hoka shoes

Posts Tagged ‘ safe

Paul Kagame is seen by some as a liberator. But critics say Rwanda is only safe for those who toe the line

For decades, Paul Kagame has ruled Rwanda with an iron fist in the mold of the archetypal strongman African leader.

Under his rule, the East African country has emerged from the ruins of a devastating 1994 genocide that left nearly one million people dead to be hailed by Western allies as the model for growth in Africa.
In recent years, the country has forged a strong and financially rewarding alliance with Asian powerhouse China, which is also known for its authoritarian rule.
The US and the UK have also supported Rwanda with aid nobull shoes donations for many years, and US diplomat Tibor Nagy once described the country as “demonstrating the true potential of Africa.”
“In the past 25 years, Rwanda has reimagined itself as a strong state that invests in good governance and the success of its people,” the US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs said on his first visit to Rwanda in 2019. “In many ways, Rwanda is demonstrating the true potential of Africa.”
Controversial UK deportation flight to Rwanda grounded after all asylum-seekers removed
In a recent meeting between US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs Vincent Biruta, the US acknowledged it still had a strong bilateral partnership with Rwanda but also raised concerns about human rights in the country.
In a report last year detailing human rights practices in Rwanda, the US State Department identified “significant human rights issues” that range from “unlawful or arbitrary killings by the government” to “forced disappearance by the government,” among others.
Critics say the successes of Kagame’s authoritarian rule have come at the expense of human rights in the country.
Rwanda is this week hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in the capital Kigali, the first gathering of Commonwealth leaders in four years. Prince Charles, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are among world leaders attending.
The UK is ermerging as one of Rwanda’s strongest allies and PM Johnson said in interviews from CHOGM that criticism of Rwanda is based on “stereotypes of Rwanda that is now outdated.” UK Home Secretary Priti Patel recently brokered a £120 million ($147m) deal with Rwanda to send asylum seekers to the East African country, an accord that hangs in the balance after a last-minute intervention by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Opinion: Dear Prince Charles, don't shake hands with the tyrant who kidnapped our father
Patel described Rwanda as “a safe haven for refugees” as the UK vowed to push ahead with the controversial scheme.

‘No safe haven’

Far from being a “safe haven” for refugees as claimed by Patel and others in the UK government, Rwanda has been accused by human rights groups of treating refugees badly.
In 2018, at least 11 Congolese refugees were killed when Rwandan police opened fire at the Kiziba refugee camp and Karongi town as refugees protested cuts to their food rations, Amnesty International reported at the time. Rwandan authorities told CNN the country’s police resorted to shooting to control a group of violent protesters and said it was an isolated incident.
Rwanda had previously received refugees from Israel.
According to Israeli media, some of the refugees deported to Rwanda between 2014 and 2017 were struggling to survive, with some destitute. Many of the refugees have fled Rwanda while some others who chose to remain in the country have been denied official documents by Rwandan authorities, leading to the arrest and imprisonment of some, Israeli media Haaretz reported.
The UK/Rwanda asylum deal comes less than a year after the UK’s International kizik shoes Ambassador for Human Rights, Rita French, said she was displeased with Rwanda’s refusal to probe human rights abuses as recommended by the British government.
Lewis Mudge, the Central Africa Director at Human Rights Watch, told CNN recently that “the UK has cynically decided to change its position on Rwanda… it’s going to ignore the human rights abuses in Rwanda and claim that it is a safe and acceptable country to send refugees to, to justify this cruel and immoral program.”
He added that Rwanda is a safe country only for those who toe the line.
“Just because Rwanda is clean and is safe for the Westerners doesn’t necessarily translate to safety for all Rwandans. Rwanda is a safe country for Rwandans if you keep your head down and don’t ask any questions or challenge anything. The moment you step up and start to question something or have an independent opinion and express it, Rwanda becomes a very difficult country to live in. These Western countries need to recognize that,” Mudge added.
A spokesperson for the Rwandan government declined to comment on HRW’s allegations, dismissing the agency as “a discredited source.”
Mudge described the UK-Rwanda asylum deal as an affront to the Commonwealth’s values.
“The UK is ostensibly the leader of the Commonwealth and this is an abdication of one of the pillars of the Commonwealth, which is the fundamental respect for human rights,” he said.
Refugees sent from the UK would comprise various nationalities, but Rwandan Foreign Minister Biruta said the asylum program will only be for people seeking asylum in the UK who are already in the UK and would exclude refugees from Rwanda’s neighbors such as the DRC, Burundi, Uganda, and Tanzania.
The UK government had said the program was targeted at curbing people-smuggling networks and discouraging migrants from making dangerous sea journeys to the UK.

