Biden Administration Will Fight to Keep Mask Mandate for Planes, Trains and Airports

The U.S. Department of Justice has appealed a federal judge’s ruling overturning the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) mask mandate on planes, trains and in airports.

In her ruling to overturn the mandate, U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle called the CDC mandate “unlawful,” saying the Biden administration did not follow proper procedures and went beyond its authority in making the rule.

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Four Largest Airlines Drop COVID Mask Requirement Hours After Trump-Appointed Judge Strikes Down CDC Mandate

Four major U.S. airlines are ditching COVID-19 mask requirements after a federal judge in Florida on Monday struck down the Biden administration’s mask mandate for air passengers and others mass travelers.

Several airlines, including United Airlines, Delta, Southwest Airlines and American Airlines announced that they were dropping the mask requirements for passengers and employees.

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Washington, D.C., Lifting COVID Mask, Vaccine Mandates but Face-Covers Still Required in Schools

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is lifting the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate and will not extend its mask requirement into March.

The Democratic mayor also says that as of Tuesday many businesses in the nation’s capital will no longer be required to check that customers have at least one dose of the vaccine before allowing them to enter. However, they will still be allowed to make such a request on their own, according to dcist.com.

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Commentary: The Longevity of the COVID Emergency

Two years after COVID burst on the American scene, leading to lockdowns, school closures, mask and vaccine mandates, and trillions of dollars in emergency government spending, the question on many minds is: When will the emergency end?

The answer to that question is not an easy one. An examination of past emergencies does not resolve it. Rather, it is clear that emergency situations, including this one, may be understood through various lenses, yielding different perspectives on what the endpoint will be.

Take, by way of comparison, World War II, an emergency that had at least four distinct endings because it had at least four distinct faces:

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Democrats and Media Allies Claim ‘Science Has Changed’ on Mask Mandates as Midterms Approach

As the mid-term elections approach, a number of Democrat governors are now following in the steps of Republican Governors Ron DeSantis (FL) and Glenn Youngkin (VA) in support of dropping mask mandates.

Supported by their political and media allies, the governors of states, including New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, California, and Oregon are now announcing mask mandates in schools may be dropped soon, as the New York Times reported Tuesday.

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Analysis: Coming to Grips with the Facts About Masks

Allegations that “masks work” and “don’t cause harm” have been enforced by governments and corporations around the world for more than 18 months through arrests, firings, censorship, fines, and denial of access to schools, supermarkets, hospitals, streets, and other public spaces. This has made it virtually impossible for many people to live without complying with mask mandates.
In recent weeks, however, more medical scholars and media outlets are coming to grips with facts about masks that Just Facts has been documenting for more than a year and painstakingly compiled in a September 2021 article sourced with more than 50 peer-reviewed science journals. Here’s a sample of people who are speaking up about the facts and their implications:

Dr. Vinay Prasad—an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco—has written an article that examines the scientific evidence for masking children and concludes that:

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Iowa Schools Must Require Masking to Accommodate Students with Disabilities

 Iowa schools must require masking when necessary as a reasonable accommodation for students with disabilities, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at St. Louis ruled Tuesday.

The court cited the Rehabilitation Act Section 504 in its determination.

What’s more, Iowa statute currently allows masking when federal law requires it, the court ruled, American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa said in an explainer of the ruling.

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Missouri AG Sues 36 School Districts with Mask Requirements, But Not His Own District

Missouri Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt completed on Friday a promise made earlier this week by filing lawsuits against 36 public school districts for requiring masks.

“Mask mandates in schools are illegal, they simply don’t work, and they contribute to alarming and negative psychological impacts on our children,” Schmitt, a candidate for the seat of retiring Republican U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, said in a statement announcing the lawsuits. “My Office has been on the frontlines of the fight to end the forced masking of children all day in school, and today we took concrete legal action toward that end. Parents and families, not bureaucrats, should have the power to decide what’s best for their children. With this litigation, we’re seeking to return that power back to parents and families, where it belongs.”

