Public Citizen Blasts Pfizer for Putting Corporate Profit Over Increasing Access to COVID Vaccines

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.AMY GOODMAN: This is democracynow.org. I’m Amy Goodman. We look now at how one of the leading COVID-19 vaccine makers appears to have restricted — appears to have restricted access to those very vaccines. The People’s Vaccine Alliance says just 14% of the 1.8 billion doses rich nations promised to donate have been delivered so far. And this week Germany said it expected to miss its target to donate 100 million doses this year, due in part to legal restrictions imposed by vaccine manufacturers. Some of these restrictions are detailed in a new damning report by…

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Pediatrician Welcomes Imminent Approval of COVID Vaccine for Kids 5-11 Amid Opposition to Mask Mandates

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.AMY GOODMAN: You’re a pediatrician in Michigan and co-chair of the Protect Michigan Commission, and I wanted to ask you about vaccines for children, as well as the pandemic in Michigan. While much of the country is seeing a drop in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, the pandemic has continued to worsen in Michigan, with the highest rates of infection reportedly among 10-to-19-year-olds. This comes as the Biden administration is launching a national vaccination campaign for about 28 million children between the ages of 5 and 11. Pfizer’s COVID vaccine is already being given to children as…

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El Milagro Tortilla Workers Walk Out to Demand Fair Wages & Workload Amid Staff Shortage, COVID Deaths

We go to Chicago for an update on workers at El Milagro tortilla plants who staged a temporary walkout last week to protest low pay, staff shortages and abusive working conditions, including intimidation and sexual harassment. El Milagro claims an ongoing tortilla shortage is due to supply chain issues, but organizers say the company has lost staff due to their poor treatment of workers, including their mishandling of the pandemic, resulting in dozens of infections and five deaths. Workers gave El Milagro management until this Wednesday to respond to their demands. “The company, instead of offering better wages and hiring more people, is just cranking up the machines,”…

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Raj Patel: Climate, Conflict and Capitalism Drive Global Hunger. COVID Made It Worse

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.AMY GOODMAN: With hunger growing across the globe during the pandemic, the United Nations is holding its first Food Systems Summit today. But the summit is facing fierce criticism for giving corporations an outsized role framing its agenda, with Big Food names like PepsiCo invited to fireside chats during a pre-summit in Rome. The U.N.’s own experts on food, human rights and the environment released a statement that, quote, “there is a risk the Summit will serve the corporate sector more than the people who are essential to ensuring our food systems flourish such as workers,…

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“On the Kill Floors”: Essential Workers in Meatpacking Plants Still Lack Safety & COVID Protections

Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, we look at the experiences of meatpacking workers during the pandemic and beyond. Dulce Castañeda, a founding member of Children of Smithfield, a Nebraska-based grassroots advocacy group led by the children and family members of meatpacking workers, says conditions in the meatpacking plants during the pandemic remained as usual. “It was a situation where they weren’t receiving the protections that they needed,” she tells Democracy Now!, adding that workers often don’t have the time or resources to advocate for themselves. Castañeda and her family are profiled in a new book by journalist Eyal Press titled “Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and the Hidden…

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Hurricane Ida Slams Native Communities in Louisiana as New Orleans Loses Electricity & COVID Rages

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. Hurricane Ida, one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the United States, roared ashore Sunday in southern Louisiana in an area dominated by the oil industry that’s also home to many Native communities. The storm brought a seven-foot storm surge, 150-mile-per-hour winds and up to two feet of rain to parts of the Gulf Coast. It was so powerful, it completely knocked out power to a million people, including the entire city of New Orleans, and reversed the flow…

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Doctors Without Borders: U.S. Should Force Pfizer to Share COVID Vaccine Technology with Africa

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org. I’m Amy Goodman. The Food and Drug Administration has fully authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for U.S. residents aged 16 and over, making it the first COVID vaccine to be fully approved by the FDA. In response, Doctors Without Borders called on Pfizer and BioNTech to immediately share the vaccine technology with manufacturers in Africa, where less than 2% of the population is fully vaccinated. The medical humanitarian group is also urging the United States to demand the companies share information about the vaccines, which were created with significant…

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“There Just Isn’t Enough Supply”: Vaccine Gap Between Rich & Poor Countries Fuels Indonesia’s COVID Crisis

As the World Health Organization warns over 100 million more people will be infected with COVID-19 by early next year as the Delta variant continues to rapidly spread, we look at Indonesia, which has become the epicenter of the pandemic in Asia. Over the past 28 days, Indonesia has recorded 43,000 deaths, more than anywhere else in the world. More than half of the deaths have occurred in the past two months as the Delta variant overwhelmed hospitals across the country. Sana Jaffrey, director of the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict in Jakarta, says the public debate is largely focused on whether to protect public health or…

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Gov. Abbott Is a “Direct Threat” to the Children of Texas: Houston Doctor on Mask Bans, Kids & COVID

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.AMY GOODMAN: Many schools are reopening this week. We begin today’s show looking at the rise of COVID-19 infections in children as the highly contagious Delta variant continues to spread. Many hospitals across the country are reporting record numbers of children hospitalized especially in areas with low vaccination rates. The New York Times reports, in a single day last week, Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock had 19 hospitalized children; Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, had 15; and Children’s Mercy Kansas City in Missouri had 12. Some of the children were in…

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‘Refusal’ to make Covid school contingency plans for exams is ‘unforgivable’

Support us and go ad-freeThe government’s “refusal” to make contingency plans for schools and exams in summer 2020 is the “most unforgivable aspect” of its handling of education amid the coronavirus pandemic, a new report has suggested. Lessons regarding school closures and examinations from the first lockdown were “not learnt”, leading to a case of “pause, rewind, repeat”, a paper by the Institute for Government (IfG) found. Coming ahead of this month’s A-level and GCSE results, the report, entitled Schools And Coronavirus: The Government’s Handling Of Education During The Pandemic, described the period following the March 2020 closure of England’s schools announced by the Prime Minister as “easily…

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