☕️ Coffee & Covid ☙ Saturday, October 23, 2021 ☙ PRACTICAL POLITICS 🦠
Comments on practical politics connected with getting mask and vaccine mandate bans done; the NASB hurriedly changes its tune and apologizes, the CDC moves the “fully vaccinated” goalposts, and more.
Good morning C&C family! I’m running a little late today since I’m ramping up for filing another lawsuit and the work is getting a little crazy. Stand by for updates. In your C&C briefing today: comments on practical politics connected with getting mask and vaccine mandate bans done in the special session; the National School Board Association hurriedly changes its tune and apologizes to its members, now that the damage is done; the CDC moves the “fully vaccinated” goalposts; parents take back a violent public school; the House committee on Covid origins releases some damning NIH documents; DeSantis announces strong job growth in Florida — unlike the rest of the country; two rebellious Florida school board back down on masks; and a Sheriff critiques the DOJ for investigating “rowdy school board meetings.” Oh! And we have new Florida Covid data and, again, it looks fantastic.
🗞 *PRACTICAL POLITICS* 🗞
Let’s talk about injection mandate politics. Now that the Governor has made his announcement, the forces opposing mandates are organizing and are contacting legislators. We need to understand these forces and their motivations so we can be more effective at getting the laws we need passed.
The Biden Administration is trying to capture private business. It is using the carrot and the stick. One the one hand, it is cutting unprecedented checks to businesses under the Cares Act and similar programs. But you only get the money if you play ball. On the other hand, Biden is threatening them with sanctions, such as loss of federal contracts, which is potentially devastating to defense contractors (which we have many in Florida), or threatening to withhold Medicare/Medicaid funds. Florida has a population that skews elderly and this the loss of Medicare/Medicaid funding is a significant threat to all healthcare providers. Which is a big industry in Florida.
Every business group in Florida threatened by federal mandates or the loss of Care Act funding is calling their legislators right now, to make sure the vaccine mandate DOESN’T pass. Politicians depend on contributions from businesses as much as folks.
I don’t know for sure, but federal pressure is my best guess as to why the Governor’s proposed bill lacks an outright ban on mandates. He’s trying to thread the needle to get something filed that can possibly pass.
It’s true that, on the other hand, in Texas Governor Abbot banned mandates by executive order. He set it up where his ban is lifted only when the Texas legislators pass a bill. But Governor DeSantis doesn’t have that option in Florida, because there’s no state of emergency, and because his executive powers were limited by SB 2006. Trade offs.
So what can Floridians do? It’s simple. We have to reach every legislator in the state so they aren’t just hearing from one side. What do we want? We want them to commit to a mandate ban, injections and masks. They need to know that they’ll be supported if they pass the ban and opposed if they don’t.
Direct Action: We need to organize local 5DAY groups within each congressional district. We need local activist groups to be calling their legislators and meeting with them face to face. We need folks to show up at every town hall event, every Rotary talk, every public appearance. It needs to be a loud, sustained clamour for them to do the right thing. If they do, they’ll get support. If they don’t, they’ll be opposed. It’s that simple.
Indirect Action: We need people meeting with business owners and other people who contribute to Florida campaigns. Here’s how to find out who’s been contributing to your district legislator:
[Campaign Finance Database - Contributions Records - Florida Division of Elections - Department of State](https://dos.elections.myflorida.com/campaign-finance/contributions/)
Let’s use Republican house speaker Chris Sprowls for our first example. On the search page, first select the 2020 election season. Then enter his last name “Sprowls,” click “list of contributors,” then click “bottom” to go to the search button, then click search. Presto, a list of contributors! Most of them include their address, which would make it easy to get in touch with them. If you wanted to. For some reason. Just saying.
Now try Wilton Simpson, senate president, except choose “2022 Election Season.”
You’ll see a bunch of folks, businesses, and PACs. The amounts are shown are all relatively small amounts, due to campaign donation limits. So it’s not insurmountable to provide a LOT of support for a particular candidate — if local medical freedom groups, unmaskers, and injection-choice employees work together. (Of course, it’s harder to help financially if you’ve been fired, but maybe that’s the point.)
If you’re in a local group, now you have something to focus on. Get to it.
