This has been a tough year for teachers. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it so that many of them can’t teach their students in public. They’ve had to adjust teaching their students virtually and deal with disruptions caused by the pandemic.
For the last year, Donald Trump has minimized the risk of contracting COVID-19. The former president even fell ill with the virus in October of 2020. Trump had a bad case of the illness, much worse than his Doctors revealed to the public.
The COVID-19 pandemic has now been raging in the United States for more than a year. For most of that year, Donald Trump attempted to downplay the seriousness of the pandemic and give terrible advice to his supporters.
Eric Spinato, who worked as the head booker and senior story editor for Fox Business, died Sunday of Covid-19.
“I’m so broken and lost for words,” Spinato’s brother, Dean Spinato, wrote on Instagram. “This man was an amazing father, brother and friend. I’m sorry to say this but this day broke me hard. I will make you proud for the rest of my life.”
When Joe Biden was elected to the White House, he promised 100 million vaccine shots in his first 100 days. He has already exceed 100 million shots with more than a month to spare.
Americans who want to get vaccines are getting them in record numbers. But there are still plenty of people, many of them white male Trump supporters, who refuse to take the shot.
Within weeks of being in office, Joe Biden passed a massive stimulus package. The legislation will put money in the pockets of millions of Americans and also aid countless small businesses.
The measure is favored by over 2/3’s of Americans and more than half of the country’s Republicans. GOP lawmakers are now in the unenviable position of having the slam the massively popular bill.
Fox News can’t seem to make up their minds about vaccines. The anchors on the channel certainly want Donald Trump to get out sized credit for his role in developing the vaccine. At the same time, they are not willing to tell their viewers they should get inoculated.
The first two months of Joe Biden‘s presidency have gone pretty well. He was able to pass a massive stimulus bill that is already putting money in American pockets. And millions of people are getting vaccinated each day.
On Thursday, Joe Biden signed his stimulus plan into law. The bill will bring relief to millions of Americans. It also has enormous support. Polls have shown that the legislation is very popular with over 70% of people saying they support it.
In the last week, red states have begun to lift their COVID restrictions. Not only have states like Texas and Mississippi told business they can open at 100%, they have also removed all requirements to wear face masks.
The call to get teachers back into schools has been more insidious than earlier Republican calls to re-open the economy even though it meant loss of life, especially because teachers are in fact working and teaching, often harder and longer hours than ever.
There were many traditions that looked quite different during Donald Trump’s presidency. But nothing, however, was quite as unusual as Trump’s press secretaries and the way they handled themselves during briefings.
Sean Spicer, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Stephanie Grisham and Kayleigh McEnany were not only combative with the press, they also lied with ease. The briefings during Trump’s term also happened far less frequently than ever before.
For all those reasons, Jen Psaki has been a breath of fresh air. While she isn’t opposed to delivering answers with a fair bit of snark, Psaki is at the podium nearly every day.
On Thursday, a reporter wanted the press secretary to give Donald Trump credit for developing America’s vaccines. Psaki, though, was more than ready to shoot the request down.
Mary Bruce from ABC News asked, “The president has been pretty critical of the prior administration’s handling of the pandemic, saying you inherited a mess here, but when it comes to vaccinations, you are following some of the same playbook here, so does the prior administration deserve some credit for laying the groundwork?”
“I don’t think anyone deserves credit when half a million people in the country have died from this pandemic,” Psaki responded. “So what our focus is on and what the president’s focus is on when he came into office just over a month ago, was ensuring we have enough vaccines. We are going to have them now. We had enough vaccinators and we had enough vaccine locations to get this pandemic under control.”
Watch a clip of the exchange below:
Asked if the Trump administration deserves more credit for initiating vaccine rollout, press sec. Jen Psaki tells @marykbruce, "I don't think anyone deserves credit when half a million people in the country have died of this pandemic." https://t.co/F7XMlskBBJ pic.twitter.com/HSsNnzyqFd
This week, the United States hit a grim milestone. The country has now experienced 500,000 deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thankfully, Joe Biden‘s response to the virus has been much more aggressive than Trump’s was. According to Axios, America is now averaging 1.7 million vaccines a day.
And with many doses being administered, both cases and deaths are going down in dramatic fashion. Fox’s Greg Gutfeld, though, wants to make sure it is Trump getting credit for the virus fight rather than Biden.
