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News & Politics Thread (Part 5)

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    Task force report says 18 states in coronavirus “red zone” should roll back reopening

    (CNN) An unpublished document prepared for the White House coronavirus task force and obtained by the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit newsroom, recommends that 18 states in the coronavirus “red zone” for cases should roll back reopening measures amid surging cases.

    The “red zone” is defined in the 359-page report as “those core-based statistical areas (CBSAs) and counties that during the last week reported both new cases above 100 per 100,000 population, and a diagnostic test positivity result above 10%.”

    The report outlines measures counties in the red zone should take. It encourages residents to “wear a mask at all times outside the home and maintain physical distance.” And it recommends that public officials “close bars and gyms” and “limit social gatherings to 10 people or fewer,” which would mean rolling back reopening provisions in these places.

    The report comes despite President Donald Trump’s insistence that states reopen and a push to send the nation’s children back to school, even as cases increase.

    “Now we’re open, and we want to stay open and we will stay open. We’re not closing. We’ll put out the fires as they come out,” Trump said at a White House event earlier this month.

    The following states are in the red zone for cases: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.

    The report says the following 11 states are in the red zone for test positivity: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas, and Washington. The 11 states in the red zone for test positivity are also in the red zone for cases, with the exception of Washington state.

    Devin O’Malley, spokesman for Vice President Mike Pence and the task force, didn’t dispute the document’s authenticity, and claimed the report showed “encouraging signs” amid the pandemic.

    “When the vice president held a White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefing at HHS a few weeks ago, he reported that 16 states met the criteria for rising cases and rising positivity rate. As it stands in that report, there are only 10 states that fit that criteria. This is just one data point of many encouraging signs that we are seeing across the country as we continue to respond to the coronavirus pandemic,” O’Malley said in a statement.

    Dr. Deborah Birx also said earlier this month that people living in states with coronavirus surges should return to the White House’s original “phase one” recommendations on gatherings.

    Citing guidelines such as wearing face masks and avoiding bars and indoor events, Birx said those steps should be resumed in order to bring cases back under control.

    She said they are “asking the American people in those counties and in those states to not only use those face coverings, not going to bars, not going to indoor dining, but really not gathering in homes either. And decreasing those gatherings back down to our phase one recommendation, which was 10 or less.”

    Birx touted the importance of mask-wearing and said “any kind of indoor gathering” should be avoided in places experiencing a spike in cases.

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    Trump’s outrageous refusal to lead is making the pandemic worse

    (CNN) The United States just recorded more than 77,000 new cases of Covid-19, the most ever in a single day. But President Donald Trump wants to talk about dishwasher reform.

    Trump’s refusal to use his full powers of his office and the government to confront the worst domestic threat since World War II is looking more negligent, callous and politically self-defeating with each virus ravaged day that passes.

    Not only is Trump refusing to act in a manner appropriate to the magnitude of the emergency, he is using the country’s loudest megaphone in a way almost guaranteed to make it worse, from presiding over a White House campaign to discredit the lifelong work of Dr. Anthony Fauci — a new front in his war on science and truth — to undermining efforts by local officials to convince people to wear masks to slow the spread of the disease.

    Trump’s intransigence is more notable since he’s happy to use presidential power — often in an anti-constitutional way — in pursuit of personal and political gain. For instance, in coercing Ukraine to interfere in the election and in commuting the jail term of his political dirty trickster Roger Stone.

    This week, as states such as Florida, Texas and Arizona have set records for coronavirus infections and intensive care units and morgues have filled up, has exposed the willful blindness of a White House that seems bio-sealed from the reality of the pandemic.

    “We believe this President has great approval in this country. His historic Covid response speaks for itself,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Thursday, encapsulating the bizarre parallel universe of an administration that thinks one of the most disastrous government failures of the modern age is a roaring political success.

    McEnany on Thursday praised US testing and the push for vaccines and therapeutics — which have as much to do with the innovation of the US pharmaceutical industry as anything Trump has done. The US still lacks a functioning national test and trace program, still cannot properly equip all medical workers with protective gear and is losing badly to the virus five months into the fight.

    His aides celebrate his decision to halt travel to some travelers from China and for prioritizing the manufacture of ventilators months ago. Such steps were important, but with hindsight have proven less significant than they appeared at the time. More importantly they are doing little to quell the vicious resurgence of the virus across most of the country. And boasting about ventilators seems perverse when thousands of Americans are dying anyway.

    “The President has made so many bad executive decisions,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said Thursday.

    “Observing his behavior, I have concluded that he is like the man who refuses to ask for directions. All of the answers are there. The scientists have the answers. We know that testing, tracing, treating, distancing, masking, sanitation can stop the spread of this virus. And yet the President continues to go down the wrong path and refuses to ask for directions from scientists who know better than any of us.

    US trails its peers in fighting the virus

    The disaster in the US is perhaps best expressed in comparison to other industrialized nations. States such as South Korea suffocated the virus with aggressive measures while Trump was still denying its threat. France and Italy suffered terribly, but science-based lockdowns kept in place until the pathogen was suppressed — unlike the premature state openings demanded by Trump — worked. Aggressive foreign governments from Australia to Hong Kong to Germany now pounce on outbreaks in a bid to forestall a major resurgence.

