Former New York Times Reporter and Author of ‘Pandemia’ Alex Berenson Talks Masks, Vaccines, Boosters, and Lockdowns

Alex Berenson

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed former New York Times reporter and author of the new book Pandemia, Alex Berenson to the newsmakers line to answer questions about the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Charging Whites Ten Dollars for COVID Masks, Gloves Was a ‘Social Experiment,’ Student Says

MeAnna Durham’s tabling stunt went viral Oct. 26 when the Michigan State University student set up a display on campus providing free masks to classmates, but charging White students $10 for the protective equipment.

The sign read: “Free masks and gloves for MINORITIES ONLY!! $10 PER ITEM for White People!!”

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Arizona Lawmaker Calls for Scottsdale School Board President’s Resignation, Prosecution Over Alleged ‘Enemies List’ Database 

On the heels of the exposure of an extensive database of personal and derogatory information local parents say was collected by Scottsdale School Board President Jann-Michael Greenburg, Rep. Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek) told The Arizona Sun-Times that Greenburg needs to resign.

“Parents in Scottsdale and across the state are mad as hell over this situation, and rightfully so,” he said. “These allegations are gravely concerning and should be investigated to the fullest extent. If true, Scottsdale Board President Jann-Michael Greenburg should resign in disgrace and be prosecuted for abuse of power. It is unacceptable and anti-American to compile dossiers on your political enemies, especially when those so-called enemies are the very people you were elected to serve.”

Parents of children in the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) discovered that the president of the school district’s school board, Jann-Michael Greenburg, has a Google Drive database containing personal information about some of the parents he’d had conflicts with. Greenburg (who is shown to have edit permissions for the Drive) and his father, Mark (who is listed as the owner of the Drive) told The Scottsdale Independent they had no involvement or knowledge of the database.

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Special Session Legislation Increases Safeguards Related to COVID-19, but Some Legislators Say Concessions for Big Business and the Federal Government Leave Tennesseans Unequally Protected

The legislation that emerged in Saturday’s early morning hours from the three days of the 112th Tennessee General Assembly’s Third Extraordinary Session provided a number of safeguards against COVID-19 mandates, but some legislators say concessions to accommodate big business and funding from the federal government also resulted in unequal protection for some Tennesseans against COVID mandates.

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Rochester Schools in Minnesota Ban Man for a Year Because He Didn’t Wear a Mask to Board Meeting

The school board in Rochester, Minnesota, followed through on its commitment to ban parents who don’t wear masks in the name of COVID-19 prevention at its last meeting.

The man, who remains unnamed according to local media, was escorted from the board room where a police officer was waiting to give him a citation. At the end of last month, Rochester Public Schools (RPS) unveiled a mask policy that forces everyone at school board meetings to wear an “effective” face mask. What makes a face mask effective is not defined.

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Wisconsin Mom: School Board Recall Effort About Parents Getting Involved, Not Just Masks

What started out as frustration over coronavirus rules and face masks has now grown into an effort across Wisconsin to recall dozens of local school board members.

Voters in the Mequon-Thiensville school district will decide on Nov 2 if four members of the local school board should keep their seats. Mequon-Thiensville is just the latest of Wisconsin’s school board recalls.

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CDC Says Five-Year-Olds Will Still Need to Wear Masks After Vaccine Is Approved for Kids

Blonde child wearing hair up, holding journal and wearing a mask

Students as young as five years old may still need to wear masks in school after the COVID-19 vaccine is approved for children ages 5-11, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky said in a White House briefing Wednesday. Walensky did not discuss if or when children would not be required to wear masks in school.

“After we have authorization from (the Food and Drug Administration) and recommendations from the CDC, we will be working to scale up pediatric vaccination. That said, it will take some time … as we head into these winter months, we know we cannot be complacent,” Walensky stated.

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Travis Tritt Cancels Multiple Concerts Due to COVID-19 Vaccine and Mask Requirements

On Monday, multi-platinum selling and award-winning country music artist Travis Tritt announced he will not perform at venues that require proof of COVID vaccination, mask mandates, or testing. As a result, Tritt’s shows in Muncie, Indiana on Oct. 23, Philadelphia, Mississippi on November 6, Peoria, Illinois on Nov 11, and Louisville, Kentucky on Nov. 13 have been canceled.

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Commentary: The Insufferable Piety of the Progressive Elites

Freedom in Australia is now at the mercy of a state and its police apparatus bent on controlling people’s every movement.

But despite the extensive footage of protests gone violent, neither American liberal media nor domestic social justice movements are raising alarms about police brutality in that country.

