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Editor Daily Rundown: Biden’s Vaccine Mandates Face Supreme Court And White House Advisers Call For New COVID Strategy

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Vince Coglianese Editorial Director
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TODAY: BIDEN’S VACCINE MANDATES FACE SUPREME COURT… AXIOS: The fate of Biden’s vaccine mandates is in the Supreme Court’s hands

The Supreme Court will hear arguments this morning over two of the Biden administration’s flagship COVID-19 policies:

An emergency vaccinate-or-test rule covering an estimated 80 million employees at large companies, issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

A vaccine mandate for health care workers at facilities that receive Medicare or Medicaid funds. […]

The federal vaccine rules were challenged by a coalition of Republican state attorneys general and conservative business and religious groups almost immediately after they were announced in November.

The Chamber of Commerce, which typically opposes workplace regulations, is not a party in the cases.

 

HEAR THE ORAL ARGUMENTS LIVE… 11 AM ET… CSPAN: Justices Hear Case on Vaccine Mandate for Health Care Workers (AUDIO)

 

BIDEN ADVISERS CALL FOR CHANGE IN COVID STRATEGY: TIME TO ‘LIVE WITH THE VIRUS’… ESTABLISH A NEW ‘SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM’… MANDATE VAX FOR CHILDREN… WAPO: Former Biden advisers call for ‘new’ covid strategy

Six former health advisers to President Biden’s transition team released a series of journal articles on Thursday calling for a “new normal” in the nation’s approach to fighting the coronavirus and other viral threats. […]

Rather than continuing in “a perpetual state of emergency,” [Ezekiel Emanuel] and the others argue, the United States must shift to a strategy of seeking to live with the virus by suppressing its peaks, rather than attempting to eliminate it. […]

[T]he advisers note that last summer, Biden announced that “we’ve gained the upper hand against this virus,” after the CDC moved to roll back masking and social distancing recommendations. “The Delta variant proved these steps to be premature,” the advisers write, calling for “humility” in crafting a national strategy that grapples with covid’s persistence as the virus evolves.

To do so, the advisers say that vast new investments are needed, such as a “real-time, opt-out digital surveillance system” that would better monitor vaccinated Americans’ immunity levels and help determine whether new boosters are needed. […]

In another article, the advisers call on the federal government to help phase in new vaccines that target specific variants, a step that vaccine makers have explored but that the White House has so far suggested is unnecessary. The authors also called for a coronavirus vaccine mandate for schoolchildren, pending more risk-benefit data and formal licensure of the children’s vaccine from federal regulators.

 

EUROPEAN COUNTRY ARRESTS CITIZENS FOR PHONY VAX CARDS… Austrian Police Raid Multiple Homes Over Allegedly Falsified Vaccine Passports

Austrian police performed nationwide raids against those suspected of selling fraudulent vaccination passes on Wednesday, Euro News reported.

The Ministry of the Interior said a total of 22 individuals were under investigation for “forgery, use of falsified documents and fraud,” Euro News reported. Officials said each of the suspects is an anti-vaccine activist, accused of trafficking fake health passes for themselves and family.

“The suspects form a heterogeneous group, with the only common factor being the rejection of public protection standards,” the ministry said Wednesday, Euro News reported. Reportedly fake vaccine passes, mobile phones and computers were seized during the raids by authorities.

 

WAPO ADMITS OMICRON HOSPITALIZATIONS ARE COMPLETELY MISLEADING… ONE MEDICAL DIRECTOR ADMITS THAT OLD HOSPITALIZATION DATA COULD HAVE BEEN MISLEADING, TOO… WAPO: In the nation’s hospitals, this covid wave is different

This time, a majority of patients counted as covid cases in some hospitals were initially admitted for other reasons, their covid infections discovered incidentally. And hospital staffs are stretched more than ever, with nearly 1 in 4 medical centers reporting this week they have a “critical” staffing shortage, the highest proportion of the pandemic.

In Los Angeles, where the fast-spreading omicron variant reigns, roughly two-thirds of covid patients in the county’s public hospitals were initially admitted for other causes, officials said Wednesday.[…]

Hospitals are not required to publicly report how many patients are admitted with covid as the primary diagnosis, and many organizations contacted by The Post — including large, multistate health systems such as Dignity Health in the West, Advocate Aurora Health in the Midwest and Mayo Clinic, with campuses around the nation — said they had not been monitoring that breakdown or could not easily produce it. Hospital associations in Minnesota, Ohio, Vermont and other states also said they were not tracking why patients needed to be hospitalized for covid.

