University Bets on Bitcoin as Nationwide Enrollment Dips

San Diego State University is now accepting donations in the form of Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

An anonymous donor has sent the school approximately $25,000 worth of Bitcoin, according to the SDSU NewsCenter.

“The SDSU auxiliary will keep almost all of the contribution in the form of Bitcoin instead of immediately converting it all to cash as many other universities have done,” the outlet reported.

Read More

Small Business Administration Spends $14.8 Million in Questionable Costs for Underutilized Small Business Portal

U.S Small Business Administration

This week’s Golden Horseshoe is awarded to the Small Business Administration for lax oversight of a $25 million grant for the creation of a COVID-19 relief small business portal that ran up $14.8 million in questionable costs for an underutilized hub, according to a report by the agency’s Office of Inspector General.

The SBA’s Office of Entrepreneurial Development (OED) received $25 million through the CARES Act to create a portal to help small businesses during the pandemic. An $18.6 million grant was awarded for the Resource Partner Training Portal program, but the intended results were not achieved. A combination of a failed marketing strategy to let small businesses know of the portal’s existence and unsupported or unallowable invoices led the inspector general to question $14.8 million in costs.

“SBA did not did not ensure the grant recipient developed and implemented an effective marketing and outreach strategy to ensure the hub successfully achieved the legislative purpose of the CARES Act,” Inspector General Hannibal “Mike” Ware stated in the report.

Read More

‘If There Is Risk, There Must Be Choice’: Dr. Robert Malone Stirs Defeat Mandates Rally in DC

Vaccine Mandates

Protesters opposed to COVID-19 vaccine mandates marched on Washington, D.C. on Sunday, embarking on a mile-long march before convening at a rally outside the Lincoln Memorial.

Organizers with Children’s Health Defense predicted 20,000 people would attend the event, Defeat the Mandates.

Speakers included Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., virologist and immunologist Dr. Robert Malone, investigative journalist Lara Logan, and doctors and other experts.

Read More

Missouri AG Sues 36 School Districts with Mask Requirements, But Not His Own District

Missouri Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt completed on Friday a promise made earlier this week by filing lawsuits against 36 public school districts for requiring masks.

“Mask mandates in schools are illegal, they simply don’t work, and they contribute to alarming and negative psychological impacts on our children,” Schmitt, a candidate for the seat of retiring Republican U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, said in a statement announcing the lawsuits. “My Office has been on the frontlines of the fight to end the forced masking of children all day in school, and today we took concrete legal action toward that end. Parents and families, not bureaucrats, should have the power to decide what’s best for their children. With this litigation, we’re seeking to return that power back to parents and families, where it belongs.”

Earlier this week, leaders of two Missouri public school district collaboratives told The Center Square that attorneys for many school boards believe two Missouri statutes require districts to create and enforce policies to ensure the health and safety of students. Schmitt stated a November Cole County Circuit Court ruling, now being appealed by St. Louis and Jackson Counties at the Missouri Court of Appeals, prevents school districts from enforcing any public health orders. Schmitt set up an email box through his office in December and received 11,000 messages and photographs from people witnessing mask requirements in public schools.

Read More

CDC Report Finds Natural Immunity Worked Better Than Vaccine Against COVID’s Delta-Variant Wave

Anew CDC report states a prior case of COVID-19 protected people from infection better than vaccinations did during the delta wave last summer and fall.

The findings were published Wednesday in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and is based on new research from the agency and health officials in California and New York that appears to contradict public health messaging that pushed for vaccinations.

Still, experts say the vaccination shots remain the safest way to protect against the worse side effects of contracting COVID, according to NBC News. During the height of the virus’s delta-variant surge last summer, essentially all hospitalized COVID patients were not vaccinated.

Read More

Republicans Push for Greater Access to COVID Therapeutics

Republicans are pushing for greater access to monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19 after the federal government took over the distribution of such drugs last year. 

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, filed Senate Bill 3440 to prohibit the federal government from limiting state access to monoclonal antibody treatments.

Read More

Commentary: Truth Leaks Out

Wuhan Institute of Virology

The quest for truth-in-COVID did pick up some steam in late spring 2021.

Not about the vaccine, though.

About the origins of the virus.

From the first days of the epidemic, strong circumstantial evidence suggested Sars-CoV-2 had leaked from a Chinese lab. Both the virus itself and the facts around its emergence pointed to human intervention.

