Commentary: The State and Local Leaders Who Aren’t Ready to Give Up Pandemic Power

Gavin Newsom, Laura Kelly and Roy Cooper

While many government leaders sound the all clear message on COVID-19, dropping vaccine restrictions and mask mandates, some states and municipalities are clinging to the emergency powers that allowed them to govern people’s behavior in unprecedented ways.

Citing the need to direct emergency funding and oversee hospitals, they have held on to their emergency orders even as many restaurants, shopping centers, and sports arenas are once again packed and lingering pandemic concerns have faded into the background of a more normal life.

Emergency orders at the state level are usually issued in response to temporary threats, especially weather disasters, and are wrapped up in a few days or weeks. Soon after the new coronavirus exploded in March 2020, most governors issued broad executive orders. Under these powers, governors banned crowds, closed businesses, and imposed mask and vaccination mandates. They have also deferred to unelected public health officials in imposing restrictions.

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Commentary: A Biden Recession Is Virtually Guaranteed After 10-Year, 2-Year Treasuries Spread Inverts as Economy Overheats from Rampant Inflation

Joe Biden

The spread between 10-year treasuries and 2-year treasuries, a leading recession indicator whose inversions have predicted almost all of the U.S. economic recessions in modern history, on March 31 inverted for the first time since Sept. 2019.

When the 10-year, 2-year spread inverts, a recession tends to result on average 14 months afterward, sometimes sooner, sometimes later. The one time there was a head fake on the 10-year, 2-year was in the mid-1990s at a time when inflation was much lower Visit Site than it is now.

As an aside, potentially the Sept. 2019 inversion might have ended up being a premature indicator, too, but then Covid and global economic lockdowns in early 2020 went ahead and ensured a recession even if one was not due. On the other hand, at that point it had been 11 years since the prior recession and so the business cycle was going to end sooner or later.

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Commentary: GOP Must Promise Inquisitions, Not Meaningless Task Forces

Ginni Thomas and Mark Meadows

Using the pretext of the so-called insurrection on January 6, 2021, the long knives are out for Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Post-election text exchanges between Mrs. Thomas and Mark Meadows, President Trump’s chief-of-staff, recently were leaked by the January 6 select committee to none other than the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward, who darkly described the communications as proof that “Ginni Thomas used her access to Trump’s inner circle to promote and seek to guide the president’s strategy to overturn the election result.”

The small cache of texts—29 total—shows Thomas expressing frustration at the election’s outcome. There is nothing sinister, and certainly nothing criminal, about the messages.

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U.S. Senate Votes to Strike Down Biden’s Vaccine Mandate for Health Care Workers and COVID National Emergency

nurse with hairnet and mask on

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday voted to strike down Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate targeting healthcare workers at federally funded facilities. The measure passed on a party-line vote of 49 to 44.

No Democrat senators voted with Republicans to repeal the mandate, but GOP senators were able to get the resolution through the Senate because six Democrats missed the vote, The Hill reported.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), who physician, and former military officer.  Before voting began, Marshall argued that the CMS vaccine mandate is “not about public health or science.”

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New CDC Data Say Vaccine Booster Effectiveness Wanes Sharply in Months After Dose

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week released data showing that effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine booster wanes markedly in the months following that shot, though the agency still said uptake of the booster is important for fighting against the virus.

The agency said in a press release that studies showed effectiveness against COVID-19 emergency department and urgent care incidents “was 87% and 91%, respectively, during the 2 months after a third dose [of the booster],” but that it “decreased to 66% and 78% by the fourth month after a third dose.”

The CDC said that “protection against hospitalizations exceeded that against ED/UC visits” with the shot.

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Michigan County to Repeal School Mask Mandate

students working on school work and wearing masks

The Ingham County Health Department will repeal its mask mandate on Feb. 19 at midnight for thousands of students.

“We are at a point in this pandemic in which public health strategies will begin to shift more towards personal responsibility as we learn to live with COVID-19 long-term,” Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail said in a statement. “As a public health agency, we will continue to support local school districts by recommending evidence-based public health measures, educating on current guidance and practices, and making recommendations for staying safe and healthy.”

The emergency orders issued on Sept. 2, 2021, require masks in schools and details quarantine and isolation rules.

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Commentary: The Longevity of the COVID Emergency

Two years after COVID burst on the American scene, leading to lockdowns, school closures, mask and vaccine mandates, and trillions of dollars in emergency government spending, the question on many minds is: When will the emergency end?

The answer to that question is not an easy one. An examination of past emergencies does not resolve it. Rather, it is clear that emergency situations, including this one, may be understood through various lenses, yielding different perspectives on what the endpoint will be.

Take, by way of comparison, World War II, an emergency that had at least four distinct endings because it had at least four distinct faces:

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Commentary: Can America Citizens Trust the U.S. Government?

aerial view of The Pentagon

Do you trust the U.S. government? I don’t recommend it.