    France, with a population of 67 million, reported 534 new cases of Covid-19 on Thursday and 18 new deaths. Florida, where 21 million live, put up 13,965 new cases and a new record of 156 deaths on a day its pro-Trump Gov. Ron DeSantis blamed the media for the virus running out of control.

    Another Trump acolyte, Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, issued an executive order late Wednesday blocking the Peach State’s cities from issuing orders requiring masks to be worn in public places — a measure proven to decrease virus transmission — and on Thursday sued Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms for sticking by her city’s mask order.

    “How can you not shake your head, right? Over 3 million cases, over 135,000 deaths, preventable deaths here in the United States,” said Dr. Ali Khan, dean of the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center on CNN’s “New Day” Thursday. “And we are the one outlier amongst all of our peer countries. All of Europe has contained their disease. And many parts of the world, not only have they contained, they’ve eliminated disease.”

    The President, however, turned his gaze away from this worsening calamity and international embarrassment. He rarely mentions the virus in public, unless it is to deny its awful reality. The President never appears with his public health officials and gives every impression that he has moved on. On Thursday, he gathered Cabinet members and Republican lawmakers in the White House to celebrate the eradication of more “job killing regulations.”

    “We made it so dishwashers now have a lot more water and in many places — in most places of the country, water’s not a problem, they don’t know what to do with it. It’s called rain. They don’t have a problem,” Trump said, at an event in which various guests were called to the microphone by a genuflecting Vice President Mike Pence to pay tribute to his “leadership.”

    Trump’s event came a day after he flew to Atlanta, one of the spiking coronavirus hotspots, not for emergency brainstorming sessions at the conveniently situated US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but for an event on transportation projects.

    With the country on its knees because of the virus, which is now rising in 38 states, the White House is filling Trump’s day with the kind of low wattage, incremental events meant to highlight an agenda typical of times when Presidents run out of political clout.

    “He’s doing a lot of things at once,” she said. “That’s the great thing about the Trump administration,” McEnany said.

    While ignoring the worsening national crisis, Trump has also found time to shake-up his reelection campaign, as the former chief, Brad Parscale, paid the price for the debacle and low crowd at what was supposed to be the President’s triumphant return to the campaign trail in Oklahoma.

    Despite the frantic remodeling less than four months before election day, Trump claimed that opinion polls showing him trailing Democratic presumptive nominee Joe Biden by double digits were all fiction. While refusing to take the pandemic seriously, Trump turned the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office into a market stall for Goya products, after the firm’s CEO faced a backlash for praising him. His daughter Ivanka showed her political tin ear by launching a program that urges millions of people who lost jobs in the pandemic their father ignored to “find something new.”

    “We expected more”

    The staggering negligence of the White House and apparent obliviousness to the tragedy unfolding on Trump’s watch are remarkable in that there appears now to be little expectation from governors or public health experts that leadership to protect Americans — the fundamental duty of a President during a national crisis — will ever be forthcoming.

    “We expected something more than constant heckling from the man who was supposed to be our leader,” Maryland’s Republican Gov. Larry Hogan wrote in a devastating opinion piece in The Washington Post on Thursday.

    “Trump soon disabused us of that expectation.”

    The administration’s push to open schools fully and full time has emerged this week as an emblem of its myopia and of the way that local and state officials are making decisions — in this case preparing for online classes only — that ignore demands by Trump that are clearly more motivated by his own political requirements than concern for safety.

    McEnany claimed that scientific research proved that children were far less likely to become infected by the coronavirus and to have serious complications, so therefore schools must reopen. But her point ignores the serious concerns that teachers, administrative staff and ancillary workers like janitors and security guards in close contact with children could be at a high risk of illness in confined spaces. And while kids may not get sick, they can infect older and more vulnerable relatives at home.

    “Everyone else in the Western world, our peer nations, are doing it. We are the outlier here,” McEnany said, ignoring the obvious point that the rest of the Western world benefits from leaders who brought the pandemic under control.

    “The science should not stand in the way of this,” she said, in a comment that encapsulates Trump’s entire, failed approach to the crisis.

    This story has been updated with the latest data on coronavirus cases.

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    VOTE BY MAIL

    While talking on Thursday to a coalition of leftwing activists hellbent on making Joe Biden president, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) announced that her dog Bailey “is definitely going to vote in November,” and Warren said Bailey is “voting Democrat all the way.”

    “Bailey for Biden!” Warren cheered. And Bailey is just the type of low-information voter the Democrats depend upon.

    Will Liz send in the Bailey Warren ballot?  Of course she will, and post it to some social media site, I hope.   It would be the woke thing to do

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    Civil rights legend Rep. John Lewis dead at 80

    (CNN) John Robert Lewis, the son of sharecroppers who survived a brutal beating by police during a landmark 1965 march in Selma, Alabama, to become a towering figure of the civil rights movement and a longtime US congressman, has died after a six-month battle with cancer. He was 80.

    “It is with inconsolable grief and enduring sadness that we announce the passing of U.S. Rep. John Lewis,” his family said in a statement. “He was honored and respected as the conscience of the US Congress and an icon of American history, but we knew him as a loving father and brother. He was a stalwart champion in the on-going struggle to demand respect for the dignity and worth of every human being. He dedicated his entire life to non-violent activism and was an outspoken advocate in the struggle for equal justice in America. He will be deeply missed.”

