Fauci says mask-wearing may become ‘seasonal’

Dr. Anthony Fauci floated the idea Sunday of making mask-wearing a “seasonal” thing, even after the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us.

The infectious disease expert – who has floated multiple and contested ideas in the past – said COVID precautions have had an impact on flu numbers.

“We’ve had practically a non-existent flu season this year merely because people were doing the kinds of public health things that were directed predominantly against COVID-19,” Fauci said, as reported by the Daily Caller.

Because of the benefits on flu numbers, mask-wearing may become a go-to in the future.

“So it is conceivable that as we go on, a year or two or more from now, that during certain seasonal periods when you have respiratory-borne viruses like the flu, people might actually elect to wear masks to diminish the likelihood that you’ll spread these respiratory-borne diseases,” he said.

Fauci further stressed that more Americans need to get the COVID vaccine.

“I mean, if we get, which we will, to the goals that the president has established, namely, if we get 70% of the people vaccinated by the Fourth of July, namely one single dose and even more thereafter, you may see blips, but if we handle them well, it is unlikely that you’ll see the kind of surge that we saw in the late fall and the early winter,” he said.

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Poll: Half of Americans say their taxes are too high

Half of Americans think their federal taxes are too high according to a Gallup poll released Thursday.

“Heading into this year’s delayed tax filing day, half of Americans think their taxes are too high, while 44% consider them about right and 4% too low. The 50% calling them too high is up slightly from an average 45% over the prior three years, while similar to most of Gallup’s yearly measurements since 2003,” the poll report said.

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The percentages have changed over time, especially after the second Bush Administration.

“Americans’ concern that their taxes are too high was much more prevalent before the implementation of President George W. Bush’s first round of tax cuts in 2001. From 1982 to 1999, between 55% and 68% of U.S. adults described their taxes as too high,” the Gallup report said.

Interestingly, a majority consider their tax rates fair.

“Currently, 55% say they are fair, while 43% disagree,” the report said.

“The 55% who now deem their taxes as fair is down slightly from the 57% to 61% range recorded over the four years of Donald Trump’s presidency, from 2017 to 2020.”

Read the full report here.

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CYBERATTACK: 45% of East Coast fuel shuts down after major online attack

A major pipeline system that stretches from Texas to New Jersey was shut down Saturday after a massive cyberattack crippled the crucial fuel supply line.

Pipeline operator Colonial Pipeline said they shut down their system after a ransomware attack was discovered. This type of cyberattack locks down systems until payment is given.

CNBC reports that the system carries “2.5 million barrels per day of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other refined products through 5,500 miles.” No entity has been found responsible yet.

The company says they supply nearly half of the Eastern United States’ oil and fuel.

“On May 7, the Colonial Pipeline Company learned it was the victim of a cybersecurity attack. In response, we proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat, which has temporarily halted all pipeline operations, and affected some of our IT systems. Upon learning of the issue, a leading, third-party cybersecurity firm was engaged, and they have already launched an investigation into the nature and scope of this incident, which is ongoing. We have contacted law enforcement and other federal agencies,” the statement said.

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Democrat Sen. Kyrsten Sinema: The border ‘is a crisis…we all know it’

Arizona Democrat Senator Kyrsten Sinema said in a radio interview Friday that the situation on the Southern Border is clearly “a crisis.”

“The reality is that this is a crisis,” said Sinema. “We all know it and the federal government must do more to address this surge of migrants who are coming to the border with increasing numbers each year.”

“We’re looking at numbers this year that are the highest numbers of crossings that we’ve seen in 20 years in Arizona,” she said. It was first reported by Hot Air.

The Arizona Senator spoke directly to BIden and his team, according to the report.

“What I’m waiting for…is for the administration to take bold action to actually address these concerns,” she said.

She said smaller towns across Arizona are seeing migrants dropped off with nowhere to go. Moreover, the situation is also at similar, if not worse, crisis levels in Texas and California as well. Sara Carter has been reporting from the border for the past several months and recently returned from a trip to Tijuana, where nearly 2,000 migrants are waiting in a make-shift tent encampment hoping to enter the U.S. illegally. The encampment is made up of people from all over the world and the situation is becoming extremely dangerous for the children and the most vulnerable attempting to enter the U.S. illegally.

