Earlier this week, the estimable Robert Stacy McCain delivered a quite spot-on assessment of the terrible science behind the Centers for Disease Control’s guidance on masks, vaccinations, and the Delta variant of COVID-19. That guidance has thrown the entire country into a fresh panic about the virus, so much so that in places like Nevada, Louisiana and Washington, D.C. there are now mask mandates in place even for people vaccinated against the virus.
It seems the CDC had two sources for upsetting the national applecart. According to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, it relied on a study of a vaccine in use in India which apparently was less than effective in warding off the Delta variant — but that vaccine isn’t used in the United States because our authorities weren’t satisfied as to its effectiveness, period.
Flight attendants’ and teachers’ unions whose members are on the front lines of disputed Covid safety protocols are ardent enforcers of mask mandates for the public but do not require their members to get vaccinated. Such inoculation is widely acknowledged as the most effective step in stopping the spread of the new Delta variant, while masking is viewed as of secondary importance, and many are highly skeptical of its effectiveness and critical of its inconvenience.
As the Association of Flight Attendants continues to urge federal authorities to allow flight attendants to police passengers for masking – a policy that has led to fisticuffs on some flights – the union has struck an agreement with at least one airline, United, to allow unvaccinated members to fly. American Airlines and Southwest Air say they also do not require their flight attendants or other employees to vaccinate. Flight attendants for both airlines are unionized.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended the Trump-era public health order allowing border officials to expel most migrants back to Mexico or Canada, the agency announced Monday.
The regulation, known as Title 42, temporarily prohibits noncitizens from entering the U.S. through Canada or Mexico regardless of their port of origin in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 into the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Unaccompanied migrants minors were exempt from the order.
Private companies added 330,000 jobs in July, far fewer than expected and the lowest amount since February, according to a major payroll report.
The 330,000 jobs added to private payroll last month represented a significant decline from the 680,000 jobs added in June, the ADP National Employment Report showed. Economists predicted that private companies would add 653,000 jobs in July, nearly double the number reported Wednesday, according to CNBC.
America’s largest automobile manufacturers, along with United Auto Workers (UAW), will require all employees to wear masks again starting Wednesday.
The decision was made by a COVID-19 task force comprised of health officials from UAW, Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, which manufactures Dodge and Chrysler vehicles. All workers, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, have to wear masks at plants, office buildings, and warehouses, UAW announced in a statement Tuesday.
Used car prices keep climbing in Detroit.
According to iSeeCars’ newest study, used car prices in June increased by 31.4% or $7,179, in Detroit year over year as a result of the microchip shortage and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alegal battle and war of words between Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and the federal government over COVID-positive migrants being released into Texas communities escalated over the weekend.
The U.S. Department of Justice sued the state of Texas Friday over an executive order Abbott issued restricting the transport of infected immigrants who entered the country illegally being released into the general population.
“The Biden Administration is knowingly admitting hundreds of thousands of unauthorized migrants, many of whom the federal government knows full well have COVID-19,” Abbott said in response to the lawsuit.
Fast food chain McDonald’s is requiring all its staff and customers, vaccinated and unvaccinated, to resume wearing masks in its restaurants in areas deemed high risk by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The company first announced its new rules in an internal memo to franchisees and workers, CNBC reported. The rules, which went into effect Monday, follow updated guidance last week from the CDC, which recommended fully-vaccinated Americans wear masks indoors to prevent the spread of the delta variant of coronavirus.
McDonald’s told the Daily Caller News Foundation the change in policy was due to the CDC’s updated guidance, and said the company was following the science in making its decision.
As COVID cases surge around the nation, questions still remain around the origins of the virus, but one Republican study has put forth controversial answers.
Lead Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Monday released the newest edition of their investigation into the origins of COVID. The report points to problems with the Wuhan lab in question, including lax safety protocols and ignored maintenance requests on the disinfectant and hazardous waste systems.
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.
If you judged the US’s current COVID-19 situation only by the headlines, you’d come away thinking that we’re spiraling back into pandemic disaster. Localities like Los Angeles County and St. Louis have reimposed mask mandates on their citizens, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just revised its “guidance” to say that, actually, fully vaccinated individuals should still wear masks in certain situations. Meanwhile, mainstream media coverage of the rise of the “Delta variant” is soaked in alarmism.
Yet at the same time that all this alarm is mounting, the actual number of COVID-19 deaths is at a nadir. Harvard Medical School Professor Martin Kulldorff pointed this out on Twitter, writing that “In [the] USA, COVID mortality is now the lowest since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.”
