Republican Gov. Mike DeWine Tests Negative for Coronavirus After Initially Testing Positive

Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine tested negative for the coronavirus Thursday after testing positive earlier that day, according to The Wall Street Journal.

DeWine first tested positive for the virus Thursday before his scheduled meeting with President Donald Trump in Cleveland, the WSJ reported. DeWine’s office said the 73-year-old governor doesn’t have any symptoms, according to the WSJ.

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Cuomo Clears New York Schools Statewide to Open, Carefully

New York schools can bring children back to classrooms for the start of the school year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday, citing success in battling the coronavirus in the state that once was the U.S. heart of the pandemic.

The Democratic governor’s decision clears the way for schools to offer at least some days of in-person classes, alongside remote learning. Students will be required to wear masks throughout school day.

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Commentary: As Trump Predicated, America’s Economy is Recovering Quickly

The U.S. economy produced between 1.35 million and 1.8 million jobs the month of July, bringing the total number of jobs created since April when labor markets bottomed with the federal and state governments in lockdown to combat the Chinese coronavirus to between 9.3 million and 10 million.

Further speeding the recovery along are the number of COVID-19 cases are beginning to decline nationally after brief spikes in Texas, California, Florida and Arizona as states were reopening. Now the cases have stabilized in those states, and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation is projecting they will remain stable until mid-to-late September when the cold and flu season gets going again.

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Warren County Judge Rules Against Contact Sports Injuction

A Warren County Court judge ruled on Thursday against the director of the Ohio Department of Health Lance D. Himes injunction on contact sports.

The order allowed non-contact sports to re-open for their normal seasons, as long as certain precautions are followed. Contact sports, however, including football, basketball, wrestling, boxing, martial arts, and soccer would have been required to test players for COVID-19 several times per sporting event. Students would be required to test negative within 72 hours of a game, again during any tournament lasting more than three days, and every two days after that should the tournament last longer.

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Businesses Drastically Reduced New Hires in July According to Private Payroll Processor

Private sector job creation for displaced workers slowed in July, with private payroll increases not meeting the growth expected by economists, CNBC reported.

Economists who were surveyed by Dow Jones expected private-sector employment to increase by 1 million, yet reported an increase of 167,000, CNBC reported. The report was issued by Dow Jones economists and Moody’s Analytics.

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Virginia First to Roll Out Pandemic App from Apple, Google

Virginia has rolled out a smartphone app to automatically notify people if they might have been exposed to the coronavirus, becoming the first U.S. state to use new pandemic technology created by Apple and Google.

But hopes for a nationwide app that can work seamlessly across state borders remain unrealized, and there are no known federal plans to create one. State officials say their new app won’t work as well outside Virginia, at least until a group of coordinating public health agencies gets a national server up and running and other states join in.

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De Blasio Announces COVID-19 Checkpoints on Tunnels and Bridges to Enforce Quarantine Order

Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday COVID-19 checkpoints will be established on tunnels and bridges leading into the city in order to enforce Governor Cuomo’s quarantine order.

The mayor tweeted, “New Yorkers worked too hard to beat back COVID-19 — we cannot lose that progress. 35 states have dangerously high infection rates. We won’t let the virus spread here.”

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Judge Rules Last Call Order Can Stay in Place During Lawsuit

A judge ruled Wednesday that the 10 p.m. last call order will stay in place during a lawsuit to determine it’s legality, according to WTRF.

NBC reported that a lawsuit filed by a number of Ohio restaurants and bars sought an emergency restraining order against the state’s order. The Ohio Liquor Control Board approved the emergency order at Governor Mike DeWine’s request, which mandated bars and restaurants to cut off liquor sales at 10 p.m. This emergency order went into effect last weekend.

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Gov. DeWine Tests Positive for the Coronavirus on His Way to Meet President Donald Trump

Governor Mike DeWine was headed to Cleveland to meet President Trump who is visiting the state today. During his ride to the Burke Lakefront Airport, he took a rapid response test which returned a positive result for the coronavirus.

DeWine is headed back to Columbus after his positive test. Currently, the 73-year-old has not experienced any symptoms, according to the Governor’s statement.

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DeWine to Expand Mask Mandate to K-12 Students

Governor Mike Dewine announced Thursday that the Ohio Department of Health will soon release a new order mandating K12 students to wear masks as they return to school.

This announcement came after the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association (OCHA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics Ohio Chapter (AAPOC) issued a letter showing support for “face coverings/masks in our hospitals, schools, and communities.”

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Report: US Manufacturing Shows Improvement in July

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector grew in July, with the overall economy notching a third consecutive month of growth, according to a new report published by the Institute for Supply Management.

The Manufacturing ISM “Report on Business” calculated a July composite reading of 54.2 percent, a second straight month of growth for U.S. factories.