From genocide to growth

To his supporters and Western and Asian allies, President Kagame is a liberator who has modernized and transformed Rwanda, a former Belgian colony.
His party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), has been in power since the end of the civil war in 1994, with Kagame serving as vice-president and defense minister until 2000 and then president for the last 22 years.
Kagame unified the country after the genocide, working to abolish the divisive terms “Hutu” and “Tutsi” and to integrate the two cultures.
The gains made in Rwanda under his rule are undeniable.
Rwandan government spokesperson Yolande Makolo told CNN the country has made remarkable progress in the last 28 years, citing increased life expectancy, near-universal healthcare, and low corruption levels in the country.
According to the World Bank, Rwanda has witnessed “strong economic growth … accompanied by substantial improvements in living standards.” A report by the World Bank in 2020 stated that the country also has been successful in “reducing administrative corruption … from an accepted practice to one that is regarded as illegitimate and, once identified, one that is punished.”
Rwanda also ranks 1st among 13 low-income economies and 7th among the 27 economies of Sub-Saharan Africa for its innovation capabilities on the 2021 Global Innovation Index.
The country has further endeared itself to the West by advancing gender equality and creating a female-dominated cabinet. Around 61% of its parliamentary seats are held by women.
Kagame has been aggressive in attracting foreign direct investment into the country. In 2018, the Rwandan government signed a three-year promotional deal with English Premier League side Arsenal “as part of the country’s drive to become a leading global tourist destination, using ‘Visit Rwanda’ messaging,” the English football club said in a statement.
Arsenal’s male and female team jerseys have featured the ‘Visit Rwanda’ logo on their left sleeve ever since.

Crackdown on opposition

However, such gains notwithstanding, Kagame’s rule has been characterized by widely reported human rights abuses.
The Freedom in the World 2022 Report by Freedom House found that “while the regime has maintained stability and economic growth, it has also suppressed political dissent through pervasive surveillance, intimidation, torture, and renditions or suspected assassinations of exiled dissidents.”
Rwandan opposition politician Victoire Ingabire was the presidential candidate of the Unified Democratic Forces (UDF) party in the 2010 Rwanda presidential elections and says she is a victim of Kagame’s crackdown on dissent.
She told CNN she had left the Netherlands, where she lived with her family, to play an active role in Rwandan politics but ended up being jailed on what she says were trumped-up charges of terrorism and threatening national security by the Kagame regime.
“I was arrested in 2010 and spent eight years in prison. In 2018, I was released by a presidential pardon which came with the condition that I couldn’t leave Rwanda freely without government permission. Three times I have asked for permission to visit my family in the Netherlands but the government did not respond to my request,” Ingabire said.
Rwandan opposition politician Victoire Ingabire pictured in a Kigali court in 2011.
Rwandan government spokesperson Makolo told CNN Ingabire “was tried and convicted of serious crimes including complicity in acts of terrorism and promoting genocide ideology.”
Makolo added that: “Ingabire had her conviction commuted after she appealed for clemency, however her criminal record remains because her crimes were proven beyond doubt.
“As part of this deal, she has to request to leave the country, as does anyone else in the same situation.” Makolo did not comment further on the status of Ingabire’s requests to leave the country.
Ingabire said she challenged her imprisonment at the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights — established by the African Union — in 2014 and was acquitted three years later after the court found that the Rwandan government had violated her rights.
Ingabire says she now lives in fear.
“I am afraid for my life … because you don’t know what can happen to you if you’re a member of the opposition,” she told CNN via a phone call.
“If you criticize the government, you are labeled as an enemy of the state, and then you’re arrested and put in prison … President Kagame does not tolerate criticism against his regime.”
Makolo did not respond to the specific incidents Ingabire spoke about. She, however, accused Ingabire of making “baseless claims” against Rwandan authorities.
“Despite being labeled as an opposition politician, she (Ingabire) has no discernible policy platform, she doesn’t offer solutions that would help improve our country. She only uses her platform to make baseless claims about the government. This doesn’t help advance our nation’s progress,” Makolo said.
A hostel that housed Rwanda genocide survivors prepares to take in people deported by the UK
Responding to the widespread reports of abuse, Makolo said Rwanda could not be characterized as a country with no respect for human rights.
“This characterization bears no relation to the country I know … A central principle of Rwanda’s reconstruction has been ensuring that every single person is treated … as a human being — that means that we do not tolerate discrimination of any form. This is enshrined in our constitution and upheld by our commitment to the rule of law,” Makolo told CNN.
Another outspoken critic of Kagame is Paul Rusesabagina, who was last year convicted of terrorism-related charges and sentenced to 25 years in prison by a court in Kigali. Rusesabagina, who inspired the film “Hotel Rwanda,” was renowned for saving more than a thousand Rwandans during the country’s genocide by sheltering them in the hotel he managed.
He was accused by Rwandan prosecutors of being involved with the National Liberation Front (FLN), an armed wing of the Rwanda Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD). Rusesabagina admitted to having a leadership role in the MRCD but denied responsibility for attacks carried out by the FLN.
His family says he was not given a fair trial and was kidnapped while overseas and oncloud shoes returned to Rwanda in August 2020. Rusesabagina told the New York Times in a video interview he was en route to Burundi on a private plane to speak to churches on August 28 but found himself surrounded by soldiers in Rwanda when he woke up.
Speaking to CNN at the time, Kagame denied claims that Rusesabagina was kidnapped and renditioned to Rwanda.
“It was very proper and legal,” Kagame said of Rusesabagina’s arrest.
“If he was working with somebody in Burundi in the same plot of destabilizing our country, and the same person, for example, decided to drive him to Kigali — the person he was working with, and he had trusted — and the government was working with that person he trusted, how does the government become culpable for that operation?” he added.

