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California officials confirm over $11 billion in unemployment fraud during pandemic | TheHill – The Hill

https://thehill.com/homenews/news/535796-california-officials-confirm-over-11-billion-in-unemployment-fraud-during

California officials confirm over $11 billion in unemployment fraud during pandemic | TheHill - The Hill

California officials confirmed on Monday that over $11 billion in unemployment benefits paid amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic involved fraud.

The state paid at least $11.4 billion, which is approximately 10 percent of benefits paid during the pandemic, in funds that involved fraud, the California Employment Development Department confirmed to The Hill. Seventeen percent of the rest of total benefits paid are under investigation.

“There is no sugarcoating the reality,” California Labor Secretary Julie Su aid during a press conference Monday, the Los Angeles Times reported. “California has not had sufficient security measures in place to prevent this level of fraud, and criminals took advantage of the situation.”

The state has paid $114 billion in unemployment benefits since the start of the pandemic last March, with officials processing approximately 19 million claims.

Officials warned that many of the seventeen percent of claims under investigation could also involve fraud. 

Su on Monday said that the Trump administration did not provide adequate guidance and resources to California amid the pandemic, as swaths of businesses were forced to close under health orders. She said that almost all of the fraudulent claims were filed through a federal program that provides unemployment benefits to the self-employed, independent contractors and others.

“We now know that as millions of Californians applied for help, international and national criminal rings were at work behind the scenes working relentlessly to steal unemployment benefits using sophisticated methods of identity theft,” Su said, according to the Times. 

California’s Employment Development Department announced last month that it was freezing 1.4 million unemployment claims to verify identities.

The Department has hired a contractor to verify the identities of claimants, ID.me, which found that approximately 30 percent of claims filed between Oct. 1 and Jan. 11 were blocked over fraud concerns, according to the Times.

The state is also grappling with a backlog of unemployment claims amid the pandemic, which totaled 916,000 claims as of last week. 

—Updated at 8:50 p.m.

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The short-term, middle-term, and long-term future of the coronavirus – Boston.com

https://www.boston.com/news/coronavirus/2021/03/05/coronavirus-future

The short-term, middle-term, and long-term future of the coronavirus - Boston.com

This story originally appeared on STAT, a health and medicine website that provides ambitious coverage of the coronavirus. Go here for more stories on the virus. Try STAT Plus for exclusive analysis of biotech, pharma, and the life sciences. And check out STAT’s COVID-19 tracker.

 

When experts envision the future of the coronavirus, many predict that it will become a seasonal pathogen that won’t be much more than a nuisance for most of us who have been vaccinated or previously exposed to it.

But how long that process takes — and how much damage the virus inflicts in the interim — is still anyone’s guess.

“The most predictable thing about this coronavirus is its unpredictability,” said Howard Markel, a historian of medicine at the University of Michigan, who has studied other pandemics.

However long it takes, the transition to a mild endemic virus is unlikely to be a straight line. Some infectious disease researchers envision a healthier summer — with low circulation of the virus and more people vaccinated — but a more tenuous fall. Other factors, like how long protection provided by vaccines will last, what percentage of people gets them, and whether variants of the virus sap the strength of vaccines, will determine the outcome.

These are not predictions that people fed up with the pandemic will want to hear. But at the same time, some experts are optimistic that the end of this phase — the crisis phase — is within sight, at least in this country, as vaccines reach more people and protect them from the worst outcomes of Covid-19.

The challenge might be recognizing what the “end” looks like. Some experts might mark it when daily deaths fall below a certain threshold or when hospitals are no longer facing crushes of cases. But there won’t be a single moment, like jolting awake from a nightmare, and we won’t be finished for good with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. Gradually, fewer people will get sick, more activities will be considered safer, and something approaching normalcy will return.

“It’s sort of like getting into a cold pool,” said virologist Angela Rasmussen of the Georgetown Center for Global Health Science and Security. “You go in and you get a little deeper, and you get a little deeper, and finally you’re in the pool and it feels normal.”