Read More

Commentary: $800 Billion Stimulus Program Failed Terribly and Mostly Benefited the Wealthy, MIT Economist Finds

Close up of federal check

The federal government has spent an astounding $42,000 per federal taxpayer on so-called “stimulus” efforts since the pandemic began. Where did all that money go? Well, as it turns out, one of the biggest stimulus programs, the Paycheck Protection Program, failed miserably.

At least, that’s the finding of a new study from MIT economist David Autor and nine coauthors. They examined the $800 billion Paycheck Protection Program, which gave “loans,” most of which won’t have to be paid back, to businesses. It was created by Republicans and Democrats in Congress alike in hopes of helping businesses preserve their employees’ jobs for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. 

The study tracks the money to see where it ended up and what it achieved. The results… aren’t pretty. 

Read More

Judge Denies Missouri AG Request to Stop St. Louis County Mask Requirement

Eric Schmitt

A Circuit Court Judge on Wednesday denied Missouri Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s request for a temporary restraining order to stop a mask requirement approved by the St. Louis County Council on Jan. 5.

Democrat Rita Heard Days, chair of the Council, didn’t know what to expect from the court.

“At this particular point, I’m not surprised about anything,” Days told The Center Square after an event in Hazelwood on Thursday. “This thing has taken a life of its own. People are trying to cope with all of this. We just hope we can get over this and move on.”

Read More

Newt Gingrich Commentary: COVID-19 Totalitarianism on the March

sign that says "NO FORCED VACCINE"

It is hard to know which is more frightening: the Australian radicalism about COVID-19, the Austrian effort to coerce its citizens, or the attitudes of American Democrats who regard extreme sanctions as reasonable behavior toward the supposedly bad people who don’t get vaccinated or wear masks.

Let’s consider each one.

In Australia, the government felt so threatened by the best tennis player in the world that it intervened decisively to block him from entering the country and competing in the Australian Open.

Read More

White House Says It Will Make 400 Million N95 Masks Available to Americans for Free

The Biden administration said Wednesday it is making 400 million N95 masks available free to the American public to protect against COVID-19 infection.

President Biden is expected to formally announce the initiative in a White House press conference related to his first year in office.

Read More

Great Britain, Czech Republic, and Israel Back Away from Vaccine Passports

Great Britain, the Czech Republic, and Israel are backing away from COVID vaccine mandates amid increasing evidence that the leaky vaccines are making the  pandemic worse.

It is becoming harder to deny the glaringly obvious facts that COVID infection rates are increasing worldwide in proportion with the rate of vaccination, and that the injections have dreadful adverse side effects which may be contributing to a marked increase in all cause deaths.

Read More

Starbucks Drops Vaccination Requirement for Employees

Seattle-based Starbucks announced this week that is dropping its policy requiring employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The coffee giant’s move comes in response to last week’s United State Supreme Court ruling to block the Biden Administration from requiring businesses in the private sector to put vaccine mandates in place.

Read More

Top Ten Wealthiest Men in the World Doubled Their Wealth During the Pandemic

A recent report claims that the world’s top 10 richest men all saw their wealth double over the course of the Coronavirus pandemic, while 99 percent of global income dropped dramatically during the same period.

As reported by ABC News, a study published on Monday by the group Oxfam showed that the collective wealth of the top 10 doubled from approximately $700 billion to over $1.5 trillion between March of 2020 and November of 2021. During that same time, over 160 million people fell into poverty as incomes plummeted. The increase for the top 10 in less than two years represented a greater increase for their wealth than their growth over the previous 14 years combined.

The 10 men who were the focus of Oxfam’s study were: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bernard Arnault, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Ballmer and Warren Buffett. The data for the study was gathered from the World Bank.

Read More

Majority of Democrats Favor House Arrest for the Unvaccinated, Nearly a Third Want Them to Lose Custody of Children: Poll

Democrats were more than twice as likely as other voters to favor harsh government restrictions being placed on unvaccinated people’s lives, ranging from fines to loss of child custody, according to a recent poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports and the Heartland Institute.

Forty-eight percent of Democratic voters said the government should be able to fine or imprison those who publicly question the COVID-19 vaccine’s efficacy, while only 27% of all voters supported the proposal, according to the poll results.

