Today’s coronavirus news: The vaccine pipeline is about to turn on. Is Canada ready? Plus, a fifth of MLB teams relax COVID protocols

The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Saturday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.7:10 a.m.: The vaccine pipeline is about to turn on. Is Canada ready?The Star’s Alex Boyd went inside Ontario’s vaccine rollout — and its biggest challenge yet7:05 a.m.: A fifth major league team has been able to relax coronavirus protocols after 85 per cent of its players and other on-field personnel completed vaccination.Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association made the announcement Friday without identifying any teams and said seven additional teams had reached the 85% level of having received final doses and would be able to relax protocols within two weeks once they are fully vaccinated.The New York Yankees and Detroit said last weekend they were able to relax protocols, and Milwaukee said earlier this week it had been able to relax them. Relaxed protocols include dropping the requirements for facemasks in dugouts and bullpens, and loosening restrictions on mobility during road trips.MLB said Friday that more than 83% of all tier 1 individuals such as players, managers, coaches, athletic trainers and support personnel had been partially or fully vaccinated, up from 81% on April 30.There were no positive results among 10,330 monitoring tests in the past week and one among staff at an alternate training site, a 0.009% positive rate.Thus far this season, there have been 44 positive tests — 27 players and 17 staff — among 145,647 samples tested, a 0.03% positive rate. The positive tests are among 21 teams.4:05 a.m.: In Canada, the provinces are reporting 406,415 new vaccinations administered for a total of 15,325,183 doses given. Nationwide, 1,221,019 people or 3.2 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 40,436.61 per 100,000.There were 51,642 new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 18,033,514 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 84.98 per cent of their available vaccine supply.Please note that Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the territories typically do not report on a daily basis.Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting 17,703 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 191,130 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 365.009 per 1,000. In the province, 1.85 per cent (9,676) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland and Labrador for a total of 244,930 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 47 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 78.03 per cent of its available vaccine supply.P.E.I. is reporting 6,556 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 59,758 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 376.715 per 1,000. In the province, 6.78 per cent (10,750) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 76,725 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 48 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 77.89 per cent of its available vaccine supply.Nova Scotia is reporting 44,485 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 356,978 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 365.794 per 1,000. In the province, 3.86 per cent (37,630) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 450,600 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 46 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 79.22 per cent of its available vaccine supply.New Brunswick is reporting 31,411 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 293,550 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 376.327 per 1,000. In the province, 3.78 per cent (29,476) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 373,815 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 48 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 78.53 per cent of its available vaccine supply.Quebec is reporting 104,742 new vaccinations administered for a total of 3,550,899 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 414.987 per 1,000. There were 51,642 new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 4,110,859 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 48 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 86.38 per cent of its available vaccine supply.Ontario is reporting 144,724 new vaccinations administered for a total of 5,885,485 doses given. T

Today’s coronavirus news: The vaccine pipeline is about to turn on. Is Canada ready? Plus, a fifth of MLB teams relax COVID protocols

The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Saturday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.

7:10 a.m.: The vaccine pipeline is about to turn on. Is Canada ready?

The Star’s Alex Boyd went inside Ontario’s vaccine rollout — and its biggest challenge yet

7:05 a.m.: A fifth major league team has been able to relax coronavirus protocols after 85 per cent of its players and other on-field personnel completed vaccination.

Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association made the announcement Friday without identifying any teams and said seven additional teams had reached the 85% level of having received final doses and would be able to relax protocols within two weeks once they are fully vaccinated.

The New York Yankees and Detroit said last weekend they were able to relax protocols, and Milwaukee said earlier this week it had been able to relax them. Relaxed protocols include dropping the requirements for facemasks in dugouts and bullpens, and loosening restrictions on mobility during road trips.

MLB said Friday that more than 83% of all tier 1 individuals such as players, managers, coaches, athletic trainers and support personnel had been partially or fully vaccinated, up from 81% on April 30.

There were no positive results among 10,330 monitoring tests in the past week and one among staff at an alternate training site, a 0.009% positive rate.

Thus far this season, there have been 44 positive tests — 27 players and 17 staff — among 145,647 samples tested, a 0.03% positive rate. The positive tests are among 21 teams.

