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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Governor Bill Lee’s Executive Order Last July Contradicts Claims to Sean Hannity That He’s Been Against Masking Kids

Governor Bill Lee claimed that he’s been against masking kids, but his executive order last July contradicts his remarks. Lee made that claim during a special panel interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity. Lee was featured alongside fellow Republican Governors Kristi Noem (South Dakota), Ron DeSantis (Florida), Kim Reynolds (Iowa), and Christopher Sununu (New Hampshire). Near the very end of Executive Order No. 55, Lee “strongly encouraged” schools to impose mask mandates.

Local education agencies, schools, and institutions of higher education are strongly encouraged to implement a policy requiring the use of face coverings by students and staff, with appropriate exemptions, and consistent with any policies issued by the Tennessee Department of Education. No policy, local order, or official may prohibit a student, teachers, school employee, or visitor from voluntarily wearing a face covering except to the extent that such face covering presents a safety or security risk. (emphasis added)

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New Study Shows Masks Did Not Slow COVID Spread

Guy wearing a mask

According to a new study by University of Louisville the state mask mandates didn’t help slow the spread of COVID-19, Townhall reported.

The study found that “80% of US states mandated masks during the COVID-19 pandemic” and while “mandates induced greater mask compliance, [they] did not predict lower growth rates when community spread was low (minima) or high (maxima).” According to the report, the study used data from the CDC which covered multiple seasons and concluded that  “mask mandates and use are not associated with lower SARS-CoV-2 spread among US states.”

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Whitmer’s Administration Rescinds COVID Rule She Broke Days Earlier

Gov. Whitmer at restaurant with large group

Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration has rescinded the rule that Whitmer broke over the weekend.

Whitmer apologized Sunday after photos posted over the weekend showed her dining with at least a dozen others at The Landshark Bar & Grill in East Lansing, Michigan. Breitbart News first reported the news on Sunday.

Michigan’s May 15 order formerly mandated that no more than six people may be seated at the same table, and the governor has faced heavy criticism throughout the pandemic for strict COVID restrictions that have forced many Michigan restaurants and businesses to shutter their doors.

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Commentary: Military, Science, and the Law Are Losing the Trust of Middle America

two individuals holding an American flag on a bridge to honor Sun Prairie’s fallen firefighter as the procession passed underneath.

Americans mostly have given up on familiar institutions for entertainment, guidance, or reassurance. What now do Hollywood, network news, the media in general, Silicon Valley, the NBA, NFL, MLB, or higher education all have in common? 

A propensity to lecture Americans on their moral inferiorities, a general ethical decline in their own disciplines, and a strange obsession to acquire great wealth while living in contrast to what they advocate for others. Add also incompetence. Movies are mostly bad now. The network news is blow-dried groupthink. There is no “paper of record” anywhere. Twitter and Facebook no longer even try to hide their politicized contortions of warped rules and twisted protocols. 

Professional athletes are now reminders of why no one ever wants to be “enlightened” by multimillionaire quarter-educated narcissists. The public a half-century ago lost faith in academia. It wasn’t just that most new bad ideas could be traced to the campus or that hothouse professors increasingly seemed both ignorant and arrogant, but rather their product—educating students—was defective. No one believes anymore a BA is synonymous with knowledge. More likely, it is a euphemism for incurring $100,000 in debt. 

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Some Virginia Universities Ease Mask Mandate for Vaccinated Students, Faculty, Staff

College student walking on campus, wearing mask

Some Virginia universities have eased their mask mandates for those who have been fully vaccinated to follow more closely with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Universities that officially made mask changes for vaccinated people include the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Virginia Commonwealth University and Old Dominion University.

“Based on the advice of University medical experts, we are pleased to inform you that the University will follow the advice of the CDC and the Governor and update our policy so that UVA community members who are fully vaccinated can now safely forego masks both indoors and outdoors,” UVA President Jim Ryan said in a statement with other university leaders.

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Whitmer to Ease Michigan’s COVID-19 Restrictions June 1

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced outdoor capacity limits will disappear after June 1, when indoor capacity limits will increase to 50% under updated public health restrictions.

The state will lift the broad mask and gathering orders July 1, Whitmer said Thursday at Dow Diamond In Midland.

