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New York Gov. Kathy Hochul will halt non-urgent, elective surgeries in the state amid a spike in the new Omicron COVID-19 variant.
Mrs. Hochul signed an executive order on Friday, in hopes of preventing hospital staff shortages over an anticipated rise in cases.
“We’ve taken extraordinary action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and combat this pandemic. However, we continue to see warning signs of spikes this upcoming winter, and while the new Omicron variant has yet to be detected in New York State, it’s coming,” Mrs. Hochul said.
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The governor added that she will announce protocols to expand hospital capacity, and encouraged unvaccinated New Yorkers to get the shot and those already fully vaccinated to get their booster.
Mrs. Hochul’s order is a move that has not been done since the height of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, when hospitals across the country were over capacity.
The new variant was designated by the World Health Organization this week as omicron, named after a letter of the Greek alphabet.
The virus, supposedly expected to be more transmissible than other coronavirus strains, was first identified in South Africa.
No cases of omicron have yet to be identified in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, though the agency is monitoring potential breakthroughs.
The variant has been detected in travelers going into Belgium, Hong Kong, and Israel.
Two cases of omicron were also detected in the United Kingdom on Saturday.
The United States will restrict travel from non-U.S. citizens from South Africa starting Monday to prevent possible spread of the virus.
Seven other countries, including Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi, will also be included as part of the new restrictions.Read More
It’s the mother of all entry requirements.
A moderator of a popular Upper East Side moms’ group on Facebook is so fixated on making sure only those with children, or expectant mothers, join the forum, that she is demanding documentation from prospective members — including sonograms from pregnant women.
“Your joking about asking women for their pregnancy scans, right?” one former group member recently asked Tiffany Ma, one of three moderators of the UES Mommas page.
“Nope,” she responded, according to the exchange seen by The Post. “It’s the only way we can know they are pregnant.”
When the former member suggested that the request might be upsetting to those who have miscarried or are going through surrogacy or adoption, Ma said in the exchange “that’s exactly the point. They aren’t allowed in.”
“If they are going through surrogacy, they can provide the legal documents,” she noted.
But the newly pregnant or those at the start of the adoption or surrogacy process aren’t welcome to the club of 40,000 members who discuss issues like strollers and schools.
“We require a heartbeat to [be] let in,” Ma wrote in the exchange.
A fetal heartbeat can usually be detected around six weeks of pregnancy.
Members are also being asked to vet their friends for evidence of motherhood and pregnancy, the former member said, noting she had been asked three times to do so.
She said the demands, particularly for legal documents, seemed off base.
“I have relied on this group so tremendously as a resource for my two kids,” the woman said. “It doesn’t have to be like this.”
Ma — who became a moderator last year after racism allegations roiled the group — said in an interview with The Post that she needed to impose standards to keep out nannies, people who just wanted to sell products, or those who might infringe on members’ privacy.
“They come and they are dangerous to the group. Dangerous to the privacy of other people,” she said.
She said evidence-seeking was done on a “case by case” basis, particularly if a Facebook profile did not show any sign of kids or a baby bump. She said documentation could include a scan or discharge papers from an obstetrician’s visit.
Those who don’t want to share private information that may be in adoption or surrogacy papers, don’t have to join, she said.
“Being in this group is not a public right,” she said. “Nobody has to come to the group.”
The rules are not clearly posted anywhere on the forum, which prohibits discussions on vaccines and “contentious debates or divisive topics.” The whole group was temporarily put on ice in 2017 when debate raged over the children’s book “P is for Palestine.”
The group’s other two moderators did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Ma, an employment lawyer, once got in hot water herself over a legal filing that brought up a defendant’s Jewish faith. A federal judge said Ma’s irrelevant references to the man’s identity were “outrageous,” but he he would “reluctantly” not grant a request for sanctions against her because she agreed to withdraw the offending part of the filing, court records show.
“Ma is admonished that if she persists in this type of conduct, she will be subject to sanctions, including, but not limited to, monetary penalties,” Judge J. Paul Oetken said in the 2015 case.
Ma said she would not comment on the legal dustup.Read More
Tony Kinnett, A public school administrator in Indiana, exposed that critical race theory is being taught in public schools.
According to Kinnett, what is being taught “suggests to all of our students who aren’t black or brown that they are responsible for centuries of horrible oppression that the United States has built.”
He added, “we do have critical race theory in how we teach.”
Now, he’s being punished.
A public school administrator in Indiana went viral after posting a video explaining that Indiana schools are teaching Critical Race Theory and intentionally deceiving concerned parents about whether or not their children are being subjected to it.
