Apr 9, 2019

NYC declares public health emergency despite safe, available measles vaccine

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There's a state of emergency in New York City, where Mayor Bill de Blasio is practically begging residents to get their vaccinations after 285 confirmed cases of measles since the fall.

Why it matters: The world's financial capital has declared a public health emergency in the face of a virus that has a safe and effective vaccine.

  • "This is the epicenter of a measles outbreak that is very, very troubling and must be dealt with immediately," de Blasio said today. "The measles vaccine works. It is safe, it is effective, it is time-tested."
  • 21 cases have put people in the hospital, including 5 who needed intensive care, the N.Y. Times reports.
  • "The majority of the cases have been concentrated in Hasidic communities in Williamsburg and Borough Park, Brooklyn."

The big picture: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci just last month told Axios the current outbreak of measles would "certainly" overtake all of last year's cases, and he was right.

What's next: New York is threatening fines of up to $1,000 on individuals in certain areas who don't get their kids vaccinated.

  • “We are absolutely certain we have the power to do this,” de Blasio said today. “This is a public health emergency.”

The bottom line: The spread of measles can be controlled if enough people are vaccinated. The World Health Organization says the magic number is between 93%–95% of people.

Go deeper: Long-term measles vaccine study shows no link with autism — again

Go deeper

George Floyd updates

Protesters gather north of Lafayette Square near the White House during a demonstration against racism and police brutality, in Washington, D.C. on Saturday evening. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of demonstrators have been rallying in cities across the U.S. and around the world to protest the killing of George Floyd. Huge crowds assembled in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Chicago for full-day events on Saturday.

Why it matters: Twelve days of nationwide protest in the U.S. has built pressure for states to make changes on what kind of force law enforcement can use on civilians and prompted officials to review police conduct. A memorial service was held for Floyd in Raeford, North Carolina, near where he was born. Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all flags to fly at half-staff to honor him until sunset.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 6,889,889 — Total deaths: 399,642 — Total recoveries — 3,085,326Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 1,920,061 — Total deaths: 109,802 — Total recoveries: 500,849 — Total tested: 19,778,873Map.
  3. Public health: Why the pandemic is hitting minorities harder — Coronavirus curve rises in FloridaHow racism threatens the response to the pandemic Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight the virus.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model.
  5. Business: Budgets busted by coronavirus make it harder for cities to address inequality Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus.
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.
Updated 7 hours ago - World

In photos: People around the world rally against racism

Despite a ban on large gatherings implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic, protesters rally against racism in front of the American Embassy in Paris on June 6. Photo: Julien Mattia/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of people have continued to rally in cities across the world against racism and show their support this week for U.S. demonstrators protesting the death in police custody of George Floyd.

Why it matters: The tense situation in the U.S. has brought the discussion of racism and discrimination onto the global stage at a time when most of the world is consumed by the novel coronavirus.