Consider what John Kirby, a spokesman for the Pentagon, said a couple of days ago at a press briefing. “We believe,” Kirby said, that Russia is planning to stage a fake attack by Ukrainian military or intelligence forces against Russian sovereign territory, or against Russian speaking people,” in order to justify an invasion of Ukraine. Kirby had lots of details: “We believe that Russia would produce a very graphic propaganda video, which would include corpses and actors that would be depicting mourners, and images of destroyed locations, as well as military equipment, at the hands of Ukraine or the West.”

Gosh. Should we be worried? Yes. But not necessarily for the reasons that Kirby and his puppet masters want you to be worried. The United States is sending troops and arms to aid Ukraine, so of course there needs to be an emergency to justify that action. John Kirby just outlined a scary scenario. But inquiring minds want to know: What’s his evidence for this dramatic claim?

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CDC Report Finds Natural Immunity Worked Better Than Vaccine Against COVID’s Delta-Variant Wave

Anew CDC report states a prior case of COVID-19 protected people from infection better than vaccinations did during the delta wave last summer and fall.

The findings were published Wednesday in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and is based on new research from the agency and health officials in California and New York that appears to contradict public health messaging that pushed for vaccinations.

Still, experts say the vaccination shots remain the safest way to protect against the worse side effects of contracting COVID, according to NBC News. During the height of the virus’s delta-variant surge last summer, essentially all hospitalized COVID patients were not vaccinated.

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Commentary: Doctors Report Rare Cases of Swallowed Toothbrushes

several toothbrushes in a cup

Toothbrushing is a mindless activity that most of us have on autopilot, but in infinitesimally rare circumstances, it can result in a medical emergency.

Late last week, Drs. Gary G. Ghahremani and Katherine M. Richman, both radiologists at the University of California-San Diego Medical Center, published a paper in the journal Emergency Radiology detailing eight different accounts of adults ingesting toothbrushes. These cases join about fifty others previously reported in the medical literature.

All of the instances Ghahremani and Richman describe occurred at the UC-San Diego Medical Center between 2002 and 2015. Five of the patients, all of them with psychological disorders, intentionally swallowed toothbrushes, while the other three patients accidentally did so. In two of the accidental instances, the toothbrush’s head snapped off as a result of overly vigorous brushing.

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Newt Gingrich Commentary: COVID-19 Totalitarianism on the March

sign that says "NO FORCED VACCINE"

It is hard to know which is more frightening: the Australian radicalism about COVID-19, the Austrian effort to coerce its citizens, or the attitudes of American Democrats who regard extreme sanctions as reasonable behavior toward the supposedly bad people who don’t get vaccinated or wear masks.

Let’s consider each one.

In Australia, the government felt so threatened by the best tennis player in the world that it intervened decisively to block him from entering the country and competing in the Australian Open.

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Michigan Orders Nursing Homes to Offer on-Site COVID Boosters

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) ordered nursing homes statewide to provide on-site COVID-19 vaccines to residents within 30 days.

“With the Omicron variant rapidly spreading across our state and cases of COVID-19 continuing to remain high, we want to make sure our most vulnerable Michiganders are protected from the virus,” MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel said in a statement. “The COVID-19 vaccine is our best defense against the virus, and we want to ensure everyone has the opportunity to get up to date.”

Under the order, nursing homes must offer on-site doses of COVID-19 vaccines to residents who are not up to date as of Jan. 20, 2022. The order doesn’t force residents to get vaccinated.

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Chinese Officials Call to End Overseas Deliveries Because of Omicron Variant

A ship arriving at the Hamburg harbor.

Officials in Beijing have urged for an end to overseas deliveries, saying that the Omicron coronavirus variant can spread by opening packages that originate in other countries, BBC News reported.

The officials calling to end overseas deliveries cited the case of a woman who contracted the Omicron variant after opening a parcel later found to have traces of the variant on it, BBC News reported. The officials noted that the woman had no prior travel history.

The virus was discovered on the surface of a letter the woman received from Canada as well as on the inside of an unopened letter, health official Pang Xinghuo told reporters on Monday, BBC News reported. Dozens of letters from the same batch were tested, with five reportedly containing traces of COVID-19.

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Missouri Economic Leaders Give Glimpse of How $2.6 Billion in Federal Pandemic Funds Will be Spent

Maggie Kost

Missouri’s Department of Economic Development (DED) recently previewed how Gov. Mike Parson plans to allocate the state’s $2.6 billion portion of federal pandemic funds.

In late December, Maggie Kost, acting director of the DED, outlined major priorities for Missouri’s portion of the more than $195 billion in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. A total of $350 billion will be delivered to the 50 states and the District of Columbia and local and Tribal governments throughout the nation to support the response and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The total amount of ARPA funds, passed in March 2021, is $1.9 trillion.

