20 Months into Pandemic, over 20,000 Michigan State Workers Remote

Woman working in the evening on her laptop

Twenty months after the COVID-19 pandemic struck Michigan, downtown Lansing hasn’t recovered fully. Half of the state’s roughly 48,000 employees are still working remotely.

The disappearance of daily consumption habits of more than 22,000 state workers have hurt local businesses, whether that’s grabbing a bagel from The New Daily Bagel, rolls from AnQi Sushi Express or a shake from Soul Nutrition. Some businesses have adjusted accordingly, cutting hours, closing locations, and reducing menus.

The Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget (DTMB) Spokesman Caleb Buhs said about half of state workers are working remotely on a daily basis.

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Commentary: Dr. Fauci Warned About Coronaviruses in 2003 – But Didn’t Act on It

Dr. Anthony Fauci

Few would argue the United States, or any country for that matter, was prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic, even though, starting in 2003, the U.S. devoted $5.6 billion to fund Project Bioshield, running through 2013, and another $2.8 billion of funding through 2018. Project Bioshield was designed to prepare the United States against a bio attack, including provisions for the stockpiling and distribution of vaccines.

Though Covid-19 was a new virus, congressional testimony from 2003 paints a concerning picture about what we knew – and when – about the family of viruses from which it originated.

“I am particularly interested in learning how Project BioShield would assist in addressing the current public health emergency created by the epidemic known as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome [SARS],” said Tom Davis, chairman of the Committee on Government Reform. “More than 2,000 suspected cases of this mysterious disease have been reported in 17 nations, including the United States, with 78 fatalities. So far, there is no effective treatment or vaccine to combat this deadly syndrome.”

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Arizona Rep. Schweikert’s House Speech on Fraud, Spending, and Running Out of Money Goes Viral

Rep. David Schweikert (R-06-AZ), known as the wonky numbers member of Congress, gave a speech on the House floor a few days ago about runaway spending in Congress that has gone viral with over 1.2 million views. It’s on Social Security and Medicare running out of money and how the U.S. is headed for a dystopian future if it’s not fixed. He addressed several myths and offered solutions.

He began saying he’s about to say some things most people don’t want to hear, “We call it math.” The biggest threat over the next couple decades facing the country is demographics. “Getting older isn’t Democrat or Republican, it’s going to happen to everyone.” But he says he’s been booed for telling people the truth. “You don’t raise money telling people the truth about what’s going on.” Referring to Congress, he said, “We live in a financial fantasy world in this place … there’s a fraud around here.” 

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Chicago Set to Pass One of U.S.’s Biggest Guaranteed Income Plans, Amid Calls to Put Money to Violence

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot

The Chicago City Council is expected to pass a measure this week that would results in one of the largest guaranteed basic measures in the country, amid that if pass would be one of the largest in the county, amid calls from black lawmakers to put the money toward the city’s violent crime problem.

The Chicago police department as of last week reported 649 murders this year, compared to 634 for all of 2020.

The program, if passed, would give 5,000 low-income households $500 a month, using funding from the federal stimulus package that was rolled out earlier this year to address economic hardship as a result of the pandemic.

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‘Way Off Track’: Emissions Levels Hit New Record in 2020 Despite Pandemic, Paris Accords

Person filling up red car with petrol/gasoline

Total global greenhouse gas emission levels hit a new record last year despite the pandemic-induced economic shutdowns and previous commitments from world leaders, the United Nations said.

“The abundance of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere once again reached a new record last year,” the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) stated Monday morning after releasing its Greenhouse Gas Bulletin report.

While total emissions unsurprisingly hit a new record, however, the year-over-year increase between 2019-2020 was lower than the 2018-2019 increase, according to the report. Fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions, the largest contributor to greenhouse gas warming, dropped 5.6% last year compared to the year prior.

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‘Hard to Know Where Pandemic Relief Money Went,’ Admits Federal Spending Watchdog

Woman in mask in the dark looking at computer screen

This week’s Golden Horseshoe goes to a broad sweep of federal agencies for a systemic lack of transparency that is hampering efforts to monitor many billions of dollars in COVID-19 relief spending, according to a report by the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee.

The PRAC was established in 2020 by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to “promote transparency and conduct and support oversight” of more than $5 trillion in pandemic relief funds.

