Politics Rundown: COVID-19 hospitalizations down, gas prices rise, US-Germany unite amid Russia-Ukraine conflict

Los Angeles County and Orange County release information about gas prices and hospitalization rates.

Julianne Foster, Staff Writer

REDUCED HOSPITALIZATIONS

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Los Angeles County are on a downward trend, dropping from 3,233 to 2,841 as of Feb. 7. The L.A. Public Health Department reported 7,017 new cases on Feb. 6.

On Thursday, the Los Angeles Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said 82% of eligible county residents received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Out of 10.3 million residents, 73% are fully vaccinated and 34% received the vaccine and booster, according to Ferrer.

Additionally, Ferrer said outdoor mask mandates at schools, child facilities and large events will be lifted once the county’s hospitalization count goes down to 2,500 for seven days straight.

RECORD HIGH GAS PRICES

Gas prices are on the rise as refineries sell a more expensive summer blend gasoline. In L.A. County the average price went up 1.3 cents at an average of $4.734 per gallon. Orange County prices rose nine-tenths of a cent to an average of $4.715 per gallon.

Prices rose over six consecutive days in L.A. and four consecutive days in OC. According to Doug Shupe, the manager of Automobile Club of Southern California’s corporate communications and programs, “world tensions and OPEC concerns” are to blame for increasing oil prices.

BIDEN AND GERMANY’S UNITED APPROACH 

In a press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, President Joe Biden thanked the chancellor for their unity amid the Russia-Ukraine crisis. The press conference was held after the first bilateral meeting at the White House on Feb. 7. In regards to possible sanctions, the two countries agreed to prevent any incidents in a swift and severe way if necessary.

Despite proposals for Germany to win back trust from the U.S., Biden showed full support for Germany’s allyship.

“There is no doubt in America’s mind that Germany is an incredibly reliable ally and one of the leading physical powers in NATO,” Biden said during the press conference.

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