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A.J. D’Amico draws $35K in first full fundraising month of House bid

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Most of D’Amico’s gains came through individual donations, some as low as $10.

Democratic lawyer Alessandro James “A.J.” D’Amico collected more than $35,000 in his first full month of fundraising, far outpacing his lone Republican opponent in a race to succeed Rep. Nick Duran in the Florida House this year.

By the end of December, D’Amico still had about $33,000 left to spend. Republican college student Antonio Byrdsong, who launched a campaign in August, held $1,300.

The Florida Division of Elections currently lists the two men as being on a collision course for the 2022 General Election. However, the ongoing reapportionment process could place them in different districts come November.

D’Amico’s gains came primarily through roughly 100 individual donations ranging from $10 to $1,000. Most were from the legal profession.

National Provider Alliance (NPA), a certified surgical assistant association, contributed $1,000 to D’Amico’s campaign. Two Tallahassee-based lobbying firms sharing the same address as NPA on D’Amico’s contributions ledger, Melaney Cordell & Associates and Buigas & Associates, each gave $1,000.

So did consulting firms New Century Government Affairs and Abad & Associates.

D’Amico also enjoyed support from several executives of Carnival Cruise Line. Vicky Rey, the company’s vice president of stakeholder engagement, donated $1,000. Cherie Weinstein, Carnival’s vice president of group sales and administration, gave $500. Gisella Mazzilli, vice president of finance and accounting, chipped in $150.

He also received another $150 from former Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen, who became the public relations director for Malaysian casino giant Genting’s Crystal Cruises in October.

Duran, who endorsed D’Amico last month, gave $1,000 through his political committee, Leadership for Miami-Dade.

Other political committee donations included $1,000 from A Stronger Florida, chaired by Rubin Turnbull and Associates Director of Operations Celeste Camm; $500 from GrayRobinson PA Florida PAC; and $250 from PSM PAC.

Fellow Democrat Kevin Cho Tipton, a nurse practitioner and Air National Guard captain who announced a run for House District 112 in November, donated $250.

D’Amico spent more than $3,000 in December. He paid Miami restaurant Monty’s Raw Bar $1,752 for costs associated with a campaign kickoff event. He also paid $1,000 to Florida Politics parent company Extensive Enterprises for media advertising.

Byrdsong, who worked as a Washington metropolitan area event promoter and waiter before relocating to Miami Beach, has raised nearly $7,000 in an almost fully self-funded campaign. That includes nearly $2,600 he loaned himself last month, when he received his first two outside donations — one for $2, the other for $26.

Byrdsong spent more than $1,300 in December. Most of it went to Latoro LLC for “office space/storage.” He paid another $35 to a Gainesville-based political website builder Poliengine and spent $10 on “digital promo material” on the video-sharing platform, TikTok.

Florida’s redistricting process has complicated several 2022 state races, including this one. D’Amico originally filed for House District 112, which Duran represents. Byrdsong, on the other hand, filed for House District 113, which Democratic Rep. Michael Grieco represents.

The Florida Division of Elections has since pitted the two against one another to reflect a still-shifting redistricting process. However, that may be temporary; two maps the House has published (H 8005 and H 8007) would place D’Amico in House District 114 and Byrdsong in House District 106, based on their listed addresses.

Candidates faced a Monday deadline to report all campaign finance activities through Dec. 31.


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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.

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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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