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Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, speaks to the media. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Biden administration is concerned that next week's United Nations General Assembly could become a COVID-19 "superspreader event," CBS News reported.

Why it matters: Leaders from around the world will gather in New York City without necessarily abiding by the new requirement that mandates proof of vaccination for all indoor activities.

The big picture: More than 100 presidents, prime ministers and other heads of state are set to give in-person speeches at the two-week event. Last year, the pandemic forced world leaders to go virtual.

  • General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid has said he will abide by an honor system when it comes to vaccinations.
  • Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, who said he's unvaccinated but has antibodies from a COVID-19 infection last year, announced he would attend in person, defying the New York City vaccine requirement, per CBS News.

What they're saying: "We are concerned about the UN event being a superspreader event, and that we need to take all measures to ensure that it does not become a superspreader event," Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, told CBS News.

  • "Leaders have to be responsible, and they have to take responsibility for their actions and ensure that their actions do not lead to jeopardizing the health and safety of the people of New York, of all of the participants here at the United Nations, and that they don't take COVID back to their home countries," Thomas-Greenfield told CBS.

Go deeper

Updated Nov 19, 2021 - Health

World gets tough on the unvaccinated

People wait at the registration desk for a vaccination appointment in Dresden, Germany. Photo: Sebastian Kahnert/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa via Getty Images

Public officials around the world are imposing new restrictions on the unvaccinated as many nations struggle to raise their COVID-19 vaccination rates.

Why it matters: Unvaccinated people are five times more likely than those vaccinated to get infected and 10 times more likely to die from the coronavirus, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many health care systems are buckling under new waves in cases among the unvaccinated.

Amazon ordered to redo union vote in Alabama

Photo: Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

A U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) official on Monday called for a re-vote in a union election at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama.

Why it matters: The move could set the stage for another organizing drive at the e-commerce giant, which has, so far, fought off unionizing efforts in the U.S.

Pentagon to probe 2019 Syria strike after reports of dozens of civilian casualties

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Nov. 20. Photo: Mazen Mahdi/AFP via Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered a new investigation into a 2019 U.S. airstrike that killed around 80 people, including dozens of women and children in Syria, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The move comes after the Times reported this month that the Pentagon attempted to keep the strike and casualties under wraps, failing to investigate the decision behind it even after questions were raised internally.