“We want to give you an idea of what to expect as we get into the legislative and budget session here in January,” Kost said. “As you’re planning and setting priorities locally for communities, we want to make sure you have an idea of what’s to come so you can think about how to leverage state funds as you’re building out your local priorities.”

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CDC Director: 75 Percent of COVID Deaths Among Vaccinated Had Four Comorbidities

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky

Ahead of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on vaccine mandates expected as early as this week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control is under increased scrutiny after recent comments about COVID-19 deaths.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky fell into controversy after a clip of her appearance on Good Morning America Friday went viral.

“I want to ask you about the encouraging headlines we’re talking about this morning, a new study talking about just how well vaccines are working to prevent severe illness,” co-host Cecilia Vega said on Good Morning America. “Given that, is it time to rethink how we’re living with this virus if it is potentially here to stay?”

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Former Planned Parenthood President Says School Closures Harm Children

Dr. Leana Wen

A former Planned Parenthood president and public health professional argued in a Thursday op-ed for The Washington Post that the rise in cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant is not a reason to keep schools closed.

Dr. Leana Wen argued “both sides [of the school reopening debate] are wrong,” in her op-ed. “let’s agree that schools are essential and then work to reduce risk to get students back to in-person learning,” Wen wrote.

Wen called it “astounding” that governors in states like Texas, Georgia and Iowa are fighting against school mask mandates and that Florida’s surgeon general is discouraging testing in schools, attributing ” “low vaccine uptake among children” to “rampant right-wing disinformation.”

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Hospitals Are Getting Away with Ignoring Price Transparency Rules, Experts Say

Many hospitals are not complying with laws requiring them to make their healthcare prices publicly available, according to multiple reports, and the Biden administration has so far refrained from issuing penalties.

The Hospital Price Transparency rule, which went into effect Jan. 1, 2021, is designed to promote competition in healthcare markets by requiring hospitals to post their prices, so that consumers can compare and shop between hospitals. The law mandates hospitals to post their pricing data “as a comprehensive machine-readable file with all items and services” as well as “in a display of shoppable services in a consumer-friendly format.”

However, according to recent reports, many hospitals have yet to comply with the rules a year after they have been in effect. An investigation by The Wall Street Journal last week found that many of the nation’s largest hospital chains were not complying with the new rules.

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After Missouri Gov. Parson Lets Emergency COVID Orders Expire, Pandemic Task Force Asks for Reinstatement

Mike Parson

Days after Republican Gov. Mike Parson let emergency COVID-19 orders expire on Dec. 31, Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) reported significant increases in COVID-19 infections.

The DHSS dashboard on Monday showed 35,067 new confirmed cases during the last seven days, an 88.8% increase compared to the previous seven-day total. The seven-day positivity rate was 27.3%, an increase of 11.7 percentage points compared to the previous seven-day total. Many health organizations and agencies consider a positivity rate higher than 5 or 10% to be a predictor of rampant spread of sickness, resulting in increased hospitalizations and deaths.

“Thanks to the effectiveness of the vaccine, widespread efforts to mitigate the virus, and our committed health care professionals, past needs to continue the state of emergency are no longer present,” Parson said in a statement on Dec. 30, 2021. “Over the last 22 months, we have coordinated with local, state, and private partners to mitigate COVID-19 and work towards returning to normalcy. We all now know how to best fight and prevent serious illness from this virus. The State stands ready to provide assistance and response, but there is no longer a need for a state of emergency.”

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As Omicron Surges, Understaffed Hospitals Ease Mandates, Rehire Unvaxxed Employees

After unvaccinated healthcare workers were fired for refusing to comply with vaccine mandates, some are being asked to return to work due to staffing shortages amid increasing COVID-19 cases.

In Canada, for example, Alberta Health Services announced on Dec. 23 it will allow unvaccinated healthcare workers to resume their jobs starting Jan. 10 if they submit to frequent testing. AHS cited expected increased demands on the health system due to the spread of the Omicron variant for the policy change. As of the date of the announcement, 1,400 healthcare workers who were not fully vaccinated had been placed on unpaid leave.

AHS said that unvaccinated workers will be responsible for paying for and coordinating their COVID tests, which they must complete no more than 48 hours prior to their shifts.

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Healthcare Activists Push for Policies to Hardwire Marxism in Medicine

Healthcare worker in hair net and mask on

The Biden administration proposed giving bonus payments to physicians who acknowledge systemic racism as the primary cause of health differences between racial groups and incorporate so-called “anti-racism” into their medical practices.

The move to pressure healthcare professionals to repeat the claim that racial health disparities are caused by racism and not lifestyle choices is part of a broader, years-long push to hardwire “race Marxism” into the medical field. The effort stretches from medical schools and research institutions to patient care and medical administration, with potentially devastating effects for patients and the healthcare system as a whole.