The Five host told viewers on Thursday, “You have the vaccine and you have the rapid testing happening under Trump, right? And he still loses. But what’s interesting is that his prioritization was flawless. It was about rapid testing and vaccines.”
Gutfeld continued, “
The imperfect — he saw the imperfect solutions with the masks and the social distancing, and he saw it for what it was, is that’s not what’s going to get us through. However, he had to play the game, and he wouldn’t play the game. He had to pretend that no, this is the number one priority, masks, but he — but he didn’t do it, but now, history is going to be kind to Trump over this.”
The Coronavirus pandemic has not only killed over 500,000 Americans, it has devastated millions more financially. That is why one of Joe Biden‘s early hopes is to get money out to these struggling people.
And the plan Biden has put forward is very popular. Polling shows that 68% of people asked are behind the plan that Biden and his team are proposing.
According to Susan Collins, though, 0% of Republican senators will be supporting the package. The Maine senator outlined her concerns on Tuesday afternoon.
“The administration has not indicated a willingness to come down from its $1.9 trillion figure and that’s a major obstacle,” she said. “We have indicated a willingness to come up from our $618 billion, but unfortunately the White House seems wedded to a figure that really can’t be justified given the hundreds of billions of dollars that are still in the pipeline from the December bill.”
Collins continued, “What we’re looking at now is whether there are changes that we could make. But I would be surprised if there was support in the Republican caucus if the bill comes out at $1.9 trillion even if we’re able to make some beneficial changes.”
Susan Collins says talks with the White House have stalled because they aren’t willing to lower the $1.9T cost for Covid relief.
Good, we don’t need her permission to help Americans survive. 🖕🖕
When he was coming into office, Joe Biden said that his goal was for the US to average 1 million vaccines a day. A month into office, the country is shattering that goal and the average is up to 1.6 million shots a day.
The cases are also going down around the country. Data has shown a massive decline in cases.
But to the hosts of Fox News, many of the people responsible for the COVID fight are painted as villains rather than heroes. Dr. Anthony Fauci is questioned on a daily basis on the Conservative network.
And Bill Gates, who donated money to develop vaccines, is portrayed as some kind of boogeyman. Tucker Carlson referenced Gates during his Monday show.
The Fox host began, “
The ability to work was once considered a human right, one of the most basic human rights, but then a lot of things were once considered basic human rights. Remember my body my choice? You’ve heard people chant that for 50 years, as recently as 2019 Kamala Harris
Donald Trump’s leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic was an utter disaster. Pfizer and Moderna, though, were at the least, able to create vaccines that could help combat the virus.
And Trump certainly took credit for the vaccines on his way out of office. Pro-Trump Fox News, however, is now attacking the vaccine. On his Tuesday night show, Tucker Carlson claimed that health experts are lying about the treatment’s effectiveness.
The Fox host asked his audience, “When are we finally going to repeal Corona law, and what about this vaccine? Why are Americans being discouraged from asking simple, straightforward questions about it? Questions like how effective are these drugs? Are they safe? What’s the miscarriage risk for pregnant women, for example? Is there a study on that? May we see it? And, by the way, how much are the drug companies making off this stuff?”
“Most Americans already supported vaccines. They didn’t need to be browbeaten in order to be convinced. They were grateful their kids no longer get tetanus and polio and chicken pox. They weren’t anti-vaxxers. And yet, from the very first day, the way the authorities handled the COVID vaccine did not inspire confidence. If the vaccine was so great, why were all these people lying about it? Honest question. And they were lying, clearly they were lying. You know that for certain, because from the moment the COVID vaccine arrived, the most powerful people in America worked to make certain that no one could criticize it.”
Joe Biden has made it his mission to vaccinate 100 million people during his first 100 days in office. One way he hopes to achieve that goal is by opening large scale vaccination centers throughout the country.
One of these centers was set up at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles. The site was shut down over the weekend by a mob of anti-vaccination protesters. During a recent broadcast of his show, Steve Bannon compared these anti-vaxxers to the patriots of the American Revoltion.
“On Friday,” Bannon began, “Chavez Ravine, Dodgers Stadium, the antivax crowd showed up and shut down the government-run vaccination thing and that was a shot heard around the world. That might be the Lexington and Concord of the antivax movement. Hey, I’m not antivax, but I hear some compelling arguments coming from some of the people on there.”
