Commentary: More Evidence That U.S. Intelligence Analysis Is Broken and Politicized

Wuhan Institute of Virology

Last week, American Greatness reporter Debra Heine reported a bombshell story that a “highly credible” CIA whistleblower has told the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that the CIA “bribed” six of its analysts with significant financial incentives to change their initial conclusion that the COVID-19 pandemic originated from a biolab leak in Wuhan, China and to instead conclude that the virus emerged naturally.

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NIH Renews Grant to Organization That Funded Coronavirus Experiments in Wuhan

The National Institutes of Health have renewed a grant to EcoHealth Alliance, an organization that funded experiments in Wuhan at a facility identified as the possible origin point of the COVID-19 pandemic.

EcoHealth announced the renewal on Monday, noting that the grant had been suspended in April of 2020 “due to concerns about continuing collaborative laboratory research with the Wuhan Institute of Virology.” EcoHealth’s experiments involved on-site work at the WIV and involved the study of coronaviruses.

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State Agency: Pennsylvania Unemployment Claim Backlog Remains at over 31,000

Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) on Wednesday told state representatives the commonwealth’s unemployment-claim (UC) backlog remains vast at 31,304 cases.

L&I officials testifying at a hearing of the state House Appropriations Committee in preparation for next fiscal year’s budget also said state residents calling the department regarding UC claims face an average wait time of 67 minutes. Acting L&I Secretary Nancy Walker said her agency is making progress in clearing these cases which reportedly numbered more than 35,000 last month. Such cases began to accumulate over the course of the coronavirus outbreak.

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Pennsylvania Lawmaker Proposes Bill Letting Small Businesses Operate During Emergencies

State Representative Brad Roae (R-PA-Meadville) this week proposed legislation to permit small businesses to continue operating during potential future states of emergency in Pennsylvania. 

His bill, a version of a measure he sponsored in 2020, would permit small businesses to serve one customer at a time during such periods. The earlier legislation passed the House with nearly all Republicans and some Democrats in support but the Senate did not vote on it. 

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University of Pennsylvania Continues to Boast of Relationship with China After Money from the Communist Nation Rolled In

“Today, Penn’s relationship with China is strong, and continues to grow.”

That’s how the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Global website still refers to the Philadelphia-based Ivy League school’s association with the communist-run nation. 

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Blue State School Districts Are Mandating Masks for Christmas

Girl with mask on and braids

Ahead of the holiday break, several schools in blue states are implementing mask mandates in light of the “tripledemic.”

Schools in states such as Pennsylvania, Washington and New Jersey are fearing a “tripledemic” of the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza (flu) and coronavirus. To combat the “tripledemic” some schools are considering mask mandates while other states have already asked their students to mask up.

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‘Shocking’: EcoHealth Alliance Receives Another Round of Funding for Coronavirus Bat Research in Asia

Anthony Fauci

A coalition of leading House Republicans is raising the alarm and demanding answers after the Biden administration approved another round of grant funding for research on coronaviruses and bats in Asia.

The lawmakers sent a letter to Anthony Fauci, who leads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and serves as the chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden.

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Democrats Propose Strengthening Pennsylvania’s Price-Gouging Act Despite Economists Pointing to Unintended Consequences

State Senator Katie Muth (D-PA-Royersford) announced this week she will introduce legislation to toughen Pennsylvania’s anti-price-gouging law despite economists’ general skepticism about such efforts.

As currently written, the state’s 2006 Price Gouging Act prohibits any entity “within the chain of distribution of consumer goods or services” to sell those products at “an unconscionably excessive price” during an official “state of disaster emergency” or 30 days thereafter. The law defines such a price as “an amount equal to or in excess of 20% of the average price” in the affected region before the emergency declaration.

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Pennsylvania State Representative Proposes Bill to Lighten Businesses’ Unemployment Obligations

State Representative Tim Twardzik (R-PA-Frackville) this week proposed legislation to lighten the burden of unemployment compensation (UC) on businesses that have seen major rate increases since COVID-19 hit in 2020. 

Twardzik indicated his bill will be similar to legislation that state Senator David Argall (R-PA-Mahanoy City) has introduced in his chamber. 

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President Biden Tests Positive for COVID-19 Again

President Biden on Saturday tested positive for COVID-19 again, the White House state in a statement.

A statement was from the White House physician and said the 79-year-old president tested positive “late Saturday morning” after multiple negative tests earlier in the week. He returned to in-person work Wednesday, after having tested positive days earlier. The situation of getting COVID soon after having already contracted the virus is frequently referred to as “rebound” COVID.

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Pennsylvania IFO Study: Labor Force Down by 120,000 Since Year Before COVID

A report released this week by Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) indicates that 120,000 fewer residents are working or actively seeking work than in the year before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

The study showed the state’s labor force participate rate (LFPR) for those aged 16 and older to be 63 percent in May 2019 and to have declined to 61.9 percent one year later. That percentage has continued gradually decreasing — to 61.8 percent in May 2021 and to 61.7 percent two months ago.

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Dr. Yan: Trump’s COVID-19 Actions Saved American Lives

Neil W. McCabe, the national political editor of The Star News Network, interviewed former World Health Organization researcher and Wuhan virus whistleblower Dr. Li-Meng Yan, who told him about the actions of President Donald J. Trump saved American lives.

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South African Doctor Who Discovered Omicron Refuses to ‘Create Fear’ by Hyping Variant’s Threat

“I cannot make a disease worse, and create fear out there,” says Dr. Angelique Coetzee, the South African doctor who discovered Omicron.

In an interview on Just the News Not Noise, Coetzee, chair of the South African Medical Association, described the pressure she faced from public health authorities worldwide to portray the now-dominant variant of COVID-19 as more severe than she was witnessing in real time.

