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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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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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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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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Workers’ Coronavirus Fears Hit Pandemic Low

U.S. workers’ fear of contracting coronavirus while on the job has hit a pandemic low as the economy continues its steady recovery.

The number of Americans not working due to their fear of getting the virus while at their job dipped to 3.05 million by the end of June, according to the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey released Wednesday. The figure hit its peak in July 2020 when 6.24 million unemployed Americans reported not looking for a job due to coronavirus fears, Axios reported.

“People are feeling safer about returning to work, which should help businesses staff-up to meet the tremendous demand we’re seeing right now,” Wells Fargo senior economist Sarah House told Axios.

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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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Commentary: CDC Reports 51 Percent Increase in Suicide Attempts Among Teenage Girls

Beth Palmer was 17 and dreaming of becoming a singer in March 2020 when the United Kingdom went into lockdown because of the coronavirus. One month later, she was dead.

“She was a wonderful, wonderful daughter. She was just funny, she lit up the room.,” said Mike Palmer, Beth’s father. “She was so affectionate and loving as well. She basically had the world at her feet. She had everything, everything to live for.”

Palmer didn’t die of the coronavirus. She took her own life.

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Maryland Announces over 500,000 New Potentially Fraudulent Unemployment Claims Since May

Larry Hogan

Maryland officials say they suspect over 508,000 new, potentially fraudulent unemployment claims have been filed since May.

The announcement Monday followed the state saying it has verified over 1.3 million fraudulent claims since the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic.

The most common means of filing a fraudulent claim is identity theft, according to CNN.

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Commentary: The Tragic Truth of Organ Harvesting in China

For nearly two decades, allegations of organ harvesting in communist China have emerged.  Today, China’s organ transplant trade is estimated to be a $1 billion industry, reportedly fueled by the exploitation of “prisoners of conscience.”

After conducting an investigation, a seven-member international and independent China Tribunal issued a judgement in December 2018.  The judgment concluded, “The Tribunal’s members are certain – unanimously, and sure beyond reasonable doubt – that in China forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience has been practiced for a substantial period of time involving a very substantial number of victims.”

China’s organ transplant industry began to increase dramatically in 2000.  Hundreds of hospitals offered transplants, thousands of transplant surgeons were trained, transplant research was conducted by the military, and the immunosuppressant industry was subsidized by the state.  

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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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Commentary: Making Sense of the Post-Pandemic Economy

Guy on phone with stocks on computer screen

Are you having a hard time understanding why the housing market is heating up, and why the cost of essentials such as milk, eggs, and gas is climbing? Are you in the market for a used car? Then you know how expensive those are right now. And why can’t businesses find employees, yet millions remain unemployed? Economists agree the recovery isn’t like anything we’ve seen before. That’s because we’ve never had a situation before where the heavy hand of government shut down private enterprises on a nationwide scale. The market distortions are enormous. As states reopen, there is a herky-jerky feel to the economy that has many people unsettled.

Former Federal Reserve vice chairman Alan Blinder wrote in the Wall Street Journal recently, “the recovery is not linear. Rather, it is proceeding in fits and starts. Sales of physical goods, for example, dipped only briefly when Covid hit, recovered quickly, and are now well above their pre-pandemic levels. In stark contrast, businesses that deliver personal services, such as restaurants and hotels, suffered a devastating depression and are still below their pre-pandemic levels.”

By far the most uneven outcome so far since the economy crashed in spring 2000, besides the 7.6 million fewer jobs compared to pre-pandemic levels, has been inflation, which is up 5 percent the past 12 months.

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White House Admits It Won’t Reach Its July 4 Vaccine Goals

President Joe Biden talks to Veterans and VA staff members during a briefing on the vaccine process Monday, March 8, 2021, at the Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

The Biden administration admitted it won’t reach its July 4 goal of vaccinating 70 percent of American adults with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Tuesday’s White House COVID-19 press briefing.