The short term

The U.S. right now seems to be at an inflection point. Cases have plummeted from peaks earlier this year, but have more recently plateaued at levels that remain dangerous. There is still a lot of virus circulating in the U.S.; over the past week, the country has averaged more than 65,000 cases per day, which is more than twice the number of cases, in total, that Australia has recorded since the start of the pandemic. Vaccines are being rolled out — with a third option authorized last weekend — but supply for now remains limited.

Worrisome variants of the virus are also growing more prevalent. One, known as B.1.1.7, is more transmissible and deadlier than other forms of the virus and is expected to become the dominant strain in the U.S. later this month. But it’s not clear how that will have an effect on case counts.

“The variants are a bit of a curveball,” said Caitlin Rivers, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “I could see a scenario where B.1.1.7 could slow down our progress and maybe precipitate resurgences in some communities,” though perhaps not throughout the country.

Conditions may be ripe for a better summer, however. Vaccine supplies should be flowing more freely, at least in the U.S.; the Biden administration now expects enough vaccine doses in hand for all adults by the end of May. With most vulnerable populations protected, there should be fewer hospitalizations and deaths. And with warmer weather, people can return to outdoor life.

Widespread transmission of the virus could be replaced by more sporadic and localized outbreaks. There’s also growing evidence that vaccines don’t just protect people from getting symptomatic Covid-19, but can reduce transmission.

The country will not reach herd immunity over the summer — that is, the point at which there are so few susceptible to the virus that it can’t find new hosts to infect. Kids and adolescents, who make up nearly a quarter of the U.S. population, won’t be vaccinated yet in large numbers, and a still unknown number of adults will resist getting the shot. But experts stress that if the country can reduce transmission, as well as take the bite out of the most severe consequences of the disease through immunizations, the future will look different than the past year has.

“If you look at a country like Australia, or other countries that have really controlled spread, they are doing normal things, and it’s not because they’ve reached the herd immunity threshold,” Rasmussen said. “It’s because they’ve controlled transmission.”

Then comes the fall. Two factors — people spending more time indoors plus colder weather —  could allow SARS-2 transmission to pick up again among those who remain susceptible, a potential threat if vaccine uptake is limited. What’s more, some experts have raised the possibility that even people who have been vaccinated or who have been previously infected could be vulnerable to infections if variants are able to evade some of the immune system’s defenses and circulate more widely. The top threats now appear to be B.1.351 (first seen in South Africa) or P.1 (first seen in Brazil), but other variants could appear as well, particularly if vaccines are not provided globally and transmission persists.

B.1.1.7 “could result in more of a wave in, say, April, May, than we would have expected otherwise, but I still do suspect that things will be brought under control in the summer, and there will be very little Covid circulating, with a combination of all these infections that have occurred, all this vaccination that’s occurring,” Trevor Bedford, a computational biologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, said at a briefing last week. “What I am concerned about is that we could have something of a fall wave” caused by these variants.

Generally, people who have been reinfected by viruses like SARS-2 or been infected after being vaccinated tend to experience mild illness; even if their immune systems can’t block the virus entirely, they have enough experience with the pathogen to recognize it and prevent more severe disease. In clinical trials, Covid-19 vaccines that were put to the test against B.1.351 did not fare as well at preventing mild illness as they did against other forms of the virus, but they still seemed to prevent hospitalization and death.

It’s possible then that any fall wave driven by variants could bring a spike in mild infections but not a surge of severely ill people crowding into hospitals. But that scenario depends on getting more people vaccinated — and the virus not evolving in a way that further undermines the effectiveness of vaccines. It also depends on the vaccines providing protection that lasts, even — especially — among older adults, whose immune systems are in decline and don’t generally develop as strong a response to vaccines as children and younger adults.

For a fall wave, “is it going to be big and devastating, or is it going to be a little hump? I don’t know,” said infectious disease researcher Jennie Lavine of Emory University. “We really need to know how severe disease is going to be after vaccination or upon reinfection, and with different strains.”