A legal battle and war of words between Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and the federal government over COVID-positive migrants being released into Texas communities escalated over the weekend.
The U.S. Department of Justice sued the state of Texas Friday over an executive order Abbott issued restricting the transport of infected immigrants who entered the country illegally being released into the general population.
It may not be today. It may not be tomorrow. It may not be next week. It may not be this month, when the rapid ascension of the Delta variant in the United States could send confirmed daily case counts spiking to 200,000 or more before settling down again. It may not even be next year. But someday, you will almost certainly be infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
This uncomfortable fact may come as a surprise to many Americans, particularly to those who have spent hours sanitizing surfaces and groceries, who have dutifully adorned a mask even when not required to do so, and who have made the simple, science-backed decision to get vaccinated. SARS-CoV-2 has already spread around the world, infecting hundreds of millions or more. The genie is out of the bottle, and it is not going back in.
“We will be dealing with this virus forever,” Dr. Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota, said in an interview one year ago.
House Democratic leaders issued a joint statement calling on the White House to disregard a recent Supreme Court ruling and extend the national eviction moratorium.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the other top House Democratic leaders urged President Joe Biden’s administration to extend the eviction moratorium until Oct. 18, 2021 and said doing so is a “moral imperative,” according to the joint statement released Sunday. The moratorium — first introduced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last year to prevent landlords from evicting low-income tenants during the pandemic — expired over the weekend after Congress failed to pass legislation extending it.
“Action is needed, and it must come from the Administration,” the House Democrats said. “That is why House leadership is calling on the Administration to immediately extend the moratorium.”
Democratic Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser denied breaking her own mask mandate at a wedding Saturday night, despite photo evidence showing her seated maskless at a table.
The Washington Examiner first reported late Saturday that the mayor had officiated a wedding attended by “hundreds of unmasked guests” at 5-star Adams Morgan hotel, The Line DC.
The Examiner included a photograph of the mayor seated at a table maskless, noting that she “did not wear a mask despite not actively eating or drinking.” Several other guests in the picture are also not wearing masks.
A George Mason University law professor with naturally acquired immunity from COVID is fighting against his employer’s strict COVID vaccine mandate.
Antonin Scalia Law School Professor Todd Zywicki, who recovered from a bout with COVID and has blood tests showing antibodies to the virus, said he will not agree to the university’s policy that employees get the vaccine or face numerous sanctions.
“George Mason is forcing me to choose between serving my students on one hand and undergoing an unnecessary and potentially risky medical procedure on the other,” Zywicki said in a statement.
When I went to pick up my laundry last week, one of the employees, who had just finished folding my clothes, began weeping. “This is the last load I’ll ever do here,” she said in a choked voice. “They’re letting us all go.”
That one little stifled sob described more than just one woman bemoaning the loss of her job. In it was the relentless cry of the average American who is increasingly crushed by the ignorance of our elites.
Big Tech companies reported massive, record-breaking earnings figures as their sales continued to surge amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Google, Apple, Microsoft and Twitter all beat earnings estimates and showed large revenue growth, executives for the tech companies said during earnings calls Tuesday evening. The four companies’ earnings reports suggested that the growth experienced by Big Tech during the pandemic will continue apace.
“Our long-term investments in AI and Google Cloud are helping us drive significant improvements in everyone’s digital experience,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a statement Tuesday, explaining his company’s strong performance.
Last March, I followed the CDC’s advice and got fully vaccinated against COVID-19. I did so more out of a sense of civic duty than any actual fear that I might contract the virus. It was just an easy and scientifically sound way to help slow its spread. Naturally, I was delighted when the CDC finally announced that fully vaccinated people could safely participate in indoor and outdoor activities without wearing inconvenient and clinically useless face masks. Now, the CDC has reversed itself and issued new guidance telling 163.6 million fully vaccinated Americans to put our masks back on. Sorry, no sale.
First, the CDC published no data supporting its bizarre reversal. The Washington Post reports: “In the text of the updated masking guidance, the agency merely cited ‘CDC COVID-19 Response Team, unpublished data, 2021.’” Moreover, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky is struggling to produce a plausible explanation. She claimed without evidence on ABC News that “new science” has emerged showing that fully vaccinated people should be masking.
The Los Angeles Unified School District this week announced that students and employees returning to in-person instruction in the fall would be forced to undergo weekly testing even if they’ve been vaccinated against SARS-Cov-2.
“All students and employees, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, returning for in-person instruction must participate in baseline and ongoing weekly COVID testing,” Interim Superintendent Megan K. Reilly told media this week. “This is in accordance with the most recent guidance from the Los Angeles County.”
