Texas Governor Greg Abbott Sues Biden Administration over National Guard Vaccine Requirement

On Tuesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas) filed a lawsuit against the administration of Joe Biden over the federal vaccine requirement for members of the National Guard.

As reported by CNN, Abbott’s lawsuit declares that the vaccine mandate for the Texas National Guard infringes on “Governor Abbott’s authority as Commander in Chief and on Texas’s sovereignty,” and that “it is unlawful for Defendants to attempt to override the Governor’s authority to govern his troops, and then leave him to deal with the harms that they leave in their wake.”

The lawsuit is in response to a policy implemented by an August memorandum from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, declaring that all members of the American military must be vaccinated or else face discharge. Austin declared that the mandate would include non-federalized National Guard members, such as state National Guards, and that any states that defied the mandate would face a funding freeze or see members be prohibited from engaging in military duties.

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Ohio State University Medical Center Opens Drive-Thru COVID Testing Site

COVID Vaccine Parking sign

Ohio State University along with CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society, teamed up to open a new drive-thru COVID-19 testing facility capable of administering 1000 tests per day to students at the school.

“We know that testing is an important tool in our battle against COVID-19,” said Dr. Andrew Thomas, interim co-leader and chief clinical officer at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center said in a press release. “We remain committed to supporting the central Ohio community and to meeting the increased demand for COVID-19 testing. At this point, our focus is testing individuals with COVID-19 symptoms and those with significant exposures to people known to have COVID-19. Knowing your COVID status can help prevent you from spreading this virus to family members, friends and others you come in close contact with.”

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Federal Judge Upholds Vaccine Mandate for Oklahoma National Guard

On Tuesday, a district court judge ruled against the state of Oklahoma in its effort to block the coronavirus vaccine mandate for members of the state’s National Guard, The Hill reports.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot explained his reasoning in a 29-page ruling, in which he rejected a motion filed by Governor Kevin Stitt (R-Okla.) and Attorney General John O’Connor (R-Okla.) to indefinitely block the mandate; Judge Friot claimed that the plaintiffs’ claim was “without merit.”

“The court is required to decide this case on the basis of federal law, not common sense,” said Friot in his ruling. “But, either way, the result would be the same. The claims asserted by the Governor and his co-plaintiffs are without merit.”

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Ohio National Guard Called to Help with Hospital Staffing Shortages

Military men in uniform, on the steps of the National Mall in Washington D.C.

More than 1,000 Ohio National Guard members began working in hospitals across the state Monday to help combat what Gov. Mike DeWine called a growing strain caused by the rising number of COVID-19 hospitalizations.

The Ohio Department of Health also has begun working with a staffing company to bring more nurses and other providers from out of state to help ease pressure on current hospital staffs as the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 has reached its highest level of the year.

“While the staff will be concentrated in the places where they are most needed, the entire state will feel relief as the arrangement supports the coordination of patient care that has been happening really since the beginning of this pandemic,” DeWine said at a news conference.

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Five Governors Request Defense Department Withdraw Vaccine Mandate for National Guard

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is joining four other state governors in requesting the Department of Defense withdraw vaccine mandate directives to National Guard members in Title 32 duty status.

U.S. National Guard members’ deadline to be vaccinated was Dec. 2. Nearly 50,000 military members across all branches have declined to get vaccinated, Reynolds’ office’s news release said.

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Oklahoma Files Lawsuit to Seek Exemption from Vaccine Mandate for National Guard

National Guard on duty securing the Capitol building ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration.

On Thursday, the state of Oklahoma filed a lawsuit to exempt members of the state’s National Guard from the nationwide coronavirus vaccine mandate, The Hill reports.

The suit, filed in federal court by Governor Kevin Stitt (R-Okla.) and Attorney General John O’Connor (R-Okla.), names Joe Biden and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin as defendants. The suit requests that the courts declare the national vaccine mandate for all members of the armed services to be unconstitutional, and thus enjoin the federal government from enforcing it on the Oklahoma National Guard; the suit also seeks to prevent the federal government from imposing its penalty for refusal to comply, which would include withholding federal funds from the state’s National Guard.

“This mandate ensures that many Oklahoma National Guard members will simply quit instead of getting a vaccine,” the suit reads in part, “a situation that will irreparably harm Oklahomans’ safety and security.”

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Pentagon Didn’t Delay Sending Guardsmen to Capitol on January 6th, Report Conflicts with Pelosi Narrative

The Pentagon responded appropriately and in a timely fashion to urgent requests for National Guard assistance on the day of the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, according to a Defense Department inspector general report released Wednesday.

“We also determined that DoD officials did not delay or obstruct the DoD’s response,” reads the report.