‘Rwanda is a poor country’

In addition to raising human rights concerns around the asylum deal, opposition politician Ingabire says that high unemployment rates in Rwanda will prevent the refugees deported by the UK from building lives there.
“There is a high rate of unemployment in Rwanda, especially among the youth. … What will happen to the refugees when the British government stops funding their accommodation? They don’t have a future in Rwanda,” Ingabire said.
She also considers Rwanda’s economic growth a myth, as poverty remains prevalent in the country’s rural areas. According to the UN’s Multidimensional Poverty Index, poverty rates in rural parts of the country stand at 42%, far higher than in cities at 15%.
“Outside Kigali, there are no infrastructures as what you see in Kigali. The Rwandan government has not increased employment across the country, that is why we have the majority of poverty in the rural areas,” Ingabire told CNN.
The government declined to comment on Ingabire’s claims.

Paul Kagame is seen by some as a liberator. But critics say Rwanda is only safe for those who toe the line

For decades, Paul Kagame has ruled Rwanda with an iron fist in the mold of the archetypal strongman African leader.

Under his rule, the East African country has emerged from the ruins of a devastating 1994 genocide that left nearly one million people dead to be hailed by Western allies as the model for growth in Africa.
In recent years, the country has forged a strong and financially rewarding alliance with Asian powerhouse China, which is also known for its authoritarian rule.
The US and the UK have also supported Rwanda with aid donations for many years, and US diplomat Tibor Nagy once described the country as “demonstrating the true potential of Africa.”
“In the past 25 years, Rwanda has reimagined itself as a strong state that invests in good governance and the success of its people,” the US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs said on his first visit to Rwanda in 2019. “In many ways, Rwanda is demonstrating the true potential of Africa.”
Controversial UK deportation flight to Rwanda grounded after all asylum-seekers removed
In a recent meeting between US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs Vincent Biruta, the US acknowledged it still had a strong bilateral partnership with Rwanda but also raised concerns about human rights in the country.
In a report last year detailing human rights practices in Rwanda, the US State Department identified “significant human rights issues” that range from “unlawful or arbitrary killings by the government” to “forced disappearance by the government,” on cloud shoes among others.
Critics say the successes of Kagame’s authoritarian rule have come at the expense of human rights in the country.
Rwanda is this week hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in the capital Kigali, the first gathering of Commonwealth leaders in four years. Prince Charles, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are among world leaders attending.
The UK is ermerging as one of Rwanda’s strongest allies and PM Johnson said in interviews from CHOGM that criticism of Rwanda is based on “stereotypes of Rwanda that is now outdated.” UK Home Secretary Priti Patel recently brokered a £120 million ($147m) deal with Rwanda to send asylum seekers to the East African country, an accord that hangs in the balance after a last-minute intervention by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Opinion: Dear Prince Charles, don't shake hands with the tyrant who kidnapped our father
Patel described Rwanda as “a safe haven for refugees” as the UK vowed to push ahead with the controversial scheme.

‘No safe haven’

Far from being a “safe haven” for refugees as claimed by Patel and others in the UK government, Rwanda has been accused by human rights groups of treating refugees badly.
In 2018, at least 11 Congolese refugees were killed when Rwandan police opened fire at the Kiziba refugee camp and Karongi town as refugees protested cuts to their food rations, Amnesty International reported at the time. Rwandan authorities told CNN the country’s police resorted to shooting to control a group of violent protesters and said it was an isolated incident.
Rwanda had previously received refugees from Israel.
According to Israeli media, some of the refugees deported to Rwanda between 2014 and 2017 were struggling to survive, with some destitute. Many of the refugees have fled Rwanda while some others who chose to remain in the country have been denied official documents by Rwandan authorities, leading to the arrest and imprisonment of some, Israeli media Haaretz reported.
The UK/Rwanda asylum oncloud shoes deal comes less than a year after the UK’s International Ambassador for Human Rights, Rita French, said she was displeased with Rwanda’s refusal to probe human rights abuses as recommended by the British government.
Lewis Mudge, the Central Africa Director at Human Rights Watch, told CNN recently that “the UK has cynically decided to change its position on Rwanda… it’s going to ignore the human rights abuses in Rwanda and claim that it is a safe and acceptable country to send refugees to, to justify this cruel and immoral program.”
He added that Rwanda is a safe country only for those who toe the line.
“Just because Rwanda is clean and is safe for the Westerners doesn’t necessarily translate to safety for all Rwandans. Rwanda is a safe country for Rwandans if you keep your head down and don’t ask any questions or challenge anything. The moment you step up and start to question something or have an independent opinion and express it, Rwanda becomes a very difficult country to live in. These Western countries need to recognize that,” Mudge added.
A spokesperson for the Rwandan government declined to comment on HRW’s allegations, dismissing the agency as “a discredited source.”
Mudge described the UK-Rwanda asylum deal as an affront to the Commonwealth’s values.
“The UK is ostensibly the leader of the Commonwealth and this is an abdication of one of the pillars of the Commonwealth, which is the fundamental respect for human rights,” he said.
Refugees sent from the UK would comprise various nationalities, but Rwandan Foreign Minister Biruta said the asylum program will only be for people seeking asylum in the UK who are already in the UK and would exclude refugees from Rwanda’s neighbors such as the DRC, Burundi, Uganda, and Tanzania.
The UK government had said the program was targeted at curbing people-smuggling networks and discouraging migrants from making dangerous sea journeys to the UK.