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Amy Acton Steps Down as Ohio Governor’s Health Advisor, Will Return to Work for the Columbus Foundation

Dr. Amy Acton stepped down from her role as Governor Mike DeWine’s Chief Health Advisor, the Ohio Department of Health announced Wednesday. 

DeWine called Acton a “friend and advisor” on Twitter, saying that “she has assured [him] that she is just a phone call away and will be available to continuing advising [his administration] as [they] move through this pandemic.”

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Police Budgets Nationwide In Crisis After Covid, Activism Cut Funding in Half: Study

Nashville Police

Police Departments across the country are in crisis as calls to defund the police, rioting, and the Covid Crisis threaten to sap existing resources. 

A new study by the Police Executive Research Forum showed that almost half of the 258 departments surveyed are facing budget cuts. Portland City council approved a $15,000,000 dollar budget cut last month as the city struggled with riots. The Portland Police Department was forced to pay over $5,000,000 in overtime to deal with the unrest. 

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Study: 68 Percent of Workers Earned More on Unemployment with $600 Weekly Enhancement

Some unemployed workers received nearly twice as much money through unemployment insurance (UI) payments authorized through the CARES Act than they earned when they were employed, a new study from the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) found.

In response to states shutting down economies over coronavirus fears, Congress passed several relief bills, including the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. These two bills expanded the UI benefit period, suspended work search requirements, included newly eligible individuals, and added a $600-per-week unemployment benefit enhancement through July 31.

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The Status of the Coronavirus Vaccine Continues to Advance Rapidly

Researchers, governments and pharmaceutical companies worldwide have been working rapidly to develop an effective vaccine against coronavirus, which has infected over 4.5 million and killed over 150,000 people in the United States alone.

Testing has advanced quickly and there’s optimism that a vaccine will be developed before 2021. But there are also concerns that a vaccine won’t be sufficiently stockpiled or efficiently distributed. There’s additional worry that the growing distrust in vaccines will result in large numbers refusing the injection, making it less beneficial.

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Buckeye Institute Joins COVID-19 Amicus Brief: Private School Closures Could Cost Taxpayers $252M

The Buckeye Institute Wednesday joined an amicus brief supporting private school students in a July 7 lawsuit between several states and the federal government.

At issue is a federal rule initiated by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, directing the U.S. Department of Education to share federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) funds between private and public schools. 

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Ohio Introduces New Coronavirus Guidelines as the State Sees the Number of COVID-19 Cases Go Over 90,000

Governor Mike DeWine has issued several new recommendations in the wake of an uptick in coronavirus cases.

The number of coronavirus cases in Ohio has recently gone over 90,000 and almost 3,500 people have died, according to The COVID Tracking Project. Thirteen Ohio counties are under the Level Three Public Health Emergency. Level Three means that a county has “very high expose and spread” of the coronavirus.

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Jim Jordan Battles with Dr. Anthony Fauci on If Protests Cause the Coronavirus to Spread

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH-04) continually questioned Dr. Anthony Fauci about whether protests cause the spread of the coronavirus during the House’s coronavirus hearing on Friday.

Despite Jordan’s repeated attempts to get Fauci to answer this question, Fauci side-stepped the question and said that he didn’t have “any scientific evidence that protests spread the coronavirus,” but rather it was crowds that increased the “acquisition and transmission” of the coronavirus.

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Commentary: Will the Virus Ever Allow the U.S. Economy to Fully Reopen Again?

The U.S. economy contracted a record-setting, inflation-adjusted, annualized 32.9 percent in the second quarter of 2020 according to the latest data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis as tens of millions of Americans waited out the Chinese coronavirus in their homes, not venturing out much except for work and needed supplies.

The second quarter comprises of April, May and June, when in Bureau of Labor Statistics’ household survey 25 million jobs were lost by April and then 8.8 million came back in May and June as states slowly began reopening.

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Steve Bannon Presents ‘War Room: Pandemic’

An all new LIVE STREAM of War Room: Pandemic starts at 9 a.m. Central Time on Saturday.

Former White House Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon began the daily War Room: Pandemic radio show and podcast on January 25, when news of the virus was just beginning to leak out of China around the Lunar New Year. Bannon and co-hosts bring listeners exclusive analysis and breaking updates from top medical, public health, economic, national security, supply chain and geopolitical experts weekdays from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon ET.

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US Invests Another $2.1 Billion into a Potential Vaccine

Pharma giants GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur have announced they will supply 100 million doses of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine to the United States as governments buy up supplies in hopes of securing a candidate that works.

The United States will pay up to $2.1 billion “for development including clinical trials, manufacturing, scale-up and delivery” of the vaccine, the two companies based in Europe said in a statement. Sanofi will get the bulk of the funds.

