Carol Swain Commentary: Coronavirus and the Politics Behind It

On March 12, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the human coronavirus a pandemic, which is defined as a global outbreak of a disease. The existence of the coronavirus has created a worldwide panic. Among the things I don’t understand: why this virus, compared with others before it, warrants shutting down the United States and killing its economy. Our nation survived 9/11, Swine Flu, and H1N1. But coronavirus (COVID-19), together with the politics behind it, threatens to annihilate us.

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Chinese Biologist Carrying Suspected SARS and MERS Samples Attempted to Enter the US Through Detroit Metro Airport

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials prevented a Chinese national from sneaking undeclared biological materials into the United States in late 2018, roughly one year before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

An unnamed Chinese biologist carrying suspected vials of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) arrived at the Detroit Metro Airport in November 2018, according to an FBI tactical intelligence report obtained by Yahoo News.

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DOJ IG Checked 29 More FBI Spy Warrants, and Found Problems with All of Them

The Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General has a “lack of confidence” in the FBI’s procedures to validate information used to obtain spy warrants on American citizens, the watchdog said in a report released Tuesday.

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found errors in all 29 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant applications that were subject to the review.

The audit is a follow-up to an investigation of the FBI’s surveillance of Carter Page, the former Trump campaign aide.

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Gannett Newspaper to Furlough Journalists

Newspaper giant Gannett announced Monday it will begin furloughing employees across the country over the next three months to cut costs during the economic slowdown caused by the novel coronavirus.

The Hill reports, “the publisher of more than 100 newspapers, including USA Today, the Detroit Free Press, The Columbus Dispatch and The Arizona Republic, is reportedly furloughing workers who make more than $38,000 a year and they will be required to take one week of unpaid leave per month in April, May, and June, according to a tweet from investigative reporter Gregory Holman of the Springfield News-Leader in Missouri, a Gannett-owned paper.”

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Neil McCabe: ‘I Think You’re Seeing A Very Serious Move to Dump Biden and Put in Andrew Cuomo’

On Tuesday’s Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Michael Patrick Leahy spoke with special guest former Breitbart colleague and Washington journalist Neil McCabe.

During the third hour, McCabe talked about how he felt President Trump was in a position where he had to use a combination of his gut and statistics most of which are in use from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Washington State University’s funded IHME. Nearing the end of the segment, Leahy and McCabe discussed whether the 2020 presidential election was a topic of discussion in Washington circles and pondered an internal DNC coup by Cuomo.

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Professor Warns Coronavirus Campus Closures Could Have ‘Big Implications’ for 2020 Census

Campus closures because of the coronavirus pandemic could lead to students being undercounted in the 2020 Census, at least according to one professor at Texas A&M University.

Professor Dudley Poston, who teaches sociology, wrote an op-ed for The Conversation explaining how undercounting could occur, and how it could financially affect college communities. He argued that self-isolating at home, which for students means possibly returning to live with their parents, could affect “where and if they are counted.”

“And that could have big implications,” he added.

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Music Spotlight: Andrew Hopson

NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Rarely do I agree to write a story on a person based on one single. But when I heard the song “Stronger Than That,” it was a no-brainer for me. I knew I had to interview this up and coming artist. Andrew Hopson is a true country boy from Tazewell, Tennessee (located where West Virginia meets Kentucky), whose music will bring you back to the traditional honky-tonk sounds of Hank, Willie, and Waylon.

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China Acknowledges Underreporting Coronavirus Cases

A top Chinese health official said Wednesday that the government will begin counting coronavirus patients without symptoms in its official tally of cases of the virus, in what is a tacit acknowledgement that Beijing has underreported data on the pandemic.

China’s National Health Commission disclosed that the government is monitoring 1,541 people who have tested positive for coronavirus but have no symptoms.

Chang Jile, the head of the health agency, said at a press conference in Wuhan that the government will start reporting asymptomatic patient numbers Wednesday.

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Model Cited by White House Officials Projects Ohio Hospitals Have Enough Capacity to Handle State’s Upcoming Coronavirus Peak

  A new epidemiological model cited by White House officials shows that Ohio hospitals have sufficient regular hospital bed and ICU hospital bed capacity for when the peak of the coronavirus hits the state in the upcoming weeks. According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) model, Ohio…

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Trump Campaign Digitized Entire Operation in 24 Hours, Contacted 100,000 Minnesota Voters Virtually

President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign digitized its entire field operation within 24 hours after staffers were forced to work from home because of the coronavirus pandemic, sources told The Minnesota Sun.

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Ohio Extends School Closures Until May 1

The Ohio Department of Health is extending its order to keep schools closed through the end of April, Gov. Mike DeWine announced.

The previous order was to expire on April 3, but the new directive extends the closure through May 1.

The decision is the latest action to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Ohio, where there are 1,933 confirmed cases and 39 deaths.

“There is the real possibility that our schools could stay closed longer than this, but we want to give parents and teachers as much notice and flexibility as we can,” DeWine said in a news release. “Schools should continue to do what they’re doing now – providing the best remote learning that they can, serving meals to students in new ways, and planning for what the rest of the year may look like.”

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Michigan Lawmaker Asks Governor to Allow Some Businesses to Reopen If They Adhere to Social Distancing Guidelines

State Rep. Triston Cole (R-Mancelona) asked Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to allow some nonessential businesses to reopen if they follow social distancing guidelines.

Cole sent a letter to Whitmer on Monday, claiming her stay-at-home order hurt small businesses, including those in the construction and landscaping industry. Both of those industries, said Cole, allowed workers to work safely while staying apart from each other.

“I certainly understand where our governor is coming from. Public safety must always be the main priority,” Cole said in a statement. “However, keeping people employed and businesses operating must also be a priority.”

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Nashville Mayor Reveals Plan to Raise Property Taxes Amid Tornado Devastation and Coronavirus Pandemic

Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced during his virtual State of the Metro address Tuesday that he plans to “sharply increase” the city’s property tax rate.

Cooper said the Nashville Finance Department predicts that revenue from sales taxes and other activities will be down between $200 and $300 million because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Because of the unusual circumstances, Cooper didn’t have a budget proposal to discuss but said the budget ordinance he plans to present to the Metro Council in April will “sharply” increase the city’s property tax rate. Cooper said the final rate will still be lower than other cities throughout Tennessee.

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