Illegal Border Crossings Continue to Spike, as Do COVID Cases

Rio Grande Valley Sector Chief Patrol Agent Brian Hastings reported that his sector at the Texas-Mexico border alone took into custody more than 15,000 illegal immigrants in one week, the most so far this year.

In the same sector, agents saw a 900% increase in those being detained who tested positive for the coronavirus.

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Surging BBQ Companies Go Public, Signaling Continued Post-Pandemic Shift to Home Cooking

Man in apron, seasoning meat.

Multiple home barbecue companies are going public after a successful year and a half amid the COVID-19 crisis, an apparent reflection of increasing consumer orientation toward home cooking after many months during which dining out was sharply curtailed.

Traeger — a manufacturer of automated wood-pellet smokers — this week announced an initial public offering of 23,529,411 shares of common stock at as much as $18 per share. The company was expecting to realize around $400 million in the IPO.

The company in its IPO prospectus said it “more than doubled revenue from $262.1 million in 2017 to $545.8 million in 2020,” with huge surges in social media followings last year

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Congressman Clay Higgins Gets COVID for a Second Time

Clay Higgins

Louisiana Republican Rep. Clay Higgins said Sunday that he, his wife and his son all tested positive for COVID-19.

“I have COVID, Becca has COVID, my son has COVID,” Higgins wrote on Facebook, adding that he and his wife had already tested positive for the virus early in 2020.

“Becca and I have had COVID before, early on, in January 2020, before the world really knew what it was,” Higgins wrote. “So, this is our second experience with the CCP biological attack weaponized virus… and this episode is far more challenging.”

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France Warned the U.S. in 2015 About the Wuhan Lab It Helped Build, Former COVID-19 Investigator Claims

Wuhan Institute of Virology

The U.S. federal government should have stopped funding research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2015 when China reduced its cooperation with the French in building and operating the lab, according to the leader of an investigation into COVID-19’s origins by the State Department under the Trump administration.

In 2015, French intelligence officials warned the U.S. State Department and their own foreign ministry that China was cutting back on agreed collaboration at the lab, former State official David Asher, now a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute think tank, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

By 2017, the French “were kicked out” of the lab and cooperation ceased, leading French officials to warn the State Department that they had grave concerns as to Chinese motivations, according to Asher.

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Sixth Circuit Rules CDC Eviction Moratorium Is Unconstitutional

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that the national eviction moratorium mandated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is unconstitutional. The court said in its ruling that the matter ultimately needed to be resolved by Congress.

The three-judge panel ruled that the CDC engaged in federal overreach by mandating that tenants who are unable to pay their rent and are in breach of their rental agreements may not be evicted. The CDC had implemented a moratorium in response to millions of people losing their jobs due to governors shutting down their state economies to slow the spread of COVID-19.

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Gov. Northam Proposes $250 Million ARPA Allocation to Fund HVAC Upgrades for Virginia Schools

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam

Governor Ralph Northam is proposing that Virginia legislators use $250 million of Virginia’s American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) funds for HVAC upgrades in the Commonwealth’s schools. He announced the proposal on Monday, a week before the Virginia General Assembly is scheduled to meet to allocate the ARPA funds.

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Chinese Government Refuses to Participate in WHO Coronavirus Origin Investigation

On Thursday, the Chinese government confirmed that it will not cooperate with a proposed second investigation into the possible origins of the coronavirus conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), as reported by CNN.

The announcement was made by Deputy Head of China’s National Health Commission Zeng Yixin, who said at a press conference that he was “surprised” that the WHO’s proposal for the investigation included the possibility that the lab leak theory would be taken into consideration.

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Kids’ Suicide, Mental Health Hospitalizations Spiked Amid COVID Lockdowns, Research Finds

Girl with blonde hair, covering her face with her hands

COVID-19 policies had disastrous results on children, especially in California, according to medical researchers at the University of California San Francisco.

Jeanne Noble, director of COVID response in the UCSF emergency department, is finishing an academic manuscript on the mental health toll on kids from lockdown policies. She shared a presentation on its major points with Just the News.

Suicides in the Golden State last year jumped by 24% for Californians under 18 but fell by 11% for adults, showing how children were uniquely affected by “profound social isolation and loss of essential social supports traditionally provided by in-person school,” the presentation says.

