More Than Half of Business Closures Caused by Economic Lockdowns Are Permanent, Yelp Data Show

More than half of American businesses that closed down due to economic lockdowns are permanently shuttered, according to data Yelp published Wednesday.

There’s been a 23% increase in the number of business closures since mid-July, with the number of permanent closures reaching 96,966, representing 60% of closed businesses that will not be reopening, the data show.

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Birx Visits Virginia Tech to Discuss COVID-19 Issues

On Wednesday, Dr. Deborah Birx – a key part of the Trump Administration’s vaulted Coronavirus task force – arrived in Blacksburg to meet  with state and local officials, faculty, students and health care professionals on the Virginia Tech campus to discuss Covid-19 and the response to reopening schools safely.

During a brief press conference, the White House coronavirus response coordinator had high praise for the school as she stated that a great amount of research had been done at the facility including animal and waste water testing to better understand the asymptomatic spread rate of the virus.

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UM, MSU Excited to See Football Return, Fans Have Mixed Reactions

Michigan sports fans had mixed reactions after the Big Ten conference announced it would be bringing back football this year, while conference leaders rejoiced.

The conference, which had originally postponed playing because of the coronavirus pandemic, announced on Wednesday that it will resume games on October 24, according to ESPN.

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Michigan Begins Identifying Schools with COVID-19 Outbreaks

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has begun publishing coronavirus outbreak information broken down by school building.

The state had previously been confirming regions in which outbreaks were taking place at schools, but not identifying the individual schools or school districts.

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High School Students Moving Out of Illinois So They Can Play Sports

Illinois high school student athletes and their parents who are tired of COVID-19 delays in sports are taking matters into their own hands — some are protesting, while others are moving out of state to play elsewhere.

Student athletes, coaches and students’ parents rallied in the dozens in McCook on Sunday to demand fall sports to resume, ABC 7 reported. Only golf, cross country, girls’ tennis and girls’ swimming and diving are playing for now.

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Trump Goes After Whitmer at Rally, Saying She ‘Doesn’t Have a Clue’

President Trump slammed Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer during a rally on Thursday, saying that she “doesn’t have a clue.”

“Michigan has already gained and regained more than half of the jobs that it lost — and if your state was ever allowed to safely reopen by your governor, who doesn’t have a clue, just like Joe [Biden], you would have gained far more than that,” Trump said in a rally in Saginaw County, according to FOX 2.

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Meshawn Maddock Commentary: Don’t Let Joe Biden Give the Whole Country a Taste of Whitmer’s Bitter Authoritarian Medicine

Workers and business owners across the state are still waiting to learn what fate Governor Gretchen Whitmer has in store for them.

Of course, businesses that wield political clout and make significant contributions to Whitmer’s budget — say, a crowded Detroit casino — have no such uncertainty to worry about. They’re allowed to open.

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John Fredericks Commentary: Fauci Debunks Woodward Hit on Trump

Here we go again. Another tell-all book trashing President Trump. What else is new?

The newest snooze-rag comes from longtime lefty WAPO-Bezos lackey Bob Woodward, of Watergate deep-throat fame. In what the mainstream legacy fake news media gushed over, Woodward says the President characterized the coronavirus as “deadly” and “dangerous” — while telling Americans it was nothing to be concerned about. Woodward writes that President Trump told him the Covid-19 virus was “more deadly than even your strenuous flus,” and that he repeatedly played it down publicly.

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Joe Biden Claims 6,000 Military Members Dead From COVID, but the Real Number Is Seven

Democratic 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden said Wednesday that more than 6,000 military members have died from coronavirus, Department of Defense (DOD) statistics show the real number is just seven deaths.

While speaking in Michigan on Wednesday, Biden significantly overstated both the number of COVID infections in the military, as well as the number of COVID deaths.

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University of Michigan Resident Advisers, Cafeteria Workers Join Strike

The resident assistants at University of Michigan have joined protests over the school’s coronavirus regulations, announcing earlier this week that they would be striking.

