Commentary: New Census Data Show Homeschooling Tripled During the Pandemic—And One Key Group Is Driving the Surge

My daughter had a friend over this week whose parents just took her out of public school for homeschooling, and my neighbor recently unenrolled her child from public school to homeschool for the rest of the academic year. These families are much more than local anecdotes—they are representative of a national trend.

New Census Bureau data show that 11.1 percent of K-12 students are now being independently homeschooled. This is a large uptick from 5.4 percent at the start of the school shutdowns last spring, and 3.3 percent in the years preceding the pandemic.

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Social Media Doesn’t Allow Posts That Break COVID-19 Narratives, Even Though Health Organizations Keep Backtracking Previous Findings

Social media companies have policed coronavirus-related content based on information from top health organizations, even as those organizations have contradicted themselves.

Facebook and Google instituted policies early in the pandemic restricting user content shared on their platforms to information that doesn’t contradict World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) findings. However, the organizations have contradicted, backtracked or retracted their own findings throughout the pandemic.

Facebook’s policy states that the site “will debunk common myths that have been identified by the World Health Organization.” Shortly after coronavirus was declared a pandemic, Facebook announced its “Coronavirus Information Center,” which curates updates from “organizations such as the World Health Organization.”

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Vaccinations Slow After Storms Delay Shipments of 6 Million COVID-19 Doses

The extreme cold weather across much of the country has delayed 6 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, slowing a vaccination rate that has been steadily rising since the Biden administration took office last month.

The backlogged doses account for roughly three days’ of delayed shipments affecting all 50 states, due to road closures, snowed-in workers and power outages, said Andy Slavitt, senior adviser on the White House’s COVID-19 response, during a news conference Friday.

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Harlan Hill Commentary: With ‘Republicans’ Like Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Who Needs Democrats?

by Harlan Hill   Due to their Republican leadership, many great states like Florida are open for business while successfully managing and mitigating the COVID-19 crisis. The same cannot be said for Ohio: you’d be forgiven for mistaking its leadership as Liberal. Ohio is not open, as its Republican-in-name-only Governor…

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Victor Davis Hanson Commentary: If You Thought 2020 Was Hard, Wait Until You Get a Load of 2021

The proper conservative response to last Wednesday’s violent entry into the Capitol and vandalism, as well as assaults on law-enforcement, is to identify the guilty parties and ensure they are arrested.

Such deterrence will prevent any future devolution from legal popular protests into thuggery. No constitutional republic can tolerate its iconic heart stormed, breached, and defiled.

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Dave Portnoy’s ‘Barstool Fund’ Raises $20M, Helps More Than 90 Small Businesses

The Barstool Fund, created by Dave Portnoy, has helped raise more than $20 million, helping nearly 100 small businesses hurt during the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns. Portnoy started the Barstool Fund one month ago with his own $500,000 to help small businesses.

The fundraiser has raised $20,119,270 from more than 156,000 donors and has aided 92 small businesses across the country as of Thursday evening.

Earlier in the day, Portnoy announced his fundraising success on Twitter, but stressed that their mission is far from over.

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Ohio Sees Spike in Drug Overdose Deaths as Pandemic Rages

Nineteen counties in Ohio have exceeded or equaled records for the most overdoses in a year as the nation continues to see a spike in drug overdoses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Harm Reduction Ohio, a drug policy advocacy group which says it is the largest distributor of naloxone in the state, says the biggest increases in death caused by overdoses have occurred in central and east Ohio.

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Tennessee Nurse Who Fainted After Receiving COVID-19 Vaccine Says It Was Due to Underlying Condition

The nurse who appeared to faint after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine in a viral video has recovered, according to a statement issued by her employer. Tiffany Dover, a nurse at CHI Memorial Hospital, reportedly came close to passing out due to a medical condition unrelated to the vaccination.

The hospital also cited information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website, which stated that fainting sometimes occurs after all types of vaccinations.

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Survey: Mental Health Continues to Plummet Amid Pandemic, Hits 20-Year Low

Americans’ mental health has plummeted during the coronavirus pandemic as lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures remain in effect across the country, according to a survey published Monday.

Mental health is worse than any other point in the last two decades, Gallup reported on Monday. A survey conducted by Gallup showed 76% of Americans reported their mental health as either excellent or good, a decline from past surveys in which more than 80% of Americans reported positive mental health.

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Michigan Restaurant Owner Loses Franchise with Big Boy for Breaking Pandemic Restrictions

The owner of a restaurant in Sandusky, Michigan, says it is being “forced to terminate” its contract with the Big Boy franchise over its decision to stay open despite pandemic restrictions. 

A recent order from the state of Michigan has closed indoor restaurant dining in the state from November 18 to December 8. It also closed in-person learning for college and high schools, movie theaters, bowling alleys and arcades. The order additionally cancels group fitness classes and organized sports. 

