New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Announces His Resignation

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday he will resign from office in 14 days, bowing to pressure following a bombshell attorney general report accusing him of violating federal and state laws involving sexual harassment of subordinates.

Earlier Tuesday, an attorney for the governor held a press conference in an attempt to discredit elements of the New York Attorney General’s report, which was released last week. Rita Glavin, who is representing the governor, said “This is about the veracity and credibility of a report that is being used to impeach and take down an elected official.”

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Vehement Anti-Trump Group Donated $85k to Atlanta Election Judges, Now Auditors Want Some Repaid

A liberal nonprofit that accused President Donald Trump of unleashing a “surge in white supremacy and hate” donated $85,000 last fall to election administrators in Georgia’s largest county as part of a campaign to turn out black votes in the 2020 election. Auditors now want some of that money returned.

The Fulton County Auditor declared this month that county election officials failed to spend all of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s grant for buying absentee ballot drop boxes and did not comply with one of the grant’s primary requirements to publicly disclose how many ballots were collected in the boxes.

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Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s New COVID-19 Executive Orders Threaten Liberty, Observers Warn

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed an executive order late last week regarding the state’s continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but some people worry it infringes upon basic liberties. Among other things, Lee’s executive order permits more flexibility in behavioral health care to relieve capacity strain and allows medical laboratory directors to monitor facilities remotely. But the order also gives the state government discretion to use the National Guard in connection with certain health care and emergency services operations.

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Commentary: Don’t Be Fooled by the Bipartisan, ‘Paid For’ Infrastructure Bill

Capitol building looking up, blue sky in background

Over the course of the pandemic, federal overspending has exploded even by Congress’s lofty standards. While trillion-dollar deficits were a cause for concern before 2020, spending over just the last two years is set to increase the national debt by over $6 trillion. It’s bizarre, then, that the only thing that members of opposing parties in Congress can seem to work together on is fooling the budgetary scorekeepers with phantom offsets for even more spending.

In total, the bipartisan infrastructure deal includes around $550 billion in new federal spending on infrastructure to take place over five years. Advocates of the legislation claim that it is paid for, but they are relying on gimmicks and quirks of the budget scoring process to make that claim.

Take the single biggest offset claimed — repurposing unused COVID relief funds, which the bill’s authors say would “raise” $210 billion (particularly considering that at least $160 billion have already been accounted for in the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) baseline). Only in the minds of Washington legislators does this represent funds ready to be used when the national debt stands at over $28 trillion.

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Senate Panel Warned That China Could Create Dossier on Every American Using Stolen Data

On Wednesday, a U.S. Senate panel was told by a former national security official that the Chinese government has amassed enough stolen data to be able to create a “dossier” on every American citizen, Fox News reports.

The startling report was made by Matther Pottinger, a deputy national security adviser from the Trump Administration, during testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. “Assembling dossiers on people has always been a feature of Leninist regimes,” Pottinger explained. “But Beijing’s penetration of digital networks worldwide, including using 5G networks…has really taken this to a new level.”

“Beijing’s stolen sensitive data,” Pottinger continued, “is sufficient to build a dossier on every single American adult, and on many of our children too, who are fair game under Beijing’s rules of political warfare.” This information could subsequently be used by China to “influence, target, intimidate, reward, blackmail, flatter, humiliate, and ultimately divide and conquer” its enemies, including the United States itself.

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Memo Reveals University of North Carolina Plan to Sideline ‘Diversity of Thought’ Ahead of Nikole Hannah-Jones Appointment

Nikole Hannah Jones

A memo obtained by Campus Reform reveals that the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media considered “diversity of thought” to be in conflict with its efforts to achieve social justice objectives.

Hussman Dean Susan King wrote the August 1, 2020 memo to university Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz. She stated, “There is a fundamental conflict between efforts to promote racial equity and understandings of structural racism, and efforts to promote diversity of thought. These two things cannot sit side by side without coming into conflict.”

King wrote the memo in anticipation of Nikole Hannah-Jones joining the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill faculty and teaching a class based on the “1619 Project.” 