    Lewis died on the same day as civil rights leader the Rev. Cordy Tindell “C.T.” Vivian, who was 95. The dual deaths of the civil rights icons come as the nation is still grappling with racial upheaval in the wake of the death of George Floyd and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests that have swept the nation.

    It’s another heartbreak in a year filled with them, as America mourns the deaths of nearly 140,000 Americans from Covid-19 and struggles to bring the virus under control.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced his death in a statement.

    “Today, America mourns the loss of one of the greatest heroes of American history: Congressman John Lewis, the Conscience of the Congress,” the California Democrat said.

    Lewis had vowed to fight the disease after announcing in late December 2019 that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, which was discovered as a result of a routine medical visit and subsequent testing.

    “I have been in some kind of fight — for freedom, equality, basic human rights — for nearly my entire life. I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now,” he said in a statement at the time.

    Lewis, a Democrat who served as the US representative for Georgia’s 5th Congressional District for more than three decades, was widely seen as a moral conscience of Congress because of his decades-long embodiment of nonviolent fight for civil rights. His passionate oratory was backed by a long record of action that included, by his count, more than 40 arrests while demonstrating against racial and social injustice.

    A follower and colleague of Martin Luther King Jr., he participated in lunch counter sit-ins, joined the Freedom Riders in challenging segregated buses and — at the age of 23 — was a keynote speaker at the historic 1963 March on Washington.

    “Sometimes when I look back and think about it, how did we do what we did? How did we succeed? We didn’t have a website. We didn’t have a cellular telephone,” Lewis has said of the civil rights movement.

    “But I felt when we were sitting in at those lunch counter stools, or going on the Freedom Ride, or marching from Selma to Montgomery, there was a power and a force. God Almighty was there with us.”

    Lewis has said King inspired his activism. Angered by the unfairness of the Jim Crow South, he launched what he called “good trouble” with organized protests and sit-ins. In the early 1960s, he was a Freedom Rider, challenging segregation at interstate bus terminals across the South and in the nation’s capital.

    “We do not want our freedom gradual; we want to be free now,” he said at the time.

    At age 25, Lewis helped lead a march for voting rights on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, where he and other marchers were met by heavily armed state and local police who attacked them with clubs, fracturing Lewis’ skull. Images from that “Bloody Sunday” shocked the nation and galvanized support for the Voting Rights Act of 1965, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

    “I gave a little blood on that bridge,” he said years later. “I thought I was going to die. I thought I saw death.”
    Despite the attack and other beatings, Lewis never lost his activist spirit, taking it from protests to politics. He was elected to the Atlanta city council in 1981, then to Congress six years later.

    Once in Washington, he focused on fighting against poverty and helping younger generations by improving education and health care. He also co-wrote a series of graphic novels about the civil rights movement, which won him a National Book Award.

    Born on a Troy, Alabama, cotton farm into a segregated America on February 21, 1940, Lewis lived to see an African American elected president, a moment he said he never thought would come despite his decades long fight for equality.

    He described attending President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration as an “out-of-body” experience.

    “When we were organizing voter-registration drives, going on the Freedom Rides, sitting in, coming here to Washington for the first time, getting arrested, going to jail, being beaten, I never thought — I never dreamed — of the possibility that an African American would one day be elected president of the United States,” he said at the time.

    In 2011, after more than 50 years on the front lines of the civil rights movement, Lewis received the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, placed round his neck by America’s first Black president.

    Obama said in a statement following Lewis’ death that the civil rights icon will “continue, even in his passing, to serve as a beacon” in America’s journey towards a more perfect union.

    “He loved this country so much that he risked his life and his blood so that it might live up to its promise. And through the decades, he not only gave all of himself to the cause of freedom and justice, but inspired generations that followed to try to live up to his example,” Obama said.

    Ahead of the inauguration of Donald Trump in 2017, Lewis said he did not consider him to be a “legitimate” president, an astonishing rebuke by a sitting member of Congress toward an incoming president.

    “I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton,” Lewis said.

    Trump fired back, calling Lewis “all talk” and “no action” and saying he should focus more on “fixing and helping” his district rather than “complaining” about Russia.

    Lewis skipped Trump’s inauguration.
    “I’ve said to students, ‘When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have a moral obligation to do something, to say something,'” Lewis said in spring 2018. “And Dr. King inspired us to do just that.”

    Lewis also believed in forgiveness.

    He once described an incident when, as a young man, he was beaten bloody by members of the Ku Klux Klan after attempting to enter a “white waiting room.”

    “Many years later, in February of ’09, one of the men that had beaten us came to my Capitol Hill office — he was in his 70’s, with his son in his 40’s — and he said, ‘Mr. Lewis, I am one of the people who beat you and your seat mate'” on a bus, Lewis said, adding the man said he had been in the KKK. “He said, ‘I want to apologize. Will you accept my apology?'”

    After accepting his apology and hugging the father and son, the three cried together, Lewis remembered.

    “It is the power in the way of peace, the way of love,” Lewis said. “We must never, ever hate. The way of love is a better way.”

    This story has been updated with additional developments Saturday.

    CNN’s Jim Acosta and Haley Byrd contributed to this report.