Michael Mina, an epidemiologist at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, worries not just about the public health toll of a potential fall wave, but the psychological and societal ones as well.

“Fall comes along and people have gotten so excited about being back in school and doing this and that without what happened last year,” Mina said. “And then we start to see spread again. And I just think it’s going to be demoralizing. And it’s going to happen swiftly. My hope is that it will not happen in such a way that we see the type of death [we saw previously], but I do think we will start seeing deaths again because the older people who are vaccinated early are going to be losing their immunity at that point.” (Researchers don’t know for sure that protection provided by Covid-19 vaccines will wane faster in older people, but that is the case with some other immunizations.)

Even in the absence of a big fall surge, public health authorities will likely continue to recommend mask-wearing in certain settings, particularly because the situation is fluid and because children and adolescents — among those at the end of the vaccine line — may still be in the process of being inoculated.

“I really believe that until we get kids being vaccinated, that the smart thing to do is to wear a mask,” said Anna Durbin, a vaccine researcher from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

It’s possible that children don’t contribute to transmission much once most adults are vaccinated, Durbin added, but “until we have 70%, 80% of the population vaccinated — and that includes kids — we don’t know if we’re going to be able to affect transmission enough that it’s essentially going to go away.”

Not everyone is embracing that kind of recommendation. Already, at least four governors have ended mask mandates, and some never instituted them even in the worst parts of the pandemic. Responses in other states have varied widely. In some places, people have been back to barhopping and movie theaters, whereas gyms just reopened in San Francisco, with 10% capacity.

“The sad fact is, we’re going to do that experiment in different states and we’re going to learn from states that take more risks, how risky that is,” said Tom Frieden, a former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the CEO of the global health initiative Resolve to Save Lives.

The middle term

Herd immunity has been portrayed by some as a logical endpoint of the pandemic. But that goal, even if attainable, is likely fleeting.

That’s not to say that the country, or the world, will still be in a crisis phase over the next couple years. But even if the U.S. reaches herd immunity through vaccinations, it’s unlikely to last, experts note. Neither a Covid-19 infection nor vaccination is believed to confer lifelong immunity that blocks infections entirely. Instead, people will once again become vulnerable, either because their immunity wanes or the pathogen evolves in ways that allow it to infect even people who have protection against earlier strains. Newborns will also add to the pool of susceptibles.

“Susceptible replenishment,” as it’s known, is why some experts expect seasonal waves going forward. The virus might hover at low levels, passing mostly among people who are unvaccinated, but rear up again as even the vaccinated become vulnerable and seasonal factors give it a boost. Some regions or countries could eliminate the virus through widespread immunizations, but they could also face reintroductions.

How serious future outbreaks will be in terms of disease will be influenced by whether vaccines can continue to prevent severe outcomes, as well how many people are vaccinated, how long vaccine-derived immunity lasts, and how the virus evolves. Those factors will also shape how often people need vaccine booster shots and whether vaccines need to be adapted to better match a changing virus, a possibility that vaccine makers are already exploring.

Ben Cowling, an epidemiologist at the University of Hong Kong, said he thinks Covid-19 could cause more deaths than flu over the next decade, in part because of the continued emergence of variants.

“I think we’re still going to face the problem that hospitals are going to be flooded with Covid cases,” Cowling said. “But maybe we’ll be better at coping with that, with the experience from Covid, better prepared for what happens if there’s a big surge. And maybe health departments, city mayors, and state governors will also have better plans in place to react and know what they should or shouldn’t do if there is a sign of a surge coming.”

Others are more sanguine. Vineet Menachery, a coronavirologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch, described a scenario in which 70% to 75% of a population gets vaccinated. That would drastically minimize spread of the virus and keep people protected from infections. Even if vaccine uptake was somewhat lower than that, it should still avert a lot of worst-case outcomes, he said.