Fines against those who refuse to take the vaccine were viewed favorably by 55% of Democratic voters and just 19% of Republicans, and 59% of Democrats favored a policy requiring unvaccinated people to stay inside their homes at all times, except for emergencies, the poll found. Seventy-nine percent of Republicans opposed a house arrest policy for unvaccinated people.

Read More

Universities That Received Billions in COVID Relief Are Still Imposing Delays, Remote Instruction

In 2020, the federal government gave American colleges and universities approximately $14 billion in relief through the CARES Act. As part of the $2.2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package, the CARES Act allocation mandated that approximately half its funds be used for emergency student aid.

Now, nearly two years after President Donald Trump signed the CARES Act in March 2020, numerous institutions that received aid are delaying in-person learning due to the Omicron variant.

By Jan. 7, seven out of 10 University of California campuses announced “revisions to their winter quarter or winter semester plans.” Winter sessions precede the spring semester, which traditionally starts in mid-to-late January.

Read More

Governors Using Federal Coronavirus Relief Funds on ‘Global Warming’ Initiatives Instead

Several governors around the country are taking federal funds meant to combat the coronavirus and instead using the money to deal with so-called “global warming.”

Breitbart reports that, in addition to federal stimulus funds, such governors are taking advantage of budget surpluses as a result of tax collection and massive consumer spending following the end of most lockdowns. Among the most prominent governors engaging in such misuse of funds are Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.), and Jay Inslee (D-Wash.).

“The climate crisis is not an abstraction,” Inslee falsely claimed. “It is something that I and every governor in the United States, almost on a weekly basis, have to deal with.” Newsom, who has incorrectly described global warming as an “existential threat,” has proposed spending of up to $24 billion over the next five years, for such projects as electric school buses, more electric vehicle charging stations, and additional “clean energy” development and storage projects.

Read More

China Says It Will Not Sell Olympic Tickets to the General Public Citing COVID-19 Concerns

The Organizing Committee of the Beijing Winter Olympics, which are just days away from starting, has announced that it will not be selling tickets to the general public due to COVID-19 concerns.

Initially, individuals living on mainland China were the only people allowed to purchase tickets for the event, but the committee has now revoked that plan, citing “the current grave and complicated situation of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In a statement, the committee wrote that the new policy is being put in effect to “ensure the safety of all participants and spectators.”

Read More

Chinese Officials Call to End Overseas Deliveries Because of Omicron Variant

A ship arriving at the Hamburg harbor.

Officials in Beijing have urged for an end to overseas deliveries, saying that the Omicron coronavirus variant can spread by opening packages that originate in other countries, BBC News reported.

The officials calling to end overseas deliveries cited the case of a woman who contracted the Omicron variant after opening a parcel later found to have traces of the variant on it, BBC News reported. The officials noted that the woman had no prior travel history.

The virus was discovered on the surface of a letter the woman received from Canada as well as on the inside of an unopened letter, health official Pang Xinghuo told reporters on Monday, BBC News reported. Dozens of letters from the same batch were tested, with five reportedly containing traces of COVID-19.

Read More

University Fires 100 Professors Due to COVID

William Paterson University

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues into its third year, William Paterson University is now laying off 100 full-time faculty over the next three years. 

The university, located in Wayne, New Jersey, originally planned to let 150 professors go before union negotiations revised the number to 100, or 29% of the institution’s 340 faculty, reports Inside Higher Ed.

Thirteen tenured professors lost their job at the end of 2021, according to the outlet. 

Read More

The University of Minnesota Admits the COVID-19 Vaccine Doesn’t Stop Transmission, Will ‘Probably’ Mandate Boosters Anyway

The University of Minnesota admitted in an email to its student body that the COVID-19 vaccine doesn’t prevent transmission of the virus — yet the school says it will “probably” require more boosters for its students.

Public Health Officer Jakub Tolar sent an email to the student body answering some frequently asked questions about the virus earlier this month.

“I’m vaccinated, does that mean I can’t get COVID-19?” one question reads. “No,” the school responds, stressing that omicron remains “easily transmissible” even among the university’s fully-vaccinated population.

Read More

Minnesota Launches $200 Vaccine Incentive Program

Families who get their child in the 5- to 11-year-old age group vaccinated for COVID-19 are eligible for a new round of $200 incentives, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced Tuesday.

