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‘State of the State’ shows Ron DeSantis’ state of mind is not really on Florida

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The 2022 State of the State delivered by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was more a continued tour for his national profile than a report on the Sunshine State. All state-of addresses are really craftily disguised campaign speeches. But DeSantis seemed adamant to let his White House ambitions show.

The guv said some form of the word free or freedom at least a dozen times. He took a gratuitous swipe at Dr. Anthony Fauci and called what we can assume is the Center for Disease Control a “coercive biomedical apparatus.”

Is it because he knows his audience?

The following is a play-by-play of much, but not all, of what the governor said, which can also be read here.

“Together we have made Florida the freest state in these United States,” DeSantis began, addressing the joint chambers and the cabinet, of which only Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Nikki Fried — the only Democrat and a potential opponent in November’s guv race — wore a face mask as they walked into chambers.

“While so many around the country have consigned the people’s rights to the graveyard, Florida has stood as freedom’s vanguard,” DeSantis said, with much disregard for the families of the 62,813 Floridians who had died of COVID-19 as of Tuesday.

Read related: Gov. Ron DeSantis fails to lead, follows on COVID-19, forgets his humanity

“We have protected the right of our citizens to earn a living, provided our businesses with the ability to prosper, fought back against unconstitutional federal mandates and ensured our kids have the opportunity to thrive.”

Nothing about how the hospitalization rate for children under five has nearly doubled since mid-December. Nothing about Florida having daily records of new cases for weeks in a row. Instead, he talked about how everyone from California and New York are coming here — a perfect segway into the national issues he’s been dabbling in for a 2024 VP slot.

“Florida has become the escape hatch for those chafing under authoritarian, arbitrary and seemingly never-ending mandates and restrictions,” DeSantis said, or read from teleprompters. “Even today, across the nation we see students denied an education due to reckless, politically-motivated school closures, workers denied employment due to heavy-handed mandates and Americans denied freedoms due to a coercive biomedical apparatus.

“These unprecedented policies have been as ineffective as they have been destructive. They are grounded more in blind adherence to Faucian declarations than they are in the constitutional traditions that are the foundation of free nations.”

There he goes with the Faucian word. Can we come up with something for DeSatan? DeSastre is not for everybody. Fascist-in-training is too long.

“Florida is a free state,” DeSastre said, as the mostly GOP legislature applauded. “We reject the biomedical security state that curtails liberty, ruins livelihoods and divides society. And we will protect the rights of individuals to live their lives free from the yoke of restrictions and mandates.”

Yeah, he likes that word, too.

“Florida has stood strong as the rock of freedom. And upon this rock we must build Florida’s future,” he said.

What happened to this rock of freedom last year when he pushed for an “anti-protest” bill in the aftermath of the Black Lives Matter demonstrators in the aftermath of yet another black man unnecessarily killed by police? What happened to this rock of freedom when DeSantis tried to deny university faculty their right to free speech by threatening their funding?

Maybe pebble of freedom is a better analogy.

DeSantis also got into the budget and bragged about Florida’s outlook and strong economic performance amid the burdens experienced nationwide. His recommended $99.7 budget has more than $15 million in reserves. “One of the largest surpluses in state history,” he said.

And is that the best thing to have right now? Especially if revenues continue to “exceed estimates by billions of dollars.” We don’t have any pressing needs?

The governor also boasted about job creation in Florida exceeding the national average and how business formations have spiked by 61% — since he took office in 2019. But no mention of the thousands of businesses that have closed permanently because of COVID19. And how many of these new jobs are really old jobs that are finally coming back online?

“Freedom works. Our economy is the envy of the nation. And the state is well-prepared to withstand future economic turmoil,” DeSantis said.

Read related: Ron DeSantis fails children with political posturing on COVID-19 safety

“Our nation is, though, facing economic problems stemming from reckless federal policies, especially the most sustained Inflation our country has witnessed in decades. The federal government has borrowed and printed unprecedented sums of money, and the bill is coming due.”

Well, aren’t those $15 billion in reserves thanks to the federal stimulus dollars from the White House that he loves to criticize? What a hypocrit.

Seizing on the topic of gas prices, DeSantis — who, remember, is facing a challenged re-election in 11 months — proposes a $1 billion gas tax holiday to reduce prices at the pump. “If Washington, D.C., won’t change course, then we have a responsibility to step up on behalf of Floridians.”

