Michigan Rep. Tlaib Says She Only Wears Masks in Front of Camera

Rep. Rashida Tlain (D-MI-13) admitted on video Wednesday that she only wears a mask when the cameras are rolling. 

“I’m only wearing it because I have this Republican tracker over here,” Tlaib said when asked by a man whether he should put on a mask.

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Speaker Cameron Sexton Weighs In on Parent Centered News Conference Monday with Lee and Schwinn

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, guest host Ben Cunningham welcomed Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton to the newsmakers line to reiterate Monday’s press conference as Tennessee stands united on COVID and education.

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DeSantis Executive Orders Granting Pardons for COVID-19 Convictions Adopted

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis proposed two executive orders to the Florida Executive Board of Clemency Wednesday that continues his pursuit to stop local governments from establishing overreaching COVID-19 restrictions. 

 The two orders, EO 21-132 and EO 21-133, would grant full pardon for individuals or businesses who are charged with non-violent civil and criminal offenses related to breaking local COVID-19 restrictions; and waive fees or fines associated with breaking COVID-19 restrictions, respectively.

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California Ordered to Pay $2 Million in Legal Fees to Church that Violated Coronavirus Restrictions

People holding hands in air at church worship service

After a lengthy court battle, the government of the state of California backed down in its efforts to enforce coronavirus restrictions on a church that continued hosting in-person worship services, and has now agreed in a settlement to pay the church’s $2 million worth of legal fees, Breitbart reports.

When the state repeatedly attempted to enforce strict capacity limits, mask mandates, and other “social distancing” requirements on the San Diego-based Pentecostal church, the church’s lawyers filed suit with the United States Supreme Court, winning all three suits. This ultimately led to lawyers on behalf of the state of California agreeing to the settlement, which was approved by a federal judge.

Responding to the settlement, an attorney with the Thomas More Society, a legal group that represents churches facing suppression of their First Amendment rights, pointed out that while businesses such as Costco were limited to 50 percent capacity, while churches were forced to stay as low as 25 percent, and sometimes even lower.

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Whitmer Vetoes Bill Exempting High Schools from Capacity Limits at Graduation

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) will not allow full capacity at high school graduation ceremonies this year, despite rapidly declining COVID-19 cases and deaths nationwide. 

Thursday, she vetoed legislation that would have exempted high schools from the state’s 50 percent capacity limit on indoor gatherings, according to Detroit News.

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Majority of Ohio COVID Restrictions Set to End

Many of the restrictions put in place throughout Ohio in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will expire at midnight on Tuesday. Governor Mike DeWine has stated he will not renew the regulations.

However, DeWine has left the door open for some regulations to remain in place in certain settings. Gov. DeWine announced that the decisions to require masks and limit the total capacity of the number of guests or customers will be left up to individual businesses and other organizations.

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Michigan Gov. Whitmer Caught Breaking COVID Rules at Bar

Once again, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) finds herself in hot water after a photo surfaced showing her breaking her own social distancing rules at an East Lansing bar over the weekend. 

“The group shot of 13 individuals appeared to violate the governor’s restaurant capacity order issued May 15 on ‘gathering limitations for entertainment establishments, recreational establishments, and food service establishments,'” according to Breitbart, which first obtained the photo. 

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Cooper Finally Lifts Nashville Mask Mandate

Nashville Mayor John Cooper (D) announced Friday that the city will no longer require residents or visitors to wear masks, and announced an end to capacity restrictions on businesses.  

“As of this morning, Nashville has lifted the mask mandate and all capacity restrictions. 301,700 Nashvillians have received a vaccine, which is life-saving and economy-saving. Together we weathered the storm of the last 14 months, and Nashville is ready for the rebound,” he said on Twitter, attaching a public service video announcement. 

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South Carolina, Montana to Stop Providing Pandemic-Related Welfare

"Come in, we're open" business sign

The states of South Carolina and Montana have both decided in recent days to put an end to their handouts of federal unemployment benefits as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, in an effort to encourage residents to return to the workforce, as per CNN.

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) said in his announcement that “incentives matter, and the vast expansion of federal unemployment benefits is now doing more harm than good. We need to incentivize Montanans to return to the workforce.” Instead, Governor Gianforte announced that the state government will be providing $1,200 checks as bonuses to every citizen who returns to work, using the state’s share of the recent $1.9 trillion stimulus package to pay for it.

In South Carolina, Governor Henry McMaster (R-S.C.) announced on Thursday that the state would be ending their share of federal unemployment benefits, since “what was intended to be a short-term financial assistance for the vulnerable and displaced during the height of the pandemic has turned into a dangerous federal entitlement, incentivizing and paying workers to stay at home rather than encouraging them to return to the workplace.”

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Ron DeSantis Signs Bill Scrapping All of Florida’s Covid Restrictions

Gov. DeSantis discussing COVID-19 bill.

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order Wednesday scrapping all COVID-19 restrictions throughout the state and an accompanying bill that limits localities’ ability to enforce emergency precautions.

