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American Legion Vets Help People Across America

While much of the media focus on Memorial Day has been on how Americans will celebrate in the coronavirus era, men and women who served in the U.S. military have been busy brightening the lives of people across the country and reporting on their efforts ahead of the holiday on the American Legion website.

The American Legion, the largest veterans service organization in the United States, is celebrating Memorial Day to remember the men and women who have paid the ultimate price but have also been busy helping people who are struggling on a daily basis.

Like a lot of young people who have missed prom, graduation, and other milestones, 16-year-old Paige’s birthday would have passed without much fanfare — until the American Legion Riders showed up:

For one 16-year-old in Inwood, W.Va., the coronavirus pandemic meant spending her sweet 16 birthday at home with no chance of a real party. But thanks to American Legion Riders Chapter 14 in nearby Martinsburg, the young woman still got a party, of sorts.

Paige, the birthday girl, had already gotten various birthday wishes from family and friends through social media, text messages and videos. And even her neighbors from across the street, American Legion Riders Chapter 14 Director Ken Moneagle and his wife Julie, had placed a banner on their porch wishing her a happy birthday.

But Ken wanted to do more. So he reached out to fellow Chapter 14 Legion Riders and arranged for them to show up that evening. A text message to Paige’s mom, Adrianne, brought the family outside, where a parade of motorcycles were coming down the street to their house. The group held up signs with birthday wishes, revved their engines, and stopped to give Paige a gift, sing “Happy Birthday” and talked with her.

“The only (Riders) who knew our family were Ken and his beautiful wife, Julie,” Paige’s mom wrote to The Journal. “All the other members of the American Legion answered Ken’s call to make a 16-year-old girl’s birthday special simply because they are good, kind people. These veterans served their country, and they continue to serve their community. Amazing.”

In Arizona, American Legion Riders from different chapters around the state were part of a motorcade with Northern Arizona VA Health Care System employees that made a 200-mile trip from VA facility in Prescott to the Hopi Reservation to deliver boxes of food, bottled water, and other donated products.

“The donations went to approximately 80 homebound veterans and their families who are members of the Hopi Tribe and the Arizona Tewa people,” the American Legion article reported. “Sixteen American Legion posts across Northern Arizona helped provide the donated goods.”

In Newhall-Saugus American Legion Post 507 in California, Santa Clarita Grocery and other local organizations provided free lunches as a way to recognize National Military Appreciation Month.

“The effort resulted in 200 hot dogs provided to veterans and their families while observing social distancing,” the article reported. 

“The American Legion is a local organization … dedicated to welfare of veterans, community service and patriotism, and this event pretty much melds all of those together,” Sons of The American Legion Squadron 507 Commander Mike Merlo told KHTS.

In addition to serving weekly curbside meals, members of Post 37’s American Legion Family in Ames, Iowa, heard that vending machines at the Iowa Veterans Homes were out of snacks because vendors currently are not allowed to restock them.

Candy bars, snacks, and other treats were delivered to the veterans’ home by the American Legion.

“It really does bring tears to the eye almost of how much people think about our residents, think about our veterans,” Aimee Deimerly-Snyder, Volunteer Services Coordinator at the Iowa Veterans Home, told WHO-TV. “And it really does make a difference knowing people are thinking about them.”

In Missouri, 91-year-old Rita Jordan, who served as a U.S. Navy interpreter and parachute rigger, got a chance to meet with fellow members of Women Veterans of SW Missouri American Legion Post 1214 in Springfield after being in isolation for two months.

“Post 1214 charter members Mary Clapper and Chaplain Jan Lile presented her with a Quilt of Valor made by the Ozark Piecemakers Quilt Guild,” the American Legion article reported.

In New York, after a 32-day stay in the hospital, American Legion Rider Ron Jarvis was greeted as he left the hospital by nearly a dozen fellow Riders from ALR Chapter 574 in Hudson Falls, which escorted him home.

“It was amazing,” Jarvis told the Post-Star. “It made me proud of being a vet.”

Post 915’s America Legion Family found out about a food program shortage in the Central Square Central School District in New York, which feeds around 1,600 children who qualify for free or reduced meals, according to the American Legion post.

Post 915 Legion Family presented CSCSD Superintendent Tom Colabufo with a $2,500 check to stock the school food pantry.

American Legion Post 10 in Albany, Oregon, teamed up with the veteran-owned Dot Ranch and the Veterans Pantry Project to provide food boxes to local veterans and their families.

American Legion Post 952 in Hookstown, Pennsylvania, “has been providing homemade meals and food baskets for veterans and elderly residents in the community since the beginning of this pandemic.”

“When Deborah Tokarz was looking for a kitchen to prepare meals for local medical workers through her ‘Feed Our First Responders’ program, she turned to Major Charles A. Ransom American Legion Post 186 in Midlothian,” the American Legion reported. “The post offered up its kitchen, and its American Legion Family members have begun helping Tokarz prepare the meals being distributed to area hospitals and emergency rooms.”

“They’ve been so kind and generous,” Tokarz told the Chesterfield Observer. “If it wasn’t for their generosity, I’m not sure how we would have done this. “Everyone has a hand in it.”

In the past seven weeks, the nonprofit has provided more than 19,000 individually packaged homemade meals to various healthcare facilities.