Though the district policy is making no distinction between unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals, Reilly herself stressed the importance of getting vaccinated anyway.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday celebrated the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) decision to drop its investigation into his policy that sent COVID-19 patients into nursing homes, but with several other probes ongoing, his fate is still unclear.
The DOJ announced last week it would not investigate Cuomo’s March 2020 order forcing nursing homes to accept coronavirus patients, prompting the governor to hold a press conference Monday in which he described allegations his nursing home order caused deaths as “outrageous.” At least 4,000 nursing home residents died when the order was active, according to a report from New York Attorney General Letitia James, with the New York State Department of Health knowingly undercounting nursing home deaths, as first reported by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
If you’re tired of the pandemic and just want to go back to normal, David Frum at The Atlantic has news for you: It’s all the stupid people who refuse to take the vaccine that are prolonging our COVID misery.
Oh, wait, that’s not it exactly. In actuality, it’s all Trump’s fault. Frum, once a leading voice of the conservative establishment, declares: “Pro-Trump America has decided that vaccine refusal is a statement of identity and a test of loyalty.”
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.
Public health confidence in the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine appears to be waning as officials warn of enhanced danger — even for vaccinated individuals — from the “Delta variant” of the SARS-Cov-2 virus.
For most of the past year officials have claimed that vaccinations are the only viable path back to normalcy and away from lockdowns and other aggressive mitigation measures. “Look at the folks in your community who have gotten vaccinated and are getting back to living their lives — their full lives,” President Joe Biden said at a May press conference, arguing that the vaccine was “going to help them and their loved ones be safe, get our businesses open again, and get us back to normal.”
The rollout of the vaccines starting last year and continuing throughout the spring and summer of this year has been hailed as the driving force behind the reopening of the economy and the ending of masking mandates and similar restrictions.
The Biden administration will keep a Trump-era public health order used to expel most migrants from the U.S. in place, citing COVID-19 variants, Reuters reported Thursday.
President Joe Biden reportedly planned to lift public health order Title 42 restrictions for migrant families at the end of July, according to Reuters. The administration decided not to lift the order in light of rising COVID-19 infections in Mexico and the spread of the delta variant, according to three people familiar with the matter, Reuters reported.
School districts across the country are beginning to impose mask mandates for all students and staff this fall. Officials in Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, and Washington, DC declared last week that everyone in school buildings will be required to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status.
These school districts are going beyond current CDC guidelines, which recommend masking for unvaccinated students and staff only. Instead, they seem to be embracing the masking stance of the American Academy of Pediatrics which announced last week that all students over age two, as well as staff, should wear masks at school even if they are vaccinated.
New Hampshire will be limited in requiring people to be vaccinated against COVID-19 under a new law signed by Gov. Chris Sununu.
The “medical freedom” law which passed the Republican-controlled Legislature on a largely party-line vote, states that people have the “natural, essential and inherent right to bodily integrity, free from any threat or compulsion by government to accept an immunization.”
A Florida congressman joined CNN Tuesday evening to debate host Chris Cuomo on his decision not to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Do you feel responsible for spreading a message where [you say] ‘I’m not gonna take [the vaccine] because I don’t care what Biden wants. Byron Donald’s not gonna take it ’cause he doesn’t care what Biden wants?'” Cuomo asked Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL-19). “Do you think that’s a good message for people to hear?”
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) Monday held a press conference with medical professionals, a concerned parent, a student to discuss mask mandates in schools for the upcoming school year.
Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a Professor of Medicine at Stanford University and research associate at the National Bureau of Economics Research (NEBR), H. Cody Meissner, MD, a pediatrician and Chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Disease and Professor of Pediatrics at the Tufts University School of Medicine, and Mark McDonald, MD, a clinical child psychiatrist, all participated in the roundtable.
Rio Grande Valley Sector Chief Patrol Agent Brian Hastings reported that his sector at the Texas-Mexico border alone took into custody more than 15,000 illegal immigrants in one week, the most so far this year.
In the same sector, agents saw a 900% increase in those being detained who tested positive for the coronavirus.
Multiple home barbecue companies are going public after a successful year and a half amid the COVID-19 crisis, an apparent reflection of increasing consumer orientation toward home cooking after many months during which dining out was sharply curtailed.
Traeger — a manufacturer of automated wood-pellet smokers — this week announced an initial public offering of 23,529,411 shares of common stock at as much as $18 per share. The company was expecting to realize around $400 million in the IPO.