For Menachery and others, the durability of vaccine protection remains an open question. If vaccines aren’t able to provide as much protection against certain variants, “maybe the durability isn’t going to be as long. Maybe it’s going to be one to two years versus three to four,” Menachery said.

Experts hesitate to make predictions about viral evolution; after all, variants emerge as the result of random mutations.

But for a number of reasons it’s possible the evolution of SARS-2 might lose some pace going forward. For one, there will — or at least, there should — be less transmission. The fewer people the virus cycles through, the fewer chances it has to mutate. More generally, when a virus spills into a new host, as SARS-2 did into humans in 2019, there are more avenues for it to morph in ways that give it an advantage in infecting host cells and replicating — “low-hanging fruit,” as virologist Adam Lauring of the University of Michigan explains it. Over time, there should be fewer ways for an altered SARS-2 virus to outcompete other forms and undermine vaccines.

“It’s perfectly reasonable to think that a couple years from now, it might be evolving more slowly,” Lauring said.

The long term

Years from now, SARS-CoV-2 could join the ranks of OC43, 229E, NL63, and HKU1— the four endemic, seasonal coronaviruses that cause a chunk of common colds every year. Essentially, our immune systems — primed by vaccines, boosters, and previous encounters with the coronavirus — will be ready to knock back SARS-2 when we see it again, potentially blocking an infection or leading to one that causes no symptoms or maybe just the sniffles.

We tend to lump cold-causing viruses in with influenza when describing “cold and flu season”; after all, they’re all respiratory pathogens and have overlapping seasonal arcs. But experts stress that having SARS-2 join the ranks of flu viruses would be a most unwelcome outcome. While most people don’t see the flu as an existential threat, it still kills tens of thousands of people in the U.S., and hundreds of thousands around the world, every year. (This year was a notable and welcome exception due to the ways in which Covid-19 restrictions inhibited spread of flu.)

“It would be a damn shame to have another influenza,” said Sarah Cobey, an epidemiologist and evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago.

But many experts think SARS-2 is more likely to behave in the way we regard cold-causing coronaviruses, which would make it mostly an irritant.

Veteran coronavirus researcher Stanley Perlman of the University of Iowa raised the idea that viral evolution could perhaps even play to our advantage. It’s possible, he said, that SARS-2 mutates in ways that actually weaken how sick it makes people, pushing it toward becoming a virus that causes colds for the vast majority.

“But right now,” Perlman cautioned, “that’s just a hope.”


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Boeing awards CEO $21 million in total compensation for 2020 – CNBC

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/05/boeing-ceo-forgoes-3point6-million-in-bonuses-but-gets-21-million-in-total-pay-as-covid-19-roiled-business.html

Boeing awards CEO $21 million in total compensation for 2020 - CNBC

Dave Calhoun, Chairman of Boeing

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun was awarded $21 million in total compensation for his work last year, but he gave up $3.6 million in salary and bonuses after the coronavirus pandemic hit and devastated the industry.

He took just $269,231 of his $1.4 million salary for the year.

The majority of Calhoun’s pay package, disclosed when he became CEO in January 2020, is made up of equity that vests over time and is based on company performance targets and other metrics.

Calhoun was named CEO after Boeing’s board ousted former Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg over his handling of two deadly crashes of the Boeing 737 Max, the company’s bestselling airplane. Calhoun’s appointment came just before the Covid-19 pandemic shook the global economy, hitting the aviation industry especially hard.

Boeing reported a record annual loss for last year of nearly $12 billion as cancellations outpaced new sales of jetliners, prompting thousands of job cuts.

Calhoun’s total compensation includes awards that were disclosed when he took the job last January, including about $7 million worth of stock if the company hits milestones including returning the 737 Max to service, entry into service of the long-delayed 777X, and other goals, but those shares haven’t vested.

It also includes $10 million in stock for leaving his job at Blackstone Group to take the top job at the aircraft manufacturer last year and another $3.5 million in long-term incentives that haven’t vested.

