49ers' Raheem Mostert 3-Year-Old Rushed To Hospital ... After COVID-19 Symptoms

Scary moment for Raheem Mostert -- the NFL running back's 3-year-old son was rushed to the hospital after suffering a high fever and other severe COVID-19 symptoms this week ... but thankfully, he's recovering back home.

The 49ers star's wife, Devon, shared the terrifying news on Wednesday ... posting a photo of their son, Gunnar, in an ambulance.

"If you think COVID is a joke, this is our sweet G man in an ambulance today after I called 911 because he was lethargic, skin was gray, lips were purple, and had a 103.5 temperature," Devon said.

"I'm crying even typing this ... this is all SO SCARY."

The good news is Gunnar is back home with his family ... but Mostert -- who is currently on the Niners' injured reserved list -- made it clear people should not be taking this virus lightly.

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"I could say a lot, but I'm going to keep this short because my family gets 100% of my time right now," the 29-year-old said.

"Take COVID seriously! It's not a joke!!"

Raheem and Devon got married in 2017 and have 2 kids -- Gunnar and 1-year old Neeko. The couple also just announced they're expecting a third baby on the way last week.

Get well soon, Gunnar.

WWE'S Roman Reigns Tests Negative For Covid-19 ... Will Address Brock Lesnar On Smackdown

Roman Reigns is back ... the Universal champion is officially free of COVID and is returning to Smackdown Friday night -- where he's expected to confront the newly crowned WWE champion Brock Lesnar -- TMZ Sports has learned.

Of course, Reigns and Lesnar were supposed to clash at WWE's 'Day 1' pay-per-view on New Year's Day in Atlanta ... but that didn't happen after Reigns tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the company to go in a different direction.

Lesnar ended up winning the title that night in a Fatal 5-way match ... defeating WWE superstars Seth Rollins, Bobby Lashley, Kevin Owens, and Big E -- the reigning champion at the time.

On a recent Monday Night Raw, Brock -- flanked by manager Paul Heyman -- had some pretty strong words for the Samoan superstar.

"Before we get this party started tonight," Lesnar said, "I'd like to give a big shoutout to my good buddy, Roman Reigns, who's probably sitting at home more than likely, tuned into Monday Night Raw, tuned into the new WWE heavyweight champion. The real champion. Brock Lesnar."

"Get well soon, buddy," Lesnar sarcastically added."

Reigns and Lesnar have been feuding for years ... fighting a total of 7 times in their storied careers. They've had 4 singles matches, 2 triple threats, and 1 fatal 4-way match ... with each guy winning 3 matches apiece.

You can watch Roman and Brock square off Friday night on WWE Smackdown on FOX.

Dr. Dre Millions on the Line ... If COVID Torpedoes Super Bowl Halftime Show

The Super Bowl halftime show promises to be one of the most spectacular yet, thanks to Dr. Dre, but the stakes are high because if COVID somehow kills the show, Dre could lose millions.

As we reported, the show will be filled with huge stars, including Eminem, Snoop, Kendrick Lamar, and Mary J. Blige. Sources with direct knowledge tell TMZ, Dre is fronting most of the money necessary to pull off the event, and we're told it's in the millions of dollars.

Our sources say ... Dre has Event Cancellation Insurance to cover any calamity that might derail the halftime show. Problem is ... we're told there's an exclusion for COVID.

We've learned the pesky provision is called a Communicable Disease Exemption, and it's been around for years ... ever since SARS. But COVID is part of the Communicable Disease Exemption, which means the insurance policy will not cover Dre's losses if the show is 86'd.

The high, high likelihood is the show will go on as planned. There's cautious optimism Omicron will peak later this month ... and the Super Bowl is set for February 13th.

Even if there's an explosion of cases and the crowds are either scaled back or even eliminated, the game will go on ... similar to how it went down last year in the throes of the pandemic. The other possibility, the NFL has made it clear it wants fans in the stands, and if that can't happen at L.A.'s SoFi Stadium, the game could be moved to say, Dallas.

