Governor Bill Lee Claims ‘Our Executive Order Gives the School District Authority to Impose a Mandate, but Gives the Parent the Ability to Opt Out’

On Tuesday Governor Bill Lee told Clay Travis and Buck Sexton on their nationally syndicated radio program, “our executive order actually gives the school district the authority to impose a mandate, but it gives the parent the ability to opt out of that if they choose it.” “I have always been a really strong believer that parents know best what their children need. So I’m a parent. I raised four kids, got eight grandkids. No one knows their kid like the parent. No one cares about their children more than their parents, and so in the middle of all of this covid world that we’re living in, which is people,” Lee told Travis when asked about Executive Order No. 84, signed by the governor on Monday.

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Americans’ Allegiance to National Anthem Remains Strong Despite Protests, Poll Shows

Polling ahead of the 2021 NFL season indicates that, despite an increasingly political landscape for the sport and its fans, Americans overwhelmingly would prefer that the National Anthem continue to be the sole anthem played prior to games.

According to a recent poll conducted by Newt Gingrich’s American Majority Project in conjunction with McLaughlin & Associates, a total of 61% of Americans believe that “only” the American National Anthem should be played at NFL Games. That figure ticks up slightly to 64% among Republicans, and falls to 58% among Independents, while 11% of those polled said they don’t know.

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National Gingrich 360 Anthem X-tabs 8-3-21 .pdf
The poll was conducted in the wake of the NFL’s recent decision to play “Lift Every Voice and Sing” – often referred to as the black national anthem – before all games during the upcoming season, ahead of the playing of the American National Anthem. The song was initially introduced by the NFL when it was sung by Alicia Keys at the Super Bowl for the 2020-2021 season. The decision to play the song before each game is reportedly part of the league’s quarter-billion dollar investment in social justice messaging and initiatives.

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School Board Recall Attempts Spike Amid Concerns About COVID Closures, Critical Race Theory

Group of young students at table, reading and wearing masks

School board recall efforts are sweeping the country, with many driven by parents claiming Critical Race Theory (CRT) is infecting schools, demanding schools reopen in person, and arguing that boards are consumed by virtue signaling.

According to Ballotpedia, 58 such efforts against 144 board members have taken place in 2021. Those are both all-time highs since it started tracking school board recall efforts in 2006, and far above the next highest year, 2010.

Only one school board member has been removed in 2021, however, while three resigned and seven were retained in elections. One is scheduled for a November recall vote in Kansas for upholding a mask mandate.

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Democrats May Hand GOP a 2022 Election Gift: Hearings on Biden’s ‘Flawed’ Afghan Exit

President Joe Biden is facing bipartisan backlash over the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan ahead of the 2022 midterm elections as lawmakers from both parties call for an investigation into his administration’s handling of the U.S. withdrawal.

Democrats vowed “tough questions” Tuesday as they used words like “flawed,” “failures” and “horrifying” to describe the administration’s exit strategy and the scenes unfolding in Kabul.

The president, for his part, is not changing course and vows to complete a full withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Afghanistan. But he now faces the specter of his own party investigating his team’s conduct and competence in the shadows of a 2022 election where control of Congress is up for grabs.

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Tennessee Law Puts Up Several Barriers to Keep Tennesseans from Recalling Their Local School Board Member

Board Meeting

If you live in Tennessee and you’re so upset with your local school board member that you want to recall him or her then you’re not going to like what state law has to say about the subject. One of Tennessee’s largest cities will apparently permit you to recall your local school board members, but the state’s vast other regions will not.

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Commentary: The Woke Road to Kabul

If stagflation, rising urban crime, and a weak Democratic president did not remind us enough of the 1970s, we now have our very own fall of Saigon.

To the astonishment of many naïve observers, especially those among the polite and orderly caretakers of America’s decline (for whom I suggest the acronym “POCAD”) now so foul misplaced atop our discredited foreign policy establishment, Afghanistan’s Taliban shrewdly—and predictably—waited until U.S. forces had nearly completed their withdrawal from the country before launching a massive offensive that has conquered almost all before it.