From genocide to growth

To his supporters and Western and Asian allies, President Kagame is a liberator who has modernized and transformed Rwanda, a former Belgian colony.
His party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), has been in power since the end of the civil war in 1994, with Kagame serving as vice-president and defense minister until 2000 and then president for the last 22 years.
Kagame unified the country after the genocide, working to abolish the divisive terms “Hutu” and “Tutsi” and to integrate the two cultures.
The gains made in Rwanda under his rule are undeniable.
Rwandan government spokesperson Yolande Makolo told CNN the country has made remarkable progress in the last 28 years, citing increased life expectancy, near-universal healthcare, and low corruption levels in the country.
According to the World Bank, Rwanda has witnessed “strong economic growth … accompanied by substantial improvements in living standards.” A report by the World Bank in 2020 stated that the country also has been successful in “reducing administrative corruption … from an accepted practice to one that is regarded as illegitimate and, once identified, one that is punished.”
Rwanda also ranks 1st among 13 low-income economies and 7th among the 27 economies of Sub-Saharan Africa for its innovation kizik shoes capabilities on the 2021 Global Innovation Index.
The country has further endeared itself to the West by advancing gender equality and creating a female-dominated cabinet. Around 61% of its parliamentary seats are held by women.
Kagame has been aggressive in attracting foreign direct investment into the country. In 2018, the Rwandan government signed a three-year promotional deal with English Premier League side Arsenal “as part of the country’s drive to become a leading global tourist destination, using ‘Visit Rwanda’ messaging,” the English football club said in a statement.
Arsenal’s male and female team jerseys have featured the ‘Visit Rwanda’ logo on their left sleeve ever since.

Crackdown on opposition

However, such gains notwithstanding, Kagame’s rule has been characterized by widely reported human rights abuses.
The Freedom in the World 2022 Report by Freedom House found that “while the regime has maintained stability and economic growth, it has also suppressed political dissent through pervasive surveillance, intimidation, torture, and renditions or suspected assassinations of exiled dissidents.”
Rwandan opposition politician Victoire Ingabire was the presidential candidate of the Unified Democratic Forces (UDF) party in the 2010 Rwanda presidential elections and says she is a victim of Kagame’s crackdown on dissent.
She told CNN she had left the Netherlands, where she lived with her family, to play an active role in Rwandan politics but ended up being jailed on what she says were trumped-up charges of terrorism and threatening national security by the Kagame regime.
“I was arrested in 2010 and spent eight years in prison. In 2018, I was released by a presidential pardon which came with the condition that I couldn’t leave Rwanda freely without government permission. Three times I have asked for permission to visit my family in the Netherlands but the government did not respond to my request,” Ingabire said.
Rwandan opposition politician Victoire Ingabire pictured in a Kigali court in 2011.
Rwandan government spokesperson Makolo told CNN Ingabire “was tried and convicted of serious crimes including complicity in acts of terrorism and promoting genocide ideology.”
Makolo added that: “Ingabire had her conviction commuted after she appealed for clemency, however her criminal record remains because her crimes were proven beyond doubt.
“As part of this deal, she has to request to leave the country, as does anyone else in the same situation.” Makolo did not comment further on the status of Ingabire’s requests to leave the country.
Ingabire said she challenged her imprisonment at the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights — established by the African Union — in 2014 and was acquitted three years later after the court found that the Rwandan government had violated her rights.
Ingabire says she now lives in fear.
“I am afraid for my life … because you don’t know what can happen to you if you’re a member of the opposition,” she told CNN via a phone call.
“If you criticize the government, you are labeled as an enemy of the state, and then you’re arrested and put in prison … President Kagame does not tolerate criticism against his regime.”
Makolo did not respond to the specific incidents Ingabire spoke about. She, however, accused Ingabire of making “baseless claims” against Rwandan authorities.
“Despite being labeled as an opposition politician, she (Ingabire) has no discernible policy platform, she doesn’t offer solutions that would help improve our country. She only uses her platform to make baseless claims about the government. This doesn’t help advance our nation’s progress,” Makolo said.
A hostel that housed Rwanda genocide survivors prepares to take in people deported by the UK
Responding to the widespread reports of abuse, Makolo said Rwanda could not be characterized as a country with no respect for human rights.
“This characterization bears no relation to the country I know … A central principle of Rwanda’s reconstruction has been ensuring that every single person is treated … as a human being — that means that we do not tolerate discrimination of any form. This is enshrined in our constitution and upheld by our commitment to the rule of law,” Makolo told CNN.
Another outspoken critic of Kagame is Paul Rusesabagina, who was last year convicted of terrorism-related charges and sentenced to 25 years in prison by a court in Kigali. Rusesabagina, who inspired the film “Hotel Rwanda,” was renowned for saving more than a thousand Rwandans during the country’s genocide by sheltering them in the hotel he managed.
He was accused by Rwandan prosecutors of being involved with the National Liberation Front (FLN), an armed wing of the Rwanda Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD). Rusesabagina admitted to having a leadership role in the MRCD but denied responsibility for attacks carried out by the FLN.
His family says he was not given a fair trial and was kidnapped while overseas and returned to Rwanda in August 2020. Rusesabagina told the New York Times in a video interview he was en route to Burundi on a private plane to speak to churches on August 28 but found himself surrounded by soldiers in Rwanda when he woke up.
Speaking to CNN at the time, Kagame denied claims that Rusesabagina was kidnapped and renditioned to Rwanda.
“It was very proper and legal,” Kagame said of Rusesabagina’s arrest.
“If he was working with somebody in Burundi in the same plot of destabilizing our country, and the same person, for example, decided to drive him to Kigali — the person he was working with, and he had trusted — and the government was working with that person he trusted, how does the government become culpable for that operation?” he added.

