Biden Courts Businesses; Moscow Cases Jump: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) —

President Joe Biden’s Department of Labor officials met with business lobbying groups and leaders on Friday in an effort to gather support for upcoming rules mandating vaccines or tests at places of work.

Among the major measures the president announced this week to get more Americans vaccinated, one high-profile move was missing: requiring vaccines or negative tests to get on an airplane.

China said it had developed vaccines for the beta and delta variants after two phases of trials were completed. Indonesia recorded the fewest number of daily deaths since June, while cases in Moscow surged to their highest since mid-August as schools opened after the summer vacation.

Key Developments:

Global Virus Tracker: Cases pass 224.1 million; deaths exceed 4.6 millionVaccine Tracker: More than 5.66 billion doses administeredRetired seniors in U.S. aren’t covered by Biden’s vaccine planAlaska’s top health official battens down for a difficult winterAmerican hopes of quickly escaping Covid-19 have been dashedReluctant firms now face mandate to require workers to be jabbed

Hawaii Launches Digital Vaccine Pass (3:26 p.m. NY)

Hawaii launched a digital proof of vaccination, and almost 20,000 people downloaded it in the first half hour after its release on Friday, the Honolulu Star Advertiser reported. On Monday, proof of vaccination will be required in many businesses and public venues in Hawaii.

Vaccine passes have been contentious with several states banning them outright, but a few, including New York, California and Illinois, have issued ways to store and present proof of vaccination digitally.

Mississippi Pregnant Women Hit Hard by Covid (2:05 p.m. NY)

Pregnant women make up a third of patients in the intensive care at Mississippi’s largest hospital, the Clarion Ledger reported, quoting doctors. Four of 11 pregnant women with Covid-19 admitted to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in the last three weeks died, the newspaper reported, with 10 of the 11 babies born still alive, though premature.

None of the women were vaccinated, said Rachael Morris, the hospital’s maternal-fetal medical specialist, according to the newspaper.

Gorillas at Atlanta Zoo Infected (10:53 a.m. NY)

Lowland gorillas at Zoo Atlanta have tested positive for Covid-19, likely spread through an infected caretaker, the zoo said in a statement on Friday. Zoo workers noticed that some gorillas were showing symptoms like coughing and loss of appetite, and they were tested. The Atlanta Constitution Journal reported that 13 of the 20 gorillas tested positive.

“We are very concerned that these infections occurred, especially given that our safety protocols when working with great apes and other susceptible animal species are, and throughout the pandemic have been, extremely rigorous,” Sam Rivera, senior director of animal health at the zoo, said in the statement.

Zoo animals around the U.S., including other gorillas, have caught Covid-19 and some have been given vaccines.

Protests Rise Against Turkish Virus Measures (10:43 a.m. NY)

Hundreds of people gathered in Istanbul to protest against the government’s vaccination campaign and other measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic, including the requirement to wear face masks in all public areas. Maskless protesters at a square in Maltepe district listened to a number of heated speeches, including that of Abdurrahman Dilipak, a columnist at Islamic news outlet Yeni Akit, and called for the resignation of Turkey’s health minister.