Michigan Gov. Whitmer Touts Therapies to Slash COVID-19 Deaths, Hospitalizations as State Hits 18 Percent Case Positivity Rate

As Michigan enters its sixth straight week of rising COVID-19 cases, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer expanded the use of monoclonal antibody therapy to reduce COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths for high-risk patients.

“We are using every mitigation strategy, every medication, and every treatment option to fight the virus here in Michigan,” Whitmer said in a statement. “These antibody treatments could keep you out of the hospital and save your life, and my administration and I will continue working with the federal government to make sure we are using all the tools in our toolbox to keep you and your family safe and get back to normal sooner.”

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Michigan Lawmaker Aims to Ban ‘Vaccine Passports’

Phone with a QR code on it

One Republican aims to ban “vaccine passports” in a package expected to be introduced Wednesday.

The governors of Florida, Texas, Utah, and Idaho have passed legislation or executive orders prohibiting the use of vaccine passports, while a Minnesota bill aims to do the same.

Rep. Beau LaFave, R-Iron Mountain, announced a plan to prohibit a possible vaccine passport plan that would provide proof whether someone is vaccinated for COVID-19.

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Commentary: Behold DeSantis, Destroyer of Narratives

Ron DeSantis

Those who are looking for someone who could be a post-Trump bearer of the MAGA standard within the Republican Party have had a keen eye on Ron DeSantis for a while now.

And this week it’s becoming perfectly clear why.

DeSantis was the subject of a tired and constant phenomenon in American politics: the 60 Minutes hit piece. That happened on Sunday, with a report by Sharyn Alfonsi alleging that DeSantis was running a “pay-for-play” scheme surrounding the state of Florida’s vaccine distribution.

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Poll: Majority of Michigan Voters Favor Ballot Proposal to Restrict Governor’s Emergency Powers

Gov. Whitmer

A poll released Tuesday by Michigan Rising Action (MRA), a Lansing-based organization dedicated to advancing conservative principles, asserts Michigan strongly supports a ballot proposal to limit the use of gubernatorial emergency powers.

MRA commissioned the poll from Marketing Resource Group, which conducted research between March 15-18, and skews +4 Democrat.

A majority of the 610 likely voters polled within each age group supported restricting the governor’s unilateral use of emergency powers.

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CDC Director Wants Stricter COVID-19 Measures in Michigan as Cases Surge

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has suggested that the Michigan should implement stricter COVID-19 measures as hospitalizations from the deadly virus surge in the state.

“I would advocate for sort of stronger mitigation strategies, as you know, to sort of decrease the community activity, ensure mask-wearing, and we’re working closely with the state to try and work towards that,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky reportedly said regarding Michigan in a Wednesday briefing. 

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Cuomo Repeals His Nursing Home Legal Immunity Measure Amid FBI Investigation And Impeachment Probe

Gov. Andrew Cuomo repealed a measure on Tuesday he had originally signed into law in April 2020 that shielded nursing homes from COVID-19 lawsuits.

The New York Democrat repealed the law as he faces an FBI investigation into his handling of nursing homes during the pandemic. FBI investigators are looking into how the nursing home legal immunity bill made it into the state’s budget legislation just before Cuomo signed it into law, according to THE CITY.

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Greg Abbott Issues Executive Order Banning Vaccine Passports

Passport

Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Monday banning government-issued “vaccine passports” statewide.

Abbott said that vaccinations against COVID-19 cannot be government-mandated, and that residents’ choice to not receive one should not prevent them from going about their lives.

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Restricted Michigan Has More COVID Hospitalizations than Open Texas

Despite continued COVID-19 restrictions, including social distancing, limited capacity inside businesses, and mask mandates, Michigan has more COVID-19 hospitalizations than Texas, which dropped all of its COVID-19 restrictions about one month ago.

Associated Press reporter David Eggert attended a ceremony at Ford Field on Tuesday where Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was vaccinated. He reported that the state has 3100 hospitalizations for COVID-19, an increase from 2600 last Friday. 

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Ten Percent of Migrant Minors Held in San Diego Convention Center Test Positive for COVID-19

San Diego Convention Center

Of the more than 700 unaccompanied migrant minors who were transported to the San Diego Convention Center from Texas, roughly 10% have tested positive for COVID-19, according to multiple news reports citing health officials.

