7 Things: Alabama is last in vaccinations, vaccine passports getting backlash, CDC data shows vaccinated people don’t need masks and more …
7. Economic impact study needed
- With the effort to get an Amtrak Gulf Coast Passenger Rail, U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) has reinforced the importance of an impact study. This would have to be done before the project moves forward more.
- Previously, the impact study was ended prematurely, and it was announced that operation of the rail service from Mobile to New Orleans would start next year. Shelby noted that for the growth of the Port of Mobile, “it is essential that a comprehensive analysis be completed that definitively determines the impact such service would have on existing freight rail service and the Port of Mobile.”
6. Lift the ban on cruises
- As more places are reopening and Alabama is nearing the end of the statewide mask mandate, Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson is now asking that the federal government remove the No Sail Order, which was issued on April 14, 2020, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Stimpson mentioned how the ban on cruises “has had a severe and detrimental impact on the City of Mobile’s economy,” as the Port of Mobile usually sees about 200,000 cruise passengers every year. He added this creates a “generation of gross expenditures…totaling over $12 million.”
5. Senators unnecessarily question Space Command move
- Despite previous statements from officials, a group of U.S. Senators wrote a letter to the Defense Department Acting Inspector General Sean O’Donnell to question if the decision to permanently locate the U.S. Space Command in Huntsville wasn’t political.
- U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper (D-CO) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) were also joined on the letter by U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Deb Fischer (R-NE). After Huntsville was announced for the new location, Hickenlooper and Bennet were quick to say that the decision was political, despite no evidence of that.
4. No coronavirus vaccination requirements for colleges
- The Alabama Community College System joined many colleges around the country and state that have said that they will not require vaccinations for those who will attend community colleges in the state. They do not expect to implement a vaccination requirement for those who attend community colleges in the state. Some four-year schools have announced they will not require the vaccines, but not all of them have made that clear. Some private schools like Oakwood University have not announced decisions yet.
- All of this follows Rutgers University in New Jersey, which announced that any students registered for classes in the fall will have to have received the coronavirus vaccine. The school will only exempt students for religious or medical concerns.
3. Vaccines work, which means no more masks
- As President Joe Biden demands Americans wear masks even after being vaccinated, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky has finally admitted that those who have been fully vaccinated do not carry the virus, according to the data the CDC has available.
- This news was buried behind the far more media and big government-friendly narrative that this same official suggested she feels an “impending doom” and a new surge of coronavirus cases is coming. But Walensky said, “Our data from the CDC today suggests that vaccinated people do not carry the virus, don’t get sick, and that it’s not just in the clinical trials, but it’s also in real-world data.” If framed correctly, this could convince people to get the vaccine, but fear seems to be the long-game here.
2. Vaccine passports catching heat
- President Joe Biden has presented the idea of requiring a vaccine passport for people to travel, work in-person, event entry and restaurants, proving that they’ve received a full round of the coronavirus vaccine. This has caused an understandable backlash.
- Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth (R-AL) has spoken out against the idea, saying, “This is expected in Socialist and totalitarian countries, but they must not stand in a nation founded upon freedom, liberty, and personal responsibility.” State Senator Sam Givhan (R-Huntsville) also said, “[T]hat dog won’t hunt in Alabama.” He expects Governor Kay Ivey (R) to act.
1. Alabama is last in vaccinations
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alabama has administered the least amount of coronavirus vaccine doses per 100,000 people in the country. In Alabama, it’s a rate of 34.6 people per 100 residents, while Mississippi is barely ahead at 35.6 people.
- Assistant State Health Officer Dr. Karen Landers said that the state “had a limited amount of providers, a limited amount of product” early on. She added, “Our trajectory has gone up steadily.” It’s also been noted that reporting to the CDC can be slow, so the way the state is ranked isn’t always accurate to how the state is actually vaccinating.