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Commentary: Blinken’s Diversity and Inclusion Plan Erodes Equality and Excellence

Antony Blinken

On April 12, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the appointment of Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, a career Foreign Service Officer and former ambassador to Malta, as the State Department’s first chief diversity and inclusion officer (CDIO). On July 21, Blinken sent an unclassified cable to U.S. diplomatic and consular posts around the world to introduce Abercrombie-Winstanley — who, in her new position, reports directly to the secretary of state — and to tout the new Office for Diversity and Inclusion.

A State Department that welcomes, and offers opportunities for advancement, to all Americans is a priority. Yet the lofty rhetoric of diversity and inclusion has often provided a cover for imposing ideological conformity and distributing benefits and burdens based on race. Therefore, Blinken’s new undertaking gives cause for concern. His near silence in the two official pronouncements about the personal qualities, educational attainments, professional achievements, and areas of expertise that the State Department values in building a workforce that responsibly conducts American foreign policy heightens apprehensions.

To advance U.S. interests abroad, the State Department must live up to America’s highest principles by ensuring that service in the nation’s diplomatic corps is open to all citizens based on skills, talents, and character. Individuals with diverse experiences, opinions, and training enrich understanding within the department of the vast array of jobs, opportunities, and threats that the United States faces abroad. These range from efficient processing of visa requests and effective operation within international organizations to protect health and the environment to cooperating with friends and partners to counter the Chinese Communist Party’s aim in every region of the globe to reorient world order around Beijing’s authoritarian imperatives.

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Senate Democrats Publicly Release $3.5 Trillion Filibuster-Proof Budget Reconciliation Resolution

Senate Democrats have publicly released their $3.5 trillion, filibuster-proof budget reconciliation resolution.

The draft of the legislation released on Monday includes new spending programs that the White House has labeled “human infrastructure,” such as universal pre-K, childcare support and tuition free community college.

The spending total is estimated over a 10-year period. Using budget reconciliation allows the Democrats to pass the measure without votes from Republicans in the 50-50 Senate. Democrats used the same process in March to pass President Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic stimulus package called the American Rescue Plan Act.

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Police Abolition Is the Only Answer, Stanford Student Group Says

Stanford University officials recently released a report that delved into the problems and benefits of its police force.

But an anti-police group called Abolish Stanford still is not pleased with the report’s recommendations on reforms — its members wanted a complete abolition of the police force and nothing less. The report called for  a reduction in the use of armed Stanford University Department of Public Safety officers.

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Commentary: School Choice Is Not Enough

Young girl wearing black headphones, smiling

If there is a public policy silver lining to this past year, it is the increased support for school choice. Most public schools went online during lockdowns and parents, dissatisfied with the results, sought out other solutions, including private schools, pods, charter schools, online learning, and homeschooling. The last more than doubled with 11.1 percent of households homeschooling, up from 5.4 percent the year before.

Many state legislatures improved school choice options in their states. This is to be celebrated and continued.

School choice by itself, however, will not save students from a failing education if charter and private schools adopt the same curriculum and practices as the most woke schools. Without a focus on the right subjects and lessons, students will be unprepared for personal or professional success. 

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Princeton Offers ‘#BlackLivesMatter’ Course with Readings by an Avowed Marxist

Princeton University students can learn about the growth of the Black Lives Matter movement — while reading from an avowed Marxist.

A Fall 2021 course, called “#BlackLivesMatter,” plans to discuss the important role the social movement has played in fighting against historical oppression of Black Americans.

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Second Federal Court Blocks Biden Mandate Requiring Doctors to Perform Trans Surgeries Against Conscience

A federal court has blocked President Joe Biden’s mandate that would require doctors to perform transgender surgeries against their consciences.

Judge Reed O’Connor of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Wichita Falls Division, granted “a permanent injunction” to the Christian plaintiffs “to be exempt from the government’s requirement to perform abortions and gender-transition procedures.”

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Farmers Cry Foul over Biden’s Death Tax Proposal

Woman with ball cap on, out in the fields of a farm

President Joe Biden has proposed amending the inheritance tax, also known as the “death tax,” but farmers around the country are raising concerns about the plan.

