This week in national news

An aerial photo shows the closed beach after oil washed up on Huntington Beach, Calif., on Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. A major oil spill off the coast of Southern California fouled popular beaches and killed wildlife while crews scrambled Sunday, to contain the crude before it spread further into protected wetlands. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

This week, a U.S. Supreme Court Justice tested positive for COVID-19, an oil spill occurred in California, an AP poll showed that a majority of Americans support Afghan refugee resettlement in the U.S. and the pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson plans to request FDA approval for their COVID-19 booster vaccine. 

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh tests positive for COVID-19 

According to National Public Radio, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh tested positive for COVID-19 last Thursday. Meanwhile, his wife and his daughters tested negative for the virus.  

According to a statement from the Supreme Court, Kavanaugh was due to attend Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s investiture ceremony on Friday, but did not attend after receiving the results.  

According to NPR, this news came a few days prior to Monday, when the Court was due to resume in-person oral arguments. 

Southern California experiences oil spill, closes Los Angeles beaches  

A spill leaking 120,000 gallons of oil offshore of Newport Beach and Huntington Beach in California was reported last Saturday, according to the Washington Post.  

Officials said the spill spans 13 square miles, threatens nearby wildlife and is considered an “environmental catastrophe.”   

According to the Washington Post, Huntington Beach Mayor Pro Tem Kim Carr said in a news conference, “This oil spill constitutes one of the most devastating situations that our community has dealt with in decades.” 

The rig from which the spill originated is still under investigation, and officials have yet to confirm whether the spill has fully stopped. 

Johnson & Johnson looks to get FDA approval for COVID-19 booster 

According to the New York Times, Johnson & Johnson is set to ask for FDA authorization for a booster shot of its coronavirus vaccine this week. 

Similar to both Pfizer- BioNTech, who received emergency authorization for their booster last month, and Moderna, who also awaits emergency FDA approval for their respective coronavirus booster shots.  

“The firm is the last of the three federally authorized vaccine providers to call for extra injections, amid mounting evidence that at least the elderly and other high-risk groups need more protection,” the New York Times wrote. 

According to the article, officials are concerned the approved Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is not as effective at combating the virus as the other vaccines, mounting concern for its booster shot as well.  

“Federal officials have become increasingly worried that the more than 15 million Americans who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine face too much risk of severe COVID-19,” the New York Times reported. 

The FDA has scheduled a meeting for Oct. 15 to determine whether to grant an “emergency use authorization” for Johnson & Johnson’s booster shot. 

FILE – In this Sept. 27, 2021, file photo a female member of the military puts her arms around two female Afghan refugees after they spoke with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin as he visits an Afghan refugee camp on Joint Base McGuire Dix Lakehurst, N.J. A survey from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds 72% of Americans favor granting refugee status to people who worked with the U.S. or Afghan governments during the war, if they pass security checks. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Associated Press reports a majority of Americans are in favor of allowing in Afghan refugees  

The Associated Press and the National Opinion Research Center for Public Affairs Research ran a poll that found a majority of Americans to be in-favor of Afghan refugees, who have worked previously with the U.S. in the past, to be offered resettlement in the U.S.  

“The survey from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds 72% of Americans say they favor the U.S. granting refugee status to people who worked with the U.S. or Afghan governments during the war in Afghanistan, if they pass security checks,” the AP reported. 

The AP poll also found that the majority of Americans find it an American duty to help find refuge for Afghan refugees seeking help from Taliban retaliation.  

“…The poll findings bear out what they are seeing on the ground: Large numbers of Americans regard giving the Afghans a refuge from any Taliban retaliation as a duty and a necessary coda of the nearly 20-year war,” AP reported. 

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