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Editor Daily Rundown: Americans March To End Mandates

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Vince Coglianese Editorial Director
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AMERICANS MARCH TO END MANDATES… Over 30,000 People Marched To ‘Defeat the Mandates’ In Washington D.C. (VIDEO)

Over 30,000 people took to the streets in Washington D.C. for the “Defeat the Mandates: An American Homecoming” march to protest “draconian COVID-19 requirements” Sunday, Fox News reported.

Protesters attending the march called for the end to COVID-19 vaccine mandates across the country, according to Fox News. Speakers at the march included Dr. Robert Malone, a scientist who was instrumental in inventing mRNA technology, and Stephanie De Garay, whose daughter Maddie De Garay became ill after receiving a COVID-19 shot in a clinical trial.

“You’re going to hear a lot of people … on the left say this is a big, anti-vax rally — it’s people coming in to deny science” said march organizer and PragerUcommentator Will Witt, according to Fox News. “But this march is about the mandate, and this march is about the Draconian measures that we’re seeing all across this country right now, especially in places like D.C., New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco.”

SO DO EUROPEANS… AP: Vaccine passport protests in Europe draw thousands of people

HELSINKI (AP) — Thousands of people gathered in European capitals Saturday to protest vaccine passports and other requirements governments have imposed in hopes of ending the coronavirus pandemic.

Demonstrations took place in Athens, Helsinki, London, Paris and Stockholm.

Marches in Paris drew hundreds of demonstrators protesting the introduction from Monday of a new COVID-19 pass. It will severely restrict the lives of those who refuse to get vaccinated by banning them from domestic flights, sports events, bars, cinemas and other leisure venues. French media reported that demonstrators also marched by the hundreds in other cities.

In Sweden, where vaccine certificates are required to attend indoor events with more than 50 people, some 3,000 demonstrators marched though central Stockholm and assembled in a main square for a protest organized by the Frihetsrorelsen – or Freedom Movement.

MAHER: ‘I WAS ALWAYS SCARED OF THE REACTION TO’ COVID… ‘I’m Over COVID’: Bill Maher Asks ‘What The ‘F*ck’ Is The Use Of Boosters, Slams Handling Of Pandemic

Bill Maher said he’s “over COVID” and declared he won’t be getting a booster.

“I feel like Covid is still the dominant issue of our lives right now and it should not be anymore,” the host of “Real Time with Bill Maher” said according to Deadline magazine in a piece published Friday.

“And I think the big discussion on our show Friday night when we go on, is should we continue with the Covid policies we’ve had in the past?” he added, questioning if it was time for a reset.

“I’m over Covid,” Maher continued. “I was never scared of it. I was always scared of the reaction to it, and as this has played out that only proved to be more true for me. I’m sure many people feel different, but that’s me. It was never that virulent a threat, I thought, to people who were in good health.”

BARI WEISS CALLS COVID ‘A PANDEMIC OF BUREAUCRACY’… RCP: Bari Weiss: Pandemic Will Be Remembered By The Younger Generation As A “Catastrophic Moral Crime” (VIDEO)

Writer Bari Weiss on the COVID pandemic and young people: “I’m sorry, but if you believe the science, you will look at the data that we did not have two years ago and you will find out that cloth masks do not do anything. You will realize that you can show your vaccine passport at a restaurant and still be asymptomatic in carrying Omicron. And you realize, most importantly, that this will be remembered by the younger generation as a catastrophic moral crime.”

ANOTHER LOOK AT COVID’S ORIGINS… NEWLY REVEALED DOCS SHOW TOP VIROLOGISTS STRONGLY SUSPECTED LAB LEAK… NICHOLAS WADE, FORMER NYT REPORTER: A Covid Origin Conspiracy?

Now a string of unearthed emails—the most recent being a batch viewed by the House Oversight and Reform Committee and referred to in its January 11, 2022 letter—is making it seem increasingly likely that there was, in fact, a conspiracy, its aim being to suppress the notion that the virus had emerged from research funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), headed by Anthony Fauci. The latest emails don’t prove such a conspiracy, but they make it more plausible, for two reasons: because the expert virologists therein present such a strong case for thinking that the virus had lab-made features and because of the wholly political reaction to this bombshell on the part of Francis Collins, then-director of the National Institutes of Health. […]

Andersen reported to Fauci that “after discussions earlier today, Eddie, Bob, Mike and myself all find the genome inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory.” Eddie is Edward C. Holmes of the University of Sydney; Bob is Robert F. Garry of Tulane University; Mike is Michael Farzan at Scripps Research. In their unanimous view, the virus didn’t come from nature and may instead have escaped from a lab.

