Arizona Lawmakers Take Key Steps To Protect Our State From More COVID Overreach

Arizona Lawmakers Take Key Steps To Protect Our State From More COVID Overreach

By the Free Enterprise Club |

They’re still trying to scare us. Apparently, some people in our country just don’t like seeing businesses reopen, people unmasked, and a return to normalcy. So, as the threat to COVID largely dwindles, it should come as no surprise that the media is now pushing a new threat: the Delta variant.

Of course, the messaging is predictable:

    • More contagious (CNN)
    • Exploded in the UK (CNBC)
    • Worst and scariest variant yet (MSNBC)

It will be interesting to see how state and local governments across the country respond to this so-called “latest threat.” As you’ll recall, it didn’t go so well the first time around with most seizing the opportunity to abuse emergency powers, even here in Arizona. And although Arizona’s COVID response puts it ahead of most other states in the country, there’s still work to be done.

Thankfully, our state lawmakers haven’t ignored the problem. And with various provisions in a series of Budget Reconciliation Bills, they have taken important steps to protect Arizona from more COVID mandates and government overreach.

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ASU’s COVID-19 Policy Puts Focus Back On Vaccine Passport Legislation

ASU’s COVID-19 Policy Puts Focus Back On Vaccine Passport Legislation

By Terri Jo Neff |

Since early on in the legislative session, Arizona Rep. Bret Roberts has tried to convince his fellow lawmakers that it was crucial to protect citizens from mandatory COVID-19 vaccination demands.

A bill, HB2190, introduced by Sen. Kelly Townsend on Roberts’ behalf would prohibit companies and government agencies in Arizona from demanding proof, referred to as a vaccine passport, of someone’s vaccination status in order to receive government benefits or enter a place of business.

HB2190 stalled out but fast forward nearly three months to Ducey’s decision this week to issue an executive order banning Arizona’s universities and community colleges from mandating that students show proof of their COVID-19 vaccination status or be forced to wear masks “in order to participate in learning.”

The governor’s action came after Dr. Joanne Vogel, Vice President of Student Services for Arizona State University (ASU), announced that students who have not received the COVID-19 vaccination would be subjected to daily health checks, twice-weekly testing, and mandatory face mask use in all indoor and outdoor spaces on ASU campuses.

Rep. Travis Grantham, the Speaker Pro Tempore, issued a statement Tuesday calling for the immediate rescindment of Dr. Vogel’s COVID-19 policy or her departure from ASU. At stake is not only students’ freedom to be vaccinated or not, but the university’s finding, according to Grantham.

“I have received numerous calls from concerned parents whose kids have no other option but to attend a state university,” Grantham noted. “It’s important that this tyrannical policy must not prevent any Arizonan from accessing our state university system. Moreover, as the legislature prepares to pass a state budget for next year, I will not support funding for any state university that intends to harass or discriminate against non-vaccinated students on campus.”

Rep. Jake Hoffman also opposes the ASU policy which he called “a gross abuse of students’ liberties.” He pointed out Tuesday that the state’s universities receive hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer funds and that it was common knowledge lawmakers have language in the pending state budget which would prohibit ASU’s COVID-19 policy.

“They’re just basically giving the Legislature the finger and that’s a problem for our State,” Hoffman said in a radio interview. “It’s an unacceptable overreach by a political subdivision of the state.”

In announcing his executive order, Ducey called on the legislation to codify his executive order into law. The question now is whether the legislation Ducey is seeking will be HB2190 or if it will include something else.

For his part, Roberts said during a radio interview Tuesday morning that the governor’s executive order is “a good start” but he believes all Arizonans -not just students- deserve the same protections. Which would be provided by HB2190.

Roberts also said he is not surprised by the ASU vaccination dustup, although he found it interesting the University of Arizona did not try to implement such as policy. He remains hopeful his vaccine bill -or something similar- will pass.

The problem, he noted, “is future political interest” of those who have so far opposed legislating vaccine policies for private and public purposes.

“If the people make it clear that future political interest are in jeopardy then maybe there’s a chance” of passing HB2190, he said. “I put the right of the individual to make that choice (to vaccinate or not) before a business should be able to dictate whether or not you have to give up your personal medical information in order to particulate in commerce.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita provided a shout-out to Roberts for “taking an early lead on this important issue,” and called on lawmakers to prohibit vaccine passports “from ever being mandated by any government or business.”

COVID-19: Speaking Up In Black and White

COVID-19: Speaking Up In Black and White

By Marilyn M. Singleton, MD, JD |

These days more and more apparently intelligent people seem to upspeak. That’s the irritating “Valley Girl” inflection where every sentence sounds like a question. Don’t these people trust their own thoughts and words?

Perhaps upspeakers’ brains are fried after being fed a steady diet of DEI, ESG, and BIPOC. For the uninitiated, these initials stand for “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion”, a corporate stock/investment rating based on Environmental awareness, Social justice and (right-minded) Governance to enhance the lives of “Black, Indigenous, People of Color.” “Privilege” gets the full word. White people must “check their privilege at the door” and shut up under the current era of Stalinesque cancel culture.

Black American slaves used to have some version of Simon Legree as their master. Now the woke white liberals have assumed that role. Even views BIPOCs as helpless morons whom only the government can rescue.

Of course, little BIPOCs are the perfect unsuspecting targets. Despite parental objections, new school curricula include Marxist inspired critical race theory that teaches children to hate others based on skin color. Instead of learning the 3 Rs, kindergarteners are encouraged to explore their gender identity and question the family structure . The latest data show that only 35 percent of 4 th graders are proficient in reading and 41 percent are proficient in math. Instead of learning the necessary skills to race to the top of the ladder of success, they have the tools to win the victim triathlon. The prize: dependency on government resources.