Families will receive one $200 VISA gift card per child who receives both doses between Jan. 1 and Feb. 28, the news release said. Registration for the gift cards, which is possible following completion of the series, opens at 10 a.m. Jan. 24 and closes at 11:59 p.m. Feb. 28.

“In light of the Omicron variant, there is a new sense of urgency in our response, and we are doing whatever we can to encourage Minnesotans to get their vaccine and keep themselves and their communities safe,” Minnesota Department of Health Information Officer Doug Schultz told The Center Square in an emailed statement Thursday. “Getting as many eligible Minnesotans vaccinated as possible is critical to helping curb the spread of COVID-19 and keep Minnesota families safe.”

Read More

Commentary: What Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Would Say About Biden’s New COVID-19 Policy

Given the Biden administration’s recent effort to prioritize COVID-19 treatments based on race, it is more important than ever that we remember – and practice – the teachings of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration released new guidance to medical professionals which listed “race or ethnicity” as high risk factors for doctors to consider when prescribing a new monoclonal antibody known as Sotrovimab. Other high-risk factors included obesity, pregnancy, and other health conditions which would make a person less able to fight the virus. The new guidance means a person’s race could qualify him or her for treatment ahead of others who need the drugs.

Biden administration officials have cited high rates of diabetes and other health issues which are prevalent in non-white and non-Hispanic communities as reasons to include the new criteria. Officials in New York and Minnesota have also prioritized treating non-white patients, but they have more overtly cited historic health care disparities as a justification.

Read More

Thousands of Students Plan School Walkouts Across the U.S. in Protest of in-Person Learning

Boy walking down a school hallway

Students across the U.S. are planning school walkouts in protest of in-person learning as COVID-19 cases spike amid the rise of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

There are nearly 3,500 schools actively disrupted as of Friday, according to Burbio’s K-12 School Opening Tracker, which tracks school closures for 1,200 districts, including the 200 largest school districts in the nation.

On Tuesday, New York City students staged a walkout in protest of in-person learning over what they said were concerns about testing and safety mitigation measures. NYC Mayor Eric Adams said school was the “safest place” for children during a Friday news conference.

Read More

Lawyer in Historic Vaccine Mandate Challenge Warns Larger Constitutional Issues Remain Unresolved

One of the lawyers in the historic U.S. Supreme Court case that blocked the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate on private business is warning it is only a preliminary victory and the larger constitutional issues about government-compelled inoculations must still be litigated.

“In some ways, yesterday was a win of a major battle, but still leaves the war to be fought,” said Robert Henneke, executive director and general counsel at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, which filed one of the original challenges in Texas against the vaccine mandate that was eventually consolidated before the Supreme Court.

“While it got to the right outcome for declaring the private employer vax mandate unlawful, it kind of misses the forest for the trees because it leaves these broader questions of federal power unresolved,” he told the John Solomon Reports podcast.

Read More

Commentary: Getting Back to Normal

People keep asking me how we get back to normal. How do we return to the days before vaccine mandates and closed schools to a fully functioning military, secure borders, and a time when inflation wasn’t through the roof? I’ll give you the short answer: pure, unadulterated political power.

You can only get back to normal when political power is in the hands of the right people making the right policies that actually advance the country in a positive, beneficial way. And then you beat the Left and others who have gotten us here into unconditional surrender. 

Read More

Commentary: The Best Path Forward for Omicron… Let It Rip

The recent arrival of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has, for far too many, reset the clock of our timeline for a return to societal normalcy.

Public health authorities in many countries reimposed loosened travel restrictions that had lapsed. Washington, D.C., under the mayorship of Muriel Bowser, passed a draconian private-sector vaccination mandate, the likes of which had previously only passed muster in iconic deep-blue metropolises such as New York City. The vacillating mandarins who constitute the “public health” apparatus in this country, such as Lord-Emperor Anthony Fauci, quickly began fearmongering about the need to avoid large gatherings for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Restaurants and bars across the country that had shelved mask mandates suddenly deemed it necessary to make customers mask up again.