The Department of Health and Human Services reported on March 30 that 70 of these minors tested positive; none required hospitalization.

The San Diego Convention Center is currently holding 723 girls between the ages of 13 and 17 – all of whom were transferred from federal shelters in Texas.

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Minnesota Breweries Take Expansions to Other States Because of Outdated Alcohol Laws

Twenty miles means a world of difference for Minnesota breweries that have grown as much as state law allows.

Minnesota’s alcohol laws are pushing breweries to expand in other states, Brad Glynn, Lift Bridge Brewing cofounder and vice president of marketing told The Center Square in a phone interview.

In May, Lift Bridge Brewing Co plans to expand to a New Richmond, Wisconsin location.

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Commentary: Will Students Returning to the Classroom Remember How to Learn?

by Larry Sand   According to the Burbio school tracker, 53 percent of schools nationwide are now fully open for business. With the new Centers for Disease Control guidelines having determined that three-feet is a safe distance for students, one would think the other 47 percent would embrace the chance to…

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Commentary: Just Say No to Vaccine Passports

We all desperately want normal lives again. And I’m not talking about the finnicky “new normal” that accommodates Aunt Karen’s irrational fear of leaving her house. I’m talking about “normal normal,” where people crowd into concert halls with standing room only, restaurants operate crowded tables at 120 percent capacity, and cruise ship buffets shove food and alcohol down my throat like it’s Fat Tuesday, all day, every day. Ah … don’t you miss 2019? I sure do.

It was only a matter of time before some in our society turned the national COVID experiment into an excuse to say, “Papers, please.” That’s right — the so-called vaccine passport is now emerging in the United States. It’s an app that is advertised as a way to help people do the things they miss doing from pre-pandemic times. Want to feel completely safe in your favorite store, and surround yourself with others who, like you, have rolled up their sleeve and gotten the vaccine? There’s an app for that. Just scan your QR code and enter feeling sanctimoniously sanitized.

Last week, New York became the first state to offer such a vaccine verification app. The state-sanctioned app, called Excelsior Pass, claims to let participants “Attend sporting events, arts performances and more! Excelsior Pass supports a safe reopening of New York by providing a free, fast and secure way to present digital proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results.” Well that sounds fun to me! Sign me up!

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Survey: Michiganders Support Metric-Driven Plan to Ease COVID-19 Restrictions on Restaurants

Justin Winslow

A restaurant survey indicates 74% of respondents supported a required metric-driven plan to ease COVID-19 restrictions.

On Tuesday, the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association (MRLA) released a statewide survey indicating public support to resume indoor dining and travel.

The survey also indicated wide support for hospitality workers receiving prioritized vaccination as well as for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to produce a metric-driven plan to retain control over COVID-19 restrictions.

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Factory Mixup Ruins 15 Million Johnson & Johnson Coronavirus Vaccines

COVID-19 Vaccinations

Workers at a Baltimore plant responsible for producing two separate coronavirus vaccines mistakenly mixed up their respective ingredients, ruining approximately 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine and pausing all production at the plant, the company confirmed Wednesday.

The facility, run by Emergent BioSolutions, had partnered with both Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca to produce vaccines. Federal officials said that the mistake was a result of human error, according to The New York Times, which first reported the mix up that reportedly occurred several weeks ago.

A quality control review “identified one batch of drug substance that did not meet quality standards at Emergent BioSolutions, a site not yet authorized to manufacture drug substance for our COVID-19 vaccine,” Johnson & Johnson said in a statement. “This batch was never advanced to the filling and finishing stages of our manufacturing process.”

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Biden’s First 100 Days: Polling Versus Media Coverage of Getting the Pandemic Under Control

RealClear Opinion Research recently conducted a poll about Biden’s first 100 days in office. One of the questions asked was how important it was to get the pandemic under control and public satisfaction with results to date.

The timeline below shows total daily mentions of the pandemic across television news, showing that starting with December 31, 2020, CNN and MSNBC sharply reduced their coverage and have mentioned the pandemic this year far less than last year, while Fox News is largely mentioning it the same number of times each day.

