Why some Americans haven’t got covid yet and why it’s not inevitable

When an omicron wave hits the United States, it spreads like wildfire across the country.

Various models estimate that 50% to 75% of Americans were infected by the variant by the end of the growth.

So, what does this mean for the rest of the U.S. population who did not become infected with COVID-19 during the last wave?

Since Omicron has shown the potential to cause groundbreaking infections despite being vaccinated, there are fears that everyone will be infected with the virus at some point. However, it is important to note that covid vaccines continue to be highly effective for the primary purpose of preventing hospitalization and death.

However, public health experts say that it is not inevitable that Americans have not yet received Covid and that there are several reasons why they have finally been able to avoid infection, including some behaviors such as being serious about masks and social distance, vaccination rates. And even genetics.

Why some people still have not got Kovid

Doctors say millions of Americans still have some reason to be infected with the virus.

One of these factors is human behavior, which means that people take appropriate precautions to reduce their risk of becoming infected.

“Sometimes people don’t get infected because they’re very careful,” Dr. Mark Sidner, an associate professor in the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, told ABC News. “There are some people who have their own health behaviors or are concerned about their own health or the health of their loved ones.”

He continued, “Maybe they have sexually transmitted diseases. They may be the kind of people who are basically under house arrest, or don’t really communicate with others, or are especially careful about things like social distance and masks, and that can stop a lion’s share of infection.” Reduce the risk where you are less likely to be infected. “

These people are also more likely to be vaccinated and vaccinated, and experts say it is impossible to ignore the impact that immunization rates have had on Americans.

Dr. Jonathan Grain said there are social and environmental factors that can determine why some Americans became infected and others did not, including how much time people spend with others and where they interact.

“Some people may have more contact with regular people than others,” Grain, director of epidemiology at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, told ABC News. “There are probably environmental reasons as well, the virus is probably transmitted more efficiently in certain situations such as the classically weaker-ventilated space than the indoor, outdoor space.”

However, genetics may play a role.

Dr. Stuart Ray, a professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University, said a similar situation has been observed among people who are at high risk of HIV but have not contracted the disease.

“One of the things that was discovered was people who had mutations [a certain] Receptor 6 and it was associated with not being infected with HIV, and among those who are infected with abnormalities, AIDS progresses very slowly, ”he told ABC News.

Although no clearly identified gene has yet been found, Ray said some people are genetically less susceptible to covid.

Is COVID-19 infection inevitable?

Experts say they do not believe that COVID-19 infection is inevitable or at least inevitable for everyone.

“It’s been two years now and not enough people have been infected yet. It’s good evidence that it’s not inevitable that everyone will get it,” Green said. “One thing we have clearly identified is that vaccination is the most important variable in determining how safe someone can be.

However, Ray said he thinks Americans who are vaccinated but not yet infected will eventually.

“As these forms become more contagious, the likelihood of those people becoming infected seems significant,” he said. “I think people who have not been vaccinated and have not been vaccinated will eventually get it because we are not going to track the infection as closely as in the past and so there will be less awareness because of the virus hire. No. “

Dr. Peter Chin-hong, an infectious disease specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, says the cowardly situation in Hong Kong is a “terrible story” about what could happen in an immunized country.

According to Our World in Data, Hong Kong currently has the highest COVID-19 death rate in the world, with a seven-day rolling average of 37.68 per million people.

“A lot of people were vaccinated in Hong Kong, but it was the opposite in the United States,” he said. “In the United States, many seniors are vaccinated and raised, but in Hong Kong the opposite is true. Very few seniors are vaccinated so that when they get it, even something ‘light’ like Omicron, many people die, so it A warning story. “

There is no number that determines whether the United States has sufficient resistance

At the beginning of the epidemic, Dr. Anthony Fawcett and other public health experts suggested that 75% to 85% of the animals in the United States needed to be vaccinated to gain immunity.

Currently, only 65.3% of all Americans are fully vaccinated.

Then, when UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last month that he would lift the remaining COVID-19 restrictions in England, supporters said there was a reason because official figures show that more than 98% of England’s adult population has identifiable COVID-19. Antibodies to previous infections or vaccines.

But officials say there are no numbers in the United States for which officials can declare “adequate immunity.”

