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Brexit may have begun but it is not over, indeed it may never be finished.

Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: COVID is still the top story

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The Economist:

Why America needs vaccine mandates

State pressure has a role in public health. Covid-19 jabs are no exception

What should not be in doubt is the danger posed by the Delta variant of covid-19. It is too infectious to be stopped simply by tracking cases. Vaccinated people, especially the elderly, gradually lose protection. If infected they can die, albeit at only one-tenth the rate of the unjabbed. Waves of infection overwhelm hospitals. Treating the unvaccinated cost $3.7bn in America, or $20,000 a patient, in August—a waste of resources.

For all these reasons, your choice over vaccination is everyone’s business. It matters that only 63% of Americans aged over 12 have had two doses of a vaccine, compared with 76% of French and 85% of Danes. Delta’s rapid spread through the population can be slowed by vaccination, sparing hospitals from overload and protecting vulnerable vaccinated people—for instance, the residents of old-people’s homes.


I kind of feel like not enough people realize we are potentially headed to a government shutdown in less than 2 weeks in the middle of a pandemic that is killing 2,000 Americans a day.

— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) September 20, 2021

Margaret Sullivan/WaPo:

For one Capitol reporter, Jan. 6 was the final straw — but he had watched a crisis brew for years


“I’ve been covering the Hill for a long, long time, and the Hill right now, to an unacceptably large extent, is a real cesspool,” [Andrew] Taylor told me in an interview.


Taylor was at his desk in the Daily Press Gallery on Jan. 6 when the Senate abruptly gaveled out of session. “I jumped to check it out,” he wrote later, in a rare-for-him first-person story. “Soon word came to huddle in the chamber. ‘Lock the doors,’ gallery staff was instructed. . . . Maybe a dozen reporters and aides in the gallery and virtually the entire Senate huddled inside.”


Taylor said he never felt himself at the time to be in physical peril. It only sank in for him in the days and weeks that followed.


“I was having a hard time with it,” he told me with characteristic understatement. He became angry and agitated, and increasingly uninterested in returning to the place where he had spent decades as a particularly knowledgeable and respected reporter.


People with COVID in the U.S. are increasingly having to pay deductibles and copays for treatment…like people with cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc.@PostRowland using @KFF data. https://t.co/OuDslk4ZdT

— Larry Levitt (@larry_levitt) September 19, 2021


AP:

Cecile Richards: Court’s Texas move could mean end of Roe

“For a lot of people, they’ve always assumed that, even if they lived in a state that passed restrictions on reproductive care, that there was always a judicial system that would be there to protect them and declare these laws unconstitutional,” Cecile Richards, former president of Planned Parenthood, told The Associated Press in an interview this week.

“That isn’t happening any more.”

To coincide with Saturday’s anniversary of the death of {Ruth Bader] Ginsburg, whom she called “a trailblazer and advocate for women everywhere,” Richards released an open letter warning that Texas’ Republican leaders “have outlined a roadmap for other Republican governors to follow suit, with the acquiescence of the Supreme Court.”


You have to really dig for it on the home page, but Fox News has interesting poll numbers on masks, mandating vaccines, etc https://t.co/7mg3IFQESo pic.twitter.com/unhsr8F1An

— Bill Grueskin (@BGrueskin) September 19, 2021

Alan Braid/WaPo:

Why I violated Texas’s extreme abortion ban

In medical school in Texas, we’d been taught that abortion was an integral part of women’s health care. When the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Roe v. Wade in 1973, recognizing abortion as a constitutional right, it enabled me to do the job I was trained to do.

...

And that is why, on the morning of Sept. 6, I provided an abortion to a woman who, though still in her first trimester, was beyond the state’s new limit. I acted because I had a duty of care to this patient, as I do for all patients, and because she has a fundamental right to receive this care.


NEW: Before the pandemic and prior to enacting a slew of far-right priorities, Greg Abbott’s overall approval rating was 59%. It’s now at a rock-bottom 45%. And his approval among independents has dropped from 53% last year to only 30%. (The Dallas Morning News/UT Tyler)

— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) September 19, 2021


Tim Miller/Bulwark:

Dark Omen in Rep. Anthony Gonzalez’s Retirement

A slap in the face for delusional Republicans who want to pretend the GOP is anything but a pro-insurrection Trump cult.

