Big business steps into vaccine fight

Big business steps into vaccine fight

Posted: Jul 29, 2021 10:20 PM
Updated: Jul 29, 2021 10:20 PM

"You're fired."

More US companies could soon be using the catchphrase that made Donald Trump a TV star, as they initiate vaccinate-or-else policies for employees. The broadening mandates for Covid-19 inoculations come as the Delta variant has sent cases soaring across the United States, mostly because there are tens of millions of Americans who refuse to get free, safe and effective shots. Facebook and Google, Morgan Stanley, BlackRock and Saks Fifth Avenue are all blue-chip firms that are leading the charge. Netflix is requiring vaccines for actors and anyone who comes into contact with them at its studios.

Many companies are keen to get employees back into offices this fall, and are telling them that if they don't get the shot (with very few health and religious exceptions) they'll need to find work elsewhere. The corporate push comes as President Joe Biden — who is clearly losing patience with Americans who won't get vaccinated and are therefore prolonging the pandemic — announced that federal workers need vaccines or will have to undergo an onerous testing regime.

Given political sensitivities in a nation where personal freedom and suspicion of government are sacrosanct for many citizens, government vaccine mandates for everyone are unlikely. Heck, advice this week for Americans, even those who are vaccinated, to wear masks again caused a firestorm — and an opening for Republican up-and-comers like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to grandstand.  

But big business could finally force millions of vaccine holdouts to change their minds. Get ready for a lot of anger and controversy — especially in Southern, conservative states where vaccine hesitancy is rife and far more people are getting sick and going to the hospital with Covid-19 than in liberal states.

But the die seems to be cast.

Starting next month, for instance, Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group -- which owns dozens of restaurants, cafes and bars -- said he will require all employees and customers to prove they've had the jab. "If you really want to go unvaccinated, you can dine somewhere else, and you can also go work somewhere else," Meyer told CNN on Thursday. 

A 60-year-old French woman made off with $5.8 million in diamonds after swapping the stones with pebbles.

A Christmas warning in July

Here's the good news: The US economy is now bigger than it was before the pandemic. The bad news? The Delta variant may peg growth back later this year. New government figures show that the economy grew at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 6.5% in the second quarter. That's great for Americans trying to get back on their feet — but it also helps people abroad, given that the mighty US engine often helps to power growth elsewhere.

It's an impressive number. But it disappointed Wall Street, which had been banking on an 8.5% rate of growth over the same period. The new data shows that the recovery is being driven by the reopening of restaurants, bars, tourism and other sectors, plus a new round of government stimulus checks. But some big financial houses are downgrading their economic outlooks as the Delta variant spreads.

Another worry is inflation. Everything in the US — food, cars, gasoline — seems to cost more right now. The dwindling clout of the dollar in voters' pockets is a prime attack line Republicans are using against Biden. Still, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said rising inflation is more the product of post-pandemic supply chain shortages than anything intrinsically wrong with the economy and should ease in the months to come. 

As an example, there's a currently a massive problem on the West Coast, where containers filled with US goods from Asia are clogging ports and rail yards. The problem is partly caused by post-pandemic staffing issues in the trucking and railroad industries. Many container ships have to anchor for days off the California coast, waiting for a time window to unload. All of this ripples down the supply chain and causes even more bottlenecks to global trade. Delays are so acute that it already looks like favorite toys could be in short supply at Christmas.

Even Santa can't dodge the pandemic.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2373659

Reported Deaths: 54904
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings31693410717
Queens30446810139
Suffolk2263213507
Nassau2057483244
Bronx2012496686
New York1607744600
Westchester1403622327
Erie984751879
Richmond853091901
Monroe775831154
Orange54237887
Rockland50600768
Onondaga45436707
Dutchess33589483
Albany28239368
Oneida25527541
Niagara22005382
Broome21557384
Saratoga18312186
Ulster16239271
Schenectady15162214
Rensselaer13180154
Putnam1176595
Chautauqua10796155
Oswego9496100
Chemung8956144
St. Lawrence8774115
Ontario846496
Steuben8285156
Cayuga7828100
Sullivan776581
Jefferson737071
Wayne686877
Cattaraugus667596
Genesee6017127
Herkimer5937116
Tompkins588959
Clinton558534
Madison533897
Fulton523297
Livingston514066
Montgomery5023133
Cortland478369
Warren464676
Columbia4608107
Tioga436867
Chenango414886
Otsego413051
Allegany398192
Greene391983
Wyoming388454
Washington387061
Orleans358983
Franklin344415
Lewis315936
Delaware301740
Seneca244459
Schoharie205420
Essex192929
Yates138126
Schuyler126416
Hamilton4073
Unassigned12529
Out of NY0288
Utica
Partly Cloudy
65° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 65°
Oneonta
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 65°
Herkimer
Partly Cloudy
65° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 65°
Old Forge
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 65°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
NEW Game Day Deals each week
Follow the 2021 Go the Distance Team - sponsored by Gilroy Kernan & Gilroy
Chapter Photofacial Therapy Giveaway
Looking for work or looking to hire? Check out the WKTV Job Fair!
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve