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Kellyanne Conway subpoenaed by House Oversight Committee

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Fresh off the heels of the Robert Mueller subpoena, the House Oversight Committee voted 25-16 Wednesday to pull in another testimony: White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.

The decision occurred following a federal agency recommendation that Conway should be fired for repeatedly violating a law that limits the political activities of federal employees.

Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) warned that the Committee would vote to hold Conway in contempt should she ignore the subpoena. The issue was elevated after Conway was a no-show at the advice of White House counsel for the committee’s scheduled hearing.
According to CNN, earlier this month, the independent Office of Special Counsel sent the Trump administration a letter outlining Conway’s “numerous violations” of the Hatch Act, finding that from February to May she publicly criticized the field of Democratic presidential candidates and sought to boost the Trump campaign while in her official role at the White House.
Although the President and Vice President are exempt from the Hatch Act, employees of the White House are not. OSC’s letter to the President accompanying the report refers to Ms. Conway as a “repeat offender” and states: “Ms. Conway’s violations, if left unpunished, would send a message to all federal employees that they need not abide by the Hatch Act’s restrictions.”
The letter continued, “Her actions thus erode the principal foundation of our democratic system—the rule of law.”
The report followed a March 2018 OSC report finding that Conway violated the Hatch Act during two separate television interviews in which she advocated for and against candidates in the 2017 Alabama special election for U.S. Senate.
Moreover, during a media interview on May 29, 2019, Conway downplayed the significance of the law as applied to her. When asked about the Hatch Act, she stated, “If you’re trying to silence me through the Hatch Act, it’s not going to work,” and “let me know when the jail sentence starts.”
Like with other presidential appointees, the President has the authority to discipline Conway for violating the Hatch Act. Given that she is a repeat offender and has shown disregard for the law, the Office made the recommendation that she be removed from federal service.
For his part, Trump said during an interview with Fox & Friends, “No, I’m not going to fire her, I think she’s a tremendous person, tremendous spokesperson, she’s loyal, she’s a great person.”
He added, “They have tried to take away her speech and I think you’re entitled to free speech in the country. Now, I’m going to get a very strong briefing on it and I will see, but it seems to me very unfair.”
“This is not a conspiracy to silence her or restrict her First Amendment rights,” said Cummings. “This is an effort to enforce federal law. Nobody in this country is above the law.”

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COVID-19 cases skyrocket among younger Americans as states reopen

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The coronavirus is tearing into a new demographic as states relax social distancing guidelines.

Younger Americans have gone back to work in the service industry and congregating in public, and their activity seems to be bearing out ominous predictions from public health experts, reported The Daily Beast.

“Watch what’s happening before and after the peak,” said epidemiologist Dr. Judith Malmgren, of the University of Washington’s school of public health. “The disease didn’t change, but the people who were infected changed.”

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Native American tribes’ pandemic response is hamstrung by many inequities

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The SARS-CoV-2 virus is novel, but pandemic threats to indigenous peoples are anything but new. Diseases like measles, smallpox and the Spanish flu have decimated Native American communities ever since the arrival of the first European colonizers.

Now COVID-19 is having similarly devastating impacts in Indian country. Some reservations are reporting infection rates many times higher than those observed in the general U.S. population.

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Antibody injections could fight COVID-19 infections – an infectious disease expert explains the prospects

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Antibodies are part of us – literally.

We have billions of them in our bodies with a combined weight of about 100 grams, or about the weight of a bar of soap. If there are so many antibodies inside our bodies then they must be safe and very important, right?

Indeed, antibodies are perhaps the safest type of therapy and have many important functions. One of them is to protect and cure infections caused by viruses. The human immune system can produce antibodies specific for each type virus that bind strongly to the virus and block it from infecting our cells – so-called neutralizing antibodies.

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