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OPINION

‘It Is Time’: Mississippi Joins Texas in Lifting All COVID Restrictions Despite Doing Terrible Job Controlling Virus

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Barely one hour after Texas GOP Governor Greg Abbott announced he was lifting all COVID-19 restrictions, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves, also a Republican, joined in, tweeting “it is time” to get rid of his state’s mask mandate. Next to a vaccine, wearing a mask is the single most effective action anyone can take to control the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

“Starting tomorrow, we are lifting all of our county mask mandates and businesses will be able to operate at full capacity without any state-imposed rules,” Reeves declared on Twitter, revealing that he has blocked other “lockdown” protocols. “Our hospitalizations and case numbers have plummeted, and the vaccine is being rapidly distributed. It is time!”

Governor Reeves, dubbed a “Trump acolyte” by The New Yorker, early on in the pandemic refused to take any action, and worse, overrode local officials who had ordered lockdowns and other protective measures. Instead, Reeves told Mississippi residents to trust the “power of prayer” over the deadly virus. And then he flew to Europe for a family trip.

Reeves has a strong background in finance, and he says he’s looking at the coronavirus numbers, but it appears he isn’t actually looking at the important coronavirus numbers for his state.

At a Tuesday afternoon press conference Reeves said he’s focused on the numbers, he looks at them every morning.

But, he declared, “the total number of daily cases is not the end-all be-all,” If you’re not testing much, like Mississippi, Reeves would be correct – but not in a good way.

“What is the end-all be-all, and the single most important issues, are what do the total number of hospitalizations look like, what are the total number of patients that are in ICU beds, and what is the total number of patients that are on ventilators?”

Those are the “single most important” numbers you would look at if your only goal is ensuring hospitals are not over capacity. They are the most short-term numbers you could look at to manage the pandemic in the worst possible way. Those are numbers to focus on if your main goal is merely preventing “last-mile” problems. They do not take into account “long COVID,” those patients who contract the virus and never fully recover. In fact, they are numbers to look at if you literally don’t care how many people contract the disease, or spread it.

Meanwhile, we did look at the numbers, the really important ones, to determine how well – or poorly – Governor Reeves is managing the pandemic.

It’s not good.

Here are some stats the first-term GOP governor might want to be paying attention to.

Mississippi ranks 32nd in total population across the U.S., but ranks 23rd in total coronavirus cases. That means Reeves’ state is outpacing the average – not good.

Those numbers are probably a lot worse, since Mississippi ranks 36th in per capita coronavirus testing.

Worse, just 14 percent of Governor Reeves’ residents have had their first COVID-19 vaccination shot, which means his state ranks 43rd, per The New York Times. That’s pretty bad.

Governor Reeves claims that “hospitalizations and case numbers have plummeted,” but Mississippi, according to Bloomberg, ranks number 13 in hospitalizations (number one is the worst.)

And here’s the worst number: Mississippi ranks number 5 in per capita coronavirus deaths. There are just four states that are in a worst position.

Despite all this, Reeves is opening up his state, immediately.

 

Stats via WorldOMeter

 

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OPINION

Don Jr. Suggests Trump’s New Social Media Site Was Created to Help Republicans Win Elections

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Donald Trump, Jr. is appearing to suggest his father’s new social media platform, Truth Social, was created to help Republicans win elections.

Appearing on far right host Sebastian Gorka’s Newsmax show that aired Sunday, Trump Jr. was asked in a segment about the new social media site what his “specific message” is “to those who had just kind of given up on the idea of America and free and fair elections.”

Trump Jr. did not hesitate.

“Let’s stay in the game,” he replied, after discussing Truth Social for several minutes and urging viewers to join. “I mean, you know, these are all steps that we’re taking to make sure that we can level that playing field, the playing field has been so biased for so long, right?” he claimed.

“We’ve been playing T ball while the other side has been playing hardball and doing whatever it takes,” Trump Jr. said, despite some Republicans working to overturn the free and fair 2020 presidential election.

“You know, Donald Trump opened the door for conservatives to start pushing back, to play the game the way the other side has done it. We need to keep doing that, we need to stay in this game. They would love for us just to tuck tail to run to turn the other cheek to be dejected, to take our ball and go home. We can’t allow that to happen, we have to stay in the game we have to stay involved we have to be vocal and we have to be unafraid.”

And even though Facebook was formed in 2004, Twitter in 2006, Microsoft in 1980, and Apple in 1976,  he also seemed to suggest that “Big Tech” or social media platforms have been working against Republicans for 50 years.

“And if we do that and you look at what’s going on right now with the insanity of this administration and all of the leftist agenda, you realize, Americans are waking up. It’s about time, but they’re finally doing it and we’re actually able to put up a front against a huge, huge platform that has been working against us, for half a century.”

