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- Southwest scrapped a plan to put unvaccinated workers with pending exemptions on unpaid leave after the Dec. 8 deadline.
- Both American and Southwest require their new-hire employees to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination before their first day.
- Large airlines are federal contractors and subject to a Biden administration order that requires their employees to be vaccinated or receive an exemption for medical or religious reasons.
They scrapped a plan to put unvaccinated employees who have applied for but haven’t received a religious or medical exemption on unpaid leave starting by a federal deadline in December.
Southwest Airlines and American Airlines are among the carriers that are federal contractors and subject to a Biden administration requirement that their employees are vaccinated against Covid-19 by Dec. 8 unless they are exempt for medical or religious reasons. Rules for federal contractors are stricter than those expected for large companies, which will allow for regular Covid testing as an alterative to a vaccination.
Executives at both carriers in recent days have tried to reassure employees about job security under the mandate, urging them to apply for exemptions if they can’t get vaccinated for medical or for a sincerely held religious belief. The airlines are expected to face more questions about the mandate when they report quarterly results Thursday morning. Pilots labor unions have sought to block the mandates or sought alternatives like regular testing.
Southwest’s senior vice president of operations and hospitality, Steve Goldberg, and Julie Weber, vice president and chief people officer, wrote to staff on Friday that if employees’ requests for an exemption haven’t been approved by Dec. 8, they could continue to work while following mask and distancing guidelines until the request has been reviewed.
The company is giving employees until Nov. 24 to finish their vaccinations or apply for an exemption. It will continue paying them while the company reviews their requests, and said it will allow those who are rejected to continue working “as we coordinate with them on meeting the requirements (vaccine or valid accommodation).”
“This is a change from what was previously communicated. Initially, we communicated that these Employees would be put on unpaid leave and that is no longer the case,” they wrote in the note, which was reviewed by CNBC.
Southwest confirmed the policy change, which comes just weeks before the deadline. American’s CEO, Doug Parker, met with labor union leaders on Thursday to discuss vaccine exemptions.
American Airlines management “indicated that, unlike the approach taken by United, they were exploring accommodations that would allow employees to continue to work,” the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, the union that represents American’s mainline cabin crews, said in a note to members Monday. “They failed to offer any specifics as to what such accommodations might look like at that time.”
Hundreds of Southwest employees, customers and other protesters demonstrated Monday against the vaccine mandate outside of Southwest Airlines’ headquarters in Dallas, the Dallas Morning News reported.
An airline spokeswoman said the carrier is aware of the demonstration.
“Southwest acknowledges various viewpoints regarding the Covid-19 vaccine, and we have always supported, and will continue to support, our employees’ right to express themselves, with open lines of communication to share issues and concerns,” she said.
Southwest’s Goldberg and Weber told staff that if their request for exemption is denied, employees can reapply if the staff member “has new information or circumstances it would like the Company to consider.”
Southwest requires new-hire employees to be vaccinated as does American Airlines for new staff for its mainline operation, spokesmen said. Delta Air Lines is also a federal contractor subject to the government requirements, but it hasn’t yet required staff vaccinations. Last week, the carrier reported that about 90% of its roughly 80,000 employees are vaccinated. In August, Delta announced unvaccinated staff would start paying $200 more a month for company health insurance in November.
EPA approves project to release genetically modified mosquitoes in Florida despite opposition
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved an experimental use permit submitted by a British biotech company to release millions of genetically engineered mosquitos into the Florida Keys in an effort to combat Dengue fever, Yellow fever, and the Zika virus.
All three diseases are transmitted by the Aedes aegypti (yellow fever mosquito) and Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger mosquito) in certain parts of the world.
Yellow fever and the Zika virus currently don’t exist in Florida or in the United States.
The British firm Oxitec, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, submitted its application last August. The application received 12,691 comments and widespread public opposition.
The EPA approved the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District (FKMCD) project, continuing a pilot program that began last April despite widespread opposition.
