COVID mania just won’t go away. The deadly strains of the virus have been gone for two years now, and yet the recent outbreak of a mild flu-like variant is again stoking panic on the Left.
Nearly 100 universities are requiring masks this fall.
Lionsgate movie studios in Los Angeles and Atlanta-based Morris Brown College this week stated they are reinstating not just mask mandates but social distancing measures and contact tracing.
CNN, which led the panic in 2020 and 2021 — causing manic school, restaurant and business shutdowns and vaccine mandates — recently put out a headline on its website that encouraged its readers not to go outside without a mask on. Really? The latest evidence finds this is less dangerous than a normal flu virus and tracking data suggest that the wave has already peaked.
What’s even more disturbing here is that the leftist medical community and the media aren’t renouncing their calls for mitigation strategies that were catastrophically wrong in the panic era of 2020 and 2021 — but instead calling for more of these assaults on freedom in the future.
It is one thing for well-meaning medical experts to have disagreed about how to best combat a once-in-a-half-century deadly virus. We didn’t know exactly what we were dealing with. But now we know with concrete scientific evidence that most mandates and lockdowns had a small impact on the spread of the virus and on fatalities. It turns out there was almost no difference in death rates in states with strict lockdowns and no lockdowns at all. The same is true of cross-country evidence.
Healthy children were never at risk from COVID (something we knew early on), so shutting down schools for one or two years was a sop to the teachers unions but a disaster for this generation of kids. Test scores are the worst in 30 years.
Before the pandemic, only 15% of public school students were chronically absent — more than 18 or more days a year.
Stanford University education professor Thomas Dee’s data shows an estimated 6.5 million additional students are now chronically absent. In Connecticut and Massachusetts, chronic absenteeism remains double its pre-pandemic rate.
But polls show that Democrats — even those that are highly educated — generally still support the lockdowns that were mandated. These are the same people who lecture about “following the science.” The most comprehensive study by experts at Johns Hopkins University found death rates from lockdowns were reduced by 0.1 percent. But how many people died from the isolation of lockdowns, delayed health screening from cancer, the increase in drug overdoses?
Biden’s vaccine mandates only made Americans more resistant to get pricked. They backfired.
Worst of all, Anthony Fauci, who remains a hero of the Left, recently not only refused to admit the errors of his advice but said the “lockdown was absolutely justified.”
Why does this bizarre rewrite of recent history matter? Because the fearmongering Left can’t wait to install new lockdowns every time we have a new flu virus and health scare. They’ve even started putting out feelers for occasional climate change economic shutdowns.
Those who love freedom must strenuously resist this coming tyranny.
A freshman Arizona Senator is alerting her constituents of the laws protecting their freedoms in the event that another round of politicized COVID-19 cases sweeps the nation.
Senator Janae Shamp sent out a press release on Thursday, “reminding Arizonans of the safeguards put in place by Republicans at the Legislature to protect against future outrageous overreach and scientifically baseless restrictions.”
Shamp’s motivation was seeing “fear over mask mandates and the politicization of COVID-19 from the Left once again become a focal point heading into the upcoming 2024 election cycle.”
The Republican Senator issued the following statement: “With election season upon us, we’re once again witnessing COVID-19 fearmongering from the Left as liberal entities in Georgia, New York and California are now once again overstepping their authority in dictating mask mandates. As a registered nurse who has been detrimentally impacted by government infringement not based on scientific evidence, I want you to rest assured that I will fight tooth and nail to make sure you’re protected from this gross overreach. If you want to wear a mask, wear a mask. If you don’t want to wear a mask, don’t wear one. This is a personal choice that our citizens are allowed to make. If a business wants to force you to wear a mask and you don’t wish to, you have the right to take your business elsewhere. I will work to provide more guidance for you and your family as needed, and I vow to craft more legislation next session that further protects your God-given freedoms.”
Senator Shamp shared four laws:
In 2021, A.R.S. 44-7951 was enacted to protect businesses in Arizona from being required to enforce a mask mandate established by state, city, county and town governments, or any other jurisdiction within Arizona.
In 2022, A.R.S. 1-611 was enacted to protect students under the age of 18 at public district or charter schools from being required to wear a mask without the express consent of the child’s parent or guardian.
Additionally in 2022, A.R.S 36-681 was enacted to protect the public from forced masking at any government building or premises, except where long-standing workplace safety and infection control measures that are unrelated to COVID-19 may be required.
Furthermore, should the Governor implement a state of emergency for “public health” reasons, last year’s enacted A.R.S 26-303 would require the Governor to first get permission from the Legislature in order to extend the emergency past 120 days.
Reports have surged about an increase in COVID-19 cases with the spread of the EG.5 (“Eris”), FL.1.5.1 (“Fornax”), and BA.2.86 (“Pirola”). These developments have led to the return of some masking requirements around the nation. In Atlanta, Morris Brown College sent an email to its faculty, staff, and students, announcing the reinstatement of its COVID-19 mask mandate because of “reports of positive cases among students in the Atlanta University Center.” The college also reimposed physical distancing and gathering restrictions on campus.
The movie studio Lionsgate in Los Angeles also brought back its mask mandate for the office, as did Kaiser Permanente for its Santa Rosa (California) hospital and medical offices.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently warned, “This week’s national ensemble predicts that the number of daily COVID-19 hospital admissions will increase, with 1,100 to 7,500 daily COVID-19 hospital admissions likely reported on September 18.”
Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.
The overwhelming majority of people are done with COVID restrictions. Just look at the reaction when mask mandates were put to an end on airplanes last month. Cheering. Celebration. Throwing masks away. There’s nothing surprising about this—unless of course you’re a member of the liberal media.