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Psaki Says White House Won’t Be Releasing Numbers of ‘Breakthrough Cases’

Press Secretary Jen Psaki

A day after Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced “a commitment to transparency” regarding White House COVID-19 disclosures, she told reporters that the White House will not be releasing the number of “breakthrough cases” that occur on its campus.

The term “breakthrough cases” refers to fully vaccinated individuals who have come down with the coronavirus. Transparency advocates argue that the American people can be given that information without invading the privacy of COVID-stricken White House employees.

On Wednesday, after admitting that there had been multiple COVID cases at the White House that had not been previously revealed, Psaki said that the White House would only announce positive tests among officials if they had come into contact with Joe Biden, Kamala Harris or their spouses.

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Commentary: Biden Gaffe Renews Questions About COVID Transparency

Joe Biden smiling at crowd

President Biden so desperately wants the vaccine-hesitant part of the country to get their shots that he may have spread a little misinformation. “You are not going to get COVID,” he promised during a CNN town-event Wednesday night, “if you have these vaccines.”

Of course, this is not true. Biden knows it. He said as much later during the forum, explaining that, while vaccinated individuals enjoy significant protections, they can still test positive for the virus. But even if that happens, the president pointed out, the vaccine largely mitigates the most serious dangers. “You are not going to be hospitalized,” he said, reciting the latest scientific consensus. “You are not going to be in the IC unit, and you are not going to die.”

The fact that fully vaccinated individuals can still contract the coronavirus is a medical reality. It has also led to more uncomfortable questions about transparency for the Biden administration.

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Jobless Claims Surge Past 400,000, Far Higher Than Economists’ Expectations

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased to 419,000 last week as the economy continues its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented a large increase in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending July 10, when 368,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised up from the 360,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.

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Opponents of Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf’s COVID Orders Present Case to Third Circuit Court

Before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia on Thursday, legal counsel for several Pennsylvania counties as well as numerous public officials and private companies, argued Governor Tom Wolf (D) abused his police powers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, the private-sector compainaints charge that the governor’s shutdown of and other demands on businesses during parts of 2020 and 2021 violate the takings clause and the due-process clause of the U.S. Constitution. All plaintiffs, governmental and private, further insist that the governor’s restrictions on public gatherings over the past year violated the rights of assembly, association and religion secured by the First Amendment. 

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Report: Biden Admin Will Keep Restrictions Allowing Border Officials to Expel Migrants for Another Month

Crowd of immigrants

The Biden administration will reportedly keep restrictions allowing border officials to expel most migrants for another month, The Monitor reported Wednesday.

The Trump administration implemented public health order Title 42 prohibiting some individuals from entering the U.S. in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Border officials encountered nearly 190,000 migrants at the southern border in June and over 100,000 of those were rapidly expelled under Title 42, according to CBP.

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Arizona Gov. Ducey Urges Continuation of Title 42 Border Restrictions

Gov. Ducey Title 42

Gov. Doug Ducey has called on Arizona’s congressional delegation to urge the Biden administration to maintain Title 42 restrictions, which allow federal officials to prohibit entry into the U.S. for those posing a potential health risk.

“I am writing to you today to share details of the impact this dangerous and misguided idea would have on Arizona and to request your assistance on behalf of the people of Arizona in urging the Biden administration to maintain these critical protections,” Ducey wrote last week in a letter to Arizona’s 11 members of Congress.

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Michigan Legislature Revokes Whitmer’s Pandemic Powers

Sixteen months after the COVID-19 pandemic began in Michigan, the GOP-led Legislature has revoked Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s pandemic powers.

The House of Representatives sealed the end of her powers Wednesday with a vote of 60-48. The Senate approved the petition on July 15 on a 20-15 vote.

Democratic Rep. Sam Steckloff said petitions are meant to go on the ballot to voters instead of enacted through the Legislature and contended petition gatherers “lied” to those who signed the petition.

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COVID-Positive Texas Democrats Accorded Medical Privacy Denied to Republicans

Texas Dems

Texas Democratic leadership continues to shield the identities of multiple, truant state representatives who have tested positive for SARS-Cov-2, even as the virus continues to spread among individuals who have had contact with the self-exiled legislators.

It’s a sharp contrast to the treatment many Republicans and conservatives received over the past year, when the positive COVID tests of multiple GOP members were covered aggressively by the media.

