Updated Covid-19 boosters continue to offer substantial protection even against the rapidly spreading XBB.1.5 subvariant

CNN — The updated Covid-19 boosters are cutting the risk that a person will get sick from the coronavirus by about half, even against infections caused by the rapidly spreading XBB.1.5 subvariant. New studies, conducted by researchers at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are among the first looks at how the bivalent … Read more

Pandemic unemployment benefits fraud likely tops $60 billing. House GOP to start investigating next week

CNN — More than $60 billion may have been paid out in fraudulent unemployment insurance benefits during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a report released Monday by the US Government Accountability Office. The watchdog agency, however, warned that the estimate has limitations and should be interpreted with caution. The actual amount of pandemic unemployment benefits … Read more

Jeff Zients to replace Ron Klain as White House chief of staff

CNN — Jeff Zients, who ran President Joe Biden‘s Covid-19 response effort and served in high-ranking roles in the Obama administration, is expected to replace Ron Klain as the next White House chief of staff, according to three people briefed on the matter. Klain is expected to step down in the coming weeks. The move … Read more

How Big Tech’s pandemic bubble burst

new york CNN — In January 2021, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke in lofty terms about how the first year of the pandemic had sparked a staggering shift towards online services, benefiting his company in the process. “What we have witnessed over the past year is the dawn of a second wave of digital transformation … Read more

Here are the companies that have laid off employees this year

new york CNN — Just this week, Alphabet, Google’s parent company, Microsoft (MSFT) and Vox Media announced layoffs that will affect more than 22,000 workers. Their moves follow on the heels of job cuts earlier this month at Amazon, Goldman Sachs and Salesforce. More companies are expected to do the same as firms that aggressively … Read more

Flu, Covid-19 and RSV are all trending down for the first time in months

CNN — A rough respiratory virus season in the US appears to be easing, as three major respiratory viruses that have battered the country for the past few months are finally all trending down at the same time. A new dataset from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the number of … Read more

Large new review underscores the risks of Covid-19 during pregnancy

CNN — Pregnant women and their developing babies are at higher risk for severe outcomes if they get Covid-19, and now a large, international review is helping to underscore how devastating those risks can be. The study draws on data from 12 studies from as many countries—including the United States. Altogether, the studies included more … Read more

CDC identifies possible safety issue with Pfizer’s updated Covid-19 vaccine but says people should still get boosted

CNN — The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that there is a possible safety issue with the bivalent Covid-19 vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech but that it is unlikely to represent a true risk. The agency said it continues to recommend that people stay up-to-date with Covid-19 vaccines. The CDC … Read more

Flu activity peaked without post-holiday spike in cases, but respiratory virus season is still in full swing

CNN — Flu continues to be very prevalent in the US, but the first wave of the season – which swept through the country weeks earlier than usual – appears to have peaked. The weeks after the year-end holidays brought sustained high levels of transmission and hospitalization, but flu activity does not seem to have … Read more

Paying back Covid loans is hammering millions of businesses

CNN — At Teddy & The Bully Bar restaurant near downtown Washington, DC, business has never been the same since the pandemic hit. “It’s very challenging,” owner Alan Popovsky said. “I’m still going to be climbing the hill for quite some time. Probably for the rest of my life.” The pandemic closed two of Popovsky’s … Read more