But amid omicron’s rapid advance, some hospitals have taken a fresh look at why patients are again filling their wards, trying to better understand the care and equipment necessary to fight the new surge, after earlier outbreaks sparked scrambles to find ventilators and secure other lifesaving interventions.

Katie Veron Taylor, medical director of infection prevention at Our Lady of the Lake hospital in Baton Rouge on Wednesday calculated that about one-third of the hospital’s 115 covid patients had asymptomatic or mild cases and had been admitted for unrelated reasons.

“Am I worried about those? Not really,” she said. “It does make me wonder how many incidental cases we had of delta, and I don’t think we were really focused on that back then.”

 

FORMER PLANNED PARENTHOOD PRESIDENT SAYS SCHOOL CLOSURES HARM CHILDREN… LEANA WEN: Omicron is not a reason to keep schools closed

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has compiled dozens of studies that show schools can be some of the safest places in terms of covid-19. Research from North Carolina, Utah and Missouri have shown that even when community infection rates are high, there was minimal school-related transmission in districts that implemented protective measures. […]

[T]he cost of keeping kids out of school has already inflicted grave harm. Educational disparities have dramatically widened, especially in schools with high poverty rates. So many children and adolescents are suffering from depression, trauma and stress that the American Academy of Pediatrics and other groups have declared a state of emergency for children’s mental health.

Schools must be open now, not in two weeks, as some have suggested.

 

NEW LOW JOE… POLL: Biden’s Approval Rating Crashes To 24% With Independents

President Joe Biden’s approval ratings with crucial swing voters hit a new low, with only 24% of Independents approving of the president’s job, a new Civiqs poll found.

The Jan. 4 poll found that nationally, 56% of registered voters disapprove of how Biden is handling his job as president. That number is up more than 10% from when Biden was first sworn in on Inauguration Day, with 43% of voters disapproving.

Out of all fifty states, only three (Hawaii, Massachusetts and Vermont) approve of the president’s performance. Biden is also trailing in approval ratings across all four age demographics: 18-34, 35-49, 50-64, and 65+. Among those 18 to 34 years old, Biden’s approval rating is the lowest at 27%, with 58% disapproving.

The Civiqs poll, broken down party lines, found 96% of Republicans disapprove, while 73% of Democrats approve of the 46th president’s job performance.

 

Kamala Harris Compares January 6 To September 11 And The Attack On Pearl Harbor

Vice President Kamala Harris compared the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol to the September 11th terrorist attacks and the attack on Pearl Harbor during remarks Thursday.

Both Pearl Harbor and 9/11 were foreign attacks that resulted in thousands of dead Americans and sparked years-long global wars.

Harris and President Joe Biden spoke Thursday at National Statuary Hall at the United States Capitol to mark the one-year anniversary of the riot, which saw some supporters of President Donald Trump storm the U.S. Capitol as lawmakers voted to certify the election results for Biden.

“Certain dates echo throughout history, including dates that instantly remind all who have lived through them where they were, and what they were doing when our democracy came under assault,” Harris declared. “Dates that occupy not only a place on our calendars, but a place in our collective memory. December 7, 1941, September 11th, 2001 and January 6th, 2021.”

 

JULIO ROSAS: 9/11 First Responders and Families Have Something to Say About Dems Claiming 1/6 Was Just as Bad

Vice President Kamala Harris began her speech at the Capitol on Thursday by linking all three events.

“Certain dates echo throughout history, including dates that instantly remind all who have lived through them where they were and what they were doing when our democracy came under assault. Dates that occupy not only a place on our calendars but a place in our collective memory. December 7, 1941. September 11, 2001. And January 6, 2021,” Harris said. […]

Understandably, those who were first responders on 9/11 or had family members as first responders called out the exaggerations[…]

 

ROB O’DONNELL, FORMER NYPD DETECTIVE: As someone who was standing inside the North Tower in a hole from a truck bomb on February 26, 1993, and at Ground Zero on September 11th, 2001, delete your account as you haven’t a clue about real vs imagined terrorist acts. Do better & ease off the political kool Aid.

 

HARRISON FIELDS: As the son of a 9/11 first responder & survivor, & as someone who experienced the tragedy of 1/06, I can tell you unequivocally—1/06 was NOT & will NEVER be comparable to 9/11. To hear the @VP compare the 6th to 9/11 is a slap in the face to 9/11 survivors & heroes like my mom.