“We look at this as the last moment of this type of orders,” Whitmer said after Michigan has battled COVID-19 for 14 months via a wide range of emergency orders.

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Ohio Gov. DeWine’s Chief of Staff to Step Down

Governor Mike DeWine’s office is experiencing a shake up in his staff. DeWine’s chief of staff, Laurel Dawson is stepping down to assume a different role within his administration. 

The sudden move has prompted Michael Hall, DeWine’s current policy director, to be promoted to the head position.

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Virginia Congressman Bob Good Fined $500 for Not Wearing a Mask in the House of Representatives

Congressman Bob Good (R-Virginia-05) is one of several Republican representatives who refused to wear a mask in the House this week, leading to warnings and fines.

“I’ve received a warning and a $500 fine for my effort to stand up against Speaker Pelosi’s anti-science rule, which is clearly just for political theater. Speaker Pelosi’s mask mandate on the House floor is not about science, it’s about control and virtue signaling for the TV cameras. This week, I stood my ground, and refused to dignify this ridiculous rule by continuing to comply,” Good said in a statement Thursday.

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Commentary: You Don’t Need a Permission Slip to Go Back to Normal

Group of people together socializing at dinner table

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control did an about-face, announcing that the fully vaccinated among us may resume normal activities. The news came more than a year after California initiated the first lockdown on March 19, 2020.

The CDC’s new posture comes with some narrow exceptions. If you’re traveling on a plane or find yourself in a homeless shelter or in a medical or correctional facility, you still need to wear a mask; and the CDC made sure to clarify, apparently out of great deference for federalism and Hayekian spontaneous order, that its guidance does not predominate over the requirements of federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.

Before the CDC updated its pandemic guidance, this was exactly the position espoused by libertarian law professor Ilya Somin of George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia School of Law. Writing from his regular perch at the legal blog The Volokh Conspiracy, Somin’s argument is summarized nicely in the subheading of his piece, “Free the Vaccinated from COVID Restrictions”: “Doing so will protect constitutional rights, reduce vaccine hesitancy, and increase liberty—all at once.”

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Commentary: Montana Governor Strips Mask Fanatics of Their Power

Monanta Gov. Greg Gianforte

Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte of Montana delivered mask fanatics a hefty, but essential, blow last week when he signed House Bill 257 into law, stripping the few remaining left-leaning health departments in the state of their ability to use their clout and control to dominate the population through unquestioned mask enforcement. The bill declares that counties can no longer require businesses to enforce health mandates, such as mask-wearing or capacity limits and restrictions, or pursue other whimsical edicts or decrees, such as cancel farmer’s markets, prohibit school parades, ban families of spectators at high-school athletic events.

While most Montana counties and towns (including Billings, the largest city in the state with a population of approximately 110,000) removed their mask mandates several weeks, if not months, ago, the university-dominated cities of Missoula and Bozeman, as well as the small, politically mixed capital city of Helena, seemed to be only tightening the screws on chronic mask-wearing. They repeatedly hid, changed, or lied about the markers and metrics for mask mandates’ removal, inexplicably shifting from one theoretical possibility or scenario to another. In the meantime, COVID-19 vaccinations have increased to the point where testing sites and vaccination camps are virtually empty, hospitalizations have plummeted to nonexistent, and deaths from the virus have fallen to the level somewhere between venomous snake bites and automotive fatalities. Yet paradoxically, the healthier and the more strengthened the state, and the more that it has recovered from the numbing side effects of the shameful lockdowns, the further away the remaining mask-obsessed health departments have pushed the date of mask abolition.

Without House Bill 257, the remaining communities would have stayed perennially under the twisted, tight-fisted influence of a handful of marginally knowledgeable, power-intoxicated, unelected bureaucrats who were playing the “follow the Fauci” model of single-minded governance. Wear a mask. Wear a mask. Wear a mask. In fact, it would not be hard to imagine a scenario in which one government employee with a mask fetish would continue to bully the populace, terrorizing the summer camps into outside mask-wearing through the hottest days of August or perpetuating mask requirements for children straight into the fall of 2021 or beyond.