‘Rwanda is a poor country’

In addition to raising human rights concerns around the asylum deal, opposition politician Ingabire says that high unemployment rates in Rwanda will prevent the refugees deported by the UK from building lives there.
“There is a high rate of unemployment in Rwanda, especially among the youth. … What will happen to the refugees when the British government stops funding their accommodation? They don’t have a future in Rwanda,” Ingabire said.
She also considers Rwanda’s economic growth a myth, as poverty remains prevalent in the country’s rural areas. According to the UN’s Multidimensional Poverty Index, poverty rates in rural parts of the country stand at 42%, far higher than in cities at 15%.
“Outside Kigali, there are no infrastructures as what you see in Kigali. The Rwandan government has not increased employment across the country, that is why we have the majority of poverty in the rural areas,” Ingabire told CNN.

COVID vaccines for younger kids could be the secret to ending the U.S. pandemic

On Monday, Pfizer announced that its COVID-19 vaccine is both safe and effective in children ages 5 to 11 — and no less of an authority than Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious disease expert, predicted “there’s a really good chance” younger kids would finally be getting vaccinated “before Halloween.”

Initial reports greeted the news as “​​a ray of hope” for “weary parents” who have endured months of uncertainty about when their long-ineligible children might finally get inoculated — and who recently had no choice but to send them back to school unvaccinated while the hypercontagious Delta variant was hospitalizing a record 30,000 of their peers each month.

But what if opening up vaccination to younger brooks shoes kids represents something more than just peace of mind for parents? What if it’s actually the pandemic off-ramp that all vaccinated Americans have been waiting for — the dividing line between 18 endless months in emergency mode and whatever kind of less disruptive coexistence with COVID comes next?

“There are huge implications here on how we view COVID and live with COVID,” says Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and public health professor who previously served as Baltimore’s health commissioner. “Having the vaccine available for children isn’t just critical for parents. It’s critical for everybody.”

One could argue that many Americans — especially unvaccinated Americans — are already living like the pandemic is over. But we aren’t back to normal yet. Millions are still working remotely. Masks are still commonplace in public and in school; many areas still require them indoors. And individual Americans are still limiting their own lives because of COVID, nearly a year after vaccines first became available.

A health care worker wearing blue rubber gloves administers a a shot into the upper arm of someone wearing a face mask and purple T-shirt.
A health care worker administers a dose of a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to a child at a pediatrician’s office in Bingham Farms, Mich., on May 19. 

The reason? Some of it comes down to the current trajectory of the virus, which continues to fill hospitals and kill about 2,000 Americans each day, nearly all of them unvaccinated. When a deadly pathogen is spreading that voraciously, public health (and basic decency) requires everyone to help protect the unprotected.

Our present situation is also driven by vaccinated Americans, who tend to be a lot more cautious than their unvaccinated counterparts, protecting themselves from the unprotected — the likeliest vector for breakthrough infections, which Delta can trigger.

But a lot of it is kids — even though they remain much less likely than adults to get really sick from the virus.

Consider the numbers. The U.S. is fast approaching the point where pretty much every adult in the country who’s willing to be vaccinated has already gotten a shot. Right now, 77 percent of Americans 18 and older have received at least one dose. With about 20 percent of U.S adults consistently telling pollsters they’ll “never” get vaccinated,clarks shoes uk  that number will soon max out. Indeed, the average daily number of first doses administered nationwide — which inched up during the Delta surge — just fell under 200,000 for the first time since the very start of the U.S. vaccination campaign.

That leaves Americans under 18. There are 73 million of them in all, and about 21 million of them (ages 12-17) are already eligible for shots. But kids ages 5 to 11 actually outnumber older minors, making them the single largest bloc of Americans — at 28 million strong — who aren’t fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration to receive the vaccine.

Likewise, kids ages 5 to 11 are also the most important remaining cohort, because unlike the 24 million toddlers and infants under 5, the vast majority of them are required by law to be inside with dozens of their peers all day long at school. No one in America except school-age children has to do that.

Which means that vaccinating as many kids ages 5 to 11 as possible could have an outsized impact — again, not just for their parents but for everyone.

A teacher seated at the front of a classroom gives the thumbs-up sign to a dozen and a half elementary students seated on the floor.
Teacher Emma Rossi works with her first grade students at the Sokolowski School in Chelsea, Mass., on Sept. 15. 