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DeWine Says He Does Not Want Second Lockdown, Calls for ‘Slow Down’

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said during a press conference on Monday that he is not planning to impose a second full lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus, instead calling for a “slow down” in the state.

Ohio is currently seeing thousands of new cases of COVID-19 each day, with nearly 8,000 new cases added on Monday, according to data from the Covid Tracking Project.

“Instead of shutting down, we have to slow down,” DeWine said at a conference from the Tri-State Airport in West Virginia, according to Fox8. “We have to slow down in our individual lives and our decisions in what we are doing.”

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Fact-Checkers Rate Viral Video Alleging Whitmer Used Health Officials to Block Poll Challengers As ‘Partly False’

Fact-checkers have ruled a viral video “partly false” after it alleged that Governor Gretchen Whitmer sent health officials to bar poll challengers. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) was present during ballot counting at TCF Center on Wednesday.

It is reported that Whitmer sent MDHHS because the 40,000 square foot building was at capacity for COVID-19 restrictions. In the video, the woman stood alone on the second floor of the building. On camera, MDHHS officials were removing and barring entry to poll challengers.

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Commentary: Government Can’t Count Ballots, So How Can It Possibly Manage a Pandemic or Our Health Care?

Elections are a nasty business, but sometimes they can be clarifying.

We don’t yet know who won the US presidential election, and we may not for days or weeks to come. This stems largely from the ineptitude Americans witnessed on Election Tuesday.

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CDC Report Indicates Masks May Increase Chance of Infection with COVID or Other Respiratory Illnesses

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report last month in which the nearly 71 percent of individuals infected with COVID-19 reported “always” wearing their mask. This opposed to the 4 percent of infected individuals who “never” wore masks.
The number of individuals infected with COVID-19 positively correlated with the consistency of mask-wearing. The report didn’t address the possible correlation between face mask hygiene and COVID-19 infection, such as proper handling and disposal of masks. It also didn’t differentiate the respondents’ mask types.

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Commentary: Trump Is Now One with Countless Essential Workers

Joe Biden has redefined mask wearing. It is now the thinking man’s patriotism, what every “scientific” and “refined” mind naturally does.

Biden, the media, and the progressive party all blame the now ill Trump for becoming infected. They accuse the president of becoming sick because he was selfish. You see, he was not always wearing a mask, or not always isolating in social-distancing fashion, or not always staying inside except for essential expeditionary trips.

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Outbreak in the NFL: Three Tennessee Titans Players, Five Personnel Test Positive for COVID-19

The Tennessee Titans suspended in-person activities through Friday after the NFL says three Titans players and five personnel tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the first COVID-19 outbreak of the NFL season in Week 4.

The outbreak threatened to jeopardize the Titans’ game this weekend against the Pittsburgh Steelers and posed the first significant in-season test to the league’s coronavirus protocols.

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Metro Nashville Coronavirus Task Force Chair Dr. Alex Jahangir on July 2: ‘Saturday I Got A Call . . . 30 People Confirmed That Have Tested Positive . . . So This Was Atypical, Right?’

As The Tennessee Star reported on Monday, Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced at a July 2 press conference he was turning the city back to Phase Two from Phase Three, shutting all bars down for 14 days, temporarily shutting down all entertainment and event venues, and reducing restaurant capacity from to 75 percent to 50 percent due to “record numbers” of COVID-19 cases traceable back to bars and restaurants.

Mayor Cooper did not provide any specific details to substantiate his assertion of “record numbers.”

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Commentary: America’s Clown Conference

The latest act in the clown show that is the Big Ten Conference’s postponement of football this fall occurred on Thursday afternoon when Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer green-lighted high school football in the state.
Twitter erupted into paroxysms of hope, and the Internet haruspices crouched down to read the chicken entrails. Might the decision of this control-freak governor, who a little more than a week earlier had expressed glee that the Big Ten was scrubbing football for the fall, augur a reversal of opinion among decision makers in the Upper Midwest and thus a possible revocation of the conference suspension of fall sports?

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Commentary: Trump Takes on the Real Pandemic of ‘Critical Race Theory’

At long last, the president tackles the “critical race theory” infecting the federal workforce.
To be a freedom-loving individual in the year 2020, and to have a proper understanding of modern history and current events, is to be terrifyingly aware of just how much the liberty, prosperity, and stability of America and the free world depend on one thing and one thing alone—namely, the continued physical and intellectual health of a certain preternaturally brave, brilliant, and energetic 74-year-old named Donald Trump.

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Coalition Argues Taxpayer Dollars Should Fund Students, Not Institutions

More than 60 organizations in the U.S. have created a movement – “Yes. Every kid” – promoting policies and funding at a national and local level that focus on the needs of families and students over institutions.

