Over 10,000 More Virginia State Employees Teleworking than in 2019

Virginia has 15,338 state employees teleworking at least one day a week, according to a September 30 report from the Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM). That’s up from pre-pandemic 5,664 employees in 2019; Governor Glenn Youngkin’s administration said the increase is good.

“As of September 7, 2022, 42 percent of classified executive branch employees were eligible for telework. Of those, 66 percent have approved telework agreements in place. This is significantly higher than employees eligible (26 percent) and approved for telework (37 percent) in 2019,” the report states.

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National Guardsman with Religious Objection Given COVID-19 Vaccine Instead of Flu Shot

A former National Guardsman who sought a religious exemption to the military COVID-19 vaccine mandate was given the mRNA shot instead of an inoculation for the flu “accidentally,” according to the service.

After refusing the COVID vaccine multiple times and requesting a religious exemption to the mandate, former Maine National Guard Specialist Mathew Bouchard was given the mRNA shot instead of the flu vaccine months before he was to leave the service, he told Just the News on Thursday.

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Gavin Newsom Signs Bill to Punish Doctors for Providing COVID-19 Vaccine Informed Consent Information Not Backed by Government and Big Pharma

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Friday a bill that allows the medical boards of California to be used as government overseers as they discipline doctors who provide their patients with informed consent about the risks of the COVID-19 mRNA shots and the benefits of early treatment for COVID disease with off-label drugs.

Newman signed AB 2098, which labels as “unprofessional conduct,” a doctor’s discussion about the benefits of early treatment of COVID with effective, readily available, and inexpensive medications already in use for years.

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Virginia Department of Education Selects English-As-Second Language Educator for Teacher of the Year

Spotsylvania middle school English-as-second language [ESL] teacher Fabiana Parker is the 2023 Virginia Teacher of the Year, making her Virginia’s nominee for National Teacher of the Year.

“Teachers play a critical role in the success of every learner and child in Virginia and Fabiana is the best of the best,” Governor Glenn Youngkin said in a Virginia Department of Education press release. “Growing up as an ESL student, Fabiana knows firsthand the challenges her students face. She began her career as an educator as a girl teaching her grandmother to read. She has helped hundreds of students find a path to success by equipping them with the English skills necessary to prosper academically and in life.”

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Pentagon Watchdog Flags Potentially Illegal Blanket Denials of COVID Vax Religious Exemptions

The Defense Department’s inspector general has alerted the secretary of defense to apparent blanket denials of religious accommodation requests (RAR) for exemptions from the military COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which would be a violation of federal law.

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Sen. Rand Paul: ‘Dr. Fauci Continues to Lie, Cover-Up, and Deny the Science to Promote Himself’

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) once again battled with White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci Wednesday about whether children with natural immunity from a prior COVID infection should be injected with the mRNA shots the government has referred to as “vaccines.”

“Dr. Fauci continues to lie, cover-up, and deny the science to promote himself,” tweeted Paul about his tense exchange with Fauci during a Senate committee hearing whose central focus was the federal response to monkeypox.

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New Study: COVID Vaccines for Young Adults Up to 98 Times Worse than the Disease

A new pre-print study by nine health experts from Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and other top universities found that COVID-19 boosters administered to young adults cause 18 to 98 serious adverse events for each COVID hospitalization prevented.

The study—posted Monday on The Social Science Research Network (SSRN)—concluded that mandatory booster vaccination in college is “ethically unjustifiable.” The paper is titled, “COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters for Young Adults: A Risk-Benefit Assessment and Five Ethical Arguments against Mandates at Universities.”

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Wisconsin Senator Blasts CDC’s Rochelle Walensky Not Publicizing Adverse Vaccine Effects

Wisconsin GOP Sen. Ron Johnson condemned Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky for failing to substantively respond to inquiries into the agency’s monitoring of adverse COVID-19 vaccine effects.

