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Editor Daily Rundown: CDC Prepares Midterm Mask Flip

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CDC PREPARES MIDTERM MASK FLIP… NBC REPORTER: SCOOP: The @CDCgov is expected to update its indoor masking guidelines for states as early as next week, sources tell me and @HeidiNBC. (LINK)

 

MORE… THE WHITE HOUSE ‘EAGER’ FOR CDC TO CHANGE GUIDANCE… ‘DOESN’T WANT TO APPEAR’ TO BE PLACING ‘POLITICAL PRESSURE’ ON AGENCY, DESPITE PLACING POLITICAL PRESSURE ON AGENCY… NBC: CDC expected to update mask guidance as early as next week

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to loosen its indoor masking guidelines to states soon, according to several people familiar with the matter. The agency’s update could come as early as next week.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the CDC, is expected to discuss masking guidance Wednesday at a White House Covid-19 Response Team briefing.

Nothing has been finalized yet, but the CDC is considering a new benchmark for whether masks are needed, basing it on the level of severe disease and hospitalizations in a given community, two people familiar with the situation said.

The White House has been eager for the CDC to provide an update on its indoor mask recommendation, although it wants the agency to get it right and it doesn’t want to appear as though it is putting political pressure on the agency, said the two people familiar with the plans, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly.

 

FLASHBACK… AUGUST 2021… FDA’S TOP VACCINE REGULATORS RESIGN OVER POLITICAL INTERFERENCE FROM BIDEN WHITE HOUSE… POLITICO…

On Tuesday, two top FDA vaccine regulators resigned — a decision that one former official said was rooted in anger over the agency’s lack of autonomy in the booster planning so far. A current health official said the pair, Marion Gruber and Philip Krause, left over differences with FDA’s top vaccine official Peter Marks. Now the agency is facing a potential mutiny among its staff and outside vaccine advisers, several of whom feel cut out of key decisions and who view the plan to offer boosters to all adults as premature and unnecessary. […]

But for now, much of the discord within the agency centers on the administration’s decision to push ahead with boosters before FDA’s top scientists had a chance to weigh in.

It was “the administration’s booster plan; it wasn’t the FDA’s booster plan,” said Paul Offit, a University of Pennsylvania infectious disease expert who sits on FDA’s vaccine advisory committee. “The administration has kind of backed themselves up against the wall a little bit here.” […]

Another senior health official with direct knowledge of the situation said that political appointees within the White House largely steered the mid-August booster announcement.

The tension within the administration plus open skepticism from outside experts has fueled finger-pointing and divisions among health agencies. Career scientists in particular have been confused and surprised by the process, multiple people involved in the talks said.

 

STOPPING THE LEFT’S CULTURE WAR IS *WILDLY* POPULAR AMONG VOTERS, ACCORDING TO THIS POLITICO PIECE — WHICH INVERTS WHO’S DOING THE ATTACKING, AND WHO’S DOING THE DEFENDING… POLITICO: GOP culture war attacks ‘alarmingly potent,’ DCCC warns

Democrats’ own research shows that some battleground voters think the party is “preachy,” “judgmental” and “focused on culture wars,” according to documents obtained by POLITICO.

And the party’s House campaign arm had a stark warning for Democrats: Unless they more forcefully confront the GOP’s “alarmingly potent” culture war attacks, from critical race theory to defunding the police, they risk losing significant ground to Republicans in the midterms.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is recommending a new strategy to endangered members and their teams, hoping to blunt the kinds of GOP attacks that nearly erased their majority last election and remain a huge risk ahead of November. In presentations over the past two weeks, party officials and operatives used polling and focus group findings to argue Democrats can’t simply ignore the attacks, particularly when they’re playing at a disadvantage. A generic ballot of swing districts from late January showed Democrats trailing Republicans by 4 points, according to the polling.

It wasn’t all bleak, though: The data showed that Democrats could mostly regain the ground lost to Republicans if they offered a strong rebuttal to the political hits. When faced with a “defund the police” attack, for instance, the presenters encouraged Democrats to reiterate their support for police. And on immigration, they said Democrats should deny support for “open borders or amnesty,” and talk about their efforts to keep the border safe.

 

*SAN FRANCISCO* VOTERS OVERWHELMING FIRE LEFT-WING SCHOOL BOARD OFFICIALS… NY POST: San Francisco recalls 3 members of city’s school board

Three members of San Francisco’s school board were ousted Tuesday in the wake of widespread backlash over the slow reopening of schools shut down by COVID-19 and a controversial plan to rename dozens of school sites.

School board president Gabriela López, vice president Faauuga Moliga and commissioner Alison Collins were all stripped of their positions during a special election, according to tallies by the San Francisco Department of Elections.

Furious parents launched the recall effort in January 2021 after arguing the school board was pushing progressive politics instead of acting in the best interests of children amid the pandemic.

