox said.

There is legal precedence dating back to 1905 that gave states the authority to fine people who refused to take vaccinations for smallpox.

The coronavirus, which kills far less than 1% of the population, is nowhere near as deadly as Smallpox, an infectious viral disease with a death rate of 30%.

Bill Gates has said "multiple doses" of the expensive vaccines will be necessary to provide protection against the virus.

The unprecedented response to the Coronavirus - a respiratory infection that causes mild symptoms or no symptoms in 99% of the population, has many Americans worried about the government's financial motives.

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Russia registered the first Coronavirus vaccine, the Wall Street Journal reports. Russia's vaccine is the first important breakthrough in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

The Russian vaccine - developed at the Gamaleya Institute - was tested on animals and two groups of 38 humans each.

Russia's clinical testing is much less than required for approval of drugs by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA typically doesn't approve drugs until they have passed three phases of clinical testing.

But Russian Minister of Health Mikhail Murashko claims all volunteers developed high titers of antibodies in response to the vaccine. He said "none of them had serious complications of immunization."

The world is happy with the announcement. A vaccine wasn't scheduled to go to market until at least the end of the year or early 2021.

The U.S. stock market's reaction to the news was negative. U.S. vaccine related stocks—including Moderna (ticker: MRNA), Noravax (NVAX) and Pfizer (PFE) are all down on the news.

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Doctors are concerned about the effects of smoking marijuana among young people who are vulnerable to the coronavirus.

Weed smokers put themselves at risk of dying if they contract the coronavirus.

Weed smokers are among the COVID-19 high-risk categories and explains why more young people are succumbing to the virus in recent weeks.

Doctors say marijuana smoke weakens the heart muscles, putting weed smokers and vapers at higher risk of dying due to COVID-19. Doctors have previously linked weed smoking to deaths of young people who contract COVID-19.

"The American Heart Association recommends that people not smoke or vape any substance, including cannabis products, because of the potential harm to the heart, lungs and blood vessels," said Dr. Rose Marie Robertson, the deputy chief science and medical officer for the American Heart Association, in a statement.

Experts say anyone considering smoking mary jane recreationally should consult with their doctors first.

In addition to COVID-19 risk factor, doctors also found weed smoking has "the potential to interfere with prescribed medications" as well as "trigger cardiovascular conditions or events, such as heart attacks and strokes," said clinical pharmacologist Robert Page II.

"If people choose to use cannabis for its medicinal or recreational effects, the oral and topical forms, for which doses can be measured, may reduce some of the potential harms," Page said in a statement.

"It is also vitally important that people only use legal cannabis products because there are no controls on the quality or the contents of cannabis products sold on the street," he added.

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A new at home spit test could potentially turn around Covid-19 test results within 30 minutes.

Currently, Americans who want to be tested for COVID-19 are subjected to a painfully invasive nasopharyngeal swab shoved into the back of their throat.

Columbia University and biopharmaceutical company Sorrento announced a new COVID-19 rapid test kit that can be conducted at home with test results within 30 minutes.

The COVID-19 saliva diagnostic test works like a pregnancy test - but using saliva instead of urine.

The kit, called COVI-TRACE, has already passed initial non-peer reviewed clinical studies, according to medRxiv.com.

Doctors at Columbia University's Medical Center will escalate clinical trials within weeks, and if the results are positive, will apply for an emergency use authorization from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

If approved by the FDA, the test kits will be fast-tracked at "rapid, full-scale production" to bring the tests to market quickly. The tests will retail for around $10 per kit.

The COVI-TRACE saliva test kits could be a game changer. People who test positive at home would get follow-up testing at a clinic or hospital, and possible treatment if they have symptoms.

COVI-TRACE saliva kits would save time and money spent testing millions of healthy people who aren't sick.

Many Americans still do not have access to COVID-19 testing and those who have been tested complain about the long wait times for results.

Viral Twitter photos that show students crowding a Georgia high school hallway resulted in the suspension of a student who took the photos.

The photos were taken at North Paulding High School in Dallas, Georgia on the first day of school this week. The school is less than 50 miles northwest of Atlanta.

The photo shows students - many not wearing face masks - crowded in a packed hallway on their first day back to class since the coronavirus pandemic.

More photos were tweeted from the same high school on Day 2 that showed even fewer students wearing face masks.

15-year-old student Hannah Watters was suspended for 5 days for posting the images on Twitter, according to her mother, Lynne Watters, who said she filed a grievance with the school Thursday morning.