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Texas Republicans Sound Off On Biden’s ‘Pathetic’ Claim That He’s Too Busy to Visit the Border

Texas Republicans described President Joe Biden’s immigration policies as reckless and criticized him for claiming that he has been too busy to visit the southern border since taking office in January.

Biden said Thursday night that he “should go down [to visit the border] but the whole point of it is I haven’t had a whole hell of a lot of time to,” during a CNN town hall. The last time Biden was near the border was when he flew into an airport in El Paso, Texas, where his motorcade took him to New Mexico for a campaign event in 2008, according to The Washington Post.

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Orchestrated Crisis to Bring Tens of Thousands of People to Southern Border in Coming Weeks

LAREDO, TEXAS – U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehended another large number of individuals inside a tractor-trailer during a failed human smuggling attempt in north Laredo, for the second time this week. The event occurred on the evening of July 13, when a tractor hauling a white trailer approached the U.S. Highway 83 checkpoint. During an immigration inspection of the driver and passenger, both U.S. citizens, the driver readily admitted that there were people inside the trailer. Upon opening the trailer, agents found 35 individuals who were illegally in the United States from the countries of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. The inside trailer temperature was recorded at 126.1 degrees Fahrenheit at the time the individuals were discovered. All were evaluated and offered medical attention by a Border Patrol emergency medical technician. All subjects were placed under arrest, to include the U.S. citizen driver and passenger, pending further investigation by Homeland Security Investigations Special Agents. Despite the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, smugglers continue to endanger the lives of individuals they exploit and the health and safety of our Nation. U.S. Border Patrol agents strive to prevent the flow of illegal immigration and slow the spread of COVID-19. Photo provided by: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Tens of thousands of migrants from other countries are making their way north to the southern border, an open border activist and government officials warn.

Irineo Mujica, Director of Pueblo Sin Fronteras, an NGO that provides “shelter and safety to migrants and refugees in transit” and accompanies them “in their journey,” says a new Haitian caravan is making its way to the U.S. border from Tapachula, Mexico.

He also says 800 Haitians and Central Americans are crossing the Guatemalan border every day making their way north.

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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Other GOP Governors to Gather at Border to Pressure Biden on Illegal Immigration

Republican Govs. Greg Abbott of Texas and Doug Ducey of Arizona are hosting nine governors in Mission, Texas, Wednesday to denounce President Joe Biden’s policies leading to a surge in illegal immigration at the southern border.

“Texas and Arizona have stepped up to secure the border in the federal government’s absence, and now the Emergency Management Assistance Compact gives your state a chance to stand strong with us,” Ducey and Abbott said in a joint statement this summer. Both governors issued disaster and emergency declarations in their states earlier this year, citing increased crime and financial strains on county governments and law enforcement because of the surge in illegal immigration due to Biden’s policies.

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Senate Passes Bill to Fund Capitol Police, National Guard, Resettlement of Afghans Who Helped U.S. Troops

A $2.1 billion bill to fund the Capitol Police, National Guard and resettlement of Afghans who helped U.S. troops sailed through the Senate Thursday afternoon on a 98-0 vote.

The bill was brokered by Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy and Alabama Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, the two top lawmakers on the Senate Appropriations Committee. The deal, which also provides funding for COVID-19-related measures around the Capitol complex, was reached amid reports that the Capitol Police was set to run out of money in the coming weeks.

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National Guard Scheduled to Leave Capitol Five Months After January 6 Riot

National Guard troops are slated to decamp from Capitol Hill this week, nearly five months after thousands were deployed to safeguard Congress amid fears of further unrest after the violent Jan. 6 insurrection.

Personnel will fully depart the U.S. Capitol grounds this week, military officials and congressional aides said Monday, nearly five months after thousands were deployed to safeguard Congress allegedly over fears of unrest after the Jan. 6 reported “attempted insurrection” by former President Trump supporters, Politico reported.

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Officer Identified, Looting Met with Heavy National Guard Presence in Brooklyn Center

Riot with police officers

The Brooklyn Center police officer responsible for shooting 20-year-old Daunte Wright was identified Monday evening as agitators surrounded the local police station for a second straight night.

According to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, officer Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran of the force, fired the fatal shot in Sunday’s incident. She is currently on administrative leave and a decision regarding her future with the Brooklyn Center Police Department is expected Tuesday.

Potter mistakenly drew her handgun instead of her Taser when Wright resisted arrest, according to partial body camera video released Monday.

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Bipartisan House Leaders Say National Guard Presence at Capitol Is Unwarranted

The Democratic and Republican leaders of the House Armed Services Committee called the current National Guard deployment on Capitol Hill unwarranted.

Democratic Rep. Adam Smith and Republican Rep. Mike Rogers, the committee’s respective chairman and ranking member, asked the Department of Defense to implement a “measured drawdown” of the guardsmen stationed at the Capitol in a joint statement Thursday.