“We figured that was the least we could do for the folks who are putting themselves on the frontline,” Post 186 Quartermaster Richard Hahn told the Observer. “I always tell people, the pledge we took never expires. We find a way, somehow.”

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Trump-Supporting Dem, ‘Opposite of AOC,’ Running in NY’s 15th District

 

Pastor Ruben Diaz Sr., a Trump-supporting Democrat on the city council in New York’s 18th Congressional District, has raised the concern of progressive party members after tossing his hat in the ring to run for the 15th district’s open House of Representatives seat.
According to feature in Newsweek:

 [Diaz is] a flamboyant, cowboy hat-wearing New York City councilman who immediately distinguished his views when he announced his run in 2019, saying “I am the opposite of AOC in the South Bronx.”

And that has national Democrats, opponents and progressives like Planned Parenthood and LGBT groups in a panic because the 77-year-old minister has a history of making inflammatory statements about homosexuals and strongly opposes abortion because of his religious beliefs.

“He would instantly become Donald Trump’s favorite New York congressman,” strategist Eric Koch of anti-Diaz super PAC Bronx United told Newsweek, adding that Diaz Sr. would be an unreliable Democratic vote in the House caucus.

Newsweek also wrote about Diaz’s son Ruben Diaz Jr., who is a Bronx borough president, is said to be popular, and  has sometimes publicly disagreed with his father, including when dad invited Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to visit the Bronx.

“But the consensus is that his son is a political plus for the Reverend,” Newsweek reported.

The 15th District borders the district represented by Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. In 2012 Barack Obama got almost 97 percent of the vote there, Newsweek reported.

Diaz Sr. is Puerto Rican in his historic Puerto Rican New York neighborhood where evangelicals and seniors make up his political base.

Jennifer Blatus, a political strategist who interned with Diaz Jr., said in the Newsweek report:

He has always had a great constituent service mechanism. He’s really good at connecting with the community, he knows who his base is, he knows how to reach them, his son is wildly popular, they have the same name and half the people that vote for him might think they’re voting for Rubencito.

But “insiders” told Newsweek that Diaz senior is popular, stands out in a field of ten, and would probably win the seat if the election were held today.

One of his opponents calls that possibility a “cruel irony.”

”There’s a cruel irony that a Trump Republican could represent the most Democratic district in America,” Ritchie Torres said.

Newsweek reported:

While outside groups bristle at Diaz Sr.’s place in the modern Democratic Party, they don’t get a vote in the community where he has devoted his time and resources for decades. Diaz, who said he was a victim of anti-black discrimination while in the Army, was addicted to drugs and pleaded guilty to heroin and marijuana possession in 1965 before finding salvation in Jesus Christ, ministering to people who also needed to turn their lives around, and opening senior centers in the Bronx in the 1970s and 1980s.”

“The Diaz name has value not just because his son is the borough president, but because it has been a fixture in that community both politically and spiritually,” Hank Shienkopf, who is a veteran of New York politics since 1969, Newsweek reported.

Diaz Sr. has been at the center of controversy over the years, according to Newsweek, including for saying that the city council was “controlled by the homosexual community” last year.

It was also apparently a controversy that Diaz Sr. did not endorse Michael Bloomberg or Democrat Fernando Ferrer in the mayoral race in 2005 because their support for abortion and same-sex marriage meant, he said, “they have nothing to offer me, according to the Bible.”

And the leftists in his own party are gearing up to attack Diaz Sr. Newsweek reported:

A national coalition launched by Victory Fund last week, which backs LGBTQ candidates and supports Torres, included NARAL Pro-Choice America, Latino Victory Fund, Congressional Hispanic Caucus BOLD PAC, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and Human Rights Campaign to raise the alarm that Diaz Sr. wants to represent a district they argue has politically moved away from him.

But while the coronavirus has hit the district hard, it might help Diaz Sr. win given that lockdowns have made all campaigns virtual.

“The district has been devastated by the virus, but also devastated by poverty for the last 25 years, so the question is where were these people when the Diaz’s were here?” Shienkopf said. “Who is standing up to scream about it? Diaz keeps proving he’s the one that can yell the loudest, so that gives him some standing.”

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Survey on States’ Virus Restrictions, S.D. Best, Illinois Worst

States across the country are implementing their own plans for reopening in the wake of the coronavirus, with some allowing citizens to get back to their lives and livelihoods, while others continue to order people to remain at home and stay away from public places.

The personal finance website conducted a survey to determine which states have the most and least freedom as Americans are posed to celebrate Memorial Day.

WalletHub said about its survey:

Americans experienced unprecedented restrictions on their everyday life in order to fight the coronavirus, but now most states have partially reopened. In order to determine the states with the fewest coronavirus restrictions, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 11 key metrics.

Those metrics include whether masks were recommended or required; travel restrictions; large gathering restrictions; school closures; restaurants and bars status; reopening of “non-essential” businesses; child care; strictness of “shelter-in-place” orders; whether a state is part of a multi-state arrangement; suspension or postponement of legislative sessions; and medical services, including elective surgery.

Breitbart News is adding to the list whether each state in the survey has a Republican or Democrat governor. 

The state with the least restrictions is South Dakota (Republican Gov. Kristi Noem).

Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst, said of its report:

Two major reasons why South Dakota ranks as the state with the fewest coronavirus restrictions are that it is one of only seven states that never had a mandate for all schools to close during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is the only state that never required a statewide closure of bars and restaurants. South Dakota has already lifted some of the restrictions it did implement, such as its ban on large gatherings, and it only recommends wearing a mask in public rather than requiring it like most states do.