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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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Star News’ Neil McCabe on a College Student’s Beating over Her Support of Justice Barrett, and the Smash and Grab Strategy of Congressional Democrats

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Washington Correspondent for The Star News Network, Neil McCabe to the newsmakers line to weigh in on Stony Brook student attack and the Democrats’ control of House and Senate.

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Nashville Indoor Mask Mandate Deferred Indefinitely

On Tuesday night, Metro Nashville City Council members’ attempt to impose an indoor mask mandate was indefinitely deferred. Councilmember Joy Styles, chief sponsor of bill BL2021-872, moved to indefinitely defer the legislation that would have imposed a mask mandate in all indoor spaces in Nashville.

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Wilson County School Board Votes to Extend Mask Mandate

In September, the Wilson County School Board approved a temporary mask mandate for students, teachers, and staff in the entire school system. The mandate expired on October 4th which led the school board to vote on whether to extend it or not during their meeting Monday night.

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Federal Judge Blocks Governor Lee’s Executive Order to Opt-Out of Mask Mandates in Williamson County Schools and Franklin Special School District

Group of young students at table, reading and wearing masks

On Friday, a federal judge temporarily blocked Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s executive order allowing parents to opt their kids out of wearing face coverings at school. Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw ruled Williamson County Schools and the Franklin Special School District can enforce mask mandates in their school systems despite Governor Lee’s executive order.

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Williamson County Board of Education Votes to Continue Mask Mandates in Schools

The Board of Education in Williamson County, Tennessee voted overwhelmingly Monday evening to extend its mask mandate for COVID-19 prevention until January.

At the urging of Superintendent Jason Golden, school directors initially voted on Aug. 10 to impose the requirement on elementary-school students. On Aug. 26, the board enjoined that mandate on middle-schoolers and high-schoolers as well. The rule would have expired this Tuesday but for the prior evening’s vote. 

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Williamson County Schools Will Make Students Wear Masks in School Buildings Until Mid-January

On Monday, during a routine school board meeting, the Williamson County Board of Education voted to extend the temporary mask requirement for students, staff and visitors at all grade levels, inside all buildings and on buses, through January 19, 2022.

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White Bear Area School Board Closes Public Forum Because of Maskless Parents

The White Bear Area School Board closed their public forum on Monday night after parents showed up to the meeting maskless. One parent called out the hypocrisy, posting a photo of White Bear Lake area school employees maskless at an event.

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Michigan Changes COVID-19 Guidance for School Children

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Wednesday released new COVID-19 guidelines for students in public schools. 

The guidelines are not mandatory, and schools may choose whether to follow them. 

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Davidson County Council Endorses Indoor Mask Mandate

The Metropolitan Council of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee voted on Tuesday evening to urge the Metropolitan Public Health Department’s (MPHD) Chief Medical Director Gill Wright to reinstate a citywide mask mandate for public indoor spaces.

Councilpersons Joy Styles (District 32), Burkley Allen (At-Large), Jennifer Gamble (District 3), Sharon Hurt (At-Large) and Sandra Sepulveda (District 30) sponsored the resolution, which passed with 21 councilpersons in favor, nine opposed and five abstaining.

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Residents of Democratic Stronghold Genesee County, Michigan Speak to Commissioners Overwhelmingly Against School Mask Mandate

An informal meeting of the Genesee County, Michigan Board of Commissioners on Monday saw residents turn out heavily against a school-mask mandate for students in grades K-6. 

County Medical Health Officer Pamela Hackert told attendees she imposed the requirement only on those lower grades because she wanted to provide protection to students who do not yet have the option of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

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Pima County Republican Chair Calls for Arrest of Officials Mandating Vaccine or Masks

Shelley Kais

The chairman of the Pima County Republican Party is calling for the arrest of local officials who mandate the COVID-19 vaccine or masks. In that lower part of the state, the City of Tucson requires vaccinations and the Marana School District requires masks. 

Shelley Kais told the Arizona Daily Independent, “On September 29, any school board member, city councilman, or supervisor who requires masks or vaccines mandates and passports should be arrested ” She went on, “The power grab by our elected officials to play this ‘game of chicken’ is nothing more than political and follows neither science nor good public policy. We will continue to fight for our first responders, our teachers, and the children in Pima County.” 

