Friday, July 23, 2021

 -A relatable Senate staffer on the state of the infrastructure deal

As America comes to grips with a fourth coronavirus surge, driven overwhelmingly by Delta-variant outbreaks in Trump-loyal enclaves, Republicans want you to know: We’re all trying to find the guy who did this!

  • Take Gov. Kay Ivey (R-AL), who blamed soaring case numbers in her state on Alabamans who have refused to get the vaccine. “It's time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It's the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down," she told reporters Thursday. Pressed to say what more the state could do to boost its vaccination rate, Ivey barked, “I don’t know, you tell me,” passing the buck right back to the reporter who was polite enough not to say “stop governing your state the way you think Donald Trump would want you to,” or “repeal the vaccine passport ban you signed two months ago.”
  • The Tennessee health department just had a similar come-to-Jesus moment. It announced Friday that it had abruptly resumed nearly all of its vaccine-outreach efforts, including outreach to adolescents and vaccination drives on campuses, after just as abruptly halting those efforts in response to right-wing and GOP pressure. “We put a pause on many things,” said the state’s health commissioner, “and then we have resumed all of those.” We’re all just trying to find the guy who did this.  
  • Why the sudden about-face? It probably has at least something to do with all the overrun hospitals and dead people in their states. Cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are rising in general, but way, way faster in places where Republicans have fed vaccine skepticism for political gain. Hospitalizations and deaths are running 50 percent higher per capita in Trump-voting counties than in blue counties. And as hard as they pretend to be trying to find the guy who did this, most Americans are under no illusions: Covid would’ve been effectively over in America, even with the Delta variant, if Republicans hadn’t fostered anti-vaccine sentiment to sabotage the recovery. That created another outbreak among the unvaccinated which is now causing setbacks for all Americans, even responsible ones. 

Better late than never? Maybe—if this newfound sense of Republican urgency lasts longer than their condemnation of, say, the January 6 insurrection.

  • Unfortunately it’s never wise to bet on Republicans doing the right thing for more than a few days. Or in Sean Hannity’s case, one day. After months of encouraging vaccine hesitancy, the Fox host said one semi-responsible thing about vaccines this week, winning him an undeserved round of applause from the beltway pundit class. Less than 24 hours later, he took it all back to assure his presumably confused listeners that he was not in any way “urging people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.” Folks, I think we found (one of) the guy(s) who did this? 
  • Any urgency is better than none. For one thing the Delta variant is 1,000 times more contagious than O.G. Covid. One infectious-disease expert put it like this, “At the beginning of the pandemic, the CDC said that a close contact was somebody that you’re indoors with unmasked for 15 minutes or more. The equivalent of that with the Delta variant is not 15 minutes, it’s one second.” For another, U.K. scientists have just identified a new “variant of concern,” though they note there’s no evidence to suggest it eludes vaccines. 

The right-wing war on vaccines is and was unconscionable, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t spook well meaning leaders out of doing more than they could have to require or induce vaccinations. We even sent 100 unvaccinated olympians to Japan! Let’s correct that mistake. As Republicans try very hard to find the guy who did this, we should treat it as our window to make going unvaccinated a bigger inconvenience than it is. 

Description:Great news -—the Crooked Store is having a MASSIVE Summer Sale! Now through July 31st, find deals up to 70% off your favorite Crooked items, including t-shirts, loungewear, koozies, summer drinkware, gifts, and more! As always, a portion of every order in the Crooked Store is donated to VoteRiders! So, don’t wait. Shop now through July 31st at 

A group of 150 civil-rights organizations wrote a letter to President Biden on Thursday urging him to support the passage of voting-rights legislation “by whatever means necessary,” pointing out the discrepancies between his rhetoric on the filibuster and his reluctance to push for its elimination. Activists are worried that the infrastructure-focused Biden administration has accepted GOP anti-voting laws as a given, and White House officials have privately told voting rights groups that it’s possible to “out-organize voter suppression.” While it’s true that voter-suppression measures have backfired in the short term, research suggests that that backlash is temporary, and might not manifest in all of the groups that Republicans aim to shut out from the polls. It’s also not super clear how anyone can “out-organize” partisan gerrymandering, or state legislatures bent on overturning unfavorable election results. That’s not to say grassroots organizing won’t be hugely important in 2022, but to hang the whole future of democracy on it would be a) unwise and b) an insult to the organizers who have put Democrats in a position to do much more.

Just a quick counter to the deluge of breathless headlines about “breakthrough infections” and what they tell us about vaccine efficacy against the Delta variant: Public-health experts say we’re probably thinking about that term wrong. There’s a big difference between breakthrough infections, which encompass all detected cases even with no or very mild symptoms, and breakthrough disease—vaccinated people who nevertheless have significant symptoms and wind up hospitalized. We’re seeing predictably higher numbers of mild breakthrough infections as more people get vaccinated, because statistics, but severe cases among vaccinated people remain extremely rare, meaning the vaccines are working. The most worrying unknown is whether vaccinated folks with asymptomatic or mild cases can still transmit the virus; the lower viral load suggests it’s less likely, but studies are still underway. The big takeaway is that while it may be worth layering protections while the Delta variant is afoot, there’s no reason to panic.

Why would you buy a mattress made for someone else? With Helix, you’re getting a mattress that you know will be perfect for the way YOU sleep. They have soft, medium, and firm mattresses, and even a Helix Plus mattress for plus-size sleepers. Helix even has mattresses with specialized cooling technology, if you and your family can never agree on the temperature. 

Helix has a quiz that takes just two minutes to complete and matches your body type and sleep preferences to the perfect mattress for you. They have a 10 year warranty and you get to try it out for a hundred nights, risk free. 

Take Helix’s two minute sleep quiz and get up to $200 off your mattress order and 2 FREE pillows.

The five states with the highest coronavirus case rates had a higher rate of vaccination over the past two weeks than the national average. 

The Senate has confirmed Gina Ortiz Jones and Shawn Skelly to top military positions, both in LGBTQ+ firsts. 

Argentina has become the first country in Latin America to formally recognize gender nonbinary people on national identity documents. 

Lil Nas X is using his “Industry Baby” music video as a fundraiser for the Bail Project.

. . . . . .

© Crooked Media 2021. All Rights Reserved. 
If you want to manage which emails you receive from Crooked Media, update your preferences here. If you prefer to opt out of all Crooked Media communications, you may unsubscribe.
Share this newsletter
7162 Beverly Blvd #212, Los Angeles, CA, 90036
Powered by Mailchimp