The state rated second in returning freedom to its residents is Wisconsin where Democrat Tony Evers is governor. The state’s restrictions have changed drastically since the first WalletHub survey on coronavirus restrictions:

Wisconsin moved from 34 to 2, up 32 positions. This is due in part to the fact that the state has lifted all restrictions on large gatherings, had closed but fully re-opened restaurants and bars, has child care programs open and has fully reopened all non-essential businesses.

The other eight states in the Top 10 with the least restrictions are, in order, Idaho (Republican Gov. Brad Little), Missouri (Republican Gov. Mike Parson), Utah (Republican Gov. Gary Herbert), Wyoming (Republican Gov. Mark Gordon), Montana (Democrat Gov. Steve Bullock) Arizona (Republican Gov. Doug Ducey), North Dakota (Republican Gov. Doug Burgum) and Iowa (Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds).

“Arizona moved from 32 to 8, up 24 positions,” WalletHub reported. “This is due in part to the fact that the state has lifted all restrictions on large gatherings and has lifted all stay-at-home mandatory restrictions.”

Georgia fell from 11th to 28th in this latest survey:

Georgia moved from 11 to 28, down 17 positions. This is due in part to the fact that the state requires wearing a face mask in public and that the state still has its legislative sessions postponed.

The most restrictive states, from 41 to 51 in order, are: Michigan (Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer), New York (Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo), New Mexico (Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham), Washington (Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee), Hawaii (Democrat Gov. David Ige), Vermont (Republican Gov. Phil Scott) , Massachusetts (Republican Gov. Charlie Baker), District of Columbia (Democrat Mayor Muriel Bowser), Rhode Island (Democrat Gov. Gina Raimondo) and Illinois (Democrat Gov. J.B. Pritzker).

“Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the fewest restrictions,” WalletHub said of its survey methodology.

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Animal Group Rescues 1,000 Hens from Struggling Iowa Farm

The coronavirus outbreak has led to disruptions in the food supply chain in the United States, leading some farmers and ranchers to destroy animals to keep their operations sustainable. But the final destination for 1,000 laying hens rescued from a struggling Iowa egg farm is an animal sanctuary in Grass Valley, California.

The lucky chickens were rescued by Animal Place, described in a press release as “California’s oldest and largest sanctuary for farmed animals.” The group took 1,000 of the more than 100,000 facing a “depopulation plan” and flew them by charted aircraft to their new home. The flights were paid for by a “generous donor,” a press release announcing the rescue said.

“Given the distance and the logistics, our staff and supporters had to step up even more than usual,”  Animal Place Executive Director Kim Sturla said in the press release.

Hannah Beins, animal care director at Animal Place, said in the press release:

The entire process, from the 27-hour drive, arriving at the farm at 3 a.m., loading and unloading full crates from the planes and vehicles, and going straight to caring for them once we arrived at the sanctuary was the most exhausting experience I’ve ever had. I would do it again in a heartbeat, because until their rescue these hens never got to touch grass or feel the sunshine, and now they can live out the rest of their lives as chickens should.

The animal rights group criticized egg farmers for keeping the hens in cages and replacing them when they age and egg production drops.

In fact, many egg farmers are keeping their birds “cage free,” and in Michigan and Oregon chicken cages will be illegal in 2025 and 2024, respectively, media outlets reported.

Many businesses that use eggs are only using cage-free suppliers, including Walmart, McDonalds, Starbucks, Burger King, Hyatt Hotels, and Unilever.

Many people who are vegetarian or vegan reject eating eggs because they believe it to be consuming a potential chicken when, in fact, only chicken eggs that have been fertilized contain a chicken embryo. 

“The lucky 1,000 will be nursed back to health and then adopted into backyard flocks throughout California,” the press release said. “Any hens who are too ill to be adopted will remain at the sanctuary and receive lifelong care.”

“To celebrate 1,000 lives saved, Animal Place is serving 1,000 vegan lunches to local farmworkers and their families,” the press release said.

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Central California Town Declares Itself Open for Business

In California’s Central Valley, where farmers grow the food Americans eat and shops provide goods for them and their families, the coronavirus era is coming to a close, as Atwater declares itself a “sancuary city” where businesses and churches are opening their doors.

The San Francisco Chronicle describes the move as “in defiance of the California’s shelter-in-place order,” but the people who live there believe it is about their survival — not from dodging the virus, but from the draconian lockdown that cost people their livelihoods:

The City Council heard from a parade of business owners, pastors and residents on Friday who described pandemic-related hardships. Many insisted they could be responsible and keep the community safe by following safe practices like wearing face masks and keeping social distance.

Resident Caleb Hampton — a lonely voice for upholding the shelter order — said there was little proof people would be responsible in protecting public health, as evidenced by those attending the council meeting, most without masks, including the council members and staff. (Hampton wore a mask.)

“How many people came up and touched this lectern and then was it ever disinfected?” he said. “The council has pressed this narrative that small businesses can be responsible to implement these guidelines on their own … But I don’t see evidence of that in daily activities even here.”

The members of the city council, “without discussion” according to the Chronicle, passed unanimously a resolution “affirming the city’s commitment to fundamental constitutional rights and declaring the city of Atwater a sanctuary city for all businesses.” 

Council members said the measure also applies to churches.