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Parents Demonstrate Against School Mask Mandate and Health Officer in Kent County, Michigan

On Thursday, several Kent County commissioners and a packed room of parents expressed outrage over Health Officer Adam London’s mandate that school children wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

London, who issued the requirement mere days before children in the Grand Rapids area headed back to school this Monday, insisted at a board of commissioners meeting that no negative consequences come to children from wearing masks. 

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Tennessee High School Sports Not Mandating Masks

Tennessee high school sports will not be mandating masks for their players or sporting events, according to the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA). They are currently adhering to some of the rules that were instituted for the fall 2020 season, which include distancing and in some cases limiting onlooker capacity for sporting events.

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Top Michigan Health Bureaucrat Inadvertently Admits Gretchen Whitmer Not ‘Following the Science’

When pressed Wednesday, the top health adviser to Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) inadvertently admitted the governor is not “following the science,” per her opinion.

“Following the science” has been a staple of Whitmer’s talking points since the COVID pandemic began, but Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Whitmer’s chief medical adviser, was asked if she recommended Whitmer issue an order requiring masks in schools. Khaldun answered affirmatively, claiming, “it would likely decrease the spread of COVID-19 in schools.”

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Biden Commends Phoenix School District That Violated Ban on Mask Requirements

Biden Commends Phoenix School District

President Joe Biden called the head of Phoenix Union High School District after the district implemented mask requirements that may be contrary to state law, praising Superintendent Chad Geston for the move. In a statement, Biden said he told Geston during his Friday phone call that he “did the right thing.” 

The issue is currently under litigation in Maricopa County Superior Court. Numerous state legislators asked Governor Doug Ducey a few days ago to take action against the school districts in violation, and Ducey responded on Tuesday with a directive financially penalizing the districts. They will not receive any of the $163 million that the state got through the American Rescue Plan to boost per-pupil funding. Students in those districts will receive vouchers to attend schools elsewhere.

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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 Republican State Legislators Ask Governor to Take Action Regarding School Districts Violating Law on Mask Mandates

Doug Ducey and Jake Hoffman

Twenty-six Republican members of the Arizona Legislature signed onto a letter drafted by Rep. Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek) asking Arizona Governor Doug Ducey to take four steps of action in regards to several school districts that appear to be violating state law by imposing mask mandates in schools. A high school biology teacher recently filed a lawsuit over the mandate implemented by Phoenix Union High School District. The school districts contend that the law, A.R.S. 15-342.05, doesn’t apply yet since bills do not go into effect until 90 days after the end of the legislative session, but the bill contains a retroactive clause. 

“It borders on anarchy and destabilizes the very foundation of our society to have local governments effectively refusing to comply with the law. It must not be allowed to stand,” the legislators said. “Any local government that willfully and intentionally flaunts state law must be held accountable.”

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Tennessee House Speaker Sexton on Letter to Governor Lee Asking for Special Session Over Mask Mandates and Vaccine Passports

Speaker Cameron Sexton

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Speaker Cameron Sexton to the newsmakers line to weigh in on his current letter to Governor Bill Lee requesting a special session to debate COVID mandates in the state.

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Parents Launch Effort to Recall Mount Pleasant Public School Board Members Who Imposed Mask Mandates

Michigan voters upset with mask mandates and other school-board actions can organize recall efforts, as Mount Pleasant Public Schools parents are now doing. 

Three directors of that central-Michigan school district could be electorally removed owing to public backlash over a requirement that all students up to the age of 12 wear masks in school.

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Michigan Board of Education Votes to Let Schools Mask or Not Mask

Michigan’s Board of Education passed a resolution Tuesday evening allowing individual school districts to either adopt or reject masking for students and staff to prevent COVID-19’s spread.

The Democrat-run board adopted the resolution instead of another offered by the panel’s two Republican members, Tom McMillin (Oakland Township) and Nikki Snyder (Dexter), who wanted a statewide policy against district mask mandates.

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Michigan Health Departments Plot New Coronavirus Restrictions as Gretchen Whitmer Complains Her Powers are Curtailed

Michigan’s local health departments are plotting new restrictions as bureaucrats are alarmed by a rise in COVID-19 cases that apparently are not being blunted with vaccinations.

WZZM speculated another lockdown may be “in sight.”

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Commentary: House Democrats Want to Defund the Police (Again)

Capitol of the Commonwealth of Virginia

Word in Richmond is that the Virginia Senate — the more congenial of the two halves of the General Assembly — is looking to include the Virginia Republican idea that all law enforcement professionals should be extended a one-time $5,000 bonus.

House Democrats in the more rambunctious chamber are digging their heels in deep with a firm and potentially election hinging NO.