“Today I want to drill down on the numbers that show where we have made the most progress and where we have more work to do,” said Jeffrey Zients, President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 response coordinator. “We set 70% of adults as our aspirational target and we have met or exceeded it for most of the adult population.”

Zients said the U.S. would hit 70% for all adults 27 and older by July 4, but that the 18 to 26-year-old population is “where the country has more work to do.”

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Commentary: China’s COVID Coup

Xi Jinping

It is time for Americans to contemplate the possibility that the United States may be surpassed as the world’s most influential country. The Chinese have just won the greatest strategic victory in the last 30 years since the disintegration of the Soviet Union. However it originated, the novel coronavirus was repressed within China by recourse to draconian measures but was deliberately permitted to infect the rest of the world, enabling China to exploit the blunderbuss Western lockdowns and make a giant leap towards economic preeminence in the world. 

This push toward Chinese economic preeminence was something widely predicted prior to the Trump era but clearly was not happening in the first three years of the Trump presidency, as unemployment nearly vanished in the United States, illegal immigration was almost completely stopped, and American economic growth soared, generated by an increasing workforce and sharp gains among the lowest 20 percent of income earners. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic almost 16 months ago, however, the United States and the West generally have suffered a severe economic slowdown, vast increases in the money supply, and an epochal spike in unemployment.

Assuming the SARS-CoV-2 virus escaped accidentally, China must be credited for a remarkable coup of strategic improvisation in translating a public health crisis into a large economical and geopolitical advance at the expense of the West. The American indulgence in an entire summer of white-hating, statue-toppling, rioting, and denigration of American history, freedom, and values astonished the world. Moreover, it helped China propagate its message that democracy leads to chaos and waste and that the United States is an unreliable and unstable country. This argument is assisted by what appears to be the practice of the Biden regime of declaring American moral shortcomings to the world as Secretary of State Antony Blinken did in his unfortunate encounter with the Chinese foreign minister at Anchorage three months ago. 

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Biden Admin Considering Ending the Public Heath Order Allowing Officials to Expel Migrants Next Month

The Biden administration is considering ending a Trump-era public health order that’s allowed border officials to rapidly expel most migrants from Mexico on July 21, Axios reported Sunday.

The public health order, Title 42, was implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 and border officials have expelled tens of thousands of migrants under the rule, according to Axios. Immigration advocacy groups and Democrats have criticized the Biden administration for the policy and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials protested using the order to expel migrants arriving at the border, Axios reported.

“It’s not a tool of immigration policy,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said of Title 42 during a trip to Mexico City Tuesday, Reuters reported. He added that the order would remain in effect as long as it would benefit public health.

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Commentary: New Harvard Data (Accidentally) Reveal How Lockdowns Crushed the Working Class While Leaving Elites Unscathed

"Closed until further notice" sign

Founding father and the second president of the United States John Adams once said that “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” What he meant was that objective, raw numbers don’t lie—and this remains true hundreds of years later.

We just got yet another example. A new data analysis from Harvard University, Brown University, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation calculates how different employment levels have been impacted during the pandemic to date. The findings reveal that government lockdown orders devastated workers at the bottom of the financial food chain but left the upper-tier actually better off.

The analysis examined employment levels in January 2020, before the coronavirus spread widely and before lockdown orders and other restrictions on the economy were implemented. It compared them to employment figures from March 31, 2021.

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Commentary: Donald Trump’s Comments on the Virus, Elections Deem True

On Saturday, June 12, former President Donald Trump released a statement that, in tone, will have his opponents rolling their eyes.

“I told you so,” they will say, because Donald Trump told them so and managed to get in a bit of signature Trump braggadocio along the way.

Under the legend “Statement by Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America,” this is what he wrote:

“Have you noticed that they are now admitting I was right about everything they lied about before the election?”

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After Skyrocketing to Record Highs, Lumber Prices Fall Back to Earth

Close up of wood after being cut down - lumber yard

Lumber prices have begun to drop following record highs, with futures closing Monday at their lowest price in over two months.