“If they don’t open up, they’re going to be in a really bad state, and we’re going to have bankruptcies and foreclosures and we’re just going to have families that are decimated financially,” said Chamber of Commerce President Don Borgwardt, who is also a local pastor and made a plea for people to be allowed back inside houses of worship.

“It’s time to do the right thing and listen to the people who put us here,” Mayor Paul Creighton said in the Chronicle report. “We want you guys to survive and thrive. It’s really critical that the elected in this country and especially this state start listening to you.”

“Creighton later told the Merced Sun-Star that while the city would take no action against anyone who reopened outside the state’s guidelines, local businesses were taking their own risks by reopening,” the Chronicle reported.

“If you do have a state (business) license, that’s between you and the state of California,” Creighton said.

Atwater is in Merced County, California, and has recorded 200 coronavirus cases and six COVID-19 deaths, according to the county website. 

On Saturday, County Sheriff Vernon Warnke said on Facebook that he “will not be taking any enforcement action in this county for any of the COVID-19 ‘violations,’” the Chronicle reported.

“The citizens themselves can make informed decisions on how to proceed and protect their lives and livelihood and not the governor of a state,” the Facebook post said.

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Keeping Children Out of School Could Have Consequences

Dr. Dimitri Christakis knows a thing or two about children as the director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, including the consequences of keeping children out of a school setting for an extended period of time because of the threat of coronavirus.

His latest addition to the more than 170 original research articles published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics has a stern warning about decisions made in the wake of the virus: ‘They will hold us accountable,” Christakis wrote. 

The article, published this week in the Journal, said that it will be long after the pandemic that “historians, epidemiologists, psychologists, and economists will provide extensive explanations of the damage done, mistakes made, and lessons learned.”

In the meantime, decisions must be made because they can have “considerable and lasting implications.”

Christakis titled his article, “School Reopening—The Pandemic Issue That Is Not Getting Its Due:”

The decision to close schools was among the first action that many states took to stave the impending pandemic and was based on a strong theoretical foundation. Children are typically at greatest risk of infectious diseases, and they transmit them to each other and their families with considerable speed. Many drew parallels to the 100-year-old influenza epidemic, in which it was true that children played a central role in transmission. But in the 6 to 8 weeks since most schools in the U.S. have closed, we have gathered new evidence about both children’s risks from the virus and their likelihood of transmitting it, as noted by Esposito and Principi in this issue of JAMA Pediatrics. We know only what we know today about the benefits and harms associated with school closure.

However imperfect these data are, they must inform a critical decision that many states and school districts will be making in the very near future. Notably, even as states provisionally plan on opening workplaces, most are giving no consideration to opening schools. Many have already canceled the rest of the year, and all are now considering what to do in the fall. The risks posed by delaying school openings are real and sizeable, particularly for students from low-income families.

The phenomenon of summer learning loss has been well established, with children losing a mean of 1 to 3 months in varying subjects. Some estimate that there will be a 9-month to 12-month loss when children return to school in the fall, and this will only be compounded if distance learning continues. No credible scientist, learning expert, teacher, or parent believes that children aged 5 to 10 years can meaningfully engage in online learning without considerable parental involvement, which many families with low incomes are unable to provide because parents must work outside the home.

Christakis said that in addition to a coronavirus task force, the government should be “convene immediately” a school closure task force and include “epidemiologists, infectious disease experts, educational scientists, and child psychologists, among others.”

“They should review the state of the evidence regarding horizontal transmission among children and their families, as well as what is known about the feasibility of distance learning and the psychological implications of children continuing to stay at home,” Christakis wrote.

He added that the decisions should be “developmentally framed” because “kindergarten is not the same as high school or college.” 

“Using all existing and emerging data—however incomplete—they should make their best-informed recommendations to help states make this crucial decision, based on science and not politics, as soon as possible,” Christakis wrote. “We owe this to our children. Years from now, when they reflect on the pandemic, they will hold us accountable.”

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Number of Children Getting Routine Vaccines Falls amid Coroavirus

A study shows that the number of children getting routine vaccines to protect them from dangerous diseases has dramatically declined in the wake of the coronavirus.

Authors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health institutions used vaccine ordering data through the Vaccines for Children Program, which provides government-purchased vaccines to about 50 percent of children in United States. The CDC’s Vaccine Tracking System and Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) vaccine administration data also was incorporated.

The study compared orders for the period from Jan. 7 through April 21 this year to the same period last year.

“On March 24, CDC posted guidance emphasizing the importance of routine well child care and immunization, particularly for children aged [less than] 24 months, when many childhood vaccines are recommended,” the CDC report states.

The website reported on the study:

The findings suggest childhood vaccination efforts nearly ground to a halt between March 13 — when the national emergency was declared — and April 19.

There was a 2.5 million-dose decline in orders of regular childhood vaccines — not counting influenza vaccines — and a 250,000-dose decline in vaccines containing measles protection in that period, the authors reported.

Doctors and public health experts have worried that a vast number of regular health care needs — including preventive care interventions like vaccinations — have gone unmet in the past few months as people shy away from interacting with a health system that has, at least in some places, been overwhelmed by caring for Covid-19 patients. Pediatricians in particular have been concerned that children may be missing critical vaccinations, which the new data confirm has happened.