The company in its IPO prospectus said it “more than doubled revenue from $262.1 million in 2017 to $545.8 million in 2020,” with huge surges in social media followings last year
Louisiana Republican Rep. Clay Higgins said Sunday that he, his wife and his son all tested positive for COVID-19.
“I have COVID, Becca has COVID, my son has COVID,” Higgins wrote on Facebook, adding that he and his wife had already tested positive for the virus early in 2020.
“Becca and I have had COVID before, early on, in January 2020, before the world really knew what it was,” Higgins wrote. “So, this is our second experience with the CCP biological attack weaponized virus… and this episode is far more challenging.”
The U.S. federal government should have stopped funding research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2015 when China reduced its cooperation with the French in building and operating the lab, according to the leader of an investigation into COVID-19’s origins by the State Department under the Trump administration.
In 2015, French intelligence officials warned the U.S. State Department and their own foreign ministry that China was cutting back on agreed collaboration at the lab, former State official David Asher, now a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute think tank, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
By 2017, the French “were kicked out” of the lab and cooperation ceased, leading French officials to warn the State Department that they had grave concerns as to Chinese motivations, according to Asher.
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that the national eviction moratorium mandated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is unconstitutional. The court said in its ruling that the matter ultimately needed to be resolved by Congress.
The three-judge panel ruled that the CDC engaged in federal overreach by mandating that tenants who are unable to pay their rent and are in breach of their rental agreements may not be evicted. The CDC had implemented a moratorium in response to millions of people losing their jobs due to governors shutting down their state economies to slow the spread of COVID-19.
On Thursday, the Chinese government confirmed that it will not cooperate with a proposed second investigation into the possible origins of the coronavirus conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), as reported by CNN.
The announcement was made by Deputy Head of China’s National Health Commission Zeng Yixin, who said at a press conference that he was “surprised” that the WHO’s proposal for the investigation included the possibility that the lab leak theory would be taken into consideration.
COVID-19 policies had disastrous results on children, especially in California, according to medical researchers at the University of California San Francisco.
Jeanne Noble, director of COVID response in the UCSF emergency department, is finishing an academic manuscript on the mental health toll on kids from lockdown policies. She shared a presentation on its major points with Just the News.
Suicides in the Golden State last year jumped by 24% for Californians under 18 but fell by 11% for adults, showing how children were uniquely affected by “profound social isolation and loss of essential social supports traditionally provided by in-person school,” the presentation says.
A day after Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced “a commitment to transparency” regarding White House COVID-19 disclosures, she told reporters that the White House will not be releasing the number of “breakthrough cases” that occur on its campus.
The term “breakthrough cases” refers to fully vaccinated individuals who have come down with the coronavirus. Transparency advocates argue that the American people can be given that information without invading the privacy of COVID-stricken White House employees.
On Wednesday, after admitting that there had been multiple COVID cases at the White House that had not been previously revealed, Psaki said that the White House would only announce positive tests among officials if they had come into contact with Joe Biden, Kamala Harris or their spouses.
President Biden so desperately wants the vaccine-hesitant part of the country to get their shots that he may have spread a little misinformation. “You are not going to get COVID,” he promised during a CNN town-event Wednesday night, “if you have these vaccines.”
Of course, this is not true. Biden knows it. He said as much later during the forum, explaining that, while vaccinated individuals enjoy significant protections, they can still test positive for the virus. But even if that happens, the president pointed out, the vaccine largely mitigates the most serious dangers. “You are not going to be hospitalized,” he said, reciting the latest scientific consensus. “You are not going to be in the IC unit, and you are not going to die.”
The fact that fully vaccinated individuals can still contract the coronavirus is a medical reality. It has also led to more uncomfortable questions about transparency for the Biden administration.
The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased to 419,000 last week as the economy continues its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented a large increase in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending July 10, when 368,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised up from the 360,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.
Before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia on Thursday, legal counsel for several Pennsylvania counties as well as numerous public officials and private companies, argued Governor Tom Wolf (D) abused his police powers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Specifically, the private-sector compainaints charge that the governor’s shutdown of and other demands on businesses during parts of 2020 and 2021 violate the takings clause and the due-process clause of the U.S. Constitution. All plaintiffs, governmental and private, further insist that the governor’s restrictions on public gatherings over the past year violated the rights of assembly, association and religion secured by the First Amendment.
The Biden administration will reportedly keep restrictions allowing border officials to expel most migrants for another month, The Monitor reported Wednesday.
The Trump administration implemented public health order Title 42 prohibiting some individuals from entering the U.S. in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Border officials encountered nearly 190,000 migrants at the southern border in June and over 100,000 of those were rapidly expelled under Title 42, according to CBP.
