HOLLAND, Mich. — Come for the Dutch heritage, stay for the bullet holes. In 1961, an idea was proposed to bring an authentic windmill from the Netherlands to Holland to celebrate the city's Dutch heritage. The country, though, had recently banned the export of windmills. After three years of negotiations, a suitable mill for export was found in the village of Vinkel in the North Brabant province. Built in 1884 with pieces from at least two other windmills, De Zwaan, which means "the swan" in Dutch, is 125 feet tall from the ground to the tip of the blades. The grain mill was in disrepair and b...
On Tuesday, Alaska Public Radio reported that Anchorage's Republican mayor tried to pin hospital staff shortages on vaccine mandates, suggesting that health care workers are resigning in droves rather than comply. But hospital officials are smacking down this suggestion, saying this is simply not happening.
Alaska is currently experiencing a massive surge of COVID-19 cases, which has forced the state to authorize care rationing.
"While Alaska hospitals say they're overwhelmed with an unrelenting surge of coronavirus patients, Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson is pointing to vaccine mandates as one reason hospitals can't keep up," reported Liz Ruskin. "'The lingering pandemic, coupled with historically busy hospitals this time of year, as well as some employers forcing employees who chose not to be vaccinated to lose their jobs, have contributed to a staffing shortage,' Bronson said in a Facebook post Sunday."
According to the report, hospitals in the Anchorage area have not reported any such thing.
"Jared Kosin, head of the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association, said the high volume of complex COVID patients is the reason hospitals are overwhelmed. Blaming the staffing shortage on hospital-imposed vaccine mandates is reckless, he said," continued the report. "'From all hospitals and nursing homes that are dealing with this, I have not heard a single concern that there's going to be a mass exodus of staff over these requirements,' he said."
As new vaccine mandates have come down around the country, a number of public officials have threatened mass resignations, but so far few have been reported. The union representing the Massachusetts State Police threatened that "dozens" of officers would resign from the force of roughly 1,800, but so far only one has actually moved to do so.
It isn't enough that anti-mask activists are having screaming meltdowns in school board meetings -- now they're chasing after kids while they're finishing up their first days of school.
Local news station Fox 11 reports that Huntington Beach anti-maskers this week brought megaphones to scream at students as they were coming out of school.
One anti-mask protester even assaulted a student by pulling his mask off -- and the student reportedly punched the protester in response.
"You don't take it to the students, first of all, because we're all just trying to get back. We're just trying to get good grades and get out of here," said student Ian Boudreau.
Angie Nguyen called it a "joke" and said that what anti-maskers are standing for is "really stupid." She noted that "everyone is making fun of them."
Cameron Coyne agreed, calling it "ridiculous" because "we're just high schoolers... we just don't really have the energy to deal with these people."
The anti-mask protesters were antagonizing the students while filming them, and seemed to be trying to provoke a response. After calling them zombies or communists, students started mocking them by saying, "I love communism." That video was then uploaded by The Last Revolution Media, which had a 2017 GoFundMe page set up by Luke Dennis who calls himself "Based Skywalker."
"We our a hands (sic) on a comies (sic) neck type of group," the GoFundMe page says.
Ah, Luke Dennis posted it. That explains that. But check the comments section on this video if you want a good laug… https://t.co/pOeTwauQwX— HB Community Forum Nonsense (@HB Community Forum Nonsense) 1632363525.0
Parents were incensed that anti-mask adults were harassing children on campus.
See the videos of the incident below:
An adult protester, targeting Huntington Beach High School yesterday, got into a verbal confrontation with a studen… https://t.co/95l3w7EOWE— InMinivanHell (@InMinivanHell) 1632416708.0
Republicans warned their self-destructive COVID behavior is 'killing off their voters faster than they think'
When COVID-19 was overwhelming New York City hospitals during the 2020 spring, a silly talking point in right-wing media was that residents of red states didn't need to worry about the pandemic because it only posed a threat to Democratic areas. But COVID-19, just as health experts predicted, found its way to red states in a brutal way. And the current COVID-19 surge is especially severe in red states that have lower vaccination rates. Journalist David Leonhardt, in an article published by the New York Times this week, examines a disturbing pattern: red states where residents are more likely to be anti-vaxxers and more likely to be infected with COVID-19 and die from it.
Leonhardt explains, "A Pew Research Center poll last month found that 86% of Democratic voters had received at least one shot, compared with 60% of Republican voters. The political divide over vaccinations is so large that almost every reliably blue state now has a higher vaccination rate than almost every reliably red state."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 75% of U.S.-based adults have been at least partially vaccinated for COVID-19. But vaccination rates can vary considerably from one state to another. The Mayo Clinic reports that rates for at least partial vaccination range from 77% in Vermont to 49% in Mississippi, 46% in Idaho and 52% in Alabama. Vermont is a deep blue state with a moderate Republican governor, while Mississippi, Idaho and Alabama are deep red states that former President Donald Trump won by a landslide in 2020.
"It's worth remembering that COVID followed a different pattern for more than a year after its arrival in the U.S.," Leonhardt explains. "Despite widespread differences in mask wearing — and scientific research suggesting that masks reduce the virus' spread — the pandemic was, if anything, worse in blue regions. Masks evidently were not powerful enough to overcome other regional differences, like the amount of international travel that flows through major metro areas, which tend to be politically liberal. Vaccination has changed the situation."
Leonhardt continues, "The vaccines are powerful enough to overwhelm other differences between blue and red areas. Some left-leaning communities — like many suburbs of New York, San Francisco and Washington, as well as much of New England — have such high vaccination rates that even the unvaccinated are partly protected by the low number of cases. Conservative communities, on the other hand, have been walloped by the highly contagious Delta variant."
The Times reporter notes that in many other developed countries, the pandemic hasn't been politicized to the degree that it has in the United States.
"What distinguishes the U.S. is a conservative party — the Republican Party — that has grown hostile to science and empirical evidence in recent decades," Leonhardt observes. "A conservative media complex, including Fox News, Sinclair Broadcast Group and various online outlets, echoes and amplifies this hostility. Trump took the conspiratorial thinking to a new level, but he did not create it."
Epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding, in a Twitter thread posted over the weekend, argues that Republicans are "killing off" their own voters by promoting anti-vaxxer and anti-masker views:
2) To be clear, as an epidemiologist, I present this because I am worried for all public health. There are plenty o… https://t.co/ssAHeK7dgf— Eric Feigl-Ding (@Eric Feigl-Ding) 1632656632.0
Feigl-Ding points out that under far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil — not unlike red states in the U.S.— has suffered high COVID-19 infection rates:
4) vaccine rates heavily differ by red vs blue states. This is a main driver for sure. But also anti mask sentiment… https://t.co/JQ20tJQuUa— Eric Feigl-Ding (@Eric Feigl-Ding) 1632657109.0
Leonhardt notes that the Delta variant has been especially deadly in Republican areas.
"Since Delta began circulating widely in the U.S.," according to Leonhardt, "COVID has exacted a horrific death toll on red America: In counties where Donald Trump received at least 70 percent of the vote, the virus has killed about 47 out of every 100,000 people since the end of June, according to Charles Gaba, a health care analyst. In counties where Trump won less than 32 percent of the vote, the number is about 10 out of 100,000."
In other news Tuesday, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump tried to push their way into meeting Queen Elizabeth II during a presidential visit, according to a new book. WATCH:
'Thought they were the royal family': New book reveals how Jared and Ivanka tried to force themselve youtu.be
Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Raw Story Investigates and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.
$95 / year — Just $7.91/month
I want to Support More
$14.99 per month