More than 100 residential advisers voted to strike in demand of increased coronavirus protections, hazard pay and additional communication about coronavirus statistics at the school, according to reporting by The Michigan Daily, the student newspaper for the University of Michigan. The strike began Wednesday morning and mostly impacts mailroom operations and lock-out services. Participating resident assistants will also not perform duty shifts, although they will informally enforce COVID-19 safety regulations.

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Biden Flip-Flops on Proposed National Mask Mandate, Says It Would Be Unconstitutional

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Sunday walked back his pledge to impose a national mask mandate, admitting he wouldn’t be able to use the powers of the presidency to make face-coverings compulsory because that would actually be unconstitutional.

Biden was asked to respond to President Trump’s policy of giving more authority to the states during an interview with AZFamily’s “Politics Unplugged.”

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Michigan Bill Allowing Early Vote Counting Still Not Passed

A bill that would allow Michigan polling clerks to begin processing absentee ballots before Election Day is still in legislative limbo, Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey said, adding that the Senate continues to “finesse” the proposal.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Ruth Johnson (R-14-Holly), who is a former secretary of state and chair of the Michigan Senate Elections Committee. It calls for allowing clerks to begin processing, but not counting, ballots before the election, according to The Associated Press.

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Navy Ends Catholic Masses on San Diego-Area Bases to Cut Costs

The U.S. Navy has reportedly ended Catholic church services on San Diego-area bases for cost purposes, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

The Navy declined to renew contracts with priests who were contracted to assist the Chaplain Corps, an active-duty group containing few Catholic clergy members, according to a Tribune report on Saturday. The new changes are from a national realignment announced in August.

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Pharmaceutical Companies Sign Joint Pledge Promising a Safe Coronavirus Vaccine as Public Confidence Dips

Nine pharmaceutical companies signed a joint pledge Tuesday promising to prioritize safety and science regarding the development and distribution of a coronavirus vaccine.

The pledge is meant to counter declining public confidence in an eventual vaccine, Politico reported. An August CNN poll found that just over half of Americans would be willing to take a vaccine once developed, and a recent Politico poll found that over 60% of voters opposed the release of any vaccine that had not undergone full testing.

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Michigan Launches Ambassador Program To Guide Businesses Through Coronavirus Guidelines

Michigan state employees will visit businesses one-on-one to help them reopen safely under a swath of COVID-19 safety guidelines.

The program, launched by the Department of Labor and Economic and the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA), features ambassadors that will visit businesses to help them navigate through safety guidelines and regulations. Unlike their MIOSHA counterparts, these ambassadors will not issue penalties or citations.

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Commentary: America’s Clown Conference

The latest act in the clown show that is the Big Ten Conference’s postponement of football this fall occurred on Thursday afternoon when Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer green-lighted high school football in the state.
Twitter erupted into paroxysms of hope, and the Internet haruspices crouched down to read the chicken entrails. Might the decision of this control-freak governor, who a little more than a week earlier had expressed glee that the Big Ten was scrubbing football for the fall, augur a reversal of opinion among decision makers in the Upper Midwest and thus a possible revocation of the conference suspension of fall sports?

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Poll Reveals Growing Distrust in CDC and Media Over COVID Information

American voters’ trust in the national media and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide accurate information about the coronavirus pandemic has plummeted since March, according to a CBS poll published Sunday.

Roughly 54% of voters trust the CDC for reliable information about the virus, a 30 percentage point drop from March, when 86% of voters said the same thing, the CBS poll showed. Fewer voters also trust the national media to provide good information about coronavirus, or COVID, according to the poll, which was conducted between Sept. 2-4 and sampled 2,493 registered voters nationwide.

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University of Michigan Graduate Student Employees to Go on Strike

The graduate student union at the University of Michigan has voted to go on strike beginning Tuesday, the group announced on Monday.

The Graduate Employees’ Organizations represents Graduate Student Instructors and Graduate Student Staff Assistants at Ann Arbor-based University of Michigan.

The four-day strike is protesting the university reopening for in-person classes during the coronavirus pandemic and has the potential to be reauthorized for a longer work stoppage. The union called the strike a “historic moment.”

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Brookings: Creative Arts Industry Lost 2.7 Million Jobs, More Than $150 Billion in Sales in Four Months

The creative arts industry lost 2.7 million jobs and more than $150 billion in sales of goods and services over four months of pandemic shutdowns, a report published by the Brookings Institution estimates.

In its report, “Lost Art: Measuring COVID-19’s devastating impact on America’s creative economy,” the authors estimate that of the 50 states, “California will be hit hardest in terms of absolute losses for creative industries and occupations, followed by New York and Texas.”

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Poll: Over Three-Quarters of Americans Say Their Finances Are Stable or Getting Better

A majority of registered voters report that their personal finances are stable or improving, according to a new Just the News Daily Poll with Scott Rasmussen.

Asked about their current financial situation, amid a pandemic and street protests that shuttered some retail businesses, 52% of respondents said their bank account is “about the same” as it normally is, while 23% said their personal finances are “getting better.” Just 23% reported a worsening financial outlook.

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‘Beyond Shameful’: Emotional Salon Owner Rips into Pelosi for Claiming She Was Set up

San Francisco salon owner Erica Kious said Thursday that it is “beyond shameful” for Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to accuse Kious of setting her up.

“For the speaker of the House of the United States to go on TV and falsely claim she was set up and publicly defame me and send out PR firms to spin more lies about Jonathan in support of the speaker’s own lies is bad enough,” Kious said on a Thursday evening press call to reporters.

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Shelby County Says Woman Dead for Six Months Contracted COVID-19, Needs to Isolate

When is a COVID-19 patient not a COVID-19 patient? When the person has been dead for six months, as has reportedly happened in Memphis.

Media reports have carried the story, including coverage here by KVUE.

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Commentary: We Have Had Enough Lockdown

Take off the masks and remove the “social distancing” circles from the floors. Open the schools, liberate college campuses, fill the restaurants and the gyms and the churches and the salons. Enough.

If 2020 wasn’t twisted enough, the current political imbroglio centers around a verboten visit to a California boutique for a routine blow-out. Americans are lining up either behind House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who claims she was “set up” to visit the San Francisco salon, or the salon’s owner, a woman struggling to keep her business alive amid cruel and unscientific edicts issued by her governor months ago.

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New York City Has Worst Unemployment Rate as One in Three Workers Worry About Job Security

As Americans approach Labor Day, with roughly 10.2 percent unemployed, a new survey conducted by WalletHub found that one in three Americans worry about job security.

In its nationally representative Coronavirus & Labor Day Survey, WalletHub found that Americans want extended COVID-19 relief. Of those surveyed, 74 percent said Congress should continue to extend additional federal unemployment benefits until their respective states fully reopen.

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Oregon Coronavirus Fund May Violate Constitution by Excluding Non-Black Applicants, Experts Say

A COVID-19 relief fund for African-Americans operated out of Portland, Ore., with federal tax dollars may run afoul of both the Constitution and 1964 Civil Rights Act if it excludes non-black applicants, legal experts warn.

The Oregon Cares Fund for Black Relief + Resiliency said it seeks to offer “economic relief for the Black community, who are among Oregon’s most vulnerable groups due to systemic divestment and disparities widened and exacerbated by COVID-19.” The program is administered by two local nonprofits, the Contingent and the Black United Fund of Oregon.

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Majority of Voters Prefer Pandemic Decisions be Made at the Local and State Levels

A majority of registered voters in America favor pandemic-related policy decisions be made at the state and local levels, according to a new Just the News Daily Poll with Scott Rasmussen.

Just over 50% of voters would prefer “letting state and local officials determine the appropriate policies for their communities,”  while 37% favor “a national shutdown of the economy that closed all but essential businesses.”

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New Jobless Claims Fall Below One Million, Beat Wall Street Expectations

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims decreased to 881,000 last week as the economy continues to suffer the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Department of Labor figure released Thursday represented a decrease of new jobless claims compared to the week ending on Aug. 22, in which there were 1,006,000 new jobless claims reported.

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Nancy Pelosi Ignores COVID-19 Rules, Gets Hair Done

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was filmed breaking San Francisco Covid-19 rules by getting her hair done indoors and without a mask, Fox News reported.

In security footage shared with the channel, the California Democrat can be seen walking through eSalon in the city’s Pacific Heights neighborhood at around 3:10 p.m. Monday, with wet hair and no mask on her face. Pelosi is followed by the stylist, who is wearing a mask.

