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Rapper Plies recently weighed in on the controversy surrounding NBA players who refuse to take the Covid-19 mRNA injections.

Plies, a self-professed RN, made a series of tweets after Magic Johnson spoke out on unvaccinated NBA players such as Kyrie Irving and Jonathan Isaac.

"[They say] 'Magic Johnson, they let him play with full blown HIV.' Bruh, listen, you can't catch no HIV shaking no hands, hugging, coughing, running up and down no court, but you can catch Covid that way. Let's just call it what it is. And I already know the famous line: 'Ah they can be bleeding.' HIV gets transmitted through blood, with needles, with unscreened blood [transfusions], birth, unprotected sex. That's how that get contracted.

"So until players start having babies on the court, or unprotected sex, or sharing needles, the whole blood thing don't work."

Plies went on to say NBA players who are cut on the court are immediately removed from the court.

He concluded: "If you want to make your own rules, just get your own stuff."

Reaction to Plies' comments were mixed. A few said they would take their chances with Covid-19 over an illness that requires taking antivirals for the rest of their lives.

Question: Do you agree with Plies?


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Retired Gen. Colin Luther Powell, who served as the first Black U.S. secretary of state, has died of COVID-19. He was 84.

Powell died at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on October 18. His death was due to complications related to COVID-19.

He was fully vaccinated, his family said in a statement on Facebook.

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"We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American," his family wrote. They thanked the staff at the hospital near Washington, D.C., but didn't clarify which vaccines he received.

Powell was previously diagnosed with multiple myeloma before he died. It isn't clear if the multiple myeloma diagnosis was related to the vaccines he received.

Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells in the immune system. Plasma cells are white blood cells that produce antibodies in response to an invasion of a virus or other antigen, such as an experimental vaccine.

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Powell was a highly decorated retired four-star general and one of the highest-ranking Black people in the White House when he served as U.S. secretary of state under ex-President George W. Bush from 2001-2005.

Powell, the son of Jamaican immigrants, also served as national security adviser to ex-President Ronald Reagan (1987-1989), chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under former President George H. W. Bush (1989-1993), and an adviser to ex-President Barack Obama (2007).

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Former President George W. Bush, right, called Powell "a great man" in a statement on Monday.

Bush noted that Powell "was such a favorite of Presidents that he earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom – twice.

Powell leaves behind his wife Alma Johnson, and their three adult children, Michael, Linda, and Annemarie.

Condolences continue to pour in from around the world on social media.

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The Brooklyn Nets will no longer offer NBA all-star Kyrie Irving a contract extension after he refused to get the experimental mRNA vaccine.

The decision means Kyrie will lose $186 million, in addition to $16 million of his $34.9 annual salary.

The news comes days after the Nets suspended Kyrie and announced that he can not practice or play in any games with the team in the 2021-2022 NBA season.


Previously, Kyrie was barred from playing home games in New York City or eating with the team - even if he tested negative for Covid-19.

Kyrie has said he is not anti-vaccine, however, he is taking a stand against New York City's strict vaccine mandates that are unfair to workers.

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A source close to Kyrie told The Athletic that Irving is upset that people are losing their jobs due to vaccine mandates. He has explained his concerns to close teammates, who support him being closed doors.

NBA player Michael Porter, Jr. waited until after signing a $207 million extension before refusing the Covid-19 vaccine.

72,000 nurses, doctors and healthcare workers in New York have been fired for refusing the vaccines.

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The Brooklyn Nets has suspended all-star guard Kyrie Irving from playing or practicing with the team.

General manager Sean Marks announced on Tuesday that Irving "will not play or practice" with the team unless or until he is vaccinated.

"Given the evolving nature of the situation and after thorough deliberation, we have decided Kyrie Irving will not play or practice with the team until he is eligible to be a full participant," Marks said in a statement Tuesday morning.

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"Kyrie has made a personal choice, and we respect his individual right to choose. Currently the choice restricts his ability to be a full-time member of the team, and we will not permit any member of our team to participate with part-time availability."

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio announced strict Covid-19 vaccine mandates for all state buildings, restaurants and gyms.

However, authorities declared the Nets practice facility to be a "private office building" and thus exempt from the mandate.

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Irving was willing to forfeit $16 million -- nearly half of his annual $34 million salary because he is ineligible to play in 43 home games.

On Sunday, Nets coach Steve Nash said Irving's status was unclear.

"I think we recognize that he's not playing home games. We're going to have to play without him this year. So it just depends on when, where and how much."

The NBA previously stated all players who refused the Covid-19 mRNA vaccine would forfeit their paychecks for every game they missed.

Irving stood to lose $381,000 for every game he missed.

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Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.

Merck's new Covid-19 treatment will not be affordable for most Americans.

Merck is reportedly charging 40 times the cost to make the antiviral Covid-19 drug, molnupiravir.

Molnupiravir costs $17.74 to produce - but Merck is charging $712 for a 5-day course of treatment, according to The Intercept.

Molnupiravir, originally developed to treat encephalitis in horses and zebras, was licensed from Emory University in 2020. The worldwide rights were sold to Merck for an undisclosed sum.

The U.S. government reportedly funded development of the drug by Emory University for $10 million between 2013 and 2015.

Merck is expected to earn $7 billion in revenue from the sales of the drug.

According to Quartz, Good government advocates point out that "because federal agencies spent at least $29 million on the drug's development, the government has the obligation to ensure that the medicine is affordable."

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Dr. Dzintars Gotham of King's College Hospital suggested Merck can still turn a decent profit if they priced molnupiravir at $19.99.

"Offering someone a $700 treatment when they don't yet feel that ill is going to mean that a lot of people are not going to take it," he said.