4:05 a.m.: In Canada, the provinces are reporting 406,415 new vaccinations administered for a total of 15,325,183 doses given. Nationwide, 1,221,019 people or 3.2 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 40,436.61 per 100,000.

There were 51,642 new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 18,033,514 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 84.98 per cent of their available vaccine supply.

Please note that Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the territories typically do not report on a daily basis.

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting 17,703 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 191,130 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 365.009 per 1,000. In the province, 1.85 per cent (9,676) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland and Labrador for a total of 244,930 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 47 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 78.03 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

P.E.I. is reporting 6,556 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 59,758 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 376.715 per 1,000. In the province, 6.78 per cent (10,750) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 76,725 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 48 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 77.89 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Nova Scotia is reporting 44,485 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 356,978 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 365.794 per 1,000. In the province, 3.86 per cent (37,630) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 450,600 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 46 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 79.22 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

New Brunswick is reporting 31,411 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 293,550 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 376.327 per 1,000. In the province, 3.78 per cent (29,476) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 373,815 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 48 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 78.53 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Quebec is reporting 104,742 new vaccinations administered for a total of 3,550,899 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 414.987 per 1,000. There were 51,642 new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 4,110,859 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 48 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 86.38 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Ontario is reporting 144,724 new vaccinations administered for a total of 5,885,485 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 400.671 per 1,000. In the province, 2.64 per cent (387,484) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 7,056,415 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 48 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 83.41 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Manitoba is reporting 15,140 new vaccinations administered for a total of 534,647 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 388.268 per 1,000. In the province, 5.45 per cent (74,988) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 686,160 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 50 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 77.92 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Saskatchewan is reporting 10,530 new vaccinations administered for a total of 491,440 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 416.773 per 1,000. In the province, 3.87 per cent (45,655) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 542,935 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 46 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 90.52 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Alberta is reporting 59,730 new vaccinations administered for a total of 1,792,312 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 407.154 per 1,000. In the province, 7.09 per cent (311,908) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 2,002,215 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 45 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 89.52 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

British Columbia is reporting 46,946 new vaccinations administered for a total of 2,042,442 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 398.015 per 1,000. In the province, 1.94 per cent (99,461) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 2,330,040 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 45 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 87.66 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Yukon is reporting 299 new vaccinations administered for a total of 49,439 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 1,184.707 per 1,000. In the territory, 55.23 per cent (23,048) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 55,920 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 130 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 88.41 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

The Northwest Territories are reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 48,007 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 1,064.009 per 1,000. In the territory, 48.04 per cent (21,674) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 58,800 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 130 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 81.64 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Nunavut is reporting 133 new vaccinations administered for a total of 29,096 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 751.33 per 1,000. In the territory, 32.97 per cent (12,768) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 44,100 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 110 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 65.98 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Source : Toronto Star More   

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How the Internet Turned on Elon Musk

An unlikely, polarizing SNL hosting stint for the mogul reveals the boundaries and tensions of our ever-present culture wars.

How the Internet Turned on Elon Musk

When NBC first announced that the billionaire car-tech-space mogul Elon Musk would serve as guest host for this week’s “Saturday Night Live,” the backlash was swift. Musk has graced the covers of Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair and Time; he’s voiced himself on several episodes of “South Park,” the long-running animated series that shares his irascible, libertarian-minded sensibilities; he’s inspired one of the most ubiquitous icons of our young century’s popular culture. But hosting “SNL”? Simply unacceptable.

Through his companies Tesla and SpaceX, Musk has lived out a little boy’s dream of building fast cars and rocket ships, displaying, at least publicly, the ebullient goofiness to match. In the sunny, hope-and-change early Obama era, he became a cultish nerd icon who embodied the belief that dynamic American capitalism can still accomplish great and novel things. Musk’s projects, which eventually also came to include the hyper-futuristic neurotech startup Neurolink and the tunneling and infrastructure-oriented Boring Company, were a refreshing rejoinder to the criticism that today’s supposed “innovators” don’t actually, you know, make anything.