Johnson initially wrote to Walensky in both June and July asking as to the agency’s methods for monitoring vaccine side effects. He received a reply on Sept. 2 in which Walensky largely discussed the use of the data mining method the CDC employed. She said the CDC used Empirical Bayesian (EB) data mining as its primary method and only used the proportional reporting ratio (PRR) to verify EB results.

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Biden Makes Surprising, Garbled Deficit Reduction Claim

President Joe Biden is being mocked after he made a garbled claim that he is reducing the deficit this year by one trillion, five hundred thousand dollars, with the number being especially awkward given the vast difference between trillions and hundreds of thousands.

“You know how much, how much I’m reducivethedefcit this year? One trillion, five hundred thousand!” Biden said during a Labor Day speech in Milwaukee, Wisc. It appears the president was attempting to say he’s “reducing the deficit this year.”

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Railroad Ridership on Virginia-Supported Routes Hit All-Time High in July

After adding more routes in Virginia, ridership on four state-supported Amtrak routes hit all-time highs in July, beating pre-pandemic levels with 110,256 passengers.

“These numbers make it very clear – Virginians want more passenger rail to be a part of their transportation network,” Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VRPA) Chief Operating Officer Mike McLaughlin said in a press release. “With the launch of two new roundtrips and the resumption of another, we know that rail works for the Commonwealth and look forward to further expanding service throughout the state.”

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Railroad Ridership on Virginia-Supported Routes Hit All-Time High in July

After adding more routes in Virginia, ridership on four state-supported Amtrak routes hit all-time highs in July, beating pre-pandemic levels with 110,256 passengers.

“These numbers make it very clear – Virginians want more passenger rail to be a part of their transportation network,” Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VRPA) Chief Operating Officer Mike McLaughlin said in a press release. “With the launch of two new roundtrips and the resumption of another, we know that rail works for the Commonwealth and look forward to further expanding service throughout the state.”

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Biden Education Secretary Miguel Cardona Blames Abysmal U.S. Student National Test Scores on Trump

The Biden education department announced Thursday that U.S. students’ plummeting scores in reading and math during the COVID-19 pandemic is all due to former President Donald Trump.

“Today’s data confirm the significant impact the prior Administration’s mismanagement of the pandemic has had on our children’s progress and academic wellbeing,” said Biden Education Secretary Miguel Cardona Thursday, following the report that U.S. students showed their steepest decline in decades in math and reading scores during the COVID school shutdowns.

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U.S. Life Expectancy Sees Largest Two-Year Decrease in 100 Years

Life expectancy across all groups in the U.S. has fallen 2.7 years from 2019 to 2021, the largest two-year decrease in 100 years, according to provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released Wednesday.

Overall, life expectancy at birth fell to 76.1 years, with life expectancy declines driven primarily by the coronavirus pandemic and unintentional injuries including overdoses, with heart disease, liver disease and suicide representing smaller contributions, the CDC reported. While life expectancy is expected to increase slightly in 2022, it is unlikely to rise to pre-pandemic levels and CDC researchers are still waiting to see how the U.S. fares in an expected winter rise in death rates, according to Reuters.

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Budget Group: Student Loan Payment Deferments Cost Taxpayers $155 Billion, Benefits Doctors, Dentists More than Most

Estimates vary widely on how much President Joe Biden’s $10,000-20,000 per borrower cancellation of student loans will cost taxpayers, but a new analysis estimates the significant cost of a less-covered aspect of Biden’s plan.

When Biden announced the debt cancellation, he also announced an extension of student loan repayments “one final time” through Dec. 31 of this year. In March of 2020, then-President Donald Trump first suspended the repayments citing COVID-19. Since then, the suspension has been extended several times. Interest does not accrue while the payments are suspended.

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Commentary: Time to Turn Orwell into Fiction Again

Of all the creepy things that totalitarian regimes do, perhaps none is more creepy than their habit of encouraging children to inform on their parents to the regime.

Anyone who has read “1984” will remember the pathetic Tom Parsons, who winds up next to Winston Smith in The Ministry of Truth (read: prison) after his young daughter reported that he had muttered “Down with Big Brother” in his sleep.