“When we tell you that our schools aren’t teaching Critical Race Theory, that it’s nowhere in our standards, that’s misdirection,” Indianapolis district science coordinator, instructional coach, and administrator Tony Kinnett posted on Twitter Thursday.
Kinnett explained that he is an administrator in the largest school district in Indiana which means he is present in “dozens of classrooms a week” so he “sees exactly what we are teaching our students.”
“We don’t have the quotes and theories as state standards per se,” Kinnett said. “We do have Critical Race Theory in how we teach.”
Kinnett continued, “We tell our teachers to treat our students differently based on color. We tell our students every problem is a result of ‘white men’ and that everything Western Civilization built is racist. Capitalism is a tool of white supremacy. Those are straight out of Kimberle Crenshaw’s main points verbatim in ‘Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings that Formed the Movement.’”
For exposing this he has been placed on leave and denied access to the school email and all buildings.
Tony Kinnett, an Indianapolis-based educator who went viral on social media for exposing how critical race theory (CRT) is being implemented at his school district, says he has now been placed on leave and denied access to school email and buildings.
In a Twitter thread, the award-winning science coach revealed that he has been locked out of his school email and Google Drive by Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS), Indiana’s largest school district serving about 23,000 students.
According to Kinnett, the IPS required him to “work from home the last two weeks,” because staff reportedly have “clinical anxiety” over working with him to the point that phone calls had to be made to each team member before he entered the office so they could avoid seeing him. Finally, Kinnett said he has been “banned from going to any IPS school building or hosting any professional developments.”
Payback for telling the truth!Read More
Queen Elizabeth II will reportedly only pick up the phone for two people within The Firm, and they may not be who you think they are.
“Apparently, the Queen has two people who she speaks to the most on her phones and she also apparently has a mobile phone which is said to be Samsung packed with anti-hacker encryption by MI6 so nobody can hack into her phone,” revealed royal commentator Jonathan Sacerdoti while on The Royally US podcast.
“But the two people she phones the most is said to be her daughter Princess Anne and her racing manager John Warren.”
Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth II will reportedly host the Royal Family at Sandringham House for Christmas despite a troublesome year full drama, death and health scares.
“The Queen has told everyone she is feeling far better of late and is very much looking forward to welcoming them for Christmas,” a source told the Daily Mail on Thursday.
The 95-year-old monarch was referring to the handful of health scares she gave the world this year, including a hospital stay for “testing.”
According to the report, the Queen will take a 50-minute helicopter ride up to the Norfolk estate as early as Dec. 17.
Invites have reportedly been sent out to Prince Edward, Princess Anne, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie and their respective families.
Unfortunately, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle won’t be joining the Royal Family tradition this holiday season, as Page Six exclusively reported.
As previously mentioned, 2021 has not exactly been the Queen’s year.
She also lost her husband, Prince Philip, when he passed away at 99 years old in early April. They had been married for over 70 years at the time of his death.Read More
The Mets are taking a Giant risk.
At a time when most organizations are running from age, the Mets tripled down on it. They invested $124.5 million on three players who can get any casting agent closer to a Thirtysomething remake.
Mark Canha, Eduardo Escobar and Starling Marte each played at 32 last year. They were among the 25 players that age or older who produced at least 2.0 Wins Above Replacement or better in 2021 (making them average or better on that metric). That number dropped to 18 for 33 and older. But four of those were Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Buster Posey and Darin Ruf and they helped the Giants win a franchise-record 107 games (and Evan Longoria and Donovan Solano were part of that age subset that performed well too for San Fran).
The Giants didn’t run from age or spreading at-bats around with a deep positional group. And the Mets can do the same. The additions of Canha, Escobar and Marte does not mean that the Mets have to trade or non-tender J.D. Davis, Jeff McNeill or Dom Smith. Fifteen Giants recorded at least 200 plate appearances. The long season and injury provide plenty of opportunity (the Mets used a record 62 players last year). And Davis, McNeil and Smith actually all have minor league options left too.
The Giants, of course, won for more than vintage performance from their positional group. They had power and run prevention the Mets currently cannot match. One of their starters, Kevin Gausman, is currently on the Mets’ radar. So is Jon Gray. And while the strong likelihood is that Max Scherzer stays West, perhaps with the Dodgers or Giants, this version of the Mets should not be discounted.