In the American Families Plan introduced earlier this year, Biden proposed repealing the “step-up in basis” in tax law. The stepped-up basis is a tax provision that allows an heir to report the value of an asset at the time of inheriting it, essentially not paying gains taxes on how much the assets increased in value during the lifetime of the deceased. This allows heirs to avoid gains taxes altogether if they sell the inheritance immediately.

Under Biden’s change, heirs would be forced to pay taxes on the appreciation of the assets, potentially over the entire lifetime of the recently deceased relative. 

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State Lawmakers Strip Four Democrat and Two Republican Governors’ Power After Overreach During COVID-19 Pandemic

State legislatures in six states limited their governors’ emergency powers wielded during the COVID-19 pandemic, arguing executives have overextended their authority.

As of June 2021, lawmakers in 46 states have introduced legislation stripping governors of certain emergency powers, according to USA Today. Legislatures justified their actions as necessary to restore a balance between the branches of state government, pointing to examples of executive overreach and the centralization of power in the hands of governors.

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Defense Argues Mental Ill-Health in Wiggins Sentencing for Murder of Dickson County, Tennessee Sgt. Baker

When a Dickson County, Tennessee jury reconvened Monday on sentencing Steven Wiggins for killing Sergeant Daniel Baker, counsel for the the defendant argued Wiggins suffered mitigating mental-health issues.

Defense attorney David Hopkins emphasized to jurors that their determination of Wiggins’s guilt last week was not being challenged and that the task at hand is deciding whether life without the possibility of parole or the death penalty is deserved.

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Virginia Health System Mandates Vaccines for Employees

Virginia Commonwealth University sign to University Student Commons

Despite the fact that many healthcare workers Butnationwide have taken to the streets to protest vaccine mandates, the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Health System has mandated that all of its employees must take the vaccine. 

“All VCU and VCU Health System employees will be required to report COVID-19 vaccinations,” the university announced. “If you have already reported your vaccination, there is no action required on your part. If applicable, you may submit a request for a medical or religious exemption. Additional information is forthcoming from the university and health system about the medical and religious exemption process.”

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Cases of Respiratory Virus Causing Bronchitis, Pneumonia in Youth Explode in East Tennessee

Baby with a respirator on

Cases of a common seasonal virus that can be deadly to young children and the elderly are exploding, according to an East Tennessee Hospital.

East Tennessee Children’s Hospital says that it treated more cases of Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in July than it had for the rest of 2021 in total, according to a WATE report.

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Commentary: Biden’s Open Borders Drain America’s Resources

Rarely is the sequence of cause and effect so clear. The current surge of migrants at our southern border is the direct result of the Biden administration eliminating the Trump rules that had once tamed the flow. Gone are the “safe third country” agreements that helped migrants apply for asylum in countries through which they had already traveled. Gone is the “remain in Mexico” policy that ensured a mere application for asylum would not be a free ticket into the United States. At the same time, Obama-era “catch and release” for minors and family units has made a comeback. As word has spread of this lax enforcement, more and more migrants throughout the world are attempting the journey.

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Metro Nashville School Bus Driver Says She Cannot Comply with COVID-19 Mask Mandate

A Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) bus driver has informed her employer she “cannot in good conscience comply” with the school system’s new COVID-19 mask mandate. That school bus driver, Brenda Mason, filed a letter Monday stating she disagrees with the mask policy and must object.

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As Infrastructure Bill Heads Toward Passage, Tennessee’s Blackburn and Hagerty Sound Alarm on Debt

Bill Hagerty and Marsha Blackburn

As U.S. Senate leaders expect to pass a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill Tuesday morning, both of Tennessee’s senators, Marsha Blackburn (R) and Bill Hagerty (R) are vehemently opposing the legislation, alarmed by its potential to worsen the national debt.

Senate Democrats have expressed their intention to use a process called reconciliation to avoid any possible filibuster, thus allowing themselves expand the measure to encompass $3.5 trillion in federal spending.

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Fulton County Elections Officials Contradict Georgia Public Broadcasting About the Source and Status of Missing Absentee Ballot Chain of Custody Documents

Georgia Public Broadcasting building

In the latest development related to the absentee ballot chain of custody documents from the November 2020 election, Fulton County elections officials have contradicted Georgia Public Broadcasting News’s claims about their source for the drop box transfer forms and that documents for 18,901 absentee ballots remain missing.