Lumber futures reached their highest-ever price in early May according to Nasdaq, trading at $1,711.20 per thousand board feet. Futures closed Monday at $966.20 per thousand board feet, still well above pre-pandemic levels which hovered around $400.

Prices skyrocketed due to a variety of factors, including supply chain disruption due to COVID-19 restrictions, labor shortages, and higher demand due to the surge in the housing market, according to a report by Wells Fargo economists. The report noted that while prices were unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels, restarting domestic lumber production and restoring domestic supply chains would stabilize the market.

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Suicide Attempts Among Adolescents Skyrocketed During the Pandemic, CDC Report Shows

Kid with head in hands

Suicide-related emergency room visits among both adolescent girls and boys spiked amid the pandemic and continued to surge as lockdowns persisted, according to a government health report.

Emergency room (ER) mental health visits increased 31% among children aged 12-17 years old in 2020 compared to the previous year, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report released Friday. The CDC noted that, while it couldn’t definitively establish a cause, it’s likely that pandemic-related restrictions on everyday life could be to blame for the increase.

“Young persons might represent a group at high risk because they might have been particularly affected by mitigation measures, such as physical distancing (including a lack of connectedness to schools, teachers, and peers); barriers to mental health treatment; increases in substance use; and anxiety about family health and economic problems,” the report stated.

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Commentary: Make Communist China Pay for COVID-19

As the world slowly begins to emerge from the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic and American elites develop an interest in the formerly dismissed Wuhan lab leak theory, it is time to focus attention where it belongs: punishing a rogue Chinese Communist Party for what it has inflicted upon an unsuspecting world.

To many of us, it was obvious from the outset that COVID-19 was a “Chinese Chernobyl.” Regardless of whether the virus has as its provenance a zoonotic transmission at a wet market or an “escape” from the Wuhan Institute of Virology—to say nothing of the low, but still non-negligible, possibility that it was intentionally developed and weaponized as a bioweapon—the CCP’s gross negligence, recklessness and, indeed, malice all contributed to an initially localized virus metastasizing into a crippling global phenomenon.

The story is, by now, a familiar one: The CCP responded to the initial outbreak in Wuhan by arresting and muzzling scientists, suppressing journalistic investigation, and actively disseminating disinformation to the World Health Organization and other transnational institutions. As a study from Britain’s University of Southampton concluded well over a year ago, proper Chinese government intervention at the virus’ onset might have reduced its ultimate spread by as much as 95 percent.

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Houston Methodist Hospital Sued by Nurses over Vaccine Mandate

Houston Methodist Hospital

At least 117 nurses are suing their employer, Houston Methodist Hospital, in Texas’ largest city, over its COVID-19 vaccination mandate for workers, claiming they are being forced to be “human guinea pigs,” Fox News reported.

Jennifer Bridges, one of the nurses included in the suit, told “Fox News Primetime” on Wednesday that they are fighting for basic rights of workers. Her attorney Jared Woodfill V said they would otherwise be unemployed and could “face bankruptcy court” if unable to earn a living.

“This is very important. We’re basically fighting for everybody’s rights right now just to make our own decisions. Nobody should be forced to put something in their body if they are not comfortable with it — and lose their jobs over it,” said Bridges.

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California Ordered to Pay $2 Million in Legal Fees to Church that Violated Coronavirus Restrictions

Inside of a church with stained glass and low lighting

After a lengthy court battle, the government of the state of California backed down in its efforts to enforce coronavirus restrictions on a church that continued hosting in-person worship services, and has now agreed in a settlement to pay the church’s $2 million worth of legal fees, Breitbart reports.

When the state repeatedly attempted to enforce strict capacity limits, mask mandates, and other “social distancing” requirements on the San Diego-based Pentecostal church, the church’s lawyers filed suit with the United States Supreme Court, winning all three suits. This ultimately led to lawyers on behalf of the state of California agreeing to the settlement, which was approved by a federal judge.

Responding to the settlement, an attorney with the Thomas More Society, a legal group that represents churches facing suppression of their First Amendment rights, pointed out that while businesses such as Costco were limited to 50 percent capacity, while churches were forced to stay as low as 25 percent, and sometimes even lower.