We knew this much already from emails obtained in June 2021 by a Freedom of Information Act request, as well as from the fact that a teleconference took place the following day (February 1, 2020) to discuss the virologists’ conclusion. But something remarkable happened at the conference, because within three days Andersen was singing a different tune. In a February 4, 2020 email, he derided ideas about a lab leak as “crackpot theories” that “relate to this virus being somehow engineered with intent and that is demonstrably not the case.” […]

A striking feature of the excerpts released in the committee’s January 11, 2022 letter is that the virologists had little doubt that the virus bore the fingerprints of manipulation. The focus of their attention was a genetic element called a furin cleavage site. This short snippet of genetic material is what makes the virus so infectious for human cells. Scientists sometimes add this element to laboratory viruses to make them more virulent, but in nature, viruses usually acquire runs of genetic material like this by swapping them with other members of their family. The furin cleavage site in the Covid virus sticks out like a sore thumb because no other known member of its family—a group called Sarbecoviruses—possesses a furin cleavage site. So how did the virus acquire it?

A member of the Andersen group, Garry of Tulane University, remarks in the latest emails on the fact that the inserted furin cleavage site, a string of 12 units of RNA, the virus’s genetic material, was exactly the required length, a precision unusual in nature: “I just can’t figure out how this gets accomplished in nature . . . it’s stunning. Of course, in the lab it would be easy to generate the perfect 12 base insert that you wanted.”

Another member of the Andersen group, Farzan of Scripps Research, apparently felt much the same way. “He is bothered by the furin cleavage site and has a hard time explain[ing] that as an event outside the lab (though, there are possible ways in nature, but highly unlikely),” the House committee’s letter says of his remarks. Farzan noted that viruses can acquire elements like furin cleavage sites when grown in cultures of human cells, so “instead of directed engineering . . . acquisition of the furin site would be highly compatible with the continued passage of virus in tissue culture.” Both routes— direct insertion of the cleavage site or tissue culture—would mean that the virus came from a lab.

IN VIRGINIA, IT’S MASKS OFF, GLOVES OFF… ABC7: ‘Mask off Monday’: Some Va. parents to send maskless kids to school per governor’s order

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (7News) — Monday morning, some Northern Virginia parents are sending their kids to school without masks and arming them with a copy of the new governor’s executive order.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin has called for the end of mask-wearing inside schools but several school districts have decided to keep their current mandates in place. Youngkin’s order rescinds the requirement of masks in public schools and allows parents the option of whether their child wears a mask in school. It goes into effect on Jan. 24 at 12 a.m.

NORTHERN VIRGINIA SCHOOLS THREATEN TO PUNISH MASKLESS STUDENTS… VINCE COGLIANESE: A Stafford County, VA schools employee just called into the show. She tells me teachers there engage in “raucous laughter” when parental rights are invoked. She says the school system intends to suspend students whose families decide not to mask them up starting Monday.(THREAD, AUDIO)

FAIRFAX COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT VOWS CONSEQUENCES… ASRA NOMANI: BREAKING. New document received by @DefendingEd reveals @fcpsnews Scott Brabrand today ordered principals to suspend students from school if they don’t wear masks. Brabrand sets up showdown with @GovernorVA @WinsomeSears @JasonMiyaresVA @jillian4supt.

AND DOUBLES DOWN AFTER DOCUMENTS GO PUBLIC… VINCE COGLIANESE: NEW: Fairfax County, VA Superintendent Scott Brabrand just emailed parents, doubling down on plan to punish mask-free students next week, in defiance of Gov. Youngkin’s executive order. (SCREENGRABS)

NEW… 7 VIRGINIA SCHOOLS BOARDS SUE YOUNGKIN… STATEMENT FROM FAIRFAX COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS, ON MONDAY MORNING: Seven School Divisions Take Joint Legal Action to Affirm Local Constitutional Authority to Keep Public Schools Safe

Today, the School Boards of Alexandria City, Arlington County, City of Richmond, Fairfax County, Falls Church City, Hampton City and Prince William County, filed a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of Executive Order 2 issued by the governor on January 15, 2022. The legal action, representing over 350,000 students across the state, defends the right of school boards to enact policy at the local level, including policies that protect the health and well-being of all students and staff.

This legal action centers on fundamental questions about the framework of public education in Virginia, as set out in the Virginia Constitution and by the General Assembly. At issue is whether locally-elected school boards have the exclusive authority and responsibility conferred upon them by Article VIII, § 7 of the Constitution of Virginia over supervision of the public schools in their respective communities, or whether an executive order can unilaterally override that constitutional authority.