“The game has changed a bit because the virus has been able to infect and develop many people,” Ray said. “Right now the level of infection is so high that levels of antibodies are needed to prevent infection. The level we need to achieve is difficult to maintain in the long run.”

Putin has compared opponents to “mosquitoes”, signaling a new crackdown

On Wednesday, Putin’s slanderous speech compared opponents to “bhushas” who seek to weaken the country at the behest of the West – crude remarks that create a platform for widespread repression against those who dare to speak out against the war in Ukraine.

This reflects his frustration with the slow pace of the Russian invasion, which has been stranded on the outskirts of Kiev and around other cities in northeastern Ukraine. Russian forces have made relatively large gains in the south, but they have not been able to capture the strategic port of Mariupol in the Azov Sea, and their advance on the Black Sea coast has stalled.

Russia, meanwhile, has been hit hard by destructive Western sanctions that have cut government access to an estimated half of the country’s hard currency reserves and left the economy crippled in many areas.

With his hopes for an explosion in Ukraine shattered and economic costs rising sharply, Putin issued a toxic diatribe to opponents of his path.

“The Russian people will always be able to distinguish true patriots from filth and traitors and spit on them like ghosts flying by mistake in their mouths – spitting on their sidewalks,” Putin said during a Wednesday call with top officials. “I am convinced that such a natural and necessary self-purification of society will only strengthen our country, our solidarity, solidarity and readiness to face any challenge.”

Rough language carries a sinister parallel for those familiar with Soviet history. During Stalin’s Great Terror Show trial, authorities denounced the so-called “enemies of the people” as “reptiles” or “mad dogs”.

In a fit of rage, Putin complained that the Russians who opposed the war in Ukraine were a “fifth column” vaguely serving Western interests and ready to “sell their mother.”

“I do not condemn those who have villas in Miami or the French Riviera, who cannot live without foie gras, oysters or so-called sex freedom,” Putin said. “It’s not a problem. The problem is that many of these people are mentally there (in the West) and here with our people, not with Russia. . “

As he spoke, the Russian State Investigative Committee announced the launch of a criminal investigation against several people accused of spreading “false information” about military action in Ukraine.

The first person to be identified by the country’s top investigative agency was Veronica Belotserkovskaya, a popular blogger and socialite who wrote books on French and Italian cuisine and shared her time between Russia and southern France. He has emerged as a target for Putin’s misrepresentation of the cosmopolitan Russians, who like fancy food and seemingly disagree with the masses.

The committee of inquiry said it could issue an international arrest warrant for Belteroskovsky, accusing his Instagram posts of “disrespecting” state authorities and the military.

Belotserkovskaya responded by writing: “I have been officially declared a decent person!”

One week after Putin launched the attack, he is being investigated under the Kremlin-controlled parliament’s March 4 fast-tracking new law. It envisages up to 15 years in prison for posting “fake” information about the military, which is different from the official description.

Putin and his lieutenants described the war in Ukraine as a “special military operation” aimed at rooting out alleged “neo-Nazi nationalists” and eliminating a potential military threat against Russia – goals that most of the world have dismissed as fake.

Russian officials have blamed the slow pace of the attack on their desire to protect civilians, and even the military has carried out indiscriminate barrages and airstrikes in Mariupol, Kiev, Kharkiv and other Ukrainian cities, killing scores of civilians.

In stark contrast to the official announcement with the move in Ukraine, the authorities acted swiftly to control the message, cut off access to foreign media websites, including Facebook and Instagram, and outlawed their parent organization, Meta, as an “extremist” organization.

The tight lid of information has helped support the Kremlin’s wider population, who rely on state-controlled television as their main source of news. State TV shows carry increasingly offensive messages against opponents of the war.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described Putin as “a sign that the door to his apartment was spray-painted with the letter” Z “by war critics – a sign widely used by the state to identify Russian military vehicles in Ukraine. The passionate move of the supporters.

Russian cities were flooded with “Z” posters in support of the war, and vehicles were equipped with it. School children are shown standing in groups in the shape of letters or wearing clothes marked “Z”.

Despite stringent new laws, strict control over information and increasingly aggressive propaganda, thousands of Russians turned out in anti-war protests across the country to face immediate arrest.

A powerful symbol of disobedience, an employee of state television interrupted a live news program, holding a hand-made sign in protest of the war. Marina Ovsanikova was fined the equivalent of $ 270, but she could still face a criminal investigation that could land her in jail.