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Commentary: 3.7 Million People Dead Due to Covid Cover-Up of Potential Wuhan Lab Origin of Virus

Almost 3.7 million people have died worldwide from the Covid pandemic that began in the Wuhan province of China in late 2019, and now, the American people are learning that the U.S. government has had intelligence for months that indicates the virus might have been released from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in a laboratory accident.

On Jan. 15, right at the end of former President Donald Trump’s term in office, the State Department released a fact sheet that stated, “The United States government has reason to believe that several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019, before the first identified case of the outbreak, with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses. This raises questions about the credibility of WIV senior researcher Shi Zhengli’s public claim that there was ‘zero infection’ among the WIV’s staff and students of SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-related viruses.”

And it accused the Wuhan lab of possibly conducting “gain of function” research on bat-to-human transmission of coronaviruses: “Starting in at least 2016, WIV researchers studied RaTG13, the bat coronavirus identified by the WIV in January 2020 as its closest sample to SARS-CoV-2 (96.2% similar). Since the outbreak, the WIV has not been transparent nor consistent about its work with RaTG13 or other similar viruses, including possible ‘gain of function’ experiments to enhance transmissibility or lethality.”

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Commentary: The Island of Dr. Fauci

How long will the Biden gerontocracy, also known as Geezer’s Palace, continue to indulge Anthony Fauci’s mendacious reign of medical terror?

Gain-of-function research is a field in which an organism or pathogen is altered genetically in a way that increases its performance. To speak of “performance” in this context, of course, raises the question, “performance of what?” Performance is based on a goal, and in medical science, long cut free from the moorings of intelligible ideas about the good, that means viability.

When the organism in question is a pathogen, viability means new qualities of pathogenesis, transmissibility, or the types of hosts the pathogen can infect, leading to the greater propagation of the pathogen. 

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Peter Daszak Orchestrated ‘Bullying Campaign’ to Make Sure COVID Outbreak Was Not Linked to the Wuhan Lab

Dr. Peter Daszak

Dr. Peter Daszak, the director of the New York-based non-profit that funneled hundreds of thousands of American tax dollars to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, reportedly orchestrated “a behind-the-scenes bullying campaign” to make sure the Covid-19 outbreak was not linked to the Wuhan lab.

Daszak got more than two dozen other scientists to sign off on the letter he wrote to the highly respected British medical journal, The Lancet, the Daily Mail reported. The idea, according to the emails, was to put forward a statement from “a community supporting our colleagues.”

Emails released through a Freedom of Information Act request show that Daszak considered not signing the letter himself, although in the end he did.

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California Ordered to Pay $2 Million in Legal Fees to Church that Violated Coronavirus Restrictions

People holding hands in air at church worship service

After a lengthy court battle, the government of the state of California backed down in its efforts to enforce coronavirus restrictions on a church that continued hosting in-person worship services, and has now agreed in a settlement to pay the church’s $2 million worth of legal fees, Breitbart reports.

When the state repeatedly attempted to enforce strict capacity limits, mask mandates, and other “social distancing” requirements on the San Diego-based Pentecostal church, the church’s lawyers filed suit with the United States Supreme Court, winning all three suits. This ultimately led to lawyers on behalf of the state of California agreeing to the settlement, which was approved by a federal judge.

Responding to the settlement, an attorney with the Thomas More Society, a legal group that represents churches facing suppression of their First Amendment rights, pointed out that while businesses such as Costco were limited to 50 percent capacity, while churches were forced to stay as low as 25 percent, and sometimes even lower.

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Realtor Groups Bring Eviction Moratorium Case to Supreme Court, Argue Against CDC’s ‘Staggering’ Power

Supreme Court building

A group of realtor organizations asked the Supreme Court to block the federal eviction moratorium that has been in effect throughout the pandemic and prevents landlords from evicting tenants who skip rent payments.

