Tennessee Defends COVID-19 Response to Oversight Chair

Gov. Bill Lee on Wednesday defended Tennessee’s response to the coronavirus pandemic after receiving criticism from a top Democratic congressional leader, arguing that his decisions have been “data driven” despite not adhering entirely to White House recommendations.

“Our response has focused on reducing bureaucratic barriers, strengthening private sector partnerships, and finding every opportunity to protect the lives and livelihoods of Tennessee,” Lee, a Republican, said in a three-page letter to South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn.

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Ohio Secretary of State Will Not Mandate Masks at Polling Places

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose stated that Ohio will not require masks to be worn at Ohio polls.

In a press conference Wednesday, LaRose went through the state’s guidelines and detailed some of the precautions Ohio would take in light of the recent pandemic. The secretary of state encouraged voters to take advantage of absentee voting, a system that’s caused some controversy recently, stating that the system “is completely safe.”

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Ibrahm Bouaichi, Virginia Inmate Released Due to Coronavirus Pandemic, Arrested for Murdering Accuser

A Virginia inmate who was released from jail because of the Coronavirus pandemic is back in police custody for allegedly murdering his accuser.

Ibrahm Elkahlil Bouaichi, a 33-year-old man who was arrested for allegedly raping his ex-girlfriend Karla Elizabeth Dominguez Gonzalez in October 2019 and held without bond, was arrested Wednesday morning for shooting and killing Gonzalez on July 29.

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City of Detroit Seeking Photos of Coronavirus Victims for Memorial

The City of Detroit is seeking photos of those who lost their lives to the coronavirus to display as part of a city memorial event.

Detroit will host Detroit Memorial Day on August 31 to honor city residents who died because of COVID-19, Mayor Mike Duggan announced earlier this month. The city plans to install large photo boards with the submitted pictures along a route on Belle Isle.

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Attorney General: Mask Mandates Are Legally Defensible

Tennessee’s attorney general says mask mandates are constitutionally defensible in an opinion that comes as some county mayors have moved to enact the requirements.

Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III wrote in an opinion Friday that for more than a century, the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that “a community has the right to protect itself against an epidemic of disease which threatens the safety of its members.”

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Michigan Schools Will Hold In-Person Classes in Fall, Whitmer Announces

Michigan schools will be allowed to reopen and hold in-person classes in the fall, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced on Wednesday.

Schools will be required to follow strict safety measures. Whitmer said she plans to release an executive order and a “Michigan’s Return to School Roadmap” on June 30 that will contain the requirements and recommendations for schools. It is currently unclear what those requirements may be.

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Commentary: Let America Work Again

It was Monday morning on March 10, 2019, when Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 lurched away from the gate, rolled to a sprint, and peeled its wheels off the runway for the last time. Aboard, 157 souls including eight Americans and one veteran on vacation doing missionary work, were flying.

Six minutes after takeoff, Flight 302 plunged back to earth, trailing white smoke across the sky until reaching its terminus near Bishoftu, Ethiopia. All aboard perished when the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft screamed into the ground at nearly 700 miles per hour, leaving a massive crater with wreckage driven up to 30 feet deep into the soil.

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Commentary: The Intolerant, Ingrate Left Wants Christians to Stop Helping COVID-19 Victims

Just as soon as the Christian organization Samaritan’s Purse came to the aid of overwhelmed New York City officials and sick residents struggling to combat the effects of COVID-19, New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson decided the diverse, “tolerant,” progressive city had enough of its assistance, due to its Christian foundation, and effectively kicked the charity out.

While it’s usually Christians who are scolded for their so-called intolerant beliefs that are rooted in centuries-old religious traditions, here it seems like it’s progressives who aren’t so tolerant of other people embracing views that are different than theirs—even if those very views inform their acts of charity and medical care.

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More Than 47,000 File for Unemployment in Michigan as State Continues to Stay Shut Down

More than 47,000 people filed for unemployment in Michigan in the week ending May 9, bringing the state total to more than 1.7 million people in the state who have filed for unemployment insurance, according to recently released data from the U.S. Department of Labor.

According to the data, 47,438 people in Michigan filed for unemployment insurance in the state in the week ending May 9, down nearly 20,000 claimants from the previous week. Nearly 3 million people filed nationally.

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Whitmer Receives Backlash From Amash, Others Over New Order

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has received backlash from politicians and citizens alike after she extended and added to the “Stay Home, Stay Safe order” that requires Michigan residents to stay at home.

Whitmer extended the order to the end of April. In addition to banning “nonessential” businesses and asking residents to stay at home, the new order also places restrictions on stores, blocks the sale of certain items and prohibits travel between two residences in the state.

The order restricts stores that are more than 50,000 square feet from selling items related to carpet or flooring, furniture and paint, as well as garden centers. It also bans travels between two Michigan residences except for activities that are considered essential, such as caring for a family member or to fulfill custody agreements.

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272,117 New Unemployment Claims This Week in Ohio, One of Worst States in Nation

  Unemployment numbers in Ohio continue to surge as the coronavirus pandemic causes another 272,117 people to claim unemployment benefits, according to Fox19. Last week, 196,297 people filed for unemployment benefits. This means that in the last two weeks 468,414 Ohioans have filed for government assistance, which is more than…

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Feds Waive Standardized Testing for Current School Year Because of Coronavirus

On Friday U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said the federal government would waive standardized testing for the 2019-2020 school year because of the ongoing coronavirus emergency.

U.S. Rep. Mark Green, (R-TN-07), in a press release, said he appreciated DeVos and U.S. Republican President Donald Trump for this action.

“The gravity of the situation our schools continue to face while navigating the COVID-19 outbreak would have created an undue burden for preparing and administering statewide assessments,” Green said.

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Ohio State University Delays Spring Commencement Ceremony

Ohio State University (OSU) announced Tuesday it has postponed its spring commencement ceremony amid coronavirus concerns.

“Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation that no large events be scheduled over the next eight weeks, we have postponed our spring commencement,” Michael Drake, the president of the school said.

Drake said OSU’s preference is to reschedule the event later on in the spring, but a new date hasn’t been chosen.

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