Unlike fellow Ohio congressman Jim Jordan, Gonzalez was not willing to go along with the phony election-certification charade. He eventually became one of ten Republican House members to vote for Trump’s impeachment over the actions that led to the January 6 insurrection.

The backlash from that vote is what led to the harassment and eventually tonight’s resignation.


89% of active-duty troops have received at least their first COVID vaccine dose, according to the White House. Just three weeks ago, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that number was 76%. @playbookdc

— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 18, 2021

EJ Dionne/WaPo:

Anthony Gonzalez gets what Democrats need to know


For at least two more elections — next year’s midterms and the 2024 presidential contest — the central issue before voters will be whether to reward or punish the GOP’s extremism and, particularly in the case of the House Republican leadership, the party’s embrace of Trump.


This is not an abstract question. In the here and now, Republican-controlled states have embraced voter suppression and election subversion, justified in the name of doubts sown by Trump’s preposterously false claims about the 2020 election outcome.


With some honorable exceptions, Republican governors in the party’s strongholds have blocked sensible actions to prevent tens of thousands of deaths from the spread of covid-19.


Gonzalez’s decision in combination with the outcome of the California recall, the continuing deadly spread of the delta variant and the introduction of the Freedom to Vote Act in the Senate could well mark last week as a turning point in how Democrats, including Biden, approach the next phase of political combat.


Every adult diagnosed with COVID-19 in Idaho is on a universal do not resuscitate order. Every adult. Don’t try to live with the virus. Get vaccinated if you can. Wear a respirator or well fitted mask, good seal, and ventilate your workspaces/schools. https://t.co/44cpfpJjxk

— Dr Noor Bari (@NjbBari3) September 18, 2021

N.B. Added addition to above tweet: while the framework is real, it is not under universal implementation.

No, Idaho is not under a ‘universal DNR.’ Hospitals won’t just let everyone die.

A misleading claim about Idaho’s hospital crisis has gone viral

It’s also important to note that the state plan is a framework. It is meant to help hospitals make an impossible choice: decide who gets life-saving care when they don’t have enough for everyone. It is not an order for hospitals or medical workers to withhold medical care when they can adequately provide it.​

Brian Manzullo/Detroit free Press:

COVID-19 vaccines: Here's how to spot misinformation on social media — and fight it

In other words, you and I have a part to play in championing the truth. And it's a good thing we have that power, because the internet today is a Wild West, where false information thrives as well as true information, and can lead to dire real-life consequences.

That especially has been true when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines. In recent months, you likely have been bombarded with inaccurate or misleading information regarding the efficacy and safety of vaccines, created by bad actors on the internet and later shared by friends, family, celebrities, influencers and politicians all over Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social platforms. This misinformation — sometimes purposefully manufactured to influence you, which is called disinformation — has played a role in tens of millions of Americans electing not to receive a vaccine.


‘Christians who are troubled by the use of a fetal cell line for the testing of the vaccines would also have to abstain from the use of Tylenol, Pepto Bismol, Ibuprofen, and other products,’ says Dallas First Baptist’s Robert Jeffress, of #COVID19 shots. https://t.co/foGDNyP7s7

— Bob Garrett (@RobertTGarrett) September 18, 2021

CNN:

Australia had 'deep and grave' concerns about French submarines' capabilities, PM says


Australia was concerned the conventional submarines it ordered from France would not meet its strategic needs before it canceled the multibillion defense deal in favor of an agreement with the United States and the United Kingdom earlier this week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Sunday.

Seeking to explain the sudden U-turn that caused huge anger in Paris, Morrison said that while he understood France's disappointment over the issue, "Australia's national interest comes first."
"It must come first and did come first and Australia's interests are best served by the trilateral partnership I've been able to form with President Biden and Prime Minister Johnson," he said at a news conference on Sunday.
The decision by Australia to ditch the French deal and attain nuclear-powered submarines through a new agreement with the United States and the United Kingdom appeared to have taken France by surprise earlier this week.

See also:


As the evidence supporting ivermectin for COVID collapses, the drugs evangelists turn increasingly to anecdote. They often mention the “Uttar Pradesh miracle” Just a thought but maybe it was the mask mandate, lockdown/curfew, & vaccinating 800m people in India (20m in one day)? pic.twitter.com/Dux6wzWeIN

— Nick Mark MD (@nickmmark) September 19, 2021
 
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