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Qualifying Families Need to Apply for Free School Meals After End of Pandemic-Era Student Meals Provided to All

The Virginia Department of Education is reminding families qualifying for free meals for students to apply for the program after pandemic-era federal provisions for free meals for all students expired at the end of the 2021-2022 school year, meaning that otherwise qualifying families could face charges for meals starting on the first day of school.

“School meals are important sources of nutrition for students and help reduce food insecurity in the Commonwealth,” Superintendent of Public Education Jillian Balow said in a Monday VDOE newsletter. “I urge all families to apply to determine if they qualify. Filling out an application is simple and takes less than 15 minutes.”

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DHS Encouraged Children to Report Family to Facebook for Challenging U.S. Government COVID Claims

In the cartoon below, you will see the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) encourage a young female protagonist to report her “Uncle Steve” to Facebook for posting “disinformation”. 

DHS’s rationale? “Uncle Steve” posted that “Covid-19 is no worse than the flu”:

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New York Gov. Hochul Calls Remote Learning During Pandemic ‘A Mistake’

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday called it “a mistake” the state switched to remote learning in schools at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic more than two years ago.

Hochul, a Democrat running to serve a full term in November, made her remarks during a wide-ranging speech at the University of Albany commemorating Women’s Equality Day. That included her calling on the Department of Labor to study the impact the coronavirus had on women in the workforce.

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Oversight Republicans Investigate Why DOE Hasn’t Spent COVID Relief Funds, Role of Teachers Unions

Oversight Republicans have launched an investigation into how the U.S. Department of Education has handled billions of COVID-19 relief dollars, raising the alarm about the major learning loss experienced by students.

Republicans on the House Oversight Committee sent a letter to Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona demanding documents and answers as to why most of the money has reportedly remained unspent.

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Military Whistleblower Report Alleges COVID-19 Vaccine Illegally Administered

 A new whistleblower report signed by nine officers across five branches of the military claims the Department of Defense’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate is unlawful.

The report was sent to Congress urging an investigation into what it called illegal and fraudulent activity by the DOD. The memorandum was published by Liberty Council, a nonprofit legal group that in January maintained there was no legal COVID-19 vaccine available despite the U.S. Food and Drug Administration saying there was. 

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House Republicans Vow to Investigate Anthony Fauci After Resignation

On Monday, Republican members of the powerful House Oversight Committee announced their intentions to pursue investigations of Dr. Anthony Fauci when they reclaim the majority, even after Fauci announced his plans to step down in December.

As reported by The Daily Caller, Fauci will be leaving his positions at the White House, the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in December, after spending 38 years in government. The 81-year-old Fauci said that he will remain active in public health to some degree, and that after leaving government he will enter the “next chapter” of his career.

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Pandemic Triggers 89 Percent Increase in U.S. Food Stamp Spending

Spending on food stamps has increased by $53.5 billion – an 89% increase – in the two pandemic years. By comparison, that’s how much the entire program cost in 2009 during the Great Recession.

Spending on the U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program grew 88.5% from $60.3 billion in 2019 to $113.8 billion in 2021. Spending on the SNAP program had previously peaked at $79.8 billion in 2013 before declining for the next six years.

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Catholic School Enrollment Surges After Government School COVID Lockdowns

Enrollment in Catholic schools in the United States has risen for the first time in two decades after teachers’ unions worked with the Biden administration to keep government schools locked down during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The enrollment rise since last year by 3.8 percent, or 62,000 students, in Catholic elementary and secondary schools, is also the largest surge recorded in at least 50 years by the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA), the Associated Press reported in February.

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30 Months into the COVID-19 Pandemic, at Least a Dozen States Are Under ‘Emergency’ Orders

In October 2020, the Michigan Supreme Court stripped Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of the unilateral powers she was using when she declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whitmer had been using a 1945 law – which was prompted by a three-day race riot in Detroit three years earlier – that had no sunset provision in it and didn’t require approval by the state legislature.