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Virginia Department of Health Recommends Local School Districts Require Masks in Elementary Schools

New guidance from the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Department of Education asks local divisions to implement their own mask guidelines based on the local COVID-19 environment.

The guidance doesn’t include mandatory policies for the whole Commonwealth, but does recommend requiring masks for everyone in elementary schools regardless of vaccination status until vaccines are available for children under 12. They also recommend that middle- and high-school staff and students should wear masks if not vaccinated.

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Commentary: Joe Biden’s Misery Index Rises

Biden Misery Index

This column is becoming a weekly checklist on the descent of American public policy and attitudes further into the depths of frivolity, chaos, and national self-dislike. I was honored to make a small contribution last week to the edition of this website celebrating its fifth anniversary. In the editors’ statement on that anniversary, they renewed their hostility to the ineptitude and moral decrepitude of the bipartisan ruling class, their “opposition to the unaccountable administrative state,” their dislike of an American oligarchy, particularly the “Big Tech monopoly to suppress disagreement,” and their contempt for “pernicious utopian ideologies.” It is a privilege to be associated with such opinions.

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American Professors Demand Closer Research Cooperation with China

Great Hall Of The People At Night

A group of 20 American professors signed a joint letter with a group of Chinese professors demanding that the United States work more closely with China on future research efforts, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

The letter, which appeared in the most recent edition of the American Chemical Society’s journal of Environmental Science and Technology, was signed by 21 Americans and 19 Chinese. Of the 40 signatories, nine of the Americans had received their educations in Chinese universities; 18 of the journal’s editors have worked for institutions backed in some capacity by the Chinese government.

The letter’s authors claim that while “increasing geopolitical competition has generated greater mistrust between the U.S. and China…a great deal of this mistrust results from misunderstanding.” The letter recommends that American and Chinese “funding agencies should also seek opportunities to fund joint global research projects in SDG [sustainable development goals] areas for the common good.”

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Fauci Emails with World Health Organization Officials Heavily Redacted in Records Release

Dr. Anthony Fauci

The Department of Health and Human Services delivered 311 pages of heavily redacted emails Dr. Anthony Fauci and the World Health Organization and other documents regarding COVID-19 to Judicial Watch and the Daily Caller News Foundation, according to a press release Tuesday.

The redacted documents included personal edits from Fauci on COVID-related funding measures, which were redacted under a trade secrets exemption, Judicial Watch said in the press release.

“The American people have every right to know key information on our government’s role in Covid,” DCNF President Neil Patel said in the statement Tuesday. “This sort of hiding, dodging and stonewalling is one reason why trust in national authorities is near all-time lows.”

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Facebook Faces Lawsuit for Suspending User Who Cited Lack of Evidence for Masking Children

Blonde child wearing hair up, holding journal and wearing a mask

An influential COVID policy skeptic is threatening to sue Facebook for suspending his account based on a graphic he posted Tuesday, titled “Masking Children is Impractical and Not Backed by Research or Real World Data.”

Justin Hart was identified in a recent MIT paper as one of a handful of “anchors” for the anti-mask network on Twitter. He’s also chief data analyst for the COVID contrarian website Rational Ground.

A warning letter to Facebook from Hart’s lawyers at the Liberty Justice Center said the graphic was “science-based and contains footnotes to scientific evidence supporting its claims.” Facebook issued him a three-day suspension the next day, citing the post as misinformation. The page remains live but the post is no longer there.

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More Texas Democrats Who Fled State Test Positive For COVID

Texas Democrats COVID

The number of coronavirus infections among Democratic lawmakers who fled to Texas to stall a voting reform bill increased over the weekend.

At least five members of the Democratic delegation have tested positive for the virus, a person familiar told the Associated Press. The Texas House Democratic Caucus announced three of the lawmakers had tested positive as of Friday, but said the entire group had been fully vaccinated.

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Small Business Owners Struggling to Find Workers

Small Business Struggle

Small business owners are continuing to have problems attracting new workers in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and are trying to entice them with new incentives, a new report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce shows.

“Small businesses are bearing the brunt of the current worker shortage,” said Tom Sullivan, vice president of small business policy at the Chamber. “Many have given up on actively recruiting new workers as it is too hard to find skilled and experienced workers for their open positions.”

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Psaki Doubles Down on White House’s Support for Tech Censorship

Psaki Tech Censors

Just a day after White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki admitted that the Biden administration is colluding with Facebook to censor “misinformation,” Psaki advocated for even more online censorship.