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Minnesota to End Statewide Mask Mandate Friday

Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday announced the end of Minnesota’s statewide mask requirement starting Friday, aligning Minnesota with new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on face coverings.

“So, those peacetime emergencies are done and the business mitigations are coming to an end. I want to be clear it’s not the end of the pandemic, but it is the end of the pandemic for a  lot of vaccinated folks,” he told reporters.

Minnesotans who aren’t fully vaccinated are strongly recommended to wear face coverings indoors.

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Metro Nashville Public Schools Will Continue Requiring Masks, After Nashville Officials Ended the Mask Mandate Last Week

Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) announced last week that they will continue enforcing their mask mandate indefinitely. The announcement came out Friday – the same day that Metro Nashville health officials ended the mask mandate.

The Tennessee Star reported on a recent court ruling that schools lacked the legal authority to impose a mask mandate contrary to state and their local government policy decisions. The Star inquired with MNPS about the relationship between this ruling and their decision to continue the mask mandate. MNPS spokesperson Sean Braisted told The Star that the case referenced doesn’t prevent a school district from enacting or enforcing mask requirements. The Star asked if this ruling would jeopardize MNPS’s qualified immunity if parents challenged the mask mandate in court. Braisted responded that MNPS wouldn’t comment on hypothetical legal challenges.

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At Least 40 Percent of NIAID and FDA Employees Have Not Been Vaccinated, According to Fauci and Marks

Doctor giving vaccination to patient

At least 40 percent of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) employees are refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine according to NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, and FDA official Dr. Peter Marks.

During a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing Tuesday on efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Richard Burr (R-Va.) asked Fauci, Marks, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky what percentage of their own employees were vaccinated.

Both Fauci and Marks estimated that a little more than half—perhaps around 60 percent of their employees—have been vaccinated. Walensky waffled, saying only that she was “encouraging employees to get vaccinated,” but couldn’t say how many have actually done so.

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CDC Tells Schools to Keep Students in Masks

Student on campus wearing a mask outside.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told schools nationwide on Saturday they should plan to keep students in masks because of the limited vaccinations of children.

“CDC recommends schools continue to use the current COVID-19 prevention strategies for the 2020-2021 school year,” the agency said in new guidance for students issued just days after it cleared vaccinated adults to ditch their masks in most instances.

“All schools should implement and layer prevention strategies and should prioritize universal and correct use of masks and physical distancing,” it added.

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Dozens of House GOP Reps Urge Pelosi to Drop Masking Rules Following Revised CDC Guidance

Nearly three dozen House GOP representatives this week urged Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to formally drop the House’s strict mask mandate, citing recently updated masking guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the Friday letter, issued from the office of Ohio Rep. Bob Gibbs, 34 Republicans “urge[d] [Pelosi] to immediately return to normal voting procedures and end mandatory mask requirements in the House of Representatives.”

“CDC guidance states fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting except where required by governmental or workplace mandate,” the letter declares. “It is time to update our own workplace regulations. Every member of Congress has had the opportunity to be vaccinated, and you have indicated about 75 percent have taken advantage of this opportunity.”

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Commentary: After Wrecking The Economy, Northam Finally Lifts (Most) COVID Restrictions

One thing proved certain.

When the nation’s only doctor cum governor was thrust into greatness, Northam had a chance to be a physician.

Instead, Northam was every bit the live-birth abortionist he advertised being long before his blackface scandal.

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Over a Year into the Pandemic, Politicians Are Still Getting Caught Ignoring Their Own COVID Restrictions

Mask with smartphone that reads "COVID-19"

Many lawmakers who have ordered or urged citizens not to leave their homes due to the coronavirus pandemic have not followed their own advice.

The Daily Caller News Foundation has kept track of those politicians or local lawmakers who spurned their own COVID-19 rules to attend President Joe Biden’s inauguration and the lawmakers who flouted their own advice and then excused their behavior as essential, compiling lists of the biggest offenders such as Democrats New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and many more.

The DCNF searched for, but did not find, examples of prominent Republicans who urged citizens to stay home due to COVID-19 and then did not follow their own advice. Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, for example, sparked a backlash when he traveled to Cancun in February as Texans struggled without power under heavy ice storms.

