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People who want to ban fracking immediately, says Joe Biden, ‘oughta vote for someone else’

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“Might I recommend Bernie Sanders: the climate candidate,” responds Vermont senator’s press secretary.

If you want a candidate committed to banning fracking in the United States immediately, find another candidate than Joe Biden.

That’s the advice of Biden himself, given to an activist from the Sunrise Movement in a video posted online Thursday after the two discussed the former vice president’s adviser Heather Zichal and Biden’s plans for the future of fracking.

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In the video of the interaction posted on Twitter by Sunrise Thursday afternoon, Biden appears confused about Zichal’s connections to the natural gas industry, protesting that the adviser “worked for us in the administration.”

“No, no, I know,” the Sunrise activist patiently explains as Biden grabs him by the shoulders. “But she also worked—”

“If you look at my record,” Biden begins, “look at my record. Just look at my record.”

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The two discuss fracking as well. Biden tells the activist that “you can’t ban fracking right now” because “you gotta transition away from it.”

“You’re gonna ban fracking all across America, right now, right?” Biden asks the Sunrise activist.

“I would love to,” the activist replies.

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“I’d love to, too,” says Biden. “I’d love to make sure we can’t use any oil or gas, period. Now, now, is it possible?”

“Yes,” replies the Sunrise activist.

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“Well, you oughta vote for someone else,” says Biden, releasing the young man and moving on.

As Sludge reported in May, adviser Zichal “recently occupied a lucrative seat on the board of the Texas-based liquified natural gas (LNG) company Cheniere Energy.” Cheniere is a frequent donor to Republican politicians.

CounterPunch editor Jeffrey St. Clair referred to Biden’s “No Malarkey” bus tour in a tweet about the interaction.

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“Here’s some choice malarkey from Biden on his climate advisor, Heather Zichal, who pulled down more than a cool (or hot, I guess) million on the board of Cheniere Energy, a Texas-based liquified natural gas company whose execs she’d gotten cozy with while working for Obama,” tweeted St. Clair.

The interaction caught the attention of Briahna Joy Gray, campaign press secretary for Bernie Sanders, who earlier this year added a federal fracking ban to his 2020 campaign platform.

“Biden says ‘you ought to vote for somebody else’ if you want us to ban fracking and transition away from fossil fuels now,” tweeted Gray. “Might I recommend Bernie Sanders: the climate candidate.”

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2020 Election

Trump ripped as a ‘traitor’ by veterans for his mask photo-op at Walter Reed Hospital

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The veteran advocacy organization Vote Vets on Sunday blasted President Donald Trump for holding a photo-op at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

After a round of golf on Saturday, Trump traveled to the hospital to be photographed by the press pool wearing a mask, which was a first since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vote Vets, which says it has raised over $120 million since being founded in 2006 and made over 50 million voter contacts, released a new video on Trump's visit.

The ad says it shows "what wounded warriors see when Trump comes for a photo-op."

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2020 Election

Trump’s push to reopen schools prematurely is an assault on states’ rights that may prove deadly

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It’s hard to avoid a sense of déjà vu as the Trump regime threatens to withhold federal education funding from states that refuse to re-open their schools this fall. The contours of the “debate,” such as it is, perfectly align with the one we had a couple of months ago about re-opening businesses in the midst of a pandemic.

Then, as now, conservatives tried to frame the issue as a choice between re-opening and staying stuck in quarantine indefinitely. Those less moored to reality, including the President, insisted that proponents of quarantines were only motivated by a desire to undermine Trump’s prospects for re-election. The real divide at the time was between those of us who wanted to follow the science, build up adequate testing and contact-tracing capacity and re-open safely once the rate of infection had declined, and those, mostly on the right, who wanted to re-open prematurely either because they believed we’d achieve herd immunity if we let the outbreak run its course or because they thought Covid-19 was a “hoax” that was no more serious than the seasonal flu.

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2020 Election

How 68,000 COVID-19 survivors created a world-class patient resource group in just four months

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Diana Berrent was one of the first people in her hometown of Port Washington, New York, to get COVID-19. Back then, in early March 2020, only immunocompromised and seniors were believed to be high-risk; hence, as a 46-year-old yoga practitioner and runner, Berrent was "shocked" when she woke up with a 103-degree fever and respiratory infection — symptoms that strongly suggested she had coronavirus, which was later confirmed by a test.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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