During a Friday press briefing, she advised social media companies to “create robust enforcement strategies that bridge their properties and provide transparency about rules.”

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CDC Sued by Watchdog Group for Withholding Communications Records with Teachers’ Unions

CDC Headquarters

On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) was sued by a watchdog group after the agency failed to hand over requested documentation of communication between the government agency and the leaders of various teachers’ unions, Fox News reports.

The suit was filed by Americans for Public Trust (APT), a nonprofit based in Washington D.C. The group alleges that the documents they previously requested via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) could prove that there was “undue political influence” expressed over the CDC by teachers’ unions, which ultimately dictated the CDC’s lockdown recommendations.

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Virginia Ends Fiscal Year 2021 with $2.6 Billion Revenue Surplus

Virginia ended Fiscal Year 2021 with a $2.6 billion surplus, the largest in Virginia’s history, with a 14.5 percent revenue growth over FY 2020.

“We have effectively managed Virginia’s finances through the pandemic, and now we are seeing the results—record-breaking revenue gains, a recovery that has outpaced the nation, and recognition as the best place to do business,” Governor Ralph Northam said in a press release.

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Commentary: An Inside Look at Lockdown Orders from 2020

Person putting hands on glass, inside of home

Life in the United States and in many parts of the world was transformed in mid-March 2020. That was when the great experiment began. It was a test. How much power does government have to rule nearly the whole of life? To what extent can all the power of the state be mobilized to take away rights that people had previously supposed were protected by law? How many restrictions on freedom would people put up with without a revolt?

It was also a test of executive and bureaucratic power: can these dramatic decisions be made by just a handful of people, independent of all our slogans about representative democracy?

We are far from coming to terms with any of these questions. They are hardly being discussed. The one takeaway from the storm that swept through our country and the world in those days is that anything is possible. Unless something dramatic is done, like some firm limits on what governments can do, they will try again, under the pretext of public health or something else. 

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Clemson School Administrators Used COVID Caps and Fake RSVPs to Suppress Turnout at Conservative Event

Assortment of conservative buttons with a "Get Involved" Turning Point USA fillout

During the height of the pandemic, two college administrators from Clemson University used phony ticket reservations to suppress attendance at a conservative student event and bragged about it on Facebook.

The conservative group Turning Point USA’s local chapter hosted speakers Tomi Lahren, Brandon Tatum, and Graham Allen for an event on the South Carolina campus in April 2020.

The event was limited in capacity because of COVID-19, and people had to reserve tickets from a smaller pool in advance.

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YouTube Deletes Video on Trump’s Big Tech Lawsuit, Blocks His CPAC Speech from the Platform

YouTube deleted the American Conservative Union’s (ACU) video featuring former President Trump announcing his class-action lawsuit against Big Tech, citing an alleged violation of its COVID-19 terms and conditions.

The ACU, which hosts the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), received “a strike” on their account from YouTube on July 9, preventing them from uploading new content for a week. This includes ACU’s CPAC 2021 Part 2 in Dallas, Texas, and Trump’s CPAC speech scheduled for Sunday, the organization said in a statement.

In the deleted YouTube video of Trump’s announcement of a lawsuit against Big Tech, which includes Google, he also cited a medical study on hydroxychloroquine as a therapeutic for COVID-19.

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Federal Bill Would Ban Vaccine Database in Response to Biden’s ‘Door-to-Door’ Pledge

Ted Cruz

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, introduced a bill that would prohibit the federal government from creating and maintaining a federal database of every American who has received COVID-19 vaccines.

Cruz introduced the bill after White House officials announced a plan to use taxpayer dollars to pay individuals to go door-to-door in regions of the country where there are relatively low vaccination rates.

In response to statements made by President Joe Biden and White House press secretary Jen Psaki about the door-to-door outreach initiative, Cruz tweeted, “When the Biden admin calls for ‘targeted’ ‘door-to-door outreach’ to get people vaccinated, it comes across as a g-man saying: ‘We know you’re unvaccinated, let’s talk, comrade.’ My bill to ban federal vaccine passports prohibits the feds from maintaining a vaccine database.”

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Amount of Americans Strictly Social Distancing Hits New Pandemic Low

Two people wearing masks, on different benches, social distancing

Less than one-fifth of Americans say that they are still “completely or mostly” practicing social distancing, a new Gallup poll shows.