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‘Too Risky’: Progressives Are Upset CDC Lifted Mask Mandate

mask in persons hand

Progressives voiced their dismay following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated guidance that vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks indoors or outdoors.

Progressives and medical experts immediately criticized the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mask guidelines, arguing that the alteration was extreme and would be harmful to certain parts of the population. Others said the new guidance is confusing and disincentivizes people to get vaccinated.

“The CDC has done an about-face that’s shockingly abrupt: it’s confusing & could actually disincentivize vaccines,” Dr. Leana Wen, a George Washington University public health professor, tweeted after the announcement Thursday.

“Yes, vaccinated people are well-protected and not a threat to others,” she said in a later tweet. “But do we trust that the honor system—won’t unvaccinated people pretend to be vaccinated & stop wearing masks?”

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Whitmer Ends Statewide Mask Mandate for Fully Vaccinated Starting Saturday

group of people wearing masks

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday announced the state health department will align its policy with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest guidance on face coverings starting Saturday at 9 a.m.

“For more than a year, we’ve been following the best data and science to slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives,” Whitmer said in a statement. “The vast majority of us have trusted the scientists and experts to keep us safe during the pandemic, and it has worked. With millions of Michiganders fully vaccinated, we can now safely and confidently take the next step to get back to normal. The message is clear: vaccines work to protect you and your loved ones. If you have not yet received your vaccine, now is the time to sign up. This pandemic has been one of the toughest challenges of our lifetimes, but we came together as a state to persevere. We have all been working incredibly hard toward getting back to some sense of normalcy, and today’s news makes all of that work worthwhile.”

On Thursday, the CDC released updated guidance recommending “fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”

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Fully-Vaccinated Virginians No Longer Need Masks in Most Settings

Fully-vaccinated Virginians no longer need to wear masks in most places, including indoors. On Friday, Governor Ralph Northam updated his mask mandate, effective Saturday, to align with new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance released Thursday.

“Virginians have been working hard, and we are seeing the results in our strong vaccine numbers and dramatically lowered case counts,” Northam said in his announcement.

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Walz Drops Mask Mandate Following CDC Guidance

Gov. Tim Walz

Minnesota’s mask mandate will come to an end Friday, a maskless Gov. Tim Walz announced at a Thursday night press conference.

The polarizing mandate has been in place since July 25. Walz said last week that he would lift the mandate on July 1 or when 70% of the eligible population received a vaccine — whichever came first.

But a new guidance released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that “fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”

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Metro Nashville Health Officials Silent on Reason for Sudden Reversal of Decision to Continue Mask Mandate, Just Hours After Pledging to Uphold It

According to the Metro Public Health Department (MPHD), Nashville’s mask mandate was supposed to continue despite the latest CDC recommendation. However, health officials quickly reversed their decision within hours, and without offering a detailed explanation. As The Tennessee Star reported Friday, the mask mandate ended on Friday morning at 5 a.m. CST. The Metro Public Health Department (MPHD) shared that the decision was made by certain Metro health officials, who convened after Thursday’s board of health meeting.

MPHD said in a press release that certain Metro health officials met after the Metro Board of Health meeting Thursday to further review the CDC recommendations. It is unclear what further information caused them to change their minds. In response to inquiries from The Star, the MPHD spokesperson shared the same MPHD press release. He said that there weren’t any other reasons for the reversal beyond what’s been shared publicly.

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Virginia GOP Senators Tell Northam to End Mask Mandate

The Virginia Senate Republican Caucus issued a statement via Twitter on Friday urging Virginia Governor Ralph Northam to end the state-wide mask mandate.

The statement follows updated guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that allows vaccinated individuals to no longer wear a mask indoors.

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Virginia’s COVID-19 Case Numbers, Hospitalizations Down to Spring 2020 Levels

Virginia’s COVID-19 case numbers hit a new milestone on Monday: just 336 reported cases, according to the Virginia Department of Health; the last time numbers dropped below 400 was in June and April of 2020. According to the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, COVID-19 hospitalizations are low as well, with the seven-day moving average at 775 on Thursday; that number hasn’t been below 800 since late March 2020.

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More Americans Are Living Their Lives, Leaving Masks at Home, Survey Shows

Group of people sitting at public restaurant, eating.