The sober reality, as should be obvious as we approach the two-year anniversary of “15 Days to Slow the Spread,” is that COVID-19 is simply not going anywhere; much like influenza or the common cold, it is now something humanity is simply going to have to deal with. Furthermore, at this point in the “pandemic,” it should be equally obvious that the COVID-19 vaccines are completely ineffective at preventing viral transmission. There is simply no compelling evidence that the vaccines are generally effective at slowing the spread. The vaccines often appear to be an effective symptom mitigation prophylactic for those who catch COVID-19, but that makes vaccination a quintessential private health decision with little-to-no relevance for public health authorities.

Read More

General Electric Says It Won’t Require Vaccine after Supreme Court Strikes Down White House Mandate

General Electric Company

American corporation General Electric this week announced that it would no longer require its 56,000 employees to undergo either the COVID-19 vaccination or regular testing after the Supreme Court struck down the White House’s employer vaccine mandate.

The company suspended its enforcement of that policy on Friday, one day after the court said the Biden administration could not force large U.S. companies to require vaccinations for their employees.

President Joe Biden has urged companies to continue with their own personal mandates after his administration’s own efforts were stymied by the Supreme Court.

Read More

State Auditor: Whitmer Admin. Undercounted Michigan Nursing Home COVID Deaths by 30 Percent

Gov. Whitmer

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s administration drastically undercounted COVID-19 nursing home deaths in the state, according to a state auditor general report reviewed by Fox News.

The damning report, which is expected to be released on Monday, reveals suspicious similarities to how former Democrat governor Andrew Cuomo hid nursing home deaths in New York.

Republican State Rep. Steven Johnson, the chairman of the Michigan House Oversight Committee,  spoke with Fox News Digital in a telephone interview on Thursday. Whitmer  [like Cuomo] is “well known” for her executive order “to place COVID-positive patients into nursing homes,” Johnson said.

Read More

Analysis: Democrats in D.C. Brace for Two Winter Storms as Voting Bills Near Certain Failure

The U.S. Capitol on a snowy day

As Washington, D.C., prepares for its second winter storm in as many weeks, Democrats in Congress are all-in on their bid to pass their voting legislation and, if it fails, to abolish the Senate filibuster to advance it.

Their strategy has almost zero chance of success. Though Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has brought his party’s voting bills to the floor throughout 2021, they have faced insurmountable opposition from Senate Republicans every time, who have relied on the filibuster to tank the legislation that they describe as a federal takeover of elections that could invite voter fraud.

In response, Schumer and most Senate Democrats have endorsed scrapping the 60-vote threshold, but in their way stand Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. The two centrist Democrats have said time and time again that they will not support abolishing the filibuster, denying Democrats the unanimous support they need to adopt the change even though they support their party’s voting legislation.

Read More

458 Police Officers Died on Duty in 2021, the Deadliest Year on Record

The year 2021 saw the highest number of police officers killed in the line of duty in modern history, with 458 officers dying over the course of the year.

As reported by Fox News, the number is the highest since record-keeping first began, surpassing the previous high of 1930, which saw 312 officers killed on the job. The report was released on Tuesday by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), pointing out that the numbers reflected an increase of 55 percent over the 2020 total of 295 deaths. The comprehensive report includes officers at every level, including municipal, county, state, and federal, as well as military, territorial, campus, and tribal law enforcement.

Read More

Biden Administration to Distribute Millions of COVID-19 Tests to K-12 Schools Each Month

President Joe Biden’s administration plans to provide millions of COVID-19 tests to K-12 schools each month, the White House said in a Wednesday statement.

This month, the Biden administration will start shipping five million rapid COVID-19 tests each month to K-12 schools across the country in an effort to keep schools open amid a spike in COVID-19 cases and the rise of the Omicron coronavirus variant, according to White House officials. The new tests will allow schools to double the “volume of testing” from November 2021.

The administration also plans to expand lab capacity to provide an additional five million tests per month so schools can “perform individual and pooled testing in classrooms nationwide.”

Read More

Facebook Parent Company Will Make Its Office Workers Get the Vaccine Booster

Facebook parent company Meta will require its in-person workers to receive a booster shot in addition to a COVID-19 vaccine, the company announced Monday.

By March 28, Meta employees must have received the booster to use the in-person offices of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, The Wall Street Journal reported. Meta is reportedly delaying the reopening of its offices until late March due to the requirement.

“We’re focused on making sure our employees continue to have choices about where they work given the current COVID-19 landscape,” Janelle Gale, Meta’s vice president of human resources, said in a statement, CNBC reported. “We understand that the continued uncertainty makes this a difficult time to make decisions about where to work, so we’re giving more time to choose what works best for them.”

