7 Things: Alabama’s coronavirus liability protection bill key to full reopening, CDC says open up those schools, weed and alcohol bills move forward and more …
7. Coronavirus is fading; Experts are baffled
- New COVID-19 infections are down 45% in the United States and 30% around the world in the last few weeks. But, experts with the World Health Organization are confused about the “phenomenon” and say vaccines are not the main reason.
- But it really isn’t all that baffling. Other coronavirus trends followed a similar path. Vaccinations, which have targeted the most vulnerable, are taking place. Limiting the number of elderly that can be impacted and natural immunity from the virus being more widespread than we thought seem to be playing a role in the numbers going down.
6. MTG apologizes and will still be removed from her committees
- House Republicans met yesterday to decide the fate of two “controversial” figures, U.S. Representatives Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). While both survived challenges to their respective positions, Greene is hardly out of the woods.
- The larger U.S. House, controlled by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), has made it pretty clear that they will vote to remove her from her committee assignments. Meanwhile, the media and their Democrats will continue to imply that all Republicans agree with this one random congresswoman on all things at all times.
5. Biden’s approval rating below 50%
- President Joe Biden has been in office for a couple of weeks, and a new Quinnipiac University survey shows that Biden’s approval rating is at 49% while 36% disapprove of his job performance thus far.
- On Biden’s Inauguration Day, his approval rating was at 54% and disapproval was at 36%, which was the average from national polling. By comparison, when President Barack Obama was sworn in in 2009, his approval rating was in the 60s.
4. Get your alcohol delivered
- The bill sponsored by State Senator Jabo Waggoner (R-Vestavia) that would allow the delivery of beer, wine and liquor to residences has been approved by the Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee.
- The Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board would be in charge of licenses for those who would be approved to deliver alcohol, and there would be limits on amounts for delivery. Alcohol delivery is already legal in about 20 states.
3. Medical marijuana getting hashed out
- State Representative Tim Melson’s (R-Florence) bill, the Compassion Act, has been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. This bill would legalize medical marijuana in some forms.
- In 2020, the same bill was approved by the State Senate, but soon after, the legislature was shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. The bill has specific conditions that qualify people for medical marijuana, and it’s only in the capsule, oil, topical, suppository or lozenge form.
2. Schools can reopen without teachers being vaccinated
- Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the CDC, has said that schools across the country can reopen without teachers being vaccinated. This directly goes against what teachers’ unions have been arguing for, which is demanding that schools not return to in-person instruction until all teachers are vaccinated against the coronavirus.
- Walensky said that vaccination isn’t a “prerequisite” for getting kids back into the classroom safely. Instead, she said it’s more important for masks and social distancing to be the focus. President Joe Biden has said that he’ll get schools reopened within his first 100 days in office.
1. