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COVID-19: Fully Vaccinated TV Host, Star Shortstop, Seven Other NY Yankees Test Positive

Bill Maher Photo Credit: Wikipedia/Angela George
Gleyber Torres Photo Credit: Wikipedia/All-Pro Reels

The percentage of people who have become infected with COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated is extremely low.

But new so-called breakthrough cases of high-profile personalities in the entertainment and sports industries who are tested regularly are drawing attention.

HBO has canceled the episode of "Real Time With Bill Maher" scheduled to air on Friday night, May 14 after the show's 65-year-old, fully vaccinated host tested positive for COVID.

'Bill tested positive during weekly staff PCR testing for COVID," the show said in a statement issued Thursday, May 13. "He is fully vaccinated and as a result is asymptomatic and feels fine. 

"Real Time production has taken every precaution following COVID CDC guidelines. No other staff or crew members have tested positive at this time. The show will be rescheduled at a later date."

Maher said he's feeling "perfectly fine."

"Most upset about ending my streak going back to 1993 of never missing a Politically Incorrect or Real Time episode," he wrote on Twitter. "Oh well, even (former Baltimore Orioles star) Cal Ripken had to sit one out at some point."

Another fully vaccinated celebrity, New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres, also tested COVID positive this week despite having contracted COVID this past winter.

Seven other members of the Yankees' organization, including four coaches, have also tested positive despite being fully vaccinated. They are: third base coach Phil Nevin, first base coach Reggie Willits, pitching coach Matt Blake, and four support staffers.

“Certainly unexpected,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone. “Obviously everyone, Major League Baseball, that’s in charge of testing is looking into that. The variants that could be out there if that is the case.”

Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman says the organization has been working with Major League Baseball and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) amid the outbreak.

“We are maybe a case study to some degree,” Cashman said.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said the department "needs to learn more" about the Yankees' outbreak.

 “My understanding is that six of the seven reports, six of the seven infections, were indeed asymptomatic infections," Walensky said at a White House briefing on Thursday in which relaxed guidelines on mask-wearing indoors were announced.

"We will look to more data from that report to understand what happened there," Walensky said. "All of the real-world data we’ve seen that’s been in the published literature, large studies, in many different settings, have demonstrated that those vaccines are effective, have a high effectiveness against disease.”

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