Also at issue is whether a governor can, through executive order, without legislative action by the Virginia General Assembly, reverse a lawfully-adopted statute. In this case, Senate Bill 1303, adopted with the goal of returning students to safe in-person instruction five days a week in March 2021, and still legally in effect, provides that local school boards should follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) health and safety requirements.

Without today’s action, school boards are placed in a legally untenable position — faced with an executive order that is in conflict with the constitution and state law. Today’s action is not politically motivated. These seven school divisions would welcome the opportunity to collaborate with the governor to ensure the safety and welfare of all students.

This lawsuit is not brought out of choice, but out of necessity.

With COVID-19 transmission rates high, our hospitals at crisis level, and the continued recommendation of health experts to retain universal mask-wearing for the time being, this is simply not the time to remove this critical component of layered health and safety mitigation strategies. School divisions need to continue to preserve their authority to protect and serve all our students, including our most vulnerable, who need these mitigation measures perhaps more than anyone to be able to continue to access in-person instruction.

VIRGINIA GOV URGES PATIENCE WITH LEGAL BATTLE UNDERWAY… GLENN YOUNGKIN, SATURDAY: While the legal process continues on the parental opt out of mask mandates for their children in schools, I urge everyone to love your neighbor, to listen to school principals, and to trust the legal process.

VA LT GOV. WINSOME SEARS: Virginia parents, according to the Attorney General, the Virginia Supreme Court will be taking up the school mask debate this week. Our Governor has asked for patience. #everforward #Virginia

STATE’S DEMOCRATS PUSH TO DEPRIVE PARENTS OF CHOICE ON MASKING… VA DEMOCRATS: TODAY: House and Senate Democrats and concerned Virginia parents will hold a press conference on the Governor’s illegal executive order that eliminates mask requirements in schools. 10:30 AM Facebook.com/VaDemocrats

JOURNALIST NOTICES DRAMATIC TONE DIFFERENCE IN REACTION TO GOVS PULLING VAX MANDATES… JOSH BARRO: Lots of outrage when Glenn Youngkin reversed Virginia’s vaccine mandate for state workers. Pretty muted reaction to Ned Lamont (D) doing same in Connecticut.

LINKS TO… CT MIRROR: State worker vaccination mandate to expire, among other executive orders

Legislative leaders said Wednesday night that Gov. Ned Lamont will not seek an extension of his executive order requiring state employees to either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing.

His decision takes one of his more controversial orders off the table as the governor and lawmakers negotiate new rules for managing the pandemic after the expiration of his emergency powers on Feb. 15. He temporarily suspended the testing requirement before Christmas.

NEW VIRGINIA AG STARTS FIRING STATE-EMPLOYED ATTORNEYS… NYT SUGGESTS CONSPIRACY… NYT: Top Jan. 6 Investigator Fired From Post at the University of Virginia

The top staff investigator on the House committee scrutinizing the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol has been fired by the state’s new Republican attorney general from his position as the top lawyer for the University of Virginia, from which he was on leave while working on the congressional inquiry.

The office of the Virginia attorney general, Jason S. Miyares, said the firing of the investigator, Timothy J. Heaphy, was not related to the Jan. 6 investigation, but the move prompted an outcry from Democrats in the state, who accused him of taking the highly unusual action as a partisan move to further former President Donald J. Trump’s attempts to undermine the committee’s work.

“This is purely payback for Jan. 6 — there is no other reason that makes any sense,” said Scott Surovell, a top Democrat in the Virginia State Senate, who said that he knew of no other similar example in recent history where a new attorney general had immediately removed a school’s top lawyer. “In our state, we normally leave those decisions to the school’s board of visitors and president.”

Victoria LaCivita, a spokeswoman for Mr. Miyares, said: “The decision had nothing to do with the Jan. 6 committee or their investigations.”

In Virginia, the attorney general oversees a range of lawyers across the state, including the top lawyers at the colleges and universities that make up the vast public higher education system. The posts are typically held by career lawyers who are rarely replaced when new attorneys general take over.

In addition to dismissing Mr. Heaphy, Mr. Miyares also had the top lawyer at George Mason University removed.