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Former Biden COVID Adviser Concedes Cloth Masks ‘Are Not Very Effective’

Someone holding a bunch of cloth masks

Akey SARS-Cov-2 expert acknowledged this week that a mainstay of the global coronavirus response — the use of cloth masks — does little to stop the spread of the virus.

Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota and an adviser on President Joe Biden’s transitional COVID-19 advisory board, made the stunning claim on CNN this week amid escalating worldwide fears and concerns over the “Delta variant” of COVID-19.

“We know today that many of the face cloth coverings that people wear are not very effective in reducing any of the virus movement in or out,” Osterholm said during the interview.

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Court to Hear Clash over Phoenix School District’s Mask Mandate That Defies New State Law

Representative Joseph Chaplik - LD 23

A judge is expected to hear arguments on August 13 in a lawsuit filed by a teacher in the Phoenix Union High School district over its revived mandatory mask policy. Governor Doug Ducey signed SB 1826 in June, the education budget bill, which includes an amendment prohibiting schools from requiring masks. 

Biology teacher Douglas Hester filed the lawsuit against the school district, its governing board and superintendent Chad Gestson, citing the conflict with state law. The school contends that the law isn’t scheduled to go into effect until 90 days after the legislature adjourns, September 28. However, A.R.S. 15-342.05 includes a clause making it retroactive to June 30.

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Commentary: Politically Correct Ideology Is Masking and Contributing to the Widespread Failure of Our Institutions

close up of green masks on a table

We know the nature of mass hysterias in history, and how they can overwhelm and paralyze what seem to be stable societies.  

We know the roots and origins of the cult of wokeness.  

And we know, too, how such insanity—from the Salem witch trials to Jacobinism to McCarthyism—can spread, despite alienating most of the population, through fear and the threat of personal ruin or worse. These are the dark sides of the tulip, hula-hoop, and pet-rock fads, the mass obsessions so suited to past affluent Western societies.  

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Biden Requiring Federal Government Workers to Show Proof of Vaccination

COVID-19 AstraZeneca Vaccine vial and NHS record card

President Joe Biden on Thursday said his administration will require all federal employees and contractors to show proof of vaccination, a move met with swift opposition from Texas elected officials.

Federal workers or contractors who can’t show a proof of vaccination will be required to wear masks, practice physical distancing, and be subject to twice-weekly COVID-19 tests under the new rules.

Biden encouraged the private sector and professional sports leagues to follow suit in an address on Thursday.

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Commentary: The CDC’s Hysterical Delta Flip-Flop Might Be Its Final Undoing

The crazy, convoluted, mixed up messaging from the CDC – it’s been this way from the beginning of the pandemic until now – has taken yet another turn. Now the CDC is recommending masks not just for the unvaccinated but for the vaccinated too. This is supposedly because of the discovery that the variant known as Delta is making an end-run around the vaccines, causing not only infections but infectious spread. 

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Ohio Will Not Mandate Masks in Schools

Saying he does not believe he has the authority to mandate masks in Ohio public schools, Gov. Mike DeWine on Monday turned that decision over to local school boards and parents.

DeWine, along with other state health officials and physicians, almost pleaded with parents to either have their children vaccinated or wear masks as the beginning of the school year draws near and a new COVID-19 variant is causing increased infections.

“I do not believe I have the ability today to mandate [masks in schools]. There is not the appetite in this state for that kind of a mandate,” DeWine said. “We are at a point in the pandemic where information is out there but these decisions must be left to the local community and must be left to the parents.”

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Columbus Schools Will Require Masks When Ohio Students Return

Woman sitting alone with a mask on.

Ohio’s largest school district will require all students, staff and visitors to wear masks inside buildings and on buses this fall, but an Ohio lawmaker has introduced a bill that prohibits schools from requiring masks.

The Columbus City Schools Board of Education said in a news release it relied on recommendations from The American Academy of Pediatrics and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with talks with Columbus Public Health, to reach the decision.

“Safely returning to in-person instruction in the fall is a priority, and masks provide and extra layer of protection in reducing transmission of the COVID-19 virus,” Superintendent Talisa Dixon said Wednesday in a news release. “Throughout this pandemic, we have relied on the guidance of our public health officials. We feel that this was the best decision for our district and community.”

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Virginia Won’t Require Masks at Schools, Encourages Local Mask Rules

Little girl wearing pink mask, hair up in a braid, sitting at a table

Toward the end of the month, a state-imposed mask mandate at Virginia schools will no longer be enforced, but the state’s Department of Health is encouraging school divisions to create mask policies.