“Routine immunizations in young children are critical to maintain during the pandemic,” Kathryn Edwards, a pediatrician and scientific director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program in Nashville, Tennessee, said in the Stat report. “The usual childhood diseases are still around and we need to protect our children from them.”

“I think that didn’t happen,” Paul Offit, a pediatrician and vaccines expert at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said in the Stat report. “I think there were a number of practices that didn’t do that because they were too scared. And so this is the result. You have this dramatic decline.”

Neither Edwards nor Offit was involved in this study, the Stat report said.

“The identified declines in routine pediatric vaccine ordering and doses administered might indicate that U.S. children and their communities face increased risks for outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases,” the study authors wrote.

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Americans Set Tough Standards for Back to Normal

Americans may want to get back to normal in the wake of the coronavirus, but according to polling a large majority want certain standards to be met, including mandatory quarantine for people with the virus, a drop in cases and deaths, and a vaccine to help prevent the disease – even if a vaccine never materializes.

Gallup found that 80 percent want people who test positive for the virus to face mandatory quarantine, 77 percent want effective treatment, 73 percent want “a significant reduction in the number of cases or deaths,” and 68 percent want a vaccine to be available. 

Some 61 percent said that widespread testing and a protocol to “monitor coronavirus infections are essential,” according to the poll.

Gallup reported on its poll:

While less than half think it is very important that four additional requirements be met before returning to normalcy, majorities say each is at least “somewhat” important. Among them are mandatory face masks in public areas, widespread contact tracing, lifting statewide stay-at-home or social distancing orders, and compulsory temperature checks to enter public buildings.

The most sizable gaps in Americans’ opinions about the importance of the various requirements measured by Gallup are seen by gender and party identification. In most cases, women are more likely than men to say each condition is a very important factor in their willingness to return to their normal activities.

A similar pattern is seen in partisans’ views of the importance of the factors. Democrats are far more likely than Republicans and independents to consider each requirement except the lifting of state government orders to be very important. Easing of state restrictions and mandatory temperature checks when entering public buildings are the only measures that less than a majority of Democrats consider very important. Democrats’ views of temperature checks may be attributable to privacy concerns.

Other findings include:

• Americans living in the Northeastern U.S. (55 percent), college graduates (52 percent), and those living in cities (55 percent) are more likely than their counterparts to say the use of face masks is very important.

• 73 percent of college graduates, 72 percent of city residents, and 70 percent of adults under 45 say the availability of widespread testing to identify and monitor those exposed to the virus is very important to them — significantly higher rates than their counterparts.

Gallup reported:

As some Americans around the country have begun to protest COVID-19 stay-at-home orders and the president is anxious to restart the economy, many governors are moving to lift restrictions in their states. Yet, governors in some of the areas hardest hit by COVID-19 are not yet ready to do so, and although Trump has outlined a graduated plan for reopening, some governors are being criticized for lifting restrictions before their state meets all of the criteria.

Gallup noted that views on how to get back to normal are “sharply polarized politically.”

The Gallup poll is based on self-administered web surveys conducted April 27-May 3, 2020, with a random sample of 4,553 U.S. adults, aged 18 and older who are members of the Gallup Panel. 

“Gallup weighted the obtained samples to correct for nonresponse,” the report on methodology for the poll said. “Nonresponse adjustments were made by adjusting the sample to match the national demographics of gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education and region.”

Based on any individual sample, the poll has a margin of sampling error or plus or minus three percentage points.

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Calling Women Mistress Is ‘Sexist,’ Use Lover

The Associated Press Style Guide, considered by many in journalism as the standard for style guidance, recently announced the proper language to refer to a “woman in a long-term sexual relationship with, and financially supported by a man who is married to someone else” is not “mistress.”

“We now say not to use the archaic and sexist term ‘mistress’ for a woman in a long-term sexual relationship with, and financially supported by, a man who is married to someone else,” AP tweeted. “Instead, use an alternative like companion or lover on first reference. Provide details later.”

Although the AP did not explain why it made the decision to change it guide to use a positive description for people involved in adultery, the Poynter Institute school of journalism provided what it said an explanation for the change, which, in fact, condones those who are involved in an adulterous relationship.

Did Jeff Bezos have a lover, a girlfriend, an extramarital affair or a mistress? What about El Chapo? Both stories in recent months generated a renewed use of the term mistress as a shorthand for a married man’s girlfriend.This word is sexist. It lacks a male equivalent, and reduces women to their sexual relationship with men — and it’s increasingly creeping back into our language. I blame Twitter, which creates a premium on punchy words that can convey complicated ideas.In that sense, mistress is a convenient term. It implies sex, lies and secrecy and it rolls off the tongue. It works in this NBC News headline and more recently when AOL reported, “Jeff Bezos and rumored mistress Lauren Sanchez are still ‘deeply in love,’ but they’ve allegedly agreed to stay physically apart until both of their respective divorces are finalized.”Even the Associated Press has struggled with the Bezos story. The AP routinely referred to Sanchez as Bezos’ mistress in the first week of reporting on the story, Standards Editor John Daniszewski [said].

“In discussion with our Washington bureau on Feb. 12, we agreed that Bezos’s relationship with Sanchez did not fit with this definition and we switched to calling them romantically involved,” Daniszewski said. “The feeling among the editors is that the word ‘mistress’ is largely archaic and tends to be sexist in its assumptions.”

Precisely. Mistress carries both sexist and moral assumptions,” Poynter pontificated. “There is no true male equivalent.”