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny, Putin’s worst political opponent, has been jailed for two and a half years in prison and is currently facing trial that could see him sentenced to 13 years in prison.

In a speech at his trial on Tuesday, Navalny warned that the war would destroy Russia, saying “everyone has a responsibility to oppose the war now.”

COVID cases are expected to increase next week due to the new BA.2 variant

BA.2 made up 23% of new COVID cases, up from 7% two weeks ago.

Experts fear that the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States will increase in the next few weeks as the new BA.2 variant spreads.

Data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that BA.2, a submarine of Omicron, is increasing threefold every two weeks.

As of the week ending March 11, BA.2 made up 23.1% of all COVID cases in the United States, compared to 7.1% of all cases for the week ending February 26, according to the CDC.

Although the original Omicron variant still makes up the majority of Kovid infections in the United States, its incidence has dropped from 74.5% to 66.1% over the same period.

Dr. Anthony Fawcett, the country’s leading infectious disease specialist, said that given the growing prevalence of BA.2, he expects cases to increase within the next month.

“I hope we see an improvement in cases here in the United States because, just a week or so ago, the CDC came up with a change in their metrics that would be recommended for masking indoors and in most parts of the country. Where there is no need to mask inside the house, “Fausi told ABC-approved KGTV on Wednesday.

Fawcett added that he believes BA.2 will become the dominant variant in the country, surpassing the original Omicron variant.

Several European countries – such as Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom – have reported a spike in COVID-19 in recent weeks.

In the UK, 93,943 cases were recorded on Wednesday, more than double the 45,303 recorded two weeks ago, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. John Bronstein, an epidemiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and contributor to ABC News, said: “Europe is an important sign of what we can expect in the United States.” We don’t know if it will be another wave or a small push. “

Last month, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that any remaining COVID-19 measures in England would be scrapped so that the country could move to a new stage of the epidemic, which he described as “living with COVID”.

Several European countries, such as the United States, have followed suit, simplifying masking guidelines for 70% of countries, including schools.

Fawcett said he was encouraged that BA.2 did not appear to be the cause of the more serious illness, but warned that if the United States were to experience another wave of covid waves, Americans would be willing to re-adopt mitigation measures – and other experts agreed. Be.

“What we’re seeing now is the importance of being able to intervene off-ramp as a case-up and how to get them back as soon as they’re back,” Bronstein said. “This could mean masking in specific settings and spending less time in indoor settings and environments that we know can spread the virus faster.”

Dr. Ali Mokdad, an epidemiologist at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle, said he hopes the U.S. government also has plans to distribute COVID-19 antivirals in a single wave.

“These drugs are life-saving and if someone is diagnosed early and they take these antiviral drugs, they will not end up in the hospital and will not die from it,” he told ABC News. “So it will really reduce the burden of COVID-19.”

Ariel Metropolis of ABC News contributed to this report.

Moderna seeks FDA approval for 4th dose of Covid shot

The drugmaker has asked the Modern Food and Drug Administration to approve a fourth shot of its COVID-19 vaccine as a booster dose for all adults.

WASHINGTON – Pharmaceutical maker Moderna on Thursday asked the Food and Drug Administration to approve a fourth shot of its COVID-19 vaccine as a booster dose for all adults.

The request extends beyond the regulator’s request to rival pharmaceutical company Pfizer to allow a booster shot for all seniors earlier this week.

In a press release, the agency said its request for approval was made to “give flexibility” to all adults to determine “appropriate use” of the second booster dose of the mRNA vaccine by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and medical providers “due to age or tolerance to COVID.” There is a high risk of 19 including them. “

Moderna said her request for an additional dose was “based on recently published data from the United States and Israel following the rise of Omicron.”

On Tuesday, Pfizer and its partner Bioentech asked U.S. regulators to approve an additional booster dose of their Covid-19 vaccine for adults, according to Israeli data, which would benefit older adults.

The 13-year-old was killed in a driving truck accident that killed seven members of the college golf team:

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, a 13-year-old was in the wheel of a pickup truck that went in front of a van carrying male and female golf teams from the University of the Southwest, killing nine people, including the underage driver.

Six members of the team and head coach were killed in the accident. The condition of the two is critical in a hospital in Texas.