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Michigan to Publish Which Schools Have Coronavirus Outbreaks

Michigan will begin identifying K-12 schools that have coronavirus outbreaks beginning on September 14, a state spokesperson told BridgeMI on Tuesday.

Up to this point, the state has been confirming the regions in which the outbreaks are occurring, but have not provided more specific information, such as the specific school districts in which the outbreaks are located.

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86 Percent of Michigan Schools to Offer In-Person Learning

Eighty-six percent of school districts in Michigan will offer some or all in-person instruction at the beginning of the school year, according to a study conducted by Michigan State University (MSU).

The study, released Friday, showed that 59 percent of Michigan school districts will be offering in-person schooling five days a week and 27 percent will be offering it at least two to three days a week.

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Third Virus Vaccine Reaches Major Hurdle: Final U.S. Testing

A handful of the dozens of experimental COVID-19 vaccines in human testing have reached the last and biggest hurdle — looking for the needed proof that they really work as a U.S. advisory panel suggested Tuesday a way to ration the first limited doses once a vaccine wins approval.

AstraZeneca announced Monday its vaccine candidate has entered the final testing stage in the U.S. The Cambridge, England-based company said the study will involve up to 30,000 adults from various racial, ethnic and geographic groups.

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College Towns Growing Alarmed Over Outbreaks Among Students

As waves of schools and businesses around the country are cleared to reopen, college towns are moving toward renewed shutdowns because of too many parties and too many COVID-19 infections among students.

With more than 300 students at the University of Missouri testing positive for the coronavirus and an alarming 44% positivity rate for the surrounding county, the local health director Friday ordered bars to stop serving alcohol at 9 p.m. and close by 10 p.m.

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NFIB Survey: 1 in 5 Small Business Owners Say They Will Close If Economic Conditions Don’t Improve Within Six Months

More than 20 percent of small business owners said they will have to close permanently if current economic conditions do not improve within the next six months, according to a survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business.

The largest small business association in the U.S., headquartered in Nashville, conducted the survey to assess the financial health of small businesses.

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Commentary: Coronavirus and the Perils of Disease Modeling

I’m pleased to announce the third in AIER’s book series on the virus: Coronavirus and Disease Modeling. This follows Coronavirus and Economic Crisis and Coronavirus and Economic Recovery. The third book focuses on the fallacies of epidemiological modeling and the social and economic planning that instituted its inspiration. 

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Commentary: Gallup Poll Shows Homeschooling Rate Doubles as School Satisfaction Plummets

Results of a new Gallup poll released this week may give us the sharpest look yet at how the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted American education and what may lie ahead. According to the poll, parents’ overall satisfaction with their child’s education dropped 10 percent over last year, while at the same time the number of parents saying they will choose homeschooling doubled in 2020 to 10 percent.

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More Than 20,000 Coronavirus Cases Have Been Counted at Colleges Since Late July: Report

Colleges across the United States have reported more than 20,000 coronavirus cases since late July, according to The New York Times.

At least 26,000 cases and 64 deaths have been reported from more than 1,500 colleges since the pandemic started, according to the Times survey of reported cases at U.S. universities.

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Prison Union Calls for Removal of Michigan Prison Director for Coronavirus Response

A union representing Michigan prison officers has called for the removal of Corrections Department Director Heidi Washington due to the state’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic inside prisons.

According to a letter obtained by the Detroit Free Press, the Michigan Corrections Organization says it has lost confidence in Michigan leadership.

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POLL: Nearly Half of Americans Say They’ve Saved More Money or Paid Down Debt During Outbreak, Recession

About half of all Americans say they are saving money and paying down debt amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to an Associated Press poll published Tuesday.

Roughly 45% of Americans surveyed said they saved more money than usual amid the pandemic, according to the poll. Nearly 30% of respondents in the poll said they are paying down debt faster than they were before the coronavirus pandemic, the poll showed.

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Department of Justice Requests Nursing Home Data on COVID-19 Deaths from Michigan

The Civil Right Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has requested information about COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes from the state of Michigan.