“Race Marxism,” analogous to “anti-racism” as popularized by Ibram X. Kendi, seeks to promote equal outcomes across racial groups, as opposed to a “colorblind” approach which favors equal opportunity and does not take race into account.

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Commentary: Dismissals of Safe Outpatient Drugs Cause Needless COVID Deaths According to Doctors

For the first nine months of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were no officially approved outpatient treatments for combating the disease. From March 2020, when the virus first emerged in the United States, until that November, when the Food and Drug Administration authorized emergency use of monoclonal antibodies, health authorities advised that the infected do little but quarantine themselves, drink plenty of fluids and rest unless hospitalization was necessary.

During those chaotic final months of Donald Trump’s presidency, the medical establishment expressed extreme caution regarding outpatient treatments for the virus, and these warnings were amplified by major media hostile to the president, for example when he touted the anti-malaria medicine hydroxychloroquine.

Although an estimated 12% to 38% of prescriptions are written for FDA-approved drugs used “off-label” (including Botox and Viagra), Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, declared early on that providers should dispense only medicines proven to be safe and effective for COVID patients through “randomized, placebo-controlled trials.” These can take months or years to conduct, and often at great cost.

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Commentary: Civilizational Self-Destruction, Not Omicron, Is Killing Us

Person on bus with mask and headphones on

Last week in this space, I included a few words about Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s remarkable new book, The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health. I also included a link to Kennedy’s appearance on “Tucker Carlson Today.” 

It was a remarkable exchange and I commend both the book and the interview to your attention. I disagree with Kennedy about various things, including the efficacy of vaccines in general, but his assessment of the highest-paid employee of the federal government, Anthony Fauci, is worth the price of admission. 

As I remarked a couple of weeks ago, I thought I had done writing about COVID. Surely, I thought, the hysteria is on the wane. Most people are rational. They know that the flimsy porous masks you see everywhere are useless tokens of conformity. They understand that the disease is serious for only a tiny part of the population. They also know staying home and practicing “social distancing” has its own liabilities, not least of which is a diminution in the potency of one’s immune response.

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COVID Survivors with Natural Immunity at Low Risk for Reinfection or Severe Symptoms, Study Finds

Patients who survived COVID-19 have such strong natural immunity that their chance of reinfection or serious side effects is minimal, according to a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

The study conducted by researchers in Qatar reviewed global databases for 353,000 coronavirus patients who were infected between Feb. 28, 2020 and April 28, 2021.

The researchers excluded about 87,500 people who were vaccinated, and found of the remaining population only 1,304 got reinfected, with none requiring ICU hospitalization.

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Andrew Cuomo Personally Made Changes to Report Downplaying COVID-19 Nursing Home Deaths

Andrew Cuomo

On Monday, an explosive report by the New York State Assembly revealed that former Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) himself made direct edits to the initial report on how many senior citizens died of the Chinese coronavirus in New York nursing homes, as the Daily Caller reports.

The report from the Assembly’s Judiciary Committee is the culmination of an eight-month impeachment investigation against the disgraced former governor. The report says that Cuomo directed the New York Department of Health (DOH) to reduce the total number of fatalities by thousands so as to push back on criticism of Cuomo’s decision in March of 2020 to force COVID-positive patients into nursing homes, which infected and killed thousands of other senior citizens.

The original draft of the report prepared by DOH officials showed over 10,000 total nursing home deaths, but upon Cuomo’s insistence, it was reduced to about 6,500.

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Migrants Are Setting Up Camps Across Mexico, Hoping to be Allowed into the U.S.

Group of tents on a sidewalk; homeless people

New migrant campsites have sprung up around Mexico throughout 2021 as migrants have grown uncertain of whether they’ll be able to remain in the U.S., the Associated Press reported Thursday.

Camps are full of migrants, including many children and those who can’t apply for asylum in the U.S. because of Title 42 restrictions, who have to wait in Mexico as their cases proceed through U.S. immigration courts, according to the AP. Title 42 is a Trump-era public health order implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that prevents some migrants from remaining in the U.S. while seeking asylum and allows border officials to rapidly expel most migrants from the country.

Hundreds of Mexican law enforcement officials raided an encampment in Tijuana and required migrants to register for credentials or evacuate the area on Oct. 28, the AP reported. The migrants who registered and stayed were soon surrounded by a mile of chain-link fence.

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Border Agents Ordered to Cease Deporting Nicaraguans under Public Health Emergency Authority

On Friday, Customs and Border Patrol agents received instructions on a new policy: Effective immediately, the Department of Homeland Security would no longer allow deportations of Nicaraguan illegal aliens under Title 42, a clause within the 1944 Public Health Services Law that “allows the government to prevent the introduction of individuals during certain public health emergencies.”

All Nicaraguans entering the U.S. illegally, with some exceptions related to criminal history, will be released directly into the U.S. as of Friday afternoon, Just The News has learned.