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    Civil rights legend Rep. John Lewis dead at 80 (CNN) John Robert Lewis, the son of sharecroppers who survived a brutal beating by police during a landmark 1965 march in Selma, Alabama, to become a towering figure of the civil rights movement and a longtime US congressman, has died after a six-month battle with cancer. He was 80. “It is with inconsolable grief and enduring sadness that we announce the passing of U.S. Rep. John Lewis,” his family said in a statement. “He was honored and respected as the conscience of the US Congress and an icon of American history, but we knew him as a loving father and brother. He was a stalwart champion in the on-going struggle to demand respect for the dignity and worth of every human being. He dedicated his entire life to non-violent activism and was an outspoken advocate in the struggle for equal justice in America. He will be deeply missed.” Lewis died on the same day as civil rights leader the Rev. Cordy Tindell “C.T.” Vivian, who was 95. The dual deaths of the civil rights icons come as the nation is still grappling with racial upheaval in the wake of the death of George Floyd and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests that have swept the nation. It’s another heartbreak in a year filled with them, as America mourns the deaths of nearly 140,000 Americans from Covid-19 and struggles to bring the virus under control. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced his death in a statement. “Today, America mourns the loss of one of the greatest heroes of American history: Congressman John Lewis, the Conscience of the Congress,” the California Democrat said. Lewis had vowed to fight the disease after announcing in late December 2019 that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, which was discovered as a result of a routine medical visit and subsequent testing. “I have been in some kind of fight — for freedom, equality, basic human rights — for nearly my entire life. I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now,” he said in a statement at the time. Lewis, a Democrat who served as the US representative for Georgia’s 5th Congressional District for more than three decades, was widely seen as a moral conscience of Congress because of his decades-long embodiment of nonviolent fight for civil rights. His passionate oratory was backed by a long record of action that included, by his count, more than 40 arrests while demonstrating against racial and social injustice. A follower and colleague of Martin Luther King Jr., he participated in lunch counter sit-ins, joined the Freedom Riders in challenging segregated buses and — at the age of 23 — was a keynote speaker at the historic 1963 March on Washington. “Sometimes when I look back and think about it, how did we do what we did? How did we succeed? We didn’t have a website. We didn’t have a cellular telephone,” Lewis has said of the civil rights movement. “But I felt when we were sitting in at those lunch counter stools, or going on the Freedom Ride, or marching from Selma to Montgomery, there was a power and a force. God Almighty was there with us.” Lewis has said King inspired his activism. Angered by the unfairness of the Jim Crow South, he launched what he called “good trouble” with organized protests and sit-ins. In the early 1960s, he was a Freedom Rider, challenging segregation at interstate bus terminals across the South and in the nation’s capital. “We do not want our freedom gradual; we want to be free now,” he said at the time. At age 25, Lewis helped lead a march for voting rights on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, where he and other marchers were met by heavily armed state and local police who attacked them with clubs, fracturing Lewis’ skull. Images from that “Bloody Sunday” shocked the nation and galvanized support for the Voting Rights Act of 1965, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. “I gave a little blood on that bridge,” he said years later. “I thought I was going to die. I thought I saw death.” Despite the attack and other beatings, Lewis never lost his activist spirit, taking it from protests to politics. He was elected to the Atlanta city council in 1981, then to Congress six years later. Once in Washington, he focused on fighting against poverty and helping younger generations by improving education and health care. He also co-wrote a series of graphic novels about the civil rights movement, which won him a National Book Award. Born on a Troy, Alabama, cotton farm into a segregated America on February 21, 1940, Lewis lived to see an African American elected president, a moment he said he never thought would come despite his decades long fight for equality. He described attending President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration as an “out-of-body” experience. “When we were organizing voter-registration drives, going on the Freedom Rides, sitting in, coming here to Washington for the first time, getting arrested, going to jail, being beaten, I never thought — I never dreamed — of the possibility that an African American would one day be elected president of the United States,” he said at the time. In 2011, after more than 50 years on the front lines of the civil rights movement, Lewis received the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, placed round his neck by America’s first Black president. Obama said in a statement following Lewis’ death that the civil rights icon will “continue, even in his passing, to serve as a beacon” in America’s journey towards a more perfect union. “He loved this country so much that he risked his life and his blood so that it might live up to its promise. And through the decades, he not only gave all of himself to the cause of freedom and justice, but inspired generations that followed to try to live up to his example,” Obama said. Ahead of the inauguration of Donald Trump in 2017, Lewis said he did not consider him to be a “legitimate” president, an astonishing rebuke by a sitting member of Congress toward an incoming president. “I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton,” Lewis said. Trump fired back, calling Lewis “all talk” and “no action” and saying he should focus more on “fixing and helping” his district rather than “complaining” about Russia. Lewis skipped Trump’s inauguration. “I’ve said to students, ‘When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have a moral obligation to do something, to say something,’” Lewis said in spring 2018. “And Dr. King inspired us to do just that.” Lewis also believed in forgiveness. He once described an incident when, as a young man, he was beaten bloody by members of the Ku Klux Klan after attempting to enter a “white waiting room.” “Many years later, in February of ’09, one of the men that had beaten us came to my Capitol Hill office — he was in his 70’s, with his son in his 40’s — and he said, ‘Mr. Lewis, I am one of the people who beat you and your seat mate’” on a bus, Lewis said, adding the man said he had been in the KKK. “He said, ‘I want to apologize. Will you accept my apology?’” After accepting his apology and hugging the father and son, the three cried together, Lewis remembered. “It is the power in the way of peace, the way of love,” Lewis said. “We must never, ever hate. The way of love is a better way.” This story has been updated with additional developments Saturday. CNN’s Jim Acosta and Haley Byrd contributed to this report.