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NASA releases stunning new images from Mars – CNN

https://www.cnn.com/videos/tech/2021/03/05/nasa-mars-perseverance-rover-update-vpx.nasa

NASA releases stunning new images from Mars - CNN
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Telescope”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2020/12/14/hubble-telescope-images-released-nasa-30-years-newsource-orig-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoLeafUrl”:”/videos/business/2020/12/14/hubble-telescope-images-released-nasa-30-years-newsource-orig-vpx.cnn”,”videoId”:”business/2020/12/14/hubble-telescope-images-released-nasa-30-years-newsource-orig-vpx.cnn”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2020/12/14/hubble-telescope-images-released-nasa-30-years-newsource-orig-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/business-spacex/”,”surrogateKey”:”video_B5E55B16-8489-BDBD-8056-1636AC552EB1″},{“descriptionPlainText”:”A water-purification system designed for astronauts could provide clean drinking water right here on Earth.”,”imageUrl”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/201214152101-space-technology-benefiting-earth-spc-intl-00010230-large-169.png”,”title”:”How space technology is benefiting Earth”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2020/12/14/space-technology-water-filter-spc-intl.cnn/index.xml”,”videoLeafUrl”:”/videos/business/2020/12/14/space-technology-water-filter-spc-intl.cnn”,”videoId”:”business/2020/12/14/space-technology-water-filter-spc-intl.cnn”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2020/12/14/space-technology-water-filter-spc-intl.cnn/video/playlists/business-spacex/”,”surrogateKey”:”video_D23C96DA-250F-EF1F-FCB1-61892AC95802″},{“descriptionPlainText”:”The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft that launched from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center with four astronauts on board safely docked with the International Space Station.”,”imageUrl”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/201117011724-02-spacex-nasa-1117-large-169.jpg”,”title”:”Watch astronauts arrive at International Space Station”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/tech/2020/11/17/spacex-nasa-iss-docking-lon-orig-bks.cnn/index.xml”,”videoLeafUrl”:”/videos/tech/2020/11/17/spacex-nasa-iss-docking-lon-orig-bks.cnn”,”videoId”:”tech/2020/11/17/spacex-nasa-iss-docking-lon-orig-bks.cnn”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/tech/2020/11/17/spacex-nasa-iss-docking-lon-orig-bks.cnn/video/playlists/business-spacex/”,”surrogateKey”:”video_64576FF6-2B34-2C4E-A001-6209B68C5722″},{“descriptionPlainText”:”Baby Yoda joined the crew of the SpaceX Crew Dragon and hitched a ride to the International Space Station in style during the historic SpaceX-NASA mission.”,”imageUrl”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/201117080507-baby-yoda-in-space-large-169.jpg”,”title”:”Baby Yoda hitches a ride to the International Space Station”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/tech/2020/11/17/baby-yoda-spacex-nasa-international-space-station-iss-newsource-orig-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoLeafUrl”:”/videos/tech/2020/11/17/baby-yoda-spacex-nasa-international-space-station-iss-newsource-orig-vpx.cnn”,”videoId”:”tech/2020/11/17/baby-yoda-spacex-nasa-international-space-station-iss-newsource-orig-vpx.cnn”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/tech/2020/11/17/baby-yoda-spacex-nasa-international-space-station-iss-newsource-orig-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/business-spacex/”,”surrogateKey”:”video_AC018866-7E35-E063-67CB-D6F7DB721BDB”},{“descriptionPlainText”:”In the first fully operational mission for a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, four astronauts took off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center on a flight bound for the International Space Station. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and aviation analyst Miles O’Brien discuss.”,”imageUrl”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/201115182041-44-spacex-nasa-1115-large-169.jpg”,”title”:”‘Eight and a half minutes of terror’: Analyst describes moments after liftoff”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2020/11/16/spacex-dragon-nasa-international-space-station-astronauts-tsr-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoLeafUrl”:”/videos/business/2020/11/16/spacex-dragon-nasa-international-space-station-astronauts-tsr-vpx.cnn”,”videoId”:”business/2020/11/16/spacex-dragon-nasa-international-space-station-astronauts-tsr-vpx.cnn”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2020/11/16/spacex-dragon-nasa-international-space-station-astronauts-tsr-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/business-spacex/”,”surrogateKey”:”video_6E421DC0-9D1B-AD90-8E61-D653E0723C1E”},{“descriptionPlainText”:”NASA completed its first-ever mission to land on an asteroid 200 million miles from Earth.”,”imageUrl”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/201021173104-02-osiris-rex-tag-large-169.jpg”,”title”:”See NASA spacecraft successfully land on an asteroid”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/tech/2020/10/21/nasa-osiris-rex-asteroid-bennu-mission-orig-llr.cnn/index.xml”,”videoLeafUrl”:”/videos/tech/2020/10/21/nasa-osiris-rex-asteroid-bennu-mission-orig-llr.cnn”,”videoId”:”tech/2020/10/21/nasa-osiris-rex-asteroid-bennu-mission-orig-llr.cnn”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/tech/2020/10/21/nasa-osiris-rex-asteroid-bennu-mission-orig-llr.cnn/video/playlists/business-spacex/”,”surrogateKey”:”video_494B4B87-7422-F653-8C02-CE7BE92FD7DC”},{“descriptionPlainText”:”SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket into polar orbit from the East Coast for the first time. 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Meghan Markle’s ‘Suits’ co-star Patrick J. Adams slams royal family amid bullying claims: ‘Archaic and toxic’ – Fox News