In a report released Wednesday, the watchdog details its difficulty in determining how funds are being spent due to federal agencies’ poor reporting on the government spending website, USAspending.gov.

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The U.S. Is Running Out of Warehouse Space, Intensifying Supply Chain Bottlenecks and Adding to Inflation

Man in blue polo and jeans working on a warehouse on his laptop

Available warehouse space near significant distribution hubs fell to historic lows in the third quarter of 2021, placing even more pressure on supply chain bottlenecks and increasing inflation, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Demand for industrial real estate in the third quarter outpaced supply by 41 million square feet, increasing the vacancy rate to 3.6%, down 0.7% from Q3 2020 and marking the lowest level since 2002, according to data from CBRE, the WSJ reported.

Warehouses near the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports in California, some of the most important distribution points of entry in the country, reached a vacancy rate of 1% in Q3 this year, according to the WSJ. During the same quarter in 2020, the vacancy rate was 2.3%.

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Nearly 47 Percent of Americans Think Natural Immunity to COVID-19 as Effective as Getting Vaccinated, Poll

Person in green protective gear in lab with safety glasses and mask on

Nearly half of Americans believe natural immunity to COVID-19 is as effective as the getting vaccinated, according to a new Convention of States Action/ Trafalgar Group poll.

Among the roughly 1,000 respondents in the national survey of likely 2020 voters, 46.5% said they believe people who have recovered from COVID with natural immunity from antibodies have the same level of protection as those that are fully vaccinated.

The survey was conducted from Oct. 7-10, as the public debate continues over government-mandated vaccines and the efficacy of the shots and masks.

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Ohio Ranks As One of the Least Safe States in Terms of COVID

Man getting COVID vaccine

With rankings near the bottom in five key categories, Ohio stands as one of the least safe states during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recently released report.

WalletHub, a personal finance website, ranked Ohio the fifth-least safe state in the nation based on data from five key areas, including COVID-19 transmission, positive tests, hospitalizations, deaths and the percentage of the eligible population vaccinated.

Ohio’s highest ranking was in transmission rate, which still ranked 35th. Its death rate was 41st, while vaccination rate (42nd), positive test rate (43rd) and hospitalization rate (44th) were among the worst in the country.

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Watchdog Group Seeks Records from Agencies on Funding of Nonprofit Involved in Wuhan-Based ‘Gain-of-Function’ Research

A watchdog organization has filed requests via the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) this week to obtain information about the U.S. government’s funding of China-based gain-of-function studies that many believe have played a role in the origin of COVID-19.

Gain-of-function (GOF) research is experimentation that enhances the severity or transmissibility of a virus or other biological agent. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have said such work “poses biosafety and biosecurity risks [which] must be carefully managed,” though the NIH have justified funding GOF research “to help us understand the fundamental nature of human-pathogen interactions, assess the pandemic potential of emerging infectious agents and inform public health and preparedness efforts.”

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Jen Psaki: Biden Wants to Use Pandemic to ‘Make Fundamental Change in Our Economy’

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki proudly declared on Tuesday that Joe Biden is using the pandemic to inflict “fundamental change” on the American economy.

When asked during the White House press briefing whether some programs in Biden’s $4.5 trillion budget proposal should get cut, Psaki rejected the notion, asserting that the pandemic was the perfect opportunity for Democrats to exploit the pandemic.

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After Backlash over NBC Interview, Fauci Tells CNN He Encourages People to Spend Christmas with Family

Dr. Anthony Fauci on Monday said that he would be spending Christmas with his family, and encouraged others to do the same, after saying over the weekend that it was too soon to tell if Americans could spend the holiday together.

“I will be spending Christmas with my family. I encourage people — to have a good, normal Christmas with your family,” he told CNN host Kate Bolduan.

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Swift Backlash for Fauci after He Suggests ‘Too Soon’ to Say Americans Can Gather for Christmas

Dr. Anthony Fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci came under fire this weekend for suggesting that he may ultimately advise against group gatherings for Christmas this year.

Fauci said Sunday on CBS’s “Face The Nation” that it remains “too soon to tell” whether Americans for a second year in a rowwill be told not to gather in groups around the holidays.

“We have to concentrate on continuing to get those numbers down and not try to jump ahead by weeks or months and say what we’re going to do at a particular time,” he said.

