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Rand Paul, Ted Cruz roar back at Dr. Fauci, who claims criticism of him is ‘dangerous’ because ‘I represent science’

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Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) punched back at Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday after the infectious diseases doctor claimed that criticism against him is “dangerous.”

What did Fauci say?

During an interview that aired on CBS News’ “Face The Nation,” Fauci took aim at Paul and Cruz, two Republican lawmakers who have been some of Fauci’s loudest critics throughout the pandemic.

When confronted with Cruz’s assertion that Fauci should be prosecuted for allegedly lying to Congress, Fauci invoked the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.

“I have to laugh at that. I should be prosecuted? What happened on Jan. 6, Senator?” Fauci said.

Fauci added that he believes that one must be “asleep” if they do not understand that he is being made into a “scapegoat” to deflect from former President Donald Trump. It was not clear why Trump was invoked in the interview.

When host Margaret Brennan suggested Republicans are playing “politics around matters of life and death,” Fauci let loose, saying criticism against him is “dangerous” because his critics are actually criticizing science.

“Exactly. Exactly. And to me, that’s unbelievably bad because all I want to do is save people’s lives,” Fauci responded. “And, I mean, anybody who’s looking at this carefully realizes that there’s a distinct anti-science flavor to this. So if they get up and criticize science, nobody’s going to know what they’re talking about. But if they get up and really aim their bullets at Tony Fauci, well, people could recognize, there’s a person there.”

“So it’s easy to criticize. But they’re really criticizing science, because I represent science. That’s dangerous,” Fauci added. “To me, that’s more dangerous than the slings and the arrows that get thrown at me. And if you damage science, you are doing something very detrimental to society long after I leave.”

How did Paul and Cruz respond?

Paul specifically condemned Fauci over his assertion that he represents science, calling the remark “astounding and alarming.”

“The absolute hubris of someone claiming THEY represent science. It’s astounding and alarming that a public health bureaucrat would even think to claim such a thing, especially one who has worked so hard to ignore the science of natural immunity,” Paul said.

Cruz, meanwhile, responded by laying out his case that Fauci lied to Congress. Cruz demanded Fauci substantively respond to the facts, and doubled down on his assertion that the Justice Department should investigate Fauci.

Cruz said:

Fauci is an unelected technocrat who has distorted science and facts in order to exercise authoritarian control over millions of Americans.
He lives in a liberal world where his smug “I REPRESENT science” attitude is praised.
Here are the facts: (1) On May 11, Fauci testified before a Senate Committee that “the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.” (2) On October 20, NIH wrote they funded an experiment at the Wuhan lab testing if “spike proteins from naturally occurring bat coronaviruses circulating in China were capable of binding to the human ACE2 receptor in a mouse model.” That is gain of function research. (3) Fauci’s statement and the NIH’s October 20 letter cannot both be true. The statements are directly contradictory. (4) 18 USC 1001 makes it felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison, to lie to Congress.

“No amount of ad hominem insults parroting Democrat talking points will get Fauci out of this contradiction,” Cruz concluded. “Fauci either needs to address the substance–in detail, with specific factual corroboration–or DOJ should consider prosecuting him for making false statements to Congress.”

Biden To Increase U.S Oil Lease Fees 50% While Accusing Big Oil of Anticompetitive Activities

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Recent reports have shown that the Biden/Harris administration attempted to increase the cost of oil lease fees on federal land in America by 50% while simultaneously accusing oil firms of raising prices by using anti-competitive practices. American families are suffering from record-high gasoline prices. The Biden-Harris administration suggests that Congress raise the cost of oil leases on federal land. They would like it to rise from 12.50% up to 18.75%.

The administration promised lower gas prices but was rebuffed with a 6.25 percent royalty rate increase on oil companies. They also requested that OPEC increase oil supplies. They also requested the Federal Trade Commission investigate anticompetitive behavior by oil companies.

According to reports, the rate hike would generate an additional $2.5 billion in revenues by the end of the decade. Oil companies would then pay the government. The higher costs incurred by the companies would be borne by the consumers. An increase in the royalty rate would be the first-rate hike since 1920, fulfilling Biden’s campaign promise for global warming activists.

Biden threatened America’s energy independence and imposed a temporary ban on oil leases. Shell, BP, and Chevron offered $192M for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The administration’s report coincides perfectly with the massive tax and spending reconciliation package Dem leaders want to push through Congress. It is likely to make it to the Senate, where it has very little chance of passing.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin voted against many provisions, including tax increases as well as threats to U.S. energy independence.