The order to all CBP agents was issued verbally on a conference call. Official orders in writing are expected soon. The Department of Homeland Security has not issued a statement, nor has CBP.

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Commentary: I am Challenging the Vaccine Mandate to Protect My Workers’ Jobs

Blue Collar Worker

The Biden administration has finally published its anticipated ultimatum threatening companies like mine with severe fines and penalties for not firing any employee who declines to be vaccinated against or submit to invasive weekly testing for COVID-19. The new rule promulgated by the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) under the guise of workplace safety may well bankrupt the business my father founded. So, as the CEO of the Phillips Manufacturing & Tower Company, I am joining with The Buckeye Institute to challenge OSHA’s vaccine mandate in court. Here’s why.

Phillips is a 54-year-old company based in Shelby, Ohio, that manufactures specialty welded steel tubing for automotive, appliance, and construction industries. OSHA’s emergency rule applies to companies with 100 or more employees — at our Shelby Welded Tube facility, we employ 104 people. As a family-owned business I take the health of my workers seriously — they are my neighbors and my friends. When I heard of the mandate, we conducted a survey of our workers to see what the impacts would be. It revealed that 28 Phillips employees are fully vaccinated, while antibody testing conducted at company expense found that another 16 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies and likely possess natural immunity. At least 47 employees have indicated that they have not and will not be vaccinated. Seventeen of those 47 unvaccinated workers said that they would quit or be fired before complying with the vaccine or testing mandate. Those are 17 skilled workers that Phillips cannot afford to lose.

Perhaps the Biden administration remains unaware of the labor shortage currently plaguing the U.S. labor market generally and industrial manufacturing especially. Like many companies, Phillips is already understaffed, with seven job openings we have been unable to fill. Employees already work overtime to keep pace with customer demand, working 10-hour shifts, six days a week on average. Firing 17 veteran members of the Phillips team certainly won’t help.

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Gates Calls for ‘New Way of Doing’ Vaccines Since They Don’t ‘Block Transmission’ of COVID

Bill Gates

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has called for a “new way of doing the vaccines” against viruses like COVID-19 given that they do not “block” transmission.

Gates said the “economic damage” and death toll from COVID-19 was “completely horrific.”

Gates expects the world’s experience with COVID-19 to lead to larger research and development budgets to better prepare for a future pandemic.

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Commentary: Medical Journals Pour Forth Hundreds of Articles on Race and Racism

Black Lives Matter protest

The prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association and its JAMA network of other periodicals have published about 950 articles on race, racism, and racial and ethnic disparities and inequities in the past five years – about a third appearing in just the past year.

A search for “health disparities” on the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed.gov search page shows an exponential “hockey stick” trend in recent years, with articles through October already surpassing last year’s total of 10,719. By comparison, “ovarian cancer” yields 7,134 search results last year, while “aortic aneurysm” yields fewer than 4,000.

These numbers attest to the fact that the academic study of racial justice, power and privilege is no longer the sole domain of non-scientific university departments, such as sociology, literature and education. The trendy topic has migrated to peer-reviewed medical journals, where editors now view systemic racism as a leading cause of disproportionate illness and premature mortality among black people.

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Commentary: Dr. Fauci Warned About Coronaviruses in 2003 – But Didn’t Act on It

Dr. Anthony Fauci

Few would argue the United States, or any country for that matter, was prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic, even though, starting in 2003, the U.S. devoted $5.6 billion to fund Project Bioshield, running through 2013, and another $2.8 billion of funding through 2018. Project Bioshield was designed to prepare the United States against a bio attack, including provisions for the stockpiling and distribution of vaccines.

Though Covid-19 was a new virus, congressional testimony from 2003 paints a concerning picture about what we knew – and when – about the family of viruses from which it originated.

“I am particularly interested in learning how Project BioShield would assist in addressing the current public health emergency created by the epidemic known as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome [SARS],” said Tom Davis, chairman of the Committee on Government Reform. “More than 2,000 suspected cases of this mysterious disease have been reported in 17 nations, including the United States, with 78 fatalities. So far, there is no effective treatment or vaccine to combat this deadly syndrome.”

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‘Propaganda’: Experts Rip CDC Study Claiming Vax Offers Stronger Protection than Natural Immunity

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published an “early release” study last week that uses a highly curated population to purportedly show that mRNA-vaccinated people have a much lower rate of reinfection by COVID-19 than naturally immune people, contradicting a much larger Israeli study this summer.

The CDC study concludes: “All eligible persons should be vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible, including unvaccinated persons previously infected with SARS-CoV-2.”

The study analyzed “COVID-19–like illness hospitalizations among adults” across nine states from January through Sept. 2. Because public health authorities portrayed vaccination as the best way to avoid hospitalization, it’s less likely that vaccinated people would seek hospitalization, thus hiding their breakthrough infections relative to the naturally immune.