Outside Kabul’s precariously held airport, the capital has fallen. Afghanistan’s president Ashraf Ghani fled the country and was within a matter of hours replaced by a Taliban mullah. U.S. diplomats destroyed the secret papers (and, reportedly, images of the American flag) while pusillanimously begging the new regime not to attack the embassy, over which the colors no longer fly. Taliban fighters are joyfully lounging in captured bases where they have won huge caches of American military hardware for use against their doomed countrymen, or to supply whatever other terrorist groups take refuge with them.

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Tennessee Senator Bill Hagerty Weighs In on Afghanistan Debacle and Botched Biden Press Conference

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed (R-TN) Senator Bill Hagerty to the newsmakers line in an exclusive interview addressing the United States withdrawal from Afghanistan.

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Five Counties in Tennessee End Vehicle Emissions Testing

Five counties in Tennessee are ending vehicle emissions testing. The counties are five out of six total Tennessee counties that require emissions testing on vehicles. According to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Commissioner David Salyers, “It’s a recognition of the improvement of our state’s air quality and demonstrates the diligence Tennesseans have shown toward achieving and maintaining this goal.”

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Retail Sales Dipped in July Amid Spiking Coronavirus Cases

Woman shopping

Retail sales in the U.S. declined in July as the number of coronavirus cases spiked, localities renewed some restrictions and businesses delayed their return to in-person work.

Sales dropped 1.1% in July compared to June and totaled $617.7 billion, according to the Census Bureau report released Tuesday. The decrease was driven mainly by declining used and new car sales, clothing purchases, building materials sales, sports goods sales and furniture purchases.

Economists expected retail sales to fall 0.3%, a relatively modest drop compared to the actual decline, CNBC reported. All major stock market indices declined between 0.5% and 0.8% on Tuesday morning following the worse-than-expected report.

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Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee’s Henry and Mayor Ogles: Despite out of Control Spending, Red Wave in Sight

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed American’s for Prosperity’s Grant Henry and Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles to weigh in on the reckless spending in Washington.

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Commentary: Climate Change Activists Misrepresent Extreme Weather Events

The Pacific Northwest was hit with a record-shattering heat wave in June, with temperatures over 35 degrees higher than normal in some places. On June 28, Portland, Ore., reached 116 degrees. Late last week the region suffered another blast of hot weather, with a high in Portland of 103 degrees. The New York Times didn’t hesitate to pronounce the region’s bouts of extreme weather proof that the climate wasn’t just changing, but catastrophically so.

To make that claim, the Times relied on a “consortium of climate experts” that calls itself World Weather Attribution, a group organized not just to attribute extreme weather events to climate change, but to do so quickly. Within days of the June heat wave, the researchers released an analysis, declaring that the torrid spell “was virtually impossible without human-caused climate change.”

World Weather Attribution and its alarming report were trumpeted by Time magazine, touted by the NOAA website  Climate.gov , and featured by CBS News, CNBC, Scientific American, CNN, the Washington Post, USAToday, and the New York Times, among others.

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Tennessee Lt. Gov. McNally Warns Davidson and Shelby Counties on Mask Opt-Outs: General Assembly ‘Will Not Allow Lawful Orders to be Defied’

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s executive order granting public school students the right to opt out of COVID-19 mask mandates has prompted Nashville and Memphis school administrators to announce they will not comply with Lee’s latest directive. That, in turn, prompted a response on Tuesday from Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge). On Facebook, McNally said Metro Nashville Public Schools’ (MNPS) and Shelby County Schools’ (SCS) officials’ apparent defiance against Lee left him “appalled and alarmed.”

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Host Leahy with Guests Ogles and Henry Follow Up on Hagerty Interview and the Wreckage of Afghanistan Withdrawal

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Mayor Andy Ogles and Grassroots Director Grant Henry to the studio to give their take on Senator Bill Hagerty’s summation of Biden’s decision to abruptly withdraw from Afghanistan.

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Leahy and Ogles Discuss Former Tennessee Health Official Michelle Fiscus’ Dog Muzzle Story

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed AMF’s Grant Henry and Mayor Andy Ogles in studio to discuss the strange claims made by former Tennessee health official Michael Fiscus.