In May 2021, Whitmer told a news agency that if she still had that 1945 state-of-emergency law, she would use those powers, but not for anything related to a pandemic.

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Breaking: Fauci Announces Resignation from NIAID and Biden Administration

The Chief Medical Advisor for President Joe Biden and head of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Disease (NIAID) who was also the face of the America’s COVID-19 response has announced that he will resign from those positions effective in December. 

“It has been the honor of a lifetime to have led the NIAID, an extraordinary institution, for so many years and through so many scientific and public health challenges. I am very proud of our many accomplishments,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said in his resignation announcement. “I have worked with – and learned from – countless talented and dedicated people in my own laboratory, at NIAID, at NIH and beyond. To them I express my abiding respect and gratitude.”

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With $3.2 Billion in Excess Cash, Youngkin Setting Aside $397 Million for Tax Relief Proposal in 2023

RICHMOND, Virginia — Governor Glenn Youngkin is directing $397 million in excess funds to be set aside for unspecified tax relief in 2023, as Virginia has $3.2 billion in excess cash — $2 billion in unplanned revenues plus Fiscal Year 2022 spending that was $1.2 billion less than planned.

“Today I formally report to the General Assembly that Virginia ended the fiscal year with a record general fund balance,” Youngkin said at a Friday morning joint meeting of the House of Delegates Finance and Appropriations Committees and the Senate Finance Committee.

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Virginia Student Assessments Show Improvement but Still Below Pre-COVID Levels

Standards of learning tests (SOL) for the 2021-2022 school year show improvement across most subjects from the previous academic year, but the administration is warning that there’s still an achievement gap compared to pre-COVID-19 levels. In a virtual press conference Thursday, Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) officials said that gap shows the impact of virtual learning.

“The research is becoming clearer and clearer: students whose schools were closed for in-person instruction suffered the most. Being in person for school matters,”  Superintendent of Public Education Jillian Balow said.

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Patients’ Average COVID-19 Average Hospital Stay Up During Omicron in Virginia

The average length of stay for COVID-19 patients went up in the first quarter of 2022 according to the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA).

“What we saw in the Omicron wave was that those coming into hospitals were staying longer for their COVID hospitalization with an average length of stay of ten-and-a-half days,” VHHA Vice President of Data Analytics, David Vaamonde said during a Monday presentation of hospital and emergency department visit trends.

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New Government Spending Will Benefit Top Biden Adviser’s Consulting Clients

White House Senior adviser Anita Dunn has consulted for companies and trade groups that have benefited or stand to benefit from federal funding and is being forced to recuse herself from matters involving them, according to a financial disclosure.

Dunn has consulted through the public affairs firm SKDK during the past two years for the likes of Pfizer, AT&T, Micron and the American Clean Power Association, according to a filing reported on by CNBC Friday. Dunn, who founded the SKDK in 2004, is recused from working on issues related to past clients, a spokesman for the White House told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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COVID-Era High School Graduates Face Uncertain Futures in College

After nearly two years of unprecedented lockdowns, mandates, and other restrictions on daily life during the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of thousands of graduating high school students are preparing to head off to college without having learned nearly as much as they should have.

The Associated Press reports that such students are about to enter college significantly farther behind the academic standards of previous years, almost entirely due to the pandemic’s forced transition to “online learning,” a shortage of teachers, and mask and vaccine mandates that disrupted school life for millions of students across the country. Such students risk the possibility of being grossly underprepared for the level of work required by college, and could result in a massive spike in college dropouts in the coming years.

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Miyares Joins Amicus Brief Supporting Decision to Vacate Travel Mask Mandate

Attorney General Jason Miyares joined an amicus brief opposing the Biden administration’s ongoing lawsuit over the CDC’s mask mandate for interstate travel. A district court vacated the requirement, but the CDC appealed, and the Health Freedom Defense Fund v. Biden case is now in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.

“Mask Mandates across the country have been lifted in virtually every aspect of daily life. For months, Americans have been traveling safely while making their own, autonomous decisions. The CDC mask mandate on public transportation, like air travel, is obsolete and no longer necessary – not to mention a clear example of federal overreach,” Miyares said in a press release.