FORMER VA AG KEN CUCCINELLI: And [HEAPHY WAS] also a lawyer who violated the laws related to grand jury secrecy WHILE HE WAS THE U.S. ATTORNEY for the Western District of Virginia… and his personal list goes on. Legit move by @JasonMiyaresVA (Thread)

I don’t remember any of these media moguls complaining when lefty Mark Herring purged career lawyers from the Virginia AG’s office upon his arrival… Anyone remember any of those complaints? Can you point me to any links of stories on that subject? Yeah, I didn’t think so…

NATO COUNTRIES BEGIN TO SEND MILITARY ASSETS IN RUSSIA’S DIRECTION… AP: NATO outlines ‘deterrence’ plan as tensions with Russia soar

BRUSSELS (AP) — Tensions soared Monday between Russia and the West, with NATO outlining a series of potential troop and ship deployments and Ireland warning that upcoming Russian war games off its coast would not be welcome while concerns abound that Moscow is planning to invade Ukraine.

The Western alliance’s statement summed up moves already announced by individual member countries — but restating them under the NATO banner appeared aimed at showing the alliance’s resolve. It was just one of a series of announcements that signaled the West is ramping up its rhetoric in the information war that has accompanied the Ukraine standoff. […]

On Monday, NATO said that it is beefing up its “deterrence” in the Baltic Sea area. Denmark is sending a frigate and deploying F-16 war planes to Lithuania; Spain is sending four fighter jets to Bulgaria and three ships to the Black Sea to join NATO naval forces; and France stands ready to send troops to Romania. The Netherlands also plans to send two F-35 fighter aircraft to Bulgaria from April.

Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance will “take all necessary measures to protect and defend all allies.” He said: “We will always respond to any deterioration of our security environment, including through strengthening our collective defense.”

DEJA U-KRAINE… BIDEN ADMIN EVACUATES ANOTHER EMBASSY… State Department Urges US Citizens To Leave Ukraine, Will Reduce US Embassy Staff

The State Department authorized an evacuation process Sunday for some staff members at the embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine and is urging American citizens to leave the country amid continued threat of a Russian invasion.

“On January 23, 2022, the Department of State authorized the voluntary departure of U.S. direct hire employees and ordered the departure of eligible family members from Embassy Kyiv due to the continued threat of Russian military action,” the State Department confirmed in a press release. “U.S. citizens in Ukraine should consider departing now using commercial or other privately available transportation options.”

The State Department’s announcement coincides with continued Russian aggression at the Ukrainian border. Russia has been building up its forces at the border for months, and efforts by President Joe Biden’s administration to de-escalate the situation through diplomatic means have proven unsuccessful.

“There are reports Russia is planning significant military action against Ukraine,” the State Department also noted on Sunday. “The security conditions, particularly along Ukraine’s borders, in Russia-occupied Crimea, and in Russia-controlled eastern Ukraine, are unpredictable and can deteriorate with little notice. Demonstrations, which have turned violent at times, regularly occur throughout Ukraine, including in Kyiv.”

SOUTHERN BORDER… TEXAS LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER DEAD AT 37… KAREN TOWNSEND: DPS Special Agent killed during arrest of illegal migrants on the border

The Biden border crisis has produced the death of a law enforcement agent working in support of Operation Lone Star. Criminal Investigations Division (CID) Special Agent Anthony Salas was involved in “an unfortunate car crash” during the arrest of six illegal migrants on Friday. He died Saturday from his injuries.

The Texas Department of Public Safety Officers Association posted the sad news on its Facebook page. Salas was thirty-seven years old, served in the U.S. Marine Corps, and was a Trooper with the Texas Highway Patrol before his promotion to CID Special Agent. Salas was transported by local emergency workers to Fort Duncan Regional Medical Center. He was airlifted to a San Antonio hospital where he died, surrounded by family.

NY TIMES SAYS OUR GENEROUS IMMIGRATION POLICIES ARE *HURTING* POOR COUNTRIES… NYT: Rich Countries Lure Health Workers From Low-Income Nations to Fight Shortages

Canada is among numerous wealthy nations, including the United States and United Kingdom, that are aggressively recruiting medical workers from the developing world to replenish a health care work force drastically depleted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The urgency and strong pull from high-income nations — including countries like Germany and Finland, which had not previously recruited health workers from abroad — has upended migration patterns and raised new questions about the ethics of recruitment from countries with weak health systems during a pandemic.

“We have absolutely seen an increase in international migration,” said Howard Catton, the chief executive of the International Council of Nurses. But, he added, “The high, high risk is that you are recruiting nurses from countries that can least afford to lose their nurses.” […]

“People are leaving constantly,” said Ms. Mwape [of Zambia], whose inbox is flooded with emails from recruiters letting her know how quickly she can get a visa to the United States.

The net effect, she said, “is that we are handicapped.”

“It is the most-skilled nurses that we lose and you can’t replace them,” Ms. Mwape said. “Now in the I.C.U. we might have four or five trained critical-care nurses, where we should have 20. The rest are general nurses, and they can’t handle the burden of Covid.”