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Commentary: Our Vaccine Status Is None of Their Business

Vaccination card

I stand with all my fellow Americans—both vaccinated and unvaccinated. And because I do, I recently refused to disclose my vaccination status. And you should, too.

I was invited to speak at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth School of Law about the many public and private mandates enacted, supposedly, to address COVID-19—all of which I oppose. I view vaccine mandates, for example, as the most totalitarian commands we have seen in this country since the days of eugenics-based forced sterilization—leading science, at the time.

Ironically, one week before my scheduled speech, I was told that school bureaucrats mandated off-campus visitors like me confirm they are vaccinated. Many will say that sharing this private health information is a minor intrusion with little downside. I think that’s a mistake.

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Texas Sen. Cruz Introduces Bill Prohibiting Vaccine Mandate for Minors

Ted Cruz

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced legislation that would prohibit the federal government and any entity at the federal, state and local level that receives federal funding, including school districts, from requiring COVID-19 vaccines for minors.

“Parents should have the right to decide what is best for their children in consultation with their family doctor,” he said. “My view on the COVID-19 vaccine has remained clear: no mandates of any kind.

“President [Joe] Biden and his administration have repeatedly ignored medical privacy rights and personal liberty by pushing unlawful and burdensome vaccine mandates on American businesses, and now they are preparing to push a mandate on kids by pressuring parents – all without taking into account relative risk or the benefits of natural immunity.”

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Supreme Court Declines to Hear Appeal of Ruling Forcing Hospitals to Perform Gender Transition Surgery

Woman performing surgery

The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to hear a case from a Catholic hospital challenging a ruling that forces it to sterilize patients through gender transition surgery.

Evan Minton, a patient seeking uterus removal surgery as part of the gender transition process, will be allowed to go forward with suing the Mercy San Juan Medical Center for canceling the surgery.

Minton seeks to compel the hospital to perform surgeries that directly contravene Catholic teachings, Dignity Health, which operates Mercy San Juan, told the court. The case “poses a profound threat to faith-based health care institutions’ ability to advance their healing ministries consistent with the teachings of their faith,” according to Dignity Health’s petition.

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Supreme Court Rejects Appeal by Maine Healthcare Workers Challenging Vaccine Mandate

Healthcare workers

The Supreme Court on Friday rejected an emergency appeal from Maine healthcare workers attempting to block the state’s vaccine mandate.

The group of unvaccinated workers argued that the law violated their First Amendment rights because the law doesn’t have a religious exemption.

According to the Associated Press, Maine is one of three states including New York and Rhode Island that have vaccine mandates that lack religious exemptions for healthcare workers.

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‘They Have No Shame’: National Institutes of Health Doubles Down, Says It Didn’t Fund Gain of Function Research after Releasing Documents That Suggest Otherwise

Lawrence Tabak

The National Institutes of Health reiterated its stance Thursday that it did not fund gain-of-function research in Wuhan, China, despite having released documents on Wednesday showing that it funded the creation of a lab-made SARS coronavirus that was more deadly and pathogenetic towards mice with humanized cells.

EcoHealth Alliance informed the NIH in August that its lab-created rWIV1-SHC014 S coronavirus killed 75% of mice with humanized cells, while the natural WIV1 virus it was based on killed less than 25% of mice with the same humanized cells. The experiments were conducted with the Wuhan Institute of Virology between June 2018 and May 2019.

“These results suggest that the pathogenicity of SHC014 is higher than other tested bat SARSr-CoVs in transgenic mice that express hACE2,” EcoHealth Alliance told the NIH in its progress report.

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Preliminary Audit Results Find 800 Michigan Unreported COVID-19 Deaths

Preliminary results from Auditor Doug Ringler’s analysis  of Michigan’s long-term care facility COVID-19 death data found about 800 additional confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths than the state initially counted overall statewide between Jan. 1, 2020, and July 3, 2021. 

Ringler responded to a request from the Oversight Committee to investigate the accuracy of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ (MDHHS) COVID-19 death data in long-term care facilities. The request followed questions about the accuracy of MDHHS COVID-19 death data.

Ringler told Johnson he used death certificate information from the Electronic Death Record System and COVID-19 case and death data from the Michigan Disease Surveillance System (MDSS). The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services counts total COVID-19 deaths on their pandemic website using data from MDSS.