AP admitted it had broken its own rule twice, referring to Sanchez as a mistress.

That just goes to show how entrenched we are in reducing women to their sexual relationships with men,” Poynter wrote.

Poynter advised that the style guide should go even farther to stop using words that are “unnecessarily gendered,” including blonde, actress, heroine, hostess and waitress.

As for using mistress, Poynter sides with people who chose to be in a relationship with a married man — including a call to shame anyone who dares use the word.

It’s time to call out those who use the word in journalistic copy,” Poynter reported. “At the very least it’s inaccurate, most of the time, according to AP style. More importantly, it’s sexist and demeaning.”

And if the word creeps into someone’s reporting “call it out and ask that the word be swapped out for something neutral and less judgmental.”

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Get Americans Safely Back to Work

Rep. Gregory Murphy (R-NC), who is also a physician, said on Friday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow that “draconian” lockdown measures in many areas across the nation are no longer necessary and may even be harmful.

In his state, for example, where a lockdown order has been in place since March 27, Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper has yet to loosen the government’s grip on the population.

“Restrictions should be lifted, and, unfortunately, they’re not,” Murphy said. “That’s causing a lot of just downright despair across the state, and, I believe, unnecessarily.”

Marlow asked Murphy about the goal of the stay-at-home agenda, which at first seemed to be to “flatten the curve,” but that even though the curve has been flattened, the goal has morphed.

Murphy said flattening the curve was the right goal not only to save lives, but, moreover, to allow the medical establishment to get ready for a potential surge of coronavirus patients.

“We’ve accomplished that goal, and we stand ready to get a surge that I pray, and I don’t think, is going to happen,” Murphy said.

“But now, it’s turned into what I believe is more of a control freak kind of thing,” Murphy said. “They want to manipulate and make sure that they are in control with every step of this process and the data. The objective science does not warrant that.”

Marlow also noted that the divide between those who want to open up their states and those who want to continue lockdowns has turned into a political issue, with conservatives wanting to loosen restriction and Democrats in favor of more government control.

“I did not want this to turn political,” Murphy said.”Unfortunately, I believe the Democrats have made it political, which is just nonsense. I actually believed that this would be a great thing to bring our country together rather than tear it apart.”

Murphy used his state as an example of how more rural parts of the United States with low cases of the coronavirus can start getting back to normal. Approximately 87 percent of people who died from the virus in North Carolina were 65 or older with comorbid diseases — or underlying conditions such as heart disease or diabetes — and 58 percent of those people who died were in nursing homes.

“And we know people who are in nursing homes are very sick or they wouldn’t be there,” Murphy said. “Half of the individuals who go to nursing homes die in the first six months.”

“But scaring the rest of the 99 plus percent of the population who are younger and healthier into thinking that if they walk out onto the sidewalk, they’re going to die is just wrong,” Murphy said. “It’s morally wrong, I believe.”

Murphy also addressed the issue of some governors saying it will not be safe to reopen until a vaccine is found. He explained that the virus will be around until enough people get it and beat it and develop antibodies that make them immune, meaning the population gains “herd immunity.”

“It’s going to be a while until we have a vaccine — if we have a vaccine. Nothing is guaranteed on this,” Murphy said.

Murphy also noted that he does not believe there have been any successful vaccines for other coronavirus, including the common cold.

“Instead of running from it, I think we should learn to live with it,” he said.

What that looks like to Murphy is allowing small businesses to operate with safeguards in place, including hair and nail salons — use masks, stagger appointments, and routinely sanitize surroundings and equipment.

Murphy said small businesses “have every reason to make sure their clients and their customers are protected, or they will go out of business.”

People “desperately want to go back to work,” Murphy said. “There is no reason we can’t get those places back to work.”

Speaking as a lawmaker, Murphy said he would rather get Americans back to work than have the government dole out more money.

“I’m going to have a hard time voting for more money to be printed by the Treasury to give out to people when we should actually be going back to work and generating the income organically,” Murphy said.

Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

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U.S. Faces Meat Shortages as Pork, Other Protein Exports to China Soar

The coronavirus outbreak has impacted the U.S. food supply chain, including the disease infecting workers at meat processing plants, causing operations to shut down and resulting in slaughtering of livestock that can’t be processed and shipped to retailers.

Some restaurant chains are also facing shortages, including Wendy’s, which announced it had run out of beef for burgers.

But at the same time the U.S. is facing meat and protein shortages, pork and other exports to China have soared.

Reuters published an analysis on the parallel phenomenon:

Meatpackers and livestock producers in the United States have spent at least a year adjusting to the surge in business to China, which has faced a severe pork shortage in the wake of its battle against African swine fever.

But now, as the United States is on the brink of its own meat crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic, American pork supplies are being shipped off to China at a breakneck pace, creating the perfect recipe for additional U.S.-China tensions.

For some American consumers, the optics of this situation might be poor given how the virus originated in China late last year. But record U.S. meat exports to China have been the plan all along, to satisfy both China’s needs and to lift U.S. business.

The Chinese connection is tied to trade deals with the United States, one of the main pillars of the Trump administration agenda, and agreements that pre-date the coronavirus outbreak, the Associated Press (AP) reported:

The two governments have raised tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s imports since 2018 in a fight over Beijing’s trade surplus and technology ambitions. Under the January agreement, Washington agreed to reduce some tariff hikes and postpone others in exchange for what Trump said was a Chinese commitment to buy American farm goods and other exports worth $200 billion. Beijing has resumed purchases of American soybeans but has yet to confirm the size of any commitment.