This stinks of campaign strategy.

So does the $1,000 bonus to all teachers, school principals and paramedics.

On education, DeSantis did say he wanted to eliminate the FSA test and replace it with period progress monitoring which will provide teachers with more time to teach and parents with more meaningful, regular feedback.

But he also couldn’t help but crow about the school mask fight. He does want keep being invited to Fox News, right?

Read related: Charlie Crist seizes on epic school mask failure issue vs Ron DeSantis in new ad

“Florida has led the way in putting our kids first,” DeSantis said. “In the summer of 2020, when it wasn’t fashionable, we made clear that kids needed to be in school. We faced opposition — from hysterical media, from unions and the politicians they control. We even faced lawsuits aiming to close the schools, but we wouldn’t allow fear or politics to harm our kids.”

Nah. The virus can harm them instead.

As has become standard during these state-of speeches, DeSantis paraded a bunch of Floridians to connect with different voter blocs — the teacher, the parent, the law enforcement officer (from the North Miami Police Department), the elderly war veteran and his wife who both used monoclonal treatments to make full recoveries from COVID and a guy who caught 41 pythons in the statewide “contest” to rid the Everglades of this invasive species.

He topped it all off with the family of a victim of the Champlain Towers collapse in what turned out to be a pretty grotesque use of the tragedy to further his political agenda. Ladra winced for the family of 92-year-old Hilda Noriega, one of the 98 victims who perished June 24.

“The grief and anguish endured by the Noriega family and the other Surfside families has been overwhelming, and reminds us that ‘The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those whose spirits are crushed.’”

Read related: Annette Taddeo funding lags far behind Charlie Crist, Nikki Fried in guv’s race

And if that’s not scary enough, he brought up possible new restrictions on abortions, expansion and protections for gun laws and mass shootings, a “voting integrity unit” to ensure voting laws are followed (read: voter repression), supply chains that are “captive to the whims of a country such as Communist China,” the crisis at the US-Mexico border — which last seen was not near Florida — a massive influx of fentanyl and the federal government releasing hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens, “shipping them to Florida at alarming rates, including by sending clandestine flights in the dark of night.”

In the dark of night!

For a second there, it sounded like a fireside story at summer camp.

“As a state, we cannot be a party to what is effectively a massive human smuggling operation run by the federal government. Companies who are facilitating the movement of illegal aliens from the southern border to Florida should be held accountable, including by paying restitution to the state for all the costs they are imposing on our communities. I am also requesting funds so that when the feds dump illegal aliens in Florida, the state can re-route them to states that have sanctuary policies,” he said.

This is good for fundraising efforts. Which was what the State of the State address really was: a giant fundraiser.

  

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Joe Biden Website Promises to Ship Four Free Coronavirus Tests to Residents Within 7-12 Days

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The White House announced Tuesday President Joe Biden’s website for Americans to request free coronavirus tests was now live.

Officials said the website, covidtests.gov, was live but still remained in the beta phase of the programming and testing process.

The president expects to officially launch the website on Wednesday as he also plans to hold an official press conference at the White House to mark his upcoming one-year anniversary as president.

Families can request four free coronavirus tests on the website after putting in their name and address.

The government will begin shipping the test within 7-12 days, according to a notice on the website.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki acknowledged during the daily briefing that the website was live, but only operating in a limited capacity.

“We can’t guarantee there won’t be a bug or two,” she said.

Biden is struggling to catch up on testing, despite being in charge of the pandemic for a year as president.

masks Biden

Joe Biden replaces the mask he wears. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Many Americans trying to travel and gather with family over the Christmas holiday were unable to get access to tests or faced long waits in line for several hours at testing centers.

Biden was initially defensive about his administration’s performance, scoffing at questions from reporters during a December event on fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

“What took so long is it didn’t take long at all,” he said, complaining the omicron variant of the virus caught everyone off guard.

Despite Biden’s efforts to ramp up and increase testing capacity, state governors have called out the federal government for making it harder to get tests for their residents.

“You know, so now it’s sort of hijacking the tests that we already had plans for, and we’re now getting some of those providers to tell us they no longer have the rapid tests,” Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said in an interview on CBS on Sunday.

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Survey: Global Majority Feel Misled by Media, Business, Political Leaders

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The majority of people across the globe feel that are being misled by journalists, government leaders, and business executives, according to Edelman’s 2022 global “Trust Barometer.”