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Booming Jobs Report Masks Uptick in Men Leaving the Labor Force

Women’s employment increased markedly from June to July, but the total number of employed working-aged men actually dropped in that same time span according to a July jobs report released Friday.

There were 170,000 fewer employed men in July than June, whereas 349,000 more women were employed in July, according to Yahoo Finance. Women’s unemployment dipped to 3.1% in July from 3.3% in June while the same figure for men remained steady at 3.2% from June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ July 2022 Employment Situation report found.

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Americans Taking Side Gigs to Make Ends Meet amid Soaring Costs

The Labor Department’s newly released jobs report for July appeared to be good news for the economy — at first glance.

A dig below the surface, however, reveals a different picture: Americans, strapped for cash by inflation, taking on second jobs as families have less money to spend.

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Kentucky Senator Rand Paul Leads First Congressional Hearing on Gain-of-Function Research

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) begins the first congressional hearing on gain-of-function research Wednesday, attempting to determine whether the National Institutes of Health (NIH) used taxpayer funds for gain-of-function experiments at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

“Before we even get to whether the virus came from a lab we have to explore were they doing gain of function research?” Paul told Fox News’ Brett Baier Tuesday.

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‘Misled the Public:’ Oversight Launches Investigation into Nursing Home COVID Deaths

Republicans on the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis and the House Oversight Committee have joined forces in an investigation over the thousands of nursing home deaths in New York state during COVID, saying New York Democrats ignored previous inquiries.

The controversy began in 2020 when thousands of New York nursing home residents died during the pandemic, drawing extra scrutiny to then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s policy of sending elderly patients recovering from COVID-19 into nursing homes.

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Documents Reveal CDC, Big Tech Colluded to Promote Biden Administration’s COVID Propaganda

Documents obtained by America First Legal (AFL) reveal “concrete evidence” of how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) colluded with the social media giants to promote the Biden administration’s COVID-19 propaganda and censor Americans’ free speech, AFL reports.

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Community Violence Top Public Health Concern for Virginia Voters

A Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association poll found that community violence and crime is the top public health concern for Virginia voters.

“In the public opinion survey from Mason-Dixon Polling and Strategy, 51 percent of respondents cited community violence and crime as the top public health concern for their families. Health care workforce shortages, which have been intensified as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, was the second most commonly cited public health concern with 25 percent of those polled listing it as their primary concern,” a VHHA release states.

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Jack Maxey: Hunter’s Laptop Reveals His Pre-COVID-19 Interest in Pandemic Tracker Metabiota

Neil W. McCabe, the national political editor of The Star News Network, interviewed Navy veteran and businessman Jack Maxey about his uncovering of Hunter Biden’s 2014 support of the San Francisco-based pandemic tracking and predictive analytics company Metabiota. Maxey said he was tipped off about Hunter and Metabiota by an American military intelligence operative.

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Fauci Says He Plans on Retiring When Biden Leaves Office

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the ubiquitous face of the country’s early pandemic response, says he’s retiring from public service at the end of President Biden’s term.

Fauci has spend over 50 years at the National Institute of Health, including roughly 40 as the director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

He told Politico about his plans to retire.

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The University of Virginia Will Not Say If 4.7 Percent Tuition Increase Will Be Reversed

All but one public university in Virginia are taking steps to address students’ tuition burden after a call to action from the governor. 

Earlier this year, Glenn Youngkin requested that the commonwealth’s public universities reverse their planned tuition increases, citing inflation.

The University of Virginia (UVA) is the only public university not to announce a plan to reverse its tuition increase. NBC29 reports that UVA students will see a 4.7% tuition and fee increase, raising rates for first-year in-state students to $14,878 and $50,348 for out-of-state students. 

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Commentary: Study Provides More Evidence That School Mask Mandates Are Not Effective

A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that mask mandates did little to nothing to curb the spread of Covid-19. The latest research further undermines the controversial policy.