“The city of San Francisco has risen up and said this is not acceptable to put our kids last,” said Siva Raj, a father of two who helped launch the recall effort.

 

‘LANDSLIDE’… SF GATE:

The majority of San Franciscans who voted in Tuesday’s special election were in support of recalling three San Francisco school board members, with 79% voting to oust Alison Collins, 75% saying yes to recalling Gabriela López and 72% opting to remove Faauuga Moliga, according to tallies by the San Francisco Department of Elections.

Mayor London Breed will now appoint board replacements to serve until another election in November.

 

TYRANTS TOSSED BY PARENTS, INCLUDING ‘GAYBRAHAM LINCOLN’… SF CHRONICLE:

The recall divided the city for the past year, with a grassroots effort of frustrated parents and community members pushing for the trustees’ removal over the slow reopening of schools during the pandemic and the board’s focus on controversial issues like renaming 44 school sites and ending the merit-based admission system at Lowell High School. […]

“This is what happens when you try to rename the schools in the middle of a pandemic!” exclaimed David Thompson a.k.a “Gaybraham” Lincoln, an SFUSD parent dressed in head-to-toe rainbow drag and towering platform shoes, who described his persona as a form of protest. “We wanted to show the diversity of the community behind this recall. I knew they were going to say, ‘Oh isn’t it just a bunch of Republicans?’ and I’m like, do I look like a Republican?”

 

PARENTS CELEBRATE… NANCY ROMMELMANN: “Common sense is returning to San Francisco” – live at SF school board recall (VIDEO)

 

LEE FANG: No one watches Fox News here. There’s no real right wing influence. The leaders of the recall are nonwhite immigrants. The media will lie nonstop about this but the fact that an overwhelming majority of Democrats recalled San Francisco’s ultra woke school board speaks volumes.

 

SF CHRONICLE: “The voters of this city have delivered a clear message that the school board must focus on the essentials of delivering a well-run school system above all else,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed said in a statement. (LINK)

 

FLASHBACK… DAVE WEIGEL, ON THE ISSUES MOTIVATING PARENTS AHEAD OF THE RECALL VOTE…

[…]a city where Joe Biden won 86 percent of the vote, where Vice President Harris and Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) began their careers, and where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) carries every precinct.

Anger at covid-related school closings is part of it — in-person schooling started up again in August after being closed since March 2020. Annoyance with a campaign to paint over a Depression-era mural with outdated stereotypes is another factor — the board’s majority voted to paint over “The Life of Washington,” then decided merely to cover it with panels, before the pandemic began.

And everyone, from the recall’s proponents to the outspent campaign to protect the three incumbents, agrees that a board vote to replace merit-based admissions at Lowell High School mobilized parents and alumni. As a new lottery system lowered the number of Asian and White students while admitting more Black and Latino students, alumni joined the effort to recall board President Gabriela López, Vice President Faauuga Moliga and former board vice president Alison Collins.

 

ILLINOIS LAWMAKERS DELIVER UNANIMOUS, BIPARTISAN SMACKDOWN TO GOVERNOR’S PLAN TO BRING BACK SCHOOL MASKING… CHICAGO SUN TIMES: Face rule slapped down — Panel rejects Pritzker’s attempt to reintroduce emergency mask mandate for schools

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s mask mandate for schools hit another roadblock on Tuesday when a bipartisan legislative committee rejected the Illinois Department of Public Health’s attempt to reintroduce the governor’s emergency COVID-19 protocols for classrooms across the state.

The department’s emergency rules — which served as the state’s official guidance on masks, testing and exclusion for those exposed to the coronavirus in schools — expired on Sunday. The emergency rules re-filed on Monday became effective immediately.

But on Tuesday, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, an oversight panel comprised of Democratic and Republican lawmakers tasked with reviewing rules made by state agencies, voted 9-0 to suspend the emergency rules, citing an on-going court battle that resulted in a temporary restraining order preventing dozens of school districts across the state from requiring students to wear masks in classrooms.

 

TEACHERS UNION OFFICIAL IN VIRGINIA CELEBRATES HIGHER COVID CASES… Fairfax Teachers Union President Reportedly Says High COVID Numbers Are ‘Good News’ Because Masks Will Be Required

Kimberly Adams, president of the Fairfax Education Association, reportedly celebrated high COVID-19 transmission rates because it meant schools could continue to force children to wear masks, according to a Facebook post shared by the Fairfax County Parents Association (FCPA).

“Well the new ‘plan’ is out,” the union leader reportedly said in a Feb. 10 post to the Fairfax Teachers and Staff Facebook Group, according to screenshots shared by the FCPA. “But the ‘good news’ is it doesn’t look like we’re anywhere close to moderate or low transmission rates.”