Earlier this week, leaders of two Missouri public school district collaboratives told The Center Square that attorneys for many school boards believe two Missouri statutes require districts to create and enforce policies to ensure the health and safety of students. Schmitt stated a November Cole County Circuit Court ruling, now being appealed by St. Louis and Jackson Counties at the Missouri Court of Appeals, prevents school districts from enforcing any public health orders. Schmitt set up an email box through his office in December and received 11,000 messages and photographs from people witnessing mask requirements in public schools.

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Judge Denies Missouri AG Request to Stop St. Louis County Mask Requirement

Eric Schmitt

A Circuit Court Judge on Wednesday denied Missouri Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s request for a temporary restraining order to stop a mask requirement approved by the St. Louis County Council on Jan. 5.

Democrat Rita Heard Days, chair of the Council, didn’t know what to expect from the court.

“At this particular point, I’m not surprised about anything,” Days told The Center Square after an event in Hazelwood on Thursday. “This thing has taken a life of its own. People are trying to cope with all of this. We just hope we can get over this and move on.”

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Commentary: It’s 2022, But Many Schools Are Reverting to 2020’s COVID Playbook

young girl getting face mask put on her face

It’s 2022 but you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s still 2020—especially if you have children enrolled in K-12 district schooling. Some parents are grappling this week with a return to, or threat of, remote learning first introduced nearly two years ago.

Fear of the fast-spreading Omicron variant of the coronavirus is leading school officials across the country to once again shutter schools. In Cleveland, for example, this first week of school for the new year is entirely remote for public school students. Several districts throughout Ohio are following suit, while others are re-imposing 2020 virus-related restrictions or extending the holiday break into this week.

Newark, New Jersey public schools announced they will be fully remote for the next two weeks, as did other districts throughout the state. Public schools in Atlanta will also be closed this week, reverting back to remote learning.

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Missouri Attorney General Sues St. Louis County After Council Enacts Mask Mandate

The day after the St. Louis County Council voted 4-3 along party lines to enact a mask mandate, Missouri Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a lawsuit to stop it.

Schmitt, a candidate for the seat of retiring U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, filed a 17-page petition in St. Louis County Circuit Court on Wednesday. Last week, St. Louis and Jackson Counties filed an appeal with the Missouri Court of Appeals over the November ruling by a Cole County Circuit Court stating all COVID-19 public health orders were null and void.

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Federal Judge Blocks Mask, Vaccine Mandates for Texas Schools’ Head Start Program

A federal judge has blocked COVID-19 mask and vaccine mandates in Texas’ schools Head Start program, a decision that GOP Gov. Greg Abbott is calling a win over “Biden again.”

“Texas just beat Biden again,” Abbott, a staunch opponent of such mandates, tweeted after the ruling Friday by Judge James “Wesley” Hendrix, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

Hendrix, a Trump administration appointee, wrote in the ruling: “The Court concludes that the circumstances do not justify or require a nationwide injunction,” according to KLBK Lubbock. “The great majority of evidence before the Court is limited to harm caused to Head Start programs in Texas.”

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Georgia, 23 Other States File Lawsuit Against Head Start Vaccination, Mask Mandate

Georgia is again pushing back against the Biden administration’s COVID-19 mandates.

Georgia and 23 other states are asking the court to block the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Administration for Children and Families from requiring Head Start program staff, certain contractors and volunteers to wear masks and be fully vaccinated by Jan. 31.

Gov. Brian Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr announced the court challenge against the Head Start vaccination and mask mandate Tuesday.

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Strikes Down State’s School Mask Mandate

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Friday ruled to strike down Governor Tom Wolf’s statewide mask mandate for schools.

The challengers of the mandate, including Pennsylvania Senate President pro tempore Jake Corman (R-Centre) and State Representative Jesse Topper (R-Bedford), argued that the decision of masking should be left to local school boards or parents, not the state government.

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Pro-Trump Cheney Opponent Speaks Out Against Mask Tyranny in Schools

After a battle over masks at Laramie High School in Wyoming ended with a 16-year-old student being arrested for trespassing at her own school, Harriet Hageman, a pro-Trump challenger to Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY-01) issued a statement condemning mask mandates in schools. 