It's still risky without insurance, but since Dre has either reached or is close to billionaire status, let's just say it's manageable.

Washington D.C. Cops Brace for 1-Year Jan. 6 Anniversary Force Decimated by COVID

Washington D.C. is ramping up for another clash a year after the storming of the Capitol -- but there's some good/bad news for the cops on duty ... depending on how things shake out.

Sources with knowledge tell TMZ ... the Metropolitan Police Dept. is planning to activate its civil disturbance units Thursday, in anticipation of round 2 from what occurred in 2021 -- which we’re told is standard when mass demonstrations are expected.

1/6/21
CAPITOL CLASH
Storyful

That isn't to say the cops have much reason to believe there's gonna be another major riot on their hands. Our sources say the department is mostly doing this out of an abundance of caution, and that there's no credible threats at this time for a repeat of Jan. 6. That’s the upside.

We're told the effort will be mostly organized by the feds -- FBI and Dept. of Justice -- which will help to make sure both Capitol and local authorities communicate and act efficiently. What's more -- from 6AM to 10PM only Capitol staffers, members and official visitors will be allowed close to the premises.

The not-so-great part ... we're told that if things do pop off for whatever reason, MPDC may be a little short-handed when it comes to manpower -- and that's due, in large part, to COVID. We're told officers have been going down due to omicron, and because of that ... they’re going to have to make do with what the remaining bodies they have available.

CRUSHED BY COVID

Just to give you an idea of how decimated their force is on the Capitol front ... Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger said Wednesday his squad is short about 447 officers of where they need to be, with about 153 who've retired or resigned since last year ... and another 175 or so who are out sick on any given day due to COVID or other illness.

With those numbers in mind ... here's what the operation will look like on the ground -- smaller platoons than what would normally be deployed. Whereas there are usually 35 platoons throughout the region -- with 28 officers per platoon throughout 7 districts ... our sources say the units will be much smaller on Thursday.

These groups will also be strategically placed because of limited resources -- with officers patrolling the streets, the Capitol and other highly sensitive areas ... so we're told.

EVACUATING THE CAPITOL
Fox News

Here's hoping any demonstrations are kept to a minimum and/or a low roar. Realistically, D.C. might not be able to handle another insurrection like they experienced a full year ago.

Kyrie Irving Mixed Reactions In Season Debut ... Gets Cheers and Boos

Kyrie Irving is finally back with the Brooklyn Nets -- the star guard just made his first on-court appearance of the season Wednesday night ... and his presence was met with a mixed reaction from the crowd.

Uncle Drew was introduced over the PA just minutes before tip-off against the Indiana Pacers ... and while some fans showed support for the point guard, others voiced their frustrations.

Of course, Irving's return is such a big deal -- he hasn't played a single game with the Nets this season as he remained sidelined for his refusal to get vaccinated.

The Nets initially played hardball with KI ... telling him to stay home if he refused to get the jab and be forced to sit out home games and select away games due to vaccine mandates.

"REAL ENOUGH TO STAND UP"

But after several players on the roster went down with COVID-19, the Nets made an exception for Kyrie to bring him back for whatever games he can get into.

Despite a 23-12 team record, Brooklyn has dropped its last three games ... so Kyrie's return comes at a good time for a struggling Nets team.

Unclear how much Irving will actually play ... but his teammates Kevin Durant and James Harden will surely be happy to have him out there.

Novak Djokovic Denied Entry To Australia ... Visa Canceled

4:35 PM PT -- Novak Djokovic's visa has been canceled and the tennis star is NOT going to be admitted to Australia, so says the countries top politician, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Morrison made the announcement on his social media page, saying ... "Mr. Djokovic’s visa has been canceled. Rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders. No one is above these rules."

The PM continued ... "Our strong border policies have been critical to Australia having one of the lowest death rates in the world from COVID, we are continuing to be vigilant."