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Tennessee’s and Georgia’s COVID-19 Policies Protected Lives and Also Minimized Damages to Both States’ Economies, Report Says

During COVID-19, Georgia and Tennessee have both fared substantially better economically than Kentucky and Michigan with no significant increase in cases from reopening their economy. This, according to a report that members of the Nashville-based Beacon Center of Tennessee published this month. Beacon is a free market think tank.

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Former State Attorney General Adam Laxalt Launches Senate Bid in Nevada

Adam Laxalt

Former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt launched a long-expected Senate bid Tuesday, becoming the highest-profile Republican to take on Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto.

“The radical left, rich elites, woke corporations, academia and the media, they’re taking over America,” Laxalt said in an announcement video likening them to Star Wars’ Galactic Empire.

Laxalt served as attorney general from 2015-2019. In 2018 he lost his bid for governor to Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak.

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Dr. Carol Swain: ‘The National Agenda Is to Keep Everyone in Masks to Strike Fear in the Hearts of People and Manipulate the Population’

host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist, Dr. Carol Swain, in studio to advise of her upcoming in-store appearance at Puffy Muffin where she will be signing her new book Black Eye for America this Saturday, and governor Lee’s lack of Republican leadership.

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Facebook Threatens Legal Action Against Group Conducting Research on Algorithm Manipulations

Person looking on Facebook with trending topics

A research group that has been investigating the manipulation of algorithms by Instagram was forced to shut down its research after legal threats from Facebook, according to Breitbart.

The Germany-based group, AlgorithmWatch, was investigating how Instagram favors certain types of content over others, and thus promotes them more heavily on users’ timelines. The group had been utilizing a browser extension that specializes in collecting data from users’ Instagram feeds in order to determine certain trends.

Among other findings, AlgorithmWatch determined that Instagram, a photo-sharing website, more heavily prioritizes images that include faces rather than just text. In May, representatives from Facebook, which owns Instagram, requested a meeting with the project’s leaders; during that meeting, Facebook accused the group, without any evidence, of violating Instagram’s terms of service. They also claimed that the investigation was in violation of the European Union’s GDPR data laws, since the project was allegedly collecting user data without the consent of the users.

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‘It’s Everywhere’: Migrants Say They’re Not Responsible for Spreading COVID-19

Acting Executive Officer of the RGV U.S. Border Patrol Sector Oscar Escamilla, left, fields questions from tour participants as Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas, right, leads a delegation of Congressional representatives on a tour of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Donna Processing Facility in Donna, Texas, May 7, 2021. Secretary Mayorkas updated the delegation on unaccompanied children arriving at our Southern Border as they viewed conditions at the facility. CBP Photo by Michael Battise

MCALLEN, Texas — Several illegal migrants told the Daily Caller News Foundation that they aren’t responsible for spreading COVID-19 in America.

Migrants who illegally crossed into the U.S. near the Hidalgo Point of Entry on Aug. 10 in a group of about 20 people said they weren’t worried about catching COVID-19 at any point in the journey to their final destinations in America.

“Everywhere people are getting infected,” a vaccinated man from Ecuador told the DCNF after illegally entering the U.S. near the same location on Aug. 7. “It’s honestly not that the migrants are bringing the virus. It’s everywhere.”

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Mayor Andy Ogles Questions Governor Lee’s Emergency and Statutory Powers

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles in studio to examine the Tennessee state constitution relating to whether or not Governor Bill Lee has the authority to extend emergency powers.

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Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction Says 20 Year Effort is Marked by ‘Too Many Failures’

Special IG for Afghanistan ReconstructionFollow Inspector General John F. Sopko Testifies before Congress

The special inspector general for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) is calling the two-decade effort to rebuild the country a failure. The August 2021 report details the areas in which the American effort to rebuild the country came up far short of the initial goal.

“The extraordinary costs were meant to serve a purpose – though the definition of that purpose evolved over time,” reads the 140-page report, alluding the United States’ changing goals in the region over the course of its 20-year military presence in Afghanistan.

“After 13 years of oversight, the cumulative list of systemic challenges SIGAR and other oversight bodies have identified is staggering,” reads the report.

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Precedent Matters: Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles Questions the Slippery Slope of Bill Lee’s Executive Order Regarding Masks in School

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles in studio to discuss the lack of clarity in Bill Lee’s executive order for K12 mask mandates.