Grace Smith was first suspended for two days from Laramie High School for refusing to wear a mask. After serving her suspension, she returned to school, again maskless. She then politely refused to leave school grounds, and was arrested by officers from the Laramie Police Department. The arrest even triggered a brief lockdown at the school. 

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Gov. Abbott Bans All COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates in Texas

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order late Monday prohibiting all COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the state of Texas.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus, but should always remain voluntary and never forced,” Abbott said in a tweet announcing the executive order.

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Commentary: Parents Aren’t Domestic Terrorists

It is probably an understatement to say that when one group designates another as a terrorist organization, diplomatic relations between the two become strained.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights.”

Truths. Equal. Creator. Rights. Concerned parents want schools to teach truths, not ideologies; operate under equality, not equity; and respect faith in our Creator and our parental rights. These are the fundamental principles from our Declaration that are at stake in American education today.

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Professors Force Students to Mask in Violation of University Rules, with Mixed Pushback

University systems with bans on COVID-19 mask mandates are taking diametrically opposed approaches to faculty who refuse to comply, offering a real-time experiment in the effectiveness of persuasion versus coercion.

The University of Northern Iowa (UNI) removed biology professor Steve O’Kane from the classroom for the rest of the semester and forced him to forgo a merit pay raise for threatening to grade down students for not wearing masks.

The same day the faculty senate voted to indefinitely postpone O’Kane’s resolution to let faculty require masks in spite of the Board of Regents ban, Cedar Rapids news outlet The Gazette reported.

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Law Professor Accuses University of Violating Federal Trade Commission Rules with Mask Mandate

A business law professor who has been put on paid leave for refusing to wear a mask in class is defending his actions with an unexpected authority: the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

“[B]y requiring employees to wear a mask, you are promoting the idea that the mask can prevent or treat a disease, which is an illegal deceptive practice,” David Clements, who teaches consumer law at New Mexico State University (NMSU), told provost Carol Parker in a Sept. 13 letter.

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Mayor of San Francisco Goes to Nightclub Maskless, Breaks Her Own Mandate

San Francisco Mayor London Breed was seen maskless at a local nightclub Wednesday in violation of the city’s current mask guidance, a local news outlet reported.

Videos and photos show the mayor at the Black Cat jazz club in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco, along with the Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza and Raphael Saadiq, according to Datebook. Most attendees at the concert were not wearing face coverings as mandated by the city.

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An Analytical Review of the Central Scientific Facts About the Efficacy of Face Masks and Claims They Reduce the Transmission of COVID-19

In a terse essay titled “Science and Dictatorship,” Albert Einstein warned that “Science can flourish only in an atmosphere of free speech.” And on his deathbed, Einstein cautioned, “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted in important affairs.”

With reckless disregard for both of those principles, powerful government officials and big tech executives have corrupted or suppressed the central scientific facts about face masks. The impacts of this extend far beyond the issue of masks and have caused widespread harm and countless deaths.

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Kentucky Lawmakers Override Governor, Ditch School Mask Mandate

Group of young students at table, reading and wearing masks

Kentucky’s Republican legislature overrode the state’s Democratic governor late Thursday and repealed a statewide public school mask mandate.

The move, reported by the Louisville Courier Journal, came on the final day of a special session called by Gov. Andy Beshear. The mask mandate was repealed as cases in the state increased for the 10th straight week, and as over 30% of Kentucky’s new cases Thursday were in people 18 and younger, according to state data.

The legislature last month moved to significantly limit Beshear’s pandemic-related power, an action that was upheld by multiple judges in the state.

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Commentary: Joe Biden’s Poor Leadership During the COVID Era

“Get vaccinated,” whispered the doddering, white-haired failure of a president before beating a hasty retreat from the podium. Reporters barked questions at him which neither he nor his handlers had interest in answering, because they have no answers.

Joe Biden has no answers for COVID-19. What Joe Biden has is blame and Otherization for Americans not invested in the tired narratives of his handlers and the managerial elite he represents so badly.

That’s clear. It’s the only true takeaway from the disgraceful, alarming speech Biden gave Thursday.