The group, led by the Alabama Association of Realtors, asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to issue an emergency order blocking the moratorium, which had been crafted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), according to court filings. The moratorium has resulted in more than $13 billion in unpaid rent per month since it was introduced, the coalition wrote to the high court.

“Congress never gave the CDC the staggering amount of power it now claims,” the groups’ filing said.

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Daily COVID-19 Cases Are the Lowest They’ve Been Since the Pandemic Began

Daily coronavirus cases are at their lowest point since the pandemic began in March 2020.

The United States averaged approximately 16,500 daily cases this past week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, a 30% decline from the week prior. Daily cases declined in 48 states, while Arizona and Washington state both recorded increases of less than 5%.

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Analysis: Deficit Will Top $3.6 Trillion in Fiscal Year 2021 as $7.27 Trillion of the National Debt Comes Due in the 2022

United States currency

The annual budget deficit has already hit $1.9 trillion and counting for the fiscal year that will end in September, according to the U.S. Treasury’s April statement, and it will reach as high as $3.6 trillion this year, says the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Comparatively, in 2020, the deficit totaled about $3.1 trillion for the entire year.

This comes amid the massive government spending in response to the Covid pandemic, including the $2.2 trillion CARES Act in March 2020, the $900 billion phase four legislation in Dec. 2020 and then President Joe Biden’s additional $1.9 trillion Covid stimulus bill in March 2020. Another $2.1 trillion infrastructure plan is in the works. And now, Biden is offering his $6 trillion budget, which will blow another $1.8 trillion hole in the deficit in 2022.

As a result, 33 percent of marketable national debt, or about $7.27 trillion of the $22 trillion of publicly held debt, will be coming due within the next year, according to the latest data by the U.S. Treasury. For perspective, that’s more debt than existed as recently as 2003.

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Fauci Once Argued That Gain-of-Function Research Was Worth Risking a Pandemic

Person in green protective gear in lab with safety glasses and mask on

Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci argued in 2012 that the benefits of gain-of-function research were worth the risk of causing a pandemic through a lab accident.

In a paper for the American Society for Microbiology, unearthed by the Australian, Fauci wrote, “the benefits of such experiments and the resulting knowledge outweigh the risks.” He also wrote, “it is more likely that a pandemic would occur in nature.”

Gain-of-function research involves “juicing up” viruses to make them more infectious and deadly in humans.

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Commentary: Giving Parents the Choice in Their Children’s Education

With widespread school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the debate over school choice has once again taken center stage.

For the past seven years, approximately two-thirds of Americans have consistently supported school choice.  Additionally, support is largely bipartisan, with 82 percent of Republicans, 69 percent of Independents, and 55 percent of Democrats in favor of school choice.  

The positive impact of access to quality education is clear.  As President Donald Trump said during his State of the Union Address on February 4, 2020, “The next step forward in building an inclusive society is making sure that every young American gets a great education and the opportunity to achieve the American Dream.” 

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More Americans Lack Confidence in U.S. Economy

Joe Biden on the phone

As economic figures cast doubt on a post-COVID economic boom, the latest polling data show Americans lack confidence in the economy under President Joe Biden.

New polling data released by Gallup Monday shows Americans are not confident in the economy and are largely unhappy with the nation’s current trajectory.

The poll found only 36% of Americans are “satisfied with the way things are going.” Specifically on the economy, Americans also are pessimistic.

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Commentary: After Wrecking The Economy, Northam Finally Lifts (Most) COVID Restrictions

One thing proved certain.

When the nation’s only doctor cum governor was thrust into greatness, Northam had a chance to be a physician.

Instead, Northam was every bit the live-birth abortionist he advertised being long before his blackface scandal.

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Analysis: Biden’s Spending Could Become A Hidden Tax On Everything

As the U.S. climbs out of a once-in-a-century pandemic, rising prices have led to increasing worry that rapid inflation could be just over the horizon.

Americans have already witnessed higher prices in the past few months, with everything from gasoline to lumber to basic home items jumping in cost. The increases, partially fueled by non-existent interest rates and record government spending, could lead to inflation that the U.S. has not seen in decades, experts say.