Yellow fever was previously a major public health concern in the U.S. in the 1700s and 1800s, the Florida Department of Health states. “The last epidemic in North America occurred in New Orleans in 1905. The risk of sylvatic transmission in the United States is low.”
Yellow fever is “a very rare cause of illness in U.S. travelers,” the CDC states; Floridians can go to over 100 clinics to get a vaccine for it.
“There is no current local transmission of Zika virus in the continental United States,” the CDC states. “The last cases of local Zika transmission by mosquitoes in the continental United States were in Florida and Texas in 2016-17. Since 2019, there have been no confirmed Zika virus disease cases reported from United States territories.”
“Zika fever is a mild illness caused by a mosquito-borne virus similar to those that cause dengue and chikungunya virus infection,” the Florida Department of Health states. “It has been identified in several countries in Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean since 2015. Cases of Zika fever have been reported in travelers returning to the United States. Zika virus is not transmitted person-to-person.” The department investigated cases in 2015 and 2016.
Florida has reported cases of Dengue fever over the past decade. As of March 2, 2022, there are currently 11 Dengue cases in Florida, of which 65% are travel related, the CDC reports. Zero are locally transmitted cases.
After the pilot began last April, an outbreak in the Upper Keys was reported and a Miami woman died from Dengue fever.
In 2020, there were 40 Dengue cases reported in Florida, of which 11% were associated with travel, the CDC reported. There were 71 locally transmitted cases, of which 86% were associated with travel. There was an outbreak in Martin County in 2013, the Florida Department of Health reported, and an outbreak in 2009 and 2019 in Key West.
“Given the growing health threat this mosquito poses across the U.S., we’re working to make this technology available and accessible,” Oxitec’s CEO, Grey Frandsen, said. “These pilot programs, wherein we can demonstrate the technology’s effectiveness in different climate settings, will play an important role in doing so.”
“Oxitec’s safe, sustainable and targeted biological pest control technology does not harm beneficial insects like bees and butterflies and is proven to control the disease transmitting Aedes aegypti mosquito, which has invaded communities in Florida, California and other U.S. states. In California, since first being detected in 2013, this mosquito has rapidly spread to more than 20 counties throughout the state, increasing the risk of transmission of dengue, chikungunya, Zika, yellow fever and other diseases,” Oxitec states in a press release.
Last year, Oxitec and the Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board released half a billion genetically engineered mosquitoes into Monroe County. Oxitec spokeswoman Meredith Fensom said the company is still monitoring traps as part of last year’s project, the Florida Keys News reported.
Neither the mosquito control board nor Oxitec informed community residents about the locations of release until three days before the mosquitoes were released, groups opposed to the program have pointed out. Likewise, members of the community weren’t given informed consent, they add.
“The EPA’s decision ignores all basic logic,” Barry Wray, executive director of the Florida Keys Environmental Coalition, said in a news release. The group opposes the program and questions Oxitec’s technology.
“The EPA has been shown very clearly that Oxitec misrepresented recent field performance on its original application with the EPA for experimentation in the Keys,” he added. “They have been shown that each time an independent scientific investigation evaluates Oxitec’s technology in the lab or field, the results contradict or find significant flaws and concerns with Oxitec claims. The release of scientific data from the Cayman (Islands) field trials showed Oxitec’s failure in contrast to their continued claims of success; yet the EPA only reviewed Oxitec generated claims as sufficient information for approving the largest release in history of a genetically modified animal into the wild.”
Oxitec claims its mosquitos are male and don’t bite. They are released into the wild to mate with females that do bite. Once the mosquitoes mate, the male passes on its gene that ensures its offspring die before reaching maturity, the company claims.
However, scientists, public health experts and environmental groups argue no publicly available data supports Oxitec’s claims. Friends of the Earth points to an independent peer-reviewed study conducted by Yale University scientists who evaluated a similar experiment in Brazil and found a different outcome.
Over two years, genetically engineered Aedes aegypti mosquitoes were released in Brazil and their population didn’t decline. Instead, hybrid mosquitos were created that were more difficult to eradicate and might actually increase the spread of mosquito-borne disease, the researchers found.
