At the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic, New York served as the disease's ground zero in the United States, as it rapidly infected an unsuspecting public and quickly overwhelmed the state's hospitals.
At the time, states like Texas were far behind New York in terms of total statewide COVID-19 deaths, but the Houston Chronicle reports that the Lonestar State has now surpassed New York despite once trailing it by 29,000 total deaths.
Spencer Fox, associate director of the University of Texas COVID-19 Modeling Consortium, tells the Chronicle that he's not surprised that Texas has surpassed New York's death total given the two very different approaches they've taken to the pandemic.
"They enacted really strong, precautionary measures that overall are well based in the available science," Fox told the paper. "It seems that many of the Texas policies were put in place to try and prevent health care collapse rather than trying to prevent transmission."
Texas has now recorded 53,275 total COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic, placing it only behind California, the nation's most populous state that has suffered 64,372 virus deaths.
Despite the current surge in COVID-19 cases caused by the delta variant of the virus, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has vowed to not put in any more restrictions aimed at lowering the spread of the disease.
WATCH: Anti-vaccine activist brutally assaults journalist during protest of LA restaurant’s COVID policies
A self-described advocacy journalist says he was assaulted by anti-vaccine protesters in Los Angeles on Thursday.
"I was just severely injured by a mob of anti-vaxxers," Vishal P. Singh wrote on Twitter. "They were surrounding and assaulting someone. I went to film and help him escape. They attacked from behind. Possible concussion. Maced. Had to fight them off me by myself. Deployed mace in self defense after I was concussed."
Video from the incident appears to show Singh backing away from a group of men in an alley. One of the men, wearing a baseball cap and a bandana over his face, gets behind Singh and obstructs his path, bumping him. After Singh tries to push the man aside, he begins throwing punches, eventually landing one to Singh's head and knocking him to the ground.
Singh later reported that he was hospitalized after the incident with a concussion and multiple broken bones in his face, including in his nose and eye sockets.
According to West Hollywood's WeHo Times, anti-vaccine protesters have gathered repeatedly this week outside the restaurant Harlowe, which has a policy requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result to enter.
"The group returned for a second night with their brand of aggression and anti-semitism, once again comparing a vaccination mandate to the Holocaust and at one point point chanting, 'No Nazi Restaurant! No Nazi restaurant!'" the WeHo Times reported on Thursday.
Many of the anti-vaccine protesters "were fixtures at the pro-Trump demonstrations in Beverly Hills last year, and have a reputation for being hostile," according to the WeHo Times.
"With Trump out of office, they replaced their pro-Trump MAGA signs with COVID-19 conspiracies," the site reported. "According to an Instagram Live post by Jason Lefkowitz, the organizer of the anti-vaccination protest, the goal is to make that area in West Hollywood unsafe, to hurt the business at Harlow and other businesses around the area."
The conservative site RedState had a different take on Thursday's incident, claiming that Singh is a member of antifa and a "doxxer." RedState shared video that appears to show the man Singh was trying to "help" shoving an anti-vaccine protester to the ground earlier.
Watch the video of Singh being assaulted below.
The Department of Justice has told the Department of Treasury that it must turn over Donald Trump's tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee.
The Democratic-led committee had requested the documents more than two years ago, and the Justice Department's office of legal counsel determined that Congress has a broad right to receive tax information for a legitimate legislative purpose -- and Justice Department attorneys found the request met that standard.
The U.S. Supreme Court last year ruled that Trump's tax returns and other financial documents must be turned over to Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. as part of his office's criminal probe of the Trump Organization.
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