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Fraternities Say Duke’s Latest Action Poses ‘Existential Threat’ to Greek Life

After Duke University decided to end recruitment of freshmen by Greek and non-Greek selective living groups, nine fraternities decided to disaffiliate from the Interfraternity Council, and thus from the university itself.

Duke University has made several changes to Greek life since the hiring of former Tufts University dean of student affairs Mary Pat McMahon. McMahon is now the vice president and vice provost for student affairs at Duke.

McMahon collaborated with the Office of Undergraduate Education to create a new committee called the Next Generation Living and Learning 2.0 Committee in 2020. The committee seeks to “build a joyful and intentional 4-year residential experience that promotes growth, meaningful inclusion, and health, and that is distinctly Duke.”

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Fed Up with COVID: 44 Percent Increase in Michigan Teacher Retirements

Tennessee Star

Michigan has seen a huge spike in teacher retirements during the past year, with many of those teachers citing COVID-19 restrictions as the reason for calling it quits. 

“From August through February, there was a 44 percent increase in midyear retirements compared with the same period in 2019-2020 as 749 teachers left public school classrooms in the middle of the school year, state data show,” Crain’s Business Detroit reported. 

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WHO Delays Report on COVID’s Origins as China ‘Fights Tooth & Nail Over Each Sentence,’ WHO Advisor Says

China has delayed the release of a World Health Organization report on the origins of the coronavirus pandemic as it reviews the document, according to a World Health Organization advisor.

A team of scientists led by the WHO was expected to release the report this week, after an investigation in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the first known cases of COVID-19 were found.

“Just received confirmation that release of the @WHO-organized int’l committee/Chinese gov’t report on #COVID19 origins has again been delayed, apparently as the Chinese side fights tooth & nail over each sentence. Anyone believe this compromise report can possibly be credible?” World Health Organization advisory committee member Jamie Metzl said Friday in a tweet.

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Social Media Doesn’t Allow Posts That Break COVID-19 Narratives, Even Though Health Organizations Keep Backtracking Previous Findings

Social media companies have policed coronavirus-related content based on information from top health organizations, even as those organizations have contradicted themselves.

Facebook and Google instituted policies early in the pandemic restricting user content shared on their platforms to information that doesn’t contradict World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) findings. However, the organizations have contradicted, backtracked or retracted their own findings throughout the pandemic.

Facebook’s policy states that the site “will debunk common myths that have been identified by the World Health Organization.” Shortly after coronavirus was declared a pandemic, Facebook announced its “Coronavirus Information Center,” which curates updates from “organizations such as the World Health Organization.”

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Michigan Business Groups Oppose Some House Health Care Reform Bills

A health care reform package the House passed Wednesday is creating a rift between the state’s business groups and the GOP.

Michigan business leaders formed a new Michigan Affordable Healthcare Coalition that aims to reduce health care costs without raising costs on small businesses.

In a Thursday afternoon press conference, business leaders voiced opposition to House bills 4346 and 4354, claiming they would raise health insurance premiums that are already a heavy burden for many businesses.

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84 Percent of Texas Facilities Holding Unaccompanied Migrant Children Have Seen Positive COVID-19 Tests

Border surge

Thirty-seven of 44 shelters, or 87 percent, currently housing unaccompanied migrant minors in Texas reported positive COVID-19 test results between March 5 and 23, according to data collected by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Cases are identified by shelter facilities and foster care providers, which are then reported to officials at the agency.

“The Biden Administration has been an abject failure when it comes to ensuring the safety of unaccompanied minors who cross our border,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said. “The conditions unaccompanied minors face in these federally run facilities is unacceptable and inhumane. From a lack of safe drinking water in one location to a COVID-19 outbreak in another, the Biden Administration has no excuse for subjecting these children to these kinds of conditions.

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Members of Andrew Cuomo’s Family Received Special Priority for Coronavirus Testing

In yet another potential scandal for the already-embattled Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.), a new report claims that his family members and others with close ties to his administration were given special priority with regards to early testing procedures for the coronavirus, according to The Hill.

The report, which first came from the Albany Times Union, says that Cuomo’s Health Commissioner Howard Zucker ordered the New York State Department of Health to give priority to those who Cuomo himself specifically designated, which included his brother, his mother, and one of his sisters. Such testing was conducted in their own private residences, with the officials from the Health Department going out of their way to travel to their homes just to give them the tests.