On Sunday, Trump told Fox News, “If they don’t buy, we’ll terminate the deal. Very simple.”

AP reported that Chinese and U.S. officials spoke by phone on Friday, according to the Chinese news outlet Xinhua.

Chief Chinese envoy, Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin agreed to “create a favorable atmosphere and conditions” for implementing the “phase one” agreement signed in January. The Reuters analysis said:

The U.S. meat shortage and the Phase 1 goals of increasing exports to China seem to be opposing forces, raising the question of whether sales and shipments will or should be limited. Some restrictions would not be surprising given U.S. President Donald Trump’s more combative tone in his recent comments on trade with China. Trump also last week ordered meat-processing plants to stay open to protect U.S. meat supply, but this has sparked some backlash from unions and lawmakers over the safety of workers, and it is not clear if the mandate will have the desired effect on production.

The Reuters piece said the preliminary U.S. export data for April “suggests that pork exports to China were comparable with March while beef shipments were likely higher” and that most of the sales and exports to China accumulated before the U.S. meat shortage spiked.

“The value of all U.S. pork, beef, poultry and products exported to China in the first three months of 2020 totaled $781 million,” the Reuters analysis reported.

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Trump’s Base White Supremacists, Homophobes

The National Center for Transgender Equality Action Fund has endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden, according to an article posted on the Advocate website.

“Joe Biden is the advocate and president we need at this consequential moment,” NCTE Action Fund Executive Director Mara Keisling said in a press release distributed to the media on Tuesday. “He has the temperament, the experience and wisdom to lead our country. Throughout his career in public service, work as a private citizen through the Biden Foundation, and now his campaign to lead our nation, Biden has demonstrated his commitment to transgender people and the LGBTQ community.”

“Biden has a strong agenda for addressing the issues that face transgender Americans, a record of getting big ideas done during his time as vice president in the Obama-Biden administration, and a history of ensuring that transgender people are protected, including protections for transgender women as part of the reauthorization of the landmark Violence Against Women Act he authored,” Keisling said. “Over the years he has consistently made clear that ‘transgender equality is the civil rights issue of our time.’ With Joe Biden, we know we will be engaged, we will be seen, and we will not be erased.”

In a video posted with the article on the Advocate website, Biden said President Donald Trump has “eviscerated so many basic civil rights.”

“Why is he doing that?” Keisling asked Biden.

“I don’t know that he has a philosophy,” Biden said. “I think he just decides that he’s going to appeal to people from white supremacists to homophobic people who think he can easily rile them up and get their support,” Biden said. “I don’t know. I can’t get in another man or woman’s mind but I know it’s wrong.”

Biden said he supports transgenderism because “we are all God’s children.”

The article included a statement from Reggie Greer, identified as the LGBTQ+ vote director for the Biden campaign:

“On behalf of Vice President Biden, our campaign is deeply honored to have the National Center for Transgender Equality Action Fund’s endorsement and partnership in this election,” Greer said. 

“In 2012, the same year he boldly declared his support for marriage equality, Vice President Biden made clear that ‘transgender equality is the civil rights issue of our time.’ He understands what’s at stake, and has built an unmatched record of ensuring our nation’s laws and discourse value, reflect, and see the lives, dignity, and worth of all transgender people.” 

“To the contrary, Donald Trump and Mike Pence have done nearly everything in their power to endanger the lives of transgender people or ignore the issues disproportionately impacting them,” Greer said. “That’s why it’s all the more reason we are grateful for today’s announcement.”

According to Williams Institute at U.C.L.A, 0.6 percent of U.S. adults identify as transgender. GLADD has reported that three percent of the U.S population across different age groups consider themselves as transgender.

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AOC Promotes Workers Strike as 30 Million Americans Are Out of Work

The GOP War Room distributed a video on Tuesday of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) promoting workers across the nation to take part in a “general strike” reminiscent of labor strikes in the past as some 30 million Americans are out of work. 

“You know there’s a lot of people saying, you know, call for a general strike,” Ocasio-Cortez said in the video. “The majority of Americans don’t know what a general strike is.”

“And so our responsibility is to talk about it, expand consciousness about it, and to actually create the conditions in which working people can generate and really exercise their own power — the power they already have for themselves,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

According to the leftist website Vice, the current health crisis is an opportunity to put leftwing agendas in place:

Coronavirus is bringing a strike wave to America, if it hasn’t already, and there is the feeling that it is snowballing into something more, which the U.S. hasn’t seen for 75 years: a general strike that encompasses everyone, not just workers at one company or industry. As Instacart strike organizer Vanessa Bain told us: “Bosses and CEOs across sectors and industries have failed to act, so workers are taking matters into their own hands. The time for a general strike is now.”

“The concept of a general strike emerged from early-20th-century leftist thought,” the Vox owned The Cut reported. “In 1906, Rosa Luxembourg wrote in The Mass Strike, her seminal text on the subject, ‘It is absurd to think of the mass strike as one act, one isolated action. The mass strike is rather the indication, the rallying idea, of a whole period of the class struggle lasting for years, perhaps for decades.’ The general strike can take different forms. It might be one large action — like Seattle’s weeklong general strike of 1919 — or it might be a series of continuous actions, like France’s recent nationwide strikes over the government’s plan to reform the country’s pension fund system.”

