Commentary: Combating Global Food Insecurity 

As COVID-19, violent conflicts, and natural disasters persist around the world, an increasing number of people face an additional crisis: food insecurity.  Although food insecurity existed in many low- and middle-income countries prior to 2020, it is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has escalated this global challenge.

Today, according to the United Nations World Food Program Live Hunger Map, an estimated 870 million people live on insufficient food consumption.  This figure has increased since 2019, when an estimated 821 million people did not get enough food to eat. 

Within the 79 countries in which the World Food Program operates, the number of people suffering from acute malnutrition or worse has doubled to 270 million people since 2019.

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Ohio Bill Would Prevent Gun Seizures During Emergencies

Two Ohio state legislators have introduced a bill that would prevent state and local governments from attempting to seize guns or close gun stores or ranges during declared emergencies.

When introducing the proposal, State Senator Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) and State Representative Scott Wiggam (R-Wayne County) pointed to shutdowns of gun stores in Michigan throughout the coronavirus pandemic as the source of inspiration for the bill. 

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Biden Admin Considers Changing Trump’s Pandemic Border Closures to Allow ‘Vulnerable’ Migrants into US: Report

The Biden administration is reportedly considering changes to a Trump-era public health order that allows for asylum-seeking migrants to be rapidly expelled to their country of origin, BuzzFeed News reported Wednesday.

The Biden administration’s unofficial plan could grant humanitarian exceptions to some migrants allowing them to enter the U.S. regardless of former President Donald Trump’s implementation of Title 42, a public health order issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic allowing officials to expel migrants at the southern border, BuzzFeed reported.

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Emails Show Scientists Scrubbed Early Warning of Potential Lab Origin of COVID-19

Emails obtained through an open records request show that several top scientists declined in an early statement about the origins of SARS-Cov-2 to acknowledge the possibility that the virus had escaped from a lab, a scenario that many disease experts still consider highly plausible.

In February of 2020, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy directed the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to “rapidly examine the information and data needed to help determine the origins of the novel coronavirus that is causing a global outbreak of respiratory illness.”

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Governor Lee’s State of the State Address: a ‘Roaring’ Economy, Growth, and Investments in Local Communities

Despite the past year’s events, Governor Bill Lee had plenty of good news for Tennesseans in his State of the State Address. The General Assembly appeared to agree with the governor’s assessments – at many points throughout the address, their socially-distanced, masked audience rose to applaud Lee.

“Scripture has a lot to say about those crossroads and what to do on the heels of suffering. Where do we find promise in this season?” opened Lee. “The promise is found in perseverance which produces character that leads to hope. Tennesseans will know tonight that tragedy has no hold on who we are or where we are headed. Tragedy won’t define us, it won’t rob us of the opportunity that 2021 holds.”

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WHO Study Finds Remdesivir Didn’t Help COVID-19 Patients

A large study led by the World Health Organization suggests that the antiviral drug remdesivir did not help hospitalized COVID-19 patients, in contrast to an earlier study that made the medicine a standard of care in the United States and many other countries.

The results announced Friday do not negate the previous ones, and the WHO study was not as rigorous as the earlier one led by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. But they add to concerns about how much value the pricey drug gives because none of the studies have found it can improve survival.

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WHO Official Warns Against Coronavirus Lockdowns

A World Health Organization (WHO) official urged world leaders this week to stop “using lockdowns as your primary control method” to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, The Daily Caller reports.

The statement has prompted questions about whether the WHO has backflipped on its advice, after they previously advised against lifting lockdown restrictions too quickly. Back in June, Dr. Michael Ryan, executive director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Program, explained, “We all want to avoid whole countries going back into total lockdown, that is not a desire anybody has,” continuing, “But there may be situations in which that is the only option.”

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Gov. Northman’s Virginia Power Grab Defies Science

The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) presented analysis of COVID-19 hospitalization data on patient demographics, age and sex, accompanying chronic conditions and length of stay during a webinar on Thursday.

The study reviewed statewide data trends from over 8,700 COVID hospitalizations in Virginia between January and June of 2020, and was presented by David Vaamonde, vice president of data analytics for the VHHA.

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Commentary: Pelosi Holds Millions of Small Businesses Hostage While Working Families Struggle

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when a lot less was known about the virus and how to counter it, and while the nation was still ramping up production of testing and hospital resources including ventilators needed, 25 million jobs were lost across the country, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Since labor markets bottomed in April, 13.8 million jobs have been recovered, as states have begun steadily reopening in the months since.

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Ohio Unemployment Tops 1.1 Million in Seven Weeks Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

The state of Ohio has more than 1.1 million people who have filed unemployment claims in the past seven weeks as Ohio’s stay-at-home led to widespread layoffs – which has more than the combined total for the last three years – the US Department of Labor reported Thursday.

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State House Speaker Householder Expresses ‘Tremendous Frustration’ with Gov. DeWine’s ‘Restart Ohio’ Plan

Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) expressed sharp criticism on Monday for Governor Mike DeWine’s plans to reopen the economy during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic over what he called an “unwillingness to recognize” the needs of small business.

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Ohio State Controlling Board Splits $90 Million in Federal Funds: 10 Percent to Ohio Department of Health and 90 Percent to ‘Rural Transportation’

The state Controlling Board voted to split $90 million of federal taxpayer money aimed to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic between the Ohio Health Department – which will receive $8.5 million – and rural transportation departments across the state, which will receive the balance of $81.5 million to “aid for rural transportation systems,” according to a statement released by Democrats Monday.

“We need to ensure health care workers and officials on the ground have the tools they need to detect, track and contain this virus before we begin to reopen our state. This funding is a step in the right direction to get us where we need to be, but we’re not there yet,” said Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron).

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Steve Bannon: The Chinese Communist Party is the Enemy of the United States, the Chinese People, and All of Mankind

On Monday’s Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy was joined on the newsmakers line by War Room Pandemic host Steve Bannon to discuss the timeline of Communist China’s coverup of the coronavirus.

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Commentary: Postcards from the Pandemic Show Good Faith Frays

At the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the public was willing to give the benefit of the doubt to the appropriate medical, public health, and government authorities. The public trusted these pandemic policymakers would use solid scientific evidence as the basis to implement the reasonable measures needed to “flatten the curve” and protect the public health.

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