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‘More guaranteed to protect me’ than vaccine: CDC director calls face masks ‘most important health tool we have’ to fight COVID-19

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CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield testifying before Congress (screengrab)

During an ABC News townhall event moderated by George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday night, President Donald Trump once again downplayed the benefits of wearing protective face masks. But when Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, testified during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing Wednesday morning, he stressed that face masks are enormously helpful tools in the fight against coronavirus.

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Asked about Trump’s comments, Redfield told senators, “I’m not going to comment directly about the president, but I am going to comment as the CDC director that these face masks are the most important, powerful health tool we have. And I will continue to appeal for all Americans — all individuals in our country — to embrace these face coverings. I’ve said it: if we did it for six, eight, ten, 12 weeks, we’d bring this pandemic under control.”

Holding up a blue face mask, Redfield added, “We have clear scientific evidence: they work, and they are our best defense. I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine.”

Redfield explained that when a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available in the future, “If I don’t get an immune response, the vaccine’s not going to protect me. This face mask will. So, I do want to keep asking the American public to take the responsibility — particularly the 18-25-year-olds….. We haven’t got the acceptance, the personal responsibility that we need for all Americans to embrace this face mask.”

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2020 Election

Foreign hackers cripple Texas county’s email system with a simple malware attack

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Last week, voters and election administrators who emailed Leanne Jackson, the clerk of rural Hamilton County in central Texas, received bureaucratic-looking replies. “Re: official precinct results,” one subject line read. The text supplied passwords for an attached file.

But Jackson didn’t send the messages. Instead, they came from Sri Lankan and Congolese email addresses, and they cleverly hid malicious software inside a Microsoft Word attachment. By the time Jackson learned about the forgery, it was too late. Hackers continued to fire off look-alike replies. Jackson’s three-person office, already grappling with the coronavirus pandemic, ground to a near standstill.

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Fox News built an ‘alternative reality’ to allow Trump to steal the election — and get away with it: Political scientist

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Fox News has laid the groundwork for President Donald Trump to steal the election -- and get away with it, according to a political scientist.

Rachel Bitecofer, an election analyst and senior adviser to the Lincoln Project, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that right-wing media had created an alternate reality that gave Trump's allies permission to believe he was saving democracy by stealing the election.

"Here's the thing you guys need to understand and America needs to understand," Bitecofer said. "I've been talking about this for a while, you can see this if you watch any of the congressional testimonies. In Republican world, it is they that are defending the institutional purity [and] Bill Barr is American hero, okay?"

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2020 Election

REVEALED: Republican election officials secretly consulted promoter of debunked voting fraud fears

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On July 15, a civil rights group formed by Black union workers called on the Ohio secretary of state to make voting amid the pandemic easier and safer. It advocated placing multiple secure ballot drop boxes in counties across the state.

When a deputy to Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose received the A. Philip Randolph Institute’s press release, he responded quickly — but not to the group. Instead, according to records obtained by ProPublica, the deputy contacted the Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky, a leading advocate for the discredited argument that American elections are tainted by widespread voting fraud.

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