After all, last offseason, the Mets made the high offer for Trevor Bauer, a three-year, $105 million offer that included $40 million in each of the first two seasons. If you are doing that, is there reason to believe the Mets wouldn’t offer $40 million per for three years (no player has ever averaged more than Gerrit Cole’s $36 million) with an opt out after each season to a pitcher who just finished top five in a Cy Young vote for the eighth time in nine years?
When it comes to this version of the Mets — the Steve Cohen Mets — we have to dismiss most financial restraints. The agreements reached Friday take the Mets to a $230 million-ish projection for 2022. If you were betting, take the over from that. Cohen appears determined to try to keep the Mets contenders with his wallet while they work to fix their underlying issues, including improving a feeder system that could provide more cost-efficient pieces.
That is why the only top starter remaining in free agency I suspect they will shun is Robbie Ray. The AL Cy Young winner was made and rejected the qualifying offer so, if the Mets signed him, they would lose the 14th pick in next year’s draft. And they do not want to do that. For even after being spurned by Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard, they have alternatives.
I would not be surprised, in fact, if they added three starters an went to a six-man rotation often in 2022 as a way to protect Jacob deGrom and Carlos Carrasco and have depth for an inevitable injury. For example, could the Mets sign Gausman, Carlos Rodon and Rich Hill, begin the year with Tylor Megill and David Peterson in the minors and feel like, yes, there is a lot of age and injury volatility there, but also a lot of upside and protection?
Again, cost is something that is minimized now. Whatever the rules in a new collective bargaining agreement, Cohen appears willing to foot a bill to keep the Mets relevant. And his bank account makes tolerating the age of Canha, Escobar and Marte more tolerable.
All three struck out at well below the league average last year, which should help the contact-challenged Mets. Before Friday, the Mets only had lefty-swinging outfielders on their 40-man roster — Brandon Nimmo, Nick Plummer, Khalil Lee and Mark Payton plus McNeil and Smith if you consider them outfield depth. Canha and Marte are righties, plus — like Nimmo — can play center field, which should improve the across-the-outfield defense.
Esccobar’s defense is not great. But his reputation in the clubhouse is, and he offers versatility and needed power. The Mets still can still add a player pretty much anywhere and play chess with these pieces, even as they refocus on the rotation.
There is an overpay element on all three of the new Mets. But no one should care about Cohen’s bank account — this was supposed to be a positive from putting the Wilpons into the rearview mirror. The Mets watched the Braves add depth with Adam Duvall, Joc Pederson, Eddie Rosario and Jorge Soler in-season last year, win the NL East for the fourth straight year and their first championship since 1995.
The Mets followed that path. There is a Giant risk within it — but one worth taking if the team can afford it. And this version of the Mets can.Read More
Three people were killed and four were injured — including a 13-year-old — in a shooting in Nashville apartment Friday night.
The Metro Nashville Police Department tweeted that the teen’s injuries were not life threatening, nor were those sustained by the three adults who survived the shootout, which happened at about 9:45 p.m. The four were in stable condition at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, WKRN reported.
The three victims who died were men in their 20s, NewsChannel5 Nashville reported. It was unclear if any of them were also suspects.
“Suspect info is being sorted out, we’re working to find out exactly what happened prior to the gunfire,” police spokeswoman Kristin Mumford told News 4 Nashville at the scene.
She said details were still being worked out: there was no forced entry and two guns were found at the scene. “We’re pursing leads and interviewing and talking to people.”Read More
The new Omicron variant of the coronavirus has now been detected in the United Kingdom, while suspected cases have also surfaced in Germany and the Czech Republic.
UK Health Minister Sajid Javid said in a broadcast clip Saturday that two cases of the new variant were found in England, connected to travel to southern Africa, where the new variant was first detected.
One case is in Chelmsford and the other in Nottingham. The two individuals and members of their households are being re-tested and told to self-isolate while further testing and contact tracing is done.
Meanwhile, the minister in the German state of Hesse said Saturday that the Omicron variant had also probably arrived in Germany.
“Last night several Omicron-typical mutations were found in a traveler returning from South Africa,” tweeted Kai Klose.
He added that a full sequencing of the variant was being carried out.
The Czech Republic is also examining a suspected case of the Omicron variant detected in a person who spent time in Namibia, the National Institute of Public Health said Saturday.
“A lab is checking a possible find of a positive specimen of the Omicron variant. We are awaiting confirmation or refutation of the case,” spokesperson Stepanka Cechova told Reuters in an emailed statement.
The US will restrict travel from South Africa and seven other nearby countries beginning next week as fears grow over the new variant.
With Post wire services.Read More
Christina Applegate took to social media Thursday to mark her 50th birthday while reflecting on her recent multiple sclerosis diagnosis.