COVID-19 added a new ingredient to the melting pot. Brown-skinned Americans fare more poorly with COVID than whites. Some reasons are sociological , such as crowded living conditions, working in service jobs that cannot be done from home, and inconsistent access to health care. Some reasons may be physiological. Studies have shown racial differences in the body’s ACE-2 receptors. These receptors help control inflammation, especially in cells lining the blood vessels . These are the sites where the “spike” protein of the SARS-Co-V-2 virus (that causes COVID-19) enter and infect healthy cells throughout the body. Notably, there may be more ACE-2 receptors in patients with hypertension, diabetes and coronary artery disease—conditions plaguing black Americans . Moreover, people with brown skin have lower levels of Vitamin D, a factor in the risk of contracting a SARS-Co-V-2 infection and the severity of COVID-19.

Knowing the higher risk, the DEI folks should have launched an education campaign informing BIPOCs about non-prescription supplements like quercetin, zinc, and vitamin D, as well as prophylaxis or early treatment with inexpensive medications ( hydroxychloroquine , ivermectin , and fluvoxamine , among others) that can significantly reduce symptoms and prevent hospitalizations and deaths.

Instead, the public health gurus waited for vaccines. The guise of “ vaccine equity ” drew attention away from legitimate concerns about the shots. Despite the increased susceptibility to COVID-19, black Americans remain skeptical of the shot. Folks still remembered the instances where the underserved were “helped” by the government. The 1932 Tuskegee syphilis study denied a group of black men treatment for 40 years.  Without informed consent, an experimental measles vaccine was administered to babies starting in 1987. After too many African and Haitian children deaths to ignore, the program was halted.

Able to read, BIPOCs learned about the serious side effects that include sometimes fatal blood clots, facial paralysis, possible menstrual problems, heart inflammation , among others. They wondered why the less effective Johnson & Johnson vaccine was sent to underserved neighborhoods. They wondered why the government had to offer $116 million in prizes , trucks, and customized firearms to encourage people to get the shot. They wondered why the government was going door to door to find BIPOCs to whom to give shots.

In order to swoop in to the rescue, the government-pharmaceutical complex could not allow the 34 million Americans who have had documented COVID-19 or a SARS-CoV-2 infection to depend on their natural immunity . Like a virus escaping from a lab or jumping from a pangolin to infect humans, the government control expanded from BIPOCs to privileged white folks.

What are we to do about the tension between addressing real health disparities and recognizing that racial disparities are used as a cover for manipulating society? Together we rip off the mask of benevolence. As ethical physicians, we pledge to treat all individuals with dignity and respect. We will explain the risks and benefits of their options and let patients decide. As active citizens, we demand prophylaxis, treatments of our choice, and the freedom to choose to receive or decline the shot. We take advantage of the law. A number of courts have been on the patient’s side.

Superintendent Of Public Instruction Race Could Prompt High Turnout

Superintendent Of Public Instruction Race Could Prompt High Turnout

By Catherine Barrett |

Following the dissatisfaction with the education system last year, the Superintendent of Public Instruction race this year is bound to witness a huge turnout of parents and taxpayers. The recent school closings have been a source of frustration for many parents since they have coughed up a significant amount of money to keep their children in school.

The education system has not been kind to the parents due to the coronavirus outbreak, which forced all schools closed in order to avoid putting students at risk of contracting the virus. However, the education sector has not been resilient in its work and should have invented preventive measures to ensure that students returned to learning after a short period. The closing of schools indefinitely caused the taxpayer’s money to be wasted as money was already dispersed to the Department of Education to cater to education needs.

The general public is disappointed by the fact that around 7.1 billion dollars were spent on education, yet schools remained closed for a more extended period than deemed necessary by some.

Most working-class parents have been frustrated by the closures since their children needed extra care than they would have if schools were opened. Some financially unstable families also depend on schools for childcare and food for their children. The parents were forced to spend more to cater to their children’s welfare when they had already paid for school fees and taxes to keep them in school. This was a extra burden as some parents lost their jobs during the pandemic, and some had to close their business permanently. With more than 124,000 schools closed, many children were affected, and some were forced to drop out of schools after they reopened due to challenging financial situations their families faced.

Catherine Barrett, an Arizona Master Teacher, has been called “the bravest teacher advocate in the state” by educators and lawmakers. She holds Masters degree in Education and had been teaching for 19 years.

Arizona Health Department Recommends Resuming Use Of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

Arizona Health Department Recommends Resuming Use Of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

After two federal agencies recommended a pause in use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) announced on Friday it is advising providers to resume use of the one-dose vaccine.

The ADHS announcement follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory expressing confidence that the vaccine is safe and effective in preventing COVID-19.

The two federal agencies had recommended a pause in use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine based on six reported U.S. cases, out of 6.8 million doses administered nationally, of a rare and severe type of blood clot in vaccinated individuals. The ADHS determination said available data suggest the chance of this reaction is very low, though the CDC and FDA said they will remain vigilant in continuing to investigate this risk.

So far in Arizona, 226,300 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been allocated, of which approximately 122,000 have been administered.

Information provided with the vaccine will advise patients about extremely low potential for thrombosis-thrombocytopenia syndrome, which involves blood clots and low blood platelet counts. This very rare syndrome was identified primarily in females between the ages of 18 and 49.

Information about all vaccination sites across Arizona can be found at azhealth.gov/findvaccine.