Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) should have the authority to mandate mask wearing regardless of whether it is in compliance with the law.
After a circuit court judge in Florida ruled that the CDC could not impose a mask mandate on public transportation Monday, Fauci blasted the decision in an interview with CNN’s Kasie Hunt released Thursday. The top medical advisor to President Joe Biden said he was “surprised and disappointed” that a court would step in on a public health issue.
“Those types of things really are the purview of the CDC, this is a public health issue,” Fauci said. “For a court to come in, and if you look at the rationale for that it really is not particularly firm, and we are concerned about that, about courts getting involved in things that are unequivocally public health issues.”
“This is a CDC issue, it should not have been a court issue,” he continued.
Fauci said it was “perfectly logical” for the CDC to continue to extend the mask mandate for travel, even as all 50 states and most localities have dropped mask ad vaccine mandates, because the U.S. is going to see an “inevitable” increase in cases of COVID-19 soon.
“For a court to come in and interfere in that, is really unfortunate. It’s unfortunate because it’s against public health principles, number one,” Fauci added. “Number two, it’s because that’s no place for the courts to do that. This is a CDC decision, and that’s very bad precedent when you have courts making a decision, and looking at what the basis of the decision was, it was not sound.”
NOTE FAUCI PLAYING LAWYER HERE… ‘LOOKING AT WHAT THE BASIS OF THE DECISION WAS, IT WAS NOT SOUND’…
PHILLY FLIPS MASKS AGAIN… POLITICO: Philadelphia to end mask mandate, days after reinstating it
PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia is ending its indoor mask mandate, city health officials said Thursday night, abruptly reversing course just days after city residents had to start wearing masks again amid a sharp increase in infections.
The Board of Health voted Thursday to rescind the mandate, according to the Philadelphia health department, which released a statement that cited “decreasing hospitalizations and a leveling of case counts.”
The mandate went into effect Monday.
Former President Barack Obama claimed in a speech Thursday “people are dying because of misinformation” due to some Americans’ refusal to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Around one in five Americans is [sic] still willing to put themselves at risk and put their families at risk rather than get vaccinated” and are dying because of “disinformation,” Obama said at Stanford University.
After describing himself as “pretty close to a First Amendment absolutist,” Obama then called on social media companies to implement more online censorship, especially in regard to potent political issues like COVID-19, the 2020 election and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Obama also called out some individuals he perceives as villains on disinformation.
“People like Putin, and Steve Bannon for that matter, understand it’s not necessary for people to believe this information in order to weaken democratic institutions. You just have to flood a country’s public square with enough raw sewage. You just have to raise enough questions, spread enough dirt, plant enough conspiracy theorizing, that citizens no longer know what to believe,” the former president said, according to Yahoo! News.
“We have a choice right now: Do we allow our democracy to wither? Or do we make it better?” he added, according to Breitbart.
SPEAKING OF DISINFORMATION… INTEL COMMUNITY BIG SHOTS CLOSE RANKS AROUND BIG TECH… The Former Intel Officials Who Claimed Hunter Biden’s Laptop Was ‘Disinformation’ Are At It Again
Former national security officials who claimed the reported contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop during the 2020 presidential election appeared to be “Russian disinformation” announced opposition Monday to legislation targeting Big Tech, claiming it would facilitate the propagation of Russian “lies.”
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Leon Panetta, and former CIA Director Michael Morell were among those who said in a Monday open letter that bipartisan antitrust legislation targeting tech companies would cripple efforts to counter Russian disinformation.
Several antitrust bills proposed in both chambers of Congress last year are designed to limit alleged anticompetitive conduct by tech companies, including by preventing online platforms from “discriminating” against users, which the former intelligence officials argue would allow “foreign adversaries to gain access to the software and hardware of American technology companies.”
Panetta and Morell both have ties to major tech firms, Politico reported in September 2021, and signed a similar letter in September 2021 warning that antitrust legislation would expose American national security to China.
