GAS LINES IN AMERICA… Four Governors Declare States Of Emergency Due To Gasoline Shortage
Four governors declared states of emergency in response to gas shortages brought on by the Colonial Pipeline hack.
Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency on Monday due to his state's gas shortage. Republicans Govs. Brian Kemp of Georgia and Ron DeSantis of Florida, and Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared states of emergency on Tuesday.
Republican South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster announced that he would not declare a new state of emergency because the state was already in one due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kemp suspended Georgia's gas taxes, while Cooper eliminated transportation regulations. McMaster instituted anti-price gouging laws. Virginia Republicans called on Northam to suspend the state's gas tax.
The South was being hit hardest. Late Monday, almost 6.5% of gas stations in Virginia were out of fuel, according to travel app GasBuddy. It said more than 1% of stations in North Carolina and Florida had no gas.
WAPO: Fuel shortages crop up in Southeast , gas prices climb after pipeline hack
Lines of panicked drivers overwhelmed gas stations in the Southeast on Tuesday, as rising prices fed fears of shortages in the aftermath of a ransomware attack that forced the nation's largest fuel pipeline offline.
In Atlanta, 1 of every 5 gas stations was reported to be out of fuel Tuesday evening.
"Look how crazy we're all getting, over every little thing," said Allan Hardy, a plumber who had driven from Myrtle Beach, S.C., to Wilmington, N.C., and saw long lines at every service station on the road, save for those that had already run out of gas. "And the only reason this shortage isn't worse is that a lot of people aren't working right now. Today it's our oil pipeline, but what will it be tomorrow? If this kind of thing comes at another time, you just can't gauge how bad it might get."
In Washington, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the Southeast can expect a "crunch" that will take several days to alleviate.
"We have gasoline," she said during a White House briefing. "We just have to get it to the right places. And that's why I think the next couple of days will be challenging."
She said Colonial Pipeline officials had told her that a decision on a "full restart" could come as soon as Wednesday evening.
TONE DEAF TWEET OF THE DAY… TRANSPORTATION SEC. PETE BUTTIGIEG (HE/HIM): We can fix our roads, guarantee broadband access, expand transit, and connect communities to good-paying jobs. What are we waiting for?
MARGOT CLEVELAND: Gas?
WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, JENNIFER GRANHOLM USE CRIPPLED PIPELINE TO ADVANCE LEFTY ENERGY AGENDA… CURTIS HOUCK: Absolutely ghoulish . Never let a crisis go to waste! White House reporter eagerly asks Energy Secretary Granholm how these gas shortages due to the Colonial pipeline will help the administration push people toward accepting renewable energy. (VIDEO)
CDC HAS BEEN WILDLY EXAGGERATING OUTDOOR TRANSMISSION RISK… NYT: A Misleading C.D.C. Number
When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines last month for mask wearing, it announced that "less than 10 percent" of Covid-19 transmission was occurring outdoors. Media organizations repeated the statistic, and it quickly became a standard description of the frequency of outdoor transmission. […]
That benchmark "seems to be a huge exaggeration," as Dr. Muge Cevik, a virologist at the University of St. Andrews, said. In truth, the share of transmission that has occurred outdoors seems to be below 1 percent and may be below 0.1 percent, multiple epidemiologists told me. The rare outdoor transmission that has happened almost all seems to have involved crowded places or close conversation.
Saying that less than 10 percent of Covid transmission occurs outdoors is akin to saying that sharks attack fewer than 20,000 swimmers a year. (The actual worldwide number is around 150.) It's both true and deceiving.
VACCINATED EXPERTS SAYING THEY'VE RESUMED NORMAL LIFE… VOX: Got the vaccine? Experts say you can relax about your Covid-19 risk now. Really.
White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci said he will not go into restaurants or movie theaters, even though he's vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says vaccinated people should continue masking up indoors and avoiding large gatherings. News outlets have reported on "breakthrough infections" of Covid-19 among the fully vaccinated.
All of this can make it seem like getting vaccinated may not be enough to liberate people from the fear of getting sick and the precautions they've taken to avoid the coronavirus in the past year. So I posed a question to experts I've talked to throughout the pandemic about Covid-related precautions: How worried are you about your personal safety after getting vaccinated?