With a desire to tackle COVID overreach head on, our own state lawmakers got to work last year. And through a series of Budget Reconciliation Bills, they took important steps to protect Arizonans from more COVID mandates.
But then in November, some of the protections were thrown out in court on procedural grounds. Thankfully, the Arizona legislature didn’t ignore the problem and got back to work this year. Now, they have passed several significant bills that are officially signed into law to protect against future COVID and government overreach…
A major U.S.-based airline is pushing for a long-lasting consequence for disruptive passengers—having their names added to the FAA’s “no-fly” list. But it is not only passengers who engage in violence or a threat of violence who could end up banned from flying.
On Feb. 3, CEO Edward Bastian of Delta Airlines wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland asking for support of a plan to ensure more passengers who engage in disorderly conduct on an airplane or even in an airport could be barred from traveling on any commercial air carrier in the future.
“At Delta, nothing is more important than ensuring a safe and secure travel experience for consumers as they reclaim the skies in the months ahead,” Bastian wrote, adding that any “disruption or act of violence on our planes and at our airports warrants full and public prosecution of the offenders, with zero tolerance for any behavior that interferes with flight safety.”
In January, federal prosecution was initiated against passengers in at least four acts of violence against various airline employees. There are also many instances in which a passenger acts in a disorderly manner without placing anyone, or an aircraft, in immediate danger, and is therefore not prosecuted.
Which is why Bastian is calling on all U.S. commercial air carriers to share their “unruly passenger” no-fly list so that individuals with a history of bad behavior against one airline can be prevented from doing the same on another carrier.
But it is not simply passengers who verbally or physically assault crew members or fellow passengers who are considered unruly, according to Bastian’s letter to Merrick.
Passengers who refuse to wear a mask on an aircraft, even when social distancing is occurring or when the passenger is trying to eat, can be deemed by a flight crew member of acting in a disorderly manner. In fact, Bastion’s letter notes nearly 1,900 passengers have been added to Delta’s internal no-fly list for refusing to comply with mask mandates.
The company has also submitted more than 900 of those names to the Transportation Security Administration to pursue civil penalties, Bastian wrote. Such penalties can include thousands of dollars per violation, even if there is no criminal prosecution.
Delta is one of 10 members of Airlines for America (A4A), formerly the Air Association of America, which represents the interests of several of the country’s leading airlines. The other A4A members are Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, jetBlue, Southwest, and United, as well as commercial cargo carriers Atlas Air Worldwide, FedEx Express, and UPS.
The House Government and Elections Committee passed two bills prohibiting government entities from requiring masks or COVID-19 vaccines. The first bill, HB2498, prohibits governments from mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for any Arizonan; The second bill, HB2453, would eliminate all governmental authority to require masks or face coverings on their premises, with an exception carved out for areas with workplace safety and infection control measures unrelated to COVID-19. For both bills, “government entities” are defined as those who receive and use tax revenues.
Both bills were introduced by Queen Creek Republicans: State Representatives Jake Hoffman and Neal Carter, respectively. HB2498 passed 7-5 along party lines, with State Representative Alma Hernandez (D-Tucson) abstaining her vote. HB2453 passed more narrowly, 7-6 along party lines.
State Representative Sarah Liguori (D-Phoenix) argued during Wednesday’s committee that the vaccine prevents individuals from spreading COVID-19; Hoffman, the vice chairman, rebutted that simply wasn’t the case. Liguori argued, based on a definition from ushistory.org, that governments provide everyday behavior parameters, well-being, and happiness for citizens. Hoffman responded that the definition wasn’t at all aligned with the U.S. Constitution.
“I honestly don’t give a rat’s ass what ushistory.org says,” said Hoffman. “We exist to protect the rights of our citizens. One of their own rights is to choose their own bodily decisions. It’s their right to choose whether or not a vaccine is injected into them.”
A male legislator chimed in to say Hoffman’s argument aligned with pro-abortion arguments; Hoffman rebutted that wasn’t true because a baby’s life was at stake.
Minority Leader Reginald Bolding (D-Laveen) insisted that the fact that vaccines don’t prevent individuals from catching or spreading COVID-19 was “unfounded.” He then characterized the bill as an overreach preventing individuals from obtaining the protections of a vaccine, though he didn’t clarify how this bill had any bearing on individuals choosing to get vaccinated voluntarily.
“If we have the ability to have a vaccine that would prevent individuals from becoming severely ill or losing their life, we should not be standing in the way of that. I believe this bill is an additional overreach,” said Bolding.
Hoffman reiterated that the American system of government doesn’t have a right to force its citizens to take a vaccine they don’t want to have.
“Our overture to the world on what sets this people apart from everywhere else: ‘We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” said Hoffman. “The choice of the governed. It is not in the American system that a government can tell them what to do, can force them to take a vaccine.”
As AZ Free News reported, Carter asserted that his bill, HB2453, would curb further exacerbations of the current hiring and employee shortages in addition to respecting the right of individuals to make their own health decisions.
During the committee meeting, Bolding called the bill “misplaced policy” by not allowing local governments to protect their citizens by requiring masks. State Representative John Fillmore (R-Apache Junction) responded that he feels bad that any individual would die from an infectious disease, but it saddened him greatly too that a whole society allowed the government to assume complete control over their lives.
“I was appalled that the churches did not rise in opposition when [the government] said that people could not go and pray to the gods of their choice and live out their lives, like they did during the Revolutionary War which sparked freedom in America the way that it did,” said Fillmore.
Liguori insisted that “the science” proved mask wearing prevented spread of COVID-19, and that masks weren’t a partisan issue.