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FDA Announces Postponement of Approval of COVID Vaccine for Babies and Young Children

Young girl with a blue shirt on getting a vaccine

Pfizer and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Friday they are delaying their plan for Pfizer’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for its coronavirus vaccine for children under five years old due to insufficient data on the efficacy of a third dose.

Pfizer announced February 1 FDA had asked the drug company, and its partner BioNTech, to submit data on a COVID vaccine series for babies as young as six months old and young children up until age five.

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Commentary: The Longevity of the COVID Emergency

Two years after COVID burst on the American scene, leading to lockdowns, school closures, mask and vaccine mandates, and trillions of dollars in emergency government spending, the question on many minds is: When will the emergency end?

The answer to that question is not an easy one. An examination of past emergencies does not resolve it. Rather, it is clear that emergency situations, including this one, may be understood through various lenses, yielding different perspectives on what the endpoint will be.

Take, by way of comparison, World War II, an emergency that had at least four distinct endings because it had at least four distinct faces:

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Democrats and Media Allies Claim ‘Science Has Changed’ on Mask Mandates as Midterms Approach

As the mid-term elections approach, a number of Democrat governors are now following in the steps of Republican Governors Ron DeSantis (FL) and Glenn Youngkin (VA) in support of dropping mask mandates.

Supported by their political and media allies, the governors of states, including New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, California, and Oregon are now announcing mask mandates in schools may be dropped soon, as the New York Times reported Tuesday.

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Governor Whitmer Touts ‘Delivering for Older Michiganders,’ Despite Newly-Released Report on Nursing Home Deaths

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Saturday touted her record for “delivering for older Michiganders,” ahead of her State of the State address.

Seemingly, the governor ignored a recent report that demonstrated thousands of additional deaths in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities that were not reported by her administration’s Department of Health and Human Services.

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Governor Wolf Working with FEMA to Address Healthcare Staffing Shortages Amid COVID Surge

Gov. Tom Wolf

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf will work with the federal government in order to address labor shortages in the healthcare sector amid another surge in coronavirus cases.

Wolf, who is partnering with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), will create “strike teams” to be sent to hospitals and long-term care facilities.

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Former Planned Parenthood President Says School Closures Harm Children

Dr. Leana Wen

A former Planned Parenthood president and public health professional argued in a Thursday op-ed for The Washington Post that the rise in cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant is not a reason to keep schools closed.

Dr. Leana Wen argued “both sides [of the school reopening debate] are wrong,” in her op-ed. “let’s agree that schools are essential and then work to reduce risk to get students back to in-person learning,” Wen wrote.

Wen called it “astounding” that governors in states like Texas, Georgia and Iowa are fighting against school mask mandates and that Florida’s surgeon general is discouraging testing in schools, attributing ” “low vaccine uptake among children” to “rampant right-wing disinformation.”

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Chicago Public Schools Forced to Cancel School After Teachers Union Votes to Move to Remote Learning

The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) voted Tuesday to move to remote learning Wednesday, citing concerns over safety amid the rise in COVID-19 cases, the union said in a press release.

The CTU’s elected House of Delegates voted in favor (88%) of a resolution to return to remote education amid the surge of COVID-19 cases and the rise of the Omicron coronavirus variant, citing a lack of safety guarantees, a union press release said. In the membership-wide vote, 73% of CTU’s members voted in favor of virtual learning, passing the two-thirds threshold required to enact the resolution.

The resolution outlines plans to work remotely until Jan. 18 or until the current COVID-19 wave falls below last year’s threshold for school closures, according to the resolution.

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Pennsylvania State University Pledges to Continue In-Person Learning

Penn State University (PSU) on Thursday announced that all students and staff members will return to campus and begin the semester on time.

Citing mitigation measures that are in currently place, Penn State President Eric Barron pledged to continue in-person learning for students at the university.

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Data From Around the World – Including Antarctica – Show Omicron Favoring the Fully Vaccinated

The coronavirus has reached remote Antarctica, striking most of the 25 Belgian staffers at a research station, despite all of them being fully vaccinated, passing multiple PCR tests, and quarantining before arrival.

Two thirds of the researchers working in Belgium’s Princess Elisabeth Polar Station have caught Covid, the Daily Telegraph reported, “proving there is no escape from the global pandemic.”

None of the cases are severe, according to the Telegraph. There are two emergency doctors at the station monitoring the situation.

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Pennsylvania Sales Tax Exempts Many Medical Supplies, But Not COVID Tests; Bill Would Change That

Pennsylvania already exempts many medical supplies from its sales tax, but not COVID tests, a discrepancy legislation by Sen. Mario Scavello (R-East Stroudsburg) would eliminate.

Scavello’s bill would except rapid at-home COVID-19 antigen tests from the state’s six-percent sales levy. Healthcare devices, services and substances all generally don’t get taxed in the Keystone State.

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FDA Authorized First COVID-19 Antiviral Pill in U.S.

The FDA on Wednesday authorized the first COVID-19 antiviral pill in the U.S.

The Pfizer pill, Paxlovid, will be prescribed for use in adults and children 12 and older who have mild to moderate virus symptom and at risk for severe disease or hospitalization, according to a Food and Drug Administration statement obtained by NBC News.

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Commentary: The Lockdowns Crushed Minority-Owned Businesses the Most

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, minorities have disproportionately suffered from the virus’s health effects. A new study reveals that the government-mandated economic lockdowns have also hit minorities hardest.

In response to the outbreak and under the guidance of federal agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control, state and local governments imposed quarantine orders and mandated shutdowns for many businesses deemed “non-essential.” Whether one supports lockdowns as a public health measure or not, they undoubtedly resulted in tens of millions of Americans and counting filing for unemployment and a sharp economic downturn.

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