🗞*COVID NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 🗞
🔥 Remember the National School Board Association? That’s the one that cooperated with Biden’s scheme to threaten parents opposing masks and CRT stuff with FBI prosecution. According to a recent article in the Washington Free Beacon, the National School Board Association’s president and CEO sent the original letter to Biden on September 29 without getting approval from the organization’s board. Oops. The letter alleged that some parents’ conduct at school board meetings across the country could be considered “a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.” Uh huh.
The Beacon obtained some emails through public records requests showing that members of the NSBA’s board of directors have complained that the president sent out the letter without their approval. One association director said that the letter had “reawakened hostilities” that were just beginning to subside. “Many of us have been put in a position now of explaining or defending this action of our association as we are asked by members of our community if we consider them domestic terrorists for showing up to our meetings and expressing their opinions,” director John W. Halkias wrote.
Apparently the NSBA’s president got some major pushback from member boards who didn’t think it was such a hot idea to demonize parents, with whom they have to work all the time. So yesterday the president tried to walk it back in a new letter from the NASB board.
In the letter, dated October 22, 2021, and addressed to all its school board members, the NSBA said:
“On behalf of NSBA, WE REGRET AND APOLOGIZE FOR THE LETTER. To be clear, the safety of school board members, other public officials and educators, and students is our top priority, and there remains important work to be done on this issue. However, there was no justification for some of the language included in the letter. We should have had a better process in place to allow for consultation on a communication of this significance. We apologize also for the strain and stress this situation has caused you and your organizations.”
Well, that’s nice. Now that the FBI is meeting with school boards in Florida to figure out how to slander soccer moms advocating for their kids and everything. You know what would be even better? How about ANOTHER public letter, this time to AG Merrick Garland — asking him to stand down? How about that?
🔥 Prepare to be shocked. Yesterday CDC Director Rachelle Walensky carried the goalposts out of the stadium and into the street. It looks like the definition of “fully vaccinated” is about to change, suckers! In a media statement, Walensky said “We have not yet changed the definition of fully vaccinated. We will continue to look at this. We may need to update our definition of fully vaccinated in the future.”
We get it, Rachelle. You guys just love to redefine things. Let’s redefine “vaccines” after 100 years to include drugs that don’t include inactivated viruses and don’t produce immunity! Let’s redefine “cases” — since forever — to include people who don’t have any symptoms! Now that we have talked 65% of U.S. adults into taking the injections to get “fully vaccinated,” it only makes sense to redefine “fully vaccinated,” right? See, words don’t really mean stuff except whatever the government wants them to mean, depending on what day it is.
Why do I have a feeling that, if they get away with this, in a couple years being “fully vaccinated” will require all kinds of other stuff like being current on filing your tax returns?
🔥 Go dads! After a violent week of fighting in a Louisiana school that resulted in 23 students being arrested in three days, some Southwood High School dads decided to take matters into their own hands. They formed Dads on Duty — a group of about 40 dads who take shifts spending time at the school in Shreveport, Louisiana, greeting students in the morning and helping maintain a positive environment for learning, rather than fighting. According to CBS news reports, the students say it’s working and the numbers prove it. The article says there hasn’t been a single incident on campus since the dads showed up.
I love it, obviously. But I have a question. If just putting a few dads around campus solved the violence problem, what was the school doing — or not doing — before? Do the public schools have any role at all in this kind of thing? Oh wait, I forgot. Their job is to try to solve wide-scale public health problems with on-the-job medical training. Never mind!
Another way of looking at this story is, maybe it wasn’t such a smart idea to ban parents from schools for “safety.” Thanks experts!
🦇 According to recently released NIH documents, the shady EcoHealth Alliance group worked with the Wuhan lab to create novel coronaviruses that enhanced viral growth by 1,000-fold to TEN THOUSAND-fold. This is orders of magnitude greater than the legal limit that should have triggered further NIH review, which required written approval for any research increasing viral growth by more than ten times. The increase in viral load, which is closely tied to transmissibility, also resulted in more severe disease in mice in some cases.
Anyway, an hour before the House committee publicly released the documents, NIH director Francis Collins — who recently tendered his resignation — published an official statement saying anybody claiming that the Ecohealth experiment resulted in the pandemic is lying. Sure, Francis.