Needless to say ... barring a minor miracle, it appears Djokovic will not defend his Australian Open title on the court this year.

1:37 PM PT -- Australian officials have reportedly canceled Djokovic's Visa ... and are said to be planning to deport the tennis superstar on Thursday.

However, Novak's attorneys are reportedly appealing the decision.

The Australian Open -- which is why he's in the country -- kicks off January 17.

7:37 AM PT -- Novak Djokovic has reportedly been denied entry into Australia ... where he was headed to play in the Australian Open.

The tennis superstar landed in Melbourne on Wednesday after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine medical exemption ... which would've allowed him to play in the tourney.

However, when Djokovic landed, officials realized the tennis star requested the wrong visa, according to The London Times.

Medical exemptions didn't apply to Novak's visa ... and because of that, he was not allowed to enter the country.

It's unclear if there's any other method of entry for the world's best tennis player. But, right now, The Open isn't looking very promising.

Novak Djokovic isn't in the clear to play in the Australian Open just yet -- Prime Minister Scott Morrison is now demanding the tennis star show proof of his COVID vax medical exemption when he lands Down Under, or he'll be "on the next plane home."

Morrison made the announcement at a news conference on Wednesday ... saying government officials will not treat Djokovic differently than any other person entering the country -- even if the tennis player has already said he has received a valid exemption to the COVID rules.

NO SPECIAL TREATMENT
ABC News (Australia)

"We await his presentation and what evidence he provides us to support that," Morrison said to reporters. "If that evidence is insufficient, then he won't be treated any different to anyone else and he'll be on the next plane home."

Morrison continued, "There should be no special rules for Novak Djokovic at all. None whatsoever."

As we previously reported, Aussie Open officials granted Djokovic -- the No. 1-ranked men's tennis player in the world -- a medical exemption earlier this month ... and Djokovic was pumped for the news.

The Serbian star wrote on his social media page on Tuesday that he was now headed to Australia to defend his tournament title ... showing a photo of him at an airport.

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Morrison, though, said the dude better come with the proper paperwork, adding, "The issue is whether he has sufficient evidence to support that he would qualify for that exemption."

Australian Open officials said earlier this week that Djokovic's application "was granted following a rigorous review process" ... insisting he received no special treatment.

The tournament is slated to begin in less than two weeks on Jan. 17.

Originally Published -- 7:18 AM PT

Aaron Rodgers Rips Reporter Over MVP Vote Stance ... 'He's An Absolute Bum'

HE'S A BUM
Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers just unloaded on a reporter who said the QB does not deserve the MVP award this year ... calling the journalist "an absolute bum."

The Packers superstar ripped Chicago media member Hub Arkush for nearly two minutes on a conference call Wednesday -- just 24 hours after the reporter said Rodgers isn't his 2021 MVP because he's a "jerk."

"I think he’s a bum," Rodgers said of Arkush. "I think he’s an absolute bum."

"He doesn’t know me. I don't know who he is. No one knew who he was probably until yesterday’s comments."

If you missed it, Arkush said Rodgers wouldn't get his MVP vote this year because of the quarterback's COVID vaccine drama and his offseason gripe with Packers brass.

"I don’t think you can be the biggest jerk in the league and punish your team, and your organization and your fan base the way he did and be the Most Valuable Player," Arkush said on Chicago's 670 The Score.

Rodgers clearly wasn't happy to hear the comments ... saying, "His problem isn't with me being a bad guy or the biggest jerk in the league 'cause he doesn't know me."

"His problem is I'm not vaccinated."

FYI, the NFL's MVP is selected by 50 voters, including Arkush -- and it's supposed to be based solely on players' performances during the regular season. Rodgers is favorite to win it this year, despite Arkush's opinion.

For his part, Arkush actually apologized for his comments earlier Wednesday -- but not for blasting Rodgers. He said he's sorry for simply disclosing his voting plans.