A majority of Americans said for the first time in over a year that returning to their “normal” pre-pandemic lives did not pose a moderate or large health risk, an Axios/Ipsos survey shows.

The survey, released Tuesday, showed just 43% of Americans saying that returning to “normal” posed either a large or moderate risk to their health. It also shows that majorities of Americans have begun to enjoy several aspects of pre-pandemic life: 54% of Americans have eaten at a restaurant, 59% have visited family or friends and 31% have made summer plans – all in the past week alone.

The return to normalcy and the mental health benefits associated with it directly corresponds with the amount of Americans who say they have been vaccinated. Almost two-thirds of respondents say that they have received at least one shot, and 18% say that their emotional well-being has improved in the past week, which the survey notes is an all-time high during the pandemic.

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Williamson County Schools Ignores Judge Ruling Against Mask Mandates

Williamson County Schools (WCS) will continue their mask mandate, although a judge opined that they lacked authority to do so. Since Williamson County Circuit Court Judge Michael Binkley dismissed the case for lack of standing, he didn’t order the Williamson County Board of Education (WCBOE) to stop enforcing their mask mandate. However, he did specify in an alternative ruling that WCBOE lacked the legal authority to continue enforcing their mask mandate.

The Court is not convinced, as a matter of law, that WCBOE acted within its statutory authority at the time it promulgated its face-covering requirements. Further, the policy decisions promulgated by Mayor [Rogers] Anderson and Governor [Bill] Lee in February 2021 and April 2021 are inconsistent with WCBOE’s continued enforcement of face-covering requirements. With respect to WCBOE’s authority to issue a face-covering requirement, [their] Motion to Dismiss or for Summary Judgment is alternatively DENIED. The Court cannot find, as a matter of law, Defendants have acted within the authority given to them by the legislature when enacting face-covering requirements.

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Commentary: Mask Mandates Promote Servitude, Not Safety

Man on escalator with mask on

The other day, for the first time since March 2020, I embarked on a journey outside of the slave state of California. My wife and I drove to Montana. While I had heard tales of the existence of freedom in other states, I had yet to experience the thing firsthand.

My experience in Montana confirmed what I have long suspected and known, but not witnessed or experienced for myself—that there are two Americas and two very different types of Americans. There are free states and slave states. There are fearful, obedient slaves, and fearless, free Americans.

I didn’t wear a mask for an entire weekend in Montana—not entering my hotel, not walking down the street, not entering a grocery store or gas station convenience store, not getting a coffee, and not entering numerous restaurants and bars. At no point did I put on that filthy face diaper. Nor did anyone else.

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Northam Expects to End Virginia’s Social Distancing Requirements in June

Governor Ralph Northam anticipates ending COVID-19 social distancing and capacity restrictions on June 15. In a Thursday briefing, Northam credited vaccinations with driving COVID-19 case numbers down.

“The data gives us a very clear message. The vaccines are working,” Northam said.

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Michigan Loosens Mask Mandate Starting Thursday

The state health department revised its mask mandate beginning Thursday, May 6, through Monday, May 31, so that masks aren’t generally required outdoors for those who are fully vaccinated unless there’s a gathering of 100 or more people.

New Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) guidance says anyone who is fully vaccinated and not experiencing symptoms isn’t required to wear a mask at indoor residential gatherings.

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Northam Announces Relaxed Guidelines for Social Gatherings, Sports, and Restaurants Effective in May

Citing increasing numbers of vaccinated Virginians, Governor Ralph Northam announced Thursday relaxed COVID-19 restrictions to take effect May 15. The new guidelines allow 100 people at indoor social events and 250 at outdoor gatherings, up from 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors. Other restrictions at restaurants, entertainment, and sports venues are also relaxed.

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Michigan: ‘Strongest Public Health Order in the Midwest’ Now Requires Masks for 2-Year-Olds

The Michigan state government this week directed state residents as young as two years old to begin wearing masks in the hopes that doing so will help bring down the state’s coronavirus numbers.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said in a press release on Friday that the state will expand its COVID-19 response — what the state DHHS calls “the strongest public health order in the Midwest” — to apply its masking requirement “to children ages 2 to 4” in order to “further protect the state’s residents.”