Melissa Barber, a doctoral candidate at the Harvard School of Public Health, said:

"If you can't afford medicine because it's 1,000 times more than you can afford, or because it's 100 times more than you can afford, it doesn't matter. Those are both bad."

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Face the Nation

Dr. Anthony Fauci walked back his statements about Christmas gatherings after massive backlash on social media.

Fauci went viral over the weekend for saying it's "too soon" to consider gathering with your family for Christmas.

The Covid-19 adviser to the White House clarified that his comments were "misinterpreted" and "taken completely out of context."
READ ALSO: Twitter Reacts to Fauci Saying ‘Too Soon’ to Consider Christmas Gatherings
In an appearance on Face the Nation on Sunday, Fauci told host Margaret Brennan that "It's too soon to tell" if Americans can celebrate Christmas.

Instead of celebrating holidays, he said the country should focus on getting Covid-19 "cases" down.

Following the uproar, Fauci told CNN on Monday, "I will be spending Christmas with my family."

"I encourage people, particularly the vaccinated people who are protected, to have a good, normal Christmas with your family. But ... the way all of the other disinformation goes around, you say something talking about a landmark of a time, and it gets misinterpreted that I'm saying you can’t spend family Christmas time, which is nonsense. You can."

Fauci's latest flip-flopping has generated more memes on social media.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci went viral over the weekend for saying it's "too soon" to consider Christmas gatherings.

Fauci, 80, was suspiciously silent when former President Barack Obama partied with hundreds of unmasked guests in Martha's Vineyard in August.

However, Fauci has been very vocal about Americans giving up their individual rights and getting vaccinated or wearing masks.

In an appearance on Face the Nation on Sunday, Fauci told host Margaret Brennan that "It's too soon to tell" whether Americans can gather to celebrate Christmas.

He said the country should instead focus on getting Covid-19 "cases" down.

The Covid-19 advisor to the White House said:

"There comes a time when you do have to give up what you consider your individual right of making your own decision for the greater good of society."

Twitter's reaction was mixed, but many called Fauci a hypocrite for ignoring the Met Gala, the Emmy Awards, and Obama's "Super spreader" party in the Hamptons.

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Merck is the latest pharmaceutical company to rush an experimental drug to market to treat the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Merck announced Friday that it has developed an experimental oral drug that will reduce hospitalizations and deaths by 50% in people recently infected with Covid.

The company will ask the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency authorization to distribute the capsules.

The drug -- which some compare to Ivermectin and Tamiflu -- is intended as a treatment for people with Covid symptoms.

Former FDA Director Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC that the trial results are clearly "profoundly" positive.

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Merck allegedly tested the drug on 700 unvaccinated people diagnosed with Covid-19 in a global study.

The volunteers were all considered "high risk" due to factors like age, and pre-existing medical conditions.

Merck's study found that 7% of volunteers in the control group that received the drug were hospitalized, and none of them died. While 14% were hospitalized and eight people died in the placebo group.

Dr. Gottlieb calls the test results a "a profound game-changer that we have an oral pill that had this kind of effect on patients who are already symptomatic."

Dr. Gottlieb also noted that the team that developed the drug "also invented the first successful antibody against ebola so this is a very good drug-development team."

The drug is intended to be taken in addition to the mRNA vaccines.

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The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta has issued an urgent health advisory for "pregnant people" who still haven't received their Covid-19 mRNA vaccines.

The CDC recommends mRNA injections for all pregnant women, women who are trying to get pregnant, and women who may become pregnant in the near future.

The CDC urged Covid-19 mRNA vaccination "either before or during pregnancy" because the "benefits of vaccination for both pregnant persons and their fetus or infant outweigh known or potential risks," CBS46 reports.

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According to CDC data, only 31% of "pregnant people" have been vaccinated against Covid-19.

Vaccine coverage is highest among Asian pregnant women (45.7%), but lowest among Black pregnant women (15.6%), or Latino pregnant people (25%).

The CDC says there are 125,000 "confirmed cases of Covid-19 in pregnant people," more than 22,000 pregnant women hospitalized and 161 Covid-19 deaths among pregnant women.

22 deaths of pregnant women occurred in the month of August alone, according to CBS46.

The CDC reminds pregnant women that they are "at increased risk of severe illness, death, and pregnancy complications when compared to non-pregnant people."

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A Michigan couple who received both mRNA injections before dying of Covid-19 are not considered "fully vaccinated" because they didn't receive the booster.

Cal Dunham, 59, and his wife Linda, 66, died within one minute of each other while holding hands, according to family.

Cal and Linda received their mRNA injections in May. Cal updated his Facebook page to announce they'd gotten their shots.

They both took extra precautions because they had pre-existing health conditions. Still, they contracted Covid during a camping trip, Fox 17 reported.

The couple's daughter Sarah Dunham said her parents believed they caught colds or had sinus infections.

"[My dad] called me before our family camping trip and said he wasn't feeling good but he thinks it's just like sinus, and [Linda] caught it and she's like, he gave me his cold," she told Fox17.

"The third day they woke me up and said, 'We've got to go because we don't feel well.' So I packed them all up and they left."

The couple was hospitalized and placed on ventilators. They died within one minute of each other while holding hands on Sunday.

Their deaths will not be listed as breakthrough Covid deaths because they didn't receive the third booster shot.

The FDA approved Pfizer-BioNTech booster shots for those age 65 and older, people with pre-existing conditions, or those with pre-existing medical conditions.

U.S. Pres Joe Biden, 78, received a booster shot in front of cameras on Monday. He said America won't return to normal until 97% or 98% of Americans are vaccinated.

A GoFundMe page was created to help raise funds for funeral expenses.

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