On July 25, the public health order forcing schools to require face coverings will expire and will not be renewed. However, the VDH issued guidelines that strongly recommend school divisions impose mask mandates for students, staff and teachers.

“Virginia has followed the science throughout this pandemic, and that’s what we continue to do,” Gov. Ralph Northam said in a statement. “This guidance takes into consideration recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics, and will provide necessary flexibility for school divisions while ensuring a safe, healthy, and world-class learning environment for Virginia’s students. Again, I strongly urge every eligible Virginian to get vaccinated. Getting your shot will protect you, your family, and your community—and it is the only way we can beat this pandemic once and for all.”

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Prominent Medical Journals Highlight Harm to Children from Masks, Death Risk from COVID Vaccines

The range of acceptable opinion on COVID-19 mitigation efforts may be widening, with peer-reviewed medical journals recently publishing research finding that masks likely harm schoolchildren and questioning whether benefits from COVID-19 vaccines outweigh risks.

Measured carbon dioxide content in “inhaled air,” observed in a study of masked German schoolchildren, was at least three-fold higher than German law allows, according to a research letter published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics.

Last week, the journal Vaccines, affiliated with the American Society for Virology, published research that estimates every three COVID-19 deaths prevented by vaccination are offset by two deaths “inflicted by vaccination,” using Israeli and European data.

The papers share a lead author, Harald Walach, a professor in Poznan University of the Medical Sciences’ Pediatric Clinic in Poland and University of Witten/Herdecke’s psychology department in Germany.

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Commentary: Remote Work’s Impending Transformation of Middle America

Computer with video chat on screen and mug next to laptop

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a great deal about America and Americans. Most have acquiesced to anything and everything government bureaucrats asked for in the name of public safety. Masks have been donned, churches have been shuttered, and many of us stayed at home for months, working remotely.

This last item may end up being the largest and most permanent transformation of the United States. The mobility that comes with remote work may end up transforming middle America as left-coast technologists migrate inward. Freed from the work-based ties that bind them to Silicon Valley and New York City, they can now easily take their jobs and their left-wing politics to the heartland, ushering in a transformative moment in American politics.

Thomas Edsall, writing for The New York Times, discusses how many from densely populated urban areas on the coasts are finding that remote work enables them to have big city paychecks while living in suburban or rural areas with lower costs of living. 

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St. Paul School Requires Masks During Outdoor Recess, Despite Updated Guidance and Zero Cases

A St. Paul elementary school announced to parents that students will be expected to continue wearing their masks while outside at recess, despite seeing zero COVID-19 cases in the school and receiving new guidance from the district.

St. Anthony Park Elementary School notified families of this rule in a letter from the principal, saying it “may seem overly cautious,” but several reasons contributed to the decision, including concern from parents and staff.

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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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Biden Suggests Masks Will Be Worn Through Next Year

President Joe Biden indicated that Americans may need to wear masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus for the remainder of 2021.

Speaking during a visit to the National Institutes of Health complex on Thursday, Biden also spoke about the U.S. vaccine supply and his goals for the rollout, and suggested that mask-wearing will likely be a reality for the next year, Fox News reports.

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Gov. Lee ‘Very Disappointed’ over Treatment of Tennessee National Guard Troops in D.C.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) said he was “very disappointed” with the way the state’s National Guardsmen were treated when they were deployed to Washington, D.C. for President Joe Biden’s inauguration.

“It’s time to welcome our TN National Guard soldiers & airmen home today after their mission in DC. Very disappointed in the way this mission came to a close & the overall treatment of the National Guard in DC. Tennesseans are proud of our men and women in uniform,” he said Friday on Twitter.

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Ohio Launching a New Unit to Ensure Mask Compliance as State Sees Record Number of Cases

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is doubling down on a mask mandate, and the state is launching a new unit to make sure businesses comply with the requirement.

The move comes as Ohio faces a record number of hospitalizations and intensive care admissions because of COVID-19. Roughly 3,000 Ohioans are hospitalized, including more than 700 people in the ICU, and during the first week of November, 104 Ohioans with the virus died.

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Commentary: Trump Is Now One with Countless Essential Workers

Joe Biden has redefined mask wearing. It is now the thinking man’s patriotism, what every “scientific” and “refined” mind naturally does.

Biden, the media, and the progressive party all blame the now ill Trump for becoming infected. They accuse the president of becoming sick because he was selfish. You see, he was not always wearing a mask, or not always isolating in social-distancing fashion, or not always staying inside except for essential expeditionary trips.

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