Backlash against the White House’s chief medical adviser was swift as many right-leaning commentators and pundits said that enough will never be enough for Fauci when it comes to lockdowns and extreme precautions against COVID-19.

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Washington Governor’s Boast He’s ‘Only’ Person Saving Lives from COVID-19 Triggers Backlash

Jay Inslee

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said he singlehandedly is saving lives with his powers as the state’s top executive.

In an interview with TVW’s Mike McClanahan, Inslee gave an in-depth look into his perspective when it comes to navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.

The TV host questioned Inslee, well into his second year of governing by emergency declarations, about dozens of legal challenges to his executive authority.

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Arizona Charter Schools Add Thousands of New Students Amid COVID-19 Closures

Arizona’s charter schools experienced a rush of new applications amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools released a compilation of state-by-state data on charter school enrollment compared with enrollment in the 2019-2020 school year. It found nearly 240,000 new students enrolled in charter schools nationally, a 7% increase from the prior year.

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Roger Simon Commentary: The Democrats’ War on Blacks Keeps Growing in the Pandemic

One of the key reasons I left the Democratic Party years ago was the atrocious way they treated black people.

I’m not just talking about “Jim Crow” or LBJ’s well-known patriarchal and racist use of the “n-word” to celebrate blacks voting Democratic forever in gratitude for his ultimately useless early “virtue signaling” called the “War on Poverty.”

(Notice any difference between South Central then and now?)

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‘The Numbers Are Skewed’: Colorado Officials Warn of Inflated COVID Death Statistics

Multiple public officials in Colorado are warning that the state’s official COVID-19 death count is skewed due to the practice of conflating patients who have died directly due to the disease with those who have merely tested positive for it prior to death.

Data experts and health officials have long struggled to separate out those two key data points in government tallies of COVID deaths, leading to accusations that the death rate for the disease is being inflated modestly or even significantly.

Multiple public officials in Colorado, meanwhile, told “Full Measure” host Sharyl Attkisson that they had personally observed death tallies that erred on the side of COVID, leading to death counts that were effectively misleading to the public.

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Former FDA Head Says CDC Guidance Hurt Pandemic Response

Scott Gottlieb

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance ultimately hindered the U.S. response to the pandemic, former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb wrote in his upcoming book “Uncontrolled Spread,” set to be released Sept. 21.

Gottlieb said in the book that U.S. intelligence agencies need to play a more active role in preparing for a pandemic, as opposed to leaving plans solely to health agencies like the CDC.

“We need to have human assets in the medical community so we understand when an outbreak emerges,” Gottlieb said, Axios reported. “We need to have the capability of monitoring typical streams of intelligence, like signals intelligence and maybe even satellite intelligence, looking for things that could be trip wires for an outbreak of disease.”

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Thousands of Public Workers Seek Vaccine Exemptions in Washington

Doctor with mask on holding COVID-19 Vaccine

Some 4,800 state employees in Washington have already requested medical or religious exemptions from Gov. Jay Inslee’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

According to information released this week by the state, those requests amount to nearly 8% of the 60,000 state workers who fall under Inslee’s 24 cabinet departments. As of Sept. 6, less than 50% of all employees in those agencies were verified as being fully vaccinated.

Inslee last month issued an executive order that all state employees, as well as K-12 and state university staff, must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18 or face dismissal.

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An Analytical Review of the Central Scientific Facts About the Efficacy of Face Masks and Claims They Reduce the Transmission of COVID-19

In a terse essay titled “Science and Dictatorship,” Albert Einstein warned that “Science can flourish only in an atmosphere of free speech.” And on his deathbed, Einstein cautioned, “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted in important affairs.”

With reckless disregard for both of those principles, powerful government officials and big tech executives have corrupted or suppressed the central scientific facts about face masks. The impacts of this extend far beyond the issue of masks and have caused widespread harm and countless deaths.

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College Textbook Blames COVID Deaths on Americans Who Oppose Lockdowns

A textbook assigned to students at a North Carolina community college states that COVID-19 protocols “saved tens of thousands of lives” while Americans who disagreed with those restrictions caused deaths.

“Most Americans responded to the pandemic by limiting their social contact, covering their faces when going out, and washing their hands thoroughly after they did,” the passage begins and then continues with, “yet lives were lost because some Americans held beliefs that were at odds with the facts.”

The textbook appeared in the POL 120: American Government course at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte.