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Former Soccer Player Hope Solo Says Megan Rapinoe Would ‘Bully’ Teammates into Kneeling for Anthem

Hope Solo holding up jersey

Hope Solo, the former goalie for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, said during an interview on Tuesday that her teammate Megan Rapinoe would resort to bullying tactics to coerce the other players into kneeling during the National Anthem, Fox News reports.

“I’ve seen Megan Rapinoe almost bully players into kneeling because she really wants to stand up for something in her particular way,” Solo said on the podcast “All of US: The U.S. Women’s Soccer Show.” However, Solo noted, “it’s our right as Americans to do it in whatever way we’re comfortable with,” before going on to describe the kneeling phenomenon as “very divisive.”

For this reason, Solo said she was relieved when the National Anthem was removed from the beginning of the game “to really remove that decision from athletes, because that’s very tough.”

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Black Eye for America Author Dr. Carol Swain Talks New Book and Fighting Back Against Critical Race Theory

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist and author Dr. Carol Swain in studio to discuss her new book, Black Eye for America.

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Reform-Minded Conservatives Seek to Bar Ohio GOP Endorsements, Promote State Conventions, Honest State Party

Reform-minded members of the Ohio Republican Party’s State Central Committee held a press conference outside the Governor’s Mansion east of downtown Columbus on Tuesday to push for ending endorsements in primary races and unchecked financial support of incumbent officeholders.

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Science on Mask Usage Indicates Scant Benefit

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended that all schools require mask-wearing indoors by teachers and students, vaccinated or unvaccinated against COVID-19. 

And many school districts are adopting that requirement, to the dismay of many parents.

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Arizona Representative Kaiser Says Biden-Harris Administration Responsible for Afghanistan Catastrophe

A press release from Arizona State Representative Steve Kaiser (R-Phoenix) says that the Biden Harris Administration is responsible for the Afghanistan catastrophe. Kaiser, a United States Army veteran who served in Afghanistan, condemned the “mishandling of the Afghanistan withdrawal.” Kaiser called the situation the result of “ incompetent leadership and disastrous mishandling.”

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Minnesota Activist and Parent Groups Representing Thousands of Parents Sign on to Anti-Masking Letter

Girl with mask on and braids

Minnesota activist and parent groups that allegedly represent over 30,000 Minnesota parents have signed on to a letter opposing mandatory masking of children. The letter, which has also been used in Wisconsin to protest mandatory masking, was addressed to Governor Tim Walz and President Joe Biden. The letter was written and released under the group Open Schools USA.

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Florida’s Senators Blast Biden over Afghanistan Withdrawal

Marco Rubio and Rick Scott

Florida’s senators went on the offensive in the wake of the Taliban reconquering Afghanistan, heavily criticizing the President Joe Biden administration over the way the withdrawal of American and allied forces were withdrawn from the war-torn country.

Florida’s junior senator, Rick Scott, even floated the idea of invoking the 25th Amendment which deals with presidential succession related to the capability of the current president, and possibly removing Biden from office.

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Ohio Technology Internship Program Focusing on ‘Diversity and Inclusion’

Woman on laptop

The Ohio government-sponsored Diversity and Inclusion Technology Internship Program is looking to help companies hire “diverse, young talent.” The program is sponsored by Ohio’s Department of Development and Tech Ohio, working with Ohio’s Third Frontier, that “works with innovative startup companies across the state, making Ohio the destination for technology entrepreneurs.”

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Virginia Redistricting Commission Moving Forward with Two Partisan Map-Drawing Teams

RICHMOND, Virginia – The Virginia Redistricting Commission will hire separate Republican and Democratic map-drawing teams after voting against a non-partisan team proposed by the Democratic legal counsel. In the Tuesday meeting, the commission also worked on a guidance document and agreed to allow the use of historical political data and incumbents’ addresses during the map drawing process.

Democratic citizen members of the commission lamented the loss of a more non-partisan perspective.

“The spirit of what we were trying to do as a commission as we’ve heard from citizens over and over again, is not quite unfolding the way maybe many citizens had hoped, but we will do the best we can within the constraints of what we’re voting on as a commission,” Co-Chair Greta Harris (D) said.