According to RollCall, Jesse Bloom, an expert in viral evolution at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, said “In my view, some of this research on potential pandemic pathogens poses unacceptable risks.”
“Failing to comply with oversight measures put into place largely for safety reasons is inexcusable,” Angela Rasmussen, a virologist with the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization at the University of Saskatchewan, said in a tweet. “I’m not going to sit idly by while [EcoHealth Alliance’s] inaction allows unqualified grifters and opportunists free reign to disparage my entire profession, ultimately making everyone less safe.”
Uh-oh. Now it looks like even experts are mad at the experts.
RollCall, in a standalone paragraph, said that “Daszak did not reply to requests for comment.” I bet he didn’t. His lawyers have told him to shut up. Shut up, scientist!
🦸♂️ In a video address yesterday, Governor DeSantis announced that Florida’s job growth is three times faster than the rest of the country. Is there anything Florida Man can’t do?
😷 Miami-Dade — the largest of the counties defying the State’s mask ban — backed down last week, claiming that lower cases in schools permitted parents to opt out of masks if they want to. The AP reported that fewer than 1,000 of the district’s 330,000 students were required to quarantine last week.
😷 Another rebellious county school board is backing down. On Wednesday, Governor DeSantis held a press conference in Titusville, Florida with Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey. Sheriff Ivey announced that his department was not the mask police. “Let me just be very clear: I have made it clear to my school resource deputies, our head of security at the schools, that we are not the mask police. If your child is not wearing a mask, we are not going to engage in any action. We will not,” he said.
On Friday evening, the Brevard school system announced a change in its mask policy. Imagine that! Effective immediately, Brevard parents will enjoy an opt-out of forcing their kids to wear dirty face rags at THEIR OWN DISCRETION. Brevard officials said it had nothing to do with anything else really, but they’d decided it was a good time to relax their illegal mandate because of how great Florida’s Covid numbers are doing. So.
⚖️ At the same press conference, Sheriff Ivey also addressed the FBI’s meetings with Brevard school board officials about “domestic terrorists” who are terrorizing terrified school board members by criticizing them and using harsh language and stuff. Ivey said the county doesn’t need the Department of Justice investigating school board meetings that get “a little bit rowdy” or investigating “our parents for voicing their opinions to the mask mandate here in Brevard County.”
“It’s outrageous that, trust me, there are plenty of terrorists globally that they can focus on,” Ivey said. “Real terrorists. Terrorists that are out there killing people, each and every day. Not parents who are voicing their opinions and fighting with every breath they have for their children, which everybody in this room would do in a heartbeat.”
But, come on. I mean, Attorney General Merrick Garland has to help his daughter sell critical race theory books to schools. He’s a parent, too, you know. So the full weight of the federal government’s law enforcement apparatus must be aimed at anyone who dares question whether his daughter’s books make any sense or not. Thanks Joe Biden!
📊 *COVID IN FLORIDA AND ALACHUA COUNTY* 📊
Florida had another great report yesterday in our new weekly Covid data update. You can see that the numbers on my chart are falling across the board. Here are some highlights:
— Even as national hospitalizations continue to creep up, Florida’s hospitalizations dropped to new lows. Down from a peak of 17,198 nine weeks ago, there are now only 2,525 beds in use for Covid across the state. It’s to the point that heartbroken reporters can’t write about overwhelmed doctors and nurses anymore. Of course, doctors and nurses really ARE overwhelmed now, this time by injection mandates and short staffing levels, but reporters aren’t allowed to write about THOSE problems.
— Florida’s weekly cases are now only 10% of what they were just eight weeks ago. Cases per 100K are now down to only 67, with many counties far below that figure. Florida has the lowest 7-day average of new cases in the continental United States. So.
— Florida’s positive ratio is so low (3.4%) that I have only ever recorded one report lower than this one, and only one-tenth of one percent lower (3.3%), at that. Alachua County’s is only 3.1% — just above the false positive rate.
— Covid-involved weekly deaths are down to only 106, which used to be a good DAILY figure.
— Finally, our R0 remains well below 1.0 (at 0.57), which means that cases are still dropping.
Hope you enjoyed all the great news today! See you guys on Monday to kick off the week right, except for paid subscribers who I’ll see tomorrow morning for your special edition.
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