According to a report from The Daily Beast, faced with over 450,000 U.S. dead and millions infected, "hardcore ' anti-vaccination proponents are setting aside their fervent opposition to government health mandates and clamoring to get the COVID-19 vaccine for themselves and their families.
With President Joe Biden's administration pressing pharmaceutical companies to rush as much vaccine to the public as soon as possible, anti-vaxxers -- who have pushed discredited theories about childhood vaccines causing autism among other maladies -- view the coronavirus pandemic in a different light even though the testing of the new vaccines weren't subject to the longterm testing normally used when being a new drug to market.
As one self-professed anti-vaxxer who suffered "a rare, severe reaction to the pertussis, or whooping cough, vaccine," -- that was later taken off the market -- explained, the COVID- 19 pandemic is an all-together different issue.
After stating she has done the bare minimum for her children when it comes to vaccines so that they could attend school, midwife Caitlan Murphy is approaching the new vaccine differently.
"She refused all vaccines for herself, and continued to refuse to get her kids vaccinated for the flu, chickenpox, and hepatitis B, among others. She still believes vaccine ingredients are inherently dangerous, and that they interfere with 'natural' immunity, despite overwhelming scientific evidence that vaccines are safe," the Beast's Isobel Whitcomb wrote before adding Murphy, "... who is immunocompromised, recently began to consider what it would mean for her family if she were to get sick with coronavirus and prove unable to fight it off. Now, she's gearing herself up to do what would have seemed unthinkable even six months ago: getting the coronavirus vaccine."
"I just have to bite the bullet and do it," the 31-year-old explained.
According to Whitcomb, Murphy is not alone.
"Until now, many anti-vaxxers and vaccine skeptics in America have had the luxury of refusing vaccines while still avoiding illness. They've benefited from herd immunity, the threshold at which enough people are vaccinated against a disease to prevent it from spreading through a population," she wrote. "So some anti-vaxxers and vaccine skeptics suddenly find themselves becoming fierce vaccine advocates—even if just for this moment."
Sierra Dell, a 38-year old living in Oregon, passed on vaccinating her son previously, saying, "At a time, vaccines were very important. But you know, the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine, I didn't think was necessary."
However she now waiting to see when she is eligible for the COVID vaccine.
"There are so many people dying. And it's real." she explained. "I choose not to vaccinate at all, in any other way, but this one I'm going for. Because I owe it to society. I need to stay here for my kiddo. I don't want to end up on a ventilator, or dead."
According to Dell, who is immunocompromised -- that has put her on the outs with other anti-vaxxers.
"Lately, she's become annoyed whenever her friends mention their intention to skip out on the COVID-19 vaccine. They 'haven't walked in the shoes of somebody that is immunocompromised,' she said. 'It's almost like a dose of my own medicine, because I used to talk like that.'"
You can read more here.
In an interview with Slate legal columnist Dhalia Lithwick, former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara claimed he is not privy to inside information into the multiple investigations launched against Donald Trump but that he does see "signals" from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. that something is coming down the pike -- and it is not good for the former president.
After describing the falling out with Trump that led to his firing, Bharara claimed there is little coming out of his former home at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York about Trump that gives any indication where their case stands. But he said that the Manhattan DA's office is another story.
"His tax returns are in the hands of Cyrus Vance Jr., the district attorney of Manhattan. They're working to flip folks in the Trump organization. I wonder what piece of that you're watching or are you just watching all of it? What do you expect to see in terms of accountability and having some sense that there is some closure to any of this?" Lithwick asked.
"The one that we know about most directly and most prominently is the one you mentioned, the Manhattan district attorney's investigation into Trump's finances and business dealings," the attorney replied. "I don't know because I've not been in the grand jury, I've not interviewed the witnesses. Cy Vance doesn't call me up and tell me stuff, but there is some signaling going on."
"Cy Vance is not running for reelection. Vance is, as they say, a lame duck. As a lame duck, he's done certain things, including hiring an outside forensic accounting firm, which is not super unusual but it's not that common. He's done something else that is less common, which is hire an outside lawyer, Mark Pomerantz, who's a very distinguished, well-respected lawyer in New York," he elaborated. "I'm not going to put too much weight on it, but it seems like the kind of move you make when you believe that there's going to be a charge or there's a good likelihood of a charge, because it's a pretty public thing to do."