Approximately 18% of Americans are still strictly following social distancing guidelines, the lowest amount since the pandemic began last March, the Gallup survey shows. Social distancing participation peaked at 75% last April but has steadily declined since December, when coronavirus vaccines began to be distributed and administered nationwide.

Almost half of all Americans, 47%, said they have made “no attempt whatsoever” to isolate themselves, which is a pandemic high. But while 62% said that their lives were “somewhat back to normal,” only 15% said that their lives were “completely back to normal.”

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Pennsylvania State Sen. Doug Mastriano Initiates Forensic Investigation of 2020 Election

Doug Mastriano

The Pennsylvania state senator who led a hearing on election fraud in Gettysburg, PA, last November, has initiated a “full forensic investigation” into 2020 election results in several counties.

Republican State Sen. Doug Mastriano said in a statement that as chair of the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee, that he has issued letters to several counties representing “different geographical regions of Pennsylvania and differing political makeups,” requesting “information and materials needed to conduct a forensic investigation of the 2020 General Election and the 2021 Primary.”

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Health and Human Services Secretary Becerra: It’s ‘Absolutely the Government’s Business’ to Know the Vaccine Status of Americans

Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra

Amid controversy over the administration’s plan to knock on doors to promote the COVID vaccines to unvaccinated Americans, the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary has declared that it is “absolutely” the government’s business to know who is vaccinated or not vaccinated.

On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the goal of the door-to-door outreach was to “get remaining Americans vaccinated by ensuring they have the information they need on how both safe and accessible the vaccine is.”

During a press conference, Joe Biden said this outreach team would “go community-by-community, neighborhood-by-neighborhood, and oft times door-to-door, literally knocking on doors” to “educate” unvaccinated Americans about the experimental vaccines.

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Three Scientists Remove Their Names from Lancet Statement Denouncing Lab-Leak Theory

Doctor with protective gloves handling vaccine

Although the magazine Lancet has doubled down on its efforts to defend China and claim that there is no evidence behind the lab-leak theory of the coronavirus origins, three prominent scientists who originally agreed with this assessment were absent from the magazine’s latest statement, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

On July 5th, the magazine published yet another statement, with numerous signatories, claiming that there is no “scientifically validated evidence” to suggest that the coronavirus pandemic originated at the suspicious Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). Although many of the names signed onto the statement were the same as those who made a similar assertion back in February of 2020, at least three names are missing.

One of the names is William Karesh, who serves as the executive vice president for health policy at the nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance. As has been widely documented, EcoHealth was a major benefactor of the WIV, providing gain-of-function research funding directly to the institute after the funds had been granted to the nonprofit by the United States government.

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Jobless Claims Increase to 373,000, Above Economists’ Predictions

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased to 373,000 last week as the economy continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented a slight increase in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending June 26, when 371,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised up from the 364,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.

Economists expected Thursday’s jobless claims number to come in around 350,000, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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Report: Japan Considers Banning Spectators at Olympics to Avoid Coronavirus Spread

The Japanese government has considered banning all spectators at the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics as COVID-19 cases have surged, according to Reuters.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is set to announce new measures to combat the rising COVID-19 cases on Thursday, and authorities have said that a state of emergency for Tokyo is likely, according to Reuters.

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U.S. Group Connected to Wuhan Lab Is Stonewalling Congressional Investigation of Pandemic Origins, Committee Ranking Member Says

COVID-19

Months after its initial requests, a congressional committee investigating COVID-19’s origins is still awaiting answers from a U.S.-funded group that worked with a Wuhan lab considered a possible origin of COVID-19.

Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee requested EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak answer questions about his group’s work with the Wuhan lab in a letter on April 16, and have still received no response, a committee aide confirmed Thursday.

Only the chair of the committee, Democrat Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr., of New Jersey, can use subpoena power to require a witness’ attendance, testimony and related documents.

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Virginia Board Might Change, End Confusing COVID-19 Regulations Tuesday

A Virginia board will meet Tuesday to consider changing or ending business regulations it introduced to curb the spread of COVID-19 during the pandemic, some of which have been confusing business owners.