Clapper, Panetta, and Morell also signed an October 2020 letter that claimed a bombshell New York Post report about emails from a laptop supposedly abandoned by Hunter Biden “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”
MUSK NOT BACK DOWN IN EFFORT TO SAVE SPEECH ON TWITTER… WSJ: Elon Musk Says He Has $46.5 Billion in Funding for Twitter Bid
Elon Musk said he has lined up $46.5 billion to fund his bid for Twitter Inc., answering the biggest question that had loomed over his takeover offer for the social-media platform.
In a regulatory filing, Mr. Musk also said he was considering taking his offer straight to Twitter shareholders, bypassing a board that appears dug in. Twitter said Thursday it was reviewing the newly detailed proposal.
The financing commitments—about half in bank debt and half in cash promised by Mr. Musk himself—lend credibility to an offer that lacked the details that usually accompany a bona fide takeover play. When he lobbed in his bid last week, Mr. Musk didn’t say how he planned to pay for the deal, which is expensive even for the world’s richest person.
BERNIE STARTS INTENTIONALLY STOKING *2024* SPECULATION… POLITICO: Bernie gave the go-ahead for 2024 memo
When Bernie Sanders’ aides sent out a memo this week revealing that the Vermont senator hadn’t closed the door to a third bid for president, they blasted it far and wide.
That was precisely the point: While Sanders has no current plans to run in 2024, no one should forget that he remains popular, is the undisputed leader of the progressive left and that he must be part of any conversation about a potential open Democratic presidential primary. Until now, he wasn’t.
A person close to the process said Sanders approved the concept and execution of the memo.
“I know people who got it who weren’t Bernie staff, who were other Democrats friendly with Bernieworld but not known as hardcore Bernie-ites,” said a former Sanders campaign aide, who requested anonymity to speak frankly about the memo. “They wanted it out.”
Added another former staffer: “They sent this to people who have relationships across the press because they wanted to make news.”
ANOTHER KAMALA AIDE KALLS IT KWITS… WAPO: Harris selects new chief of staff as top aide departs White House
Tina Flournoy, chief of staff to Vice President Harris, is preparing to depart the White House, capping a long list of aides who have left Harris’s office in recent months, and is set to be replaced by Lorraine Voles, a veteran Democratic operative and communications expert. […]
Flournoy has led the vice president’s operation since the start of the administration, overseeing all staff and setting the strategic direction for a historic and high-profile vice president. That makes her the highest-ranking of a sizable group of top officials who have left Harris’s office recently, including her deputy chief of staff, national security adviser and speechwriter.
Flournoy is leaving for personal reasons, a White House official said Thursday. […]
Harris aides say the departures are routine and unrelated to any internal strife in the vice president’s operation. Some also suggest that she is facing disproportionate — and at times unfair — criticism because of her role as a powerful woman of color. […]
After a number of early missteps, Harris has recently tackled several high-profile issues in ways that appeared to bolster her stature. […]
In a more personal vote of confidence, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who is getting married next month, said she had chosen Harris to officiate at the ceremony.
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, MAYORKAS TELLS THE TRUTH ABOUT COMING BORDER SURGE… SAYS CDC ‘IS CALLING THE SHOTS’… AXIOS: Scoop: DHS chief concerned about lifting Title 42
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has privately told members of Congress he’s concerned with the Biden administration’s handling of its plans to lift Title 42 on May 23, sources familiar with the conversations tell Axios.
[…] The private airings by Mayorkas, recounted by lawmakers, belie public posturing that the administration is prepared for a potential influx of migrants. The secretary is not only charged with protecting the border but overseeing the process of ending the Trump-era immigration control.
Mayorkas has also indicated a level of frustration and unease with the repeal rollout, the sources said. […]
In some instances, the secretary pointed members to the CDC, and said the public health agency is calling the shots.
Members and their staff told Axios that, after Mayorkas walked them through the DHS’ preparations for the potential border surge, they did not feel the administration had reached the level of preparedness needed to carry out the operation successfully by May 23.