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CBP Detaining as Many as 9,000 Migrants Daily, Around Half of Them Are Unaccompanied Minors and Families

border surge

Customs and Border Protection is detaining as many as 9,000 migrants daily and over half of them are unaccompanied minors and families, a senior U.S. Border Patrol official said Friday.

Around 6,000 illegal immigrants were apprehended Thursday including 1,900 unaccompanied migrant minors and families who were processed under Title 8, according to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) senior official. Title 42 is still used to expel most single migrant adults and U.S. officials are working with other countries to identify the migrants coming into the U.S., the official said.

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Commentary: Following the ‘Science’ Amongst COVID-19 to Protect Unscientific Bias

Throughout the Trump years and in particular during the 2020 COVID pandemic crisis, the nation was lectured by the Left “to follow the data,” as the Democrats proclaimed themselves the “party of science.” As sober and judicious children of the enlightenment, they alone offered the necessary disinterested correctives to Trump’s supposed bluster and exaggeration—and to his anti-scientific deplorable following (often dismissed by Biden as dregs, chumps, and Neanderthals).

In truth, leftists and Democrats have become the purveyors of superstition. Their creation of a fantasy world is not because they do not believe in science per se, but because they believe more in the primacy of ideology that should shape and warp science in the proper fashion for the greater good. What prompted Paul Ehrlich, Al Gore, or Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) hysterically and wrongly to forecast widespread demographic or climatological catastrophe in just a few years was not ignorance of science per se, but a desire to massage science for our own good.

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Commentary: The Nature of Chinese Communist Party’s Contempt for Us

Last week in Anchorage, Alaska, Chinese diplomats dressed down Biden Administration Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. Both seem stunned by the Chinese broadsides. 

Apparently, as elite Americans readily confess to inherent white supremacy and racism—highlighting the complaints of BLM and Antifa—the Chinese are happy to agree that such admittedly toxic Americans should not dare to criticize China’s racist policies. 

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Whitmer Vetoes Bill That Would Have Curbed Agency’s Emergency Powers

Embattled Michigan Gov. Gretchen Wilson (D), facing scrutiny for secret deals made with departing state employees and her COVID-19 nursing home policies, vetoed a bill that would have limited the executive power of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).

Senate Bill 1 would have capped emergency pandemic orders by MDHHS at 28 days, causing them to automically expire unless they were ectended by the legislature. But Whitmer, who was long ago stripped of her emergency pandemic powers by the Michigan Supreme Court, veteod the bill, ensuring that her executive branch has unfettered power to give mandate emergency orders. 

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Commentary: Today’s Real Systemic Injustice with COVID and Our Kids

Black Lives Matter. Believe All Women. Everybody wants to be on the right side of contentious civil rights issues — that’s why the debate over what that “right side” is becomes so intense. But the most quantifiable systemic injustice in our nation today is not black versus white, or male versus female. It’s old against young.

During the coronavirus pandemic, abandonment of adult responsibility in respected institutions — medical, educational, and parental — is indicative of sweeping moral collapse. Making sacrifices for future generations used to make sense in a grown-up world. But baby boomers, those children of the ’60s who have controlled the country for 30 years, have desensitized our culture with their apathy and entitlement. Why should healthy children be held to the same medical standard as a 70-year-old “boomer” with multiple comorbidities? Why have young people, who beat COVID-19 quicker than the annual flu, been forced to surrender a year of their lives to satisfy the anxieties of a paranoid gerontocracy? The calculated hysteria of our politicians has accelerated institutional fragility, a condition of paralysis in which medical and educational leaders refuse to acknowledge prejudicial restrictions on the young and the healthy.

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Americans Are Starting to Reemerge from Their COVID Bunkers as Vaccinations Accelerate

As coronavirus vaccinations accelerate across the country, more and more Americans are seeing their friends in public, eating at restaurants and shopping in retail stores, according to a Tuesday Axios/Ipsos poll.

Almost 50% of Americans said that they had visited family or friends in the past month, according to the poll, up from just 39% in February. And 45% said that they had gone out to eat, up 12 points from the past month as well.