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Music Spotlight: Minnie Murphy

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – The first time I heard Minnie Murphy sing was when Jamie O’Neal was performing at RomaDrama in Franklin. O’Neal said, “Come on up and join me.” Murphy was holding her one-year-old son, but that didn’t matter. She just belted out her part with ease. Her love of music and singing rang true. I was even more excited to get to interview her.

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Biden Backs Defiant Florida School Districts

Joe Biden

President Joe Biden has commended the Florida school districts who are defying Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order banning mask mandates in Florida’s schools.

Biden called Broward Superintendent Vickie Cartwright earlier this month and praised her “leadership and courage to do the right thing for the health and well-being of their students, teachers, and schools,” by imposing a district-wide mask mandate.

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Joe Biden Mistakenly Calls Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ‘Jennifer’ as She Backs Infrastructure Plan, Mileage-Tax Pilot Program

President Joe Biden mistakenly called Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) “Jennifer” on Wednesday, an apparent reference to a previous Michigan governor, Jennifer Granholm, who is now Biden’s energy secretary.

Of course, the two Great Lake State Democrats aren’t that easy to get confused; Granholm finished her tenure as governor eight years before Whitmer took office.

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Michigan Gov. Whitmer Kidnapping Case Rocked by Allegations FBI Told Informant to Lie, Delete Text Messages

Gretchen Whitmer

When the Michigan government announced the foiling of a plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in October of 2020, many applauded the law enforcement agency working the case.

Attorneys for the alleged members of the kidnapping plot, however, are claiming Federal Bureau of Investigation deceit and entrapment of innocent people.

Mlive reported Michael Hills, an attorney for Brandon Caserta, one of six men indicted, claimed an FBI special agent told a paid confidential informant identified as “Dan” to lie, delete messages between them, and implicate an innocent third party.

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Renacci Asks Ohio Attorney General, Secretary of State to Investigate Sources of DeWine Campaign Cash

Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Renacci has asked Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Secretary of State Frank LaRose to open another line of investigation into the FirstEnergy Corp. public corruption scandal and incumbent GOP Governor Mike DeWine’s re-election campaign.

Renacci transmitted the joint letter to the Republican statewide officeholders Monday late afternoon in the latest attack attempting to more closely tie DeWine and the corruption scheme from the House Bill 6 passed in July 2019. FirstEnergy pushed the legislation  to allow it to tap Ohio electric customers both inside its service territory and that of other investor-owned electric utilities to financially support its two old nuclear power plants located along the Lake Erie shores to the tune of $1.1 billion.

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Alliance Defending Freedom Wants to Change Focus of Tanner Cross Lawsuit to Stop Requirement to Use Preferred Pronouns in Loudoun Public Schools

The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is shifting focus in its Cross v. Loudoun County School Board lawsuit after the board approved a transgender policy last week. On Monday, the ADF filed a request to amend their complaint with the court. The new complaint adds two more Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) teachers and focuses on a provision that requires all faculty and students to use a students preferred pronouns.

ADF Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer said in a press release, “Loudoun County Public Schools is now requiring all teachers and students to deny truths about what it means to be male and female and is compelling them to call students by their chosen pronouns or face punishment. Public employees cannot be forced to contradict their core beliefs just to keep a job. Freedom — of speech and religious exercise—includes the freedom not to speak messages against our core beliefs.”

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Florida Tourism Industry Rebounds in the Second Quarter of 2021

Tourism numbers in Florida continue to rebound in 2021, as data from quarter two (Q2) by the state’s tourism marketing agency, Visit Florida, shows 31.692 million visitors from April 1st to June 30th – 16.3% more visitors than quarter one.  

The first two quarters of 2021 show an improvement compared to quarters two, three, and four of 2020 during the pandemic, which recorded 9.92 million, 20.33 million, and 19.09 million visitors, respectively.

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Texas GOP Gov. Abbott Tests Positive for COVID-19

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott has tested positive for COVID-19, his office announced Tuesday.

“Governor Greg Abbott today tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The governor has been testing daily, and today was the first positive test result,” said Office of the Governor Communications Director Mark Miner.

“Governor Abbott is in constant communication with his staff, agency heads, and government officials to ensure that state government continues to operate smoothly and efficiently. The Governor will isolate in the Governor’s Mansion and continue to test daily. Governor Abbott is receiving Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody treatment,” the statement continued.

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