BIDEN ADMIN HIDING HIS DELAWARE VISITORS… STEVEN NELSON: Secret Service claims it has ‘no records’ of who visits Biden in Delaware
WASHINGTON — The US Secret Service has dubiously claimed to The Post that it has “no records” of visitors to President Biden’s two Delaware residences and therefore cannot divulge that information in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.
Biden was at his residences in Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach on about one-quarter of all days during his first year in office, but little is known about who stopped by for official meetings or less formal lobbying efforts — such as by members of his family and their associates.
The Post sought more than one year of visitor log records, including for Biden’s first year in office, but Secret Service Freedom of Information Act officer Kevin Tyrrell wrote in a response dated Monday that “[t]he Secret Service FOIA Office searched all Program Offices that were likely to contain potentially responsive records, and no records were located.”
A RARE REDISTRICTING VICTORY FOR REPUBLICANS… Florida Legislature Passes New Congressional Map DeSantis Pushed Special Session For
Republicans in the Florida House of Representatives passed a new congressional map Thursday that could net the GOP as many as four seats.
The new map would create 18 safe districts for Republicans, eight safe districts for Democrats, and two competitive districts, according to FiveThirtyEight. Florida’s U.S. House of Representatives delegation currently consists of 16 Republicans and eleven Democrats. The state gained one congressional district as a result of redistricting.
The new map passed the Florida House 68-34 and Senate 24-15, both party-line votes. DeSantis previously vetoed a bill that proposed two different redistricting schemes that would have created a 16-12 Republican advantage, arguing that the majority-black Fifth District is an unconstitutional racial gerrymander. The old Fifth District, currently represented by Democrat Al Lawson, ran across the northern part of the state and gave Democrats a 21-point edge. The new Fifth District is located in the northeast corner and gives Republicans a 23-point edge, according to FiveThirtyEight.
NYT: GOP-FAVORABLE FLORIDA MAP ERASES DEMS’ NATIONWIDE GAINS…
The Florida map would erase some of the gains Democrats have made in this year’s national redistricting process. The 2022 map had been poised to be balanced between the two major parties for the first time in generations, with a nearly equal number of House districts that are expected to lean Democratic and Republican for the first time in more than 50 years.
WOKELASH… FLORIDA REVOKES DISNEY’S SPECIAL PRIVILEGES… WAPO: Florida legislature passes bill repealing Disney special tax status
The Republican-led Florida legislature on Thursday passed a bill to cancel the special tax district of Walt Disney World in the state[…]
The House vote came a little over 48 hours after Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) called on lawmakers to revoke the 55-year-old provision. It followed weeks of public acrimony between DeSantis and Disney over the company’s opposition to a Florida law limiting how educators discuss LGBTQ issues in the classroom. […]
DeSantis started feuding with the Walt Disney Company nearly a month ago, when chief executive Bob Chapek issued a statement criticizing a parental rights law that prohibits discussions of gender issues in public school classes up to third grade and potentially through high school. Since then, DeSantis has lambasted what he described as a “woke ideology” at the company.
Earlier this week, the governor issued a proclamation calling for the repeal of a 1967 deal that allowed the company to become its own local government on the 40-square-mile property that Walt Disney bought earlier that decade. The Reedy Creek Improvement District allows Disney to bypass local building ordinances and some other rules, and also made it responsible for public services such as fire and rescue, sewage treatment, and road maintenance.
Democrats burst into screams Thursday in Florida as lawmakers voted on legislation that would eliminate Disney’s special tax districts.
House Speaker Chris Sprowls led the session, during which Democrats were heard whining loudly over several pieces of legislation.
DESANTIS YANKS MATH TEXTBOOK THAT CLAIMED CONSERVATIVES ARE MORE RACIST… CHRISSY CLARK: DeSantis’ Office Releases Examples Of Rejected CRT-Inspired Math Textbooks
Florida’s Department of Education released examples of critical race theory in mathematics textbooks, including one book that claimed conservatives are more racially prejudiced than liberals, according to a press release.
