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Why is Canada outpacing the U.S. in vaccinations? Fauci says we don't have their 'divisiveness' – CTV News

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TORONTO —
The public face of the response to the COVID-19 crisis in the United States says his country’s partisan divide helps explain why vaccination uptake in the U.S. is now lagging behind the Canadian rate.

Canada surpassed the U.S. vaccination rate for the first time last weekend, when CTVNews.ca data showed that 48.8 of Canadians had received two doses of vaccine, versus 48.1 per cent of Americans. That gap has since widened; as of Wednesday morning, fully-vaccinated rates stood at 51.5 per cent of Canadians and 48.3 per cent of Americans.

Canada’s first-dose rate overtook that of the U.S. two months ago, owing to our longer permissible lead time between doses; approximately 70 per cent of Canadians have received at least one dose, compared to 55 per cent of Americans.

Asked by CNN’s Kate Bolduan why the U.S. is now lagging behind its northern neighbour, Dr. Anthony Fauci – director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – put the blame on politics.

“Canada is doing better not because we are trying any less than they are trying. It’s because in Canada, you don’t have that divisiveness of people not wanting to get vaccinated, in many respects, on the basis of ideology and political persuasion,” he said Monday.

As with other issues related to COVID-19 in the U.S., opinions on vaccination have somewhat fallen along a left-right divide, with some conservative media personalities and Republican politicians questioning their usefulness.

In Canada, by way of contrast, mainstream conservative politicians and pundits have been pro-vaccine, with their criticism focusing instead on the federal government’s efforts to procure enough doses to inoculate all Canadians who want to be inoculated.

Fauci said political agreement over the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines helps explain why vaccine uptake is stronger in Canada than in the U.S.

“Political differences are totally understandable and a natural part of the process in any country, but when it comes to a common health issue in which you’re in the middle of a deadly pandemic and the common enemy is the virus, it just doesn’t make any sense to essentially disregard or don’t pay attention to what’s obvious,” he told CNN.

“If you look at the numbers, they tell you something very important: 99.5 per cent of all the deaths due to COVID-19 in this country are among unvaccinated people, and 0.5 per cent are among vaccinated people. That’s a public health issue, that’s not political, that’s not ideological.”

Vaccination is not the only way in which Canada appears to have outperformed the U.S. in avoiding the worst of the coronavirus.

Data from CTVNews.ca trackers show that the U.S. has had a higher COVID-19 case rate than Canada for almost all of the pandemic, and a higher death rate since the beginning. When it comes to the current situation, the majority of provinces and territories – including Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia – are reporting fewer new cases per capita than any U.S. state.

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Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world Tuesday – CBC.ca

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The latest:

Chinese authorities have announced mass coronavirus testing in Wuhan as an unusually wide series of COVID-19 outbreaks reached the city where the disease was first detected in late 2019.

The provincial capital of 11 million people in central China is the latest city to undergo city-wide testing. Three cases were confirmed in Wuhan on Monday, its first non-imported cases in more than a year.

China has largely curbed COVID-19 at home after the initial outbreak that devastated Wuhan and spread globally. Since then, authorities have tamped down and controlled the disease whenever it pops up with quick lockdowns and mass testing.

The current outbreaks are still in the hundreds of cases in total but have spread much more widely than previous ones. Many of the cases have been identified as the highly contagious delta variant.

The National Health Commission said Tuesday that 90 new cases had been confirmed the previous day.

-From The Associated Press, last updated at 7:05 a.m. ET


What’s happening in Canada

WATCH | Renewed concern over rising COVID-19 cases, delta variant: 

Despite Canada having one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, that might not be enough to slow the spread of COVID-19 driven by the highly contagious delta variant. 2:34


What’s happening around the world

A visitor submits her documents at the reception to receive a shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo on Monday. (Stanislav Kogiku/The Associated Press)

As of early Tuesday morning, more than 198.9 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported, according to Johns Hopkins University. The reported global death toll stood at more than 4.2 million.