"The only thing I can do going forward is respect what I failed to respect last night," Arkush said, "and just not talk about it anymore until after the awards have been given."

Golden Globes 2022 No Audience, Celebs in Attendance Show Will Highlight Plan to Improve Diversity

The Golden Globes are, indeed, happening this year -- but there'll be some major changes ... including where you can catch it, and who will (or won't, rather) be there to bear witness.

A release Tuesday states the Globes are going to be livestreamed this year, where winners will be announced for their respective categories. The big difference, of course, is that NBC will not be carrying the broadcast ... nor will any other major network.

There also won't be a large audience or any celebs in attendance.

You'll recall ... the NBC decision came down last year after some diversity controversy caused by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which many felt hadn't done enough by 2021's show to nominate more people of color -- something they vowed to fix and work on going forward. It even became a running (awkward) gag throughout last year's ceremony.

LET'S DO BETTER
NBC

They've made some strides since then ... but not nearly in enough time to find another home.

During the show, Kyle Bowser, Senior Vice President of the NAACP Hollywood Bureau will break down the "Reimagine Coalition," a movement to increase diversity across the entertainment biz. The coalition is a five-year initiative.

Of course, there will still be COVID precautions in place for the few who are able to attend and present, including proof of vax AND booster as well as a negative PCR test.

Besides that, we're told it'll be host-less and spectator-less ... this despite the fact there are some huge names up for awards. Some notable ones ... Leonardo DiCaprio, Denzel Washington, Mahershala Ali, Nicole Kidman, just to name a few.

However, the main focus of the show will be on the orgs the HFPA has worked with and sponsored over the years.

You see, there's a lot of licensing money HFPA gains from broadcasting the program, which it then dishes out to different charities. Because that won't be happening in 2022, we're told HFPA brass is banking on people's generosity so they can continue helping others.

'Waterboy' Star Peter Dante Flips Out At Hostess ... 'You're a C***!!!'

THE MASKLESS OUTBURST
TMZ.com

Peter Dante -- who's been in just about every single Adam Sandler movie -- went OFF on an L.A. hostess who denied him service for not wearing a mask ... and it's all on video.

The actor's meltdown started Monday night when he was trying to get a table at Quarters Korean BBQ in L.A.'s Koreatown but was told he wouldn't be served.

In the video, you see a maskless Peter flipping out at the hostess -- who is standing next to a sign that says "No Mask No Entry" -- calling her "garbage" and "c***" before demanding to talk to her boss.

While he's waiting to talk to the manager, Peter gets in the face of another staffer and again refuses to put on a mask.

Eventually, Peter hits the road without further incident ... but folks who were there say the hostess was almost in tears.

TMZ broke the story ... Peter was arrested back in September after allegedly threatening to kill his neighbor over construction noise.

NOVEMBER 2013

Peter was also thrown out of an L.A. hotel back in 2013 after allegedly making violent threats and hurling racial slurs.

We reached out to Peter's camp about the Korean BBQ incident ... so far, no word back.

Novak Djokovic Granted COVID Vax Medical Exemption ... Will Defend Australian Open Title

Novak Djokovic will defend his Australian Open title after all -- the Serbian tennis star just announced he will compete at the Grand Slam event after being granted a medical exemption from the COVID vaccine mandate.

"I've spent fantastic quality time with my loved ones over the break and today I'm heading Down Under with an exemption permission," Djokovic said on Instagram on Tuesday morning.

"Let's go 2022."

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Djokovic's status for the tourney in Melbourne had previously been in question, as he was uncertain if he would participate due to concerns over Australia's quarantine rules and the event's vaccine mandate.

But, the Australian Open said Tuesday that officials conducted two reviews of Djokovic's application for a medical exemption and granted it -- paving the way for the star's return to the Aussie courts.

"Djokovic applied for a medical exemption which was granted following a rigorous review process involving two separate independent panels of medical experts,'' Australian Open officials said.