The request, made on Wednesday, will help the department determine if it will open up an investigation under the federal Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, which will identify if the state orders requiring coronavirus-positive patients to be admitted to nursing homes were responsible for the deaths of residents.

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Fraser Public Schools to Charge $175 Per Week for Daycare but Will Offer Mostly Virtual School

Some Michigan parents may pay to drop off kids at daycare this fall in the same classroom kids would typically use for full-time in-person instruction.

Fraser Public Schools is offering virtual school with some small group, in-person learning options through Jan. 22, 2021.

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Commentary: Four Life-Threatening Unintended Consequences of the Lockdowns

When policymakers across the country decided to “lock down” in response to the March outbreak of the novel coronavirus, they took a leap into the unknown. Not only did we know little about COVID-19 itself at that time, but we knew almost nothing about how shutting down nearly all of society would affect people.

Policymakers focused on their models predicting how lockdowns could help limit the spread of COVID-19; an important factor, to be sure. So, too, many acknowledged the negative economic ramifications of lockdowns. But in the months since, we’ve seen many other dire consequences stem from the unprecedented shutdown of society.

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Analysis: The Hard Facts on COVID-19 Science Denial

In a Washington Post op-ed titled “More Republican Casualties From Trump’s Coronavirus Denial,” columnist Jennifer Rubin claims that “red states”—specifically Texas, Arizona, and Arkansas—are “paying the price” for their “arrogant and reckless disregard of expert advice.”

In concert with Rubin, multitudes of reporters and commentators have declared that Republican governors have worsened the effects of Covid-19 by “denying science” and reopening “too early.” Meanwhile, they have praised Democratic governors, like Andrew Cuomo of NY and Phil Murphy of NJ, for their handling of the pandemic.

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National Parks Service Approves 50,000-Person March on Washington, Will Not Enforce Masks, Social Distancing

A permit for the 57th March on Washington obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation shows that organizers anticipate around 50,000 people will attend the Washington, D.C., event Friday.

The permit for the annual march from the National Park Service grants permission to “conduct a public gathering” to Rev. Mark Thompson and the National Action Network (NAN) to commemorate the 57th March on Washington despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that has led to limitations on public gatherings.

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Whitmer Reportedly Lone Governor Preventing Big 10 Football

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer could be a “major roadblock” to the start of the Big 10 football season, according to Ohio State insider Jeff Snook.

The Spun reported that Snook is saying that Whitmer against University of Michigan playing football.

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To-Go Drinks an Elixir for Public, a Lifeline for Business

The coronavirus is shaking up America’s liquor laws.

At least 33 states and the District of Columbia are temporarily allowing cocktails to-go during the pandemic. Only two — Florida and Mississippi — allowed them on a limited basis before coronavirus struck, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

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President Trump Announces Plasma Treatment Authorized for COVID-19

President Donald Trump announced Sunday the emergency authorization of convalescent plasma for COVID-19 patients, in a move he called “a breakthrough,” one of his top health officials called “promising,” and other health experts said needs more study before it’s celebrated.

The announcement comes after days of White House officials suggesting there were politically motivated delays by the Food and Drug Administration in approving a vaccine and therapeutics for the disease that has upended Trump’s reelection chances.

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Michigan State University Flip-Flops on In-Person Classes Two Weeks Before Semester Begins

Michigan State University (MSU), two weeks prior to the institution’s fall start date, announced on Tuesday that in-person learning has been cancelled for undergraduates and that students planning to live on campus may have to stay home.

“But given the current status of the virus in our country — particularly what we are seeing at other institutions as they re-populate their campus communities — it has become evident to me that, despite our best efforts and strong planning, it is unlikely we can prevent widespread transmission of COVID-19 between students if our undergraduates return to campus,” MSU president Samuel Stanley said in the announcement.

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Two Colleges Suspend Students for Gatherings That Broke Coronavirus Restrictions

Syracuse University and Purdue University have suspended dozens of students for attending gatherings that violated coronavirus restrictions before classes have begun, the schools announced this week.

Both universities had policies and pledges implemented in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including face mask wearing, social distancing guidelines and restrictions on event sizes, according to statements from the schools.

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