NTSB Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg told reporters that the Dodge 2500 Ram pickup truck driven by the teenager was heading north near Midland, Texas, Tuesday night when it crossed the southbound lane and collided head-on with a 17-seater passenger van carrying golf. According to the team NTSB, the left front tire of the truck had a spare that failed and the car had to be pulled to the hard left and cross the opposite lane.

In addition to the 13-year-old, whose name has not been released, a 38-year-old man, Henrik Siemens, was in the Dodge pickup. Both were killed, along with the coach, Tyler James, and six golfers in the passenger van.

The deceased was identified as Mauricio Sanchez, 19, of Mexico. Travis Garcia, 19, of Pleasanton, Texas; Jackson Jean, 22, Westminster, Colorado; Carissa Raines, 21, of Fort Stockton, Texas; Lacy Stone, 18, of Nakona, Texas; And Tiago Sousa, 18, of Portugal.

According to the University of the Southwest, two passengers in the team van who survived the wreckage were hospitalized in Missouri, Dayton Price, 19, of Ontario, and Hayden Underhill, 20, of Amherstview, Ontario, in Lubbock, Texas, until Thursday. .

According to Landsberg, investigators were able to determine if the teenager was in the driver’s seat based on the size of the remains inside the truck.

Landsberg said his team was going through all the evidence at the scene, including the vehicle’s recorder, but found that the incident was “very clearly a high-speed, head-on collision.” Both the vehicles caught fire after the accident.

“We have literally thousands of pictures that were taken by various first responders and there is no question about the power of influence,” he said.

Landsberg added that “a large number of bus passengers were not wearing seatbelts” at the time of the incident.

The NTSB will release a preliminary report of its investigation in two to three weeks, Landsberg said.

Southwest University Provost Ryan Tipton provided an update on the two injured students during a news conference Thursday and said the school would assist them in their long journey.

“Every day plays an inch, and every hour is one step closer to another day,” he said.

Tipton said most students are off campus for the spring break, but the school plans to hold a memorial service in honor of those who died after classes resumed.

“We are a family of Mustangs,” he said, referring to the school’s mascot. “We ran as one, we ran together and [when] One of us is in pain, we are all in pain. “

Alex Stone reports for ABC Audio:

Russian media: WNBA Greener’s detention has been extended until May 19

Russia’s Tass news agency says a court near Moscow has announced that it has extended the detention of WNBA star Brittany Greener until May 19.

Russian media reported that WNBA star Britney Greener’s detention was extended until May 19, a development that could hold the two-time Olympic champion for at least three months before her case is resolved.

Greener was detained at a Moscow airport in mid-February, when Russian authorities said a search of his luggage turned up a VEP cartridge containing marijuana oil, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

The U.S. embassy in Moscow did not immediately return calls seeking comment from the Associated Press.

The State Department spokeswoman Ned Price said Tuesday that the State Department was “doing its utmost to support Britney Greener’s family and to work with them to ensure that she is treated fairly and that she is released.” In a briefing, he mentioned privacy considerations in not giving further details.

Ekaterina Kalugina of the Regional Public Monitoring Commission, a state-backed panel in Russia that monitors detainees, told Tas that Greener was sharing a cell with two other female detainees accused of drug offenses.

Greener’s cellmates spoke English and helped him communicate with pre-trial detention facility staff and get books, Kalugina said.

“The only objective problem is the height of the basketball player,” Toss quoted Kalugina as saying, referring to the 6-foot-9 Greener. “Cell beds are obviously made for people of low height.”

Greener has won two Olympic gold medals with the United States, a WNBA championship with the Phoenix Mercury, and a national championship in Beller. He is a seven-time All-Star. The WNBA season opens on May 6.

He was one of a dozen WNBA players who played in Russia or Ukraine this past season. After Russia invaded Ukraine, everyone except Greener left.

Greener has played winter in Russia for the past seven years, earning more than 1 million per season – four times his WNBA salary. He last played for his Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg on January 29, before taking a two-week league break in early February for the FIBA ​​World Cup qualifiers. After returning to Russia, he was arrested in Moscow.

Former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has joined a growing group of family, friends and officials calling for her release via a “free Britney” tweet on Wednesday.

It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.

Greener’s wife, Cheryl, thanked everyone for their support but said more on social media.