Earlier this year, the Department of Labor and Industry established permanent regulations on businesses, which could only end or be changed through another meeting by the department’s Safety Health Codes Board. When the board adopted the regulations, it also added a provision that required it to meet within two weeks after the state of emergency for COVID-19 ended. The last day of the emergency declaration was June 30.

The rules were initially in line with Gov. Ralph Northam’s executive orders, but after the governor rescinded some of the requirements, the two standards seemed to contradict on certain issues. The governor requires some employees to wear masks if they are not fully vaccinated. The DOLI regulations require those employees to wear masks and make no mention of vaccinations, but later guidance stated vaccinated individuals were not required to wear masks.

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Economy Added 850,000 Jobs in June, Well Above Economists’ Forecasts

Person using a laptop, pointing to the screen

The U.S. economy reported an increase of 850,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate ticked up to 5.9%, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.

Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 850,000 in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report, and the number of unemployed persons increased to 9.5 million. Economists projected 700,000 Americans would be added to payrolls prior to Friday’s report, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“This is a trickier phase of the recovery,” Wells Fargo senior economist Sarah House told The New York Times.

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Prominent Medical Journals Highlight Harm to Children from Masks, Death Risk from COVID Vaccines

The range of acceptable opinion on COVID-19 mitigation efforts may be widening, with peer-reviewed medical journals recently publishing research finding that masks likely harm schoolchildren and questioning whether benefits from COVID-19 vaccines outweigh risks.

Measured carbon dioxide content in “inhaled air,” observed in a study of masked German schoolchildren, was at least three-fold higher than German law allows, according to a research letter published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics.

Last week, the journal Vaccines, affiliated with the American Society for Virology, published research that estimates every three COVID-19 deaths prevented by vaccination are offset by two deaths “inflicted by vaccination,” using Israeli and European data.

The papers share a lead author, Harald Walach, a professor in Poznan University of the Medical Sciences’ Pediatric Clinic in Poland and University of Witten/Herdecke’s psychology department in Germany.

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Republican Students Petition Against Vaccine Mandate at Virginia Tech

Right-leaning students at a Virginia institute of higher learning are petitioning the school against its policy of mandatory vaccinations. 

“Virginia Tech students delivered a petition with about 500 signatures that urges Virginia Tech to end a policy requiring students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to take classes in the fall,” according to The Center Square. 

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Data: Leaving Federal Jobless Benefits Program Lowered Unemployment

A new report shows states that decided to turn away federal unemployment benefits have seen a drop in unemployment.

The Biden administration pushed through a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill earlier this year that included extending $300 weekly unemployment benefits for Americans in addition to unemployment benefits already provided by the states.

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Virginia College Will Segregate Students with Vaccination Badges

Citing a tip from a student, Young America’s Foundation Monday morning reported that Emory & Henry College in Virginia will require students to wear special lanyards designating their COVID-19 vaccination status. 

“After listening to voices desiring a safe return to a more normal campus environment and using the date available to us regarding COVID-19 vaccination rates, the campus has decided that having a visible showing those who are vaccinated is the best route for our campus,” Dean of Students Tracey Wright said in an email to students. “Therefore, we are providing all who are fully vaccinated with a special lanyard that must be worn on campus.” 

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Largest Health Care Union to Fight Mandatory Vaccine Requirements for Workers

Doctor giving vaccination to patient

The president of the largest union of health care workers in the U.S. says it will fight companies requiring its members to have mandatory COVID-19 shots as a condition of employment.

The announcement came one day after Houston Methodist announced that 153 employees had been fired or resigned for refusing to get the shots as a condition of employment. Those suing argue requiring employees to receive a vaccine approved only through Emergency Use Authorization violates federal law. After a recent court dismissal, their attorney vowed to take the case all the way to the Supreme Court.

George Gresham, president of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, is weighing the organization’s legal options.

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Commentary: Four Signs Parents Won’t Be Sending Their Kids Back to Public School This Fall

Student working on school work at home.

As disruptive as the 2020/2021 academic year was, it led to many positive educational changes that will be transformative and long-lasting. Most notably, parents have been re-empowered to take back the reins of their children’s education from government bureaucrats and teachers unions. Frustrated by school closures and district “Zoom schooling,” families fled public schools in droves over the past year, and there are several signs that these families won’t be returning this fall.