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Wisconsin Supreme Court Strikes Down Mask Mandate by Democratic Governor Evers

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has struck down Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide mask mandate as a coronavirus health-safety measure.

In a 4-3 vote on Wednesday, the court decided Evers had violated state law by unilaterally issuing emergency orders to enforce the mandates without legislative approval, according to the Associated Press.

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Texas Coronavirus Cases Drop over Two Weeks After Restrictions, Mask Mandate Lifted

Covid cases are falling in Texas, over two weeks after Gov. Greg Abbott (R) lifted restrictions, including the statewide mask mandate, Breitbart reported. 

In March, Abbott announced the end of the statewide mask mandate, which had been in effect since July, and lifted restrictions allowing businesses to operate at 100 percent capacity.

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Judge Rules Gourmeltz Can Stay Open While Case Proceeds

Gourmeltz 90’s Music Bar & Drafthouse will stay open for now, after a judge denied a request for an emergency injunction to force the restaurant to close.

Even after being contacted by the health department officials, Gourmeltz owner Matt Strickland has refused to comply with some provisions of Governor Ralph Northam’s COVID-19 Executive Orders.As a result, Strickland’s health certification allowing him to operate legally was rescinded, but Gourmeltz remained open. The Attorney General’s office is now bringing a case against Strickland, but they asked the court for an emergency injunction to close the restaurant while the case proceeds.

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Governor Lee Films Video of Maskless Visit to Downtown Nashville, Where Mask Mandate Still in Effect

A maskless Governor Bill Lee visited downtown Nashville to encourage tourism and support the local businesses. Lee didn’t acknowledge the Metro government’s ongoing mask mandate, which has been in effect since last June.

“Hey everybody, Governor Bill Lee here down on Broadway in downtown Nashville,” said Lee. “I’m glad that you are here for the SCC tournament or whether you’re a spring breaker just about to be here, or someone looking for a place to come this summer – Tennessee is open for business! I’m about to go down to some of my favorite businesses, get me a pair of boots, might get me something to eat. I hope that you will come down and get you some boots and you something to eat in downtown Nashville soon!”

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Psaki Defends Biden’s Neanderthal Comment

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday defended President Joe Biden’s comment that governors who stopped their state’s mask mandates were thinking like Neanderthals.

Biden was talking about “the behavior of a Neanderthal, just to be very clear,” Psaki said during the White House press briefing.

Psaki said Biden’s comments were “a reflection of his frustration and exasperation, which I think many American people have that for almost a year now.”

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Dave Ramsey Endorses Medical Non-Discrimination Business & Consumer Act

Famed financial guru Dave Ramsey endorsed a bill that would prohibit discrimination against consumers for not having masks or the COVID-19 vaccine. The bill covers more – it also would shield customers from discrimination based on the use of a medical device or having received any sort of medical treatment. 

Tennessee Stands, a local grassroots nonprofit social advocacy organization, produced the legislation. The organization has also produced the Religious Exemption Protection Act, which died in subcommittee on Tuesday, and a resolution proposing a constitutional amendment addressing emergencies.

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Abbott to End Texas Shutdown and Mask Mandate Next Week

Nearly one year after first shutting down the state last March, Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday announced Texas would reopen 100% beginning March 10. The statewide mask mandate is also terminated effective next Wednesday.

Abbott rescinded previous executive orders (GA-17, GA-25, GA-29, and GA-31) in a new order issued Tuesday, Executive Order (GA-34), because of the progress Texas has made in reducing the spread of the coronavirus, along with new treatments and greater availability of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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National Park Service Requiring All Employees, Visitors to Wear Masks, in Line with Biden’s Federal Mask Mandate

The National Park Service (NPS) has implemented the federal mask mandate for all employees and visitors of national parks and facilities on Tuesday, the agency announced.

The NPS, which manages 423 properties across the country, is now in line with President Joe Biden’s executive order mandating masks on federal properties that he signed on Jan. 20, his first day in office. 