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Los Angeles Becomes First Major School District to Mandate COVID-19 Vaccines for Children

Young girl getting COVID vaccination

The Los Angeles public schools opened last month with some of the strictest coronavirus control measures in the country. Students and staff are required to wear masks inside and outside, participate in weekly virus testing, and obey social distancing protocols. District staff are also required to get the COVID-19 shot, and now all Los Angeles public school students ages 12 and over are forced to get the vaccine.

On Thursday, the Los Angeles school board voted to pass the student vaccine mandate, with one board member stating: “So I do not see this as your choice or my choice or about my great nieces and nephews and grandchildren or your children. I see this as a community necessity to protect the children under 12 who cannot be vaccinated.”

Los Angeles public school students have until the end of the calendar year to get fully vaccinated, unless they participate in extracurricular activities which requires full vaccination by October 31st. If they don’t comply, students will be pushed into a district-run online learning program. In 2015, California eliminated its religious vaccine exemption and now only recognizes medical exemptions for schoolchildren.

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Studies Point to Varied Effects of Masking

Crowded street market with people wearing masks

New research published by Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) Bangladesh, which tracked mask-wearing among 340,000 Bangladeshi adults, indicates mask usage can considerably reduce the spread of symptomatic COVID-19. 

Some medical professionals, however, remain uneasy about mask mandates in schools because of their possible impact on children’s learning and social health.

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Parents Sue Georgia’s Largest School District over Mask Requirement

Parents in Georgia’s largest school district are suing the superintendent and school system over its mask mandate, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Four parents are seeking an injunction against the mask mandate at Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS), which serves around 180,000 students, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) reported. The requirement was implemented at the end of July when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended indoor masking for schools amid the rise of the delta variant.

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Biden Attacks Tennessee Parents Who Protested Mask Mandates, Threatens Republican Governors Who Oppose Mask Mandates; Simultaneously, He Abandons Americans in Afghanistan

President Biden attacked Tennessee parents who protested mask mandates for the second time in less than a week in an address delivered at the White House on Wednesday afternoon.

Biden also threatened Republican governors around the country who have banned school board mask mandates, at the press conference, during which he took no questions. He did not address the unfolding military debacle in Afghanistan caused by his reckless decision to remove all American troops before American citizens in the country were evacuated. At present the Biden administration has abandoned thousands of Americans left behind enemy lines in the country which the Taliban overran earlier this month in a matter of days.

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School Board Recall Attempts Spike Amid Concerns About COVID Closures, Critical Race Theory

Group of young students at table, reading and wearing masks

School board recall efforts are sweeping the country, with many driven by parents claiming Critical Race Theory (CRT) is infecting schools, demanding schools reopen in person, and arguing that boards are consumed by virtue signaling.

According to Ballotpedia, 58 such efforts against 144 board members have taken place in 2021. Those are both all-time highs since it started tracking school board recall efforts in 2006, and far above the next highest year, 2010.

Only one school board member has been removed in 2021, however, while three resigned and seven were retained in elections. One is scheduled for a November recall vote in Kansas for upholding a mask mandate.

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American Academy of Pediatrics Claims Masks Have No Negative Effects on Children

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on Thursday argued in a series of tweets that masking in schools seemingly has no negative effects on children.

The medical organization dismissed parental concern over the issue as nonexistent, pledging to provide “real talk” about children wearing masks.

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Former Biden COVID Adviser Concedes Cloth Masks ‘Are Not Very Effective’

Someone holding a bunch of cloth masks

Akey SARS-Cov-2 expert acknowledged this week that a mainstay of the global coronavirus response — the use of cloth masks — does little to stop the spread of the virus.

Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota and an adviser on President Joe Biden’s transitional COVID-19 advisory board, made the stunning claim on CNN this week amid escalating worldwide fears and concerns over the “Delta variant” of COVID-19.

“We know today that many of the face cloth coverings that people wear are not very effective in reducing any of the virus movement in or out,” Osterholm said during the interview.

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Commentary: I’m Unvaccinated – and I Plan to Stay That Way

The word “confusing” is being used (even by the New York Times) to describe the CDC’s reasoning behind its announcement that masks must again be worn indoors, even by the fully vaccinated.