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Roughly 40 Percent of Americans Say They Recently Suffered Financial Difficulties, Study Shows

Soldiers assigned the Ohio National Guard’s HHC 1-148th Infantry Regiment – 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and the Ohio Military Reserve, give the thumbs-up for troopers assigned to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, to send more vehicles through the line at a drive through food distribution event at the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank, May 9, 2020. The food bank teamed up with the Ohio National Guard and the Highway Patrol to conduct the first-ever drive through event at the food bank. More than 700 Ohio National Guard and Ohio Military Reserve members were activated to provide humanitarian missions in support of Operation Steady Resolve COVID-19 relief efforts, continuing The Ohio National Guard’s long history of supporting humanitarian efforts throughout Ohio and the nation. To date, the Ohio National Guard has assisted in the distribution of more than 9.9 million pounds of food and pantry items to Ohioans in need. (Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Beth Holliker)

Over 40% of U.S. households said they experienced severe financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic, citing difficulties paying bills, credit cards and draining their savings, according to a Harvard University report.

The survey conducted by the Harvard T.H.Chan School of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the National Public Radio asked roughly 3,600 participants between July and August about problems they faced during the pandemic and how it affected their lives in recent months. Respondents were asked about financial, healthcare, education and personal safety concerns.

Roughly 30% of adults interviewed said they used up all or most of their savings during the pandemic, while 10% reported they had no savings before the pandemic began, according to the report.  About one in five households had difficulties paying credit cards, loans, and other debts as well as utilities.

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Afghan Refugees Bringing Numerous Diseases to U.S., Including Measles, Malaria, and Tuberculosis

The tens of thousands of Afghan refugees being imported into the United States by the Biden Administration are carrying numerous dangerous diseases in addition to the Chinese coronavirus, including malaria, measles, and tuberculosis, as reported by Breitbart.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) admitted to the influx of diseases through the Afghan arrivals in a statement on Monday, declaring that all of the refugees will be required to take the measles vaccine; however, there are still no measures in place to require them to receive a coronavirus vaccine.

According to the CDC press release, they had been “notified by public health departments of 16 measles cases among the evacuees.” Subsequently, they ordered that “evacuees who are in the United States are required to be vaccinated with MMR and complete a 21-day quarantine from the time of vaccination at U.S. ‘Safe Haven’ designated locations.”

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Newly Released Documents Show Fauci Was ‘Untruthful’ About Wuhan Coronavirus Research, Infectious Disease Expert Says

A trove of newly released documents detailing U.S.-funded coronavirus research in China prior to the COVID-19 pandemic shows that Dr. Anthony Fauci was “untruthful” when he claimed that his agency did not finance gain-of-research in Wuhan, an infectious disease expert said Sunday.

Documents published by The Intercept on Sunday show that Fauci’s organization, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), provided federal funds to the U.S. nonprofit group EcoHealth Alliance and the Wuhan Institute of Virology to construct laboratory-generated SARS and MERS-related coronaviruses that demonstrated enhanced pathogenicity in humanized mice cells, according to Rutgers University professor of chemical biology Richard Ebright.

“The documents make it clear that assertions by the [National Institutes of Health] Director, Francis Collins, and the NIAID Director, Anthony Fauci, that the NIH did not support gain-of-function research or potential pandemic pathogen enhancement at WIV are untruthful,” Ebright said in a tweet Sunday evening.

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FDA Bans 55,000 Flavored E-Cigarette Products

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned 55,000 e-cigarette products on Thursday for their failure to prove they didn’t pose a threat to public health.

The FDA announced that thousands of products from three vape companies, JD Nova Group LLC, Great American Vapes, and Vapor Salon, didn’t prove the benefit to adult smokers negated the “well-documented, alarming levels of youth use of such products.”

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Commentary: Instead of Tightening Government’s Grip on Healthcare, Give Americans a Personal Option

Healthcare workers

As America begins to put the COVID-19 pandemic in the rearview, the lesson from this once-in-a-generation crisis couldn’t be clearer: We need less, not more, central planning in our lives.

For example, a study earlier this year by health economist Casey Mulligan revealed that economic lockdowns mandated by government were counterproductive, given the significant steps workplaces took to prevent the virus from spreading.

The same is true with health care. By now, most folks know the story of how Operation Warp Speed — the previous administration’s unprecedented plan to trim bureaucracy from the vaccine development process — resulted in the creation of multiple safe and effective vaccines in record time. But an equally important storyline is how states took a sledgehammer to their own bureaucracies to expand access to care for those in need.

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Greg Abbott: Biden ‘Knowingly Importing COVID-19 at Extreme Rates’ via Infected Illegals

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

Alegal battle and war of words between Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and the federal government over COVID-positive migrants being released into Texas communities escalated over the weekend.

The U.S. Department of Justice sued the state of Texas Friday over an executive order Abbott issued restricting the transport of infected immigrants who entered the country illegally being released into the general population.

“The Biden Administration is knowingly admitting hundreds of thousands of unauthorized migrants, many of whom the federal government knows full well have COVID-19,” Abbott said in response to the lawsuit.

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Health Officials Less Confident in COVID Vaccine Efficacy with Rise of Delta Variant

Woman in blue hair net and mask

Public health confidence in the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine appears to be waning as officials warn of enhanced danger — even for vaccinated individuals — from the “Delta variant” of the SARS-Cov-2 virus.

