A tiny administrative agency in the District of Columbia announced a new policy Tuesday that will likely serve as a model for a whole-of-government push to assemble lists of Americans who object on religious grounds to a COVID-19 vaccine.
The Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia—a federal independent entity that assists officers in the District of Columbia courts in formulating release recommendations and providing supervision and services to defendants awaiting trial—announced a new records system that will store the names and “personal religious information” of all employees who make “religious accommodation requests for religious exception from the federally mandated vaccination requirement.”
Iowans are waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for businesses with at least 100 employees. In the meantime, they’re moving ahead with actions of their own.
Iowa Department of Education Communications Director Heather Doe told The Center Square in an emailed statement that since Iowa is a state-plan state, the Iowa Division of Labor typically enforces workplace safety in Iowa instead of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The state is required to notify OSHA whether it will adopt a given Emergency Temporary Standard or provide notice it will not adopt it because its standards are as effective as the new federal standard. Iowa needed to respond to the standard by Jan. 7.
Iowa Labor Commissioner Rod Roberts did so, saying that the Hawkeye State will not adopt or enforce the mandate.
The liberal justices on the Supreme Court demonstrated a stunningly weak grasp of basic facts concerning the COVID-19 pandemic Friday, as they defended the Biden regime’s policies during oral arguments over vaccine mandates in the workplace.
The court heard separate oral arguments over federal vaccine mandates for employers with more than 100 employees, and for health care workers at facilities receiving Medicaid and Medicare funding.
Justice Stephen Breyer at one point seemed to suggest outrageously that the OSHA mandate would prevent 100 percent of daily US COVID cases. It is common knowledge now that the vaccinated people can still spread the disease.
America has basically run out of tests for Covid-19 as lines are forming at emergency rooms, urgent care facilities and doctors’ offices, and now patients are simply being turned away nationwide. In the meantime, tests are being rationed to those with greater risk factors just a month after President Joe Biden was pushing “test to stay” in order for Americans to be allowed to go to work, school and to travel.
This comes as the Institutes for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) project an estimated 1.9 million probable Covid infections in the U.S per day — and rising. By the end of January, IHME estimates as many as 2.8 million new cases per day, largely thanks to the new omicron variant that accounts for 95 percent of all new cases, the Centers for Disease Control say.
For perspective, last year, IHME estimated cases peaked at over 500,000 a day in early Jan. 2021.
A majority Americans begin 2022 full of worry and dread. During President Biden’s first year in the White House, societal anxiety surged, including among voters who identify as independents and Democrats. In the newest Axios/Momentive year-end survey, 2021 saw a 50% increase in fear about what 2022 will bring among independents. Democrats weren’t much more sanguine. They began last year with refreshing optimism as their party took control of the White House and Congress, with only 19% of Democratic voters declaring themselves fearful about 2021. By year’s end, that number had surged to 45%.
Reflecting this dour assessment, the RealClearPolitics polling average of Joe Biden’s approve/disapprove ratio also receded sharply for the last year, from a stellar 20-percentage-point surplus in his favor on Inauguration Day, to a minus- 10-point rating.
Given this environment, Republicans naturally grow more confident about the midterm elections. But taking nominal control of Capitol Hill won’t be enough. Will Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy and their lieutenants be content with stopping the woke and socialist-inspired agenda of progressives? Or will they boldly implement a full-throttle populist nationalist “America First” agenda?
Georgia is again pushing back against the Biden administration’s COVID-19 mandates.
Georgia and 23 other states are asking the court to block the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Administration for Children and Families from requiring Head Start program staff, certain contractors and volunteers to wear masks and be fully vaccinated by Jan. 31.
Gov. Brian Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr announced the court challenge against the Head Start vaccination and mask mandate Tuesday.
The majority opinion released on Friday by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, which restored the Biden administration’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) requiring employers with more than 100 employees to mandate that all employees take a COVID-19 vaccinefalsely asserts that Pfizer’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fully approved vaccine is currently available and in use among the general public.”
“At the same time, the options available to combat COVID-19 changed significantly: the FDA granted approval to one vaccine on August 23, 2021, and testing became more readily available,” the majority opinion asserts on page 24 of the ruling.
The majority opinion was written by Obama-appointed Judge Jane Branstretter Stranch of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Several large U.S. hospital systems have dropped their COVID-19 vaccine requirements for employees in the wake of a U.S. district court’s temporary halt of the Biden regime’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.
After months of protests, the mandate forced thousands of hospital employees to either resign, or be terminated because of their refusal to get vaccinated.
Louisiana-based federal Judge Terry Doughty issued a preliminary injunction on November 30, blocking the federal government from mandating the experimental injections for workers at Medicare or Medicaid-funded healthcare facilities in 40 states.