Additionally, 90% of respondents said they knew someone who had already been vaccinated, and 36% said that they had been vaccinated themselves.

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Michigan Business Owner Arrested After Flouting COVID-19 Restrictions, Food License Suspended

by Scott McClallen   The state has arrested a business owner for violating the state’s COVID-19 restrictions, including operating her restaurant nearly two months after the state suspended her food license. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Friday morning that Marlena Pavlos-Hackney, owner of Marlena’s Bistro and Pizzeria in Holland,…

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Pfizer: Israeli Data Finds Vaccine Prevents 94 Percent of Asymptomatic Infections

Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine was over 94% effective in preventing asymptomatic cases of COVID-19, according to real-world Israeli data released late Thursday.

The latest analysis suggests that Pfizer’s vaccine could overwhelmingly halt asymptomatic spread — a main driver of infections since asymptomatic people are often unaware they have the virus. The data also showed that the vaccine was 97% effective in preventing symptomatic cases, hospitalizations and deaths, slightly higher than the 95% effectiveness found in its clinical trials.

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‘Americans Must Be Prepared for What Is Coming’: Pro-Life Lawmakers, Activists Condemn Becerra’s Confirmation to Health and Human Services

Pro-life lawmakers and activists condemned news Thursday that the senate confirmed California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to serve as health and human services secretary, warning that Becerra is both “a culture warrior” and an “extreme left-wing ideologue.”

“Becerra is a culture warrior who made his name in bloody-knuckled politics by bullying nuns,” Republican Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse said Thursday, referring to Becerra’s battles with the Little Sisters of the Poor over an Obama-era contraception mandate.

The Nebraska senator added that Health and Human Services (HHS) should be focused on health during the pandemic — not Becerra’s progressive priorities.

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Commentary: Mixed Messaging and Silencing Campaign Fuel Vaccine Skepticism

It took a Mexican comedian to do the job the American news media refuses to do.

During a series of pointed questions, Dr. Anthony Fauci admitted the COVID-19 vaccines won’t stop people from contracting the virus; the shots only lessen the symptoms if a recipient is later infected with SARS-CoV-2.

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Biden Calls Kamala Harris ‘President Harris’

President Joe Biden referred to Vice President Kamala Harris as “President Harris” on Thursday.

“Now, when President Harris and I took a virtual tour of a vaccination center in Arizona not long ago, one of the nurses on that tour injecting people and giving vaccinations said that each shot was like administering a dose of hope,” Biden said during an announcement at the White House.

Biden previously appeared to forget Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s name during a March 8 speech over the nomination of two female Air Force generals.

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Michigan Attorney General Nessel Won’t Investigate Gov. Whitmer’s Nursing Home Policy

Attorney General Dana Nessel rejected Republicans’ request to investigate Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 nursing home policy. 

A Republican state senator said Monday that Attorney General Dana Nessel is expected to announce by the middle of the week whether she will investigate Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 nursing home policies.

“I called on the attorney general to carry out an honest investigation into Michigan’s nursing home policies weeks ago,” Sen. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake, said in a statement. “I’ve learned from the attorney general’s office that they intend to announce a decision by Wednesday. Attorney General Nessel knows the right thing to do – and that is to get answers for every family who lost a loved one to COVID-19 in a nursing home.”

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Democrats Block GOP Bill to Test Illegal Immigrants for COVID-19

Illegal Alien Detention center

Democrats blocked a bill sponsored by Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), which would require the Department of Homeland Security to test all migrants crossing illegally into the country for COVID-19, Breitbart reports.

Republicans put forward a motion to block the previous question on a piece of legislation Tuesday that would allow for the consideration of Miller-Meeks’ legislation, the Requiring Every Alien to Receive a COVID-19 Test (REACT) Act. This bill would mandate that the Homeland Security Department (DHS) test all migrants crossing the border illegally that the DHS releases into the country, Breitbart reported.

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Michigan County Experimenting with Social Distancing Guidelines in Schools

After a damning New York Times report in which a Virginia Tech virologist said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) six-foot social distancing guidelines appeared to be pulled out of “thin air,” one Michigan county is experimenting with three feet of social distancing in schools.

