CNN’s Dana Bash pointed this out to Dr. Anthony Fauci on “State of the Union” this weekend. She mentioned New York, Massachusetts and North Carolina, but there are a ton of stories like this:
Google around. These stories are happening across the country in states that have been pretty much locked down.
Efforts to open cross party lines. Schools that had resisted hybrid learning are slowly moving to give kids an in-person option.
Why aren’t ALL American kids in school? Many are. Many are not. The US school system is extremely localized.
“In a way, being more clear can create specifics that may not fit everyone’s parameters and justify closures,” Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease physician at the University of California, San Francisco, told Lobosco.
Bash asked Fauci if this is another premature pull back. He didn’t say what I wanted to hear:
If you look at the curve, Dana, it’s coming down sharply, but the last several days, it’s kind of plateaued at around 70,000 new infections per day.
Let’s look at what history has taught us. If you go back and look at the various surges, whenever we hit a peak and start coming down, understandably, totally understandably, you say, well, let’s pull back.
We’re going to ultimately be pulling back, but you want to get the level of baseline infections per day very low, because, if you look at that little plateau, particularly in the arena of having variants such as we have in California and such as we have in New York, it is really risky to say it’s over, we’re on the way out, let’s pull back, because what we can see is that we turn up.
It isn’t hypothetical, Dana, because just look historically at the late winter, early spring of 2020, at the summer of 2020. When we started to pull back prematurely, we saw the rebound. We definitely don’t want that to happen.
At some point soon, the problem of vaccines won’t be access, but adoption. Right now it’s hard for many Americans to find an appointment, assuming they even qualify under local rules. But that is a temporary problem. Eventually, every willing person will have the shot, and we will have to deal with people who aren’t willing.
“The Army tells me what, how and when to do almost everything,” Sgt. Tracey Carroll, who is based at Fort Sill, told the Times. “They finally asked me to do something and I actually have a choice, so I said no.”
I was quite surprised that the Army, which routinely makes soldiers get shots, was giving them an option here.
In that Kaiser survey, Black and Latino Americans were more likely to be in the “wait and see” camp. Republicans and rural residents were more likely to say they won’t get the shot or will get it only if forced.
The share of “wait and see” has shrunk in Kaiser surveys. The share of “definitely not” has stayed about the same.
The minimum wage and the filibuster
It was a political gift for President Joe Biden. The Senate parliamentarian stripped the $15 minimum wage from Democrats’ $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill.
Why? Democrats, who need complete party unity, didn’t have the votes to pass the measure through the Senate with the minimum wage.
But it’s also a policy nightmare. They’ve campaigned on raising the minimum wage and they’ll have to find another way to do it.
Masschusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren agrees with House progressives that Vice President Kamala Harris should use her rarely invoked power to overrule the parliamentarian and add the wage back in.
“I agree,” Warren said when asked by CNN if she supports the House members push for Harris to override the decision.
Warren’s larger mission is to end the filibuster. It’s the custom by which 60 votes are required for most major bills.
“The only reason that we’re in this mess is because of the filibuster,” Warren told CNN. “If we would get rid of the filibuster then we wouldn’t have to keep trying to force the camel through the eye of a needle. Instead, we would do what the majority of Americans want us to do.”
Usual suspects: Manchin and Sinema. It would take a majority to end the filibuster and the same senators who didn’t want to raise the minimum wage — Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema — oppose ending it.
There will be a lot of talk about the filibuster during the next two years. Democrats in the House could pass proposals relating to voting rights and police reform this week.
The White House announced Biden’s support for both proposals.
Neither seems likely to have 60 votes in the Senate, but both could probably find 50.
It would levy a 2% annual tax on the net worth of households and trusts between $50 million and $1 billion as well as a 1% annual surtax on assets above $1 billion, for a 3% tax overall on billionaires.
Exile has not changed Trump
Trump’s bent on revenge. That’s the top takeaway I got from his analysis of Trump’s speech at the CPAC convention, where Trump called out Republicans who supported his impeachment by name and pushed the lie that he won in November.
Here’s a taste:
Last seen leaving Washington in disgrace, the ex-President’s self-regarding wander through old political fights emphasized his obsession with revenge at a time when the attention of the majority of the nation not in his camp is concentrating on more immediate concerns.
His latest comments suggest that the fight to safeguard US democratic institutions and free elections did not end when he left the White House but will be a key struggle in the run-up to the next presidential election.
As local and state Republicans seek to narrow access to the polls, Trump, who tried to force officials in Georgia to steal the election for him, called on the GOP to outlaw mail-in and early voting to ensure “honest elections” and made racially motivated insinuations about irregularities in Detroit and Philadelphia. He demanded citizen tests for ballot access, said voting should only take place on Election Day and called for independent judges to be barred from adjudicating election disputes.