Multiple lawsuits have been filed against the Biden administration over three different vaccine mandates targeting private employees, federal employees and healthcare workers serving Medicare and Medicaid patients.
But lawsuits filed by 27 states over the private sector mandate is setting the stage for the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in because they were filed directly in five federal courts of appeals.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has called for a special session in order to ban vaccine mandates and mask mandates, but the legislation being proposed are not going as far as DeSantis initially called for.
One of the bills would require employers to provide alternatives to vaccination, and another bill would allow parents to sue school boards or districts over mask mandates. DeSantis has touted the slate of bills in next week’s special session as some of the “strongest protections for both private and public sector employees anywhere in the country.”
This is one of the greatest votes of no confidence in the 21st Century.
Against the destructive policies of President Joe Biden, a torrent of spending that has brought back memories of the 1970s — surging inflation as the middle class are taxed their savings at the grocery store and then scenes of American defeat overseas in Afghanistan that stranded hundreds of Americans and thousands of American allies, who now suffer under the tyranny of the Taliban.
Until recently, conservatives were the party of business. They defended the business world not as a necessary evil or because of its efficiencies, but because they thought it exemplified an enterprising, individualist morality. It respected rights of contract, served as an arena for creativity, and allowed socially useful competition. Even now, Republicans condemn the Left’s programs as creeping socialism, seemingly forgetful of the last decade in which corporations became the vanguard of the cultural revolution.
Part of American conservatives’ embrace of capitalism comes from its historically central place in American life. Americans had tamed the wilderness and become an industrial powerhouse by the middle of the 20th century. Most of this activity was rooted neither in the pursuit of glory nor religious conviction—as, perhaps, with Spanish colonialism—but by ordinary economic self-interest, the spirit of Yankee ingenuity.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis spent the weekend making the rounds on Fox News programming where he lauded his work as governor and the varying efforts he is pushing. Notably, DeSantis spent time on Tucker Carlson Tonight on Friday where he said President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate is unconstitutional.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has called for a special legislative session to resolve the issue of vaccine mandates in Florida. On Twitter, DeSantis said no one should lose their job over a vaccine.
“I am calling the Florida Legislature back for a Special Session to pursue stronger protections for Floridians against federal government mandates,” DeSantis said. “No one should lose their job over a COVID shot.”
Leon County Circuit Judge Layne Smith has ruled against a business in Sarasota requesting to impose a vaccine mandate for its customers to enter.
The store, Bead Abode, requested that Smith grant their request for a mandate, but denied them saying Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ vaccine mandate ban “assures open markets.”
Most Americans believe that the federal government is now doing too much, a new poll shows.
More than 50% of respondents in the Gallup survey, released Thursday, said that the government was too involved in things that should be left to individuals or private businesses, while 43% said that the government should involve itself more in trying to fix the country’s problems.
Over 350 doctors from across Florida signed on to a letter asking the Florida Senate to scrutinize Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo. The doctors took part in the effort alongside the Committee to Protect Health Care (CPHC), as they outlined numerous questions regarding Ladapo’s positions.
Ladapo, upon announcing his appointment to the position, said Florida is “done with fear” and began a process of pushing back against universal mask mandates and vaccine mandates. He was appointed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and some DeSantis opponents called Ladapo “an anti-masker and a vaccine skeptic.”
Every now and again, an otherwise arcane legal topic suddenly becomes relevant to contemporary political debate. At that point, general commentary suddenly becomes filled with newly minted experts with strong positions on what is typically a nuanced issue. Thus, at various points during the past decade, Twitter saw a flood of hitherto undisclosed connoisseurs on the intricacies of the Logan Act, a constitutionally problematic piece of legislation that emerged from the same 18th century administration that brought us the infamous Alien and Sedition Acts. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, some observers suddenly expressed deep-seated opinions on the Jones Act, a complex piece of maritime law most people had probably never heard of prior to 2017.
So it seems to be with Jacobson v. Massachusetts, the previously obscure 116-year-old precedent – it barely warrants a footnote in most constitutional law treatises – that people have taken to citing whenever anyone questions the legality or constitutionality of vaccine mandates in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. But Jacobson is not some sort of argumentative checkmate. If the decision were actually taken to the lengths that some of its proponents suggest, it would be a truly terrifying ruling.
Although I drafted most of this article before encountering Josh Blackman’s excellent law review article on Jacobson (available here), I did rely on it for some of the procedural history of the case, as well as some of the cases from the pandemic that relied upon Jacobson. It is well worth a read for anyone else interested in learning more about the case.
Allen West, the former chair of the Texas Republican Party who is primarying Republican Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, is hospitalized with COVID-19 but said Sunday that he was “doing great.”