In fact, the CDC’s reasoning is clear, and talk about “confusion” is an attempt to conceal a straightforward assessment: As CDC head bureaucrat Rochelle Walensky said on Fox News on Friday, vaccinated people can still get the “delta” variant and can transmit it. Top medical mafioso Anthony Fauci said essentially the same thing last week—that for the delta variant there was no difference in the observed level of “virality” between people who were vaccinated and those who were not.

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McDonald’s Will Require Workers and Customers to Wear Masks, Vaccinated or Not

McDonald's at sunset

Fast food chain McDonald’s is requiring all its staff and customers, vaccinated and unvaccinated, to resume wearing masks in its restaurants in areas deemed high risk by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The company first announced its new rules in an internal memo to franchisees and workers, CNBC reported. The rules, which went into effect Monday, follow updated guidance last week from the CDC, which recommended fully-vaccinated Americans wear masks indoors to prevent the spread of the delta variant of coronavirus.

McDonald’s told the Daily Caller News Foundation the change in policy was due to the CDC’s updated guidance, and said the company was following the science in making its decision.

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D.C. Mayor Denies Breaking Her Own Mask Mandate Despite Photo Evidence

Mayor Muriel Bowser

Democratic Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser denied breaking her own mask mandate at a wedding Saturday night, despite photo evidence showing her seated maskless at a table.

The Washington Examiner first reported late Saturday that the mayor had officiated a wedding attended by “hundreds of unmasked guests” at 5-star Adams Morgan hotel, The Line DC.

The Examiner included a photograph of the mayor seated at a table maskless, noting that she “did not wear a mask despite not actively eating or drinking.” Several other guests in the picture are also not wearing masks.

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Study Used by CDC to Support New Mask Mandates Based on a Non-American Vaccine, Rejected by Peer Review

Woman holding orange umbrella, wearing a mask

It has been determined that one of the studies used by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to justify the strict new mask mandates was not only rejected by peer review, but was also based on a vaccine that is currently not authorized for use in the United States, the Daily Caller reports.

The controversial study came from India, where scientists there studied “breakthrough infections” in over 100 healthcare workers who had received a vaccine but still caught the coronavirus, determining that the COVID-19 India variant, also known as the “Delta” variant, produces a higher viral load than other strains of the coronavirus. This was one of the pieces of evidence used by the CDC to claim that even vaccinated individuals should wear masks, since the India variant is allegedly capable of being transmitted by vaccinated individuals to unvaccinated individuals.

Despite admitting that the study in question involved a vaccine that has not been approved in the United States, the CDC’s report said that such studies “have noted relatively high viral loads and larger cluster sizes associated with infections with Delta, regardless of vaccination status. These early data suggest that breakthrough Delta infections are transmissible.”

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Critics Denounce New CDC Guidance Urging Mask Usage, Vaccine or Not

Guy wearing a mask

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed course Tuesday, reversing its previous COVID-19 guidance by urging Americans to wear masks, regardless of their vaccination status. Critics quickly denounced the reversal, saying it undermines vaccine confidence.

The CDC said all students and teachers should wear masks, even if they are vaccinated, and that all Americans, including those with the vaccine, should wear masks in public places where the virus has a significant presence. The agency cited the delta variant of COVID, which is more transmissible.

The CDC had previously announced in May that vaccinated individuals did not have to wear masks. The White House fended off questions from reporters at the White House press briefing on the reasoning behind that reversal.

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New Study Shows Masks Did Not Slow COVID Spread

Guy wearing a mask

According to a new study by University of Louisville the state mask mandates didn’t help slow the spread of COVID-19, Townhall reported.

The study found that “80% of US states mandated masks during the COVID-19 pandemic” and while “mandates induced greater mask compliance, [they] did not predict lower growth rates when community spread was low (minima) or high (maxima).” According to the report, the study used data from the CDC which covered multiple seasons and concluded that  “mask mandates and use are not associated with lower SARS-CoV-2 spread among US states.”

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Whitmer’s Administration Rescinds COVID Rule She Broke Days Earlier

Gov. Whitmer at restaurant with large group

Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration has rescinded the rule that Whitmer broke over the weekend.

Whitmer apologized Sunday after photos posted over the weekend showed her dining with at least a dozen others at The Landshark Bar & Grill in East Lansing, Michigan. Breitbart News first reported the news on Sunday.