“In the short term, consumers can expect to see rising prices across the board,” Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a columnist at The Washington Post, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “I expect in the next few months people will be getting sticker shocked in virtually all aspects of their life.”

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Over a Year into the Pandemic, Politicians Are Still Getting Caught Ignoring Their Own COVID Restrictions

Mask with smartphone that reads "COVID-19"

Many lawmakers who have ordered or urged citizens not to leave their homes due to the coronavirus pandemic have not followed their own advice.

The Daily Caller News Foundation has kept track of those politicians or local lawmakers who spurned their own COVID-19 rules to attend President Joe Biden’s inauguration and the lawmakers who flouted their own advice and then excused their behavior as essential, compiling lists of the biggest offenders such as Democrats New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and many more.

The DCNF searched for, but did not find, examples of prominent Republicans who urged citizens to stay home due to COVID-19 and then did not follow their own advice. Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, for example, sparked a backlash when he traveled to Cancun in February as Texans struggled without power under heavy ice storms.

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Jobless Claims Hit New Pandemic Low, Drop to 473,000

Photo “Unemployment Insurance Claims Office” by Bytemarks. CC BY 2.0.

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims dropped to 473,000 last week as the economy continues to slowly recover from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented a decrease in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending May 1, when 507,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised up from the 498,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.

Economists expected Thursday’s jobless claims number to come in at 500,000, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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‘Too Risky’: Progressives Are Upset CDC Lifted Mask Mandate

mask in persons hand

Progressives voiced their dismay following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated guidance that vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks indoors or outdoors.

Progressives and medical experts immediately criticized the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mask guidelines, arguing that the alteration was extreme and would be harmful to certain parts of the population. Others said the new guidance is confusing and disincentivizes people to get vaccinated.

“The CDC has done an about-face that’s shockingly abrupt: it’s confusing & could actually disincentivize vaccines,” Dr. Leana Wen, a George Washington University public health professor, tweeted after the announcement Thursday.

“Yes, vaccinated people are well-protected and not a threat to others,” she said in a later tweet. “But do we trust that the honor system—won’t unvaccinated people pretend to be vaccinated & stop wearing masks?”

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South Carolina, Montana to Stop Providing Pandemic-Related Welfare

"Come in, we're open" business sign

The states of South Carolina and Montana have both decided in recent days to put an end to their handouts of federal unemployment benefits as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, in an effort to encourage residents to return to the workforce, as per CNN.

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) said in his announcement that “incentives matter, and the vast expansion of federal unemployment benefits is now doing more harm than good. We need to incentivize Montanans to return to the workforce.” Instead, Governor Gianforte announced that the state government will be providing $1,200 checks as bonuses to every citizen who returns to work, using the state’s share of the recent $1.9 trillion stimulus package to pay for it.

In South Carolina, Governor Henry McMaster (R-S.C.) announced on Thursday that the state would be ending their share of federal unemployment benefits, since “what was intended to be a short-term financial assistance for the vulnerable and displaced during the height of the pandemic has turned into a dangerous federal entitlement, incentivizing and paying workers to stay at home rather than encouraging them to return to the workplace.”

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Commentary: The Vatican Museums and Persevering Through a Pandemic

Vatican Saint Peter's Basilica at dusk

On Monday, May 3, the Vatican Museums will reopen to the public.  The Vatican Museums were founded in 1506, when Pope Julius II discovered and acquired the sculpture, Laocoön and His Sons.  Today, the Vatican Museums house one of the oldest and most important art collections in the world.

The Vatican’s impressive collection consists of over 200,000 works spanning five millennia.  The collection includes remarkable 15th and 16th century frescoes by Fra Angelico, Michelangelo, and Raphael, as well as stunning masterpieces by Caravaggio and Leonardo da Vinci.  Reflecting upon her work, Vatican Museums Director Dr. Barbara Jatta said, “It’s a cultural duty undertaken with a conviction that beauty can lead to faith.” 