Biden in January canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline and is now looking at the possibility of canceling the Michigan Line 5 Pipeline. He also joined the Paris Climate Accords and is currently reviewing the environmental impact of Trump’s repairs to American energy independence.

Biden raided the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in an attempt to lower gas prices. Due to its limited pipeline capacity, the U.S. produces approximately 4.5 million barrels daily.

The post Biden To Increase U.S Oil Lease Fees 50% While Accusing Big Oil of Anticompetitive Activities appeared first on Conservative Research Group.

Media panic that new COVID variant could pose ‘significant threat’ to Joe Biden’s agenda

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Media members on prominent news networks expressed panic Sunday over the impact the new COVID-19 variant — dubbed “Omicron” by the World Health Organization — would have on President Joe Biden’s social spending agenda.

What is the background?

Last year, to attack then-President Donald Trump, then-presidential candidate Biden promised to end the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, during a presidential debate, Biden bluntly promised, “I will end this.”

Noting that 220,000 Americans had died from COVID at that time, Biden also declared during that debate, “Anyone who is responsible for that many deaths should not remain as president of the United States of America.” Now, more than 770,000 Americans have died from COVID-19.

More than a year removed from Biden’s promise to eradicate COVID, cases of the virus are spiking once again, and Biden has even enacted a new travel ban to eight African countries amid fear that the new “Omicron” variant could lead to another wave of cases. Biden, then, has not ended the pandemic, nor has his administration implemented a plan to stop the pandemic like he promised.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board recently wrote:

Covid deaths this year have now surpassed the toll in 2020 with 350,000 since Inauguration Day. It would seem that Mr. Biden has done no better than Donald Trump in defeating Covid despite the benefit of vaccines, better therapies, and more clinical experience. The left politicized Covid by holding Mr. Trump responsible for a disease that was always going to be hard to defeat.

What was said Sunday?

Speaking on NBC’s “Today Sunday,” NBC News anchor Chuck Todd suggested Biden should exploit the Omicron variant to push back against Republicans, explaining Biden cannot move forward with his legislative agenda if COVID remains “front-and-center.”

Todd said:

What I’m going to be curious to watch here, with the president, is one of the things I think about his COVID response over the last couple months, is one could argue, he has not been the face of the COVID response, not in some time, really not really since we declared– back in July when he declared our independence from the virus obviously prematurely.

Does he take this opportunity to push back at all of the Republicans– particularly in various states– that have been anti-vaccine mandate, anti-mandates in general, hesitant on the vaccines, because if we do find out that certainly vaccinated individuals are in a much better shape with this new variant than unvaccinated individuals, does the president use this opportunity to basically use the bully pulpit, push back against all of this vaccine misinformation that’s out there, and grab ahold of this because…the social spending bill, all of his other political problems– none of them can be solved until COVID is behind us.

And I think this is a reminder that he needs to be more front-and-center on the COVID response than he has been so far.

Meanwhile, ABC News deputy political director Averi Harper warned the “omicron variant could pose a significant threat” to the Biden administration’s progress in enacting its agenda.

“This poses a significant challenge to the Biden administration, particularly on the economic front. Last week, we heard the president urge Americans to have confidence in the progress the economy has made. Well, the omicron variant could pose a significant threat to that progress. And heading into an election year for the Biden administration, which is critical, it could spell trouble,” Harper said.

‘You’re making me emotional’: Bo Snerdley tells Tucker Carlson a story of Rush Limbaugh’s generosity

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The longtime producer for Rush Limbaugh told Tucker Carlson a story about the celebrated conservative radio host from decades ago. James Golden — better known by his radio pseudonym Bo Snerdley — caused Carlson to become “emotional” while talking about a generous act of kindness carried out by Rush before he became a well-to-do talk radio juggernaut.

Golden appeared on “Tucker Carlson Today” to promote his new book “Rush on the Radio: A Tribute from His Sidekick for 30 Years” last week. During the interview, Golden told a touching story about Limbaugh from early in their working relationship.

Golden recalled he was on the phone with creditors. Apparently, Golden was a bit too loud in speaking to the creditors, and Limbaugh overheard the conversation. After the phone call, Limbaugh asked Golden to come to his office.

Limbaugh asked Golden, “So listen, I don’t mean to pry, I don’t wanna get inside your business or anything, but I heard you on the phone. Is everything okay?”