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Hunger Didn’t Rise During Pandemic Thanks to Government Programs, Study Says

Two men in grocery aisle, shopping

The expansion of several government programs last year likely prevented hunger from rising despite the sudden economic downturn caused by the pandemic, a study showed.

The percentage of U.S. households that reported food insecurity was virtually unchanged in 2020 compared to the year prior despite the recession, according to a report from the Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service released Wednesday. More than 20.5 million Americans lost their jobs in April 2020 as state and local officials implemented strict restrictions on business activity to curb the spread of coronavirus, Labor Department data showed.

“This is huge news — it shows you how much of a buffer we had from an expanded safety net,” Urban Institute researcher Elaine Waxman told The New York Times. “There was no scenario in March of 2020 where I thought food insecurity would stay flat for the year. The fact that it did is extraordinary.”

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Newly Released Documents Show Fauci Was ‘Untruthful’ About Wuhan Coronavirus Research, Infectious Disease Expert Says

A trove of newly released documents detailing U.S.-funded coronavirus research in China prior to the COVID-19 pandemic shows that Dr. Anthony Fauci was “untruthful” when he claimed that his agency did not finance gain-of-research in Wuhan, an infectious disease expert said Sunday.

Documents published by The Intercept on Sunday show that Fauci’s organization, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), provided federal funds to the U.S. nonprofit group EcoHealth Alliance and the Wuhan Institute of Virology to construct laboratory-generated SARS and MERS-related coronaviruses that demonstrated enhanced pathogenicity in humanized mice cells, according to Rutgers University professor of chemical biology Richard Ebright.

“The documents make it clear that assertions by the [National Institutes of Health] Director, Francis Collins, and the NIAID Director, Anthony Fauci, that the NIH did not support gain-of-function research or potential pandemic pathogen enhancement at WIV are untruthful,” Ebright said in a tweet Sunday evening.

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Boosted Unemployments Benefits End, Unclear Whether Michigan Labor Shortage Will Ease

About 442,196 unemployment claimants saw their pandemic unemployment assistance benefits end on Sept. 4, but it’s unclear if that will ease Michigan’s labor shortage.

The federal Pandemic Unemployment plus regular unemployment benefits let recipients receive up to $662 weekly.

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Americans Remain Hard Workers Even Through the Pandemic, Especially in Red States

Blue Collar Worker

With Labor Day upon us, it’s time to take a look at which are the hardest-working states in America, and why. It has been a year that daily and weekly work routines have dramatically changed for tens of millions of Americans.

Researchers for WalletHub, a personal finance website, have once again set out to determine which states are home to the hardest working Americans in their annual report. They compare the 50 states based on both direct and indirect work factors, and then apply 10 different metrics to reach an overall score to rank each state.

The direct work factors, according to WalletHub, include “average workweek hours, employment rate, the share of households where no adults work, the share of workers leaving vacation time unused, share of engaged workers, and idle youth.”

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Gingrich Commentary: Celebrating Labor Day

As Americans gather today to relax and enjoy Labor Day with their family and friends, it is a good time to reflect on what this traditional holiday means to working Americans in the 21st century.

The legislation which made Labor Day a national holiday was signed into law by President Grover Cleveland in 1894. It was created during a time of rapid industrialization and economic growth, as much of the United States shifted from an agricultural to industrial economy. This period of change created many challenges for working Americans as they had to learn new skills and work long hours. 

The past year-and-a-half has also presented many challenges and changes for working Americans. The threat of a global pandemic reshaped work in ways we could not have imagined even a few years ago.

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Minnesota Student Reading and Math Scores Suffer During COVID-19

Statewide assessment results for 2021 show declines in the number of students meeting or exceeding grade-level standards compared to 2019 after a year of virtual learning and disruptions from COVID-19.

In math, 44% of students in grades three to eight and 11 who took the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA) or Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS) met or exceeded grade-level standards, down from 55% in 2019. Student reading proficiency dropped seven percentage points to 53% from 2019, while science proficiency dropped eight percentage points to 43%.

ACCESS for ELLs (English language learners) measures students’ English language proficiency. Of the students who took the ACCESS for ELLs in 2021, 9% were proficient in English, a three percentage point decrease from 2019.