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Hong Kong Postpones Elections by a Year, Citing Coronavirus

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced Friday that the government will postpone highly anticipated legislative elections by one year, citing a worsening coronavirus outbreak in the semi-autonomous Chinese city.

The Hong Kong government is invoking an emergency ordinance in delaying the elections. Lam said the government has the support of the Chinese government in making the decision to hold the elections on Sept. 5, 2021.

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US Sees Worst-Ever Contraction for Second-Quarter GDP

The United States gross domestic product (GDP) fell 32.9% in the second quarter of 2020, the Department of Commerce reported, marking the largest decline the country has ever seen, according to CNBC.

In addition to the record drop in GDP, The Department of Labor reported Thursday that over 1.43 million Americans filed initial claims for unemployment last week, marking a swift economic contraction as coronavirus cases continue to rise across the country.

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Gov. DeWine Calls on Regulators to Enact a ‘Last Call’ Emergency Law

  Ohio Governor Mike DeWine asked the Ohio Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) to enact an emergency law instituting a 10p.m. “last call” for bars and restaurants across the state. At a press conference today The Governor said that the emergency law would allow for patrons to place a final drink…

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Commentary: Former CIA Officer Says Terrorists Will Learn from COVID

During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the media warned breathlessly of “chatter” that terrorists—domestic and international—were planning to exploit and spread the virus. So far no such plots have developed, but a former CIA officer warns that the lessons terrorists have learned from the inept and politicized response to the pandemic, if exploited, may be more dangerous to us than terrorist use of the virus itself.

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Commentary: Silicon Valley Ramps up Censorship of Conservatives

Silicon Valley’s pre-election censorship of conservatives is rapidly increasing, with anything that questions the imposition of a new level of COVID-19 lockdown misery and economic devastation a top target.

The latest example of this pre-election censorship occurred yesterday, when Facebook, Twitter and Google removed a press conference video by frontline doctors featuring U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) and organized by Tea Party Patriots.

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Ohio Teachers Union Calls for Online Classes as Schools Deal with Covid

The Ohio Education Association (OEA) called for remote learning in counties more heavily affected by the coronavirus.

The teachers union, which represents over a hundred thousand teachers, made the demand in a press release Tuesday urging the state to “enact stronger measures to keep students and educators safe.”

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Ohio’s Largest School District Will Start the School Year Online

Columbus City Schools (CCS) Superintendent/CEO Dr. Talisa Dixon announced Tuesday that Ohio’s largest school district will start the 2020-2021 school year virtually.

CCS will be online for the first quarter for the next school year. The first quarter of the school year will start September 8 and end October 27.

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Critics: Changing Information about Coronavirus Transmission, Impact Leads to Backlash over Policy Decisions

Since March, when U.S. policy makers implemented restrictive policies to limit the spread of the coronavirus, government agencies have collected data and reported their findings, which have significantly varied over time. As the data comes in, agencies have amended their guidelines, often to the frustration of policy makers and media critics.

Initially, the Centers for Disease Control argued that the coronavirus could be spread via surface-based transmission. It has since changed its position on this after scientific studies have shown the opposite. It recently stated that doorknobs and other commonly touched surfaces are not consistent with transmission. Rather, spread of the virus is believed to be mostly through droplets from respiratory exchanges, it states in its revised guidelines.

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Commentary: ‘Pandemic Pods’ Make Homeschooling Easier for Parents and Profitable for Teachers

This tumultuous back-to-school season has parents and teachers alike scrambling to make sense of the madness: from ever-changing district directives to COVID-19 response protocols. Some school systems have announced that the academic year will start with remote-learning-only. Others are pursuing partial reopening options with both online and in-person instruction. Still others are planning to fully reopen for in-person learning.

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Worldwide Pediatric Experts Argue Schools Should Reopen

Several reports published in western countries worldwide argue that children should be returning to in-person classrooms in the fall.

Reports by the top pediatric hospital in Canada and by a leading expert in the British government argue that schools should reopen with relatively few restrictions because of growing evidence that indicates that children appear to be at little risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19.

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AG: Indiana Governor Doesn’t Have the Authority to Issue Mask Mandate

The state legislature, not the governor of Indiana, has the authority to require residents to wear a face covering in public, Attorney General Curtis Hill said in a new opinion.

Gov. Eric Holcomb is requiring that all state residents wear a mask or other face covering in public places effective Monday, July 27.

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Newt Gingrich Commentary: Cheating the Children or Empowering the Parents

The United States is gradually grinding to an educational collapse as the giant bureaucracies and extraordinarily powerful teachers’ unions ignore children and education in pursuit of power.

Many of the wealthiest school systems have decided that they simply will not go back to school this fall. They will offer virtual classes even though the evidence is overwhelming that for younger children virtual classes are dramatically less effective than in person instruction.