Noting that such moves likely would "alienate" some in his office, Bharara noted he feels Vance thinks it is worth it because he has a good case.
You can read more here.
‘Weak leadership': Republicans angry with Kevin McCarthy for feeding Liz Cheney to the ‘MAGA wolves’: report
Some House Republicans are furious with Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for pushing GOP Caucus Chair Liz Cheney out in a shameless attempt to make Donald Trump happy. They see it as "weak leadership" from a man who has "no moral compass," Politico Playbook reports, detailing some of the "backlash against the minority leader behind the scenes."
Politico says the "grumbling" is not just coming "from Adam Kinzinger types," referring to the Illinois House Republican who blasted McCarthy on Monday with the bombshell revelation that he had warned him there would be violence on January 6 but McCarthy dismissed him.
"Some House Republicans are privately griping about how the California Republican has fed a colleague to the MAGA wolves in his quest to become speaker."
And ousting Cheney could cost McCarthy the one thing he craves more than anything: becoming Speaker of the House.
“'Kevin McCarthy has pissed off enough members of his own conference that he's going to have to go back to his former days as a whip to try to figure out where his votes are' to become speaker," one House Republican told Politico. That lawmaker "is neither a member of the Freedom Caucus," the far right extremists in the House, "nor a moderate."
“I'd be worried if I was him. … You have people like me — who are here to do the right thing for all the right reasons and have an expectation of leadership — that are, shall we say, disgusted with the internal squabbling that results from having weak leadership. And it is weak leadership. Straight up."
It's not just House Republicans who see McCarthy as weak.
“He's flip-flopped on [Jan. 6 and whether it's] Trump's fault, it's not Trump's fault," a senior GOP aide to a conservative member of Congress told Politico. "It seems like he doesn't have the backbone to lead. He bends to political pressure. It's tough to do when you're speaker. You have to lead."
McCarthy tried to become Speaker after John Boehner stepped down in 2015. It was a disaster, as MSNBC's Rachel Maddow reported, on McCarthy's "verbal incapability."
‘There's a lot of blind loyalty’: GOP's Jim Jordan remains popular among his constituents despite controversies
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) is one of the most polarizing figures in Congress, but his constituents remain big fans of the staunch ally of former president Donald Trump.
The jacket-eschewing Ohio Republican is probably best known for his smirking and loudly combative defense of the twice-impeached one-term president, and that loyalty to Trump has made him popular with the folks back home, reported The Columbus Dispatch.
"I think it's just Jim being Jim," said Kimberly Brown, 57, owner of Hometown Music. "You have to be aggressive to get to the bottom of things. He's a wrestler. That's what he does. He spars."
Jordan's wrestling career comes up frequently among his supporters and detractors alike, and the congressman himself refers to it often.
"The closest thing to a wrestling match is a committee hearing," Jordan, a four-time state high school champion, recently told The Dispatch.
The GOP lawmaker also has been dogged by allegations from several Ohio State University wrestlers who were groped and fondled by now-deceased Dr. Richard Strauss in the 1980s who say that Jordan, an assistant coach at the time, knew about the abuse but looked the other way -- but many voters don't care about that.
"I'd hire a wrestler any day," said Doug Hoffman, 43, a chemical engineer and former youth wrestling coach. "He's not afraid of anything, and his work ethic is beyond parallel."
Wrestling is popular in the area where Jordan grew up, but he's not popular with everyone in the area.
"I think he's out of touch with the realities of what's going on in our area," said Amy Burchnell, 48, a program director at the nonprofit Creative Foundations. "I'm not fond of him. I do not see kindness. There's no compromising. It's either black or white. He sees things as wins or losses. I think he's looking for someone to fight with."
Jordan was re-elected last year with nearly 70 percent of the vote, and the area's Democrats grudgingly accept that most of their neighbors have a "blind loyalty to Jim Jordan and any Republican."
"I think there's a lot of blind loyalty to Jim Jordan and any Republican," said Democrat Marty Hess, owner of Marty's Water Works radiator repair service. "If the devil came up (as a Republican) and said, 'I'm running,' I think he'd win."
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