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vatican Museums were the 3rd most visited museum in the world, hosting an average of 6 million visitors per year and generating essential funding for the Vatican. 

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Target CEO Made Nearly $20 Million, 805 Times More Than Median Employee in 2020 Amid Pandemic

Brian Cornell

Target CEO Brian Cornell received a pay raise amid the pandemic last year, boosting his total compensation to 805 times the salary of a median Target employee, Axios reported.

Target paid Cornell $19.75 million in 2020, an increase of nearly $800,000 from the year before, regulatory filings showed, Axios reported. The average Target employee’s salary, meanwhile, was $24,535.

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Medical Experts Predict an Increase in Cancer Deaths Due to COVID

National Cancer Institute

Delayed diagnoses and missed screenings due to the coronavirus pandemic will likely result in increased cancer deaths, medical experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“We have not yet seen the real impact of COVID-19 on cancer diagnosis and deaths,” warned Dr. Julie Gralow, executive vice president and chief medical officer of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. “Screening for cancer (mainly breast, cervical, and colon) clearly dropped dramatically early in the pandemic, which will likely contribute to a later stage at diagnosis due to the delay/omission of screening that will be seen in the future.”

Lawmakers, health officials, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) called on health care providers to cancel non-essential or routine appointments, surgeries, and procedures to preserve personal protective equipment and prevent the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

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U.S. Issues ‘Do Not Travel’ Guidance to 80 Percent of Countries, Cites COVID-19

Airplane in the sky

The State Department is expanding the “Do Not Travel” guidelines for U.S. citizens to include nearly 80% of countries because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency announced Monday.

The travel advisories will be updated to align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) health notices as travelers are at risk because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the State Department said in a statement.

“This update will result in a significant increase in the number of countries at Level 4: Do Not Travel, to approximately 80% of countries worldwide,” the department said in a statement.

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Commentary: New Census Data Show Homeschooling Tripled During the Pandemic—And One Key Group Is Driving the Surge

My daughter had a friend over this week whose parents just took her out of public school for homeschooling, and my neighbor recently unenrolled her child from public school to homeschool for the rest of the academic year. These families are much more than local anecdotes—they are representative of a national trend.

New Census Bureau data show that 11.1 percent of K-12 students are now being independently homeschooled. This is a large uptick from 5.4 percent at the start of the school shutdowns last spring, and 3.3 percent in the years preceding the pandemic.

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Social Media Doesn’t Allow Posts That Break COVID-19 Narratives, Even Though Health Organizations Keep Backtracking Previous Findings

Social media companies have policed coronavirus-related content based on information from top health organizations, even as those organizations have contradicted themselves.

Facebook and Google instituted policies early in the pandemic restricting user content shared on their platforms to information that doesn’t contradict World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) findings. However, the organizations have contradicted, backtracked or retracted their own findings throughout the pandemic.

Facebook’s policy states that the site “will debunk common myths that have been identified by the World Health Organization.” Shortly after coronavirus was declared a pandemic, Facebook announced its “Coronavirus Information Center,” which curates updates from “organizations such as the World Health Organization.”

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Vaccinations Slow After Storms Delay Shipments of 6 Million COVID-19 Doses

The extreme cold weather across much of the country has delayed 6 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, slowing a vaccination rate that has been steadily rising since the Biden administration took office last month.

The backlogged doses account for roughly three days’ of delayed shipments affecting all 50 states, due to road closures, snowed-in workers and power outages, said Andy Slavitt, senior adviser on the White House’s COVID-19 response, during a news conference Friday.

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Victor Davis Hanson Commentary: If You Thought 2020 Was Hard, Wait Until You Get a Load of 2021

The proper conservative response to last Wednesday’s violent entry into the Capitol and vandalism, as well as assaults on law-enforcement, is to identify the guilty parties and ensure they are arrested.

Such deterrence will prevent any future devolution from legal popular protests into thuggery. No constitutional republic can tolerate its iconic heart stormed, breached, and defiled.

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