By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - Clinical trial data on two COVID-19 vaccines show that a coronavirus variant first identified in South Africa is lessening their ability to protect against the illness, underscoring the need to vaccinate vast numbers of people as quickly as possible, scientists said. The vaccines from Novavax Inc and Johnson & Johnson were welcomed as important future weapons in curbing deaths and hospitalizations in a pandemic that has infected more than 101 million people and claimed over 2 million lives worldwide. But they were significantly less effective at prevent...
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A Washington man has been sentenced to three years probation and 30 days of intermittent confinement for participating in the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
John Cameron was also fined $1,000 and must pay $500 in restitution, according to reports.
As he was sentenced, Cameron reportedly tried to use the fact that the judge in his case was appointed by former President Ronald Reagan.
“Can you guess who my favorite president is?” Cameron asked Senior Judge Thomas F. Hogan before after his own question. "Ronald Reagan."
As The Washington Post points out, Cameron then went on to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, but the judge was not impressed.
Hogan then began grilling Cameron over his choice to go to the Capitol that day, asking him if he indeed thought the riot was "fun," as he'd posted on Facebook.
“No,” Cameron replied. “I picketed within the Capitol, and that was illegal. ... I would never do it again.”
But Hogan was having none of it.
“I keep hearing from Jan. 6 defendants, ‘We’re being prosecuted,’ like it’s a surprise, or ‘We’re being persecuted,’ like it’s unfair. I do not understand that psychology,” Hogan told him. “What irritates me most is that all of you are claiming you’re patriots; you’re not patriots when you attack the Capitol of the United States.”
Hogan told Cameron that he was lucky he wasn't being charged with a felony.
“If you had pleaded to a felony, I would just put you in jail for a long time,” he said. “The court at least hopes that in this three-year period, you don’t engage in any such conduct again."
Over-the-counter hearing aids will for the first time be available to tens of millions of Americans, officials said Tuesday, in an effort to cut prices from $5,000 a pair.
"For many Americans who suffer from hearing loss, safe and effective and high quality hearing aids have been unaffordable," health secretary Xavier Becerra told reporters in a briefing.
The action, which should take effect in October, would reduce the cost of a pair of hearing aids by an estimated $2,800 per pair, by removing the requirement to see a doctor or audiologist, added Brian Deese, White House Director of the National Economic Council.
At present, a pair of hearing aids costs in the region of $5,000 per pair in the United States -- far more than other advanced countries such as Britain, where the devices are free.
Children, as well as people with severe hearing loss, would still require a prescription.
President Joe Biden, who had called for the move in an executive order issued last year, said in a statement the rule "makes good on my commitment to lower costs for American families... giving people more choices to improve their health and wellbeing."
One in eight people in the United States -- around 30 million people -- aged 12 years or older has hearing loss in both ears, based on standard hearing examinations, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
The new rule applies to hearing aids that work through air conduction, bringing amplified sound into the ear canal where it moves through the eardrum and the middle ear to reach the inner ear, where the processed signal is sent to the brain.
People with more severe hearing loss may require bone conduction hearing aids that bypass the outer and middle ear.
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With former President Donald Trump under criminal investigation for potentially violating the Espionage Act, aides to former Vice President Mike Pence may be taking the opportunity to inflict more political damage to the former commander-in-chief.
Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent notices that new information leaked to the New York Times draws a striking contrast between how they handled sensitive government information on their way out the door and how Trump's team handled it.
"As Mr. Trump sought to hold on to power, two of Mr. Pence’s senior aides — Marc Short, his chief of staff, and Greg Jacob, his counsel — indexed and boxed all of his government papers, according to three former officials with knowledge of the work," the Times reported. "Mr. Jacob spent the bulk of his final few days in government preparing the final boxes, with the goal of ensuring that Mr. Pence left office without a single paper that did not belong to him, one of the officials said."
Sargent argues that "it’s hard to imagine these points being made without at least tacit awareness on Pence’s part," which means that Pence's allies "might be slipping in the shiv at a vulnerable moment" for Trump.
He also reminds readers that both Jacob and Short delivered valuable testimony to the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riots showing that Trump was repeatedly told by legal experts that his scheme to strong-arm Pence into unilaterally throwing out certified electoral votes was unconstitutional.