“Releasing billions of GE mosquitoes makes it likely that female GE mosquitoes will get out and create hybrid mosquitoes that are more virulent and aggressive. Other public health strategies, including the use of Wolbachia infected mosquitoes, could better control the Aedes aegypti,” Jaydee Hanson, policy director for the International Center for Technology Assessment and Center for Food Safety, said in a news release.
Information about allergenicity and toxicity was redacted from Oxitec’s permit application, Friends of the Earth said. The EPA also didn’t require scientific assessments to be done before approving the permit, including an endangered species assessment, public health impact analysis, or caged trials ahead of any environmental release; and also declined to convene a Scientific Advisory Panel as it does for all new pesticides introduced into the environment, the group added.
“Scientists have found genetic material from GE mosquitoes in wild populations at significant levels, which means GE mosquitoes are not sterile. GE mosquitoes could result in far more health and environmental problems than they would solve,” Dana Perls, a food and technology program manager at Friends of the Earth, said. “EPA needs to do a real review of potential risks and stop ignoring widespread opposition in the communities where releases will happen.”
Floridians opposed to the program can contact the governor, state legislators, county officials, and the state Department of Agriculture, which has to approve the project.
Eggs Hatching by the Millions: Bioweapon Shots Contain Living Parasite eggs
As the plandemic continues to unfold, so does the devious plot and secret ingredients of the Pfizer jabs. Dr. Jane Ruby joined the Stew Peters Show Monday to expose the alleged parasitic hybrid entities within the Pfizer jab vials. Dr. Ruby goes in-depth regarding the behavior and composition of the Pfizer parasites, and the dangers people face from their injections.
VIDEO: Clinton Global Initiative Reactivated After Long Hiatus
In a statement on Friday, former President Bill Clinton said the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) will be making its comeback to address the many challenges facing the world today, from climate change to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Cooperation and coordination has never been more urgent than it is now,” wrote the former president. “The COVID-19 pandemic has ripped the cover off of longstanding inequities and vulnerabilities across our global community. The existential threat of climate change grows every day.”
“Democracy is under assault around the world, most glaringly in Ukraine where Russia has launched an unjustified and unprovoked invasion that has put millions of lives in grave danger,” he continued. “The number of displaced people and refugees worldwide is higher than it has ever been—more than one in 95 of all people alive on the planet today has been forced to flee their home—and rising.”
A subset of the infamous Clinton Foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative “convenes global and emerging leaders to create and implement solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges,” according to its website.
“Rather than directly implementing projects, CGI facilitates action by helping members connect, collaborate, and develop Commitments to Action — new, specific, and measurable plans that address global challenges,” it says of itself.
The Clinton Global Initiative ended in 2016 as Hillary Clinton launched her presidential campaign, fearing it could create a conflict of interest. It will convene for between September 19 to September 21 in New York City.
“Just like the world we’re living in, the September meeting will likely look different than the ones we held before. But what will not be different is the spirit that has driven CGI from the very beginning—the idea that we can accomplish more together than we can apart,” the former president said in his announcement.
Past events have featured A-list celebrity speakers and top business executives such as Ben Affleck, Bono, and former Presidents Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter. The initiative has also been sponsored by major corporations, from Coca-Cola, Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Blackstone Group, Laureate Education, Monsanto, and Standard Chartered Bank. As the Washington Examiner profiled in 2016 upon the initiative’s downturn, CGI has drawn criticism for “its atypical method of operation.”
“Instead of issuing traditional grants to groups in need, the Clinton Global Initiative’s primary function is to convene powerful figures from the business, political or entertainment worlds and encourage them to pledge contributions for future projects called ‘commitments,’” noted the Examiner.
“However, the group’s most recent philanthropic portfolio indicates fewer than half of the thousands of commitments made since 2005 have ever been completed,” it added. “The charity’s financial structure has also raised eyebrows, since most direct contributions go toward the annual meeting or salaries rather than philanthropy.”
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