Read More

Poll Shows More Americans Worry About Inflation Than COVID

Despite the mainstream media hysteria over the Chinese coronavirus, a new poll shows that a broader swath of Americans continue to care more about inflation and other more direct economic issues.

As reported by the Washington Free Beacon, the poll was conducted by the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research throughout the month of December, with its findings released on Monday. In the poll, 37 percent of Americans believe that the coronavirus should be the government’s top priority in 2022. Last year, that number was 53 percent.

Conversely, 68 percent believe the economy should be the top focus instead. Of those 68 percent, 14 percent specifically named inflation as a major issue; last year, only one percent of respondents worried about inflation, which has since risen to a 40-year high under Joe Biden’s watch.

Read More

CDC Director: 75 Percent of COVID Deaths Among Vaccinated Had Four Comorbidities

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky

Ahead of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on vaccine mandates expected as early as this week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control is under increased scrutiny after recent comments about COVID-19 deaths.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky fell into controversy after a clip of her appearance on Good Morning America Friday went viral.

“I want to ask you about the encouraging headlines we’re talking about this morning, a new study talking about just how well vaccines are working to prevent severe illness,” co-host Cecilia Vega said on Good Morning America. “Given that, is it time to rethink how we’re living with this virus if it is potentially here to stay?”

Read More

Small Business Administration Not Taking Direct Action Against Partner Lenders That Issued Billions in Fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program Loans

The Small Business Administration is not taking action against its partner lenders that issued billions of dollars in fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loans, Just the News has learned.

Congress appropriated almost $1 trillion in forgivable PPP loans to assist businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Approximately 15% of the $961 billion is projected to have been obtained fraudulently, according to a study.

A House of Representatives panel estimated that $84 billion in PPP funds was issued fraudulently.

Read More

Liberal Supreme Court Justices Show Weak Grasp of Basic COVID-19 Facts

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.

Read More

Just a Third of Americans View COVID-19 as a Top-Five Priority, Poll Shows

Less than 40% of Americans view the coronavirus as a top-five issue to address in 2022, a new poll shows.

The Associated Press-NORC survey found that just 33% of Americans labeled virus concerns as a top issue, down 16 points from a year ago. On the other hand, 68% of respondents said that the economy was the top issue on which to focus this year, with subtopics ranging from inflation to unemployment and the national debt.

The results come as inflation has hit a multi-decade high and supply chain bottlenecks continue to affect Americans’ lives. However, it also comes as the Omicron coronavirus variant has fueled daily case counts near record-highs, with the U.S. now averaging over 650,000 new infections per day.

Read More

Iowa Capitol Reporters Lose Access to Senate Press Bench

Iowa Senate leaders have decided press will no longer have seating at the press bench at the front of the Senate chamber floor.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, most state legislatures allowed access to the chamber floors, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures April 2019 state-by-state report on media access and credentialing.

“Media access to the people who make laws is a critical component of representative government,” the Iowa Capitol Press Association said in a statement Friday. “Primarily for this reason, the Iowa Capitol Press Association is extremely disappointed in the Iowa Senate’s decision to move reporters out of the press work stations on the chamber floor and into the upstairs gallery.”

Read More

Commentary: The Fixation on COVID Testing Is Leading to the Widespread Disruption of Another Academic Year

Last week, a friend phoned to tell me that her child would be unable to make a playdate with my 8-year-old scheduled for the following day. Her son had tested negative for COVID that evening, yet she planned to take him for another PCR test the next morning “out of an abundance of caution.” Days earlier, a neighborhood mom was so distraught that her daughter had shared the same bus with a classmate who was later discovered to have had COVID that she insisted on stocking up on at-home testing kits for use every day that week. Despite displaying no symptoms and being fully vaccinated, the child and her siblings were subjected to daily nasal swabs.

While television programs like HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm poke fun at liberals who stockpile COVID essentials, progressive professionals who retain the luxury and time to devote to their hypochondria are inevitably contributing to the nationwide shortfall of available tests while undermining the efforts of Americans whose testing needs revolve around a real exposure to the virus. Yet, as has been the case since the beginning of the pandemic, American children continue to pay the heftiest price for the Left’s misguided and irresponsible conduct.