At a time when tens of millions of students face nearly six months without consistent schooling, and while many schools are not reopening, the coalition argues that tax and other dollars should be sent directly to families to determine which educational opportunities are best for them.

“Families have already paid for the ability to access public education” through tax dollars, the coalition says. “Any additional funds should be provided directly to families via grants, stipends, rebates, or other mechanisms designed to help cover the schooling, courses, devices, connectivity, tutoring, socialization, extracurricular activities, and other forms of learning that have been left to parents to pay for.”

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Ohio Senate Discusses Limiting Pandemic Executive Powers, Passes COVID Liability Limits and Federal Relief Funds

The Ohio Senate passed two bills and discussed a third this week that would “check and balance” state executive orders. The two passed bills would limit essential workers’ liability for COVID-19 transmissions and grant $650 million of federal relief funds statewide, respectively.

Senate Bill (SB) 311 aims to install a balance of powers between Congress and Ohio’s Department of Health (DOH) during this and any future pandemics. In an interview with The Ohio Star, Senator Andrew Brenner (R-OH-19) explained the historical rationale behind the bill.

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Governor DeWine Requires Schools to Report K-12 Student COVID Cases to Government

Governor Mike DeWine announced Thursday his order requiring all K-12 schools to report COVID-19 cases to their local health department. Schools must do so within 24 hours of notification of a positive test result from a student, teacher, staff member or coach.

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Interim Director Lance Himes issued the order under DeWine. The order requires each school to appoint a coordinator to report positive cases, and to create a “reopening or pandemic operating plan.” It also requires schools to notify all parents and guardians of case reports. The order did not mention a requirement to tell the staff.

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State Orders Public Colleges and Universities to Create COVID-19 Quarantine Shelters

Ohio will now mandate public colleges and universities to create non-congregate sheltering space for quarantining coronavirus patients.

Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Interim Director Lance Himes issued the order Sunday “to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” alongside Governor Mike DeWine and Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted.

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Coronavirus Worries Force Election Officials to Get Creative

The coronavirus has upended everyday life in ways big and small. What happens when those disruptions overlap with voting? Thousands of state and local election officials across the U.S are sharing ideas and making accommodations to try to ensure that voters and polling places are safe amid an unprecedented pandemic.

Some are finding ways to expand access to voter registration and ballot request forms. Others are testing new products, installing special equipment or scouting outdoor voting locations.

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Trump: Convention Speech Locale is White House or Gettysburg

President Donald Trump said Monday that his acceptance speech for the Republican presidential nomination will be held at either the White House or the Gettysburg battlefield.

The president’s initial hopes for the event to be a four-day promotion for his reelection bid have been steadily constrained by the coronavirus pandemic, culminating in his decision last month to cancel nearly all of the in-person proceedings. In recent weeks, President Trump and his aides have looked for alternatives that would allow him to recreate at least some of the pomp of the event.

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Players Unite in Push to Save College Season, Create Union

Michigan defensive back Hunter Reynolds saw the tweets from Trevor Lawrence and other college football players pushing for the opportunity to play this season despite the pandemic.

Reynolds, one of the organizers behind a players’ rights movement in the Big Ten, didn’t like the way some on social media seemed to be pitting Lawrence’s message against the efforts of #BigTenUnited and #WeAreUnited.

“There was a lot of division,” Reynolds told AP early Monday morning.

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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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Wealthy Donors Pour Millions into Fight over Mail-In Voting

Deep-pocketed and often anonymous donors are pouring over $100 million into an intensifying dispute about whether it should be easier to vote by mail, a fight that could determine President Donald Trump’s fate in the November election.

In the battleground of Wisconsin, cash-strapped cities have received $6.3 million from an organization with ties to left-wing philanthropy to help expand vote by mail. Meanwhile, a well-funded conservative group best known for its focus on judicial appointments is spending heavily to fight cases related to mail-in balloting procedures in court.

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New Durable-Goods Orders Rise Again in June

New orders for durable goods posted a second consecutive month of rebound in June, rising 7.3 percent following a gain of 15.1 percent in May. The two gains followed drops of 18.3 percent in April and 16.7 percent in March. If transportation equipment is excluded, new orders for durable goods increased 3.3 percent in June following a 3.6 percent rise in May. Durable-goods orders had been holding above the $200 billion level since May 2011 before posting sharp declines in March and April (see first chart). New orders for June are back above the $200 billion threshold, totaling $206.9 billion, but are still 21.9 percent below June 2019.

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Democrats Seek Coronavirus Aid Bill Provision to Limit Federal Agents from Patrolling Cities

Senate Democrats are planning to insert a provision in the coronavirus relief bill that would place restrictions on the Trump administration’s ability to send federal agents to help quell protests in cities across the country.