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Cardiologist Targeted by Social Distancing Snitch Pushes Back

A Wisconsin man joined the ranks of what some reports say are many people nationwide snitching on those in their communities for not following arbitrary orders of wearing masks in public and social distancing.

Kevin Rusch, according to the New York Times, saw a photo of a cardiologist from his town, Dr. David Murdock, at a recent protest, not social distancing or wearing a mask, and Rusch promptly jumped to action against the doctor.

The New York Times included Murdock’s story in a round-up of tattletales across the country but left out what Murdock said about his experience and instead highlighted the man who felt it was appropriate to shame the doctor on social media:

Kevin Rusch was at home on a recent Sunday evening scrolling through Facebook when he saw a photo that shocked him: A man with an American flag bandanna wrapped around his head stood at a rally demanding Wisconsin lift orders that had shuttered schools and businesses.

That man was David Murdock, a cardiologist from his hometown, Wausau. And, like the hundreds of other people at the rally, Dr. Murdock was maskless and did not appear to be practicing social distancing. In one photo, Dr. Murdock’s arm was slung around a priest, with the two holding a sign that read, “We are an essential service.”

“His picture popped up, and when I saw it, I was furious,” Mr. Rusch said. “I thought, this guy is out here hugging people and rubbing elbows without P.P.E. on and he’s actively seeing patients.”

Rusch shared photos of the doctor online, and he and others contacted Murdock’s hospital, which resulted in his taking a one-week leave — even though the same recommended mitigation advice includes isolation for two weeks to determine if one has been infected with the virus while in a public setting.

“Dr. Murdock became one of the most public casualties of a growing crowd of social distancing vigilantes, Americans frustrated by fellow citizens violating government orders to wear masks, close nonessential businesses and refrain from gathering in groups,” the Times reported.

Murdock later explained that he added a week’s vacation to his time away from his hospital job so that he and his family could decide whether or not he will return to that job.

The Times reported that “a segment of the United States has turned informant, calling the police, public health authorities and the employers of people they believe are violating social-distancing decrees or stay-at-home orders.”

The Times describes snitching on your neighbor as “citizen action” and contrasted that to the freedom rallies taking place around the country.

But Murdock has a very different perspective about his experience than what the Times reported.

In the lengthy post on Facebook, which includes his 33-year career as a research cardiologist, Murdock explained how he was in favor of the state’s first stay-at-home order, but then circumstances changed and he felt extending the April 24 expiration of the stay-at-home order in many parts of the state was unnecessary and even harmful:

As time went by, however, the danger of COVID in our area was much less than we had expected. Indeed, this was true of most of the areas I provided cardiovascular care. Nevertheless, I was absolutely behind the governor’s first Safer at Home order. This initial Safer at Home order allowed us time to prepare for the expected surge. The surge of COVID infections never materialized in our area.

Murdock included a long list of his concerns about the coronavirus pandemic and how leaders in this country have handled it:

The effect of the first Safer at Home on our local economy and our local health care system has been devastating. I saw firsthand how this order was adversely impacting people with medical needs. The hospital system shut down 16 primary care clinics. Think of that, 16 CLINICS COMPLETELY SHUT DOWN. More recently the system announced numerous additional furloughs and cut work hours for nurses and support staff. All this to hopefully avoid the total financial collapse of our local health care system. This is not isolated to our region. These events are happening all over the country. Millions of healthcare workers are effected.

Meanwhile, health care within our community has suffered. The shutdown of clinics has reduced access to healthcare. People are afraid to come into our office or the emergency room. Cancers are not being detected or operated on, dental care is not being provided, severe orthopedic issues are not being addressed, and some specialties–such as ENT, dermatology, chiropractic care, and some surgical specialties–are being decimated. It became increasingly clear that the health care system was near collapse. This was not due to the virus overwhelming the system, but due to a government-imposed restriction on “nonessential” services. This restriction has caused horrific damage to patient care. I certainly felt, as did many others within our community, that the drastic reduction in health care was worse than the minimal effect we were seeing from the virus. Interestingly, publications in prestigious medical journals are now attesting to this fact. A poor economy has morbidity and lethality too.

Murdock said at the rally he heard stories from his fellow Americans about how they were suffering being isolated and out of work.

“It was hard for these individuals to accept that they were deemed non-essential when it was their only means of survival,” Murdock wrote.

And while Murdock prayed with people at the rally, his detractors were making their own plans:

Upon returning home, I learned of some of the comments made on social media about me and the orchestrated slander of my name and reputation.

But most disturbing was the vulgarity involved and a clear sense of an orchestrated political hit job. There were words said using language that I haven’t heard since high school. They vandalized my home by scattering feces on the front steps prompting me to file a police report. They also mocked Christianity. Nobody should have to put up with this evil. No human has the right to inflict this pain on others.

Murdock concluded that it cannot be a crime to practice our constitutional rights of peaceful assembly and free speech and that some of the most meaningful movements in our country were inspired by practicing those rights, including the civil rights movement.

Murdock thanked people for the outpouring of support he has received, not including the Times, which pointed out that it is conservatives who want their freedom and constitutional rights back and “liberals” who are calling for “restraint.”

“Some liberals said they thought that calling out violators was a civic duty and a matter of public health,” the Times reported.

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