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Tennessee Legislator Proposes Bill Preventing Businesses from Denying Service to Maskless or Unvaccinated Customers

State Senator Joey Hensley (R-Hohenwald) filed a bill for introduction that would amend certain aspects of the Tennessee Code relative to discrimination. Senate Bill 320 would expand the Code’s provisions to prevent businesses from denying services to individuals who don’t wear or use a certain medical device, or if they haven’t received a certain medical treatment. It would also prevent local government entities from enforcing individual compliance with those medical devices or treatments.

Medical devices covered by the bill are instruments; apparatuses; implements; machines; appliances; implants; reagents for in vitro use; softwares; and materials such as face masks, shields, or cloth coverings. Medical treatments are procedures or medications such as immunizations. 

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Biden Family Violates Mask Mandate for Lincoln Memorial Photo Op

On the night of Inauguration Day, hours after President Joe Biden signed the mask mandate order, he, along with first lady Jill Biden, and members of their family visited the Lincoln Memorial where they took a photo as a group with masks, and one without, Breitbart reports.

Inside the Lincoln Memorial, the 46th President of the United States and the first lady posed for a maskless photo alongside some of their family members, Ashley Biden, her husband Howard Krein, and Biden’s grandchildren Naomi, 27, Finnegan, 20, Maisy, 19, and Natalie, 16, and Robert ‘Hunter’ Biden II, 14. Hunter Biden was not included.

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Georgia House Democratic Caucus COVID-19 Subcommittee Petitions Governor for Mandatory Shelter-in-Place, Mask Mandates, and Social Gathering Restrictions

The Georgia House Democratic Caucus Subcommittee on COVID-19 requested that Governor Brian Kemp implement more emergency regulations to address the new COVID-19 strain. Subcommittee members are State Representatives Rhonda Burnough (D-Riverdale), Viola Davis, (D-Stone Mountain), Shelly Hutchinson (D-Snellville), Donna McLeod (D-Lawrenceville), Sandra Scott (D-Rex), and Kim Schofieeld (D-Atlanta). 

The letter requested that Kemp expand the emergency orders to require everyone to either shelter-in-place, or do a combination of the following: cease all in-person schooling; further limit gatherings in bars, clubs, and restaurants; impose a statewide mask mandate; and establish moratoriums on evictions and utility cutoffs for all of this upcoming year.

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Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles Forms ‘Andy’s Army TN’ Facebook Group to Promote Liberty

Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles formed a Facebook group called “Andy’s Army TN” for “patriots and Fans of Andy Ogles who believe in taking a stand for our Constitution and Liberties.”

The private group’s page is here. Since it is a private group, people have to request to join. Facebook showed the membership to be approximately 1,800 as of Monday.

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Governor Lee Bans Gatherings of More Than 10 People

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee (R) announced in a five-minute address Sunday evening that the state will ban indoor public gatherings of more than 10 people in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m signing an order that will limit indoor public gatherings to 10 people,” Lee said in a televised message to Tennesseans.

“We now have around 10,000 Tennesseans getting sick every day,” he said, adding that Tennessee was “ground zero” for the COVID-19 pandemic, and that cases have surged in the state since Thanksgiving.

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Blount County Mayor Shares Comparison of Mask and No-Mask Counties in Tennessee

Mayor of Blount County Ed Mitchell took to Facebook last week sharing a comparison of how Tennessee counties have fared under mask and no-mask mandates.

Blount County, which is not under a mask mandate by Mitchell, has Maryville as its county seat and largest city.  It lies in Tennessee’s eastern grand division adjacent to Knox and Sevier counties, both of which have mask mandates in place.

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Nevada Governor Orders Indoor Mask Mandate, Limits Private Gatherings Ahead of Thanksgiving

Democratic Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak on Sunday strengthened the state’s mask mandate and limited attendees in private gatherings ahead of Thanksgiving.

Residents must wear face coverings whether gathering indoors or outside if any member that’s not in their household is present, according to a press release from the governor’s office. Private gatherings are limited to 10 people from a maximum of two separate households and public events will be capped at 50 people or 25% capacity, whichever is less, the order, which will last a total of three weeks, read.

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Northam Restricts Large Groups, Night Drinking, Expands Mask Mandate Ahead of Thanksgiving

Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced new coronavirus restrictions Friday, only a few weeks ahead of Thanksgiving.

“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 statement.

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