The provision would require federal agents to identify themselves, use marked vehicles and stay on federal property rather than patrol city streets, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday, according to NBC News. Local officials including mayors and governors would need to approve the use of federal agents patrolling streets.

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Movie Theater Owners to Studios: Release the Blockbusters!

by Jack Coyle   NEW YORK, New York (AP) — A long time ago in a pre-COVID universe far, far away, blockbusters opened around the globe simultaneously or nearly so. In 1975, “Jaws” set the blueprint. Concentrate marketing. Open wide. Pack them in. Since then, Hollywood has turned opening weekends into…

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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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Ohio Ends 2020 Fiscal Year with General Tax Revenue Down $1.1 Billion

Ohio concluded the 2020 fiscal year with General Revenue Fund tax revenues of $1.1 billion, or 4.6 percent, below estimates, a clear indication of the impact the COVID-19 restrictions have had on the state.

Tax revenues in June were $50.5 million, or 2.2 percent, below estimate. However, state officials noted that revenues were better than a month earlier when they were 13 percent below expectations.

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Judge Theodore Chuang Rules Women Can Get Abortion Pill Without Doctor Visit

A federal judge agreed Monday to suspend a rule that requires women during the COVID-19 pandemic to visit a hospital, clinic or medical office to obtain an abortion pill.

U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang, an Obama appointee based in Maryland, concluded that the “in-person requirements” for patients seeking medication abortion care impose a “substantial obstacle” to abortion patients and are likely unconstitutional under the circumstances of the pandemic.

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Slow Processing, Lost Markets Mean New Challenges for Livestock Farmers

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on many sectors of the economy and livestock farming is one of them.

Closures of public spaces such as schools, restaurants, bars, and hotels mean decreased demand for meat products. In addition, outbreaks of coronavirus-caused illness at meatpacking plants caused some large operations to shut down temporarily, swamping small mom-and-pop operations that are now booked into spring 2021.

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Students Sue Harvard Citing ‘Subpar Online Learning Options’ During Coronavirus Pandemic

On Wednesday, students sued Harvard University for not refunding tuition and fees after the coronavirus pandemic forced classes online.

This makes Harvard at least the fourth Ivy League school to be targeted for failing to reimburse educational costs, following Brown, Columbia, and Cornell. The school is facing a $5 million federal class-action lawsuit.  Students chose to pursue legal action as a result of not having “received the benefit of in-person instruction or equivalent access to university facilities and services.” 

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Ohio Dems ‘Outraged’ by Gov. DeWine’s Plan to Address COVID-19 Racial Disparities: ‘Too Little, Too Late’

Ohio Democrats said they were “outraged” by Gov. Mike DeWine’s proposal for addressing the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Ohio’s black population.

African Americans make up 14 percent of Ohio’s population, but represent 26 percent of positive COVID-19 cases, 31 percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations, and 17 percent of COVID-19 deaths.

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Commentary: COVID-19 Proves America Needs Economic Nationalism

by Spencer P. Morrison   Reports of a deadly new virus began trickling out of China in December. The infection spread rapidly. By March 12, the World Health Organization deemed COVID-19 a global pandemic. The next day President Trump declared COVID-19 a “national emergency” that would require the “full power…

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90 Percent of Ohio’s Economy Expected to Reopen This Week

An estimated 90 percent of Ohio’s economy will be reopened by the end of the week under Gov. Mike DeWine’s “Responsible Restart Ohio Plan.”

Since May 1, the healthcare industry has been able to perform all medically necessary procedures that do not require an overnight stay, such as routine check-ups, outpatient surgeries, imaging procedures, and diagnostic tests.

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Over Half of US Counties Have Had No COVID-19 Deaths

With many state and local governments starting to relax stay-at-home orders, it’s instructive to examine just how concentrated the spread of COVID-19 has been in the U.S.

Although all U.S. states have reported cases of COVID-19, the distribution of the cases and deaths has remained heavily concentrated in a small number of states, and among a small number of counties within all states.

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Chinese State Media Attacks Steve Bannon After Calling CCP ‘Enemies of All Mankind’

The propaganda arms of the Chinese Communist Party have set their sights on Steve Bannon, a former White House chief strategist and vocal critic of China’s Communist regime.

Bannon now hosts a popular radio show called “War Room: Pandemic” and has dedicated numerous segments and even whole shows to exposing the evils of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

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CBS News Accused of Staging COVID-19 Testing Line in Michigan

A CBS News crew pulled medical professionals off the floor at the Cherry Medical Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and asked them to line up their vehicles outside a COVID-19 drive-through testing site, a new report from Project Veritas claims.

James O’Keefe, the founder and CEO of Project Veritas, said an insider “witnessed the whole thing and came to Project Veritas because he knew we would protect him.”

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