“The Kent County Health Department is in the middle of a study that officials hope will reduce the social distance requirements in all pre-k through 8th grade classrooms,” a WZZM report said. “During the six-week pilot study, any student that has been within three feet of a COVID-positive student for 15 minutes or more — within 48 hours — must quarantine at home for 10 days. Before that, quarantine was triggered at a distance of six feet.”

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U.S. Nonprofit with Ties to Wuhan Lab Violated Federal Law by Failing to Disclose Taxpayer Funding, Complaint Alleges

A U.S. nonprofit with close ties to the Wuhan Institute of Virology violated federal law by failing to disclose that taxpayer funds supported its work, according to a complaint a taxpayer watchdog group filed Monday.

EcoHealth Alliance (EHA) diverted $600,000 in taxpayer funds to the WIV in the form of National Institutes of Health subgrants between 2014 and 2019 as part of a research project studying coronaviruses from Chinese bats. But press releases from EHA describing the project failed to disclose that the project was backed by federal dollars, an omission that, according to the White Coat Waste Project, is a violation of a federal law known as the Stevens Amendment.

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Fauci Warns States to Keep Restrictions or Independence Day Could Be Cancelled

On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that the Biden Administration’s prediction that coronavirus vaccines can lead to relative normalcy by July Fourth is “quite reasonable” —assuming states don’t pull back public safety measures, Politico reported.

“If you wait just a bit longer to give the vaccine program the chance to increase the protection in the community, then it makes pulling back much less risky,” said Fauci, on “Fox News Sunday.” “But if you do it prematurely there really is a danger of triggering another surge.”

But Fauci expressed concerns the pandemic is still a danger in the United States, with the number of new cases seeming to plateau at 50,000 or 60,000 daily over the last week.

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Over 100 Arrested at Miami Beach Spring Break Celebrations

A spring break celebration in Miami Beach, Florida led to over 100 partygoers being arrested over the weekend after a crowd became unruly, with two police officers being injured, as reported by CNN.

The incident took place on Friday night, where a crowd allegedly began surrounding and taunting a group of police officers. The Miami Beach Police Department’s official Twitter account described the crowd as “disorderly,” and said that pepper balls were used to disperse the crowd as dozens were arrested.

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Commentary: ‘Woke’ Science Has No Place in Government Policymaking

“Science, at its core, is a social phenomenon.” This observation, from Alondra Nelson, the newly appointed deputy director of President Biden’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), certainly qualifies for a prominent place in the Pantheon of Inane Statements. The core of science, in fact, is the scientific method—posing and testing hypotheses; carefully gathering, examining, and generating experimental evidence; and finally, synthesizing all the available information into logical conclusions. 

Dr. Nelson’s assertion is inauspicious, but perhaps we should not be too surprised by a “squishy” statement from someone whose undergraduate degree was in sociology, while her doctorate is in “American Studies.” What, we wonder, qualifies her to be deputy director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy? And how does it comport with President Biden’s commitment to always rely on “science and truth.” We suspect it is an example of how lip service to science has invaded the domain of real science. 

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Whitmer Executive Order Says Secret Severance Pay Packages for State Employees Can Continue

In defiance of calls for transparency from state lawmakers, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, is doubling down on the state’s policy of providing secretive severance packages to state officials.

In an executive directive, Whitmer states that agreements and payments can be used for a variety of purposes:

Separation agreements are used for many purposes, including to define the terms of employment during a period of transition; to secure the return of state property; and to mitigate legal exposure and potential costs to taxpayers through a release of claims against the state. (emphasis added)

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As Vaccinations Ramp up, One-Third of Americans Still Say They Don’t Want One

As more people receive vaccines across the U.S. coronavirus cases have continued to fall, but one-third of Americans still say they will not get one, according to a Thursday NPR/Marist poll.

While 45% said they would get vaccinated and 22% said that they had already received a shot, 30% of Americans said they would not get one, the poll showed. Among Republicans, 41% said they would not take one, compared to just 11% of Democrats.

Those unwilling leapt to 49% among Republican men, while just 6% of Democratic men said the same.

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Pfizer Says Its Vaccine Significantly Halts COVID-19’s Spread, Effective Against UK Variant

Pfizer said Wednesday that real-world data suggests its coronavirus vaccine is 94% effective in halting asymptomatic infections and effective against a highly transmissible variant first discovered in the United Kingdom.