For most of the past year officials have claimed that vaccinations are the only viable path back to normalcy and away from lockdowns and other aggressive mitigation measures. “Look at the folks in your community who have gotten vaccinated and are getting back to living their lives — their full lives,” President Joe Biden said at a May press conference, arguing that the vaccine was “going to help them and their loved ones be safe, get our businesses open again, and get us back to normal.”

The rollout of the vaccines starting last year and continuing throughout the spring and summer of this year has been hailed as the driving force behind the reopening of the economy and the ending of masking mandates and similar restrictions.

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Commentary: White House Collusion with Facebook Is Not About Public Health

Last Thursday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki revealed that the Biden administration will partner with Facebook and other social media platforms to surveil COVID-related posts. They plan to flag and censor people whom the administration considers to be purveyors of COVID “disinformation” or “misinformation.”

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Biden Admin Looks for Ways to Track Up to 100,000 Migrants Released into the U.S.

The temporary processing facilities in Donna, Texas, February 25, 2021, constructed to safely process family units and unaccompanied alien children (UACs) encountered and in the custody of the U.S. Border Patrol. The facility will provide processing capacity in the RGV while the permanent Centralized Processing Center in McAllen is renovated. CBP photo by Jerry Glaser

The Biden administration solicited information that could help form a National Case Management Program to track up to 100,000 migrants released into the U.S. annually, documents uploaded Monday show.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would manage the program aimed at migrant adults aged 18 to 21 and other “vulnerable populations” to make sure the migrants are safe and prepared to attend their immigration court hearings, documents show. The request is solely for information gathering and does not mean the federal government will contract with any company that responds.

The program would “ensure that the program participants are safe, stable, and able to prepare for and attend their upcoming court dates and other immigration obligations and have access to legal and other services as needed while in the community,” according to the documents.

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Fauci Resisted Trump Directive to Cancel Virus Research Grant Linked to Wuhan Lab, New Book Says

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States’ top infections disease expert, resisted a directive from President Trump to cancel a research grant for a non-profit that was linked to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, according to a new book detailing the Trump administration’s handling of COVID-19 pandemic.

Trump issued a directive to Fauci and the National Institutes of Health in April 2020 to cut funding for a study examining how coronaviruses jump from infected bats to humans after it was reportedly linked to the lab in Wuhan, suspected of having leaked the virus.

The exchange between Fauci and the White House is detailed in an upcoming book by Washington Post reporters Yasmeen Abutaleb and Damian Paletta called “Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration’s Response to the Pandemic That Changed History,” according to Fox News.

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Elderly, Vulnerable Will Need Yearly COVID-19 Boosters, WHO Says: Report

The World Health Organization predicts that vulnerable people will need yearly COVID-19 vaccine boosters and the everyday population will need shots every two years, according to an internal document, Reuters reported Thursday.

The document, Reuters reported, is an assessment set to be discussed Thursday at a board meeting of Gavi, a public-private partnership between health agencies, pharmaceutical companies, research institutions and non-profit organizations. The assessment recommends vulnerable people, such as the elderly, receive annual COVID-19 vaccine boosters, and the general population receive boosters every two years.

The document said boosters were necessary due to the emergence of new COVID-19 variants, and that vaccines would need to be regularly updated, according to Reuters, though the document did not show how these conclusions were reached.

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Commentary: Pandemic Lockdowns Were a Public Health Mistake

More evidence to confirm what many Republican lawmakers and free-market advocates such as Americans for Limited Government were saying from the start of the Covid pandemic, lockdowns would be one of the most tragic mistakes in American history.

The Rand Corporation and economists from the University of Southern California have released a new study examining the effectiveness of pandemic lockdowns, using data from 43 countries and all 50 US states.

“We fail to find that shelter-in-place policies saved lives,” the authors report. In the weeks following the implementation of these policies, excess mortality actually increases—even though it had typically been declining before the orders took effect.

And across all countries, the study finds that a one-week increase in the length of stay-at-home policies corresponds with 2.7 more excess deaths per 100,000 people.

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U.S. Government Allocates $3.2 Billion for COVID-19 Antiviral Pills

Department of Health & Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services will invest $3.2 billion to develop and manufacture COVID-19 antiviral medicines, it announced Thursday.

The initiative, funded as part of the American Rescue Plan, is designed to accelerate research into antivirals as well as build platforms for urgent response to future viral threats, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said in a statement Thursday. Specifically, the plan expands antiviral clinical trials, forms partnerships between health agencies and pharmaceutical companies, and funds “drug discovery groups” tasked with innovating new antiviral medicines.

“New antivirals that prevent serious COVID-19 illness and death, especially oral drugs that could be taken at home early in the course of disease, would be powerful tools for battling the pandemic and saving lives,” said chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci in the statement.

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