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office announced Monday that the state’s education department rejected 41% of the math textbooks for reportedly including “indoctrinating concepts” and Common Core standards, according to the Daily Caller News Foundation. Florida’s education department released examples of CRT material Thursday after they received multiple requests from the public to view the alleged controversial books, according to a press release.
“These examples do not represent an exhaustive list of input received by the Department,” the presser reads.
One textbook showed students a bar graph that measures racial prejudice by political identification. The graph shows that conservatives are reportedly more racist than liberals, citing data from the debunked Race Implicit Association Test.
A separate page highlighted the concept of “social-emotional learning,” which is steeped in the tenets of critical race theory.
ANOTHER DAILY CALLER EXCLUSIVE… CHRISSY CLARK: Elite Loudoun School Lowered Admissions Standards To Appease NAACP Activists
Activists in Loudoun County, Virginia’s National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) played a role in lowering the admissions standards for an elite magnet school, according to documents reviewed by the Daily Caller.
The NAACP Loudoun Branch obtained “stakeholder” status in “developing the process” Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) uses “to revise its admissions criteria and implement procedures,” according to a Terms of Conciliation agreement between the school district and the NAACP.
The NAACP sued LCPS in May 2019 alleging that the district had “discriminatory practices” in admissions to its magnet school Academies of Loudoun. Former Attorney General Mark Herring ruled that the school’s admissions standards resulted in “a discriminatory disparate impact on Black/African-American and Latinx/Hispanic students.”
The activist organization said in the Terms of Conciliation that its goal is to “promote the racial and ethnic diversity of admitted students, specifically black and brown students.”
Examples of admissions changes that the NAACP requested included developing an “equitable” admissions criteria based on “interest” in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) subjects. Activists also called for lowering the final acceptable grade in a class to a “C” and lowering the number of prerequisite courses and assessments.
“The criteria should also include strategies to increase identification and selection of historically underrepresented students, including Black/African-American students,” the Terms of Conciliation read. […]
Following legal challenges, the Academies of Loudoun acquiesced to many of the NAACP’s core demands. According to a PowerPoint of the school’s admissions changes, the school removed Geometry as a prerequisite for admissions and lowered the number of standardized tests from two to four.
Students must take a written assessment graded by an office that ensures there are “equitable results across students with diverse backgrounds.”
FLASHBACK… FORMER VIRGINIA AG ESSENTIALLY GAVE NAACP VETO POWER OVER ADMISSIONS PROCESS AT ELITE HIGH SCHOOL… FEB 2021… LOUDOUN NOW: AG’s Office Announces Settlement Following Allegations of Systemic Racism in Loudoun Schools
Under the agreement, Loudoun County Public Schools will be required to: […]
• seek input on any proposed revisions regarding the Academies of Loudoun from the Minority Student Achievement Advisory Committee and Equity Committee through a process that will allow the public, including the NAACP Loudoun Branch, to provide input to those committees on any proposed changes or revisions;
• seek input on any proposed revisions regarding the Futura and SPECTRUM gifted programs from the Minority Student Achievement Advisory Committee and Equity Committee through a process that will allow the public, including the NAACP Loudoun Branch, to provide input to those committees on any proposed changes or revisions;
• consider any feedback on any proposed revisions regarding the Academies of Loudoun from the MSAAC, including the NAACP Loudoun Branch […]
Loudoun NAACP President Pastor Michelle Thomas hailed the action.
“It’s a Black History moment for sure,” she said, adding that the agreement sets the path for “making the changes we were dreaming out, that our ancestors dreamt about.”
She said the agreement moves the debate beyond vague goals and ensures there will be “more than just talk” about stamping out racism and discrimination. It also ensures that the NAACP will have a seat at the table as the future policies are enacted. “It’s an incredibly forward-looking document.”
Fox News’ Bill Hemmer was taken aback Thursday when the New York Black Lives Matter (BLM) chapter co-founder called Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams a racial slur on live television.
Hemmer played a recent clip from Adams in which the mayor questioned whether black lives actually mattered.
