At least 15 states have now been found to have the variant. Another investigation into the events leading up to last week’s Michigan school shooting will be conducted by a third party, and USA TODAY Sports’ Tom Schad wonders if omicron will affect the Winter Olympics, as reported by Nina Mandell.
To listen to the podcast, click on the player above and follow along with the transcript. An automated transcription was used to create this transcript, which was then edited for clarity. In some cases, the audio and the written version may differ.
Taylor Wilson: That’s what I’m saying.
Hello, everyone. Here are five things you should know about Monday, December 6, 2021. The latest on omicron’s spread across the country is here today. Plus Spotify Wrapped’s growing popularity, and much more.
A sampling of the most popular headlines:
Bob Dole, a former senator from Arkansas, has died at the age of 93. In addition to being a World War II veteran, Dole served as a candidate for president in 1960. He was 98 years old.
Sexual harassment claims have been made against Chris Cuomo. When Andrew Cuomo’s own sexual harassment allegations surfaced, the former CNN anchor was forced to defend his brother in court. He was suspended and ultimately fired from his job as a result.
Aung San Suu Kyi, the ousted leader of Myanmar, has been sentenced to four years in prison by a court there. In February, the military seized control of the country.
As of Sunday, the omicron COVID-19 variant has been found in 15 states across the country, but health officials are still urging Americans to follow the same vaccination, booster, and mask protocols they’ve been using for months: On CNN yesterday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said, “If you get boosted, we feel certain that there will be some degree and maybe a considerable degree of protection against the omicron variant if it starts to take hold.” According to him, the original COVID-19 strain vaccines have been effective against the delta variant of COVID-19. It’s too early to tell how transmissible or severe the omicron variant is, Fauci said, but he added that there is a sense of cautious optimism because it doesn’t appear to be any worse than other variants.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told ABC News that the Delta variant is still the most worrisome in the US. According to her, it accounts for 99.9% of the 90,000 to 100,000 cases that are reported every day in the United States. More than a third of the population is still unvaccinated, according to Walensky.
As of today, there are new COVID-19 testing rules in place for anyone flying back into the United States. It has been shortened from three days to just one by the CDC for international travelers to take a coronavirus test prior to their flight. The CDC is now expanding the requirement for unvaccinated travelers in order to reduce the risk of infection after the omicron variant test. The new rule applies to all passengers, regardless of vaccination status or nationality, flying into the United States. Travelers who have recovered from COVID-19 within the last 90 days are exempt from the 90-day rule.
A 15-year-old opened fire at a suburban Detroit high school last week, killing four people and injuring several others. A third-party investigation will begin into the events leading up to the deadliest school shooting in the last three years, according to reports. There’s also the offer of Michigan’s Attorney General’s department’s services. In the case of 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald said Friday that there were numerous red flags. Searches on a teacher’s cell phone for gun ammunition and a note on a suspect’s desk showing a drawing of a bullet with the words “blood everywhere” just hours before the shooting are two examples. The community of Oxford Township held a vigil over the weekend in memory of the victims.
The boy’s parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, were arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter on Friday, bringing the story to a dramatic conclusion. According to the prosecution, the murder weapon was a Christmas gift from the parents to the defendant’s son. On Friday, the couple failed to appear for an arraignment and their bond was set at $1 million.
For those of you who have either been on Spotify or social media this week, you’ve seen a lot of Spotify Wrapped advertisements. First released in 2015, it has since become something of a ritual for the streaming service. Nina Mandell, a reporter for the New York Daily News, investigates the phenomenon.
For some reason, it appears that everyone has posted their year-end Wrapped on Spotify because it’s extremely popular. As far as I know, it started out as the Year in Review, but it’s since evolved into a sort of annual tradition that everyone looks forward to at the end of the year. While it’s true that I’ve made some cringe-inducing music choices this year, I don’t understand why anyone would want to share them. Why does it appear that everyone is?
In 2017, Spotify really started to focus on making it more of a social sharing thing. I’m not sure when it started becoming a trend. They didn’t come up with the end of the year thing. There are a lot of companies that do that. However, they added social sharing cards that made it simple to share, and they’ve continued to add features that, in my opinion, merely entertain users and encourage them to engage in dialogue about it.
Moreover, one expert advised me to keep in mind that when you share this, there is a degree of risk. What you’re doing is sharing… While I make light of the fact that my running playlist begins with Spice Girls, it’s safe to say that I don’t mind people knowing what I’m listening to while running. Perhaps there’s something I’m overlooking. However, in this day and age, I believe that your podcast listening habits can reveal a lot about your personality, and both you and Spotify will be able to find out. Keep in mind that not everyone will share your preferences, so it was important to keep that in mind when sharing your thoughts.
.The omicron variant of COVID-19 has been added to Beijing 2022’s preparations for the upcoming Winter Olympic Games. Tom Schad of USA TODAY Sports has the story.
Part of the reason we don’t know a lot about the impact is that we don’t know much about the variant. Obviously, as public health advances and we learn more about the variant, it could have a greater impact on the games. They’ve said that they’re monitoring it, they’re aware of it, but the International Olympic Committee and the organizers of the Beijing 2022 Olympics have also continued to tout the COVID-19 countermeasures that they have in place, which are much stricter than those that were in place during the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. As soon as we arrive, we’ll be ushered into a “closed-loop system,” which is to say, we’ll be in a bubble. Every moment in China is a part of that bubble, from the moment the plane touches down to the moment it leaves. Outside of that, there’s nothing to do or see. Every day, you’ll be put to the test.
I believe all of these things give organizers hope that they can handle omicron on their own accord. We may have to make some changes to the Olympic program in the event that we discover omicron is more easily transmitted or that vaccines are ineffective against this particular variant.
In the event that the games are postponed, we’ll let you know. However, I think I described it as extremely unlikely in the story. When the Tokyo Olympics were postponed in March of this year, we were in a completely different situation than we are now. Obviously, at the time, COVID came out of nowhere, and we had to scramble to build the infrastructure and protocols needed to support it. As a result, there was simply not enough time to complete the project. Now, organizers have been preparing for this. It’s a new variation, but the idea of playing games during COVID has been around for a long time.
Also, China is under a lot of geopolitical pressure to hold the games on time, which is worth mentioning. I don’t think the Chinese government would see it as a success if they postponed them. Between China and Japan, there is a kind of regional rivalry. After the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics, there were numerous cases of COVID, but the games went ahead as scheduled. As a result, I believe China is under a lot of pressure to follow suit. As a result, they’re going to do everything they can to ensure that the games begin on February 4th as scheduled.
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