https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/meghan-markle-former-suits-co-star-patrick-j-adams-defends-duchess-of-sussex

Meghan Markle’s ‘Suits’ co-star Patrick J. Adams slams royal family amid bullying claims: ‘Archaic and toxic’ - Fox News

Meghan Markle’s former on-screen love interest, Patrick J. Adams, is voicing his support for the Duchess of Sussex.

Adams — who starred alongside Markle in the USA Network series “Suits” from 2011 to 2018 — took to Twitter on Friday defending Markle, 39, after allegations of bullying during her time as a working royal came to light. Markle’s team has strongly refuted the claims.

“Meghan Markle and I spent the better part of a decade working together on Suits,” Adams, 39, prefaced the post. “From day one she was an enthusiastic, kind, cooperative, giving, joyful and supportive member of our television family. She remained that person and colleague as fame, prestige and power accrued.”

“She has always been a powerful woman with a deep sense of morality and a fierce work ethic and has never been afraid to speak up, be heard and defend herself and those she holds dear,” the actor continued. “Like the rest of the world, I have watched her navigate the last few years in astonishment.”

MEGHAN MARKLE TELLS OPRAH ‘I’M READY TO TALK’ IN NEW CLIP FROM UPCOMING SIT DOWN

Meghan Markle and Patrick J. Adams starred in 'Suits' together. (Photo by Alexandra Wyman/Getty Images For FINCA)

Meghan Markle and Patrick J. Adams starred in ‘Suits’ together. (Photo by Alexandra Wyman/Getty Images For FINCA)

The actor went on to describe how drastically Markle’s life had changed, stating the difficulties the former American actress had to endure acclimating to an “archaic” and “toxic” family dynamic. 

“She fell in love, moved to a new country, became a household name across the entire globe and began the difficult work of trying to find her place in a family dynamic that can at best be described as complicated and at worst, seemingly archaic and toxic.”

Adams then lamented on his disdain for “racist, slanderous, clickbaiting” reporting that has followed Markle since her marriage to Prince Harry, 36.

“It sickened me to read the endless racist, slanderous, clickbaiting vitriol spewed in her direction from all manner of media across the UK and the world but I also knew that Meghan was stronger than people realized or understood and they would regret underestimating her,” he said.

MEGHAN MARKLE, PRINCE HARRY’S PALS THINK PALACE’S BULLYING PROBE IS ‘RETALIATION’ FOR OPRAH SIT-DOWN: REPORT

“And then they welcomed Archie,” Adams added of Markle and Harry’s son, who turns two in May. “And on any sort of decent planet that would be a time to stop sharpening the knives and let these two people enjoy the magical early months and years of starting a family. But we don’t live on that planet and instead the hunt continued.”