“Literally the mayor is putting them in his vehicle and driving them to Tucson or Phoenix to get them to shelter. That’s not acceptable and that’s what I’ve communicated,” the Arizona senator said.

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Rep. Cori Bush blasted for tweet referring to pregnant women as ‘birthing people’

Congresswoman Cori Bush, D-MO, spoke before House Oversight Committee Democrats on Thursday about the hardships faced by some Black women and their babies during pregnancy. In a tweet with a clip of her testimony, she referred to the women as “birthing people” and that sparked many to question her choice of language.

“Every day, Black birthing people and our babies die because our doctors don’t believe our pain,” Bush wrote in sharing her personal testimony. “My children almost became a statistic. I almost became a statistic.”

It didn’t take long for many Twitter users to go after her choice of words.

During her speech, Bush told the story of the complications she faced when she was pregnant with her oldest son Zion. At the time, she was having severe pains that she said her doctor dismissed. A week after she reported the pain, she delivered her son prematurely. He weighed 1 pound 3 ounces.

“He could fit within the palm of my hand. We were told he had a zero percent chance of life,” she said.

Luckily, a top surgeon in the hospital resuscitated Bush’s son and for the next month, he was on a ventilator. In total, he was in intensive care for four months.

Two months later, Bush was pregnant with her daughter. But 16 weeks into the pregnancy, she was told she was again preterm and was told that the baby would naturally “abort.”

She pushed back on the doctor’s advice to let the baby abort and demanded that she be able to carry the pregnancy. That saved her daughter, who is now 21 years old.

“Every day, Black women are subjected to harsh and racist treatment during pregnancy and childbirth,” Bush concluded. “Every day, Black women die because the system denies our humanity. It denies us patient care. I sit before you today as a single mom, as a nurse, as an activist, and as a congresswoman and I am committed to doing the absolute most to protect Black mothers, to protect Black babies, to protect Black birthing people, and to save lives.”

You can follow Jennie Taer on Twitter @JennieSTaer

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Jordan, Biggs demand answers from Wray on FISA abuses

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) recently declassified a November 2020 opinion memo raising concerns about the FBI’s “apparent widespread violations” of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and House Judiciary Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) are demanding that FBI Director Chris Wray answer to the opinion. The two lawmakers sent a letter Tuesday, which also asked Wray how he is reforming the FBI to ensure the process is being used in a constitutional manner.

In their letter, Jordan and Biggs note that the ODNI’s memo highlights the misuse of FISA’s Section 702, which states that the government can permit the surveillance of foreigners outside the U.S. for national security purposes, to spy on American citizens.

The two Republican lawmakers also cite Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s December 2019 report showing abuse of the FISA process to illegally spy on members of the Trump campaign. The report revealed 17 “errors and omissions” and 51 incorrect points used as a basis for the surveillance.

Wray previously said the FISA warrant obtained against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page wasn’t justified and he’s promised to reform the system, but Jordan and Biggs aren’t convinced that anything has changed.

The FBI declined to comment on the letter, in an email to this reporter.

The Republican Congressmen ask Wray to provide the following:

“The recently released FISC opinion only raises more questions about the FBI’s respect for the constitutional and statutory parameters of FISA. Given the seriousness of this matter for civil liberties, please provide the following information immediately:

1. Please explain why almost a year after the OIG’s report about FISA abuses, the FISC found the FBI to still be abusing its warrantless surveillance authority under section 702.

2. Please provide a detailed accounting of every instance since December 2019 in which the FBI has queried, accessed, otherwise used information obtained pursuant to section 702 for purposes unrelated to national security.

3. Please explain what actions you have taken in the wake of the FISC’s November 2020 memorandum opinion and order to prevent the FBI from using its section 702 authorities to surveil, investigate, or otherwise examine U.S. citizens.”

You can follow Jennie Taer on Twitter @JennieSTaer

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Project Veritas launches legal group to ‘defend the defamed’

In a music video announcement Monday, Project Veritas launched its new legal group that will represent those defamed by the media. Project Veritas has been one to launch a number of lawsuits fighting alleged defamation of its own name.

