The Hill’s 12:30 Report – Presented by Facebook – Local, state governments boost call for mask mandates
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The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Officials ramp up calls for COVID-19 mandates | Incoming NY gov indicates potential new masking rules | Census date release teas up redistricting fights | Tensions rise in the DNC over White House involvement
NEWS OF THE MORNING
The list of local and state governments, government agencies and corporations calling for mask mandates is growing this morning as coronavirus cases surge across the country.
This morning, incoming New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) suggested that she would implement a statewide mask mandate in schools once she takes office in just under two weeks.
“My view is that … people will be, children and everyone in a school environment, will be wearing masks. That’s just an opinion right now, I don’t have the authority to make that the policy,” Hochul told NBC’s “Today.” “I believe that there’ll end up being mask mandates, I just don’t have the authority at this moment.”
Hochul’s comments come as California became the first state to require all teachers and staff in every school district be vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to regular testing.
“We think this is a sustainable way of keeping schools open,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said. “And to address the No. 1 anxiety that parents like myself have — I have four young children — and that is knowing that the schools are doing everything in their power to keep their kids healthy.” https://bit.ly/3sdgozZ
Meanwhile, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced on Thursday that all of the department’s health care workers must be vaccinated.
Midterm political campaigns are also implementing vaccine mandates. In Virginia, Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe, along with Democratic lieutenant governor nominee Hala Ayala and Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring are requiring COVID-19 vaccines for their staff.
Businesses are also taking advantage of vaccine mandates, including Walmart, Google, Tyson Foods and United Airlines.
But not everyone is following suit.
Via The Hill’s Joseph Choi: “Three major airlines — Southwest, American and Delta — have decided against following United Airlines in requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for employees.” https://bit.ly/3fZKEtj
WHY IT MATTERS:
The debate over vaccine and mask mandates are raging across the country, appearing to fall mostly along party lines as cases surge. But in some of the most hardest-hit states, Republican governors are continuing to rail against the mandates.
Via The Hill’s Max Greenwood: “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is facing growing resistance to his hard-line stance against COVID-19 restrictions and mask mandates.
“Officials in a handful of Florida school districts are moving to flout DeSantis’s July 30 executive order banning schools from requiring students to wear face masks, even as his administration threatens to withhold pay to superintendents and school board members who defy his orders.” https://bit.ly/3jO3ynW
Via The Hill’s Caroline Vakil: “Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and state Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) are asking an appeals court to strike down an order issued by Dallas County that would require residents to wear masks in schools and businesses.” https://bit.ly/3fW2fSK
It’s Thursday! We’re Julia Manchester and Max Greenwood, filling in for Cate today with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org — and follow along on Twitter @juliamanch and @kmaxgreenwood and on Facebook.
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Internet regulations are as outdated as dial-up
Facebook supports updated regulations, including four areas where lawmakers can make quick progress:
– Reforming Section 230
– Preventing foreign interference of our elections
– Passing federal privacy law
– Setting rules that allow people to safely transfer data between services
LATEST WITH CORONAVIRUS
Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 36,193,574
U.S. death toll: 618,496
Breakdown of the numbers: https://cnn.it/2UAgW3y
Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 353,205,544 million shots have been given.
Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 729,009 doses
For context: The U.S. population is roughly 331 million.
Breakdown of the numbers: https://bloom.bg/3iVTPLH
The U.S. Census Bureau is set to release long-awaited district-level data from the 2020 census on Thursday, firing off the starting gun in what is expected to be a bitter and heated fight over redistricting.
We have an idea of what the census results might show: Via The Hill’s Reid Wilson, “Data to be released Thursday by the Census Bureau is likely to show the U.S. is diversifying at the fastest rate in the nation’s history, even as overall population growth slows to the most sluggish pace since the country’s founding.
“The new figures are almost certain to shine a spotlight on a trend that annual surveys have illustrated over the last several years: The number of white Americans is declining.” https://bit.ly/3sbCR09
Why do these results matter: They’ll provide state legislatures and redistricting commissions with the data they need to begin redrawing the nation’s legislative and congressional maps, helping shape the balance of power in Washington and state capitals for the next decade.
Democrats hold only a slim majority in the U.S. House, meaning that redistricting alone could decide which party holds control of the lower chamber after the 2022 midterm elections. What’s more, Republican-leaning states like Florida and Texas are set to gain seats in the redistricting process, while some Democratic strongholds like New York will lose seats.
Watch the big reveal: The Census Bureau will hold a news conference at 1 p.m. EDT to go through the results.
You can watch it here: https://bit.ly/3sbyXEu
DNC VS. THE WHITE HOUSE
Via The Hill’s Hanna Trudo and Amie Parnes, “Democratic National Committee (DNC) members are growing increasingly frustrated by the White House’s influence on their political operation, causing friction between aides to President Biden and the leading party organization promoting his agenda.” https://bit.ly/3jIosow
Some context: Biden entered the White House intent on bolstering the DNC and state Democratic parties, tapping former South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison to lead the national organization. Biden’s deputy chief of staff, Jen O’Malley Dillon, has largely acted as the main liaison between the White House and DNC.
The goal was to bulk up the Democrats’ organizational and structural capabilities — a break from former President Obama, who prioritized his own political committee and related outside groups over the DNC itself.
So what’s the problem: While many Democratic officials welcomed the White House’s more hands-on approach to the DNC, some feel as if Biden and his team are prioritizing his 2024 reelect before the party has a chance to fortify its infrastructure.
As one DNC member put it: “The White House is not thinking about how to build the electorate writ large, but they’re concentrating on [a] few states,” the source said. “It’s all about [the] presidential reelect.”
Why Facebook supports reforming Section 230
The internet has changed a lot in the last 25 years — the last time comprehensive internet regulations were passed.
Facebook supports updated regulations — like reforming Section 230, to set standards for the way larger tech companies enforce rules about content.
12:30 p.m. EDT: The White House COVID-19 response team and public health officials will brief the press.
1:10 p.m. EDT: President Biden arrives in Wilmington, Del.
2:15 p.m. EDT: Vice President Harris hosts a meeting with businesses to discuss care policies for families, business and the economy.
WHAT TO WATCH:
1:45 p.m. EDT: Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas will hold a press briefing on the situation at the U.S. southern border. https://bit.ly/37DKxiw
2 p.m. EDT: State Department spokesman Ned Price will brief reporters at Foggy Bottom. https://bit.ly/3lUeTWl
NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF…:
It’s World Elephant Day!
World Elephant Day is a global event dedicated to protecting and preserving elephants across the plant.
Here are some ways you can take action to protect our big-eared friends: https://bit.ly/3yJh8z5
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