 

PELOSI’S JAN 6 FESTIVITIES INCLUDED A PERFORMANCE FROM THE CAST OF ‘HAMILTON’… We Didn’t Expect Dems’ Jan. 6 Celebration To Be Remotely Comical, But Then Pelosi Introduced The Writer Of ‘Hamilton’ (VIDEO)

We at the Daily Caller were not expecting any comedy during the holiest of J6 celebrations for elected Democrats and their friends in media, but then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi actually ceded the floor of Congress to “Sopranos” extra and “Hamilton” playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Consistent with a day chock full of political theater, Pelosi first introduced the Broadway playwright Thursday as one of the “great creative talents of our time.”

“May his beautiful words be an inspiration to us,” Pelosi added. “Among the words he said in the music ‘we’ll make it right for you if we lay a strong enough foundation, we’ ll pass it on to you and we will give the world to you.’”

 

‘This Is Their Christmas’: DeSantis Criticizes Media, Democrats For Celebrating Jan. 6 Riot

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis slammed journalists Thursday for being obsessed with the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol building.

DeSantis made the comments at a press conference about coronavirus testing in Florida, according to Business Insider.

“This is their Christmas: January 6,” DeSantis said, reported Business Insider. “They are going to take this and milk this for anything they can to be able to smear anyone who ever supported Donald Trump.”

Business Insider asked DeSantis to comment on the Capitol riot anniversary and whether he planned to speak with former President Donald Trump on Thursday.

DeSantis answered the question by saying efforts to compare the Jan 6. Capitol riot to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack is an “insult” to first responders, reported Business Insider.

 

CRUZ CLAIMS HE WAS BEING ‘SLOPPY’ WHEN HE CALLED RIOT ‘A VIOLENT TERRORIST ATTACK’… Tucker Confronts Ted Cruz Over Calling Capitol Rioters ‘Terrorists’ (VIDEO)

Carlson confronted Cruz over his remarks made at a Senate Rules Committee hearing with U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger on the eve of the Capitol riot’s one-year anniversary. The Texas senator called the Jan. 6, 2021, incident “a violent terrorist attack on the Capitol” and honored law enforcement officials’ “incredible courage.”

“You never use words carelessly and yet you called this a terror attack when by no definition was it a terror attack. That’s a lie. You told that lie on purpose and I’m wondering why you did,” Carlson said.

“The way I phrased things yesterday, it was sloppy and it was frankly dumb—” Cruz said.

Carlson interrupted saying he does “not buy” the senator’s explanation, believing that he intentionally used the word “terrorist” to describe the riot.

“So, Tucker, as a result of my sloppy phrasing, it’s caused a lot of people to misunderstand what I meant,” the senator said. “Let me tell you what I meant to say. What I was referring to are the limited number of people who engaged in violent attacks against police officers. I think you and I both agree that if you assault a police officer, you should go to jail.”

 

IT’S NOT THE FIRST TIME… BRIAN COHEN: Yesterday? You have used this phrase multiple times over a span of months. (SCREENGRABS OF STATEMENTS)

 

DEM GOV SEEKS TO OUTLAW LYING… WASHINGTON STATE GOV. JAY INSLEE: Today I’m announcing my support for legislation currently being written that would outlaw attempts by candidates and elected officials to spread lies about free and fair elections when it has the likelihood to stoke violence.

 

TOM COTTON WAS RIGHT, WAPO WAS WRONG… THE BOSTON BOMBER DID RECEIVE A COVID STIMULUS CHECK… JOHN SEXTON: Washington Post corrects another story about Sen. Tom Cotton

As a result, the verdict was changed from two Pinocchios to one, which Kessler says is the Post’s equivalent of “mostly true.”

I’m honestly not sure what the one Pinocchio is still there for other than saving face. Sen. Cotton warned notorious criminals would get government checks and one of the two he named did get one. That may be a talking point that’s useful to the GOP for campaign ads but it’s also completely true. Isn’t the truth of the thing what the fact-checker is supposed to be concerned about? I thought so anyway. Arguing that Sen. Cotton voted for something similarly lax in the past isn’t a fact check so much as it’s oppo research for Democrats. That’s fine if you’re a partisan blogger trying to make a case against an opponent. It’s not a “fact” check though.

 

CALLING ALL PATRIOTS: The National Football League’s 2021 (NFL) season has seen a lot less kneeling than previous seasons. Teams are now getting ready to play their final games of the season and prepare for the playoffs. Did you watch the NFL more in 2021 compared to last season? Let us know in the form.