But to a certain class of progressive over-represented in media and comedy, the mere existence of someone with Musk’s vast wealth (in the $160 billion range, as of this week) is inherently offensive. SNL stars Aidy Bryant and Bowen Yang criticized the decision on social media, the former by way of posting a tweet from Sen. Bernie Sanders describing how the “50 wealthiest people in America today own more wealth than the bottom half of our people.” In that light, Musk isn’t just an eccentric, flawed multi-billionaire, but a walking representation of global income inequality.

Whatever else, the man is certainly eccentric. He appeared on “The Joe Rogan Podcast” and took a vexed-looking hit from a pot-laced cigar, launching a thousand memes. (The SEC slapped him with a $20 million fine for joking in a tweet the month before that he would take Tesla private once its share price reached, wait for it… $420.) He engaged in a jealous vendetta against a diving expert who’d advised the 2018 Thai cave rescue operation. He began dating the influential cool-girl synth-pop star Grimes, infuriating her Bernie-loving young fanbase. They had a child and named him “X Æ A-12.” (It’s pronounced like it’s spelled.)

Along with his unapologetic dedication to the free market and association with right-leaning figures like Kanye West and Joe Rogan, such incidents have made him a reliable culture-war punching bag. But Musk isn’t the first controversial SNL host, nor the most politically fraught — Donald Trump himself has hosted twice, once while a presidential candidate. In the early 1990s, a stint from misogynist shock comedian Andrew Dice Clay led to a boycott from (and the eventual departure of) cast member Nora Dunn. But Clay and Trump, provocative entertainers above all else, have far more in common with each other than they do with Musk, an honest-to-God engineer, aspiring space colonist, and the second-wealthiest man on the planet. It’s far weirder that Musk is joining the show, as if Carl Icahn or Steve Jobs were suddenly tapped to host “American Idol.” Perplexity would seem a more appropriate response than outrage.

And yet: the biggest institutions in both comedy and media are disproportionately young, urbane, and progressive. Since 2016, SNL has affixed itself solidly in the firmament of liberal-leaning late-night television through its relentless tweaking of Trump, as well as a series of occasionally bizarre and earnest political statements. Despite SNL’s eternal thirst for buzz, turning to an Ozymandias-esque capitalist like Musk would have been an awkward fit even in the cooler atmosphere of the pre-Trump era. (It didn’t help, of course, that he piped up on Twitter immediately after his hosting gig was anounced, floating the idea of a presumably derisive sketch about “Woke James Bond.”)

Even as mainstream comedy is increasingly wracked by concerns about equity, representation, and “punching up” or down, SNL occasionally betrays its genesis in the more anarchic world of post-Watergate 1970s showbiz. With that legacy in mind, bringing on Musk is simply the price of doing business — that is to say, staying in headlines like the one affixed to this story.

The loathing Musk inspires from the left is uniquely intense and personal, not unlike that directed toward his fellow techno-optimists in the Democratic Party like Andrew Yang and Pete Buttigieg. Musk shares their cardinal sin: that of cringe, an obliviousness toward, or unwillingness to acknowledge, the tastemakers who define pop culture at its highest level — which increasingly includes policy positions, like police abolition or massive wealth redistribution. Musk has remained stubbornly committed to a brash and vague tech-bro libertarianism that was already wearing out its welcome among cultural elites in 2011, and seems fully retrograde in the world of 2021.

Musk’s arc as a public figure serves as a neat lesson in how and where the battle lines of our current culture wars came to be drawn.

***

Before evaluating his cultural impact or status, it’s worth asking: What does Elon Musk actually do?

Arriving in the United States from his native South Africa (by way of Canada) in the early 1990s, Musk was at first like any number of other young techies striving to make it in Silicon Valley during the early days of the World Wide Web. An early success with an internet city guide startup led to co-founding “X.com,” one of the first federally-insured online banks, which eventually led to a merger with the competitor Confinity — itself co-founded by Peter Thiel, who would later become a far more direct liberal antagonist than Musk himself.

