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To Fight Vaccine Lies, Authorities Recruit an ‘Influencer Army’
Ellie Zeiler, 17, a TikTok creator with over 10 million followers, received an email in June from Village Marketing, an influencer marketing agency. It said it was reaching out on behalf of another party: the White House.
Would Zeiler, a high school senior who usually posts short fashion and lifestyle videos, be willing, the agency wondered, to participate in a White House-backed campaign encouraging her audience to get vaccinated against the coronavirus?
“There is a massive need to grow awareness within the 12-18 age range,” Village Marketing wrote to Zeiler’s business email. “We’re moving fast and have only a few available slots to fill, so please let us know ASAP.”
CDC Director Confirms No Federal Vaccine Mandate
With national attention swarming around the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention following its implementation of mask mandates for indoor public spaces, agency director Rochelle Walensky clarified comments she made on Fox News … When asked about vaccines in the country and if they will be ordered by President Biden, Walensky commented, “That’s something that I think the administration is looking into.”
She couldn’t offer more detail, aside from her broad support of more vaccinations across the country and its age demographics. Later on Twitter, Walensky added to her televised comments, confirming that there won’t be a federal order to get vaccinated implemented anytime soon. “To clarify: There will be no nationwide mandate. I was referring to mandates by private institutions and portions of the federal government,” she wrote on Twitter. “There will be no federal mandate.”
Florida Gov. DeSantis Signs Executive Order Making Masks Optional in Schools
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday signed an executive order making mask-wearing optional in the state’s public schools. The announcement came after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday issued new guidance for K-12 schools recommending universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff and students, regardless of vaccination status.
“The federal government has no right to tell parents that in order for their kids to attend school in person, they must be forced to wear a mask all day, every day,” DeSantis said in a Friday statement. “Many Florida schoolchildren have suffered under forced masking policies, and it is prudent to protect the ability of parents to make decisions regarding the wearing of masks by their children.”
Anti-Vax App Squares Off With Google, Apple Over Misinformation
Unjected, started by two women from Hawaii, bills itself as a community for “like-minded people that support medical autonomy and free speech.” The app allows users to make a profile, match and message with other members. It launched in May shortly after the largest online dating sites, including Match Group’s Tinder and Bumble Inc., introduced perks to encourage users to get vaccinated. Sometimes dubbed the “Tinder for anti-vaxxers,” Unjected has since racked up 18,000 downloads, according to Apptopia, and plenty of jokes on Twitter.
Dr. Fauci Does Not Foresee Lockdowns Happening Again but Says ‘Things Are Going to Get Worse’
The same is being done on a national scale by Dr. Anthony Fauci, saying he does not foresee lockdowns happening again, thanks in part to the amount of people who have gotten vaccinated. But he did issue a grim warning.
“I don’t think we’re going to see lockdowns,” says Dr. Fauci. “I think we have enough of the percentage of people in the country, not enough to crush the outbreak, but I believe enough to not allow us to get into the situation we were in last winter, but things are going to get worse.”
Zoom Reaches $85 Mln Settlement Over User Privacy, ‘Zoombombing’
Zoom Video Communications Inc. agreed to pay $85 million and bolster its security practices to settle a lawsuit claiming it violated users’ privacy rights by sharing personal data with Facebook, Google and LinkedIn, and letting hackers disrupt Zoom meetings in a practice called Zoombombing.
A preliminary settlement filed on Saturday afternoon requires approval by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California. Subscribers in the proposed class action would be eligible for 15% refunds on their core subscriptions or $25, whichever is larger, while others could receive up to $15.
Hundreds of North Carolina Healthcare Workers Protest COVID Vaccination Mandate
The demonstration saw people march from Freedom Park to the Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte in protest against the decision. Those taking part in the rally include a large group of Atrium staff workers, alongside anti-mask and anti-vaccine protesters.
Atrium Health, one of the biggest healthcare systems in Charlotte with more than 70,000 employees, recently announced that all staff members must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 31 in order to protect themselves and others amid surging cases of the Delta variant in the state and across the country.
How Local Media Spreads Misinformation From Vaccine Skeptics
The Freedom’s Phoenix, a local news site in Phoenix, and the Atlanta Business Journal, a news site in Atlanta, both published the same article about coronavirus vaccines in March.
The author was Joseph Mercola, who researchers and regulators have said is a top spreader of misleading COVID-19 information. In the article, Mercola inaccurately likened the vaccines to “gene therapy” and argued against their usefulness.
A month later, The Freedom’s Phoenix and the Atlanta Business Journal also published another article by Mercola. This time, he blamed billionaire Bill Gates for the pandemic, claiming Gates had “shadow control” of the World Health Organization.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Signs Order Banning COVID Vaccine, Mask Mandates
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday signed an executive order prohibiting mask mandates or COVID-19 vaccine requirements from government agencies and municipalities statewide.
Abbott issued the order Thursday, two days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended indoor mask mandates, regardless of vaccination status, in places with at least 50 confirmed COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people over the previous seven days.
“To further ensure that no governmental entity can mandate masks, the following requirement shall continue to apply: No governmental entity, including a county, city, school district, and public health authority, and no governmental official may require any person to wear a face-covering or to mandate that other person wear a covering,” the executive order read.
The Privacy Battle That Apple Isn’t Fighting
FOR AT LEAST a decade, privacy advocates dreamed of a universal, legally enforceable “Do not track” setting. Now, at least in the most populous state in the US, that dream has become a reality. So why isn’t Apple—a company that increasingly uses privacy as a selling point — helping its customers take advantage of it?
Twitter Suspends Science Writer After He Posts Results of Pfizer Clinical Test
Just yesterday, we discussed the censoring of a commentator by Twitter for merely expressing an opinion over the need for a “pause” on any federal mandates on COVID-19 as new research is studied.Now, a former New York Times science reporter, Alex Berenson, has been suspended for simply quoting the results from a clinical trial by Pfizer and raising questions over any vaccine mandate. In the meantime, the White House accused both the Washington Post and New York Times of irresponsible reporting on COVID, but surprisingly Twitter has not suspended those accounts. It is the license of the censor.
Twitter is unwilling to let people read or discuss viewpoints that it disagrees with as a corporation. Many on the left, however, have embraced the concept of corporate speech and censorship. It turns out that the problem with censorship for many was the failure to censor views that they opposed. With the “right” censors at work, the free speech concerns have been set aside.