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US Supreme Court Denies Nevada Church’s Appeal of Virus Rule

A sharply divided U.S. Supreme Court denied a rural Nevada church’s request late Friday to strike down as unconstitutional a 50-person cap on worship services as part of the state’s ongoing response to the coronavirus.

In a 5-4 decision, the high court refused to grant the request from the Christian church east of Reno to be subjected to the same COVID-19 restrictions in Nevada that allow casinos, restaurants and other businesses to operate at 50% of capacity with proper social distancing.

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Steve Bannon Presents ‘War Room: Pandemic’

An all new LIVE STREAM of War Room: Pandemic starts at 9 a.m. Central Time on Saturday.

Former White House Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon began the daily War Room: Pandemic radio show and podcast on January 25, when news of the virus was just beginning to leak out of China around the Lunar New Year. Bannon and co-hosts bring listeners exclusive analysis and breaking updates from top medical, public health, economic, national security, supply chain and geopolitical experts weekdays from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon ET.

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Sen. Sherrod Brown Proposes a Resolution That Declares ‘Racism’ a Public Health Crisis

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced a resolution along with Sens. Corey Booker (D-New Jersey) and Kamala Harris (D-California) that wants to say “racism” is a public health crisis.

“We will not make progress until we acknowledge and address all of the ways that centuries of racism and oppression have harmed Black and brown Americans,” Brown said. “This resolution is an important step toward recognizing the racial disparities in healthcare that have existed for far too long while also outlining concrete action we can take now to help reverse them.

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White House Drops Payroll Tax Cut After GOP Allies Object

The White House reluctantly dropped its bid to cut Social Security payroll taxes Thursday as Republicans prepared to unveil a $1 trillion COVID-19 rescue package, yielding to opposition to the idea among top Senate allies.

“It won’t be in the base bill,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, speaking on CNBC about the payroll tax cut, killing the idea for now. The cut in the tax that finances Social Security and Medicare has been a major demand of President Donald Trump.

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Study Finds That Full Lockdowns Did Not Reduce Coronavirus Mortality Rate

A study published Tuesday in The Lancet medical journal found that full lockdowns, border closures and high rates of coronavirus testing are not associated with a statistically significant reduction in the total number of critical cases or the virus’s overall mortality rate.

However, the study, which was based on data from the 50 countries with the most reported cases as of May 1, noted that lockdowns and border closures are likely associated with better overall health outcomes, as the measures helped drive down the rate of the virus’s transmission and reduce the load on hospital systems.

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Unemployment Claims Rise for the First Time Since March to 1.4 Million

The Department of Labor reported Thursday that over 1.4 million Americans filed additional claims for unemployment last week, marking the first weekly increase in claims since March.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment had been declining each week before mid-July, but the Thursday report marks the 18th week in a row that unemployment claims have been above one million, CNBC reported.

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Gov. DeWine Orders Nearly Everyone in Ohio to Mask up and Travelers to and from Certain States to Quarantine for Two Weeks

Whether you live in metropolitan Columbus or rural Beaverdam, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine demands that you wear a mask when you step foot outside your door.

DeWine is imposing a statewide mask mandate starting today at 6 p.m. His announcement is available here.

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Ohio in the ‘Yellow Zone’ Accounting to White House Task Force Report

Ohio is in the “yellow zone” for coronavirus cases, according to a White House Coronavirus Task Force report that presents a list of suggested actions.

The July 14 report is available here. The Ohio data begins on Page 246.

The classification means Ohio had between 10 to 100 new cases per 100,000 residents the week before the report was released, and the yellow zone for test positivity, indicating a rate between 5 percent to 10 percent.

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Commentary: Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence

Dr. Carl Sagan was one of the premier scientists when it came to trying to bridge the gap of hard science with general public understanding. In the process, his personal enthusiasm for the wonder of science became evident to all. He also understood that science could be hijacked and that the highest standards of evidence were required when fantastic claims were being made.

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Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet’ Delayed Indefinitely by Virus

Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet,” which had hoped to herald Hollywood’s return to big theatrical releases, has yet again postponed its release due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Warner Bros. said Monday that “Tenet” will not make its August 12 release date. Unlike previous delays, the studio this time didn’t announce a new target for the release of Nolan’s much-anticipated $200 million thriller.

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Guidance for Masks in Schools Varies Widely Across US States

School districts that plan to reopen classrooms in the fall are wrestling with whether to require teachers and students to wear face masks — an issue that has divided urban and rural schools and yielded widely varying guidance.

The divide has also taken on political dimensions in Iowa, among other places, where Democratic-leaning cities like Des Moines and Iowa City have required masks to curb the spread of the coronavirus, while smaller, more conservative communities have left the decision to parents.

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