Day: November 28, 2021

Background Briefing: November 28, 2021


The New Variant of Covid the WHO Has Designated as Omicron

We begin with the new variant of Covid the WHO has designated as Omicron which emerged out of Botswana and is now spreading across Southern Africa and has already arrived in Europe and according to Dr. Fauci, is likely to be here in the United States. Joining us to discuss what is known about this latest mutation of the virus that has killed five million people worldwide and over 760,000 in the U.S. is Shannon Bennett, the Chief of Science and Dean of Science and Research Collections at the California Academy of Sciences who studies infectious diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans. She has led a number of research projects on virus evolution, identification, and transmission with funding from the National Institutes of Health and we will assess the possibility that this new strain might be resistant to current vaccines and how quickly manufacturers can come up with a new vaccine.


Boris Johnson’s Shameful Grandstanding Over the Channel Crossing Tragedies

Then with 27 migrants, mostly from Iraq having drowned in the English Channel last week in a desperate attempt to flee the horrible conditions in Calais to get to the U.K. in a crowded inflatable boat that quickly sank in the ice-cold water, we speak with Dr. Philippe Marlière a Professor in French and European Politics at University College, London. He joins us to discuss the outrageous grandstanding by the U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson who tweeted out a letter to French President Macron claiming to offer solutions to an immigration problem Johnson, as an architect of Brexit, promised would be solved by his devastatingly stupid move to leave the E.U.


1.8 Million Central American Refugees in 5 Years Each Year Pay $2.2 Billion to Smugglers

Then finally we look into the human and financial costs of migration from Central America to the U.S. with 1.8 million Central Americans attempting to immigrate in the last five years at a cost of $2.2 billion every year, most of which goes to smugglers. Joining us is Sarah Williams, a Professor of Technology and Urban Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she is also Director of the Civic Data Design Lab and the Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism. She is the author of Data Action: Using Data for Public Good and the co-author of a new report at the Migration Policy Institute, “Charting a New Regional Course of Action: The Complex Motivations and Costs of Central American Migration.”