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Fauci to graduates: ‘Virus is the enemy

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Fauci to graduates: 'Virus is the enemy

Dr. Anthony Fauci told graduating college students on Sunday that the pandemic brought out deep-rooted divisions in society.

“Societal divisiveness is counterproductive in a pandemic,” Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser, said in a video commencement speech to Emory University students.

“We must not be at odds with each other since the virus is the enemy, not each other.”

Fauci, who was awarded the president’s medal from the university, urged the graduates to incorporate public service into their lives even if it is not part of their full-time careers.

He told them that the pandemic shone a light on health disparities in the country and it would be a decades-long commitment to undo the inequities.

“That an infectious disease disparately hospitalized and kills people of color does not fade after we return to some form of normality,” he said.

Fauci spoke from Washington to graduates in Atlanta, saying that during the COVID-19 pandemic African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans were more likely to be exposed to the virus as essential workers.

People of color were more likely to have existing health risks like diabetes or high blood pressure, he added.

“Now, very few of these comorbidities have racial determinants,” Fauci said. “Almost all relate to the social determinants of health dating back to disadvantageous conditions that some people of color find themselves in from birth regarding the availability of an adequate diet, access to health care and the undeniable effects of racism in our society.”

Fauci said the graduating class deserved “enormous respect” for completing their studies during the difficulties of the last year amid the pandemic.

He also told them to expect the unexpected, relating a story of his own when he was to begin an infectious disease fellowship at the National Institutes of Health.

As he drove from New York to the NIH in Maryland, he contemplated some health scholars’ view that infectious disease study was a vanishing speciality in the medical field.

“Fortunately for my career but unfortunately and tragically for the rest of the world, even so-called pundits are not always correct,” Fauci said.

With Post wires

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Miami Beach building collapse

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Miami Beach building collapse

More than 80 fire rescue units are responding to a partial building collapse this morning just north of Miami Beach and rescues are underway, officials said.

It was a high-rise condominium building and rescues of trapped residents were underway, reports CBS Miami.

A boy was pulled from the rubble of the collapsed condo building and was placed onto a stretcher, NBC 2 News reports.

According to CBS Miami, a man who was evacuated from a nearby hotel said, “The building – one of these huge buildings – gone! … The building – it’s gone. … The whole building’s gone. … Oh my gosh. This is the most insane thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”

It’s unclear if there are any injuries. Miami Beach police and fire departments are responding to the building in Surfside. 

Multiple police and fire departments from across Miami-Dade County are also assisting.

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Man sentenced to a year in prison for buying endangered animal parts

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Man sentenced to a year in prison for buying endangered animal parts

A Florida man was sentenced to prison last week for buying parts of dead endangered animals.

Steven Phillip Griffin II, 36, was sentenced to a year and day in a federal lockup after pleading guilty in November to receiving and transporting endangered species in violation of the Endangered Species Act.

Griffin was busted after he met undercover wildlife agents in Texas in May 2019 to buy two Southern White rhino horns, four elephant ivory tusks, one African lion skull and three leopard skulls for $9,750, investigators said.

In the two years leading up to the meeting, Griffin communicated with an undercover agent to negotiate the deal, according to the plea agreement.

He told the agent he collects dead animal parts, including skulls and full skeletons and even sent pictures of his collection.

After the meeting, authorities operating with a search warrant seized a variety of animal parts, guns and ammunition from Griffin’s Tampa Bay home.

He also pleaded guilty to possessing firearms and ammunition as a convicted felon.

With Post wires

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Man arrested for taking $1.2M yacht on joyride in upstate NY

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Man arrested for taking $1.2M yacht on joyride in upstate NY

A man was arrested after he stole a $1.2 million yacht and took it for a joy ride from upstate New York to Vermont over one of the Great Lakes, reports said.

And when 56-year-old Robert Morris was busted by police he made the outrageous claim he was only giving it a test drive, according to local reports.

The would-be captain took the 48-foot yacht christened “Volans” from New York’s Rouses Point Marina on Monday morning and was caught after crossing Lake Champlain to a state park off the coast of St. Albans, Vt., WCAX reported.

The boat, a Jeanneau Prestige 500, was located by a US Border Patrol helicopter, NBC 5 reported. Morris was nabbed on Burton Island by the St. Albans Police Department and slapped with multiple charges, including possession of stolen property, the station said.

At a court hearing the day after his arrest, Smith was talkative and said he “was water testing the boat after making mechanical fixes,” WCAX said.

Morris was a wanted fugitive in New Hampshire and had a list of prior arrests, according to WCAX. He had also told cops he was given permission to take the boat and said he was caught bringing the yacht back to its owner, which the owner denies, WCAX said.

The accused, who made an “inappropriate gesture” to the webcam as he left the meeting, will undergo a competency exam, the station reported.

Morris is to be extradited to New York to face additional charges, the report said.

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