Monday morning news – August 2, 2021

For WORLD Radio, I’m Kent Covington. 

Afghan evacuees begin new lives in America » Evacuees from Afghanistan are settling into new lives in America this week.

The first flight evacuating people who worked alongside U.S. troops in Afghanistan arrived over the weekend. The U.S. government flew more than 200 people, including scores of children, to Virginia’s Ft. Lee.

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine…

KAINE: The idea for Ft. Lee is that it’s a short-term processing center that can help people get oriented and then find the communities in the United States where they’ll most likely be able to fit in and start the new chapter of their lives.

Former interpreters and others who aided American forces in Afghanistan accepted the U.S. government’s offer to relocate.They would face retaliation in their home country from the Taliban.

As U.S. and allied troops complete their withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban continues to gain ground. The extremist group could be close to capturing the provincial capital in Helmand province. Taliban forces reportedly now control several districts within the city of Lashkar Gah.

More Americans get vaccinated as COVID-19 delta surge continues » COVID-19 continues its roaring resurgence in the United States, fueled by the spread of the delta variant.

Director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, said the surge of new cases has triggered an increase in vaccinations.

COLLINS: I think we may have seen a tipping point now where vaccinations are going up every week — 56 percent increase in vaccinations in the last couple of weeks, especially in the areas hardest hit.

But the increase in vaccinations is not yet keeping pace with the rising COVID-19 caseload.

New infections topped 100,000 on Friday for the first time since February.

Hospitalizations have nearly tripled since last June. Deaths are now creeping up as well—up about 40 percent since early July.

Fauci: New pandemic lockdowns unlikely » Meantime, debate rages on over mask requirements and other measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.

But President Biden’s top medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said with about half the country now vaccinated, he does not foresee new lockdowns…

FAUCI: I think we have enough of the percentage of people in the country—not enough to crush the outbreak, but I believe enough to not allow us to get into the situation we were in last winter.

The vast majority of new infections continue to be among unvaccinated Americans.

So-called breakthrough infections can occur in vaccinated people.

Most of those cases cause mild or no symptoms. But research shows the vaccinated can carry about the same amount of the delta strain of the virus as those who did not get the shots. That means anyone can spread the virus.

The CDC cited that fact last week, when it reversed its earlier guidance on masks. The agency now urges even fully vaccinated Americans to cover their faces in public.

Jungle Cruise continues Disney’s big screen/streaming success » Despite coronavirus concerns, many Americans still flocked back to the big screen for Disney’s latest action-adventure.

TRAILER: Legend has it there is a tree in the Amazon that possesses unparalleled healing powers, and the arrowhead is the key to unlocking it.

Jungle Cruise, a movie inspired by the iconic Disney ride cruised to the top of the box office, hauling in $34 million in its opening weekend.

But many others opted to view it at home. Jungle Cruise earned another $30 million in orders on the Disney+ streaming platform. Worldwide, it earned almost $92 million over the weekend.

I’m Kent Covington. For more news, features, and analysis, visit us at

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