    Lewis, who died Friday at age 80, was the youngest and last survivor of the Big Six civil rights activists who organized the 1963 March on Washington and spoke shortly before the group’s leader, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., gave his “I Have a Dream” speech to a vast sea of people.

    If that speech marked a turning point in the civil rights era — or at least the most famous moment — the struggle was far from over. Two more hard years passed before truncheon-wielding state troopers beat Lewis bloody and fractured his skull as he led 600 protesters over Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge.

    Searing TV images of that brutality helped to galvanize national opposition to racial oppression and embolden leaders in Washington to pass the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act five months later.

    “The American public had already seen so much of this sort of thing, countless images of beatings and dogs and cursing and hoses,” Lewis wrote in his memoirs. “But something about that day in Selma touched a nerve deeper than anything that had come before.”

     

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    The Mask as a Symbol of Subjugation

    We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. — The New England Journal of Medicine, May 21, 2020

    (T)hey told us exactly what was coming, and advised us to shut up and follow orders. Tragically, most people have done just that. — CJ Hopkins, 2020

    It’s difficult to imagine a crueler attack on the human family than the insidious prevention of person-to-person contact.

    What amounts to house arrest, plus enforced wearing of masks, plus the order to stay a body length from others, has the stated aim of preventing contagion, but as philosopher Giogio Agamben put it recently, “It is political contagion, let it be understood”

    The lockdown was never really about a pandemic. Covid19 was just the pretext. Bill Gates himself admitted (in an unguarded moment?) that earlier SARS and MERS were more “fatal,” i.e., more lethal, than Covid19, yet they came and went without crashing the economy. But more than just the economy, it was day-to-day existence as we all live it that was a prime target of the lockdown.

    The cloth masks seen everywhere now are symbolic. However useful in stopping airborne droplets, they do not hinder the passage of viruses, made clear by the warning on a box of the type of mask commonly seen. The media’s favorite expert, Anthony Fauci, stated flatly on CBS 60 Minutes in March that “There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask”. Two months later, as lockdown demands intensified, his stance shifted to the mask as “a symbol for people to see”. Review articles indicating that masks are ineffective, or even counterproductive, rarely make it to mainstream viewers, or they are simply disappeared. But symbol the mask certainly is — a symbol of subjugation.

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    Yes, Joe Biden Said He Wants to Defund the Police

    Since the death of George Floyd, Democrats have pushed this notion of “defunding the police.” They have worked overtime to make sure Americans know “defunding” doesn’t mean abolishing law enforcement agencies in their entirety. In their eyes, it’s about shifting funds from police departments to other necessary services, like education and social workers.

    For whatever reason, the mainstream media is making the argument that Biden is not in favor of defunding the police.  Democrats must have realized “defunding the police” doesn’t sit well with many Americans.  By Democrats’ own standards and definitions, he is in favor of defunding the police and reallocating funds that would otherwise go towards police departments.

    Somebody buy Chris Wallace a brain.

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    The Slave-Free Business Certification Act would require every American business that takes in over $500 million worldwide to conduct audits and have CEOs certify to the U.S. Department of Labor that their companies are not using slave labor in their supply chains, in addition to publishing a report of the company’s efforts to ensure their supply chains are free of forced labor. The bill would also allow the Labor Secretary to fine companies up to $500 million for failing to comply.

    “Corporate America and the celebrities that hawk their products talk up corporate social responsibility and social justice at home while making millions of dollars off the slave labor that assembles their products,” Hawley said. “Executives build woke, progressive brands for American consumers, but happily outsource labor to Chinese concentration camps.”

    As the Federalist pointed out, Forbes reported on findings that showed 83 companies were utilizing forced labor in order to craft their products, and many of these companies are some of the most successful brands in America:

    Although journalists have in the past linked Western companies to forced Uighur labor, this is the first time the problem is made apparent on such a large scale, enveloping factories and supply chains across the country. The 83 foreign and Chinese companies that ASPI has identified as directly or indirectly benefiting from the potentially abusive transfer programs for Uighurs include clothing brands such as Adidas, Gap, Tommy Hilfiger and Uniqlo; carmakers such as BMW, General Motors, Jaguar and Mercedes Benz; and tech giants such as Apple, Google, Huawei and Microsoft.

    Hawley’s bill, if it passes, will force these corporations to put their money where their mouth is in terms of reaching real equality. Slavery should not be supported, and companies taking advantage of it should be made to feel the harm they cause.

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    Birx warns of concerning rise in coronavirus cases in 12 cities as Trump paints a rosy picture

    (CNN) White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx privately told a group of state and local health officials Wednesday about a concerning rise in coronavirus cases in 12 cities as President Donald Trump continues to tout progress amid the coronavirus pandemic at scripted, on-message briefings this week.

