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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: Insurrection lingers in the body politic like a chronic wound

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Margaret Sullivan/WaPo:

The politicians who tried to overturn an election — and the local news team that won’t let anyone forget it

The journalists at WITF, an all-news public radio station in Harrisburg, Pa., made a perfectly reasonable decision a few months ago.

They decided they wouldn’t shrug off the damaging lies of election denialism.

They wouldn’t do what too many in Big Journalism have done in recent months: shove into the memory hole the undemocratic efforts by some Republican elected officials to delegitimize or overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Too many Sunday news shows repeatedly book the likes of Kevin McCarthy, Ted Cruz and Ron Johnson without reminding viewers how these members of Congress tried to undo the results of the election — and encouraged the Trumpian lies about election fraud that led to the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol less than four months ago. A rare exception is CNN’s “State of the Union,” which hasn’t booked a single member of the so-called Sedition Caucus since January.

As insane as the headline here is, I promise you that every successive paragraph of the article is moreso. https://t.co/JLldJn8kkq

— Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) May 1, 2021


Many Republican voters agree with Biden – ‘trickle-down economics’ has failed

A majority of Americans support measures favored by President Joe Biden to substantially redistribute U.S. wealth, according to an Ipsos poll for Reuters released on Thursday, including tax hikes on the wealthy and a higher minimum wage.

The national opinion poll also found that Republican voters were divided over the “trickle-down economics” championed by their party’s leaders since President Ronald Reagan some 40 years ago.

I wrote about the Rudy madness in ⁦@thedailybeasthttps://t.co/aKDfQxID9C

— Molly Jong-Fast🏡 (@MollyJongFast) May 1, 2021

Ashton Pittman/Mississippi Free Press:

Systemic Racism Built Mississippi. Gov. Reeves Says It Doesn’t Exist.

On the penultimate day of the Confederate Heritage Month he proclaimed for the second year in a row, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves made a bold declaration: “There is not systemic racism in America.”

The announcement, if it were true, could come as a relief to the 38% of Mississippians who are Black. But around 16% of those residents will not have the opportunity to express their gratitude to the governor in the next election because they are systematically disenfranchised due to an 1890 Jim Crow felony voting law.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines “systemic racism” as “policies and practices that exist throughout a whole society or organization, and that result in and support a continued unfair advantage to some people and unfair or harmful treatment of others based on race.”

Mars at night 📸 pic.twitter.com/TO4J5av2Jo

— Astrophotography (@astrophotosnap) April 30, 2021

Tara Haelle/Texas Monthly:

Why a Former Anti-Vax Influencer Got Her COVID-19 Shot

As vaccination rates slow, a Dallas woman who once garnered hundreds of thousands of social followers by expressing doubt about the safety of inoculations now says, “I trust the science.”

I’m freaking out. I hate needles. I’m gonna pass out,” [Heather Simpson] said. “But I trust the science.” The day before, she’d taken her three-year-old daughter to receive her first-ever vaccine, against polio. Now it was her turn. “I am now a full believer in vaccines, and I believe that the COVID vaccine is the way that we’re going to end the pandemic,” she said.

Simpson’s journey, from falling into the world of anti-vaccine activism to finding her way out and even to promoting vaccination herself, reveals not only how easily the movement entraps people but also that it’s possible—if much harder—for minds to change. The way Simpson was hooked and what she came to believe highlight the kind of insidious misinformation that has hampered the nation’s response to the pandemic, fueled hesitancy toward COVID-19 vaccines, and undermined the efforts of public health officials.

BREAKING: Nearly two-thirds of Americans (64%) are optimistic about the direction of the country as Pres. Joe Biden completes his first hundred days in office, per a new ABC News/Ipsos poll. https://t.co/JAuox7wGAw

— ABC News (@ABC) May 2, 2021

from ABC/Ipsos: everyone has an opinion, but Biden seems well placed in his approach (beware autoplay, sorry)https://t.co/yMiIi84Px0 pic.twitter.com/87GPgg7m6a

— Greg Dworkin (@DemFromCT) May 2, 2021


U.S. coronavirus cases drop as spring wave of infections ebbs

The spring wave of coronavirus infections that began in March is subsiding in most of the country, with 42 states and D.C. reporting lower caseloads for the past two weeks. Hospitals in hard-hit Michigan and other Upper Midwest states that were flooded with patients in mid-April are discharging more than they’re admitting.

The daily average of new infections nationwide has dropped to the lowest level since mid-October. Many cities are rapidly reopening after 14 months of restrictions. The mayor of virus-ravaged New York City, Bill de Blasio (D), said he plans to have the city fully open by July 1.

The positive trends are not uniform across the map, however. The Pacific Northwest is seeing a surge in cases amid the spread of coronavirus variants. Oregon is the hottest of the hot spots, and Gov. Kate Brown (D) declared that the state is moving backward.

About 56% of U.S. adults had received at least one shot as of Saturday, per the CDC, suggesting that we’re getting very close to the end of the “vaccine eager” population. https://t.co/BDEIADqclU

— Axios (@axios) May 3, 2021

Juliette Kayyem/Atlantic:

Don’t Wait for Herd Immunity

We may never reach the point when viral spread stops, but a strategy of minimizing risk—not eliminating it—can help Americans reclaim normalcy.

The underlying reality ought to be discussed more forthrightly. The United States may not reach the point at which enough people have become immune—by either getting vaccinated or having overcome a previous infection—and the coronavirus cannot spread in the population. This has been evident for some time. “We likely won’t cross the threshold of herd immunity,” Sarah Zhang wrote in The Atlantic in February. Yet the elusive possibility of herd immunity continues to shape Americans’ expectations. Getting there would simplify many questions about lifting mask orders and business restrictions, but mayors and governors who are reluctant to take such steps without a green light from scientists could be waiting for a long time

Remember all the hand-wringing about the J&J pause and how it would catastrophically increase vaccine hesitancy? About that… https://t.co/3JqTDXHlbG

— Dr. Angela Rasmussen (@angie_rasmussen) May 2, 2021


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