Allen West told the Associated Press that he had “no complaints” and was “just relaxing” in a hospital in Plano, Texas. West said on Twitter that both he and his wife, Angela, were hospitalized with the virus and that they underwent monoclonal antibody infusion therapy.
Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt of Missouri warned that vaccine mandates nationwide could lead to a greater police officer shortage even as crime surges.
Schmitt, Missouri’s chief law enforcement officer, said he is worried that mandates will only worsen the wave of police officer retirement triggered by the “defund the police” movement last year.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced this week the state will be imposing $5,000 fines per violation toward cities and local municipalities that implement vaccine mandates for their employers.
“People that have put in 10, 15, 20 years, and now they’re just going to get cast aside by some onerous mandate? That is wrong, and so we let it be known today, we’re going to be enforcing Florida law against that,” DeSantis said.
A White House senior advisor said Thursday that Joe Biden is prepared to “run over” Republican governors who “stand in his way” on vaccine mandates.
Following Biden’s shocking, widely-panned authoritarian speech Thursday afternoon, multiple Republican-led states announced plans to sue the Regime over its “unconstitutional” mandate forcing businesses with more than 100 employees compel vaccinations.
Kentucky’s Republican legislature overrode the state’s Democratic governor late Thursday and repealed a statewide public school mask mandate.
The move, reported by the Louisville Courier Journal, came on the final day of a special session called by Gov. Andy Beshear. The mask mandate was repealed as cases in the state increased for the 10th straight week, and as over 30% of Kentucky’s new cases Thursday were in people 18 and younger, according to state data.
The legislature last month moved to significantly limit Beshear’s pandemic-related power, an action that was upheld by multiple judges in the state.
With national attention riveted over the weekend on two major stories — the frantic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan amid its fall to the Taliban and category 4 Hurricane Ida slamming into the Louisiana coast — Big Tech and woke finance dramatically extended the reach of cancel culture with brazen moves to silence and harass three high-profile voices of political and scientific dissent: independent journalist Alex Berenson, popular conservative news and opinion website The Gateway Pundit, and Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
On Saturday, Twitter permanently banned Alex Berenson, who has built a large social media following challenging public health establishment orthodoxy on COVID issues ranging from lockdown to vaccine mandates.
“The account you referenced has been permanently suspended for repeated violations of our COVID-19 misinformation rules,” a Twitter spokesperson responded to an inquiry from Fox News.
The American Medical Association (AMA) is calling for public and private vaccine mandates.
“With the highly transmissible and more virulent Delta variant wreaking havoc and emergency departments once again overwhelmed, physicians and all frontline health care workers need help,” the AMA said. “The way to regain the upper hand in this fight is requiring vaccinations—specifically vaccine mandates.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday banned government-issued vaccine mandates despite the Food and Drug Administration’s recent approval of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine.
Abbott’s executive order applies to all government-run entities with the exception of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. “Vaccine requirements and exemptions have historically been determined by the legislature, and their involvement is particularly important to avoid a patchwork of vaccine mandates across Texas,” Abbott said in an accompanying statement.
According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, more than 680 U.S. public and private colleges require students to get a coronavirus vaccine. This is a non-negotiable mandate for students to maintain enrollment status.
The vaccination edicts come even as the coronavirus has an extremely low mortality rate among college-aged students — CDC data attributes only 2.8 percent of coronavirus deaths to those under age 45. Regardless of this reality, those favoring mandated vaccines argue that schools already require students to provide proof of other vaccinations.
In an interview with MSNBC on Tuesday, Anthony Fauci said that defeating the coronavirus is more important than Americans’ personal freedoms, and that every American should be forced to get a vaccine, the Daily Caller reports.
When asked by host Willie Geist, Fauci said that he supports vaccine mandates for teachers and all levels of schools, including colleges and universities, referring to the India Variant, also known as the “Delta Variant,” as a “major surge” that has led to a “critical” situation.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday he supports efforts by local governments to mandate vaccinations for teachers against the novel coronavirus.
“I’m going to upset people on this but I think we should [mandate vaccinations for teachers]. I mean, we are in a critical situation now,” Fauci told MSNBC “We have had 615,000 deaths and we are in a major surge now as we’re going into the fall, into the school season. This is very serious business.”
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.”
Facebook’s “fact-checkers” cannot agree on the legality of university COVID vaccine mandates.
Disagreement about the legality of the COVID vaccines is understandable — The College Fix explored this topic several weeks ago in our own article, but the problem is that a Facebook fact-check on an article can lead to reduced distribution.
And enough strikes against a page can lead to a permanent ban. The College Fix has seen this firsthand, after Facebook overlords punished us for sharing the comments of an epidemiologist who made a prediction about what would happen if lockdowns were lifted.