    “There are cities that are lagging behind and we have new increases in Miami, New Orleans, Las Vegas, San Jose, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Columbus, and Baltimore, so we’re tracking this very closely. We’re working with the state officials to make sure we’re responding together, but when you first see that increased test positivity, that is when to start the mitigation efforts,” Birx said during the call according to audio obtained by journalism nonprofit Center for Public Integrity.

    But at least two of the cities she mentioned as an area of concern, Baltimore and New Orleans, were not invited to the call and were not aware it was happening, two sources familiar with the call tell CNN. Earlier Wednesday, Baltimore city officials announced a decision to enforce mandatory mask wearing and restrict indoor dining, a decision they based on their own independent data. However, the health department has not seen or heard about any report or list categorizing Baltimore as one of these cities of concern until media reached out following the call, one source said.

    “The administration holds frequent calls with local, state, and tribal leaders. There have been more than 320 of these calls with more than 150,000 participants,” task force spokesman Devin O’Malley said.

    On the call, Birx continued, “I know it may look small, and you may say that only went from five to five and a half, and we’re going to wait and see what happens. If you wait another three to four, even five, days, you’ll start to see a dramatic increase in cases. So finding and tracing those very early individuals is really critical.”

    Birx told the officials in places experiencing increased test positivity to “(make) sure they’re being aggressive about mitigation efforts,” noting that the administration provides governors with a weekly report with clear recommendations for mitigation.

    One such report, also obtained by CPI last week, recommended that 18 states the task force-defined “red zone” for cases should roll back reopening measures amid surging cases. Those reports are not made publicly available.

    Birx told the officials Wednesday there are “small glimmers of decreasing test positivity in many of our metros in Texas and of course in Phoenix,” but the task force has “deep concerns about specific metros, of course in Florida, and spreading epidemic in California into the Central Valley.”

    Her comments come as the US is poised to surpass 4 million confirmed coronavirus cases, overwhelming many hospitals and labs around the country. The US reported more Covid-19 cases in the last two weeks — 915,000 — than it did for all of June.

    Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and another member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, warned Wednesday that the US is “certainly not at the end of the game,” with a series of baseball metaphors.

    “I’m not even sure we’re halfway through. I mean, obviously, if you want to do a score, I don’t want to get too cute about it but certainly we are not winning the game right now, we are not leading it,” Fauci said during a livestream Q&A with nonprofit TB Alliance.

    A White House spokesman said Birx’s comments were in line with Trump’s briefing remarks on Wednesday.

    “This doesn’t deviate from what the President said yesterday. The virus is still with us, we have some states and metros with significant outbreaks, and we must take this incredibly seriously,” deputy press secretary Judd Deere told CNN.

    Trump said Tuesday that the pandemic will “probably, unfortunately get worse before it gets better.”

    But he cherry-picked some of the more hopeful aspects of the pandemic in his briefings and declined to appear alongside his top public health officials, telling reporters that appearing solo at the podium was a “very concise way of doing it.”

    CNN’s Kristen Holmes contributed to this report.

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    THE CHINA PROBLEM

    During a press conference on Thursday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) stated that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) referring to coronavirus as “the Trump virus” is promoting Chinese Communist Party propaganda and wondered, “what does the Chinese Communist Party have on the Democrats? Why can’t they hold them accountable?”

    McCarthy said, “China’s deception has directly led to Americans’ deaths. China covered up the truth about the virus. China hoarded personal protective equipment and tried to extort other countries for political leverage. Now, China is trying to hack our vaccines, which will harm our ability to serve the world and solve this problem. China is no friend to the United States, and that fact is clear to everyone except the Democrats. … My question to my Democratic colleagues is simple: Are you willing to step up to stop these escalating threats from China, or will you continue to defend the actions of the Chinese Communist Party. Their actions and words continue to show Democrats have a China problem.”

    He added, “Why does the speaker promote their propaganda by trying to blame the president of the United States for the Chinese Communist Party’s lies, even calling the virus the name of our president? … My final question would be: What does the Chinese Communist Party have on the Democrats? Why can’t they hold them accountable?”

    That would be $$$$$$$$$$$$$$

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    Portland PD Declares Riot, Works With Federal Officers To Battle Rioters After Courthouse Fencing Is Torn Down

    July 26, 20209:34 AM ET

    PORTLAND, Ore.

    Saturday evening began with two crowds – one stationed in front of the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse and another marching from Alberta Park. The two groups converged at the courthouse just after 11 p.m., with the Alberta Park group arriving as a standoff had already begun between protesters and federal officers.

    Members of the crowd repeatedly launched fireworks over the fence where federal officers were stationed. In return, officers used crowd control munitions, including tear gas and pepper bullets.  The back-and-forth battle between crowd members and federal officers has been consistent each night, reporters on the ground said. The crowd has recently found more ways to combat officers, including chasing after tear gas canisters and tossing them back over the fence.

    I am glad I don’t live in Portland or Seattle or NYC or SF or LA or Chicago….what a mess

    The more this rioting, looting, arson crap keeps up the better it is for the rational Right.

    Joe Scarborough, the MSNBC host  tweeted: “How does breaking windows at a courthouse, setting fire to a federal building, firing guns in crowds, and committing acts of vandalism forward any cause? Actually, don’t bother because there is no good answer. It is self-destructive to any cause you promote.”