In the Asia-Pacific region, Japan will focus on hospitalizing patients who are seriously ill with COVID-19 and those at risk of becoming so while others isolate at home amid worries about a strained medical system as cases surge in Olympics host city Tokyo.

Pakistan’s top health official says his country for the first time has administered one million doses of COVID-19 vaccine across the country in the past 24 hours. The latest development comes days after Pakistan imposed a lockdown in the southern port city of Karachi and in other high-risk areas.

In the Americas, the U.S. states of Florida and Louisiana were at or near their highest hospitalization numbers of the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, a trend driven by the still-spreading delta variant.

Nearly three out of four Americans above the age of 18 have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of Monday, according to the U.S. Centers for Disesae Control.

In Africa, Morocco will lengthen its night curfew as it tightens restrictions to counter a surge in infections.

In the Middle East, Iran on Monday reported 37,189 new cases of COVID-19 — a single-day high, according to Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 tracker. The country, which has been hit hard by several waves of the novel coronavirus, also saw 411 additional deaths.

In Europe, France’s overseas territory of Guadeloupe will to go into a new lockdown for at least three weeks.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he wanted to get the travel industry moving again with a simple user-friendly system to allow for trips abroad without importing new virus variants.

From The Associated Press, Reuters and CBC News, last updated at 6:55 a.m. ET

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Canada fines travellers for fake vaccination and testing papers – BBC News

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A Covid screening centre at the Vancouver airport

Getty Images

Canada has fined two travellers arriving from the US who, officials say, forged Covid-19 testing and vaccination documents.

Each was fined C$19,720 ($16,000, £11,500) after inspectors at the Toronto airport found their vaccine cards and proof of testing were fake.

It comes as Canada is set to ease travel restrictions on US visitors.

Around the world, nations are grappling with how to re-open their borders to travellers amid a virus surge.

According to a statement from the Public Health Agency of Canada, the two unnamed travellers had entered Canada from the US during the week of 18 July.

The Canada Border Services Agency, which inspects Covid travel documents for authenticity, determined that the duo had faked the documents that they had uploaded to the government’s ArriveCAN travel website.

“The Government of Canada will continue to investigate incidents reported and will not hesitate to take enforcement action where it is warranted to protect the health of Canadians from the further spread of Covid-19 and its variants of concern,” the agency said in a statement.

Canada did not identify the travellers or their itineraries. The health agency told Newsweek in a statement that they were Canadian citizens.

Canada loosened requirements for international travellers on 5 July. Anyone entering the country must provide proof of vaccination. The unvaccinated have to submit to multiple tests, and stay for three days in a government-run hotel before quarantining for 14 days.

Canada will begin letting vaccinated Americans enter the country starting on 9 August.

The US border with Canada and Mexico, however, remains closed to foreigners until 21 August.

Other countries are quickly amending their travel restrictions, depending on the rise or fall of new infections and vaccinations.

On Monday, the UK began allowing vaccinated Americans and Europeans to enter without undergoing quarantine.

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US Customs agents arrest Canadian woman attempting to smuggle drugs – CTV Toronto

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CALGARY —
A Canadian woman has been caught attempting to import a significant quantity of cocaine into the country, U.S. border agents report.

The suspect, who was driving a commercial truck loaded with watermelons and peppers, attempted to cross into Canada at the office in Sweetgrass, Mont. on July 29.

Upon further inspection of the truck, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers discovered a number of bags hidden among the cargo.

The substance inside the bags tested positive for cocaine, officials said. The total amount of drugs seized was 31.5 kilograms.

“Utilizing high-tech tools, our frontline CBP Officers used a combination of their training and experience to detect and seize 69.5 pounds of cocaine in the cargo environment,” said area port director Jason Greene, Sweetgrass Port of Entry, in a release.

“The ability to facilitate lawful trade and travel while sustaining a focus on enforcement, is critical to our border security mission.”

Charges are pending against the suspect, who has not been identified.

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