Michigan’s May 15 order formerly mandated that no more than six people may be seated at the same table, and the governor has faced heavy criticism throughout the pandemic for strict COVID restrictions that have forced many Michigan restaurants and businesses to shutter their doors.

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Commentary: Military, Science, and the Law Are Losing the Trust of Middle America

two individuals holding an American flag on a bridge to honor Sun Prairie’s fallen firefighter as the procession passed underneath.

Americans mostly have given up on familiar institutions for entertainment, guidance, or reassurance. What now do Hollywood, network news, the media in general, Silicon Valley, the NBA, NFL, MLB, or higher education all have in common? 

A propensity to lecture Americans on their moral inferiorities, a general ethical decline in their own disciplines, and a strange obsession to acquire great wealth while living in contrast to what they advocate for others. Add also incompetence. Movies are mostly bad now. The network news is blow-dried groupthink. There is no “paper of record” anywhere. Twitter and Facebook no longer even try to hide their politicized contortions of warped rules and twisted protocols. 

Professional athletes are now reminders of why no one ever wants to be “enlightened” by multimillionaire quarter-educated narcissists. The public a half-century ago lost faith in academia. It wasn’t just that most new bad ideas could be traced to the campus or that hothouse professors increasingly seemed both ignorant and arrogant, but rather their product—educating students—was defective. No one believes anymore a BA is synonymous with knowledge. More likely, it is a euphemism for incurring $100,000 in debt. 

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Commentary: You Don’t Need a Permission Slip to Go Back to Normal

Group of people together socializing at dinner table

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control did an about-face, announcing that the fully vaccinated among us may resume normal activities. The news came more than a year after California initiated the first lockdown on March 19, 2020.

The CDC’s new posture comes with some narrow exceptions. If you’re traveling on a plane or find yourself in a homeless shelter or in a medical or correctional facility, you still need to wear a mask; and the CDC made sure to clarify, apparently out of great deference for federalism and Hayekian spontaneous order, that its guidance does not predominate over the requirements of federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.

Before the CDC updated its pandemic guidance, this was exactly the position espoused by libertarian law professor Ilya Somin of George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia School of Law. Writing from his regular perch at the legal blog The Volokh Conspiracy, Somin’s argument is summarized nicely in the subheading of his piece, “Free the Vaccinated from COVID Restrictions”: “Doing so will protect constitutional rights, reduce vaccine hesitancy, and increase liberty—all at once.”

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Commentary: Montana Governor Strips Mask Fanatics of Their Power

Monanta Gov. Greg Gianforte

Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte of Montana delivered mask fanatics a hefty, but essential, blow last week when he signed House Bill 257 into law, stripping the few remaining left-leaning health departments in the state of their ability to use their clout and control to dominate the population through unquestioned mask enforcement. The bill declares that counties can no longer require businesses to enforce health mandates, such as mask-wearing or capacity limits and restrictions, or pursue other whimsical edicts or decrees, such as cancel farmer’s markets, prohibit school parades, ban families of spectators at high-school athletic events.

While most Montana counties and towns (including Billings, the largest city in the state with a population of approximately 110,000) removed their mask mandates several weeks, if not months, ago, the university-dominated cities of Missoula and Bozeman, as well as the small, politically mixed capital city of Helena, seemed to be only tightening the screws on chronic mask-wearing. They repeatedly hid, changed, or lied about the markers and metrics for mask mandates’ removal, inexplicably shifting from one theoretical possibility or scenario to another. In the meantime, COVID-19 vaccinations have increased to the point where testing sites and vaccination camps are virtually empty, hospitalizations have plummeted to nonexistent, and deaths from the virus have fallen to the level somewhere between venomous snake bites and automotive fatalities. Yet paradoxically, the healthier and the more strengthened the state, and the more that it has recovered from the numbing side effects of the shameful lockdowns, the further away the remaining mask-obsessed health departments have pushed the date of mask abolition.