“Yup. I turned 50 today. And I have MS,” the actress tweeted out on her Nov. 25 birthday, which happened to fall on Thanksgiving this year. “It’s been a hard one. Sending so much love to all of you this day.
“Many are hurting today, and I am thinking of you,” she continued. “May we find that strength to lift our heads up. Mine currently is on my pillow. But I try.”
The “Dead to Me” star first publicly shared her MS diagnosis back in August, revealing that she received the news “a few months” prior.
“Hi friends. A few months ago I was diagnosed with MS. It’s been a strange journey. But I have been so supported by people that I know who also have this condition,” Applegate tweeted at the time.
“It’s been a tough road. But as we all know, the road keeps going. Unless some a–hole blocks it.
“As one of my friends that has MS said ‘we wake up and take the indicated action’. And that’s what I do,” she continued. “So now I ask for privacy. As I go through this thing. Thank you xo.”Read More
Before Tom Brady marched the Patriots into position for Adam Vinatieri’s game-winning field goal against the Rams at the end of Super Bowl XXXVI, before anyone knew that a GOAT grazed inside him, the great John Madden suggested in the CBS booth that Bill Belichick play for overtime against the Greatest Show on Turf.
There will never be another Tom Brady.
But understand this: Brady, in his second season as starter, was not as advanced as Mac Jones is now.
“It might be blasphemous, but someone who wasn’t nearly to me what Mac Jones is right now,” NFL Network analyst and Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner told Serby Says, “just in terms of what they’re asking him to do, how they’re asking him to make plays, the amount of plays that they’re asking him to make.
“We played Tom Brady in the Super Bowl that year and I think he threw for like 150 yards maybe . … I think he had one touchdown pass [in the Super Bowl] throughout that playoff run to the Super Bowl. So he wasn’t being asked to do nearly as much as Mac Jones is doing, in my opinion. And that has to excite you.
“Now that doesn’t mean that Mac’s gonna progress like Tom Brady and be better than Tom Brady or anything, it’s just I think Mac is really ahead of his years in understanding how to play the position, and we’re seeing that, and we’re seeing his team be successful because of it.”
Jones does not have the arm talent of, say, Zach Wilson. And it doesn’t matter because he knows how to play the quarterback position.
“It’s always a relative term,” Warner said, “because a lot of people would say the same thing about me. If you looked at how far I could throw the ball, I would have been average. But, what separated me was — I still tell my son to this day — I could go out there and throw a ball up to 45 yards the same way I could throw the ball at 10 or 15 yards. And so in a game, you don’t need to throw the ball 70 yards. But you have to have the ability to put whatever you need on the ball to be able to make those big-time, second-level throws.
“Mac has shown me that he’s got the ability to make some of those big-time throws. I still want to see more. … I still want to be convinced that he can do those things from different platforms, and do it on a consistent basis. But there’s been some throws that I didn’t know he could make that I’ve seen him make when there’s other guys in the league that I would have said very similar things about them coming out of college, and I’m still sitting here going, ‘They’re still not making those throws that I just think they can make,’ or someone coming out kind of like, ‘I don’t know if they can make that throw, and they haven’t shown me that they can.’ Mac Jones is starting to show me that there’s some throws I wasn’t sure he could make that he’s making.”
Wilson will have to rein in the reckless Brett Favre in him when he returns from his knee injury Sunday in Houston.
“I think Zach is the opposite of Mac,” Warner said. “The arm talent isn’t gonna be an issue for him. He’s gonna be able to make all those kind of throws. But the problem is he’s not doing the other things — he’s not making the layups, he’s not seeing the field, he doesn’t always know exactly where his eyes should be. And so that’s what you get — you get a young guy or any quarterback that’ll make some plays for you and get you excited about their future, but there’s no consistency to it. And that’s going to be the thing for Zach: Can he get there? Can he learn how to play the game and play the position and know where to put his eyes, and how well can he do it?
“I believe there’s kind of a ratio that you have to have as a quarterback. So it’s everything from you have to be able to make the layups, and that means make the throws you’re supposed to make, make the reads you’re supposed to make, and if you do that almost every time, you’ll be a starting quarterback in the National Football League. And then there’s all the way up to the Patrick Mahomeses is that all these special throws, these crazy things, these things that only one guy can do, somewhere in there, starters have a ratio from making the layups to making the special plays, and that ratio has to be good enough between all of those things to determine whether you’re a starting quarterback, and how good of a starting quarterback you could be. Those guys that are on the lower end, that make the right plays, that make the layups, I look at them kind of like an Andy Dalton-type player. He’s gonna be successful, he’s going to win, he’s gonna get you to the playoffs, he’s a starting quarterback in the National Football League, but he certainly doesn’t have those other things, that’s probably as far as he’ll get you, he’ll need help from other people.