“Hey, I thought Black Lives Matter. Where are all those who stated ‘Black Lives Matter?’ Then go do an analysis of who was killed or shot last night,” Adams said in the interview with Spectrum News. “The victims were black, many of the shooters were black. If Black Lives Matter, then the thousands of people I saw on the street when Floyd was murdered should be on the street right now stating that the lives of these children who are dying every night matters.”
Hawk Newsome then lodged the racial slur.
“This mayor who spews conservative or Republican talking points, at the end of the day, we have a name for someone like this. It’s someone we call a c**n, right, because-” Newsome began.
“Woah,” Hemmer interrupted.
“He’s a white man in blackface. And a very conservative minded white man in that. So what we have is a man with hundreds of people on the city’s payroll, billions of dollars in budget and 40,000 police officers,” Newsome continued. “He has 10 victims in one night, the night before he had 16 shooting victims on a train and they say ‘what are you going to do about policing’ and he says ‘what about BLM?’”
CNN BUST… $300 MILLION DUMPED INTO AIMLESS STREAMING PLATFORM… CNN+ To Shut Down Less Than 5 Weeks After Launching
CNN+ is shutting down after its launching just three weeks ago, the network announced in a Wednesday statement.
The platform is set to end operations by April 30, the network said in a statement. Andrew Morse, CNN’s chief digital officer and head of the streaming platform, decided to step down from his position.
“As we become Warner Bros. Discovery, CNN will be strongest as part of WBD’s streaming strategy which envisions news as an important part of a compelling broader offering along with sports, entertainment, and nonfiction content,” said Chris Licht, Chairman and CEO of CNN Worldwide. “We have therefore made the decision to cease operations of CNN+ and focus our investment on CNN’s core news-gathering operations and in further building CNN Digital.”
“This is not a decision about quality; we appreciate all of the work, ambition and creativity that went into building CNN+, an organization with terrific talent and compelling programming. But our customers and CNN will be best served with a simpler streaming choice.”
SUPPORT STAFF SCREWED… CNN+ Staffers Are Reportedly ‘Furious’ Amid Quick Collapse: ‘This Is F*cking Nuts’
CNN+ staffers are reportedly furious after the network’s Thursday announcement of the streaming platform’s collapse.
The network is set to end the streaming service’s operations by April 30 after launching on March 29 due to low subscription numbers and fewer than 10,000 daily viewers.
“This is f*cking nuts,” a staffer told the New York Post.
“Many people left their stable jobs at CNN to go to CNN+ and then they pull it right after launch? Everyone is aghast and furious,” a source said. “This literally rivals the epic disaster of Quibi,” another reportedly said.
“The big people will likely be saved, but what about everybody else, the people who do the real work?” the insider told The Post.
BEFORE CNN+ DISAPPEARS FOREVER, HERE’S SOMETHING UNEXPECTED THAT NOBODY SAW… JOHN SEXTON: Brian Stelter: Sometimes I see Libs of Tik Tok videos and think ‘This doesn’t seem right for five-year-olds to learn’ (VIDEO)
“Sometimes when I’m scrolling through these videos I’m thinking to myself ‘these are cherry-picked from random teachers and random school districts that have no relationship to my children,’” he said. He continued, “However, there are also moments I might see clips out of context and think ‘This doesn’t seem right for five-year-olds to learn. This doesn’t seem right for six-year-olds to learn regardless of sexuality. Maybe we shouldn’t be talking to them about sex at all or gender at all.’”
Mike Tyson appeared to attack a fellow passenger on a Wednesday night flight, according to footage released Thursday by TMZ.
Tyson, who had boarded a Florida-bound plane from San Francisco, is said to have engaged with his fellow passenger prior to the incident, a witness told the gossip site, with the former heavyweight even posing for a selfie.
The passenger is also seen chatting animatedly behind Tyson’s seat as another passenger films the exchange. Things took a turn for the worse, however, when Tyson apparently grew agitated with the passenger, who had failed to leave him alone, with the former heavyweight champ then delivering a series of blows from over his seat.