     

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    The proposed new Black Lives Matter (BLM) curriculum that is being floated as a part of the new school year

    The National and state teachers union endorses Black Lives Matter and their K-12 curriculum.  Within the BLM curriculum are teachings that Gender is the child’s CHOICE based on the child’s feelings.  These choices encompass: Boy, Girl, Both, Neither or SOMETHING ELSE.  (the CDE says this choice can be made as young as TWO).  The NEA partners with the Human Rights Campaign who has created preschool lessons  teaching unlimited gender choices.  The National Educators Association and ACSA (Administrators Calif School Association) recommend these “welcoming school”  lessons for our primary school children.

    Thursday night, the Orange Unified School District held a meeting to discuss (among other agenda items) the plans for reopening campuses.

    A shockingly diverse and large group of parents logged into the virtual platform in force to express their concerns about the disturbing new curriculum incursions.

    *I am a Lesbian parent and grandparent…Please do not assume all LGBTQ individuals think alike politically. Just as teachers are very diverse in their opinions and political affiliations, so are people who identify as LGBT. As a Lesbian parent and grandparent, I am not in favor of Black Lives Matter Curriculum in Schools that the Teachers Union ( CTA and NEA) endorses. First of all, BLM promotes gender ideologies I feel are harmful to children. Their mission statement says they want to DISMANTLE the idea that gender is biologically determined. WHY? They say their movement is based on SCIENCE, yet their Science says kids can CHOOSE their gender as boy, girl, BOTH, NEITHER or SOMETHING ELSE. SOMETHING ELSE?!? That’s an OPEN ENDED Pandora Box. What kind of science does BLM practice? – Christina Gonzalez, OUSD parent, California

     

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    US could see “further suffering and further death” if coronavirus isn’t controlled, Fauci says

    (CNN) The US has recorded more than 4.2 million coronavirus infections and 148,000 deaths since the pandemic began, and a leading expert says thousands more people could lose their lives in the coming months.

    “If you look at the deaths as they’re occurring right now — about 1,000 per day — unless we get our arms around this and get it suppressed, we are going to have further suffering and further death,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert.

    “That’s the reason why, as I’ve often said many, many times, there are things that we can do right now in the absence of a vaccine that can turn us around.”

    While there’s still no guarantee the vaccines being developed will prove effective, at least one vaccine trial in the US has entered its third phase. In the meantime, health officials are urging states to implement stricter measures after weeks of surges in new cases following reopenings that mostly began in May. Nationwide, daily deaths exceeded 1,000 five times in the past week. And in hospitals across several states, doctors report more incoming patients and maxed out ICUs.

    While President Donald Trump said Monday some governors should be quicker about reopening states, White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said over the weekend some states are showing a concerning increase in positivity rates and new cases. Those states include Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia.

    Health experts, she said, recommend “100% of people” wear masks in all indoor public places and that social and indoor gatherings are limited to less than 10 people.

    Across the US, at least 27 states have paused or rolled back their reopening plans and imposed new restrictions. More than 40 states have some kind of mask requirement.

    In some places, the efforts seem to be working. In states including Arizona, Texas and Florida, which saw rapid case spread since June, new cases have flattened or slightly decreased recently. But that doesn’t mean the states are out of the woods, and it’s still too early to tell how long the trend will last.

    States crack down on social gatherings

    Birx said that among the states officials are tracking, there seems to be a “household” pattern of infections that starts with young people, usually less than 30 years old. Those residents, who are usually asymptomatic, then transmit the virus to their parents who then transmit it to other, older residents, she said.

    In Mississippi, about 80% of surveyed coronavirus patients said they had attended a social gathering, including funerals and birthday parties, where people weren’t adhering to social distancing. And in New Jersey, health officials said they have seen multiple outbreaks arising from gatherings of young people.

    To stop those infections, states have cracked down on settings where people congregate — like bars — and pleaded with younger groups to heed guidelines including wearing masks and social distancing.

    In Columbus, Ohio, the city council approved legislation that would require bars and restaurants to close at 10 p.m. each night starting Tuesday.

    “Our city like many others across the country are seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases, and there is clear evidence of community spread — especially indoors in places where groups are gathering,” Mayor Andrew Ginther said in a statement.

    “We’re also seeing a clear increase among younger people, and we know that bars and nightclubs have been the source of outbreaks locally.”

    In Kentucky, the governor on Monday announced restaurants’ indoor dining would be restricted to 25% capacity. He also said bars will shut down for two weeks, starting Tuesday, and recommended schools postpone in-person instruction until late August.

    “It’s time to do the things that we got to do, given the stage that we’re in, to control this virus,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “And I know there ended up being questions out there about ‘why didn’t you take this step four weeks ago, or six weeks ago?’ Listen, this virus doesn’t care about our schedules.”

    New York and Miami issuing hundreds of citations

    Despite new restrictions, some local leaders have voiced their opposition to the mandates and others — like sheriffs — have said they won’t be enforcing the rules.

    But in Miami and New York, officials have doubled down on enforcement.

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday the state had issued at least 132 violations over the weekend to bars and restaurants for not following coronavirus-related regulations. Most of them were in New York City, Cuomo said.