WNBA Commissioner Kathy Engelbert told the AP on Wednesday: Agents and strategists. “

The State Department noted privacy considerations in not disclosing further information about Greener’s situation, despite the strong public interest in the case. In fact, federal law prohibits U.S. officials from providing personal information about any U.S. citizen arrested or otherwise detained abroad without their public written consent.

There are very limited exceptions to the provisions of the 1974 Privacy Act which prohibits the disclosure of passport records of U.S. citizens. An exception is when the subject of the investigation signs a document known as the Privacy Law Waiver, which allows diplomats from the State Department in Washington and US embassies and consulates abroad to discuss specific information.

Greener is not the only American currently detained in Russia. Marine veteran Trevor Reed was sentenced to nine years in prison in 2020 for assaulting police officers in Moscow, and Michigan corporate security chief Paul Huilan is serving a 16-year sentence for espionage that his family and the U.S. government have denied. . U.S. officials have publicly called on Moscow to release them.

Echoing Biden, Blinken said he believed Russia was committing “war crimes.”

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Thursday that he personally believes war crimes have been committed in Ukraine, the first time since President Joe Biden called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal.”

“Yesterday, President Biden said that, according to him, war crimes have been committed in Ukraine. Personally, I agree,” said Blinken. “Deliberately targeting civilians is a war crime. After all the destruction of the last few weeks, I find it difficult to conclude that the Russians are doing otherwise.”

Before the United States formally identified Putin’s actions as war crimes, Blinken said State Department experts from the Office of Global Criminal Justice were documenting and evaluating evidence for a formal resolution and would share those findings with those responsible. However he acknowledged that their numbers were not enough to defeat Obama’s government.

“These incidents add to a long list of attacks on civilian non-military locations across Ukraine, including apartment buildings, public squares and, last week, a maternity hospital in Mariupol,” he said. “I doubt that any of us who have seen these pictures will ever forget.”

“There must be accountability in one way or another for this war of aggression,” he said of Putin.

But he warned of further darkness – Russia is reclaiming genocide, using chemical or biological weapons and blaming Ukraine, sending its “mercenaries” to join the war, and systematically abducting and replacing Ukrainian officials with puppets. Which he called a “terrorist tactic.”

While Ukrainian officials were engaged in talks with the Russian opposition, Blinken expressed frustration with the talks – saying they saw no “meaningful effort” by Russia to end the war through diplomacy. If anything, he warned, Putin indicated in his remarks on Wednesday that he was doubling down.

Shortly before Blinken spoke, a State Department official confirmed to ABC News that a U.S. citizen had been killed in Ukraine on Thursday when Chernihiv regional police said an American had been killed in Russian shelling there. Two American journalists, a filmmaker and a Fox News cameraman were killed while covering the war this week.

With thousands fleeing the violence, Biden announced Wednesday that the United States would provide অতিরিক্ত 800 million in additional security assistance to Ukraine, bringing the total to $ 1 billion last week. But the central request of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky – a no-fly zone over Ukraine – was not granted. However, he proposed an alternative to Congress on Wednesday: the S-300s, a Soviet-era missile system designed to defend against Russian aggression.

At its request, NATO ally Slovakia said it was “willing” to provide a replacement – until NATO would fill the gap created in Slovakia by providing its only air defense system.

“When we decide to give it to the Ukrainians, what happens immediately is that we actually create a security gap in NATO,” Slovak Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad told a joint news conference with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in Bratislava on Thursday. “If there is a situation where we have a proper replacement or we have a certainty for a certain period of time, then we are willing to discuss the future of the S-300 system.”

It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. The three NATO countries that have S-300s are Slovakia, Bulgaria and Greece.

The United States has reiterated that it will not support a no-fly zone, and despite Zelensky’s request, Austin has explained the decision and called on Putin to stop attacking Ukrainian civilians.

“Implementing a no-fly zone means you’re at war. You’re fighting Russia,” Austin said. “So, from a US perspective, we have, again, our position that we are not going to make one,” he added.

Asked directly whether Russia’s attacks on civilians in Ukraine were war crimes, Austin did not go as far as Biden and Blinken, saying the State Department was currently reviewing reports of civilian attacks.

“If you intentionally attack civilians, intentionally target civilians, it’s not – it’s a crime,” Austin said. “So, these actions are being reviewed by our State Department, and of course, there will be and will be a process to review all of these.”