Gov. Doug Ducey has called on Arizona’s congressional delegation to urge the Biden administration to maintain Title 42 restrictions, which allow federal officials to prohibit entry into the U.S. for those posing a potential health risk.
“I am writing to you today to share details of the impact this dangerous and misguided idea would have on Arizona and to request your assistance on behalf of the people of Arizona in urging the Biden administration to maintain these critical protections,” Ducey wrote last week in a letter to Arizona’s 11 members of Congress.
Sixteen months after the COVID-19 pandemic began in Michigan, the GOP-led Legislature has revoked Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s pandemic powers.
The House of Representatives sealed the end of her powers Wednesday with a vote of 60-48. The Senate approved the petition on July 15 on a 20-15 vote.
Democratic Rep. Sam Steckloff said petitions are meant to go on the ballot to voters instead of enacted through the Legislature and contended petition gatherers “lied” to those who signed the petition.
Texas Democratic leadership continues to shield the identities of multiple, truant state representatives who have tested positive for SARS-Cov-2, even as the virus continues to spread among individuals who have had contact with the self-exiled legislators.
It’s a sharp contrast to the treatment many Republicans and conservatives received over the past year, when the positive COVID tests of multiple GOP members were covered aggressively by the media.
This column is becoming a weekly checklist on the descent of American public policy and attitudes further into the depths of frivolity, chaos, and national self-dislike. I was honored to make a small contribution last week to the edition of this website celebrating its fifth anniversary. In the editors’ statement on that anniversary, they renewed their hostility to the ineptitude and moral decrepitude of the bipartisan ruling class, their “opposition to the unaccountable administrative state,” their dislike of an American oligarchy, particularly the “Big Tech monopoly to suppress disagreement,” and their contempt for “pernicious utopian ideologies.” It is a privilege to be associated with such opinions.
A group of 20 American professors signed a joint letter with a group of Chinese professors demanding that the United States work more closely with China on future research efforts, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
The letter, which appeared in the most recent edition of the American Chemical Society’s journal of Environmental Science and Technology, was signed by 21 Americans and 19 Chinese. Of the 40 signatories, nine of the Americans had received their educations in Chinese universities; 18 of the journal’s editors have worked for institutions backed in some capacity by the Chinese government.
The letter’s authors claim that while “increasing geopolitical competition has generated greater mistrust between the U.S. and China…a great deal of this mistrust results from misunderstanding.” The letter recommends that American and Chinese “funding agencies should also seek opportunities to fund joint global research projects in SDG [sustainable development goals] areas for the common good.”
The Department of Health and Human Services delivered 311 pages of heavily redacted emails Dr. Anthony Fauci and the World Health Organization and other documents regarding COVID-19 to Judicial Watch and the Daily Caller News Foundation, according to a press release Tuesday.
The redacted documents included personal edits from Fauci on COVID-related funding measures, which were redacted under a trade secrets exemption, Judicial Watch said in the press release.
“The American people have every right to know key information on our government’s role in Covid,” DCNF President Neil Patel said in the statement Tuesday. “This sort of hiding, dodging and stonewalling is one reason why trust in national authorities is near all-time lows.”
An influential COVID policy skeptic is threatening to sue Facebook for suspending his account based on a graphic he posted Tuesday, titled “Masking Children is Impractical and Not Backed by Research or Real World Data.”
Justin Hart was identified in a recent MIT paper as one of a handful of “anchors” for the anti-mask network on Twitter. He’s also chief data analyst for the COVID contrarian website Rational Ground.
A warning letter to Facebook from Hart’s lawyers at the Liberty Justice Center said the graphic was “science-based and contains footnotes to scientific evidence supporting its claims.” Facebook issued him a three-day suspension the next day, citing the post as misinformation. The page remains live but the post is no longer there.
The number of coronavirus infections among Democratic lawmakers who fled to Texas to stall a voting reform bill increased over the weekend.
At least five members of the Democratic delegation have tested positive for the virus, a person familiar told the Associated Press. The Texas House Democratic Caucus announced three of the lawmakers had tested positive as of Friday, but said the entire group had been fully vaccinated.
Small business owners are continuing to have problems attracting new workers in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and are trying to entice them with new incentives, a new report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce shows.
“Small businesses are bearing the brunt of the current worker shortage,” said Tom Sullivan, vice president of small business policy at the Chamber. “Many have given up on actively recruiting new workers as it is too hard to find skilled and experienced workers for their open positions.”