“I think that’s the evidence-based thing to do,” DeSantis said during a press conference Tuesday announcing the executive order. “I think folks are saying they need to be policing people at this point, if you’re saying that, then you’re really saying you don’t believe in the vaccines.”

DeSantis signed SB 2006, which says that any emergency orders can last no longer than six weeks. It gives him the authority to overrule cities that adopt restrictions deemed too harsh or unnecessary, and gives city and county commissions the power to overrule mayors.

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Michigan Gov. Whitmer Outlines Vaccine Benchmarks to Lift COVID-19 Restrictions

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a reopening plan that ties lifting COVID-19 restrictions to Michigan’s vaccination rate.

The “MI Vacc to Normal” plan will use four vaccination-based milestones for Michiganders 16 years or older who have received a first COVID-19 vaccine to dictate reopening. The state aims to reach its goal of vaccinating 70% of Michiganders ages 16 years or older.

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Georgia to Lift All COVID-19 Restrictions

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) announced on Wednesday that Georgia is lifting all COVID-19 restrictions.

“We know hard-working Georgians cannot endure another year like that last. That is why beginning tomorrow we are loosening the remaining restrictions on our economy here in Georgia,” Kemp said in a video statement Wednesday.

Starting from Thursday, Georgia businesses will no longer be required to enforce social distancing, the ban on gatherings will be eliminated and the ability for authorities to shut down businesses that violate restrictions will be taken away, according to The Hill. 

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Survey: Michiganders Support Metric-Driven Plan to Ease COVID-19 Restrictions on Restaurants

Justin Winslow

A restaurant survey indicates 74% of respondents supported a required metric-driven plan to ease COVID-19 restrictions.

On Tuesday, the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association (MRLA) released a statewide survey indicating public support to resume indoor dining and travel.

The survey also indicated wide support for hospitality workers receiving prioritized vaccination as well as for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to produce a metric-driven plan to retain control over COVID-19 restrictions.

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Michigan Business Groups Oppose Some House Health Care Reform Bills

A health care reform package the House passed Wednesday is creating a rift between the state’s business groups and the GOP.

Michigan business leaders formed a new Michigan Affordable Healthcare Coalition that aims to reduce health care costs without raising costs on small businesses.

In a Thursday afternoon press conference, business leaders voiced opposition to House bills 4346 and 4354, claiming they would raise health insurance premiums that are already a heavy burden for many businesses.

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Fauci Warns States to Keep Restrictions or Independence Day Could Be Cancelled

On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that the Biden Administration’s prediction that coronavirus vaccines can lead to relative normalcy by July Fourth is “quite reasonable” —assuming states don’t pull back public safety measures, Politico reported.

“If you wait just a bit longer to give the vaccine program the chance to increase the protection in the community, then it makes pulling back much less risky,” said Fauci, on “Fox News Sunday.” “But if you do it prematurely there really is a danger of triggering another surge.”

But Fauci expressed concerns the pandemic is still a danger in the United States, with the number of new cases seeming to plateau at 50,000 or 60,000 daily over the last week.

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Michigan an Outlier in Comparative State Restaurant Restrictions

Nearly a year after the COVID-19 pandemic began, Michigan is surrounded by states that dropped restaurant restrictions while Michigan restaurants statewide are still capped at 25% capacity and a 10 p.m. curfew.

Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin have no statewide restaurant capacity limits, according to the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association (MRLA).

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Central Virginia Law Enforcement Agencies Won’t Pull Over Cars Violating New Curfew

Several law enforcement agencies in Central Virginia as well as the Virginia State Police say they will not be pulling over drivers as a method of enforcing Governor Ralph Northam’s new midnight to 5 a.m. statewide curfew.

“We will NOT be conducting traffic stops on people otherwise lawfully operating a motor vehicle during these times,” Chesterfield County Police Chief Colonel Jeffrey S. Katz wrote on Facebook. “The law requires officers to have reasonable suspicion to stop a driver. There are completely lawful reasons for people to be out and about during these times and therefore mere operation of a motor vehicle does not remotely meet the legal burden necessary to justify a lawful stop.”

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Northam Imposes Curfew, New Mask Requirement, Updated Gathering Limits for Virginia

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam issued increased statewide restrictions during a press briefing Thursday afternoon to combat rising coronavirus numbers in the Commonwealth as the Christmas holiday approaches.

Starting at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, December 14th, a modified stay-at-home order will be in place with a curfew for all Virginians from midnight to 5 a.m. The only exceptions are getting food and goods, seeking medical attention as well as traveling to and from work.

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Colonial Williamsburg Grand Illumination Canceled due to Recent COVID-19 Restrictions

The annual Grand Illumination special event in Colonial Williamsburg’s historic area will not take place this year.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and the city announced the event was cancelled in a news release earlier this week because of current statewide coronavirus restrictions as well as an increase in cases despite efforts to continue with the ceremony during the pandemic.