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) released a plan Thursday to eventually roll back mandatory masking when community transmission rates are below the “high” or “substantial” thresholds. FCPS still requires universal masking in schools and has been fighting a legal battle against Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s executive order banning mask mandates.

 

MEANWHILE, IN CANADA… SOFT-SPOKEN TRUDEAU WARNS POLITICAL OPPONENTS: ‘THERE WILL BE CONSEQUENCES’ … CANADIAN SENATOR LEO HOUSAKOS: Disgraceful. We all know that there is no justification for the heavy handed use of the Emergency Measures Act. But here Justin Trudeau acknowledges he’s using it to punish people without due process. He’s bragging about circumventing our justice system. (VIDEO)

 

Hillary Clinton Ignores Reporter Pressing Her On New Durham Filing (VIDEO)

Hillary Clinton ignored a Daily Mail reporter Tuesday when asked if her campaign had paid to illegally spy on Donald Trump in 2016.

“Did you pay to spy on the Trump campaign?” the reporter asked Clinton in New York City. “When are you going to comment on the spying allegations, Hillary?” the reporter questioned again, receiving no response from the former Secretary of State and 2016 Democrat presidential candidate.

 

Former Biden Campaign Staffer Tried To Blame Attempted Assassination On ‘Right Wing Rhetoric,’ But Suspect Is Left-Wing Activist

A left-wing political operative tried to blame the attempted assassination of a Democratic candidate for mayor in Louisville, Kentucky, on conservatives in a Tuesday tweet.

Cliff Schechter, whose Twitter bio states he was an ad writer for then-candidate Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, blamed “conspiratorial right-wing rhetoric and guns everywhere” for the attempted assassination of Craig Greenberg.

However, the man charged by Louisville police, Quintez Brown, is an anti-capitalist activist running for the Louisville Metro Council who supports “scientific socialism” according to his Twitter bio and has an extensive history of backing left-wing causes both on social media and in other venues.

 

Federal Judge James Ho Defends Conservative Scholar Ilya Shapiro Against Charges Of Racism

Federal Judge James C. Ho defended conservative legal scholar Ilya Shapiro in a speech delivered at Georgetown Law on Tuesday.

Ho, a Trump-appointed judge on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, was initially scheduled to speak on originalism with a speech titled “Fair Weather Originalism: Judges, Empires, and the Fear of Being Booed,” but then told his listeners, “I’m going to spend my time today talking about Ilya Shapiro,” according to National Review.

Shapiro, a conservative legal scholar, had criticized President Joe Biden’s proposal to nominate a candidate to the Supreme Court based on race. In a series of now-deleted tweets posted Jan. 26, Shapiro said, “Because Biden said he’s only consider[ing] black women for SCOTUS, his nominee will always have an asterisk attached. Fitting that the Court takes up affirmative action next term.” Despite apologizing, Shapiro faced immediate backlash and was placed on administrative leave Jan. 31. Shapiro was set to become the new executive director and senior lecturer for Georgetown Law Center’s for the Constitution Feb. 1.

 

ANOTHER CNN EXEC OUT… Chief Marketing Officer Allison Gollust Resigns From CNN After Relationship With Jeff Zucker Revealed

CNN’s Chief Marketing Officer Allison Gollust resigned on Tuesday after a memo from Time Warner CEO Jason Kilar revealed her undisclosed relationship with former CNN President Jeff Zucker.

“We have the highest standards of journalistic integrity at CNN, and those rules must apply to everyone equally,” Kilar said in the memo. “Given the information provided to me in the investigation, I strongly believe we have taken the right actions and the right decisions have been made.”

 

ALLISON GOLLUST ALLEGES ‘RETALIATION’ BY WARNERMEDIA… DYLAN BYERS: #BREAK: In email to staff, Allison Gollust says “WarnerMedia’s statement tonight is an attempt to retaliate against me and change the media narrative in the wake of their disastrous handling of the last two weeks.” Full statement in next tweet. (SCREENGRAB)

 

DAILY MAIL: Chris Cuomo was fired after CNN learned of 2011 ‘lunchbreak sex assault on young temp who went to his office’ when he worked at ABC News: Aired flattering segment on his show about her firm ‘to buy her silence’

Chris Cuomo was accused of sexually assaulting an ABC temporary staffer in 2011, inviting her to his office for sex then allegedly forcing himself on her, in the days after being suspended from CNN last year.

The woman has not been named but she is referred to as Jane Doe. In December 2021, her attorney Debra Katz wrote to CNN to report the alleged assault, after Cuomo had been suspended for helping his brother, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, through his own sexual misconduct scandal.

She decided to come forward after watching Chris claim on air that he cared ‘deeply’ about the issue of sexual assault.

It is not the only reason for his firing but according to The New York Times, contributed to the wider net of scandals that followed him and ultimately became ‘too much’ for CNN President Jeff Zucker.