What We Know:
- On Sunday, Cespedes did not show up to Truist Park in Atlanta for the team’s afternoon game against the Atlanta Braves. Mets manager Luis Rojas said he sent the outfielder a text message and later called him, but Cespedes did not reply. The Mets also shared that they sent a security detail to the team hotel, where they found that Cespedes and his belongings were gone.
- General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen released a statement soon after the first pitch that Cespedes had essentially gone AWOL. “As of game time, Yoenis Céspedes has not reported to the ballpark today. He did not reach out to management with any explanation for his absence. Our attempts to contact him have been unsuccessful.” The team later clarified that they did not believe his safety was at risk.
- Shortly after the Mets 4-0 loss, Van Wagenen announced that Cespedes had chosen to opt-out of the rest of the 2020 season for “COVID related reasons” and that the team had not previously known the possibility that he would opt-out. Van Wagenen did share that Cespedes was healthy.
“We support everybody and every player’s right to make this type of decision. This is a challenging time for everyone,” Van Wagenen said. “It was surprising, without question.” Rojas shared the same sentiment with reporters saying, “It went from a concerning pregame to finding out what happened and then obviously supporting his decision,” Rojas said.
- The team’s management faced some criticism on Sunday after they released the initial press release announcing they didn’t know where Cespedes was. The team issued the statement before anyone with the Mets could confirm the player’s safety leaving critics to call the move risky and unprofessional as they truly didn’t know if something more sinister has happened to the athlete.
So today’s fiasco seems to be either:
1. The Mets sent a statement designed to shame Yoenis Cespedes.
2. The Mets sent out a statement to say Yoenis Cespedes didn’t come to work — but without first determining his wellbeing.
A well-run organization would do neither.
— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) August 2, 2020
- Concerns about the coronavirus pandemic are growing in the MLB as teams like the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals fight outbreaks, forcing players to reconsider their plans to play a 60-game season. Cespedes became the 19th major league player to opt-out, according to Baseball America, although he was the first Mets player to do so.
- The news comes as a blow to the Mets team and their fans on a day that ended in their fifth consecutive loss, leaving the team with a 3-7 record. Cespedes, 34, had been expected to provide power to the Mets this season after he hit a home run in the teams’ season opener this year for a 1-0 win over the Braves. Cespedes missed the majority of the last two seasons due to a variety of injuries and this was his first home run since his previous major league game back in July 2018. Rojas does not believe that Cespedes’ decision will change how the players or coaches look at at the two-time All-Star athlete. “Everyone on this team looks up to Cespedes because of his ability to play the game and what he has done and the way he carries himself in the clubhouse,” Rojas said. “Everyone has a good relationship with him.”
- Earlier on Sunday, the Mets traded for the Giants’ Billy Hamilton, a defensive-minded outfielder. After the game, the team shared they are looking forward and ready to changes the season around.“As we pick up the pieces here now, it’s a matter of going forward,” Van Wagenen said.
Fans are worried that Saturday’s game may end up being Cespedes’s final one as a Met as his four-year contract expires after this season. Van Wagenen called Sunday’s development a “disappointing end” to Cespedes’ career with the Mets.
U.S. May Approve COVID-19 Booster Shots at 6 Months
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently reviewing booster data from vaccine manufacturers and other countries given at 6 months.
What We Know:
- An unnamed source told the Wall Street Journal the boosters would be approved for all three COVID-19 vaccines administered in the US- Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. In addition, they declared approval would come in mid-September.
- The information comes after officials reported that booster shots would become available to some adults 8 months after their last dose beginning on September 20. These include healthcare providers, nursing home residents, and other seniors. However, booster rollout depends on FDA approval and recommendation from a key Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outside vaccine advisory committee.
- Officials want people to receive the third dosage because of the current rise in Delta strain cases. Studies show that the coronavirus vaccine loses potency after several months. Additionally, the Delta strain currently holds the highest number of infections among vaccinated and unvaccinated people; despite this, those who obtained the vaccine experience milder breakthrough infections.