Added tournament director Craig Tiley, "Fair and independent protocols were established for assessing medical exemption applications that will enable us to ensure Australian Open 2022 is safe and enjoyable for everyone."

Novak -- the No. 1-ranked men's tennis player in the world -- is currently tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal with 20 grand slam titles ... and has won the last three Australian Open titles.

The tournament is scheduled to run from Jan. 17 to Jan. 30.

Amsterdam Cops Thrash Anti-Lockdown Protesters Using Batons & Dogs

The Netherlands is in a full lockdown again over COVID, and when people took to the streets in Amsterdam to voice their displeasure ... cops quite literally unleashed the hounds.

A major clash between Dutch riot police and protesters went down Sunday in Amsterdam, where thousands of people were dispersed by force ... and a lot of it at that. Officers, who were decked out with shields, helmets and batons, were given the green light to go town on folks -- as they were all violating local orders against forming large crowds.

It didn't take long before cops used dogs, you see one shot of a German Shepherd clamping down on a guy's arm ... which looks painful as hell.

A reported 30 or so people are said to have been arrested during all the mayhem. And of course, some left with some serious bruises, you see one dude walking away and getting his legs smacked by a cop using a baton.

The country went into renewed strict lockdown protocol late last month, this amid a fresh wave of omicron cases -- shutting down just about every type of business once more.

Big Daddy Weave Jay Weaver Dead at 42 from Covid Complications

Big Daddy Weave's Jason "Jay" Weaver is dead after suffering complications from COVID-19.

In a heartfelt message on Instagram his brother and fellow band member, Mike, shared the tragic news ... "I'm sorry to bring this news, but I am excited to celebrate where he is right now. My brother Jay went to be with Jesus just a couple hours ago."

Jay was a bass player and vocalist for the Christian band and had a history of health complications. Back in 2016, he was rushed to the hospital and had to get both feet amputated to fight an infection in his body.

MESSAGE FROM THE FAMILY
@bdwmusic / Instagram

In his message, Mike thanked everyone for their prayers and support for his late brother throughout his battles with his health ... "you've seen him walk the uphill battle and you guys helped carry him through so much."

"Even though COVID took his last breath, Jesus was right there to catch him," he said.

Big Daddy Weave started in 1998, dropping their first album in 2001 and touring with big hits in the Christian music scene ever since.

Mike talked about his brother's impact -- "The Lord used him in such a mighty way out on the road for many years."

He says their family will deal with the heartache "as it comes" but for now, they are turning to their faith to celebrate Jay ... "The prayers of healing can now turn into prayers of thanksgiving now that Jay is in God's presence."

Jay was 42.

RIP

DJ Fer Palacio I Didn't Give Lionel Messi COVID!!! ... Stop Sending Me Death Threats

A famous Argentinian DJ claims he's been receiving death threats and nasty insults this week ... after he says fans believe he was the reason Lionel Messi came down with COVID-19.

DJ Fer Palacio -- who has over 1 million followers on Instagram -- posted a video message explaining the situation on Sunday ... saying soccer aficionados are blaming him for Messi's positive test after the two were spotted partying together late last week.

ADDRESSING THE PUBLIC

"I am a trend on Twitter because Messi tested positive for COVID-19," the DJ said.

"They relate this to me saying that I infected him. They have even called me 'murderer.' I have a lot of very bad private messages."

The 31-year-old, though, implored fans to stop ... saying it's just not possible for him to have given the soccer superstar the virus -- because he doesn't have it.

"Yesterday I got tested because I have to travel to Uruguay," he said showing a picture of a negative COVID test, "and I do not have COVID-19."

Messi, meanwhile, is isolating away from his Paris Saint-Germain team ... after the squad confirmed on Sunday he and three of his other teammates had the virus.

The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner appears to be in good spirits following the diagnosis ... sharing a few encouraging words at the beginning of the new year.

"I can only give thanks for everything that I had to live in this 2021," Messi said on social media. "Even more so when many people had a really bad time because of the s****y virus that never ends."