They were nearly unanimous in their response: They're no longer worried much, if at all, about their personal risk of getting Covid-19. Several spoke of going into restaurants and movie theaters now that they're vaccinated, socializing with friends and family, and having older relatives visit for extended periods.
"I'm not particularly worried about getting ill myself," Tara Smith, an epidemiologist at Kent State University, told me. "I know that if I do somehow end up infected, my chances of developing serious symptoms are low."
PUBLIC HEALTH EXPERTS SLAP CDC FOR COVID GUIDANCE FAILURES… STAT NEWS: CDC's slow , cautious messaging on Covid-19 seems out of step with the moment, public health experts say
Nearly a year ago, amid concerns about how to prevent transmission of the virus causing Covid-19, scientists were beginning to conclude that rigorous disinfection of surfaces — say, fogging them or deep-cleaning with bleach — was overkill.
Academics were warning that the risk of so-called fomite transmission was wildly overblown. In the fall, research from Israel and Italy found that the virus couldn't even be cultured from surfaces in hospital infectious disease units. By February of this year, the editorial board of Nature was openly urging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to update its guidelines.
The CDC did so — last month.
That so much time passed before the nation's leading public health agency took a stand on an issue that seemed patently obvious to others was puzzling. But it was hardly an isolated incident.
Collins slams CDC for 'conflicting , confusing' guidance, says she's lost respect for agency
Collins, R-Maine, on Tuesday grilled Walensky on "conflicting" guidance related to school reopenings, wearing masks outside, and summer camps.
"I used to have the utmost respect for the guidance from the CDC. I always considered the CDC to be the gold standard. I don't anymore," Collins said, giving examples where she said she thinks "the conflicting, confusing guidance from your agency has undermined public confidence and contradicts the scientific guidance of many experts."
"Unnecessary barriers to reopening schools, exaggerating the risk of outdoor transmission and unworkable restrictions on summer camps," Collins continued. "Why does this matter?
It matters because it undermines public confidence in your recommendations, in the recommendations that do make sense, in the recommendations that Americans should be following."
ANOTHER DAILY CALLER EXCLUSIVE: Republicans Launch Probe Into Massive Teachers Union's Influence On CDC, Demand Communications
A group of over 20 House Republicans sent a Tuesday letter to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) saying they will be launching a probe into improper outside influence on the CDC school reopening guidance by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).
The letter, first obtained by Daily Caller, demanded that the CDC director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, hand over communications about the February decision on school reopening. The decision provided a list of things for schools to consider before reopening, such as using masks, social distancing, handwashing and much more.
The letter was spearheaded by Republican Whip and Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis Ranking Member Steve Scalise and House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer.
Gain-of-function research is so exceptionally dangerous that the NIH's grant to EcoHealth Alliance specifically barred use of the funds to support it from 2014 to 2017 — unless the "head of the USG funding agency determines that the research is urgently necessary to protect the public health or national security." Did Fauci give the go-ahead to EcoHealth Alliance to pursue the research under that loophole? Or did his boss, Francis Collins? Or did EcoHealth Alliance misuse the money?
There's no smoking gun here. We don't know if SARS-CoV-2 escaped from a lab, we don't know if the NIH money was instrumental in its gain-of-function research, we don't know if Fauci approved the funding or if EcoHealth Alliance violated the terms of its grant. But Fauci seems to have no good answers in this exchange with Paul apart from insisting that NIH has never funded the Wuhan Institute of Virology. No one's saying that they did, though; the allegation is that they funded EcoHealth Alliance and EcoHealth then redirected some of the money to Wuhan to fund gain-of-function which may or may not have produced and accidentally released the virus that causes COVID.
"Dr. Fauci, do you still support NIH funding of the lab in Wuhan?"
Fauci said in response that Paul was "entirely and completely incorrect."
"The NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain of function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology," Fauci said. "Dr. Baric does not do gain of function research and if it is, it is according to the guidelines and is being conducted in North Carolina, not in China."
The Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported that the NIAID, which is led by Fauci, funded the nonprofit group EcoHealth Alliance to study bat-based coronaviruses in China that included the transfer of $600,000 to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
STEPHEN L. MILLER: These two statements from Fauci are not compatible. "We have never funded gain of function research." Also "I do not have any accounting of what the Chinese may have done and I am fully in favor of any further investigation of what went on in China."