Adams then slammed the royal family.

MEGHAN MARKLE WAS ‘SPEECHLESS’ BY ‘TAKEDOWN’ OF HER CHARACTER BY PALACE AIDES IN UK REPORT, PALS SAY

“It’s OBSCENE that the Royal Family, who’s newest member is currently GROWING INSIDE OF HER, is promoting and amplifying accusations of “bullying” against a woman who herself was basically forced to flea [sic] the UK in order protect her family and her own mental health,” he stated.

He continued: “IMO, this newest chapter and it’s timing is just another stunning example of the shamelessness of a institution that has outlived its relevance, is way overdrawn on credibility and apparently bankrupt of decency.”

Adams concluded his post with a resounding statement: “Find someone else to admonish, berate and torment. My friend Meghan is way out of your league.”

Former “Suits” writer Jon Cowan also jumped to Markle’s defense on Twitter, lashing back at a social media user who characterized Markle as an “awful person” on Wednesday.

“It’s also possible the Duchess of Sussex is a good person thrust into an unimaginable world,” Cowan retorted. “Having spent 3 years working with her in her pre-Duchess days, I saw a warm, kind, caring person. I know nothing of her current situation but she gets the benefit of the doubt in my book.”

On Tuesday, the Times in the U.K. alleged that Markle faced a bullying complaint made by one of her close advisers. 

MEGHAN MARKLE, PRINCE HARRY’S OPRAH WINFREY INTERVIEW: EVERYTHING WE KNOW

Buckingham Palace released a statement in response to the report. “We are clearly very concerned about allegations in The Times following claims made by former staff of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex,” the statement read, as confirmed by Fox News on Wednesday. 

“Accordingly our HR team will look into the circumstances outlined in the article,” the statement continued. Members of staff involved at the time, including those who have left the Household, will be invited to participate to see if lessons can be learned.”

Meghan Markle's former 'Suits' co-stars are coming to her defense after allegations of bullying during her time as a working royal has come to light. Markle's team has strongly refuted the claims.

Meghan Markle’s former ‘Suits’ co-stars are coming to her defense after allegations of bullying during her time as a working royal has come to light. Markle’s team has strongly refuted the claims.
(AP, File)

“The Royal Household has had a Dignity at Work policy in place for a number of years and does not and will not tolerate bullying or harassment in the workplace,” the statement concluded.

Markle’s team has refuted the claims.

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“The Duchess is saddened by this latest attack on her character, particularly as someone who has been the target of bullying herself and is deeply committed to supporting those who have experienced pain and trauma,” a spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said in a statement sent to Fox News on Wednesday.

“She is determined to continue her work building compassion around the world and will keep striving to set an example for doing what is right and doing what is good,” the statement added.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are sitting down with Oprah Winfrey in a tell-all interview.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are sitting down with Oprah Winfrey in a tell-all interview.
(Getty)

According to The Times, the complaint was first made in October 2018, by Jason Knauf, the couple’s former communications secretary. The complaint alleged that the former American actress drove two personal assistants out of the household and undermined the confidence of a third staff member.

The outlet reported that Knauf submitted the complaint in an effort to protect palace staffers who alleged they were being bullied by Markle. Some claimed they were even reduced to tears. 

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On Sunday, Markle and Harry are set to sit down with Oprah Winfrey in a no-holds-barred interview about their lives over the past few years, public scrutiny and pressure, and why they moved to America. 

Fox News’ Jessica Napoli contributed to this report

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CDC delays guidance for vaccinated Americans as new Covid-19 cases stall – NBC News

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/cdc-delays-guidance-vaccinated-americans-new-covid-19-cases-stall-n1259719

CDC delays guidance for vaccinated Americans as new Covid-19 cases stall - NBC News

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