"The View's" Meghan McCain fumbled trying to explain why she was furious about being forced to wear a mask again.
McCain, who moved to Washington, D.C. noted that despite the high vaccination rate, the city is ushering in another mask mandate.
"I mean, I have a whole different take and perspective on this which I'm sure you're surprised at, Whoopi," McCain said sarcastically. "When the mask mandate was enacted in D.C., I was surprised because they have one of the highest vaccination rates in the country as well as having one of the lowest hospitalization and - death rates. It's very, very, very small. I think if you are going to enact these mandates in a place like D.C., then if D.C. isn't good enough in any of this, then I guess no other state will, and my home state governor Doug Ducey signed a law saying there will be no mask mandate in Arizona and there will be no vaccine passports. So I think at this point following the science is important, but I guess that having this low level of deaths and this low level of -- look. I think this is stupid. I don't want to wear a mask anymore."
She said that she will because ABC mandates it, but she was worried about what will happen in the fall, if schools will be canceled again.
"I had always been really trepidations about what the future held because I felt like I had been if not lied to, if that's too extreme for all of you, just been given wrong direction that was just amended and amended throughout this entire pandemic," McCain continued.
Sunny Hostin, whose husband is a doctor, explained that the rules change because science changes when the virus changes. The virus keeps mutating because there are so many people who aren't vaccinated. Even when the vaccine came out, it was explained that it wouldn't prevent people from getting COVID, it just reduced the possibility that someone would get incredibly ill, have to go to the hospital and die.
As Republican strategist Amanda Carpenter explained it, you're not being forced to wear a mask despite being vaccinated. You're being forced to wear a mask because your neighbor still won't get vaccinated.
If you got vaccinated and have to wear a mask, it's not because you got vaccinated. It's because your neighbors didn't.— Amanda Carpenter (@Amanda Carpenter) 1627559474.0
See the video below:
New details have emerged about an elephant hunt that Wayne LaPierre and his wife took part in that was funded by the embattled NRA he leads.
Newly revealed emails show the couple arranged to have an elephant they killed on a 2013 hunt shipped from Botswana and have its body butchered and turns into trophies, and they tried to keep the shipment and related taxidermy work secret despite the involvement of multiple individuals and companies in various countries, according to records obtained by The Trace and published in partnership with The New Yorker.
"Taxidermy work orders containing the LaPierres' names called for the elephants' four front feet to be turned into 'stools,' an 'umbrella stand,' and a 'trash can,'" wrote The Trace's Mike Spies, who obtained the records. "At their request, tusks were mounted, skulls were preserved, and the hyena became a rug."
The couple felt secrecy was necessary, according to the emails, after hunting show host Tony Makris sparked public furor after killing an elephant on his NRA-sponsored "Under Wild Skies," which also filmed the LaPierre's hunt for an episode that never aired.
"The [taxidermy arrangement] represents a rare instance in which the gun group's embattled chief executive is captured, on paper, unambiguously violating NRA rules," Spies wrote. "The emails show that Susan directed the process while Makris's company, Under Wild Skies Inc., which received millions of dollars from the NRA, picked up the tab."
The records appear to confirm allegations by New York attorney general Letitia James, who has regulatory authority over the NRA and is currently seeking its dissolution, in a complaint filed last August that describes the trophy fees and taxidermy work as violations of the nonprofit's own rules, which cap gifts from contractors at $250.
The shipping and taxidermy cost thousands of dollars and benefitted the LaPierres only, and not the NRA.
"Susan noted that the couple also expected to receive, along with the elephant trophies, an assortment of skulls and skins from warthogs, impalas, a zebra, and a hyena," Spies reported. "Once the animal parts arrived in the states, the taxidermist would turn them into decorations for the couple's home in Virginia, and prepare the elephant skins so they could be used to make personal accessories, such as handbags."
The US economy returned to its pre-pandemic level in the second quarter, data released Thursday showed, giving President Joe Biden a political win as Congress moves closer to passing a long-debated plan to improve the country's infrastructure.
However the 6.5 percent annualized rate of expansion in the April-to-June period was slower than expected, and the Commerce Department report confirmed that inflation spiked as customers vaccinated against Covid-19 returned to businesses that suffered throughout the pandemic last year.
"Make no mistake: this growth is no accident, it's a direct result of our efforts to deliver economic relief to families, small businesses, and communities across the country," the Democratic president tweeted following the release of the data.
After taking office in January, Biden won passage of a massive $1.9 trillion spending bill to help the economy's recovery from the historic downturn the pandemic caused last year.
However, the disruptions of the preceding months have made getting production and employment back to normal challenging, while prices have surged as businesses face renewed demand, shortages of components and supply chain delays.
Biden has called for even more spending to reshape the world's largest economy, and on Wednesday evening, the Senate voted to advance a trillion-dollar infrastructure package that would pump historic levels of federal funding into fixing US roads, bridges and waterways as well as expand broadband internet and expand clean energy programs.
But Republicans who form a sizeable minority in the Senate could end up turning against the plan, while some progressive Democrats in the House of Representatives have warned they won't approve it unless Biden's ambitious $3.5 billion budget package including once-in-a-generation spending on health care, education, social welfare and climate action is also passed.
- Complicated recovery -
The pandemic caused a sharp downturn in the United States last year, with the economy ultimately shrinking 3.5 percent, its worst collapse since modern record-keeping began in 1946.
The country's Covid-19 vaccination campaign along with emergency spending packages passed under both Biden and his Republican predecessor Donald Trump have kept it from suffering a worse downturn. And the IMF predicts that this year the US economy will expand seven percent.
In the second quarter, the Commerce Department said GDP climbed to $19.4 trillion, above its level in the fourth quarter of 2019, before the virus broke out.
"The peak may be behind us, but we expect the economy to carry strong momentum into 2022, with growth underpinned by strong consumer and corporate fundamentals and a favorable fiscal impulse," Lydia Boussour of Oxford Economics said.
Forecasters predicted the economy would grow 8.5 percent, and Boussour blamed supply chain challenges for the undershoot, while calling the data a "key milestone in the recovery" and predicting strong economic growth later in the year fueled by consumer demand.
Second-quarter growth was above the 6.3 percent expansion in the first quarter, and driven by increases in consumer spending, exports and local government spending, the data said.
The expansion was undercut by the end to a government program to give loans and grants to small businesses hurt by the pandemic, and less overall federal government spending.
The data also showed the personal consumption expenditure (PCE) price index rising 6.4 percent in the second quarter from 3.8 percent in the period before, confirming that inflation is spiking as demand returns from its depressed levels a year ago.
Excluding volatile food and energy prices, the PCE price index rose 6.1 percent.
- Unemployment declining -
Separate data released by the Labor Department showed new filings for jobless benefits falling last week to 400,000, seasonally adjusted, a decline of 24,000 from the week prior.
However, the four-week average of claims rose, while as of the week ended July 10, 13.1 million people were receiving jobless benefits, according to the data, up more than half-a-million from the week prior and despite some states moving to end special pandemic unemployment programs.
Rubeela Farooqi of High Frequency Economics said seasonal adjustment issues in July are likely distorting the data.
"Job growth should pick up and labor shortages should ease as near-term constraints -- virus concerns, child-care issues and enhanced unemployment benefits -- diminish," she said. "But rising virus cases could be a headwind for the labor market and the economy."
© 2021 AFP
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