JOSH ROGIN: Fauci's NIAID told the @WSJ it actually has no idea whether the Wuhan Institute of Virology was conducting gain of function research: "It is impossible for us to be aware of nor can we account for all of their activities."
SEAN DAVIS: Sen. Rand Paul has Anthony Fauci dead to rights on the charge of sending taxpayer money to the Wuhan virus lab. From 2014 to July 13, 2020 (!), NIAID sent $3.75 million to EcoHealth Alliance to study "bat coronavirus emergence." EHA then sent $600k of that to the Wuhan lab. (THREAD)
BIDEN WHITE HOUSE BRAGS ABOUT LEFT-WING AGENDA WHILE CONVINCING VOTERS HE'S MODERATE… OLIVIA NUZZI: How the White House Polices Language in Washington
[O]fficials have insisted the word crisis does not apply to the border. "We've been calling it 'challenging,' and it is," Press Secretary Jen Psaki told me. […]
In March, the Associated Press distributed a memo advising reporters to "avoid" or "use caution" when using the word crisis. "One very real possibility is this strategy works," the person [close to the White House] added. "They may get criticism in think pieces about it, but at his hundred-day mark, Biden is the most liberal president we've had — and the public thinks he's a moderate. That's a winning strategy to me. They're willing to accept that you're gonna write this piece as long as they know that swing voters in Colorado aren't gonna read it."
POLITICO: Reporters fume at White House 'quote approval' rules
If you've read a quote from an administration official in a newspaper or a wire story recently, there's a good chance that the White House communications team had an opportunity to edit it first.
That's because the Biden White House frequently demands that interviews with administration officials be conducted on grounds known colloquially as "background with quote approval," according to five reporters who cover the White House for outlets other than POLITICO.
In practice, that means the information from an interview can be used in the story, but in order for the person's name to be attached to a quote, the reporter must transcribe the quotes they want and then send them to the communications team to approve, veto or edit them. […]
The practice allows the White House an extra measure of control as it tries to craft press coverage. At its best, quote approval allows sources to speak more candidly about their work. At its worst, it gives public officials a way to obfuscate or screen their own admissions and words.
DEMS PUSH TO GET ELECTION OVERHAUL THROUGH SENATE… POLITICO: Rare Schumer, McConnell showdown previews floor fight on Dems' election bill
The typically staid Senate Rules Committee hosted a rare dramatic showdown on Tuesday: the majority leader versus the minority leader, sparring over Democrats' expansive election and ethics bill.
In dueling remarks, Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell each accused the other's party of trying to weaponize voting laws to expand its political power. They often clash indirectly on the floor, but the Schumer-and-McConnell show on Tuesday served as a preview of a forthcoming floor fight as Democrats push forward on the elections bill they've given the symbolically meaningful number of S. 1.
The legislation is a top priority for the party, particularly its progressive base.
CRUZ SLAMS PROVISION THAT GIVES POLS TAXPAYER CASH TO CAMPAIGN… STEVE GUEST: Sen. Ted Cruz on the Corrupt Politicians Act / Welfare For Politicians Act that creates a 6:1 federal funds matching program: "I ask my Democrat colleagues, 'Why on Earth do you want to give my campaign $24,000,000?' I don't want $24,000,000 of federal funds to fund my campaign." (VIDEO)
FOX: Democrats' HR1 election bill boosted by liberal dark money group financed by foreign national
A liberal dark money group bankrolled by a Swiss foreign national is spending big on lobbying in favor of Democrats' election overhauls, including H.R. 1, filings show.
The Sixteen Thirty Fund, a fiscal sponsor and clearinghouse for dozens of left-wing groups and projects, has poured nearly $2 million into the efforts to sway senators on issues ranging from H.R.1 to D.C. statehood to the Voting Rights Act Amendment. […]
The New York Times revealed that Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss, who in 2014 said he is not a U.S. citizen, is a significant financial backer of the Sixteen Thirty Fund, which does not identify its donors. From 2016 to 2020, the foreign national directed $135 million into the fund, but it is unclear how his money was spent.
While the Sixteen Thirty Fund is primarily used to house nonprofits that are backed by secretive donors, the incubator was also used as an avenue to steer $55 million in anonymous cash into super PACs that backed President Biden's 2020 campaign.
15-YEAR-OLD WHO KILLED UBER DRIVER IN DC TO BE RELEASED AT 21… OR EARLIER… WAPO: Girl, 15, pleads guilty to murder in fatal carjacking of Uber Eats driver in D.C.
