We’re now getting more information about what new data was behind the CDC’s revised guidance on COVID-era masking. An internal power-point presentation was shared with The Washington Post and the CDC will apparently be making a public presentation today. One key datapoint seems to be an apparent super-spreading event on July 4th in Provincetown, Massachusetts which suggests very efficient spread of COVID among vaccinated people. As you know, I have followed the emerging data very closely. There’s so much conflicting data on transmissibility and even what constitutes transmission and infection (more on that later) that it’s really, really hard to know what’s happening. I would say the more you dig into the data the more confusing it gets, not less. With all that said though it’s clear that Delta COVID is much more transmissible than earlier versions and that available vaccines, while still very effective, are not as effective as they appeared to be and likely were even a couple months ago.
That sucks. But here we are.
As the Jan 6th investigation committee gets down to work we are learning each day how many members of the House GOP caucus are at best witnesses to key events tied to Jan 6th and perhaps in some cases perps. Rep. Jim Jordan got asked again about what conversations he had with President Trump on January 6th. The questions were from Taylor Popielarz who covers the Ohio delegation for Spectrum News. You have to watch the video to appreciate how caught off guard Jordan seemed to be by the question and how flustered and tense he got when pressed on details.
Here’s the video.
Turning Point USA is pushing anti-vaccine talking points as part of its fundraising efforts.
Yesterday, Albert Bourla, the CEO of Pfizer, went on CNBC to discuss a new study which suggests that the Pfizer vaccine’s efficacy drops from about 96% against hospitalization to about 84% after six months. Bourla said that these results match with data emerging out of Israel. “We have seen also data from Israel that there is a waning of immunity and that starts impacting what used to be what was 100% against hospitalization. Now, after the six month period, is becoming low 90s and mid-to-high 80s.”
The good news, says Bourla, is that this can be solved with a booster shot. This all sounds plausible and it’s good news inasmuch as people can get booster shots and get back to higher levels of protection. But study is funded by Pfizer and remember that Pfizer is currently in a tussle with the CDC and the FDA over whether booster shots are actually necessary. A few weeks ago Pfizer announced it was moving ahead with seeking authorization for a third shot and the CDC and FDA, quite curtly, issued a joint statement saying, in so many words, not your call.
Amid a stream of words delivered in his typical auctioneer fashion, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) confirmed Wednesday afternoon that he did, in fact, talk to Trump on Jan. 6.
When exactly that conversation happened — before the insurrection, during the attack, after the fact, when Congress was certifying President Joe Biden’s win — couldn’t tell ya.
I will get to some points about the CDC’s updated masking policy in a moment. But first a few points about the CDC’s decision-making generally. I thought the earlier decision to end the masking guidance for the vaccinated was a mistake. I think the CDC was trying to balance the evolving science with immense public pressure to offer what amounts to a reward for vaccination, to declare the pandemic over or show the benefits of vaccination.
But after yesterday’s updated policy or reversal I kept seeing comments on Twitter, headlines in OpEds and comments from people on TV saying, “That’s it!” “That’s the final nail in the coffin of the CDC’s credibility!” Or ‘the experts’ or Fauci or whoever else. “First it was no masks! Now masks are back! Which is it??!?!!?”
Really people need to get the f*#$ over themselves.
The House minority leader says he didn’t even watch the hearing he was trying to distract you from.
The main focus of our write-up was the fact that this event was disrupted by protesters. But I wanted to zoom in on what the event was about. It was a bit of counter-programming to today’s hearings, a House GOP press conference discussing the treatment of indicted insurrectionists as “political prisoners.”
My colleagues David, Matt and Josh have each addressed this question of the scope of the Jan 6th committee in different ways on the site this morning. I wanted to add my voice to theirs and add some thoughts of my own.
Especially Republicans, but not only Republicans, want to focus any investigation on the narrow questions of the security breach itself. How did the insurrectionists manage to enter the Capitol complex? This is wrong and insufficient on many counts, not least of which is that we basically already know the answer. Just as important it focuses the inquiry on the possible shortcomings of some of the primary victims – Capitol Police officers who failed to protect the premises.
As the Jan. 6 committee holds its first hearing Tuesday, lawmakers’ primary focus will be the storming of the Capitol. Law enforcement witnesses will discuss how that day unfolded, and what they saw as they defended the building against the rioters who flooded in, seeking to confront members of Congress.
Since President Joe Biden first ascended to office flanked by the barest effective Senate majority — an evenly split chamber and Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote — one Senate rule has earned more ink than any other: the filibuster. In its current form, the filibuster demands 60 votes to proceed to debate on most legislation.
Sometimes, in politics, an evocative piece of imagery sticks and becomes something of a meme. “Democrats in disarray.” “Shattering the glass ceiling.” “Drain the swamp.”