Deep Dive (Nov. 22): Fauci: ‘Fully Vaccinated’ Definition May Change

Over 2 million travelers on the first day of the Thanksgiving air-travel period break pandemic record, according to the TSA. TSA expects to screen about 20 million air passengers during the Thanksgiving period. The TSA said airport security checkpoints nationwide will be busy until the end of the week. Passenger volumes could even come close to pre-pandemic levels. This comes as officials warn businesses to be prepared for cyberattacks on Thanksgiving weekend. While there’s no specific threat, hackers have shown they like to strike on holidays and weekends.

Disney World in Florida halts its vaccine mandate after the Florida legislature restricts requirements. Now workers are allowed to be exempt for reasons like anticipated future pregnancy or recovery from prior COVID-19 infection. Employees can also opt for regular coronavirus testing or the use of personal protective equipment, which must be paid by the employer. The new Florida law calls for fines of as much as $50,000 per violation for large employers. This comes as Fauci says federal health officials could modify the definition of “fully vaccinated” if data support the necessity of boosters.

Some schools are announcing a shift back to remote learning, despite clear evidence of the drawbacks. Some have raised concerns about the long-term impacts of remote learning, especially after a McKinsey report found elementary school students in the United States ended the school year four to five months behind their expected level of academic achievement. And an Oregon middle school has paused in-person learning. Superintendent Danna Diaz told families and staff, “The shifts in learning methods and isolation caused by COVID-19 closures and quarantines have taken a toll on the well-being of our students and staff. We are finding that some students are struggling with the socialization skills necessary for in-person learning, which is causing disruption in school for other students.”

Tune into Deep Dive as we explore these topics and more.

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