"I expressed my concerns and disagreement with that punishment," Lynne Watters said in a text message to the Chicago Tribune.

In an email to Fox News, North Paulding High School principal Gabe Carmona said a few cases of Covid-19 positive students with mild, flu-like symptoms "have already been identified."

Paulding County School District, Brian Otott, defended his decision to reopen schools, saying the viral photo was "taken out of context" because the students were only in the hallway between classes.

"There is no question that the photo does not look good." Masks are not required at the school, Otott said, although the administration strongly encourages masks for students and staff members.

Otott said mask wearing is not mandated at North Paulding High School.

"Wearing a mask is a personal choice," he wrote, "and there is no practical way to enforce a mandate to wear them."

Scott Sweeney, Georgia Board of Education Chairman told Fox News, "Mask wearing is not something that we can mandate... from the state board of education standpoint."

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp refused to mandate face masks in the state, preferring to leave the decision to local communities.

Recent studies published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) concludes face masks - which were designed to stop bacteria - are not effective against viruses such as the coronavirus, which is 100 to 1000 times smaller than bacteria.

"We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection," the article said.

The New England Journal of Medicine noted "the truth about mass mask wearing, and that the main if not only benefit of masks is that it eases anxiety of some people.”
 

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday that he will begin authorizing shutting off water and power services at the properties of repeat offenders who hold large parties.

Garcetti made the announcement amid reports of large parties thrown by promoters who ignore the city's coronavirus safety guidelines.

"The consequences of these large parties ripple far beyond just those parties," Garcetti said during an online video briefing on Wednesday.

His announcement came as demonstrators continue to protest outside Garcetti's Tudor style mansion in Windsor Square.

Garcetti blamed "super spreader" parties for the small spike in positive coronavirus cases in L.A. County.

He said he has ordered the power and lights shut off at residences for "egregious cases". Garcetti said if police are called to residences or businesses with large gatherings more than once, the city will notify the parties responsible and shut off Department of Water and Power service within 48 hours, according to the Daily News.

"While we have already closed all nightclubs and bars, these large house parties have essentially become nightclubs in the hills," he said. "Many times the homes are vacant or used for short term rentals."

Some residents have grown wary of the mayor's overreaching restrictions on their daily lives. They say the mayor is drunk with power and they prefer to be treated like adults capable of making health decisions on their own.

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Rapper Desiigner took to social media to say the Covid-19 pandemic is fake: "Yo, no funny. Corona is fake, gone, bro [sic]. No funny s**t. Enjoy life. No cap [no lie]. We ain't even on that type of vibe. Corona s**t, man. Honestly, that corona s**t is BS. You feel me?"

Desiigner added that he's convinced the pandemic is just a hoax because he has yet to fall ill with the virus himself, despite not wearing a face mask.

"I ain't get sick yet. I been outside, healthy," he said.

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Peter Thomas claims he tested positive for Covid-19 after he removed his mask to take photos with fans.

The former Real Housewives of Atlanta TV personality claims he suffers from diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramps and chills.

Coronavirus is a respiratory illness. But Thomas' symptoms sound more like food poisoning. "My stomach has been a complete wreck," Thomas said.

In an Instagram video from his sick bed, the 59-year-old Libra urged his older followers to wear face masks, "wear gloves, practice social distancing."

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Thomas, whose ex-wives include RHOA personality Cynthia Bailey, said he took the Covid-19 test 5 times before testing positive. He claims he contracted the virus after removing his mask for fan photos.

"People come up to me, asking for pictures all of the time. They want me to have the mask off and they want to hug me because they say they like me. And I took those pictures," Thomas said.

"Every time I took those pictures, I am just praying to God that I am not going to get [COVID-19].

He said he is on quarantine for another week. After that, he will take two tests until he is negative.

Thomas is known for spinning the truth. Some of his followers remain skeptical that he is Covid-19 positive.
 

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Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced police will begin issuing citations to residents who refuse to wear face masks. Turner announced the new directive during a press briefing on Monday.

"For months, we have been focusing on education and not citations, but now I am instructing the Houston Police Department to issue the necessary warnings and citations to anyone not wearing a mask in public if they do not meet the criteria for an exemption," the mayor said.

The citation comes with a $250 fine, Turner tweeted on Monday.

"Lives are at stake, so I am taking this step to save lives and slow the virus from spreading in the month of August," he wrote.

Police said they would not responds to 911 calls reporting people not wearing face masks, but they would issue citations if they see someone out and about with a face covering.

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Turner asked residents not to "get mad" at police officers doing their jobs. "It's all about public health and driving our numbers down," he said.

Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, suggested people wear face masks inside their homes to protect elderly parents or grandparents.

President Trump said he will mobilize the U.S. military to distribute Covid-19 vaccines when they become available.

Trump's announcement prompted his supporters to question their loyalty to him.

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Rapper Desiigner called the Covid-19 pandemic as "fake" in a controversial rant on Instagram on Monday.

The 23-year-old rapper took to social media to share his thoughts about the virus, telling followers: "Yo, no funny. Corona is fake, gone, bro [sic]. No funny s**t. Enjoy life. No cap [no lie]. We ain't even on that type of vibe. Corona s**t, man. Honestly, that corona s**t is BS. You feel me?"

Desiigner added that he's convinced the pandemic is just a hoax because he has yet to fall ill with the virus himself, despite not wearing a face mask.

"I ain't get sick yet. I been outside, healthy," he said.

Desiigner isn't the only one voicing skepticism about the pandemic. Social media users shared their concerns about President Trump mobilizing the U.S. military to help distribute the vaccines when the injections become available.

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Despite his comments, Desiigner - real name Sidney Selby - teamed up with Anaheim business Mouth Masker to create his own mask earlier in the pandemic.

He is also donating some of the proceeds from his new single "Survivor" to a Coronavirus relief fund that benefits healthcare workers and displaced families.

Explaining why he felt obliged to do something to give back during an interview with Revolt last month, the "Panda" rapper said: "It's a lot of people on that frontline risking their life every day. A whole bunch of situations going on, we want to make sure everyone's protected.

"For the people who are really out there in the urgent care room, workers on the frontline putting down the work, it's only right to help them out through this time."

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Surgeon General Jerome Adams, MD, MPH, met with past surgeons general during a virtual annual convention to discuss the Black community's hesitancy to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

The surgeons general agree that hesitancy within the Black community could worsen the impact of COVID-19.

Dr. Adams, who moderated the online discussion on Saturday, said he believes that a COVID-19 vaccine will be ready by the end of the year. But he is concerned that Black people will refuse to take Bill Gates' experimental RNA injections.

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"A safe and effective vaccine means nothing if people don't actually get vaccinated," said Adams, who recently visited a COVID-19 testing site at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium where he led health workers in a fun exercise.

Recent polls found that less than 50% of those surveyed say they are unlikely to take a COVID-19 vaccine if it were available today.

Black people haven't forgotten the infamous Tuskegee experiments on Black men.

Researchers are trying to determine what can be done to increase confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine among Black people.

Vivek Murthy, MD, who served as surgeon general under President Barack Obama, suggested using "messengers" such as Black legislators, pastors, rappers and celebrities who have the ear of the people.

"We've got to do that right now," said Murthy, even before a vaccine has been developed.

"People are not going to necessarily always trust us, but they might trust the church," said David Satcher, MD, surgeon general in the Clinton administration.

Satcher said that during the Clinton administration, the government partnered with Black churches to promote immunizations in children under age 2. "So that's what we took advantage of, and it worked out quite well," he said.

But a Black nurse at an Atlanta hospital recently told a blogger that Black nurses there say they will not "stand in line" for the vaccine.

Nurses and doctors are among the preferred "front line" recipients of the vaccines. Black people are also among the preferred first recipients, according to Bill Gates.

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Former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain has died apparently from complications related to COVID-19. Cain, 74, was hospitalized earlier this month after attending a Trump rally in June.

Cain's website announced his passing on Friday morning.

Cain had attended President Trump's rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Cain's team said he was informed that he had tested positive on June 29. His team added: "There is no way of knowing for sure how or where Mr. Cain contracted the coronavirus.

Cain was hospitalized in Atlanta on July 1.

Uninformed Twitter users bashed conservatives and others who refuse to wear face masks during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Herman Cain died because of his blind loyalty to Trump. He made a decision to attend," a Twitter user wrote.


 

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Center for Disease Control Director Robert Redfield says suicides and drug overdoses have surpassed the death rate for COVID-19 among young people in America.

Redfield said lockdowns and lack of public schooling negatively impacts mental health among young people.

"We're seeing, sadly, far greater suicides now than we are deaths from COVID," Redfield testified in a Buck Institute Webinar. "We're seeing far greater deaths from drug overdose that are above excess that we had as background than we are seeing the deaths from COVID."

About 146,000 people have died from COVID or COVID-related causes, according to CDC data.

Federal data recorded 48,000 deaths from suicide and at least 71,000 deaths from drug overdoses in 2018.

