Biden Orders ‘Sweeping,’ ‘Unprecedented’…

Originally published on The Defender, Children’s Health Defense’s News + Views website. In his most forceful move yet, President Biden on Thursday ordered sweeping new federal COVID vaccine requirements for as many as 100 million Americans — including private sector employees, healthcare workers and federal contractors — threatening thousands in fines for businesses that do not comply. In his speech, Biden made no exception for the millions of Americans with natural immunity, and did not mention exemptions for those with medical conditions or sincerely held religious beliefs — as White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki in a Wednesday press briefing had suggested would be the case. Speaking at the White House, Biden sharply criticized millions of Americans who remain unvaccinated, despite months of availability and incentives. “We’ve been patient. But our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us,” Biden said. The unvaccinated minority “can cause a lot of damage, and they are.” According to the Associated Press (AP), Biden’s latest move is driven at least in part by self-interest, as he tries to defend his own job performance on the issue most important to voters. The resurgence of the virus has sent Biden’s poll numbers to the lowest point yet of his presidency, AP reported. An AP-NORC

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J&J Eyes Bankruptcy Maneuver in Bid to Skirt…

Originally published on The Defender, Children’s Health Defense’s News + Views website. Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is exploring a plan to offload liabilities from widespread baby powder litigation by creating a new business that would then seek bankruptcy protection, Reuters reported. During settlement discussions over its talc-containing baby powder, a J&J legal representative told plaintiffs’ lawyers the company could pursue placing a subsidiary in bankruptcy as part of a strategy to settle thousands of claims linking the product to ovarian cancer. If executed, the plan could result in lower payouts for cases that do not settle beforehand, according to people familiar with the matter. According to the Wall Street Journal, bankruptcy can be a powerful tool for companies facing a large number of lawsuits over allegedly defective products, or other mass-tort claims. A chapter 11 filing can pressure claimants into accepting lower settlements by halting ongoing litigation and discovery proceedings, and by creating a centralized forum to value claims. Plaintiffs’ lawyers would initially be unable to stop J&J from taking such a step, though they could pursue legal avenues to challenge it later. Ken Starr, a prosecutor representing women who sued J&J, wrote in court briefings that the pharma company “knew for decades that their talc powders contained asbestos,

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White House to Ask SMS Carriers to Monitor Vaccine…

Originally published on The Defender, Children’s Health Defense’s News + Views website. The Biden administration and allied groups, including the Democratic National Committee (DNC), are “planning to engage fact-checkers more aggressively and work with SMS [Short Message Service] carriers to dispel misinformation about vaccines sent over social media and text messages,” according to a report today in Politico by White House correspondents Natasha Korecki and Eugene Daniels. The initiative is part of the administration’s attempt to get more people vaccinated for COVID after failing to reach its goal of having 70% of American adults receive at least one vaccine dose by July 4. “We are steadfastly committed to keeping politics out of the effort to get every American vaccinated so that we can save lives and help our economy further recover,” White House spokesperson Kevin Munoz said, according to Politico. “When we see deliberate efforts to spread misinformation, we view that as an impediment to the country’s public health and will not shy away from calling that out.” Politico’s Korecki tweeted this: Politico did not clearly define what the administration meant by “monitoring” of text messages, including if messages would be flagged or if they would be prevented from being delivered. The media outlet

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