The NAACP has issued a travel advisory for Missouri after the state passed what the organization is referring to as “The Jim Crow” bill and several recent instances of police brutality. The travel ban, a first in the organization’s 108-year history, was adopted after multiple high profile instances of police brutality against minorities and the passage…
Republicans warned their self-destructive COVID behavior is 'killing off their voters faster than they think'
When COVID-19 was overwhelming New York City hospitals during the 2020 spring, a silly talking point in right-wing media was that residents of red states didn't need to worry about the pandemic because it only posed a threat to Democratic areas. But COVID-19, just as health experts predicted, found its way to red states in a brutal way. And the current COVID-19 surge is especially severe in red states that have lower vaccination rates. Journalist David Leonhardt, in an article published by the New York Times this week, examines a disturbing pattern: red states where residents are more likely to be anti-vaxxers and more likely to be infected with COVID-19 and die from it.
Leonhardt explains, "A Pew Research Center poll last month found that 86% of Democratic voters had received at least one shot, compared with 60% of Republican voters. The political divide over vaccinations is so large that almost every reliably blue state now has a higher vaccination rate than almost every reliably red state."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 75% of U.S.-based adults have been at least partially vaccinated for COVID-19. But vaccination rates can vary considerably from one state to another. The Mayo Clinic reports that rates for at least partial vaccination range from 77% in Vermont to 49% in Mississippi, 46% in Idaho and 52% in Alabama. Vermont is a deep blue state with a moderate Republican governor, while Mississippi, Idaho and Alabama are deep red states that former President Donald Trump won by a landslide in 2020.
"It's worth remembering that COVID followed a different pattern for more than a year after its arrival in the U.S.," Leonhardt explains. "Despite widespread differences in mask wearing — and scientific research suggesting that masks reduce the virus' spread — the pandemic was, if anything, worse in blue regions. Masks evidently were not powerful enough to overcome other regional differences, like the amount of international travel that flows through major metro areas, which tend to be politically liberal. Vaccination has changed the situation."
Leonhardt continues, "The vaccines are powerful enough to overwhelm other differences between blue and red areas. Some left-leaning communities — like many suburbs of New York, San Francisco and Washington, as well as much of New England — have such high vaccination rates that even the unvaccinated are partly protected by the low number of cases. Conservative communities, on the other hand, have been walloped by the highly contagious Delta variant."
The Times reporter notes that in many other developed countries, the pandemic hasn't been politicized to the degree that it has in the United States.
"What distinguishes the U.S. is a conservative party — the Republican Party — that has grown hostile to science and empirical evidence in recent decades," Leonhardt observes. "A conservative media complex, including Fox News, Sinclair Broadcast Group and various online outlets, echoes and amplifies this hostility. Trump took the conspiratorial thinking to a new level, but he did not create it."
Epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding, in a Twitter thread posted over the weekend, argues that Republicans are "killing off" their own voters by promoting anti-vaxxer and anti-masker views:
2) To be clear, as an epidemiologist, I present this because I am worried for all public health. There are plenty o… https://t.co/ssAHeK7dgf— Eric Feigl-Ding (@Eric Feigl-Ding) 1632656632.0
Feigl-Ding points out that under far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil — not unlike red states in the U.S.— has suffered high COVID-19 infection rates:
4) vaccine rates heavily differ by red vs blue states. This is a main driver for sure. But also anti mask sentiment… https://t.co/JQ20tJQuUa— Eric Feigl-Ding (@Eric Feigl-Ding) 1632657109.0
Leonhardt notes that the Delta variant has been especially deadly in Republican areas.
"Since Delta began circulating widely in the U.S.," according to Leonhardt, "COVID has exacted a horrific death toll on red America: In counties where Donald Trump received at least 70 percent of the vote, the virus has killed about 47 out of every 100,000 people since the end of June, according to Charles Gaba, a health care analyst. In counties where Trump won less than 32 percent of the vote, the number is about 10 out of 100,000."
Fiona Hill feared Putin selected a 'very attractive' brunette as his translator to 'distract' Trump at meeting: book
Former Trump aide Stephanie Grisham's new book claims Russia expert Fiona Hill, who served in the Trump administration before turning into a witness at his first impeachment hearing, believed Vladimir Putin brought an attractive aide to distract former President Donald Trump.
According to excerpts in the New York Times from an early copy of the book, Grisham writes that "as the meeting began, Fiona Hill leaned over and asked me if I had noticed Putin's translator, who was a very attractive brunette woman with long hair, a pretty face, and a wonderful figure. She proceeded to tell me that she suspected the woman had been selected by Putin specifically to distract our president."
Putin is known for making plays like that in one-on-ones with foreign leaders. In a meeting with former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Putin brought a massive black Labrador. Merkel has had a fear of dogs since one attacked her in 1995.
Hill ultimately ended up serving as an impeachment witness after Trump shoved her out of her position and she discussed Trump's efforts to manipulate the newly elected Ukrainian president to "do us a favor" and publicly announce investigations into Joe Biden.
Read the full report from the New York Times.
Security footage from last Wednesday shows a man harassing a California father over his child's dinosaur flag that was being displayed outside their house, ABC7 reports.
"Is that a Filipino thing?" the man asked Thien Ly, who was the homeowner.
"What's your favorite charity homie? What's your favorite charity?" the man asked, his questions growing exceedingly bizarre.
"I'm sure your marriage is going so well...you're a weirdo, a creep. A pedophile creep," the man asked Ly.
In the security footage, the man repeatedly accuses Ly of being a pedophile.
According to police, the man later came back and vandalized Ly's property.
"He came back and he smashed both of my cars with weights," Ly told ABC7.
While police say the incident wasn't sparked by race, Ly thinks the man targeted him because he's Vietnamese.
"Whoever this person is I hope they get caught so this doesn't happen to anyone else. I want to shine light on this and make sure it's safe for everyone and safe for my kids growing up in this neighborhood," said Ly.
Watch ABC7's report on the story below:
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