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Ammon Bundy and other far-right extremists in Idaho vow to defy GOP governor’s social distancing order: report

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President Donald Trump now joins Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx (two key members of his coronavirus task force) in acknowledging that according to some projections, COVID-19 could ultimately kill 100,000-240,000 people in the U.S. alone — and that’s even with aggressive social distancing measures. Yet there are others on the far right who continue to absurdly claim that the dangers of COVID-19 are being exaggerated, from white evangelical Christian fundamentalists to patriot groups and militias. And the New York Times’ Mike Baker is reporting that in Idaho, some on the far right are vowing to openly defy social distancing rules ordered by a Republican governor.

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Last week near Boise, Baker reports, Ammon Bundy (who once led an armed takeover of a wildlife refuge in Oregon) spoke to “a few dozen people” and encouraged Idaho residents to defy the social distancing orders of Gov. Brad Little. Bundy told the crowd, “If it gets bad enough and our rights are infringed upon enough, we can physically stand in defense in whatever way we need to. But we hope we don’t have to get there.”

Baker adds that Bundy is not alone in encouraging Idaho residents to defy social distancing.

“The opposition is coming not only from people like Mr. Bundy, whose armed takeover of the Oregon refuge with dozens of other men and women in 2016 led to a 41-day standoff, but also, from some state lawmakers and a county sheriff who are calling the governor’s statewide stay-at-home order an infringement on individual liberties,” Baker reports.

Dr. Hans Hurt, who practices emergency medicine at Bonner General Health in Sandpoint, Idaho, warned that opponents of social distancing are not only endangering their own health, but also, the health of Idaho residents in general.

Hurt told the New York Times, “Even if it’s just a small group that wants to exercise their right to assemble, it puts the community at large at such a high risk.”

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Little, now 66, is by no means a liberal or a progressive: he’s a hard-right Republican in a deep red state who had been serving as lieutenant governor when, in 2018, he defeated Democrat Paulette Jordan in Idaho’s gubernatorial race by 21%. And yet, some Idaho Republicans are highly critical of his stay-at-home order — including Heather Scott and Tim Remington, both of whom are serving in the Idaho House of Representatives. Remington, a pastor, led a March 29 church service in defiance of Little. And in Bonner County, Idaho, Sheriff Daryl Wheeler declared in an open letter, “In the spirit of liberty and the Constitution, you can request those that are sick to stay home. But at the same time, you must release the rest of us to go on with our normal business.”

Hurt, however, maintains that the lives of health care workers and coronavirus patients in Idaho are being endangered by those who defy social distancing.

“If we stop doing what we’re doing, it could deteriorate so quickly — and our resources could be overwhelmed so quickly,” Hurt told the New York Times. “It’s scary for the people in this community and scary for us as hospital workers to be inundated with that.”

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‘They just fired on us’: Horrifying videos of cops ‘using journalists for target practice’ in Minneapolis

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Journalists covering the protests in Minneapolis reported on being targeted by police on Saturday.

Multiple reports -- including live coverage on CNN -- showed police firing rubber bullets at journalists.

It’s open season on the media for the cops in Minneapolis. Evil. https://t.co/ZR3Nnf9ofH

— Nick Stellini (@StelliniTweets) May 31, 2020

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Scientists warn of ‘superspreaders’ as Americans flock back to restaurants, salons and churches

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SAN DIEGO — Churches. Hair salons. Restaurants. Malls. What do they all have in common?They’ve all been cleared to reopen in San Diego County amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — and by and large, they all require people to congregate inside, potentially with strangers.This comes as an increasingly vocal group of scientists has sounded the alarm about the danger of indoor gatherings due to the potential for airborne transmission of the disease by “superspreaders.”This week Kimberly Prather of UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography penned an urgently worded perspective paper in t... (more…)

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About 75% of Trump’s proposed coronavirus capital gains tax cut would go to the top 1% of earners

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Roughly three-quarters of the benefits from the capital gains tax cut floated by President Donald Trump as part of the administration's coronavirus relief plan would go to the top 1% of earners, according to the Tax Policy Center.

Trump has repeatedly floated a cut to capital gains taxes, which are taxes paid by investors on profits made when an asset, like stock or real estate, is sold. The capital gains tax rate is already 35% lower than the top income tax rate, and only about 6% of households in the bottom 80% of earners claim any capital gains, meaning the overwhelming majority of benefits would flow to the wealthy.

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