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Three Nashville Women Charged for Hosting Party on Halloween in Violation of COVID-19 Rules

Metro Nashville charged three women for hosting a Halloween party that officials say violated COVID-19 restrictions.

Charged were Madilyn Dennington, Bailey Mills and Olivia Noe, according to a story by WKRN. They are residents at a house on Boscobel Street that allegedly hosted the party; authorities received complaints for a loud party there.

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Virginia Restaurant Owners React to New COVID-19 Restrictions

Governor Ralph Northam announced new statewide coronavirus restrictions last weekend, which went into effect Monday, that will impact a number of retail businesses throughout the Commonwealth.

“COVID-19 is surging across the country, and while cases are not rising in Virginia as rapidly as in some other states, I do not intend to wait until they are. We are acting now to prevent this health crisis from getting worse,” the governor said in a press release.

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State Requires Restaurants to Get Customer Contact Information for Dine-in Starting Monday

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is imposing more restrictions on indoor areas beginning Monday.

“The only way to beat COVID is to act on what we’ve learned since March,” MDHHS Director Robert Gordon said in a statement. “Wear masks. Keep six feet of distance. Wash hands. And avoid the indoor get-togethers where we have seen COVID explode.”

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Self Serve Is Back, at Risk No Longer Cautioned in Dine Safe Order

Ohio’s Interim Health Director Lance D. Himes released an amended version of the “Dine Safe Ohio” order Wednesday.

The new order has permitted the use of “self service” food stations at “retail food establishments. The order stated that all “Retail food establishments that are regulated by the Ohio Department of Agriculture are permitted to resume use of their self-service food stations in accordance with guidance from the Department of Health.”

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UVA to Students: Lockdown! But…Pay Us!

University of Virginia (UVA) President Jim Ryan announced new COVID-19 restrictions on Tuesday prohibiting student gathering of five or more people, mandating constant use of masks or face coverings and banning  travel and visitors coming to campus for at least the next two weeks. 

The restrictions apply to students, faculty and staff, living on and off campus, and went into effect on Wednesday at 9 a.m. 

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Healthcare Activist Says Patients Aren’t Being Allowed Crucial Visitors

A nurse turned medical activist is accusing an Ohio Healthcare Provider of refusing to help her husband after she complained about the Hospital’s visitor policies.

Michelle Estel, says that she received a letter from Fairfield Medical Center (FMC), where her husband was receiving chemotherapy for his lymphoma stating that the hospital could no longer provide care to him since the relationship between he and the hospital was “no longer effective.” 

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Calls to Impeach DeWine at Women’s Rally

A Women for Trump meetup in Ohio quickly turned into a rally to impeach Governor Mike DeWine.

Around a hundred women who gathered at Donald Trump’s Ohio headquarters to show their support for the president chanted “impeach DeWine,” according to The Columbus Dispatch. The event featured South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, who recently spoke at the Republican National Convention.

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Ohio State University and Other Colleges Crack Down to Prevent COVID Spread Even as Hospitalizations Remain Low

Universities across the country are taking more and more aggressive steps to prevent the spread of COVID.

The moves come as positive cases on university campuses have increased, though false positives remain an issue and some reports show that the number of COVID related hospitalizations at many major institutions remains at 0.

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Ohio to Lift Restrictions on Senior Care Facilities

The Ohio Health Department lifted its restrictions Monday on adult daycare and senior centers.

The facilities were shut down in March as a result of the pandemic. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said at the time, “Our senior citizen’s centers provide very important support, these centers will close.” DeWine lamented the decision calling senior citizen centers the “heart of the community.”

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Ohio State University Suspends 228 Students for Breaking the School’s Coronavirus Guidelines

Ohio State University (OSU) suspended 228 students Tuesday for violation of the school’s coronavirus guidelines, according to 10WBNS.

Students found hosting or attending parties were issued interim suspensions, though it is unclear if anyone in attendance was at high risk or had been in contact with anyone who tested positive for the coronavirus.

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Virginia House Democrats to Introduce Legislation ‘Demilitarizing Police Departments,’ Ending Qualified Immunity, and More During Special Session

Virginia’s legislature will meet in a Special Session on August 18, and House Democrats are eyeing new laws and regulations that will place tighter regulations on Virginia police departments and officers.

In a statement released today, the House Democrats listed a myriad of points (detailed at the end of the article) they hope to address by introducing new legislation during the Special Session.

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Minnesota Department of Health to Allow Visitors into Nursing Homes at the End of August

People wanting to visit their loved ones residing in nursing homes and assisted living facilities will be able to starting August 29, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) announced Monday.

This will be the first time visitors have been allowed into long-term care facilities since March 31.

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State Senator Kerry Roberts: ‘We’re Not Going to Fix This World Until People Come to Know Jesus Christ’

Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The 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. – Leahy was joined in studio by Tennessee state Senator Kerry Roberts.

During the third hour, Leahy and Roberts talked about how Mayor Cooper made it difficult for the Republican National Convention to come to Nashville even though it would have helped many suffering businesses. Roberts added that in order to fix this world people need to know Jesus.

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