The survey found that 67 percent of people globally are “convinced” they are being “purposely” misled by journalists and reporters, which is up eight percent from 2021.

Additionally, 66 percent think their country’s government leaders “purposely” mislead them, which has risen nine percent from 2021, while 63 percent said business leaders “purposely” mislead them, which has increased seven percent from 2021.

When respondents were asked about trust,  46 percent said they do not trust journalists, which has risen one percent from last year.

Additionally, 42 percent said they do not trust the county’s government leaders, which has risen one percent from last year. 49 percent said they do not trust CEOs, which has grown one percent from last year.

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 08: U.S. President Joe Biden stops to talk to reporters before departing the White House December 08, 2021, in Washington, DC. According to the White House, Biden is traveling to Kansas City, Missouri, to talk about how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will aid in the repair and construction of roads and bridges, update public transit, create jobs, and other benefits.

WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 08: U.S. President Joe Biden stops to talk to reporters. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

However, 66 percent of the respondents said they trust their own CEO, which has risen three percent since 2021.

The survey also found that 76 percent “worry about false information or fake news being used as a weapon,” which has risen four percent since last year.

Edelman’s survey had 31,050 respondents globally, spanning 27 countries. The survey was taken between November 1 and 24 of last year and had a margin of error plus or minus 0.6 percent points.

Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter.

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Israeli Vaccine Advisor Says Vax Passports Should End, Government ‘Made Mistakes’ During COVID

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‘Rona Madness



 By Jack Hadfield


 January 18, 2022 at 3:51pm


A top Israeli vaccine advisor argued their vaccine passport scheme should be ended, and that the government made serious mistakes with lockdown policies.

Professor Cyrille Cohen, the head of Immunology at Bar Ilan University and a senior vaccine advisor to the Israeli government, spoke to Unherd’s Freddie Sayers in a long form interview about his country’s response to the virus, and what the future was likely to hold.

Despite being a proponent of the COVID-19 vaccines, Cohen noted that “their effectiveness against contamination is reduced” from their original release, adding that he and his fellow scientists were “surprised to discover at the end of the day that the vaccines are not protecting us, are not causing what we call sterilising immunity.”

Recent studies in Israel have confirmed that even a fourth COVID shot is nowhere near as effective against the Omicron variant. “We see many infected with Omicron who received the fourth dose. Granted, a bit less than in the control group, but still a lot of infections,” said Professor Gili Regev-Yochay, a lead researcher in the experiment at Sheba Medical Centre, on Monday.

With Cohen highlighting that natural immunity gives people much better protection “than the vaccine,” and because “there is a very narrow gap between people vaccinated and non-vaccinated, both can get infected with a virus, more or less at the same pace,” the Israeli government’s vaccine passport plan, known as the Green Pass, should be phased out.

Cohen told Sayers that while a Green Pass is not the best way to prevent transmissions, the “political aspects” were clear to begin with, in that it would “encourage” people to get the vaccine. The comments from vaccine advisor echoed that of Israeli ministers caught on a hot mic in September last year, admitting the scheme was not “epidemiologically justified.”

“If you mix politics and immunology or health sciences, at the end of the day you get politics,” Cohen continued, arguing that when discussing and applying policies from the government, “you need to have as many possible voices around you and then make the right decision.”

Reflecting on his role in the Israeli government’s response as one of a number of vaccine advisors, Cohen said that the government made a “few mistakes,” but that the most crucial one was closing down the schools, to which he said he was “extremely” sorry. “Education was the thing we shouldn’t have touched. Never, never,” he added, saying the decision to shut down schools will likely have “some repercussions in the future.”

Looking to the future, Cohen predicted that with the spread of the Omicron variant, COVID-19 would not be eliminated from society, but would become more of a flu-like disease in terms of commonality and spread.

“I think there is going to be bad waves and better waves, with a better immunity at the level of the population, with better vaccines with better treatment,” he said. “In that sense, and I’m extremely cautious, there is a possibility that Omicron will accelerate that transition.”

About the Author:


Jack Hadfield is a conservative and patriot from the UK, and the director and presenter of “Destination Dover: Migrants in the Channel.” His work has appeared in such sites as Breitbart, The Political Insider, and Politicalite. You can follow him on Facebook @JackHadfield1996, on Twitter @JackHadders, on Gab @JH, or on Telegram @JackHadders. Tips can be sent securely to [email protected].

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