Confinity boasted a money-transfer service of which you might have heard: PayPal. Both Musk and Thiel are members of a cohort known as the “PayPal Mafia,” men who used their money and connections from the service to launch companies like YouTube, Yelp, and LinkedIn. After a bout of corporate musical chairs Musk departed the company in 2000, eventually receiving a payout of more than $100 million. That helped him seed in the early-to-mid-2000s the two companies he’s still best for in the pioneering electric car company Tesla, and SpaceX, the rocket, satellite, and aeronautics manufacturer.

But Musk cut a significantly different cultural figure than other 21st century tech tycoons like Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos. Where Bezos brought us same-day delivery of cat food and laundry detergent, and Zuck developed a forum for meeting other Ravenclaw Clinton Supporters In Peoria, Illinois (CLOSED GROUP NO LURKERS), Musk’s investments are capital in the truest sense of the term — requiring construction and manufacturing at a mass scale, while looking forward, not backward like so many of those who hope to re-industrialize our increasingly service-oriented economy.

Some of the ire Musk has earned is serious. Black workers at Tesla accused the company of a culture of racism. Various investigations revealed unsafe conditions at the company’s futuristic, highly-automated factories, and Teslas have experienced a series of high-profile safety incidents that have deepened the perception of Musk as a corner-cutting flim-flam artist. Critics have also accused him of hypocrisy for his relentless cheerleading of cryptocurrency, the energy-intensive production of which could undermine Tesla’s ostensibly eco-friendly mission. (Studies find cryptocurrency mining responsible for a miniscule fraction of annual CO2 emissions.)

There’s also the matter of his rabid online fanbase, which treats any affront to their chosen ubermensch as personal and responds in trolling kind. His brand of celebrity is tailor-made to scramble the brains of his detractors: a futurist whose cultural attitudes are stuck in the past; a tech genius who tweets (frequently, nonsense) in the erratic style of a non-digital native; a guy who hangs out with Joe Rogan but is “super fired up” about the Biden climate agenda. As Insider columnist Josh Barro pointed out amid the initial outcry over his SNL appearance, Musk’s uncouth attitude and gauche bear-hug of market capitalism frequently blind his liberal critics to how his fundamental mission of scientific and environmental progress is perfectly aligned with theirs.

These contradictions, along with his cultural transgressions and alleged ethical shortcomings as a capitalist, make him a perfect target for the hyper-progressive, image-conscious social media mavens that shape our media landscape.

It’s a position shared by a sizable number of Americans, but a decided minority of them. According to a recent Vox/Data for Progress poll, “68 percent [of Americans] say they disagree that it’s immoral for a society to allow people to become billionaires.” They’re especially warm and fuzzy, as it turns out, when it comes to Musk himself: his net approval rating among the general public is +27 points — behind Bill Gates, but ahead of Bezos and Zuckerberg — and 52 percent of Democrats see him favorably.

The extent to which SNL’s decision to invite him was baffling depends on one’s perspective. Inside the bubble the show inhabits and largely embodies, it was a betrayal of core principles. Outside, it was just another celebrity news item about the raffish eccentric who builds rockets and tweets all day about Dogecoin.

Musk’s actual appearance on SNL, however potentially awkward, will likely result in much less heat and light than the controversy surrounding it. In their definitive oral history of the show, “Live From New York,” Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller quote the series’ creator Lorne Michaels on the Dice Clay controversy. “You don’t invite somebody to your house to piss on him,” Michaels said. “[T]his person has put themselves in your hands, they’re completely vulnerable, the show only works if they look good, so why would you have anybody over that you don’t like? What — because you need the ratings? It doesn’t make any sense.”

And so will Musk be treated, even by the cast members who couldn’t conceal their disdain for his presence — none of whom, it should be noted, chose to follow in Nora Dunn’s footsteps and exclude themselves out of principle. The controversy around his appearance reveals the extent of the non-representative filter bubbles that social media has allowed Americans to place themselves in, not least those at SNL who are among Musk’s critics. They, to echo the apocryphal Pauline Kael comment about Nixon voters, likely don’t have a representative number of people in their lives who see him not as a uniquely malevolent entity, but as an entertaining futurist with admitted personal flaws.

In that light, Musk might find himself in an unusual role when he takes the stage at 30 Rock to deliver the show’s opening monologue: That of an emissary from reality.

Source : Politico USA More   

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