On August 3, The Georgia Star News reported that Fulton County denied the same chain of custody documents for absentee ballots deposited into drop boxes during the November 2020 general election that they purportedly gave to Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) News on or before June 17.

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Conservative Activist and Retired Attorney Mark Pulliam Fights Woke Pedagogy in Maryville Tennessee Schools

Mark Pulliam

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed retired attorney Mark Pulliam to the newsmakers line to discuss his efforts to stop woke curriculum from permeating the Maryville, Tennessee school system.

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Senator Bill Hagerty Explains Why He Put the Brakes on the Democrats Social Debt Bomb

Bill Hagerty

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Senator Bill Hagerty to the newsmakers line to discuss his reasons for holding firm against passing the Greed New Deal disguised as an infrastructure bill.

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The Star News Network Senior Reporter Laura Baigert Details Mike Pompeo Interview

Laura Baigert

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed The Star News Network’s Senior Reporter, Laura Baigert to the newsmakers line to detail her exclusive interview with former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Saturday.

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Constitutional Lawyer and Author of The Authoritarians Jonathan Emord Talks About His New Book and the Rapid Rise of Socialism and Marxism in America

American flag flowing in the wind

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed constitutional lawyer and author of The Authoritarians, Jonathan W. Emord to the newsmakers line to discuss his new book, rising socialism, Marxism, and the administrative state in America.

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Department of Justice Announces Investigation of Phoenix Police Use of Force

Phoenix Police Department

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has opened a pattern or practice investigation into the City of Phoenix and the Phoenix Police Department, according to Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Civil Rights Division on Thursday. 

The Special Litigation Section of the DOJ Civil Rights Division will conduct the investigation. It will assess force used by Phoenix officers, including deadly force, the DOJ said in a press release. They said they would investigate whether PhxPD engages in retaliatory activity against people for conduct protected by the First Amendment if PhxPD engages in discriminatory policing and whether PhxPD unlawfully seizes or disposes of the belongings of individuals experiencing homelessness.

The DOJ said the investigation would additionally examine Phoenix practices for responding to people with disabilities. They will review policies, training, supervision, force investigations, and PhxPD’s accountability systems, such as misconduct complaint intake, investigation, review, disposition, and discipline.

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Carey Set for Second Sprint of 2021 Special Election Even as 2022 Elections, Redistricting Loom

Mike Carey

GOP congressional candidate Mike Carey has jumped right back into campaign mode after besting 10 other candidates on August 3 in a three-month sprint to become the Republican nominee to keep Ohio’s 15th District red with nearly 37 percent of the vote.

The second sprint began the next day, as the November 2 special election to replace five-term Congressman Steve Stivers – and the possibility of May 2022 primary – loom, even as the boundaries of the conservative district covering all or parts of 12 counties could change the political landscape.

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Arizona State Senator Kelly Townsend Files Ethics Complaint Against State Sen. Navarrete, Calls for His Expulsion

Tony Navarrete and Kelly Townsend

State Senator Kelly Townsend (R-Mesa) introduced a formal ethics complaint against her colleague Senator Tony Navarrete (D-Phoenix) and urged Governor Doug Ducey to call a special legislative session to expel the embattled state legislator.

Navarrete was arrested on Thursday and charged with seven felony counts connected to allegations of sexual conduct with two minors. He faces up to a minimum of 49 years in prison.

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Minneapolis Greek Festival Cancels Due to ‘Unrest’

Minneapolis Greek Festival - Taste of Greece

The Minneapolis Greek Festival, Taste of Greece, canceled their 2021 festival because of recent unrest in Uptown. Organizers cited the safety and security of festival-goers as a primary reason for cancellation. A statement from the festival’s website reads that they felt they would be “unable to find a successful solution to ensure the safety and security” of all those participating in the festival. The festival was supposed to take place September 9 through September 11.

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Rieth-Riley Workers Win Settlements Against Union for Illegal Strike Retaliation

Rieth-Riley Construction paving a parking lot

Michigan Rieth-Riley Construction Company employees Rob Nevins and Jesse London won settlements against the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 324 union.