Amid concerns that China could help Russia with military equipment, Biden is scheduled to hold talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday. He will attend a demonstration of solidarity with NATO leaders in Brussels next week.

Earlier in the day, Biden welcomed Michael Martin, an Irish Taoist, to a virtual bilateral meeting at the Oval Office, and said that as Russia’s war in Ukraine continues, leaders are “meeting at a time when demands for world unity are really accelerating.”

“We have to be united and we must be,” Biden said. “But Putin’s brutality and what he is doing and what his troops are doing in Ukraine is inhumane.”

Echoing Biden’s views on Putin’s “irrational and immoral war,” Taoisach said, “I share with you our horror at the barbaric attacks on civilians, and through them Biden’s leadership has become” strong, “determined and” strong. ” . “

“The United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada and other like-minded democracies are coming together to respond to this barbaric attack on women, especially the children of Ukraine.”

Luis Martinez of ABC News contributed to this report.

The Cowboys politician is the second person in the January 6 riots

Otto County Commissioner Cui Griffin has been accused of knowingly entering the confines of Capitol Square, one of hundreds of pro-Trump supporters who have been accused of violating Joe Biden’s certification for the 2020 presidential election. His trial will be the second of hundreds of people arrested in the riots.

He is one of at least 10 people accused of rioting who held public office or ran for office in the two-and-a-half years since the attack. They include candidates for mayor of West Texas, city councils in Kansas and West Virginia, counties in Washington state, congressional seats in Florida, and statehouses in Pennsylvania, New York, and West Virginia. January 6 Another defendant is running for a congressional seat in New Hampshire this year.

Griffin has been in office since 2019 and is one of three elected officials responsible for management, administration and budget. While in office, he also served on county boards promoting local election results.

In 2019, he helped find a cowboy for Trump with a group of rodeo acquaintances to spread a conservative message about gun rights, immigration control and abortion restrictions. Many of those messages were delivered on horseback.

Griffin, a former rodeo rider and former pastor, plans to ride his horse “Red” to the country’s capital, as he has previously outing with the group in Washington and then taking the animal to courthouse.

He has rejected Biden’s 2020 election and believes Trump is the real winner, despite the lack of evidence and statements from elected officials, local election leaders and Trump’s own attorney general that the results were accurate.

Griffin voted in January with his county commission to review the 2020 presidential election in Otero County – where Trump won 62% of the share – through a door-to-door campaign that has raised concerns about intimidating voters. The review is still being conducted.

Prosecutors have submitted a variety of images showing Griffin violating the barricades on the day of the 2021 uprising – a torn down fence and another barrier to access the Capitol steps. Pictures taken by Griffin’s own videographer show him using a bullhorn to cheer in the crowd on January 6 and lead the crowd in prayer.

Matthew Struck, the videographer who was with Griffin, has been granted immunity and is expected to testify at trial, prosecutors said in a filing Thursday.

He does not deny that he was in the Capitol on January 6, 2021; He admitted that he had entered a barricaded area to reach the Capitol’s outdoor verandah in the afternoon without entering the building.

But his attorneys claim that prosecutors provided first-hand evidence that then-Vice President Mike Pence was still at the Capitol – a prerequisite for the US Secret Service to call for access restrictions.

Prosecutors say Pence’s exact location was irrelevant when the county commissioner entered the Capitol field – and that the Secret Service did not have to disclose sensitive security information regarding the riot response.

Griffin clearly disagrees.

“People have been accused of entering an unauthorized area and it cannot be an unauthorized area to start with – this is a legal question now,” Griffin said in an interview with the Associated Press. “It’s really embarrassing for part of Mike Pence – personally and privately – to take action and let us know when he left the building, unless he’s trying to protect the government and hurt the patriots.”

U.S. District Court Judge Trevor McFadden ruled that prosecutors must call a witness to testify who had first-hand knowledge of Pence’s whereabouts during the attack if they wanted Griffin to stand trial in a confined building or grounds. Earlier, McFadden denied Griffin’s allegations of misconduct and discrimination.

Griffin was arrested by Capitol police on January 17, 2021, after returning to Washington to protest Biden’s election and inauguration. He spent about three weeks in prison before his pending trial.

Back home in southern New Mexico, Griffin resisted an attempt to hold a withdrawal election. State election regulators have sued Griffin for refusing to register cowboys for Trump as a political party. Griffin said the group is a profitable business and he is concerned about identifying and harassing contributors.

