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Governors Pledge to Sue Over Biden’s Business Vaccine Mandate
President Biden responded Friday to a pledge by some Republicans to sue over an incoming rule issued by the Labor Department requiring businesses with more than 100 employees to require that workers be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing.
Republican governors are slamming the president over the yet-to-be-developed rule, declaring it an overreach and unconstitutional. It’s the most sweeping vaccine mandate the federal government has yet announced.
“Have at it,” the president retorted during a school visit Friday morning when a reporter asked if the new requirements constitute overreach and could be confronted with legal challenges.
Analysis: Biden’s War on Virus Becomes War on Unvaccinated
They’re a source of frustration. A risk to their fellow citizens. A threat to the nation’s economic recovery.
President Joe Biden is trying to concentrate the anger of the nation’s inoculated majority against the stubborn 25% of eligible Americans who remain unvaccinated against COVID-19.
Nearly 8 months after declaring “war” on the coronavirus as he took office, Biden announced far-reaching new federal requirements Thursday that could force millions to get shots. In doing so, he embraced those who haven’t rolled up their sleeves as a new foe amid a devastating surge in cases that is straining the nation’s health system and constricting its economy.
Manufacturers, Retailers Wary of Biden Private Sector Vaccine Mandate
Two powerful business groups, the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Retail Federation, stopped short of endorsing President Biden’s plan requiring large companies to mandate vaccinations on Thursday.
NAM, in a statement, was adamant in its support of nationwide vaccination efforts, though it indicated concern about the potential implications of Biden’s plan in the workplace. NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons asserted any requirement should be rolled out in a way that would not negatively impact operations.
“We look forward to working with the administration to ensure any vaccine requirements are structured in a way that does not negatively impact the operations of manufacturers that have been leading through the pandemic to keep Americans safe,” Timmons said in a statement. “It is important that undue compliance costs do not burden manufacturers, large and small alike.”
Biden Dangles New Federal Funds for Schools That Defy Mask Mandate Bans
On Thursday, President Biden announced a series of actions aimed at getting control of the surging pandemic. Alongside new vaccine requirements for private businesses, he announced new steps to encourage K-12 schools to mandate masks for all, require vaccines for employees and step up testing for COVID-19.
Coronavirus safety measures like these have become political flashpoints, and nowhere more than in schools. There have been violent confrontations at school board meetings over mask requirements, and states including Florida, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah have all tried to stop districts from requiring masks. This comes as the highly contagious Delta variant is causing a rise in cases among young people, and those under 12 are still not eligible for vaccines.
TSA Doubles Fines for People Who Refuse to Wear Masks at Airports, in Other Transportation Settings
People who refuse to comply with a federal mandate that requires them to wear masks in airports, and on trains, buses and in other public transportation settings will face stiffer penalties, Biden administration officials announced Thursday.
Beginning Friday, the fine for refusing to wear a mask will increase to a range of $500 to $1,000 for first offenders. Penalties for a second offense will range from $1,000 to $3,000.
“TSA will double the fines on travelers that refuse to mask,” President Biden said Thursday. “If you break the rules, be prepared to pay. And by the way, show some respect!”
Medical Boards: Docs Who Spread COVID Misinformation Put License at Risk
Three primary care boards issued a joint statement today backing the Federation of State Medical Boards’ recent statement saying that if physicians spread misinformation about COVID-19, their medical license could be suspended or revoked.
Leaders of the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM), the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), and the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) said they support FSMB’s position.
“We also want all physicians certified by our Boards to know that such unethical or unprofessional conduct may prompt their respective Board to take action that could put their certification at risk,” today’s statement read.
Americans Less Positive About Civil Liberties: AP-NORC Poll
Ten years after the 9/11 attacks, Americans were reasonably positive about the state of their rights and liberties. Today, after 20 years, not as much.
That’s according to a poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research that builds on work conducted in 2011, one decade after the pivotal moment in U.S. history. Some questions were also asked on polls conducted in 2013 and 2015.
Americans were relatively united around the idea that the government did a good job protecting many basic rights a decade after the terrorist attacks, which produced a massive overhaul of the country’s intelligence services and the creation of agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security. Along with those changes came a creeping concern about government overreach, although Americans as a whole remained fairly positive.
That attitude has eroded in the years since, with far fewer people now saying the government is doing a good job protecting rights including the freedom of speech, the right to vote, the right to bear arms and others.
Los Angeles School Board Votes to Mandate COVID-19 Vaccines for Students 12 and Older
The Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest school district in the country, approved a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students 12 and older on Thursday— one of the most aggressive measures taken by any school district to protect children.
“When we look at other immunization requirements — polio, rubella, hepatitis — that we’ve had in schools for generations, we are going to see other districts follow L.A. Unified’s lead,” said Nick Melvoin, a board member.
Big Tech Made Billions During ‘War on Terror’: Report
Tech giants made billions through contracts with the US military and other government agencies during the so-called “war on terror,” according to a report released ahead of the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
The tech companies’ contracts were “primarily with agencies central to the War on Terror,” said the report.
“From 2004 to today, Big Tech corporations have seen a huge climb in federal demand for their services, particularly from the Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security,” it said.
Photos of New, Sprawling Amazon Warehouse in Mexico Surrounded by Deteriorating Shacks Go Viral as Tech Giant Expands Its Footprint
Viral photos show a massive new Amazon facility in Mexico surrounded by decrepit homes.
Amazon said it would create jobs, but centers don’t always boost overall employment, research found.
The company began its push into the Mexican market in 2015 to compete with Walmart in e-commerce.
Denmark Lifts All COVID Restrictions as Vaccinations Top 80%
Denmark’s high vaccination rate has enabled it to become one of the first EU countries to lift all domestic restrictions, after 548 days with curbs in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.
The return to normality has been gradual, but as of Friday, the digital pass – a proof of having been vaccinated – is no longer required when entering nightclubs, making it the last virus safeguard to fall.
More than 80% of people above the age of 12 in the Scandinavian country have had the two shots, leading the Danish government to declare as of midnight it no longer considers COVID-19 a “socially critical” disease.