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‘Listening to experts is elitist’: Idaho Republicans move to strip power from public health officials

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State Sen. Steven Thayne

Idaho lawmakers are moving to strip the authority of public health districts to close schools in emergencies or require masks for safety reasons.

The legislature’s Education Working Group voted overwhelmingly in favor of the proposal to take away power from “elitist” public health officials and allow school boards to make those health-related decisions, reported Boise State Public Radio.

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“We’re letting a few fearful people control the lives of those of us who are not fearful,” said Sen. Steven Thayn (R-Emmett).

“Listening to experts to set policy is an elitist approach, and I’m very fearful of an elitist approach,” Thayn added. “I’m also fearful that it leads to totalitarianism, especially when you say, ‘Well, we’re doing it for the public good.’”

The measure was proposed by state Rep. Ryan Kerby (R-New Plymouth), a former school superintendent, and opposed by the working group’s Democratic minority.

“This isn’t sacrificing individual liberty,” said state Rep. Steve Berch (D-West Boise). “This is balancing the governance process with protecting the larger community.”

The measure will now go to House and Senate leadership, and Republican Gov. Brad Little, for consideration at this month’s special legislative session.

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Idaho has surpassed more than 25,000 COVID-19 infections, with 239 deaths as of Monday.


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Trump supporter arrested for child abuse after striking 12-year-old girl with a flagpole: report

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A Florida man was arrested this week after he was caught on video assaulting a 12-year-old girl with a flag pole, the Florida Times-Union reports.

Norbert Eugene Logsdon Jr. was charged Wednesday with abuse of a child without great bodily harm. He was subsequently released in bail.

The incident was captured on video by the child's mother and was posted to Facebook. She and her daughter were driving past a sidewalk pro-Trump demonstration when the mother yelled something antagonistic to the Trump supporters. That's when Logsdon shoved the flagpole through the open right-front passenger window.

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Medical expert doubts Trump’s claim every American will have a COVID vaccine by April: ‘I don’t see how that’s possible’

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Speaking on CNN this Friday, professor of tropical medicine, Dr. Peter Hotez, pushed back on President Trump's claim that every American will have access to a coronavirus vaccine by April.

According to Hotez, there's "just too many unknowns right now" for Trump or any other administration official "to make such a statement.

Even if the vaccines currently in development work, "we don't have the details on the distribution," he added.

"There's going to be a lot of unknown questions," he continued. "We have to really take it in stages."

Watch the video below:

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Shocking emails document Trump administration’s scheme to muzzle the CDC — and misinform Americans

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Emails obtained by The New York Times detail how Trump administration political appointees sought to silence the Centers for Disease Control during the coronavirus pandemic.

"On June 30, as the coronavirus was cresting toward its summer peak, Dr. Paul Alexander, a new science adviser at the Department of Health and Human Services, composed a scathing two-page critique of an interview given by a revered scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," the newspaper reported. "Dr. Anne Schuchat, a 32-year veteran of the C.D.C. and its principal deputy director, had appealed to Americans to wear masks and warned, 'We have way too much virus across the country.' But Dr. Alexander, a part-time assistant professor of health research methods, appeared sure he understood the coronavirus better."

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