- In addition, the CDC and FDA urge citizens to receive vaccinations as hospitalizations rise once more. Recently, the U.S. saw 100,000 people hospitalized, a number only seen since before vaccines were easily accessible. A third of the country’s hospitalizations come from states with low vaccination rates, large populations, and governors who disagree with vaccine and mask mandates, such as Texas and Florida. As of Aug. 25, Texas saw 23,412 new daily cases, 248 deaths, and 14,000 hospitalizations. On that same date, Florida saw 26,203 positive cases, 9 fatalities, and 17,000 hospitalizations.
Alongside more hospitalizations, daily numbers are also creeping back up. On Aug. 25, the U.S. saw 148,000 new cases, only 3,000 less than Jan. 30’s report. In contrast, deaths from COVID-19 waned since January, dropping from 3,100 a day to 1,100 a day.
FDA grants full approval to Pfizer’s Covid vaccine
The Food and Drug Administration granted full approval to Pfizer-BioNTech’s two-dose vaccine Monday for people ages 16 and up, making it the first Covid-19 vaccine to pass this final regulatory hurdle.
“The FDA’s approval of this vaccine is a milestone as we continue to battle the Covid-19 pandemic,” Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock said in a statement. “While millions of people have already safely received Covid-19 vaccines, we recognize that for some, the FDA approval of a vaccine may now instill additional confidence to get vaccinated. Today’s milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the U.S.”
What We Know:
- The FDA’s decision may also pave the way for more vaccination mandates: Many businesses were waiting for full approval before they required employees to be vaccinated.
“Full approval could not come at a more important time, as the highly contagious delta variant continues to drive up caseloads and deaths across the U.S.,” the president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Dr. Richard Besser, former acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a statement. “I am hopeful that full approval will address any remaining concerns and will move many people to a ‘yes’ on vaccination.”
- Besser said the lack of vaccines in middle- and low-income countries “represents a global failure,” adding, “Ensuring an adequate supply of vaccines in every country and community must be a health, economic, and moral imperative for the world.”
- Federal health officials announced that, starting September 20th, people who received the Pfizer vaccine will be eligible for third doses eight months after their second doses. The FDA has not yet signed off a third dose. No Covid vaccines have been authorized or approved for use in children under 12, though this is expected to change soon with FDA approval.
Pfizer’s vaccine is one of three in use in the U.S. Moderna has also applied for full approval, also known as a Biologics Licensing Application. Johnson & Johnson has not yet applied for full approval, and remains in use under emergency authorization.
Pfizer’s product was the first Covid vaccine to gain emergency use authorization, in December. As of Monday, more than 203 million doses have been given in the U.S., according to the CDC.
Reverend Jesse Jackson and His Wife, Jacqueline, Hospitalized with COVID-19
Reverend Jesse Jackson and his wife Jacqueline are currently being treated at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
What We Know:
- News about the couple’s diagnosis became public after a statement released by the Reverend’s Rainbow/Push Coalition on Saturday. In the statement, officials declared that doctors were monitoring both Jesse and Jacqueline; it did not provide any further information.
- However, their son, Jonathan, provided more information on Sunday. Jonathan told the Associated Press that doctors are carefully observing Jesse and Jacqueline because of their ages. Additionally, the two responded “positively” to treatments and were resting. On Monday, Jonathan said his parents’ status did not change and asked for prayers for the two,
- Despite his hospitalization, Jesse received his first coronavirus vaccine dosage in January 2021 during a publicized event. Alongside obtaining protection against the disease, he urged his followers to receive the vaccine as soon as possible. The Associated Press reported that it is unclear if Jacqueline also got the vaccine.
- Underlying health concerns might have been the cause for both of them catching COVID-19. Family members said Jacqueline had an unspecified condition which made them concerned recently. In addition, Jesse was diagnosed in 2015 with Parkinson’s disease and underwent gallbladder surgery earlier this year.
- Rev. Jesse Jackson worked with mentor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in moving the Civil Rights Movement forward. His impact helped guide the movement on numerous issues, such as voting rights. After the movement and even currently, Jesse continued working to make a change in his society. Police recently arrested Jesse for civil disobedience after participating in a sit-in at Sen. Kyrsten Sinema‘s Phoenix office with 39 others.
Black News Alerts prays that Jesse and Jacqueline make a speedy recovery and continue inspiring many.