"Hopefully 2022 brings a lot of health, which is what I wish you all for the new year. Hug to everyone!!!"

Omarion Happy New Year, Y'all ... And FYI, I'm Not a COVID Variant!!!

Say it with me now ...
@omarion / TikTok

The Omicron/Omarion jokes have reached the source -- and the man (not the variant) is here to set the record straight about the difference between himself ... and a new strain of COVID.

The B2K singer/dancer took to TikTok for the start of 2022 with a PSA of sorts -- three of them actually -- for New Year's Rockin' Eve, which are all about how he is NOT the Omicron variant ... despite his name often getting confused for it, and some apparent bad reactions from fans.

Omarion starts his first video by simply saying ... he's Omarion, an artist, and not Omicron ... which means if you run into him on the street, you don't have isolate afterward -- nor do you need a negative test to dance to his music. 😂

His second vid is pretty similar -- but this time, he notes ... yeah, you probably shouldn't touch or get too close to him in general ... but that that rule has nothing to do with him being able to give anyone COVID.

And finally ... Omarion gets (kinda) serious, by reading a letter he says his lawyers wanted him to spell out as a result of "confusion" on the internet. He again says he's Omarion -- the singer and entertainer -- and NOT the variant ... so keep the DMs chill and respectful.

It caps off a running joke about people mistaking one for the other ... and Omarion is all in.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Was Talking 'National Divorce' Days Before Twitter Ban

Twitter says it booted Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene for misinformation -- which may well be true -- but there's another scary topic she polished days before Jan. 6 ... civil war.

The Georgia congresswoman got permanently suspended from the bird app Sunday, with Twitter honchos saying she'd racked up 5 separate strikes regarding their COVID-19 misinformation policy ... the latest violation of which went down on Saturday, per the NYT.

The tweet that apparently pushed her over the edge was about reported deaths from vaccines -- and how, from her POV, they were taken way more seriously pre-COVID compared to now ... which she suggested was part of some big-government plot.

That was enough for Twitter to turn her account dark ... even though she still has her official Congress account. Still, some can't help but notice the timing and the other recent rhetoric she's been espousing of late -- especially with a terrible national anniversary drawing near.

Of course, we mean the day of the Capitol riots ... which happened almost a full 365 days ago starting Thursday -- and something MTG appears to have been inviting anew with tweets like the ones she posted a few days ago -- where she was talking about a national split.

In response to another tweet about Californians and New Yorkers fleeing their respective states during the pandemic and heading to places like Texas -- which the OG tweeter advocated for discriminating against those transplants -- Rep. Greene replied dubiously.

She wrote, "All possible in a National Divorce scenario," going on to bash the people leaving blue states ... while also supporting a moratorium on their voting rights once they move. There's a lot more tweets she's posted over the past year which seem to have stoked the flames of secession and a repeat of Jan. 6 -- but Twitter put its foot down just in time.

In response, MTG called Twitter "an enemy to America" ... while once again pushing separatism by saying writing ... "[I]t's time to defeat our enemies ... We will overcome!"

COVID/Omicron Fake Vaccine Card Biz Booming

Fake vaccine cards are selling like crazy ... and demand has shot up over the past few weeks, smack in the middle of the omicron surge.

First of all, this is terrible, and if it's not a crime ... it should be. The cards are going for around $250 ... $50 a pop more than they were going for back in September, and that means demand is high.

We're told thousands of people are hawking fake vaccine cards ... pretty shocking.

The folks studying the surge of fake cards tell us the price of the bogus cards will continue to rise as Omicron spreads and as people need to prove they've been jabbed ... and the holidays are accounting for increased sales.

The cards were originally sold on the dark web, but sellers have become emboldened as everything gets even more political and they're now selling the cards much more openly ... on various forums and chatrooms.

Earlier this week, President Biden warned on Twitter that the COVID cases will continue to rise and it sure seems we're headed for a dark winter.

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