    Since the state began reopening, at least 40 establishments have had their liquor licenses suspended as a result of violations and 10 of those suspensions had happened since Friday, the governor said. The lack of compliance with social distancing policies in bars and restaurants among young people is a concern for his administration, Cuomo said.

    In Florida’s Miami-Dade County — which has reported more cases than all but 12 states — police issued more than 300 citations in 10 days to individuals and businesses who weren’t abiding by the local mask order.

    Phase 3 of vaccine trial in US underway

    Officials are now urging precautions like face masks and social distancing to curb the spread of the virus, but soon the country may have even more help.

    Vaccine maker Moderna started its final trial of a coronavirus vaccine in the US Monday, and volunteers from dozens of sites across the country will participate in the study, Fauci said.

    “There are 89 sites distributed throughout the country,” Fauci said Monday. “They are widely distributed as a matter of fact in areas where there is clearly as of right now active infection going on.”

    About 30,000 adult volunteers are expected to take part in the Phase 3 trial. The first patient was dosed at a site in Savannah, Georgia, on Monday.

    Fauci said that a vaccine likely won’t be widely available to people in the US until “several months” into 2021.

    And this part of the US trial can’t be sped up, a vaccine expert told CNN Monday.

    “Typically vaccine development programs take 15 years on average. This vaccine development program is probably going to take a year and a half,” said Dr. Paul Offit, the director of the Vaccine Education Center and professor of pediatrics at the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

    CNN’s Shelby Lin Erdman, Elizabeth Cohen, Jacqueline Howard, John Bonifield, Jamie Gumbrecht, Artemis Moshtaghian, Janine Mack, and Rebekah Riess contributed to this report.

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    You cannot trust the Chinese controlled WHO or the pharma-controlled CDC or the shill Fauci

    You can trust a 22 year old basketball player and a 61 year old pop star.

    Denver Nuggets Player Says Coronavirus Being Used ‘To Control The Masses’

    An NBA player is drawing heat for saying that he thinks the coronavirus that has swept the U.S. is now being used for a “bigger agenda” to “control the masses of people.”

    Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr., who did an appearance this week on Snapchat, was asked to “speak on this coronavirus being [overblown] to scare people into being controlled.”

    “That’s facts,” the 22-year-old baller said. “Personally, I think the coronavirus is being used obviously for a bigger agenda. It’s being used for population control just in terms of being able to control the masses of people.”

    “Because this virus, the whole world is being controlled,” Porter said. “You’re required to wear masks and who knows what will happen when this vaccine comes out. You might have to have the vaccine in order to travel, that’d be crazy. I’ve never been vaccinated in my life, I’ve never had any shots or anything like that.”

    “It could get crazy, but it’s definitely an agenda behind everything that’s going on right now, and all you can do is sit back and watch what’s going on and not get too emotionally involved.”

    Porter said he knows the pandemic is  “serious,” but added that it’s being “overblown.”         Smart young man

    Madonna Censored by Instagram for Posting Video of Frontline Doctors

    In her post, Madonna praised  Dr. Stella Immanuel, the Houston physician who says she has treated 350 coronavirus patients with hydroxychloroquine.

    “The truth will set us all free,” Madonna wrote, according to screen shots of her now-deleted Instagram post. “But some people don’t want to hear the truth. Especially the people in power who stand to make money from this long drawn out search for a vaccine. Which has been proven and available for months. They would rather let fear control them and let the rich get richer and the poor and sick get sicker.”

    “This woman is my hero,” Madonna concluded, referring to Dr. Immanuel.

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    A George Floyd hologram will light up the Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond tonight

    by Alicia Lee, CNN
    Updated 9:00 PM EDT, Tue July 28, 2020

    (CNN) A statue of Robert E. Lee has stood in historic city of Richmond, Virginia, for over a century. But on Tuesday night, the focus will not be on the Confederate general, but instead George Floyd, a Black man who died at the hands of police.

    Starting at 9:30 p.m. ET, a hologram of Floyd will light up the statue on Monument Avenue, which has since been covered in spray paint with phrases like “Black Lives Matter” and “Stop White Supremacy” following the widespread protests demanding racial equality.

    The area in which the statue sits was named unofficially named by protesters as the Marcus David Peters Circle, a reference to the Black biology teacher who was killed by police while experiencing a “mental health crisis,” according to CNN affiliate WHSV.

    “A Monumental Change: The George Floyd Hologram Memorial Project” was created by Change.org and the George Floyd Foundation. Floyd’s family was able to get a preview of it on Monday night during a private event held at the site of the former Jefferson Davis monument.

    “Since the death of my brother George, his face has been seen all over the world,” Rodney Floyd, brother of George Floyd said in a statement. “Now by partnering with Change.org, the hologram will allow my brother’s face to be seen as a symbol for change in places where change is needed most.”

    The hologram show features a “myriad of fireflies that form into a beautiful image of George Floyd,” according to a news release. His name is depicted in graffiti, mirroring the mural memorials that have popped up around the world to remember his life.

    The event at the Lee statue is just the first of five stops in North Carolina, Georgia, and other states this week. Following the route of the 1961 Freedom Rides, the hologram will replace Confederate statues as a “symbolic call to continue the fight for racial justice,” the project’s organizers said.

    Black artists, musicians, poets, and leaders will be attending to commemorate the launch.

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