Like many recent right-wing protests the event was planned on a Facebook page. Isaac Stanley-Becker of the Washington Post notes:
“The online activity illustrates the extent to which Facebook remains a critical organizing tool of the anti-vaccine movement, despite the company’s repeated vows to curb coronavirus misinformation. It also shows how social networking services could foster more confrontational tactics by those committed to false ideas about the dangers of immunization as the mass vaccination effort ramps up.”
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in an all hands on deck response from many business owners. Among the most prominent CEO’s looking to help was Bill Gates.
Thanks to the Conservative push to minimize the effect of the pandemic, Gates became a frequent target for Fox News. Gates appeared on Ari Melber‘s MSNBC show on Wednesday and responded to the frequent criticism.
Melber first played a video of Laura Ingraham mocking Gates’ push for contact tracing. When asked for his thoughts, Gates said, “Contact tracing was incredibly beneficial in places like South Korea. We have had hundreds of thousands of people alive today in the U.S. If we had done that. The data, you don’t have to give up your personal data. That’s not a fair way of describing it. Some societies really chose to make that work.”
Bill Gates responds to Laura Ingraham's lies about the COVID-19 pandemic. pic.twitter.com/n9Bm03ysQZ
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) January 28, 2021
The billionaire later talked about the criticism levied against both him and Dr. Anthony Fauci. He told Melber:
“Yeah, so, both myself and Dr. Fauci have featured in conspiracy theories. One says that Dr. Fauci is trying to make money off of these vaccines and various negative things about me. You know, there, you’re encouraging people not to trust the advice on masks or taking the vaccine. And that could be damaging. It’s a new phenomenon. I don’t know, will it hurt the vaccine uptake, where everyone who takes the vaccine is not just protecting themselves, but reducing their transmission to other people, and allowing society to get back to normal. It’s a completely unexpected phenomenon, and sadly, a lot of it is based on false information.”
Virginia was long a Republican state. Those days, however are over. In recent years, the state has gone red to purple to blue. That doesn’t mean, though, that Republicans can’t win in the commonwealth.
Democratic governor Ralph Northam will be seeking reelection in 2022. Amanda Chase, a Republican state Rep. hopes to be the one to unseat him. That may be harder for Chase to do so now after comments she made about the January 6th insurrection.
Chase, who Salon considers the favorite in the looming Republican primary, made the comments during an interview with Sky News. A British reporter asked, “They’re looking in on America and wondering what on earth is going on here?”
The lawmaker, who describes herself as “Trump in heels,” replied:
“America wants freedom. They are tired of an overreaching federal government and state government telling us what we can and cannot do in the form of mandates. I don’t think that’s representative of our republic and people. What we’re seeing is a level of frustration like we’ve never seen in America, and here in Virginia, because people are concerned that we are getting away from a representative republic and are headed towards socialism and communism, in which the government makes all these decisions for us.”
Joe Biden revealed his COVID-19 plan shortly before taking office. He was hoping that there would be 100 vaccinations in his first 100 days. At the time, the goal seemed ambitious, especially with concerns over convincing people to take the shot.
And when Biden took office last week, the COVID program was in shambles. The Trump White House stopped holding coronavirus briefings prior to the election. And many states don’t have anywhere the vaccine supply they need to fulfill demand.
Even with those issues, though, the country is already close to reaching the original goal set by Biden. Daily vaccinations have regularly come in somewhere between 800,000 and 900,000 a day. While speaking with reporters Monday, Biden said he would like to get the number up to 1.5 million.
“I think we may be able to get that to 1.5 million [shots] a day, rather than 1 million a day. But we have to meet that goal of a million a day,” said the President.
Biden continued, “We’re trying to get out a minimum of 100 million vaccinations in 100 days, and move in the direction where we’re well beyond that in the next 100 days, so we can get to the point where we reach herd immunity in a country of over 300 million people.”
.@GStephanopoulos: “Can we get to herd immunity before the next school year begins?”
Biden nominee for Surgeon General Vivek Murthy: "That’s an ambitious goal. I do think we can see improvements … the more people we vaccinate, the better we will do.” https://t.co/revKTaAEyP pic.twitter.com/SWSGz4E020