Part of the equation is epidemiological. Any time you open vaccine eligibility to a new group of people, you get one step closer to reaching the sort of population-wide immunity threshold that makes it hard for the virus to find new hosts. Right now, 75 percent of all eligible Americans have received at least one vaccine dose, but among all Americans that figure is about 10 points lower. To push it closer to 80 percent, younger kids need to get vaccinated en masse.

“We know that children can be vectors for spreading COVID to other individuals,” Wen explains. “This is something that very much affects people in their families as well as in the surrounding community — being able to contain or to prevent children from further spreading to others. It would be very difficult for us to reach herd immunity without children also getting vaccinated.”

The other part of the equation is ethical. At some point — perhaps when the Delta wave has finally burned itself out — the vast, vaccinated majority of U.S. adults will have to accept that their unvaccinated counterparts have decided to acquire hey dude shoes immunity the hard way (and risk suffering or even death in the process).

So vaccinated Americans — who enjoy near-perfect protection from severe illness, hospitalization and death, and who rarely spread the virus to others — won’t continue to limit their own lives indefinitely in order to protect the willfully unprotected. The U.S. doesn’t mandate masks during flu season, and even the most cautious leaders are eager to stop requiring them for people who’ve chosen, through vaccination, to reduce their personal risk from COVID to something like the flu or a cold.

But that’s unlikely to happen before 28 million younger Americans who are required to spend all day indoors with one another have had an opportunity to get vaccinated.

Wen cites office reopenings as an example. “Right now, it’s just not fair to parents who can work from home to require them to engage in in-person work when that could pose a risk to their unvaccinated children,” she explains. Vaccination essentially eliminates that last major risk — which makes it equitable for the office to reopen for everyone.

A health care worker wearing a face mask and rubber gloves, inserts a swab into the nose of student.
Fourth grader Breaker Inge, is administered a test by a Wild Health nurse during a COVID-19 testing day at Brandeis Elementary School on Aug. 17 in Louisville, Ky. 

These wider ripple effects are key, and they apply to everything from masks to travel. “That’s why having the vaccine available for children is critical for us to reach any hope of an off-ramp from the pandemic,” says Wen.

To be sure, there are challenges ahead. For one thing, it’s not 100 percent certain that the FDA will immediately green-light the vaccines for all kids ages 5 to 11. Given the relatively low risk of severe disease in younger kids, it’s possible — though unlikely, according to Wen — that regulators will say “that there isn’t enough safety data; that the risk-benefit calculation isn’t clear enough for otherwise healthy; that they might want a longer period of safety data or more children to be included in the study.”

Then once the vaccines are authorized, pediatric rates are likely to trail adult rates by a significant margin, at least initially. hoka shoes So far, just 61 percent of 16-to-17-year-olds and 53 percent of 12-to-15-year-olds have received one or more doses, and the latest Yahoo News/YouGov poll shows that a full 44 percent of parents with kids under 18 either say they’ll “never” get their children vaccinated (23 percent) or they’re “not sure” (21 percent).

Such hesitation will create awkward situations in the coming months: classrooms where some kids are vaccinated and others are not, so no one is sure if it’s safe to stop requiring masks; disruptive school quarantines that could have been avoided if everyone were vaccinated; school districts in some places — like Los Angeles and other California cities — that require student vaccinations, side-by-side with districts that don’t; birthday parties with vaccine requirements.

Meanwhile, an estimated 7 to 10 million immunocompromised Americans will face an elevated risk of infection no matter how many kids are vaccinated. So the road ahead won’t be smooth.

Children with backpacks and lunch containers stand with their parents on a sidewalk, all wearing face masks.
Children arrive with their parents for the first day of school at Brooklyn’s PS 245 on Sept. 13. 

“There’s going to be an initial group of parents who are really eager for their kids to be vaccinated,” Wen predicts. “Others will wait and see, or only be motivated once it’s required for various purposes. And then there’s going to be a group of holdouts.”

Some degree of initial trepidation is understandable, given how few children have died of COVID so far. But Wen says focusing on the lower risk of COVID in kids relative to adults is backward. Instead, parents should be focusing on the benefits of vaccinating them.

“There has not been a case of polio in the U.S. since the 1970s, but we still get our children vaccinated so that we don’t have polio here in the U.S.,” she says. “We really need to start looking at the COVID vaccine the way that we look at other immunizations.”

Wen says the same logic applies on a personal level. “I’m the mom of two little kids, a one-year-old and a four-year-old,” she continues. “So yes, the risk of them getting COVID, getting hospitalized and dying is very low. But if I could change that risk from very low to zero, why wouldn’t I do that?”

Ultimately, the goal for the U.S. may be to look something like Singapore, where 82 percent of the population is fully vaccinated — and where 98 percent of cases detected in its current Delta surge are either asymptomatic or mild.

The problem is that with so many adults who refuse to get inoculated, the U.S. can’t reach that threshold until most nonadults are eligible too — and transitioning out of emergency mode and into endemic mode won’t be equitable or practical until then, either.