In early March, Griffin confirmed that he would not run for office this year or run in the 2022 election cycle, saying he had lost faith in the political system.

The fate of other politicians is unclear. A former Pennsylvania lawmaker has been sentenced to 60 days in prison for appearing inside the Capitol building during the riots. A former West Virginia lawmaker who resigned from his office three days after joining the crowd in the building has been charged with one count of civil unrest and is due to stand trial in court on Friday.

In all, at least 765 people have been charged with federal crimes related to capital riots. At least 231 of them have been convicted, mostly for misdemeanors. At least 119 riot convicts have been convicted, 50 of whom have already been sentenced to life in prison.

There are approximately 90 other trial dates. The first trial of the rioters has been completed in all the cases.


Billeaud reports from Phoenix.

More than 30 companies will start making Pfizer’s Covid Peel

The UN-backed Medicine Patent Pool says about three dozen companies worldwide will soon begin developing generic versions of Pfizer’s coronavirus pill.

Medicine Patent Pool said in a statement that the agreements signed with 35 companies would help make Pfizer’s antiviral Nirmatrelvi or Paxlovoid available to more than half the world’s population.

Generic drug makers across a dozen countries in Asia, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Eastern Europe will begin producing either Pfizer raw ingredients or pills. Ukraine was one of the licensed companies, which has not yet confirmed whether it can participate.

“It will make a huge difference for countries.” Charles Gore is executive director of the Medicine Patent Pool. He says the availability of Pfizer drugs in some of the world’s poorest countries is particularly critical. “They were behind the scenes for the vaccine, so such treatment in the arsenal would be crucial to preventing death.”

Gore estimates that some generic companies may be ready to submit their drugs for regulatory approval later this year, with some supplies available in 2023.

Pfizer’s drug has been found to reduce the risk of hospitalization or death in people at risk of severe COVID-19 by up to 90%; It is also thought to be effective against the Omicron variant because it does not target the spike protein of the coronavirus, where most disturbing mutations occur.

In January, Medicine Patent Poole announced a similar deal with Merck, when it entered into an agreement with more than two dozen companies licensed to manufacture their Covid Peel, Malnupiravi.

No company that makes the Covid-19 vaccine has yet agreed to work with the group to allow other manufacturers to make their shots.

Showing ‘ghost guns’ at school shootings, experts fear the trend could get worse

Since November, law enforcement and activists have had similarly disturbing connections with at least four school shootings; The suspected shooters used a “ghost gun”.

A “ghost gun” is a firearm that is packaged in parts, purchased online and assembled without many traces, which experts warn is becoming increasingly dangerous.

“When we first heard about these weapons, we thought anyone could get them, even a child. It’s no longer speculation,” Alex McCourt, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Prevention and Policy, told ABC News.

McCourt, law enforcement and other experts studying the spread of the “ghost gun” told ABC News that the trend will continue outside the school setting unless policymakers take action.

According to McCourt, there are two types of weapons that fall under the Ghost Gun Moniker.

The first is a plastic gun that can be made with a 3D printer and usually fires a shot.

The second version, which he said was increasingly found in crime scenes, is a gun assembly kit that covers all parts of a gun, but without a serial number or specific component. McCourt said home-made guns bypassed federal laws that require registration and tracing.

Due to loopholes in federal gun law, kits are not considered firearms because they lack specific complete components. In addition, under current law, users are not allowed to register their manufactured weapons with the federal government.

A spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told ABC News that the number of “personally made firearms” or PMFs recovered by law enforcement from the crime scene has increased over the years. In 2016, law enforcement agencies across the country seized 1,750 PMFs from the crime scene, and by 2020 that number had risen to 8,712, according to the agency.

“As of January 1, 2016, as of December 31, 2020, approximately 23,906 suspected PMFs have reported to the ATF that law enforcement has recovered from a potential crime scene, including 325 attempted murders or attempted murders,” said ATF spokeswoman Caroline Gowath Inn. Statement

Gwathmey said the data could be underestimated because not all law enforcement agencies submitted their PMF and “ghost gun” numbers to the federal government.

McCourt said legal loopholes allow “ghost gun” kits to be sold online and take ordinary household equipment to make in half an hour.

“It’s a lot less complicated than you might think,” he said. “If you can assemble IKEA furniture, you can assemble these weapons,” he said.