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National Guard General Opposed Keeping Troops in DC, Overruled by Austin

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin reportedly overruled a memo from the commanding general of the National Guard who objected to keeping troops in D.C., according to Fox News.

The memo, written by Gen. Daniel Hokanson, was disseminated among the White House National Security Council last week and cited concerns over the National Guard already being overburdened with coronavirus issues, civil disturbances and wildfires, according to a report from Fox News.

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Pentagon Reportedly Reviewing Request for National Guard to Remain at U.S. Capitol for 60 Additional Days

The Pentagon is reviewing a Capitol Police request for the National Guard to remain stationed at the US Capitol for an additional two months, citing concerns about security and potential violence, defense officials told the Associated Press.

The National Guard was stationed at the Capitol following the violent breach Jan. 6 where five people died, the AP reported. Law enforcement has remained on high alert at the Capitol since Thursday after intelligence operatives uncovered a “potential plot” by far-right militia groups to storm the building.

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Pentagon Estimates D.C. Security Costs at Nearly $1 Billion by March 15

The Defense Department estimates the National Guard deployment at the Capitol through March 15 will cost nearly $483 million, in addition to $500 million it has already spent, Fox News reported Monday.

Approximately 26,000 National Guard troops from across the country were sent to Washington D.C. after the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. The number has gradually reduced, however there are still more than 7,000 troops guarding the Capitol building with plans to gradually decrease its presence through the end of March, to fewer than 3,000 troops, according to Fox News.

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Guard Troops Forced to Leave Capitol Building, Rest in Parking Garage Sparks Bipartisan Outrage

Thousands of National Guard troops protecting the Capitol Hill complex during inauguration week were temporarily forced Thursday night to leave the buildings, sparking outrage among the troops and Congress.

“Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer – why are American troops who are tasked with keeping security at the Capitol being forced to sleep in a parking lot? They deserve to be treated with respect, and we deserve answers,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, in a tweet, asked the two leaders of the Democrat-controlled Congress.

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Multiple Agencies Will Participate in Inauguration Security Including the FBI and CBP

Several agencies are participating in the U.S. Secret Service’s security protections around the inauguration in Washington, D.C., including the FBI and Customs and Border Protection.

The Metropolitan Police Department and the National Guard will join the FBI and Customs and Border Protection to participate in security efforts surrounding President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20. FBI officials are investigating a substantial number of “concerning” comments online about potential events on and leading up to inauguration day, FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a briefing on Thursday.

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Trump Campaign Discusses Biden’s Hands-Off Approach to Violent Rioters

President Donald Trump’s campaign issued a statement addressing Joe Biden’s reluctance to take on violent leftist rioters.

“Joe Biden just yesterday indicated he would not send the National Guard into cities and states where left-wing mobs are rioting – in Portland’s case, for more than three months. Last month he issued a written statement specifically about Portland, in which he called the rioters ‘peaceful protestors’ and accused federal law enforcement officers of ‘stoking the fires of division’ while the mob was literally setting fire to the federal courthouse. …”

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Gov. Evers Doubles National Guard Presence in Kenosha to 500 as Shooting Suspect Faces Murder Charge

There will be more Wisconsin National Guard troops in Kenosha, but not nearly as many as local leaders have requested. 

Gov. Tony Evers on Wednesday doubled the number of troops he’s sending to Kenosha to 500 to help police officers trying to quell riots and looting in the wake of the Sunday shooting of a Black man by police officers. 

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A City in Ruins: Three Nights of Riots Leave South Minneapolis Looking Like War Zone

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota – Three consecutive nights of rioting in response to the alleged murder of an unarmed black man at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer have left stretches of the city in ruins, producing scenes most accurately described as a war zone.

Officer Derek Chauvin, the man filmed pressing his knee into the neck of a handcuffed George Floyd, was arrested Friday on charges of murder and manslaughter. He and three colleagues involved in the incident were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department Tuesday.

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Gov. Walz Activates National Guard in Response to Minneapolis Riots, Declares Emergency

Gov. Tim Walz announced Thursday afternoon that he has signed an executive order activating the Minnesota National Guard to help respond to the riots in Minneapolis.

Wednesday night’s riots were marked by widespread looting, vandalism, and arson, leaving portions of south Minneapolis in ruins. In one case, a construction site being developed for low-income housing was set ablaze early Thursday morning and collapsed into the street below it as rioters cheered.

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Dave Yost Joins Amicus Brief to Protect National Guardsmen from Employment Discrimination

  Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost recently announced that he has joined 23 states in filing an amicus brief to protect members of the National Guard from employment discrimination. The amicus brief was filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. It was filed in response…

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