Washington Post: White House officials debate masking push as covid infections spike

Washington Post: White House officials debate masking push as covid infections spike. “The talks are in a preliminary phase and their result could be as simple as new messaging from top White House officials. But some of the talks include officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who are separately examining whether to update their masking guidance, according to a Biden administration aide and a federal health official.”

Washington Post: Two doses of Pfizer and AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines effective against delta variant, study says

Washington Post: Two doses of Pfizer and AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines effective against delta variant, study says. “Two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine offer 88 percent protection against symptomatic disease caused by the delta variant, compared to 94 percent against the alpha variant that was first discovered in Britain and became dominant across the globe earlier this year, the study said. A double dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was 67 percent effective against delta, according to the British researchers, down slightly from an efficacy rate of 75 percent against the alpha variant.”

The Guardian: AI firm DeepMind puts database of the building blocks of life online

The Guardian: AI firm DeepMind puts database of the building blocks of life online. “Last year the artificial intelligence group DeepMind cracked a mystery that has flummoxed scientists for decades: stripping bare the structure of proteins, the building blocks of life. Now, having amassed a database of nearly all human protein structures, the company is making the resource available online free for researchers to use.”

The Verge: Here’s how to check your phone for Pegasus spyware using Amnesty’s tool

The Verge: Here’s how to check your phone for Pegasus spyware using Amnesty’s tool. “Amnesty International — part of the group that helped break the news of journalists and heads of state being targeted by NSO’s government-grade spyware, Pegasus — has released a tool to check if your phone has been affected. Alongside the tool is a great set of instructions, which should help you through the somewhat technical checking process. Using the tool involves backing up your phone to a separate computer and running a check on that backup. Read on if you’ve been side-eyeing your phone since the news broke and are looking for guidance on using Amnesty’s tool.” The process is fairly involved; folks without a lot of tech chops will need some help.

Wired: How to Watch the 2021 Summer Olympics

Wired: How to Watch the 2021 Summer Olympics . “Read on for the specific timing of some of the biggest events. NBC hasn’t yet indicated when it will replay most of the events, so these are all live times. Also, the times are likely to change as the actual games play out. You can find the full schedule of events on the official Olympics website. For all the events in Eastern time, use NBC’s official schedule.”

CNN: My uncle died of Covid-19 before he could get a vaccine in Kenya, and I got mine in a US drugstore. This is what vaccine inequality looks like

CNN: My uncle died of Covid-19 before he could get a vaccine in Kenya, and I got mine in a US drugstore. This is what vaccine inequality looks like. “Of the 3.5 billion people already vaccinated worldwide, only 1.6% are in African countries. New cases have been surging for eight straight weeks on the continent, leading to a fresh wave of lockdowns, overwhelmed healthcare systems, lost livelihoods and — worst of all — a large death toll. In the past week alone, fatalities were up more than 40%. Many of these could have been prevented if more Africans were vaccinated.”

AP FACT CHECK: Biden goes too far in assurances on vaccines (AP)

AP: AP FACT CHECK: Biden goes too far in assurances on vaccines. “President Joe Biden offered an absolute guarantee Wednesday that people who get their COVID-19 vaccines are completely protected from infection, sickness and death from the coronavirus. The reality is not that cut and dried. The vaccines are extremely effective but ‘breakthrough’ infections do occur and the delta variant driving cases among the unvaccinated in the U.S. is not fully understood.”

The Atlantic: America Is Getting Unvaccinated People All Wrong

The Atlantic: America Is Getting Unvaccinated People All Wrong. “Even against the fast-spreading Delta variant, the vaccines remain highly effective, and people who haven’t received them are falling sick far more often than those who have. But their vulnerability to COVID-19 is the only thing that unvaccinated people universally share. They are disparate in almost every way that matters, including why they haven’t yet been vaccinated and what it might take to persuade them. ”

Tennessean: Republican lawmakers met privately with state leaders about ending vaccine outreach

Tennessean: Republican lawmakers met privately with state leaders about ending vaccine outreach. “In the days before Tennessee stopped encouraging teenagers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, Republican lawmakers met privately with the state health commissioner and a representative of the governor’s office to discuss specifically how to dial back vaccination advocacy to minors. Those same lawmakers on Wednesday shut down opposition comments from Democrats and the public in a highly-anticipated hearing.”

‘A tipping point’: Kansas City hospitals are turning away patients due to COVID surge (Kansas City Star)

Kansas City Star: ‘A tipping point’: Kansas City hospitals are turning away patients due to COVID surge. “Across the state line, Missouri health officials on Wednesday reported the highest daily increase in infections since mid-January with 2,995 additional cases. The Missouri Independent, a news organization covering the state, reported that the seven-day average of cases rose to 2,144 per day, up ‘one-third in seven days and more than triple the average of June 21.’”

‘Ridiculous’: Vaccine Myths Cripple U.S. Uptake as Delta Surges (BloombergQuint)

BloombergQuint: ‘Ridiculous’: Vaccine Myths Cripple U.S. Uptake as Delta Surges. “”Just as the Biden administration appeared at the verge of snuffing out Covid-19 in the U.S., a shadow pandemic of disinformation threatens to prolong the crisis. Promulgated virus-like itself through social media platforms, a miasma of uncertainties, anecdotes and outright lies has seized the imaginations of Americans hesitant to be vaccinated, slowing the U.S. campaign to inoculate its population.”