According to an analysis by Chalkbeat and the Associated Press, public school enrollment fell by an average of 2.6 percent across 41 states last fall, with states such as Michigan, Maine, Vermont, and Mississippi dropping by more than 4 percent. These enrollment declines far exceeded any anticipated demographic changes that might typically alter public school enrollment.

How many of these students will be back in a public school classroom next year? Not as many as public school officials hoped.

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Fauci Resisted Trump Directive to Cancel Virus Research Grant Linked to Wuhan Lab, New Book Says

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States’ top infections disease expert, resisted a directive from President Trump to cancel a research grant for a non-profit that was linked to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, according to a new book detailing the Trump administration’s handling of COVID-19 pandemic.

Trump issued a directive to Fauci and the National Institutes of Health in April 2020 to cut funding for a study examining how coronaviruses jump from infected bats to humans after it was reportedly linked to the lab in Wuhan, suspected of having leaked the virus.

The exchange between Fauci and the White House is detailed in an upcoming book by Washington Post reporters Yasmeen Abutaleb and Damian Paletta called “Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration’s Response to the Pandemic That Changed History,” according to Fox News.

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Elderly, Vulnerable Will Need Yearly COVID-19 Boosters, WHO Says: Report

The World Health Organization predicts that vulnerable people will need yearly COVID-19 vaccine boosters and the everyday population will need shots every two years, according to an internal document, Reuters reported Thursday.

The document, Reuters reported, is an assessment set to be discussed Thursday at a board meeting of Gavi, a public-private partnership between health agencies, pharmaceutical companies, research institutions and non-profit organizations. The assessment recommends vulnerable people, such as the elderly, receive annual COVID-19 vaccine boosters, and the general population receive boosters every two years.

The document said boosters were necessary due to the emergence of new COVID-19 variants, and that vaccines would need to be regularly updated, according to Reuters, though the document did not show how these conclusions were reached.

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Commentary: Pandemic Lockdowns Were a Public Health Mistake

More evidence to confirm what many Republican lawmakers and free-market advocates such as Americans for Limited Government were saying from the start of the Covid pandemic, lockdowns would be one of the most tragic mistakes in American history.

The Rand Corporation and economists from the University of Southern California have released a new study examining the effectiveness of pandemic lockdowns, using data from 43 countries and all 50 US states.

“We fail to find that shelter-in-place policies saved lives,” the authors report. In the weeks following the implementation of these policies, excess mortality actually increases—even though it had typically been declining before the orders took effect.

And across all countries, the study finds that a one-week increase in the length of stay-at-home policies corresponds with 2.7 more excess deaths per 100,000 people.

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Commentary: Biden’s Reversal of Border COVID Rules Is an Act of Sabotage

Joe Biden

Since the Biden Administration assumed power in January, many Americans could be forgiven for feeling like they’re being held hostage, tied up in the trunk of a car, and driven to a place they do not want to go. Nowhere is this more evident than on the immigration problem, where Biden has reversed numerous policies that kept American safe, and it seems he has done so for no other reason than because Donald Trump is the one who put them in place.

Because he is beholden to the radical Left for his ascension to the White House, Biden predictably has adopted the usual anti-borders agenda including catch-and-release, demoralizing ICE, and defunding border wall construction. His expected next move, the reversal of Trump-era rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19 into the United States, is nothing short of political sabotage.

While COVID-19 may be on the decline in the United States, thanks in large part to the Trump Administration’s work on Operation Warp Speed, the same cannot be said for many of the poverty-stricken, underdeveloped countries from which those who most often show up at our doorstep originate. Just as our nation is turning the corner on a deadly global pandemic, it makes absolutely no sense at this moment to ease up on health restrictions on foreign nationals seeking entry. Only someone with Machiavellian political motives would propose such lunacy.

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Housing Prices Hit Record Highs, Up 23 Percent as Buyers Struggle

A modern home with a light blue roof and matching siding

House prices are at their highest point ever as the housing market continues to boom, leaving some buyers struggling to afford a home, according to a real estate group.

The median existing-home price topped $350,000 for the first time in May, a 23.6% increase from a year earlier, according to a Tuesday report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). While existing-home sales fell 0.9% from April to May, prices continued to increase as supply struggled to meet demand.

A combination of home buyers leaving cities, low interest rates, and constrained housing supply has caused prices to skyrocket, according to a report from Redfin. While the market has benefited sellers, some buyers have been priced out, the The Wall Street Journal reported.

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