Israeli analysis of vaccine distribution shows the vaccine being over 97% effective in preventing symptomatic cases and death, higher than the 90% efficiency that was reported in the vaccine’s Phase III trials, Pfizer said in a press release Thursday. Over 80% of the tested specimens were against the UK variant known as B.1.1.7.

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Prosecutor Says Whitmer Could Face Criminal Charges over Nursing Home Deaths

Facing a situation similar to New York’s embattled Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) is now under scrutiny from prosecutors about COVID-19 deaths in Michigan’s nursing homes. 

“If we find there’s been willful neglect of office if we find there’s been reckless endangerment of a person’s life by bringing them in then we would move forward with charges against the Governor,” Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido told WXZY. “Of course, we would. Nobody’s above the law in this state.”

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Commentary: Movement to End COVID Emergency Orders Grows as Governors, Lawmakers, and Citizens Fight Back

The governors of Texas and Mississippi both announced this week they would be lifting their states’ mask mandates and rolling back many of their Covid-19 health mandates. This is part of a growing movement across the country from lawmakers, governors, and citizens to curtail emergency orders that have robbed Americans of individual liberties and freedoms for nearly a year.

In New York state, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced the legislature is passing legislation repealing emergency powers granted to Gov. Cuomo last year at the start of the pandemic. Lawmakers say the legislation will allow current directives pertaining to preserving public health to continue.

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Ducey Removes Arizona’s COVID-19 Restrictions on Businesses

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has rescinded the business restrictions he put in place last year to stem the spread of COVID-19. 

Ducey’s latest executive order, which he signed Friday, removes the capacity limits on businesses he had put in place July 9, effective immediately. 

“We’ve learned a lot over the past year,” Ducey said. “Our businesses have done an excellent job at responding to this pandemic in a safe and responsible way. We will always admire the sacrifice they and their employees have made and their vigilance to protect against the virus.”

Ducey said Arizona, unlike many other states, never shut down.

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Commentary: It’s Time to Reopen America Now

On Tuesday, governors Greg Abbott (R-Texas) and Tate Reeves (R-Miss.) announced they would be lifting their statewide mask-wearing mandates, business capacity limitations, and various other COVID-19-related restrictions. “COVID still exists,” Abbott said, “but it is clear from the recoveries, from the vaccinations, from the reduced hospitalizations, and from the safe practices that Texans are using that state mandates are no longer needed.”

Texans and Mississippians might be forgiven for wondering why their governors did not earlier follow the courageous path of Governor Kristi Noem (R-S.D.), who has garnered national headlines for her stubborn refusal to enact various mask-wearing mandates and other lockdown orders. But still: Better late than never.

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Chief of World-Renowned Medical Journal Has Repeatedly Bashed U.S., Praised China for Coronavirus Response

One of China Global Television Network’s most recent ads on Facebook is of an interview that the state-controlled propaganda network conducted about the coronavirus pandemic with the editor of The Lancet, one of the world’s top medical journals.

The editor, Richard Horton, largely praised the Chinese government’s response to the pandemic while blasting the U.S. in the May 2020 interview, which garnered around 900,000 impressions at a cost of around $500, according to Facebook data.

“I think we have a great deal to thank China for, about the way that it handled the outbreak,” Horton said in the interview.

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Over 100 Illegal Immigrants Released by Border Patrol in Texas Have Tested Positive for COVID-19 Since January 25

Since January 25, 108 illegal immigrants released into Texas by Border Patrol have reportedly tested positive for Covid-19. According to a spokesperson for Brownsville, a town on the Texas border, that number represents 6.3 percent of those who have taken the test.  The migrants are tested at the city’s main bus station, where they are being released by the Border Patrol.

According to NBC News, several of the illegal immigrants “plan to travel to dozens of cities throughout the country” despite testing positive for the coronavirus.

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Biden Administration Won’t Allow Media to Tour Migrant Children Facility ‘Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic’

Members of the media will not be able to visit migrant detention centers holding minors near the southern border due to COVID-19, a spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Reporters will not be allowed inside the Carrizo Springs facility for unaccompanied minors that was recently opened under the Biden administration in Texas, a Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families (ACF) spokesperson told the DCNF.

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