“Then you have the Patrick Mahomeses that can do all the special stuff, and he’s gonna win games for you with the special, and obviously he’s really good at the layups as well, and that’s why they’ve been in two Super Bowls. And all starting quarterbacks have to fall in that ratio somewhere, and what we’re trying to do as we determine who these guys are is we say, ‘OK, what is that number for you?’ And Zach Wilson right now has shown us, ‘Oh, he’s really good at this, at the special, but he doesn’t make nearly enough of the layups.’ And so right now when I watch him I say, ‘Well right now his ratio isn’t high enough to be a starting quarterback in the National Football League.’ Mac is because he’s making most of those layups, he’s making most of those good decisions and he’s making some of the special throws, and that puts him in that category. I think there’s some quarterbacks in the league that don’t do enough where I look at ‘em and go, ‘This guy shouldn’t be a starter.’
“And don’t get me wrong, that’s not saying Zach should be sitting on the bench, that simply means he’s not there yet where I say, ‘This team can build around,’ or, ‘This team can win because of Zach Wilson,’ because he’s not doing enough things within that ratio to say he’s at that position yet.”
Warner doesn’t believe in the word ceilings for quarterbacks.
“I’ve seen really good college players come into the NFL and five years into the NFL they’re the same guy they were when they got there,” he said. “Then we’ve seen guys like Tom Brady that seem to get better every year. And that doesn’t mean they can throw it farther, that doesn’t mean their feet are faster, they just learn the game, and they’re able to make more of those special throws. They’re able to see the field and get the ball out of their hands. I don’t know if you’re gonna be the guy that doesn’t get better or the guy that can get astronomically better every single year and be great.
“What Mac Jones is doing right now is ahead of the game. And If Mac Jones does this the rest of his career, he will have a very successful NFL career. … He will be a guy that goes to the playoffs a lot in my opinion, and it’s still yet to be determined if he can be a championship quarterback. I have seen enough if he doesn’t get any better to say he will survive in this league for a long time. If he’s able to continue to grow and get better, I would think on the horizon you would say you’ve got a quarterback that can compete for championships.”
ESPN NFL front-office insider Mike Tannenbaum got to evaluate Jones at the Senior Bowl.
“I thought he was a young Matt Ryan,” Tannenbaum said. “He could make all the throws. His athleticism is underrated. He’s accurate, throws with great anticipation, incredibly smart, natural leader … and I think sometimes in the draft process we overthink things, but he was a really good player on a really good [Alabama] team. He has impeccable character, and he’s gonna continue to be a really good pro.”
Brady’s 2001 regular season ended with 18 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and a 63.9 completion percentage. Jones has 14 TDs, eight INTs and a 70.2 completion percentage. Brady, of course, was a sixth-round pick. Jones was the 15th-overall pick.
“It’s a little bit different because obviously the expectations as a sixth-rounder were different,” Tannenbaum said. “The thing that caught my eye about Brady was Coach Belichick his first year  kept four quarterbacks on the active roster, which is like really rare. So to Bill’s credit, not only did he draft him, but I think somewhat of an undertold story about Tom Brady and the Patriots was the fact that his rookie year, he was kept on the active roster.
“I think Mac Jones pushes the ball down the field more than Tom Brady did obviously early in his career.”
Should Jones have gone higher than 15? The 49ers, remember, debated between him and Trey Lance.
“As I said in my draft coverage for ESPN, he was the guy that I was taking third overall,,” Tannenbaum said.
The Jets picked Wilson with the second-overall pick.
“I was intrigued by his upside,” Tannenbaum said, “but I could understand why a team would take Mac Jones before him.”
What would the former Jets GM have done at No. 2?
“I would have drilled down further just to make sure I had all the information,” Tannenbaum said. “It was really close to me between Zach Wilson and Mac Jones. It was kind of a coin toss. I had the benefit of spending a week with Mac Jones, and I saw firsthand how good he was.
“I thought he was gonna be a more athletic Matt Ryan.”
He looks the part of a Bill Belichick quarterback, in so many ways. He talks like a Bill Belichick quarterback. Incredibly enough, you cannot rule out Mac Jones taking Belichick to a dream Super Bowl showdown against Tom Brady.Read More