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Commentary: Joe Biden’s Top 10 Blunders

Joe Biden outside

As I’ve watched the events of the past few weeks – and thought about the nature of Joe Biden’s young presidency – I began to ask myself: How much more of this can we take?

In just seven months, President Biden has overseen a remarkable number of complete blunders. To make sense of them all and consider how to overcome them, I decided to make a list of them. Of course, it would take months of time and writing to list all the errors Biden has made in his 48 years in politics, so I decided to start at his inauguration in January. These are roughly in chronological order. It seemed impossible to rank them as so many of them could have lasting, unforeseeable consequences.

1 – Bipartisan Baloney

As I write in my upcoming book, Beyond Biden, which will be released on Nov. 2, the first major mistake Biden made was immediately failing to live up to the pledges he made in his inaugural address. In his inaugural address, Biden said: “Today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this: Bringing America together. Uniting our people. And uniting our nation.”

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Many Pandemic Unemployed in Arizona Can Re-File for a Tax Rebate

Arizona taxpayers who received unemployment benefits in 2020 and filed their state tax return before the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) was enacted on March 11 can receive a new income tax refund.

That’s according to a Thursday announcement from the Arizona Department of Revenue. 

Congress passed the ARP to give communities money to address public health and economic recovery issues which resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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College Students Giving Up on Their Degrees in Significant Numbers: Report

Tennessee Star

American colleges continue to face the consequences of COVID, as data show they experienced a significant decrease in returning students this past school year.

Many post-secondary education plans to take classes were canceled in 2020. In August of last year, the US Census Bureau conducted a survey which showed 29.4 percent of households with at least one prospective student had canceled their plans to take classes in the fall of 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic.

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Number of Homeschooled Students Has Doubled Since Pandemic, Continues to Rise

Student working on school work at home.

As a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic, the total number of students being homeschooled in the United States has more than doubled from pre-pandemic levels, and continues to rise even as schools begin to slowly reopen, according to Fox News.

By March of 2021, the total number of homeschooled students in America stands at over 5 million, in comparison to just 2.6 million in 2020. Christopher Chin, president of Homeschool Louisiana, said that “interest has exploded,” and that although some students may ultimately return to regular schools after the pandemic, “many parents [are] finding this is a better way of life for them and their children.”

Additionally, Chin says the homeschooling model has proven successful even for households where both parents work, due to the rise in remote work at many companies and places of business.

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Ohio COVID-19 Vaccination Rate Passes 50 Percent

Man getting COVID vaccine

Ohio crossed a COVID-19 vaccine milestone over the weekend as more than 50% of the state’s eligible population reached partial or fully-vaccinated status while masking and social distancing requirements continued to vary throughout the state.

Gov. Mike DeWine announced over the weekend the state passed 50% of eligible Ohioans at least starting the vaccine process, along with the increase in vaccinations in 85 of the state’s 88 counties. At the same time, Ohio’s reported cases Friday rose to 1,666 new daily cases and 24 deaths.

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Arizona Legislative Report Reveals ‘Extraordinary’ Fiscal Growth in State

A new report from the Arizona Legislature’s Joint Legislative Budget Committee shows Arizona is in great economic condition, breaking records. Revenues from taxes are high or better than projected, with significant gains expected in the future, and personal income is growing at the fastest pace since 1985. It comes after Arizona passed historic tax cuts, reducing the personal income tax to the lowest flat tax in the country at 2.5%. However, some of the rosy picture is due to COVID-19 relief.

Governor Doug Ducey issued a statement about the report, “It paints a picture of a state economy that has emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic not only in great shape, but poised to achieve even greater accomplishments in the years ahead. The ‘extraordinary growth’ Arizona saw in Fiscal Year 2021 is positive news for every Arizonan. We are leading the way in the nation’s economic recovery.”

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CDC Awarded University of Arizona $15 Million to Study Vaccine Effectiveness in Children

University of Arizona

The CDC awarded the University of Arizona (UA) $15 million to study COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness and immunity in children and underserved communities. Children as young as 4 months to minors as old as 17 years will be eligible for study of the emergency use authorization vaccine. The announcement didn’t specify who qualified as an “underserved community.” The grant was awarded specifically to the Arizona Healthcare, Emergency Response, and Other Essential Workers Surveillance (AZ HEROES) study, originally designed with a focus on frontline workers such as firefighters. 