Golden told Limbaugh that he owed $5,000, which he noted is a lot of money for him now but an “unheard of” amount for him back then.

Limbaugh told Golden, “Don’t sweat it, everything is gonna be cool, everything is gonna work out.”

The next day, Limbaugh called Golden into his office.

Golden recalled, “Rush has an envelope. He pushes the envelope to me, he says, ‘Here.'”

“Inside it, there’s a check for $5,000,” Golden revealed.

Golden stressed to Carlson that the benevolent gesture happened before Limbaugh rose to prominence and became wealthy.

“I want you to keep in mind, this is before Rush Limbaugh signed any big syndicated deals,” Golden told Carlson, the Daily Wire reported. “This is before Rush Limbaugh-the-multi-millionaire, this is before Rush Limbaugh-I’m-on-the-track-to-blazing-success — this is before any of that. This is before there’s a Bo Snerdley, because Bo Snerdley didn’t exist then; this was James Golden, this black kid from Queens sitting in the newsroom, who used to take Rush’s stories.”

A choked-up Golden divulged, “What Rush said to me was, ‘I don’t want you to tell anybody about this, this is between you and me; this is not a loan, this is a gift, because good things need to happen to good people once in awhile.'”

Carlson, taken aback by the heartwarming story, admitted, “You’re making me emotional.”

Golden exclaimed, “That’s who he was. That’s who this man was. There were tens of thousands of those stories.”

Also in the interview, Golden revealed what happened the day that Limbaugh told the staff that he was stricken with lung cancer.

Golden — who became an executive producer of the nationally syndicated “Rush Limbaugh Radio Show” in 1992 — said that the first thing Limbaugh did was apologize for his illness to the staff because he felt like he was letting down his colleagues.

“Still breaks my heart,” Golden said. “That’s who he was. He cared about his staff. He cared about all of us.”

“Tucker, he was one of the most exceptional human beings you could ever meet,” Golden proclaimed.

Transportation Department faces accusations of illegal lobbying over meme promoting Biden legislation

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The Department of Transportation was accused of violating the law after posting a “meme” to social media promoting President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better legislation.

What are the details?

The Transportation Department published a meme on Friday of a man and woman texting each other from different places. The purpose of the meme was to promote Biden’s Build Back Better legislation.

“What are you thinking about?” the woman in the meme asks the man.

“I’m thinking about how the new infrastructure law is going to make getting from place to place so much better over the next decade and how when combined with the Build Back Better Act, it will create millions of new jobs,” the man responds.

“Same,” the woman replies.

The meme promptly generated criticism alleging the Treasury Department was violating anti-lobbying laws that prevent executive branch agencies from promoting certain pending legislation.

“This appears to be lobbying. I didn’t think federal agencies were allowed to be so blatant in promoting specific legislation. The Secretary of Transportation can, of course, but the DOT’s official website? Seems unusual,” one person said.
“[A]re our tax dollars seriously being used to fund propoganda?
Are you aware, as employees of the Executibe (sic) Branch, you have no business commenting on pending legislation? Separation of Powers and all that,” another person
noted.
“The legislation has not passed both houses. You are lobbying, which is illegal,” another person observed.

Are critics correct?

The Project On Government Oversight explains, “Executive branch officials and employees are uniquely situated to influence the legislative process given their proximity to and control over various government functions, which is why Congress has enacted legal bans explicitly restricting the lobbying of Congress by executive branch officials and agencies.”

In fact, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017 states:

No part of any funds appropriated in this or any other Act shall be used by an agency of the executive branch, other than for normal and recognized executive-legislative relationships, for publicity or propaganda purposes, and for the preparation, distribution or use of any kit, pamphlet, booklet, publication, radio, television, or film presentation designed to support or defeat legislation pending before the Congress, except in presentation to the Congress itself.

Such restrictions on “lobbying” by the executive branch have been in place for more than 100 years.

Top indigenous health expert nicknamed ‘Morning Star Bear’ under fire for allegedly faking Native American heritage

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An investigation was launched into accusations that a top indigenous health expert in Canada faked a Native American heritage. Colleagues say the indigenous health guru is of European descent.

Carrie Bourassa has made quite a name for herself as a Native American activist. Bourassa is a professor of indigenous health at the University of Saskatchewan, scientific director at the Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health and Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health, and owns Infinity Consulting: “Indigenous strategic planning; Indigenous health consulting and research, education and development.”