Protesters stand against a backdrop of skyscrapers holding signs, one of which shows an image of a hypodermic needle and reads: Come and make me.
Hundreds gather at Foley Square in New York City as “Freedom Rally” to protest vaccination mandates on Sept. 13. 

Earlier this week, Moderna chief executive Stéphane Bancel gave three reasons why he thinks the global pandemic will be over “in a year.” First, “enough doses should be available … so that everyone … can be vaccinated.” Second, “boosters should also be possible to the extent required” by waning immunity or new variants. And third, we “should also be able to vaccinate children aged five to eleven.”

As for “those who do not get vaccinated,” they “will immunize themselves naturally, because the Delta variant is so contagious,” Bancel explained.

The U.S. already has more than enough doses for its entire population. Boosters are starting to roll out. And now younger kids are likely to be vaccinated here before anywhere else. So while it may take the entire world another year to “return to normal,” the U.S. could get there a lot faster.

You’ve Been Vaccinated—Now What? Here’s How to Still Stay Safe While On-the-Go

As Covid-19 vaccines continue to become more accessible, you, and many people that you know, might slowly start to feel comfortable going out again. It’s only natural to be a little stir-crazy at this point and feel the urge to get out and travel, especially since more business and restaurants are opening up.

But it’s best to take a pause, be smart, and keep certain safety essentials on-hand when going back out in public (one of those things should still always be a face mask, officials say.) It’s a critical time, as cases surge throughout the country, and the CDC is urging everyone to take certain precautions—even if your immunity now has a boost.

So first things first: here’s what you can do when you’ve been fully vaccinated. Based on what we know about Covid-19 vaccines, CDC guidelines state that you can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask and visit unvaccinated people from one other household (emphasis on the “one”) without masks. If you’ve been exposed, you won’t have to stay away from others or get tested (unless you have symptoms) either. But you still have to take certain steps to protect yourself and others.

Say you have to go out somewhere public with heavy crowds, like a grocery store; or despite warnings against domestic and international travel, you still might have to take a flight for any number of reasons. Even if you finally feel comfortable enough to visit a local restaurant in person or hop on a plane, you still have to follow the basics. Here’s what you need to know, including tips on what should still be bringing with you when you leave the house.

How to Stay Safe From Covid-19 When Vaccinated

The CDC recently published a guide on recommendations for fully vaccinated people. But what’s considered “fully vaccinated” anyways? The guide states “people are considered fully vaccinated for Covid-19 less than two weeks after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or less than two weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson (J&J)/Janssen).” If that sounds like you, then you should still be:

  • Wearing a well-fitted mask (see some of our top-reviewed options here)
  • Practicing physical distancing, staying at least six feet apart from others when in public
  • Avoiding medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings
  • Avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces
  • Watching out for symptoms of Covid-19
  • Still following CDC guidelines for travel

Sounds pretty much like what we’ve been doing all year, right? Even if you’re a pro by now at masking up and sanitizing as often as possible, the biggest challenge is knowing what you still have to take with you when you go out in public, or when you do have to do some long-distance traveling. Should you still keep sanitizer on hand? Or antibacterial wipes?

Don’t just toss your phone, wallet, and keys in your bag. Here are the necessary items to still keep prepared and protected against Covid-19 when you get back out there.

1. Light and Breathable Face Mask

prosport mask for running
prosport mask for running

While a single cloth face masks can keep you shielded on a walk, or quick trip to the grocery store, if you’re going to be out for a longer period of time, your mask should have a removable filter. The CDC also now strongly suggests people double-mask to increase protection. Any face covering can help reduce the spread of Covid-19, but we recommend doubling up with a disposable mask underneath a reusable, washable face covering.

What about N95 vs. KN95 masks? You can certainly chose either, but double-masking was found to be just as effective at preventing the spread of airborne particles. If you go for a medical-grade mask, chose one without a valve (that just pushes air out at other people), and has a tight fit. Increase the fit of any mask with a good mask extender or FDA-approved tape to seal the edges.

One of our favorite reusable masks is this ProSport mask from BlueBear. It stands out from other masks because it includes a built-in slot for a filter, adding extra protection. It’s super gentle on the skin and won’t chafe, thanks to the soft and hypoallergenic fabric. The contoured shape fits more naturally over the face, and the adjustable straps help the mask stay put even during your longest days out. Get a 10-pack of replacement filters for $8.50 here.

2. Safety Goggles (or “Stoggles”)

zenni safety glasses
zenni safety glasses

The CDC recommends “protective eyewear” such as safety glasses during periods “where splashes and sprays are anticipated” or where “prolonged face-to-face or close contact with a potentially infectious patient is unavoidable.”‘ Even Dr. Fauci urged Americans to wear safety goggles with their virus-protection wardrobes last July.

While some pairs go more heavy-duty on protection (and might fit right in to a science lab), others are more practical, and can accommodate prescription lenses. We like this pair from Zenni, which features anti-scratch, impact-resistant lenses, and a superhydrophobic (read: water-repellant) anti-reflective coating. The adjustable nose pads make this an easy-to-wear protective style for every face shape. With a unique, retro silhouette, you don’t have to compromise style for protection.

3. Portable Hand Sanitizer

purophy hand sanitizer
purophy hand sanitizer

Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and drying them off thoroughly is the best way to not transmit bacteria from your hands, according to the CDC. You should ideally wash them before and after you use the restroom, eat, or touch your face or mask.