The settlements order IUOE union bosses not to discriminate against London and Nevins for leaving the union and pay $364 to London for owed health insurance premium.

The settlements stem from charges of retaliation the workers filed during the strike IUOE union bosses ordered in mid-2019. London and Nevins ended their union memberships and chose to keep working.

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Delta Airlines Declines to Respond to Anti-Semitism Charge

Delta airlines plane taking off

Officials with the Atlanta-based Delta Airlines would not comment Monday after a rabbi accused the airline of anti-Semitism. This, after airline officials barred a group of Orthodox Jewish girls from boarding a flight from Amsterdam to New York last week — and then removed them from another flight the next day, according to BusinessInsider.com

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Battle to Replace Minneapolis Police Department Heats Up With Ballot Explainer Lawsuit

Minneapolis Police officer with dog and children

The battle over a November ballot measure to replace the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) is now subject to a lawsuit, as anti-police activists cry foul.

“The Yes 4 Minneapolis campaign filed a lawsuit against the city and the city clerk’s office,” Fox 9 reported. “The group accuses the city of ‘attempting to mislead voters’ about a proposed amendment that would replace the MPD with a department of public safety.”

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Virginia General Assembly Passes Compromise ARPA Allocation Bill

Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax sp ... inance Chair Senator Janet Howell.

RICHMOND, Virginia – After hammering out a compromise between the House of Delegates and the Senate, the Virginia General Assembly voted to send its American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) budget bill to Governor Ralph Northam. The bill passed the House 78-20 and passed the Senate 23-16.

Senate Finance Committee Chair Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) said that she and other senators fought for the Senate’s amendments in a conference committee with representatives from the House.

“As you look at the conference report you will see that on several items our position was affirmed, and on others we were able to compromise,” she reported to the Senate.

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Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich Launches Investigation into Refusal of Maricopa County Supervisors to Comply with Election Subpoenas

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich launched an investigation into Maricopa County Board of Supervisors’ refusal to comply with subpoenas issued by the state legislature.

In ignoring the subpoenas, the officials have declined to provide the state legislature, who is conducting a forensic audit of the November 2020 election, additional information and election routers.

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Ohio COVID-19 Vaccination Rate Passes 50 Percent

Man getting COVID vaccine

Ohio crossed a COVID-19 vaccine milestone over the weekend as more than 50% of the state’s eligible population reached partial or fully-vaccinated status while masking and social distancing requirements continued to vary throughout the state.

Gov. Mike DeWine announced over the weekend the state passed 50% of eligible Ohioans at least starting the vaccine process, along with the increase in vaccinations in 85 of the state’s 88 counties. At the same time, Ohio’s reported cases Friday rose to 1,666 new daily cases and 24 deaths.

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Commentary: House Democrats Want to Defund the Police (Again)

Capitol of the Commonwealth of Virginia

Word in Richmond is that the Virginia Senate — the more congenial of the two halves of the General Assembly — is looking to include the Virginia Republican idea that all law enforcement professionals should be extended a one-time $5,000 bonus.

House Democrats in the more rambunctious chamber are digging their heels in deep with a firm and potentially election hinging NO.

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Leon County School Board Member Attempts to Dox Florida Gov. DeSantis’ Children

Rosanne Wood

Leon County, Fla. School Board Member Roseanne Wood posted on Facebook she received word Maclay School, in Tallahassee, has reinstated their mask mandate for students, which she initially claimed happened to be where Florida Governor Ron DeSantis sends his children to school.
“I just got word through the listserv at Maclay – where Ron DeSantis is sending his children – has rescinded their opt-out policy and is requiring masks of all people on campus for the beginning of school,” the post said. “Wise decision! Safety first.”

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Federal Judge Sides With Norwegian Cruise Line, Issues Injunction Against Florida Law

Cruise ship in the ocean during sunset

A Miami-based federal judge granted a request from Norwegian Cruise Line and has issued a preliminary injunction blocking a Florida law banning vaccine passports.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the law after this past Spring’s legislative session, which says no business operating in Florida may require customers or patrons to prove they are vaccinated against COVID.

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