Bourassa — who also goes by the name of “Morning Star Bear” — is under substantial scrutiny after colleagues became suspicious of her claims that she was a Native American.

During a TEDx Talk at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon in 2019, Bourassa appeared in a blue shawl with her hair braided in cornrows and accessorized with a feather.

“My name is Morning Star Bear,” Bourassa tearfully told the audience, then proceeded to claim she was Native American, “I’m Bear Clan. I’m Anishinaabe Metis from Treaty Four Territory.”

However, not everyone was sold on Bourassa’s origin story, especially Winona Wheeler, associate professor of Indigenous studies at the University of Saskatchewan.

“When I saw that TEDx, to be quite honest, I was repulsed by how hard she was working to pass herself off as indigenous,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler — who is a documented member of Manitoba’s Fisher River Cree Nation — researched the genealogical records of Bourassa’s family and found that her ancestors hailed from Russia, Poland, and Czechoslovakia.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation published an expose on Bourassa’s heritage last month. Five days after the article was published, Bourassa was suspended from her two government jobs, according to the Independent. She was suspended as the scientific director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health and was placed on leave as a professor in the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology.

“Today I spoke with Dr. Carrie Bourassa … and we agreed that she will step away from all of her duties as Scientific Director of the Institute. As such, Dr Bourassa will be on an indefinite leave without pay effective immediately,” said the institute’s president, Michael Strong.

The university hired Jean Teillet, a Metis lawyer, to investigate the professor’s indigenous claims.

When asked to provide proof of her Native American heritage, Bourassa allegedly changed her story. She claimed that she was “adopted” into the Metis tribe by a friend of her deceased grandfather Clifford Laroque.

“Even though Clifford passed, those bonds are even deeper than death because the family has taken me as if I was their blood family,” she said in a statement. “In turn, I serve the Metis community to the best of my ability.”

Janet Smylie — a Metis professor at the University of Toronto who worked with Bourassa on a book about indigenous parenting — ripped her colleague.

“It makes you feel a bit sick,” Smylie said. “To have an impostor who is speaking on behalf of Metis and indigenous people to the country about literally what it means to be Metis … that’s very disturbing and upsetting and harmful.”

Indigenous or pretender? Some colleagues say leading health scientist is faking Indigenous ancestry

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Salvation Army responds to critics of woke messaging, backpedals by withdrawing anti-racism guide for ‘appropriate review’

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The Salvation Army published a lengthy response late last week after numerous reports indicated the Christian charity organization had embraced woke corporate messaging.

What is the background?

The controversy surrounds two internal Salvation Army documents, a guidebook titled “Let’s Talk About Racism” and another called the “Study Guide on Racism.”

The National Review reported:

In a guidebook titled “Let’s Talk About Racism,” the organization calls Christians to reflect on and rectify their contributions to the social inequities and prejudicial systems that have harmed minorities. Citing its “International Position Statement on Racism,” the organization writes that it “acknowledges with regret, that Salvationists have sometimes shared in the sins of racism and conformed to economic, organisational and social pressures that perpetuate racism.”

An accompanying document created by the Salvation Army’s International Social Justice Commission, called the “Study Guide on Racism,” claims that white people are responsible for “unconscious bias,” an idea promulgated by critical-race-theory advocate Ibram X. Kendi. Kendi argues that white people’s legacy of racism is irredeemable, and that the only remedy is reverse discrimination as a matter of retributive justice to level the societal playing field.

In the “Let’s Talk About Racism” document, the Salvation Army implores white donors to “lament, repent and apologize for biases or racist ideologies held and actions committed,” and urges them to adopt “a posture of … anti-racism,” another moniker made famous by Kendi.

“In the absence of making anti-racist choices, we (un) consciously uphold aspects of White supremacy, White-dominant culture, and unequal institutions and society,” the document states.

Meanwhile, the “Study Guide on Racism” states that white people are guilty “unconscious bias” and “unwittingly perpetuate racial division,” and declares that, “We must stop denying the existence of individual and systemic/institutional racism. They exist, and are still at work to keep White Americans in power.”

TheBlaze further reported:

In the guide, the Salvation Army makes use of a litany of woke terms to articulate their message, including “anti-racist,” “colonizer,” “domestic terrorism,” “fascism,” “institutional racism,” “microaggressions,” “systemic racism,” and “whiteness.”

As TheBlaze noted, the woke messaging forced some Christians to stop donating to the organization.