Without House Bill 257, the remaining communities would have stayed perennially under the twisted, tight-fisted influence of a handful of marginally knowledgeable, power-intoxicated, unelected bureaucrats who were playing the “follow the Fauci” model of single-minded governance. Wear a mask. Wear a mask. Wear a mask. In fact, it would not be hard to imagine a scenario in which one government employee with a mask fetish would continue to bully the populace, terrorizing the summer camps into outside mask-wearing through the hottest days of August or perpetuating mask requirements for children straight into the fall of 2021 or beyond.

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At Least 40 Percent of NIAID and FDA Employees Have Not Been Vaccinated, According to Fauci and Marks

Doctor giving vaccination to patient

At least 40 percent of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) employees are refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine according to NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, and FDA official Dr. Peter Marks.

During a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing Tuesday on efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Richard Burr (R-Va.) asked Fauci, Marks, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky what percentage of their own employees were vaccinated.

Both Fauci and Marks estimated that a little more than half—perhaps around 60 percent of their employees—have been vaccinated. Walensky waffled, saying only that she was “encouraging employees to get vaccinated,” but couldn’t say how many have actually done so.

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CDC Tells Schools to Keep Students in Masks

Student on campus wearing a mask outside.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told schools nationwide on Saturday they should plan to keep students in masks because of the limited vaccinations of children.

“CDC recommends schools continue to use the current COVID-19 prevention strategies for the 2020-2021 school year,” the agency said in new guidance for students issued just days after it cleared vaccinated adults to ditch their masks in most instances.

“All schools should implement and layer prevention strategies and should prioritize universal and correct use of masks and physical distancing,” it added.

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Dozens of House GOP Reps Urge Pelosi to Drop Masking Rules Following Revised CDC Guidance

Nearly three dozen House GOP representatives this week urged Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to formally drop the House’s strict mask mandate, citing recently updated masking guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the Friday letter, issued from the office of Ohio Rep. Bob Gibbs, 34 Republicans “urge[d] [Pelosi] to immediately return to normal voting procedures and end mandatory mask requirements in the House of Representatives.”

“CDC guidance states fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting except where required by governmental or workplace mandate,” the letter declares. “It is time to update our own workplace regulations. Every member of Congress has had the opportunity to be vaccinated, and you have indicated about 75 percent have taken advantage of this opportunity.”

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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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‘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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More Americans Are Living Their Lives, Leaving Masks at Home, Survey Shows

Group of people sitting at public restaurant, eating.

A majority of Americans said for the first time in over a year that returning to their “normal” pre-pandemic lives did not pose a moderate or large health risk, an Axios/Ipsos survey shows.

The survey, released Tuesday, showed just 43% of Americans saying that returning to “normal” posed either a large or moderate risk to their health. It also shows that majorities of Americans have begun to enjoy several aspects of pre-pandemic life: 54% of Americans have eaten at a restaurant, 59% have visited family or friends and 31% have made summer plans – all in the past week alone.

The return to normalcy and the mental health benefits associated with it directly corresponds with the amount of Americans who say they have been vaccinated. Almost two-thirds of respondents say that they have received at least one shot, and 18% say that their emotional well-being has improved in the past week, which the survey notes is an all-time high during the pandemic.

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Commentary: Mask Mandates Promote Servitude, Not Safety

Man on escalator with mask on

The other day, for the first time since March 2020, I embarked on a journey outside of the slave state of California. My wife and I drove to Montana. While I had heard tales of the existence of freedom in other states, I had yet to experience the thing firsthand.

My experience in Montana confirmed what I have long suspected and known, but not witnessed or experienced for myself—that there are two Americas and two very different types of Americans. There are free states and slave states. There are fearful, obedient slaves, and fearless, free Americans.

I didn’t wear a mask for an entire weekend in Montana—not entering my hotel, not walking down the street, not entering a grocery store or gas station convenience store, not getting a coffee, and not entering numerous restaurants and bars. At no point did I put on that filthy face diaper. Nor did anyone else.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court Strikes Down Mask Mandate by Democratic Governor Evers

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has struck down Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide mask mandate as a coronavirus health-safety measure.

In a 4-3 vote on Wednesday, the court decided Evers had violated state law by unilaterally issuing emergency orders to enforce the mandates without legislative approval, according to the Associated Press.

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