[guest post by Dana]
Here are a few news items to discuss. Please feel free to share anything you might interest readers. Make sure to include links.
First news item
The Cyber Hack is far greater in the Fake News Media than in actuality. I have been fully briefed and everything is well under control. Russia, Russia, Russia is the priority chant when anything happens because Lamestream is, for mostly financial reasons, petrified of….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 19, 2020
— Senator Mitt Romney (@SenatorRomney) December 17, 2020
Second news item
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro criticized the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in a bizarre rant, On Thursday.
He suggested that the COVID-19 vaccine could result in people turning into crocodiles, women growing beards, and men speaking with effeminate voices, according to AFP.
Bolsonaro said: “In the Pfizer contract, it’s very clear. ‘We’re not responsible for any side effects.’ If you turn into a crocodile, that’s your problem.”
He continued: “If you become superhuman, if a woman starts to grow a beard or if a man starts to speak with an effeminate voice, they [Pfizer] won’t have anything to do with it,” he said.
Third news item
Historically, the committee relied on scientific evidence to inform its decisions. But now the members are weighing social justice concerns as well, noted Lisa Prosser, a professor of health policy and decision sciences at the University of Michigan.
Harald Schmidt, an expert in ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania, said that it is reasonable to put essential workers ahead of older adults, given their risks, and that they are disproportionately minorities. “Older populations are whiter,” Dr. Schmidt said. “Society is structured in a way that enables them to live longer. Instead of giving additional health benefits to those who already had more of them, we can start to level the playing field a bit.”
Fourth news item
After this a teenage girl pulled down her mask and came up to me and told me to explain science to her and started harassing me lol pic.twitter.com/099KRUOPVq
— Jenny Guzman (@JennyGuzmanAZ) December 18, 2020
Fifth news item
A key federal agency said this week that employers can legally require their workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine and prevent them from entering their workplaces if they refuse.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in guidance issued Wednesday said that requiring a test would not violate the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990. The law bars employers from requiring medical exams such as blood tests that seek information on an employee’s physical or mental condition, but the EEOC said a COVID-19 vaccine does not fall under that category.
“If a vaccine is administered to an employee by an employer for protection against contracting COVID-19, the employer is not seeking information about an individual’s impairments or current health status and, therefore, it is not a medical examination,” the commission said.
Sixth news item
GOP Sen. Ron Johnson (Wis.) on Friday blocked an effort to pass a second round of stimulus checks, arguing coronavirus relief needs to be targeted and raising concerns about the country’s debt.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) tried to get consent, which requires the cooperation of every senator, to pass his bill that would provide $1,200 for individuals who make up to $75,000 — the exact same language that Congress passed as part of the CARES Act in March.
“What I’m proposing is what every senator has supported already, this year. … What I’m proposing will give working folks in my state and across this country a shot … at getting back up on their feet,” Hawley said from the Senate floor.
But Johnson objected. Under the Senate’s rules any one senator can request to pass a bill but any other senator can object and block it.
“I completely support some kind of program targeted for small businesses. … So what I fear we’re going to do with this bipartisan package and what the senator from Missouri is talking about is the same thing, is a shotgun approach,” Johnson said.
Seventh news item
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo was photographed last week attending a wine and paint event, just a few days after she urged the state’s residents to avoid all nonessential activities amid the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.
According to WLNE-TV, the photo of Raimondo was taken by Erica Oliveras on December 11 while the governor and her husband, Andy Moffit, attended a wine and paint event at Barnaby’s Public House in Providence.
Eighth news item
“The event that is more significant by a landslide is what happened on December 19th of 1959. December 19, 1959, my wife Kay and I got married, and that makes tomorrow our 61st wedding anniversary. Just look at all of the beauty that has followed us: 20 kids and grandkids, all of that in a 61-year period of time. What I want to say is, the beautiful life that we are still having together. And Kay, I love you more now than I did 61 years ago. And I would say to the Senate leadership that, uh, you better get this last vote done by tonight, or you’ll have to do it without me, because I’m going to be with Kay on our, uh, anniversary on Saturday and 61st wedding anniversary. And to everyone else out there: As you celebrate the birth of Christ at Christmas time, I’m going to say to you, Merry Christmas and God bless you. And I yield the floor.”
This really galls me. How many military men and women have missed celebrating their anniversaries because they were on deployment? How many medical personnel have missed their anniversaries because they have been working around the clock to save Covid-19 patients? You are not special. You are privileged to be a member of Congress, so do the job you were hired to do. Americans are dependent on you. If you can’t do the job or refuse to do it, then step down.
Have a good weekend.