The Chicago Sun-Times reviewed specifically black populations. In Cook County, Illinois, the number of suicide deaths among Black people is already higher than for all of 2019.

According to the American Medical Association, there has been a 40% increase in suicides and drug overdoses in Colorado in 2020. The number of calls to suicide hotlines have increased 48 percent.

Between March 15 and April 29, as many people committed suicide in Queens, New York than did between January 1 and April 29 the year prior.

Hopelessness and despair amid job uncertainty and the ongoing lockdowns have impacted mental health among children, teenagers and young adults in this country.

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The CDC has pushed for children to return to schools and adults to return to work as the deaths from COVID-19 have reached a new low.

Just 300+ people died from COVID in the U.S. last week, according to the CDC.

Redfield said he's "absolutely comfortable" with his grandchildren returning to school in the fall.

40 million jobs have been lost to the economic shutdown caused by the pandemic, compared to 2.6 million jobs lost in all of 2008 when the SARS/H1N1 virus arrived in the U.S.

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Ciara Wilson is determined to teach her kids to know that they are more privileged than most Black children in America.

She wants her three children to appreciate the significance of giving back to the community from a young age.

The "Level Up" singer is partnering with Discover for its Eat It Forward campaign, to give $25,000 awards to 200 Black-owned restaurants around the U.S. amid the Covid-19 crisis.

Speaking to PEOPLE just days before the arrival of her newborn son, Win Wilson, the hitmaker insisted it's "important" her kids, daughter Sienna Princess, 3, and her son Future Zahir, 6, "know mom and dad didn't have a lot growing up".

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"It's so important to us to instil the same morals that were instilled in us growing up and the same philosophy that we had growing up," she explained. "We worked hard for everything that we have, and I think it's always important to remind our kids of that, because they definitely are at a much better starting point than we were when we were younger."

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Highlighting the couple's commitment to helping those in need, the "1, 2 Step" star went on to admit that "one of the greatest rewards of what we do is being blessed enough to give back."

"The reality is that, during Covid, the black community in particular has been disproportionately hit and affected by the magnitude of what has unfolded. A lot of these restaurants are pillars in their communities. It's hard for the families that own them when it's their lifeline to take care of their households... In this whole era of everything that's going on, I was trying to find the best way to use my platform to make a difference."
 

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The Miami Marlins Major League Baseball team games have been postponed following a coronavirus breakout that stranded them in Philadelphia. 14 players and a coach tested positive for the coronavirus.

"The members of the Marlins' traveling party are self-quarantining in place while awaiting the outcome of those results," MLB said in a statement.

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Manager Don Mattingly said members of the team would be quarantined in Philadelphia.

The team's home opener against Baltimore was postponed, as well as the New York Yankees' game at Philadelphia, as the Yankees would have used the same clubhouse as the Marlins.

Teammates texted each other about the team's positive tests, but there was no talk of quitting the season.

"We knew this could happen at some point. We came to the ballpark ready to play," said shortstop Miguel Rojas.

The Marlins played exhibition games in Atlanta against the Braves on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Braves have since been without their top two catchers, Tyler Flowers and Travis d'Arnaud, who both showed flu-like symptoms after the games.

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Bill Gates says it will likely take multiple doses of his coronavirus vaccine to protect against the virus.

Gate now says you will need to purchase several doses of his vaccine -- and even then he's not promising you will be protected.

In an interview with CBS Evening News' Norah O'Donnell, Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates said that it is likely that an effective coronavirus vaccine will require multiple doses.

"None of the vaccines at this point appear like they'll work with a single dose," Gates said. "That was the hope at the very beginning. Maybe one of them particularly in the second generation will surprise us. We hope just two, although in the elderly sometimes it takes more, and so making sure we have lots of elderly people in the trial will give us that data."

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Gates, who expects to earn billions from the sale of his vaccines, says there needs to be 70 to 80 percent coverage globally for herd immunity to occur.

In other words, most people in the world (at least 6 billion) will need to take multiple doses of the Gates' vaccines -- which isn't cheap.

This is bad news for the most vulnerable populations: the elderly, HIV-positive people, smokers, and people with preexisting conditions.

Experts predicted a working vaccine for COVID-19 would be difficult to develop due to the various strains of coronavirus. A coronavirus causes the common cold but, there are no vaccines for colds.

Normally it takes several years of animal and human clinical trials before a vaccine is brought to market. But the COVID-19 vaccine is being fast-tracked to hit the market within months - despite the low death toll.