A new study analyzing a pair of schools in Fargo, North Dakota—one which had a mask mandate in place in the fall of the 2021-2022 academic year and one that did not—provides more evidence that mask mandates are ineffective public policy.

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Migrant Encounters at U.S.-Mexico Border Hit Another Historic High

The number of migrants encountered at the U.S.-Mexico border decreased in June, but remained at a historic high, according to numbers released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Friday.

CBP encountered 207,416 migrants at the southern border, a 14% decrease compared to May. There were 92,274 migrants immediately expelled under Title 42, the public health order activated during the COVID-19 pandemic, in June.

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Commentary: After 18 Months of Biden, We Have Yet to Hit Bottom

Next week will mark one and a half years since Joe Biden became president on Jan. 20, 2021. On July 20, every American should look within and ask: “Am I better off than I was 18 months ago?”

To Biden’s credit, the unemployment rate has fallen from 6.4% when he took office to 3.6% in June. Today’s figure is a notch higher than the 3.5% joblessness that Americans enjoyed in February 2020, thanks to President Donald Trump’s Republican tax cuts, deregulation, energy dominance, and other pro-growth initiatives.

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Virginia Department of Health Eliminates Guidance for COVID-19 Exposed Individuals to Quarantine from School

The Virginia Department of Health has eliminated a recommendation for asymptomatic COVID-19-exposed individuals in schools to quarantine. The updated COVID-19 guidance applies to K-12 education, child care, and camps, although individuals who test positive still need to isolate at home for at least five days.

“This revised guidance outlines that quarantine is no longer routinely recommended for asymptomatic individuals after exposure to COVID-19 infected individuals. In general masks are not routinely recommended in these settings, indoors or outdoors, except during isolation as specified below,” states the guidance, which applies to teachers, staff, and children.

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Commentary: The Feds Pile Up Vaccine ‘Adverse Event’ Reports as They Decry Scaremongering Elsewhere

Since the Food and Drug Administration authorized the first vaccines for COVID-19 in late 2020, the government and much of the media have insisted that the medicines developed in record time are safe and effective. Those who raised questions about them have been routinely dismissed as conspiracy theorists.

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Study: Natural Immunity Is 97 Percent Effective Against Severe COVID After 14 Months

A study has found that natural immunity following COVID infection provides protection against severe illness that is superior to that imparted by the COVID vaccines.

In a preprint article published at MedRxiv, Qatar researchers revealed they found people who survived COVID-19 infection, and were not vaccinated, had outstanding protection against severe COVID disease or death from COVID.

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Amtrak Adds Second Daily Washington-Roanoke Round Trip

Amtrak announced a new Washington, D.C.-to-Roanoke daily round trip Monday, adding to the already-existing round trip. The new trip leaves Washington at 8:05 a.m., arriving in Roanoke at 1:00 p.m., and the return leaves at 4:30 p.m., arriving back at 9:28 p.m, with stops in Alexandria, Manassas, Culpeper, Charlottesville, and Lynchburg. The existing train departs Roanoke for Washington at 6:32 a.m. and arriving in Washington at 11:34 a.m., while a return departs Washington at 5:00 p.m. and arrives in Roanoke at 10:06 p.m.

Fares for the 8:05 a.m. Roanoke-bound train and the 4:30 p.m. Washington-bound train currently start at $20 one-way.

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Chinese Officials Will Soon Strap Electronic Monitoring Bracelets to COVID Patients

Hong Kong’s Ministry of Health announced it will soon require COVID-19 patients to wear electronic monitors as the pandemic continues to spread throughout China, Chinese media reported Monday.

Beginning on Friday, Hong Kong will require COVID-19 patients in quarantine to wear electronic bracelets in order to prohibit them from visiting “high-risk” places, Lo Chung-mau, Hong Kong’s health minister told reporters, according to China’s i-Cable News. Lo is a cabinet member within the administration of Hong Kong’s new chief executive, John Lee, who allegedly won 99% of votes after enforcing Beijing’s National Security Law.

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