But if you’re out and about and can’t get to any soap and water, hand sanitizer is another effective option. It’s convenient too, as long as you pick a sanitizer that’s made with at least 60% alcohol, and make to rub it in until it evaporates completely.

If you’re looking for a safe and effective formula, we like this plant-based “cleansing mist” from Purophy. This sanitizer works double duty, and can also disinfect surfaces. The mist is formulated with 70% alcohol— exceeding CDC recommendations by 10%. It also contains all-natural aloe vera to help soothe sensitive skin. Each bottle is 60ml, and you can stock up with this special six-pack, which includes three spray bottles and three mini refill bottles.

4. Smartphone Sanitizer

Invisible Shield UV Sanitizer
Invisible Shield UV Sanitizer

You’d be surprised how dirty your phone can get, especially while out-and-about—the average smartphone has 17,032 germs on its surface. One of the easiest ways to clean your phone is with a good, portable UV smartphone sanitizer. That being said, while blasting your phone with UV light may reduce your exposure to bacteria containing Covid-19, but you should still take other precautions to limit your exposure.

That’s why we like the Invisible Shield UV Sanitizer from ZAGG, which can kill 99.9% of common surface bacteria on your phone in just five minutes. It’s great for disinfecting your keys, earbuds, wallet, sunglasses and other small accessories too. The Invisible Shield UV Sanitizer is 9.45 inches long, 5.75 inches wide, and 1.57 inches deep, which is small enough that you easily carry it in a backpack. This is also one of the best UV sanitizers for under $100, so it’s a budget-friendly pick too.

5. Power Bank for Personal Electronics

Anker PowerCore Fusion 10000
Anker PowerCore Fusion 10000

This may not be something you have on-hand regularly, but here’s why you should: several business have switched over during the pandemic to contactless payments like Apple Pay and Paypal, and certain restaurants will only allow you to order ahead on an app, or use your smartphone to view the menu. A small power bank will keep your smartphone battery fully charged and ready, no matter where you are.

For quickly powering up your phone while you’re out and about, or in an emergency, we like Anker’s PowerCore Fusion. The 5,000mAh battery can fully recharge an iPhone 12 Pro once, and its ultra-fast USB-C power can charge it from zero to 50% in about 30 minutes. The PowerCore Fusion also has a USB-A port, so you can charge two devices at the same time. While it may not have the highest battery capacity, the PowerCore Fusion is super convenient, with a power plug built right in.

6. Portable Thermometer

iHealth No Touch Forehead Thermometer
iHealth No Touch Forehead Thermometer

While everyone from airport security to your local barbershop might check your temperature at the door, it’s handy to have a digital thermometer so you can check yourself before you go anywhere you know will be crowded, or where socially distancing is less than possible.

For expert precision and speed, we recommend the iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer, which uses an infrared sensor to get a temperature read in just one second. Instead of a loud beeping sound, the device vibrates once the reading is done.

Whether you’re in a well-lit area or a dark spot, visibility isn’t an issue, since you can easily see the numbers on the LED display. The weather outside won’t affect the temperature results, since the sensors take things like distance and environmental factors into account for the most accurate reading possible.

7. Travel-Pack of Disinfectant Wipes

SONO Healthcare Disinfecting Wipes
SONO Healthcare Disinfecting Wipes

It’s harder to catch Covid-19 from surfaces, so you don’t need to go crazy wiping down every surface you touch. But you should be regularly cleaning things that you touch regularly, like your phone, sunglasses, keys, and wallet. Once you set something down on a dirty, high-touch surface and pick it back up, you’re bringing that bacteria with you. That’s why it’s always good to carry a mini travel-pack of antibacterial wipes with you.

SONO Healthcare’s travel safe wipes are FDA-approved, and are good to use on most surfaces too, from wood to bathroom counters and even furniture upholstery. That makes it great around the house or office, to wipe down appliances, bathroom fixtures and high-touch surfaces like doorknobs and light switches too. The company says the wipes are effective at killing 99.9% of most common germs, including SARS-Cov-2 (which causes COVID-19). This three-pack gives you 20 disposable sanitizing wipes per pack.

See where your favorite artists and songs rank on the Rolling Stone Charts.

Sign up for Rolling Stone’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The lancet released the new crown vaccine test results of Chen Wei’s team: safe and can induce immune response

At 21:00 p.m. yesterday, the lancet, an international academic journal, published the results of phase I clinical trials of the world’s first new crown vaccine with recombinant adenovirus-5 vector: the vaccine is safe and has successfully produced antibodies in volunteers. The research results come from the team of Chen Wei, academician of Chinese Academy of engineering.

They showed immunogenicity and tolerance 28 days after the new crown was administered to volunteers, the paper said.

In healthy adults, the humoral immune response to sars-cov-2 peaked on the 28th day after vaccination, and the rapid specific T cell response was recorded on the 14th day after vaccination.

However, Chen Wei also pointed out that although the test results show that the new coronavirus vaccine has a good development prospect, it is still necessary to verify the effectiveness of the vaccine, and it is too early to talk about the final listing.