A 15-year-old girl charged as a juvenile in the fatal carjacking of a food delivery driver in the District has pleaded guilty to felony murder in return for several other charges being dismissed, a D.C. Superior Court spokeswoman said Tuesday.
A second girl, 13, also has been charged with felony murder and other crimes in the March 23 carjacking, in which an Uber Eats driver was killed in a crash. That girl's case remains unresolved, according to the spokeswoman.
The girls, who allegedly were armed with a stun device, are accused of carjacking a Honda Accord near Nationals Park. Police said the driver, Mohammad Anwar, 66, a Pakistani immigrant, was "hanging outside the car" through the open driver's door during a struggle when the vehicle crashed and overturned, fatally injuring him. […]
Huber said the 15-year-old girl's sentencing is scheduled for June 4. She can be confined in a juvenile facility only until she turns 21, after which she must be released. Juvenile authorities could free her much sooner if they deem her to be rehabilitated.
Rocket alert sirens wailed across Central and Western Israel as Palestinian terrorist groups fired a massive barrage of rockets towards Israel from the Gaza Strip on Tuesday night.
The most recent barrage has targeted most of Israel's west coast, according to data from the Israeli rocket warning system Red Alerts – Cumta.
The barrage has targeted multiple major cities such as Ashdod, Ashkelon, Rishon LeZion, Or Yehuda, Yehud-Monosson, Savyon, Tel Aviv – Jaffa, Bnei Brak, Givat Shmuel, Givatayim, Herzeliya, Kfar Shmaryahu, Petach Tikva, Kiryat Ono, Ramat Gan, Ramat HaSharon, Ra'anana, Hod HaSharon, Bat Yam, Holon and Mikveh Israel.
A video released by the Israel Defense Forces shows one among several Israeli Iron Dome batteries working overtime to prevent missiles from raining down on civilians, homes and cities.
YAHOO: Bob Baffert admits he treated Medina Spirit with ointment that contained betamethasone
It looks like "cancel culture" didn't cause Medina Spirit's positive test for betamethasone after all. It may have been trainer Bob Baffert himself.
In a statement released Tuesday morning, Baffert admitted to treating Medina Spirit with an ointment that contained betamethasone before he won the Kentucky Derby. Trainers are required to stop administering betamethasone 14 days before a race, but Baffert said that Medina Spirit was given the ointment up until the day before the Derby.
"Following the Santa Anita Derby, Medina Spirit developed dermatitis on his hind end," Baffert wrote in a prepared statement via the Louisville Courier Journal. "I had him checked out by my veterinarian who recommended the use of an anti-fungal ointment called Otomax. The veterinary recommendation was to apply this ointment daily to give the horse relief, help heal the dermatitis and prevent it from spreading.
"My barn followed this recommendation and Medina Spirit was treated with Otomax once a day up until the day before the Kentucky Derby. [Monday], I was informed that one of the substances in Otomax is betamethasone. While we do not know definitively that this was the source of the alleged 21 picograms found in Medina Spirit's post-race blood sample, and our investigation is continuing, I have been told by equine pharmacology experts that this could explain the test results. As such, I wanted to be forthright about this fact as soon as I learned of this information."
CNN: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is buying a 417-foot superyacht that's so massive it has its own "support yacht" with a helipad, according to Bloomberg. The estimated cost, not including the boat's support boat, is $500 million. (LINK)
CNBC: Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit cleared to enter Preakness despite failed drug test
Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit on Tuesday was allowed to enter the upcoming Preakness Stakes race, with conditions, despite failing a drug test for the steroid betamethasone after its Derby victory.
The conditions include "a binding commitment" from Medina Spirit's trainer, Bob Baffert, for "full transparency of medical and testing results that will allow for all results to be released to the public," Maryland Jockey Club and 1/St Racing said in a statement.
The announcement said there will be "rigorous testing and monitoring" of Medina Spirit and another Baffert-trained horse, Concert Tour, which also is set to run in the Preakness.
CALLING ALL PATRIOTS: After a cyberattack on the east coast Colonial Pipeline, parts of the nation are experiencing fuel shortages. North Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Virginia have declared a state of emergency and the Biden administration said Monday that they were "monitoring" the shortages. Is the gas shortage affecting you? Lets us know in the form.
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