7 Things: Alabama hospitalizations concern medical officials, state legislator seeks to create ‘fair’ shutdown rules, McConnell wants issues addressed with increased stimulus and more …
7. A lot of people are moving to Alabama
- In 47 of the 67 counties across the state, there’s a net gain of out-of-state arrivals moving in. More people are moving to the state every year, and we’ve especially seen this reflected in recent years.
- To no surprise, Tuscaloosa, Madison, Jefferson, Montgomery, Baldwin and Morgan Counties saw some of the biggest growth. As a whole, Alabama has had a net gain of about 25,000 people moving into the state per year from 2014-2018, according to Census data. Mobile County is one of the few counties in the state that had more people move out rather than in.
6. Nashville bomber had cops called on him for making bombs
- The motivations for Nashville suicide bomber Anthony Quinn Warner are still unknown, but Nashville police apparently visited his home 16 months ago after being told he was making bombs in his recreation vehicle.
- Warner’s girlfriend alerted the police, but it appears that nothing was done even though the police were told he “frequently talks about the military and bomb making” and “knows what he is doing and is capable of making a bomb.” The Nashville Police Department says it alerted the FBI to the report after going to his house and knocking on the door several times with no answer.
5. Famous anti-vaxxer cuts line to get vaccinated
- Vice President-elect Kamala Harris was vaccinated this morning, as was her husband. Harris received the Moderna vaccine. She said she wants “to encourage everyone to get the vaccine. It is relatively painless, it happens really quickly. It is safe. This is about saving lives. It’s literally about saving lives. I trust the scientists, and it is the scientists who created and approved this vaccine everyone.”
- Previously, Harris had cast doubt on the vaccine. During the vice presidential debate, Harris said, “If the public health professionals, if Dr. Fauci, if the doctors tell us we should take it, I’ll be the first in line to take it, absolutely. But if Donald Trump tells us we should take it, I’m not taking it.”
4. Possible Conservative Policy Caucus coming to Alabama
- Former State Senator and now Alabama Policy Institute director of policy strategy Phil Williams said that there’s an effort underway to form a group similar to the Freedom Caucus, but likely call it something like the “Conservative Policy Caucus.”
- The objective of the group will be to promote conservative policies in the Alabama Senate. Williams stressed the importance of this in the upcoming legislative session and future. He explained, “[L]ike when you see things like big government spending but no tax cuts, when you see things like whether we are going to reopen our society or we are going to restore the balance of power to the legislature, where the executive branch has done everything this year.”
3. McConnell blocked the quick vote
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has blocked a quick vote on increasing the $600 stimulus checks to $2,000. He did say that they will address President Donald Trump’s request to increase the checks, but there’s been no legitimate commitment from McConnell.
- McConnell brought up that Trump also wants the bill to include election security and Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act due to Facebook and Twitter’s conduct. McConnell said, “Those are the three important subjects the president has linked together. This week the Senate will begin a process to bring these three priorities into focus.”
2. State Rep Kiel: If businesses can open, so can churches
- After seeing how the initial shutdown across Alabama and other states have done, it’s clear that small businesses were impacted far more than big box stores because they were allowed to remain open in most states. Now, State Representative Jamie Kiel (R-Russellville) wants to make sure that shutdown orders are fair for businesses and churches.
- Kiel has prefiled a bill for the upcoming legislative session that would allow if one business can stay open, others can as well, and churches could stay open if businesses are open. Kiel said that in the early stages of the pandemic, there were a lot of “drastic measures taken to avoid COVID.” But he noted that “not all businesses were closed, just those that were deemed nonessential…any small business owner’s business is essential if it is the person that owns it essential to them and their livelihood.”
1. Alabama is getting to a concerning point with hospitalizations
- Currently, Alabama is nearing the top of the list in the country for coronavirus cases per capita and hospitalizations. Director of UAB’s Division of Infectious Diseases Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo said, “Alabama is now experiencing some unenviable records.”
- She detailed that Alabama ranks in at “No. 6 in the nation per capita for coronavirus cases on average over the last seven days and we’re behind the states like California, Arizona, Rhode Island, Oklahoma, Tennessee.” There’s also ongoing concern that the situation will only get worse as cases from Christmas and New Years are diagnosed.