Watch:

 

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OPINION

COVID Disinformation Purveyor Sen. Ron Johnson Urges FDA to Not Grant Full Approval to Coronavirus Vaccine

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Senator Ron Johnson has written a letter to the FDA criticizing the Biden Administration for “rushing the approval process” for political reasons, reports the conservative Washington Times.

Johnson has repeatedly earned his “Ron Anon” nickname throughout the pandemic as an opponent of vaccines (while denying he’s an anti-vaxxer) and other COVID-19 mitigation efforts. The most recent spike in cases and deaths caused by the Delta variant haven’t slowed his roll.

The Washington Times reported on the contents of his letter, which it said it had obtained exclusively:

“The Wisconsin Republican warned against the Food and Drug Administration’s pending approval of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, which is expected Monday.

“He said the fast-track decision appeared more political than scientific since it skipped the usual formal advisory committee meeting and did not fully account for the reports of deaths and disabilities suffered by people after being vaccinated.

“‘I see no need to rush the FDA approval process for any of the three COVID-19 vaccines. Expediting the process appears to only serve the political purpose of imposing and enforcing vaccine mandates.'”

In the letter, Johnson also charged that “over the last year and a half, the decisions of federal health agencies have dramatically affected the lives of all Americans. The impact of these decisions has been felt in Americans’ treatment options, employment, schools, housing and travel, and in countless other ways. The human toll of the social restrictions and economic devastation is incalculable.”

The Washington Times did report this from the Biden administration:

“U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy told “Fox News Sunday” that moving the Pfizer vaccine from “emergency” to “full approval” would make mandates more appealing.” There are universities and businesses that have been considering putting in vaccine requirements in order to create a safer, a workplace, a learning environment,” he said. “I think this announcement from the FDA would likely encourage them and make them feel more comfortable in putting some requirements in place.”

Johnson’s stature as a de facto spokesperson for the virus has long been documented. Last month, Washington Post fact checkers gave Johnson four Pinocchios for his campaign of vaccine misinformation. It quoted this bizarre claim from Johnson in a July 14 interview on Fox News’ “Hannity.”

The fact of the matter is it looks like natural immunity is as strong if not stronger than vaccinated immunity. … There is a risk to the vaccine. Again, it’s very small, but there are some pretty serious side effects, including death. We are already over 5,200 deaths reported on the VAERS system. That’s a CDC, FDA’s early warning system.”

“Johnson has emerged as the leading vaccine skeptic in Congress this year,” the Post reported. “For months, the senator has been peddling misinformation about coronavirus vaccines, undeterred by fact checkers, federal health agencies, medical experts and a growing body of scientific research. We previously dug into two Johnson claims that resurfaced in this interview on Fox News, a network whose right-wing personalities consistently bash the Biden administration’s vaccination efforts.

A month earlier, in June, there was this from CNN: “YouTube suspended Johnson’s account after it posted a video of the senator making dubious claims about treatments for the coronavirus. In the video, Johnson voiced support for using hydroxychloroquine against the virus, the same drug Donald Trump enthusiastically endorsed and used as a preventative treatment for coronavirus last year.”

It has all been part of a pandemic-long quest for Johnson to stoke support from the Trump base. Among his most notable strange moments, Johnson brought forth a parade of dubious doctors at a December Senate hearing on the pandemic for the purpose of “elevating fringe theories,” in the polite words of the New York Times. Johnson was so repulsive that he even bridged the partisan divide on the subject. Here’s more from newspaper:

“Mr. Johnson’s inflammatory public statements and his decision to give a platform to an assortment of contrarian doctors promoting alternative treatments have also irked some fellow Republicans, who have privately groused that he is acting irresponsibly.”

 

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OPINION

‘#TrumpIsALaughingStock’ Trends as Americans Mock Right Wingers’ Belief Today Would Be #TrumpReinstatement Day

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According to the QAnon crowd, the far right fanatics, the MyPillow cultists, and MAGA maniacs, August 13 is the day Donald Trump would be “reinstated” as president. And while the day is not over yet, there is exactly zero chance “the former guy” is going to be back in the White House any time soon.

“The morning of August 13 it’ll be the talk of the world,” MyPillow CEO and election fraud conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell has claimed.

Americans will not see a shadow “cabinet” or anyone else declaring “martial law” and bringing Donald Trump back into power. There will be no Supreme Court decision kicking President Joe Biden to the curb. And Democrats will not be rounded up as “traitors” and jailed – or worse.

Instead, many Americans will have – and already are having – a field day reveling in mocking the insanity that has come to represent the Republican Party, as #TrumpIsALaughingStock, #TrumpReinstatement, and other amusing hashtags trend on social media.

Trump’s spokesperson, still allowed to tweet out his press releases, posted one on Friday that appeared to acknowledge the conspiracy theory he would be reinstated. After blasting President Joe Biden, it asks, “DO YOU MISS ME YET?”

For many the answer is “no.”

Here are some of the best takes:

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