What did the Salvation Army say?

The Salvation Army released a statement flatly denying accusations the Christian organization is now peddling ideals of critical race theory and other woke messaging.

“[S]ome individuals and groups have recently attempted to mislabel our organization to serve their own agendas. They have claimed that we believe our donors should apologize for their skin color, that The Salvation Army believes America is an inherently racist society, and that we have abandoned our Christian faith for one ideology or another,” the statement explained.

“Those claims are simply false, and they distort the very goal of our work,” the statement added.

Responding to the core of the criticism — the “Let’s Talk About Racism” study guide — the Salvation Army claimed it was issued to members as a “voluntary resource.”

But despite claiming critics of the study guide “have chosen to ignore” attempts by the Salvation Army to provide “accurate information” about the guide, the statement said the Salvation Army has “now withdrawn the guide for appropriate review.”

The statement, however, did not specify which specific parts of the study guide require clarification, nor did the statement address the “Study Guide on Racism.”

Salvation Army responds to critics of woke messaging, withdraws anti-racism guide for ‘appropriate review’

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The Salvation Army published a lengthy response late last week after numerous reports indicated the Christian charity organization had embraced woke corporate messaging.

What is the background?

The controversy surrounds two internal Salvation Army documents, a guidebook titled “Let’s Talk About Racism” and another called the “Study Guide on Racism.”

The National Review reported:

In a guidebook titled “Let’s Talk About Racism,” the organization calls Christians to reflect on and rectify their contributions to the social inequities and prejudicial systems that have harmed minorities. Citing its “International Position Statement on Racism,” the organization writes that it “acknowledges with regret, that Salvationists have sometimes shared in the sins of racism and conformed to economic, organisational and social pressures that perpetuate racism.”

An accompanying document created by the Salvation Army’s International Social Justice Commission, called the “Study Guide on Racism,” claims that white people are responsible for “unconscious bias,” an idea promulgated by critical-race-theory advocate Ibram X. Kendi. Kendi argues that white people’s legacy of racism is irredeemable, and that the only remedy is reverse discrimination as a matter of retributive justice to level the societal playing field.

In the “Let’s Talk About Racism” document, the Salvation Army implores white donors to “lament, repent and apologize for biases or racist ideologies held and actions committed,” and urges them to adopt “a posture of … anti-racism,” another moniker made famous by Kendi.

“In the absence of making anti-racist choices, we (un) consciously uphold aspects of White supremacy, White-dominant culture, and unequal institutions and society,” the document states.

Meanwhile, the “Study Guide on Racism” states that white people are guilty “unconscious bias” and “unwittingly perpetuate racial division,” and declares that, “We must stop denying the existence of individual and systemic/institutional racism. They exist, and are still at work to keep White Americans in power.”

TheBlaze further reported:

In the guide, the Salvation Army makes use of a litany of woke terms to articulate their message, including “anti-racist,” “colonizer,” “domestic terrorism,” “fascism,” “institutional racism,” “microaggressions,” “systemic racism,” and “whiteness.”

As TheBlaze noted, the woke messaging forced some Christians to stop donating to the organization.

What did the Salvation Army say?

The Salvation Army released a statement flatly denying accusations the Christian organization is now peddling ideals of critical race theory and other woke messaging.

“[S]ome individuals and groups have recently attempted to mislabel our organization to serve their own agendas. They have claimed that we believe our donors should apologize for their skin color, that The Salvation Army believes America is an inherently racist society, and that we have abandoned our Christian faith for one ideology or another,” the statement explained.

“Those claims are simply false, and they distort the very goal of our work,” the statement added.

Responding to the core of the criticism — the “Let’s Talk About Racism” study guide — the Salvation Army claimed it was issued to members as a “voluntary resource.”

But despite claiming critics of the study guide “have chosen to ignore” attempts by the Salvation Army to provide “accurate information” about the guide, the statement said the Salvation Army has “now withdrawn the guide for appropriate review.”

The statement, however, did not specify which specific parts of the study guide require clarification, nor did the statement address the “Study Guide on Racism.”

Levi Strauss and Best Buy offer counseling to employees distressed over Rittenhouse acquittal, including session with ‘racial trauma specialist’

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After Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges from the Kenosha shooting, Best Buy and Levi Strauss reportedly offered their employees counseling to those distressed over the verdict. Levi’s offered a session with a “racial trauma specialist” for workers distraught over the acquittal of Rittenhouse — who is white — shooting three white men who assailed him.