AZ Heroes lead official and associate dean for research and professor at Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, Jeff Burgess, asserted that this research would offer a better understanding of how effective COVID-19 vaccines are in youth.

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Clemson School Administrators Used COVID Caps and Fake RSVPs to Suppress Turnout at Conservative Event

Assortment of conservative buttons with a "Get Involved" Turning Point USA fillout

During the height of the pandemic, two college administrators from Clemson University used phony ticket reservations to suppress attendance at a conservative student event and bragged about it on Facebook.

The conservative group Turning Point USA’s local chapter hosted speakers Tomi Lahren, Brandon Tatum, and Graham Allen for an event on the South Carolina campus in April 2020.

The event was limited in capacity because of COVID-19, and people had to reserve tickets from a smaller pool in advance.

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Health and Human Services Secretary Becerra: It’s ‘Absolutely the Government’s Business’ to Know the Vaccine Status of Americans

Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra

Amid controversy over the administration’s plan to knock on doors to promote the COVID vaccines to unvaccinated Americans, the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary has declared that it is “absolutely” the government’s business to know who is vaccinated or not vaccinated.

On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the goal of the door-to-door outreach was to “get remaining Americans vaccinated by ensuring they have the information they need on how both safe and accessible the vaccine is.”

During a press conference, Joe Biden said this outreach team would “go community-by-community, neighborhood-by-neighborhood, and oft times door-to-door, literally knocking on doors” to “educate” unvaccinated Americans about the experimental vaccines.

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Jobless Claims Increase to 373,000, Above Economists’ Predictions

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased to 373,000 last week as the economy continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented a slight increase in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending June 26, when 371,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised up from the 364,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.

Economists expected Thursday’s jobless claims number to come in around 350,000, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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U.S. Group Connected to Wuhan Lab Is Stonewalling Congressional Investigation of Pandemic Origins, Committee Ranking Member Says

COVID-19

Months after its initial requests, a congressional committee investigating COVID-19’s origins is still awaiting answers from a U.S.-funded group that worked with a Wuhan lab considered a possible origin of COVID-19.

Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee requested EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak answer questions about his group’s work with the Wuhan lab in a letter on April 16, and have still received no response, a committee aide confirmed Thursday.

Only the chair of the committee, Democrat Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr., of New Jersey, can use subpoena power to require a witness’ attendance, testimony and related documents.

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Workers’ Coronavirus Fears Hit Pandemic Low

U.S. workers’ fear of contracting coronavirus while on the job has hit a pandemic low as the economy continues its steady recovery.

The number of Americans not working due to their fear of getting the virus while at their job dipped to 3.05 million by the end of June, according to the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey released Wednesday. The figure hit its peak in July 2020 when 6.24 million unemployed Americans reported not looking for a job due to coronavirus fears, Axios reported.

“People are feeling safer about returning to work, which should help businesses staff-up to meet the tremendous demand we’re seeing right now,” Wells Fargo senior economist Sarah House told Axios.

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Catholic University Professor in Ohio Undertakes COVID Research Following Pro-Life Principles

A biology professor at Franciscan University of Steubenville has started a study to look at herd immunity, while ensuring that his research also upholds pro-life principles.

Part of Professor Kyle McKenna’s research into herd immunity involved the development of an antibodies test that “did not utilize any materials produced in cell lines derived from aborted fetal tissue,” he said.

“The Catholic Church has indicated the need for alternatives to the use of cell lines, derived from tissues of elective abortions, in vaccines and medical testing,” McKenna told The College Fix via email. “We saw the opportunity to provide an alternative by creating a test for evaluating antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 that used no materials that were produced in cell lines derived from elective abortions,” McKenna said.

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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: CDC Reports 51 Percent Increase in Suicide Attempts Among Teenage Girls

Beth Palmer was 17 and dreaming of becoming a singer in March 2020 when the United Kingdom went into lockdown because of the coronavirus. One month later, she was dead.

“She was a wonderful, wonderful daughter. She was just funny, she lit up the room.,” said Mike Palmer, Beth’s father. “She was so affectionate and loving as well. She basically had the world at her feet. She had everything, everything to live for.”

Palmer didn’t die of the coronavirus. She took her own life.

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Maryland Announces over 500,000 New Potentially Fraudulent Unemployment Claims Since May

Larry Hogan

Maryland officials say they suspect over 508,000 new, potentially fraudulent unemployment claims have been filed since May.