Rob Wilcox, federal legal director of Everitown for Gun Safety, a non-profit gun protection organization, told ABC News that there are several online sites that not only sell “ghost gun” kits but also provide step-by-step instructions to consumers. Any age without any supervision or background check. Wilcox says although the federal government has limited data on this online marketplace, its group’s research shows that the number of Internet-based “ghost gun” retailers has been growing for several years.

“You can send it to a place where there is no watchful eye,” he said.

The weapons recently entered the school grounds.

On November 29, a 15-year-old student at Caesar Chavez High School in Phoenix allegedly shot and wounded a 16-year-old classmate with a “ghost gun,” the Phoenix Police Department said. An investigation is under way, a police spokesman told ABC News.

Steven Alston Jr., a 17-year-old student at Magrudar High School in Rockville, Maryland, allegedly shot and seriously injured a 15-year-old classmate during an argument on Jan. 21, police said. Investigators say Alston, who was charged with second-degree murder as an adult, allegedly used a “ghost gun.”

“Three different parts were literally delivered to his home,” Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones told reporters at a news conference a few days after the shooting.

Albuquerque, New Mexico, Police say Marcos Trejo, 14, shot his classmate outside West Mesa High School on February 25 while fighting with a ghost gun. Trejo has been charged with murder, police said.

The most recent incident occurred March 4, when an 18-year-old suspect used a “ghost gun” to injure two teachers and a student at East High School in Olathe, Kansas, according to prosecutors. According to Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe, Gelon Dessian Elmore has been charged with attempted murder.

In all investigations, police and prosecutors have told ABC News that they are still watching how the guns went into the hands of juvenile suspects and are warning them to spread in their community.

A spokesman for the Montgomery County State Attorney’s Office, which is investigating the shooting at Magrudar High School, told ABC News in a statement that “ghost guns have been recovered from five county schools since the beginning of the school year.”

Some states have taken legal action against “ghost guns in the light of this incident”

Nine states, including New York and California, have responded to the rise of “ghost guns” with laws requiring background checks and serial numbers for all components of kits, according to Everitown for gun protection.

New York State’s “ghost gun” regulations went into effect this fall after legislators said it had increased the number of “ghost gun” possessions across the state by 479% in the last three years.

“If you can’t pass a background check to get a gun, you won’t be able to get a gun – period,” State Sen. Anna Kaplan, who introduced one of the New York Bills, said in a statement last year.

Cities such as Denver, San Francisco and Philadelphia have passed similar laws.

Some states are considering similar laws. For example, lawmakers in the state of Maryland are debating a bill, SB 387, which would prohibit a person from buying, accepting, selling, offering or transferring an unfinished frame or receiver.

During a hearing last month, law enforcement groups and district attorney’s offices, including Montgomery County Attorney John McCarthy, pressured Maryland legislators to pass the bill.

“If you look at the rise in violent crime across the country, and especially in my county, ghost guns are involved,” McCarthy told ABC News. “The real danger of ghost guns is really twofold. Number one, forbidden people, whom we have decided not to keep guns in Maryland, can get these guns – and number two, we see that they gradually fall into the hands of children.”

Maryland Sen. Justin Reddy told the Baltimore Sun before the Jan. 25 hearing that he did not think a ban on “ghost guns” would be effective because criminals would still find ways to get weapons.

“I have a lot more respect for these gun control groups if they strongly support crackdown bills against people who commit acts of violence,” Reddy told the Baltimore Sun.

McCourt said lawmakers have been playing catch-up with ever-evolving technology and that these bills are a good start, but because of the reach of online sales, the federal government needs to take action.

“Having a patchwork of state laws doesn’t do much,” he said.

Last year, the Biden administration and the Justice Department proposed a new rule that would allow the ATF to redefine “firearm frame or receiver” and “frame or receiver” so that the agency could control “ghost guns.”

The ATF is currently reviewing public comment on the proposal, according to the White House.

Wilcox said Biden’s proposal would effectively cripple online sales of “ghost guns” and make it easier for law enforcement agencies to track kits.

Meanwhile, Wilcox said parents and caregivers need to have frequent conversations with their children about homemade gun kits.

“You need to know if your child is in crisis, you need to limit access to their gun,” he said. “That includes access to sites that sell ghost guns.”