Elizabeth Morrison — Levi’s chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer — sent an email to employees of the San Francisco-based clothing company following the Rittenhouse verdict in Wisconsin.

“With the news that Kyle Rittenhouse was not convicted in the shooting of three individuals — two of whom lost their lives — during racial justice protests last year, this is a difficult day for many,” the email read.

“The pain and trauma of race, identity and belief-based tragedies is a reality that many of us are struggling with on an ongoing basis,” Morrison stated. “It can feel physically, mentally and emotionally draining to continue to relive these moments, and I want you to know, it’s okay to not be okay.”

“To help promote safety, sharing and to encourage healing, I’ll be hosting a fireside chat and Q&A with Dr. Jamila Codrington, a licensed psychologist and racial trauma specialist in early December,” the DEI head wrote. “Dr. J and I will talk about the mental and psychical impacts of back-to-back social and racial justice events and trauma coping mechanisms during our discussion.”

Morrison advised employees pained by the verdict to seek a “trained counsel.” She also recommended workers use “resources to help [employees] impact social justice, equality and drive positive change,” including “getting educated and informed on the issue of gun violence” and “reaching out to your elected officials to let them know just how important common-sense gun laws are to you.”

In 2018, Levi Strauss partnered with gun control organization Everytown for Gun Safety and Bloomberg to push for stricter gun regulations.

A spokesperson for Levi Strauss confirmed to Fox Business that the “email was sent to all US employees and that the purpose of the fireside chat is accurately described in the email.”

Best Buy is reportedly also offering “mental health resources” and “counseling services” to employees distressed over the Rittenhouse acquittal.

“The verdict in Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial stirs many emotions, and it’s another difficult moment for our nation,” reportedly wrote Mark Irvin, the chief inclusion, diversity, and talent officer for Best Buy.

“While these events can be challenging and deeply hurtful, I hope you will take a moment to reflect on the values that unite us as a company and as a nation,” Irvin said, according to The Post Millennial. “We can do better, as each of us as individuals, allies, and human beings press together for better outcomes.”

“I know events like these can take a toll on mental health and emotional well-being,” he stated. “Please know that best Buy is here to support you.”

Irvin then provided links to “mental health resources” and “counseling services” that are offered by the company’s employee benefits.

Doctor who raised alarm about new COVID variant pumps brakes on hysteria, says symptoms are ‘unusual, but mild’

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The South African doctor who first alerted the scientific community to a new SARS-CoV-2 — B.1.1.529, which the World Health Organization has dubbed “Omicron” — has described symptoms of the variant as “unusual, but mild.”

What is the background?

While most Americans gathered to celebrate Thanksgiving this week, hysteria over the new COVID-19 variant spread like wildfire.

The WHO is warning that omicron contains several genetic mutations on the virus’ spike protein, worrying scientists about the variant’s ability to bypass infection-blocking antibodies, and specifically, vaccines.

President Joe Biden responded to the emergence of the variant by enacting a travel ban on eight African nations. The European Union quickly followed suit. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) even enacted a state of emergency in the Empire State to respond to the omicron variant — despite the U.S. not having confirmed a single case of the new variant.

But what is the doctor saying?

Dr. Angelique Coetzee told the Telegraph she first suspected a new variant of COVID-19 was spreading when her medical practice in Pretoria saw an influx of patients with “symptoms that did not make immediate sense.”

Coetzee, who also serves as the chairwoman of the the South African Medical Association, explained those symptoms included “intense fatigue” and a high pulse rate in younger patients, but not the loss of smell or taste, the hallmark symptom of COVID-19.

“We had one very interesting case, a kid, about six years old, with a temperature and a very high pulse rate, and I wondered if I should admit her. But when I followed up two days later, she was so much better,” Coetzee explained.

Coetzee has also explained of the new variant, “It presents mild disease with symptoms being sore muscles and tiredness for a day or two not feeling well. So far, we have detected that those infected do not suffer loss of taste or smell. They might have a slight cough. There are no prominent symptoms. Of those infected some are currently being treated at home.”

According to the Telegraph, Coetzee made clear in a briefing to other African medical organizations that “her patients were all healthy,” and that her real concern was for older people and those with co-morbidities.

“What we have to worry about now is that when older, unvaccinated people are infected with the new variant, and if they are not vaccinated, we are going to see many people with a severe [form of the] disease,” she said, the Telegraph reported.