Lanching PV Legal, the group released the following video, titled “OLIGARCHY” starring founder James O’Keefe. The video features sound bites from CNN and the network’s logo makes a number of appearances. O’Keefe recently filed a lawsuit against CNN, claiming that the network maliciously made false allegations that damaged their reputation, as reported.

The lawsuit came after Project Veritas released a batch of undercover videos appearing to show CNN technical director Charlie Chester. Later, O’Keefe and his organization were banned from Twitter.

CNN host Ana Cabrera claimed that Project Veritas was banned for spreading misinformation and later shared in a tweet that it was for “repeated. violations of Twitter’s policies prohibing the sharing – or threats of sharing – of other people’s private information without consent.”

O’Keefe denies any wrongoing.

Project Veritas has also an ongoing lawsuit against The New York Times.

You can follow Jennie Taer on Twitter @JennieSTaer

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Mitt Romney booed at Utah GOP convention, narrowly escapes censure

Utah Senator Mitt Romney was met with boos and shouts of “communist” and “traitor” as he took the stage at a GOP convention in his home state.

The Senator yelled back “Aren’t you embarrassed?” to the disgruntled crowd.

“I’m a man who says what he means, and you know I was not a fan of our last president’s character issues,” Romney said.

Utah GOP chair Derek Brown took the stage to tell the audience to show Romney respect, despite hecklers continuing to shout. “We need to come together in strength and unity,” Brown said, as reported by Breitbart.

“You can boo all you like,” Romney added. “I’ve been a Republican all of my life. My dad was the governor of Michigan and I was the Republican nominee for president in 2012.”

The Senator hardly escaped censure at the convention. Breitbart reported that 711 Republicans in the audience voted to censure Romney with 798 voting against the measure.

Maine Senator Susan Collins said she was “appalled” by the booing, claiming the party is not led by “just one person.”

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Texas Dem official faces resignation calls for referring to Tim Scott as an ‘oreo’

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) gives the GOP Rebuttal to President Biden’s address

South Carolina Senator Tim Scott has faced countless attacks since his nationally televised rebuttal to President Joe Biden’s speech before Congress last Wednesday.

The latest attack is a racial one, with a Texas Democratic official calling the black senator “an oreo,” as reported by Fox News.

Lamar County Democratic Party chair Gary O’Connor wrote a scathing Facebook post in response to Scott’s remarks. He has since deleted his post.

“I had hoped that Scott might show some common sense, but it seems clear he is little more than an oreo with no real principles,” O’Connor said.

US Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Tx) represents the portion of the state that includes Lamar County. On Friday, he posted a press release calling for O’Connor to step down. saying the racial comment is “abhorrent.”

“Gary O’Connor’s comment against Senator Tim Scott is abhorrent, insulting, and unforgivable. Both he and the entire Lamar County Democratic Party should be ashamed of this racist behavior,” said Fallon.

Fallon called on the NAACP and Texas Democratic party to condemn the comment.

Read the full story here.

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Biden says wearing a mask despite being vaccinated is a ‘patriotic responsibility, for God sake’

When asked about wearing a mask despite being fully vaccinated, President Joe Biden said “it’s a small precaution to take that has a profound impact. It’s a patriotic responsibility, for God sake.”

NBC host Craig Melvin said many people are looking forward to shedding their masks after being double vaccinated, and asked Biden if he will be one of them.

“Are you going to be one of these folks now? Are we no longer going to see the president of the United States outside with a mask on” he asked.

Biden said when he is outside people frequently come up to him, so he’ll keep the mask on.

“So look,” Biden continued, “you and I took our masks off when I came in, because look at the distance we are, but if we were in fact sitting there talking to one another close, I’d have my mask on and I’d imagine you’d have your mask on even though we’ve both been vaccinated.”

Biden says he is doing it for other people that the vaccinated person may come in contact with.

“It’s making sure your wife, your children, you’re, if in fact they haven’t been vaccinated, making sure that they’re not going to get sick,” Biden said.

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