While COVID-19 cases continue to drop in the U.S., outbreaks of another virus — the stomach flu — are ramping up, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. This comes amid easing virus restrictions nationwide. For most of the U.S., roughly 99.5%, it isn’t recommended to wear a mask indoors in public because of low or medium COVID-19 Community Level as of March 31, the CDC says. Meanwhile, 448 norovirus outbreaks were reported in the U.S. from Aug. 1, 2021, to March 5, 2022, according to the agency. In comparison, that’s 370 more outbreaks than reported from Aug. 1, 2020, to March...
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A company that fired an employee after she criticized the Black Lives Matter movement online did not break the law, an appellate panel ruled Friday.
Heather McVey sued the AtlantiCare and Geisinger health systems, alleging the First Amendment did not allow them to fire her because of her Facebook posts. But the appellate judges’ Friday decision rejects her argument, saying federal law stipulates only governments — and not private actors — can be held liable for breaches of constitutional rights.
The court cited a 1998 state Supreme Court decision involving a public employee and employer that held racist remarks are not protected by the First Amendment or the New Jersey Constitution.
“Because a public employee can be terminated for such comments … a private company like AtlantiCare clearly had the authority to fire McVey for making these remarks in a public forum while identifying herself as an AtlantiCare employee,” the decision reads.
In the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, who was killed by now-former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in May 2020, McVey wrote on Facebook that she found the Black Lives Matter movement racist, claiming it caused segregation and alleging Black people were “killing themselves.” At the time, she was the corporate director of customer service for the health systems.
The comments, made in response to another user’s public post, came to the attention of an AtlantiCare administrator. McVey was suspended for the posts on June 17, 2020, and fired six days later.
AtlantiCare’s social media policy forbids posts on inflammatory or objectionable topics, “such as politics and religion.” McVey’s Facebook page identified her as an AtlantiCare employee.
The trial court dismissed her case, relying on rulings from other states to decree the First Amendment does not bar a private company from firing an at-will employee.
On appeal, McVey again argued her firing violated free speech provisions in the U.S. and New Jersey constitutions, also charging that right outweighed AtlantiCare’s right to promote an inclusive workspace.
There are no precedential New Jersey cases directly involving private-sector wrongful termination cases hinging on free speech issues. The appellate panel’s decision will set precedent for future cases like this unless it is overturned by the state Supreme Court.
It’s not clear whether McVey will seek to petition the case to the New Jersey Supreme Court. Her attorneys did not immediately return an email seeking comment.
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The scandal isn't that McCarthy was lying — it’s that he can’t serve in GOP leadership if he doesn't lie: Adam Schiff
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) noted that his Republican colleague appears to be stuck in a world where if he doesn't submit to GOP overlords like former President Donald Trump, he'll lose whatever power he has in the House leadership.
After fighting to become the House Speaker for a decade, Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was recorded lying to his caucus after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. When it was written about and McCarthy was quoted, he claimed that the reporters were lying about him. The reporters published the recording of him saying it, however.
Speaking to MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace on Friday, Schiff explained that McCarthy lying isn't anything new and it certainly isn't an unknown fact on Capitol Hill.
"Listening to those tapes of [Senate Minority Leader Mitch] McConnell (R-KY) and McCarthy in private expressing what we all felt about the unfitness of the former president, and to see now how they have completely caved into the immorality of the former president, it just takes your breath away," said Schiff. "What is scandalous about Kevin McCarthy, for example, lying to The New York Times" about the conversations about Jan. 6th is not the lying. Anyone who knows McCarthy isn't particularly surprised by that. The scandal is that if he didn't lie, if he doesn't lie — if he doesn't continue to lie he can't serve in the Republican leadership that's the terrible tragedy."
See the video below:
adam schiff on kevin mccarthy scandal youtu.be
Russian strongman Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine has drawn attention to a foreign policy rift inside the Senate GOP caucus.
Politico reported on the dynamics in a new story headlined, "Inside McConnell's bid to quash GOP 'isolationists.'"
McConnell spoke of talking with President Joe Biden about he trip to Ukraine, where he sought to reassure allies that “Republicans still believe NATO is important.”
“My argument to [Biden] was, I want to reinforce with the Europeans after some loose talk during the Trump years about whether NATO is important, that at least at the moment, the most important Republican we currently have in Congress has a different point of view,” McConnell said.
McConnell told Politico he wanted to “push back … against the isolationist sentiment in my own party. And [Biden] agreed that that makes sense.”
However, McConnell was unalbe to convince eleven GOP senators to vote for a $40 billion aid package.
Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Mike Braun (R-IN), John Boozman (R-AR), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Mike Lee (R-UT), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) all voted against the bill.
“I think 11 votes is a pretty small group,” McConnell said. “This is not a major schism. It’s a small isolationist group, somewhat encouraged by the former president. But it’s not widely held among Republicans in Congress, and I don’t think among the public in general.”
McConnell said Trump's posture was "not helpful" but argued the isolationist wing was not growing.
“Obviously I disagree with President Trump about that. But campaign discussions are one thing. Governing is another. And I would plead with you to focus on the people who are voting here [in the Senate] and what is actually happening, not sometimes-loose campaign talk out in primaries across America," he argued.
Read the full report.