The announcement Monday followed the state saying it has verified over 1.3 million fraudulent claims since the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic.

The most common means of filing a fraudulent claim is identity theft, according to CNN.

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Commentary: The Tragic Truth of Organ Harvesting in China

For nearly two decades, allegations of organ harvesting in communist China have emerged.  Today, China’s organ transplant trade is estimated to be a $1 billion industry, reportedly fueled by the exploitation of “prisoners of conscience.”

After conducting an investigation, a seven-member international and independent China Tribunal issued a judgement in December 2018.  The judgment concluded, “The Tribunal’s members are certain – unanimously, and sure beyond reasonable doubt – that in China forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience has been practiced for a substantial period of time involving a very substantial number of victims.”

China’s organ transplant industry began to increase dramatically in 2000.  Hundreds of hospitals offered transplants, thousands of transplant surgeons were trained, transplant research was conducted by the military, and the immunosuppressant industry was subsidized by the state.  

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Elderly, Vulnerable Will Need Yearly COVID-19 Boosters, WHO Says: Report

The World Health Organization predicts that vulnerable people will need yearly COVID-19 vaccine boosters and the everyday population will need shots every two years, according to an internal document, Reuters reported Thursday.

The document, Reuters reported, is an assessment set to be discussed Thursday at a board meeting of Gavi, a public-private partnership between health agencies, pharmaceutical companies, research institutions and non-profit organizations. The assessment recommends vulnerable people, such as the elderly, receive annual COVID-19 vaccine boosters, and the general population receive boosters every two years.

The document said boosters were necessary due to the emergence of new COVID-19 variants, and that vaccines would need to be regularly updated, according to Reuters, though the document did not show how these conclusions were reached.

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Commentary: Pandemic Lockdowns Were a Public Health Mistake

More evidence to confirm what many Republican lawmakers and free-market advocates such as Americans for Limited Government were saying from the start of the Covid pandemic, lockdowns would be one of the most tragic mistakes in American history.

The Rand Corporation and economists from the University of Southern California have released a new study examining the effectiveness of pandemic lockdowns, using data from 43 countries and all 50 US states.

“We fail to find that shelter-in-place policies saved lives,” the authors report. In the weeks following the implementation of these policies, excess mortality actually increases—even though it had typically been declining before the orders took effect.

And across all countries, the study finds that a one-week increase in the length of stay-at-home policies corresponds with 2.7 more excess deaths per 100,000 people.

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Commentary: Biden’s Reversal of Border COVID Rules Is an Act of Sabotage

Joe Biden

Since the Biden Administration assumed power in January, many Americans could be forgiven for feeling like they’re being held hostage, tied up in the trunk of a car, and driven to a place they do not want to go. Nowhere is this more evident than on the immigration problem, where Biden has reversed numerous policies that kept American safe, and it seems he has done so for no other reason than because Donald Trump is the one who put them in place.

Because he is beholden to the radical Left for his ascension to the White House, Biden predictably has adopted the usual anti-borders agenda including catch-and-release, demoralizing ICE, and defunding border wall construction. His expected next move, the reversal of Trump-era rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19 into the United States, is nothing short of political sabotage.

While COVID-19 may be on the decline in the United States, thanks in large part to the Trump Administration’s work on Operation Warp Speed, the same cannot be said for many of the poverty-stricken, underdeveloped countries from which those who most often show up at our doorstep originate. Just as our nation is turning the corner on a deadly global pandemic, it makes absolutely no sense at this moment to ease up on health restrictions on foreign nationals seeking entry. Only someone with Machiavellian political motives would propose such lunacy.

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Housing Prices Hit Record Highs, Up 23 Percent as Buyers Struggle

A modern home with a light blue roof and matching siding

House prices are at their highest point ever as the housing market continues to boom, leaving some buyers struggling to afford a home, according to a real estate group.

The median existing-home price topped $350,000 for the first time in May, a 23.6% increase from a year earlier, according to a Tuesday report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). While existing-home sales fell 0.9% from April to May, prices continued to increase as supply struggled to meet demand.

A combination of home buyers leaving cities, low interest rates, and constrained housing supply has caused prices to skyrocket, according to a report from Redfin. While the market has benefited sellers, some buyers have been priced out, the The Wall Street Journal reported.

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