Read More

Vaccine Mandate Critics Urge Highest Court to Defend Individual Freedom

Supreme Court reflecting on the pool at the National Mall

President Joe Biden’s series of controversial federal vaccine mandates faced their first day before the U.S. Supreme Court Friday, and critics are urging the justices to side with personal freedoms over what they call executive branch overreach.

National Federation of Independent Business v. Department of Labor, the first of two cases heard by the court Friday, considers a vaccine mandate on private employers with 100 or more employees. The second case, Biden v. Missouri, challenges Biden’s mandate on health care workers.

“Today was one of the most important moments in our nation’s history,” Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts, which has joined the legal challenges to Biden’s mandate push, said. “The Biden administration, and many on the far left, believe that the federal government has the right and the authority to dictate personal and private medical decisions to the American people, and coerce their employers into collecting protected health care data on their employees. This overreach is a fundamental violation of the American spirit of freedom and personal responsibility and represents the left’s assault not just on common sense, but our constitutional rights.”

Read More

Commentary: It’s 2022, But Many Schools Are Reverting to 2020’s COVID Playbook

young girl getting face mask put on her face

It’s 2022 but you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s still 2020—especially if you have children enrolled in K-12 district schooling. Some parents are grappling this week with a return to, or threat of, remote learning first introduced nearly two years ago.

Fear of the fast-spreading Omicron variant of the coronavirus is leading school officials across the country to once again shutter schools. In Cleveland, for example, this first week of school for the new year is entirely remote for public school students. Several districts throughout Ohio are following suit, while others are re-imposing 2020 virus-related restrictions or extending the holiday break into this week.

Newark, New Jersey public schools announced they will be fully remote for the next two weeks, as did other districts throughout the state. Public schools in Atlanta will also be closed this week, reverting back to remote learning.

Read More

Commentary: Joe Biden’s Failed Policies Has Lead to a COVID Test Shortage

President Joe Biden walks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as he departs the U.S. Capitol after addressing the House Democratic Caucus, Thursday, October 28, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

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.

Read More

Supreme Court’s Conservative Justices Seem Skeptical of Biden Admin’s Workplace COVID Vaccine Rules

The Supreme Court on Friday hearing oral arguments on two major Biden administration efforts to increase the country’s vaccination rate against COVID-19 — starting with the mandate requiring large-scale employers to require workers to be vaccinated or tested.

In the first case, the National Federation of Independent Business, et al., Applicants v. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, et al.

OSHA is more specifically requiring businesses with 100 or more workers either require them to be vaccinated or et tested weekly and wear masks while working, with exceptions for those who work outdoors.

Read More

Republican Leaders Slam Biden After Jobs Report Shows ‘Massive Miss’

Republican leaders slammed President Joe Biden after December’s jobs report released Friday reported numbers well below economists’ projections, highlighting the report as another example of how the president mishandled the post-pandemic recovery.

The U.S. economy added only 199,000 jobs in December while unemployment dipped to 3.9%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced Friday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal projected that the economy would add 422,000 jobs in December and that unemployment to fall to 4.1%.

“Our economy should be soaring right now, but the policies of this administration continue to stifle growth and hold back American businesses and workers,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said in a statement.

Read More

U.S. Economy Adds Just 199,000 Jobs in December, Far Below Expectations

Man in a hard hat pointing his finger

The U.S. economy recorded an increase of 199,000 jobs in December and the unemployment dipped to 3.9%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced Friday.

Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 199,000 in December, according to the BLS, and the number of unemployed Americans dipped to 6.3 million. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal projected the economy to add 422,000 jobs in December and for unemployment to fall to 4.1%.

December’s jobs report leaves the U.S. economy with roughly 6.5 million more jobs than at the end of 2020 but still 3.5 million short of pre-pandemic levels.

Read More

Commentary: CNN Is Winding Down Its COVID-19 Dashboard Again

Since March 20, 2020, CNN has displayed a live Covid-19 dashboard in the upper-right of its daily news programming tracking the latest pandemic numbers, including infection and death counts, as seen in the image below.

The timeline below records the total seconds of airtime each day since the start of last year in which this dashboard was visible, tracking its ebbs and flows. With the start of 2021, CNN largely phased out its dashboard, bringing it briefly back during the spread of the Delta variant and again with Omicron, but since December 23, 2021 has begun winding down its dashboard once again.

Read More