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Valerie Richardson

Valerie Richardson

Valerie Richardson covers politics and the West from Denver. She can be reached at

Articles by Valerie Richardson

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, appears before a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing to discuss vaccines and protecting public health during the coronavirus pandemic on Capitol Hill, on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020, in Washington. Collins says he is stepping down by the end of the year, having led the research center for 12 years and becoming a prominent source of public information during the coronavirus pandemic. A formal announcement was expected Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, from NIH. (Michael Reynolds/Pool via AP, File)

Omicron variant renews COVID fears, triggers travel bans

A worrisome new strain of the coronavirus pushed the pandemic back to the forefront Sunday, spurring global travel restrictions and raising alarm about the South African variant's potential to deliver another medical and economic blow to the U.S. Published November 28, 2021

A dose of a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at Lurie Children's hospital, Nov. 5, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

WHO accused of politics for naming latest variant ‘omicron’ instead of ‘xi’

The World Health Organization was accused of pandering to China after announcing Friday that the latest COVID-19 variant has been named "omicron" after the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet, skipping the letters "nu" and "xi." In a statement to The Washington Times, WHO said that the 13th and 14th Greek letters were passed over because "nu" looks too much like "new," and "xi" would violate the organization's policy against offending a region. Published November 27, 2021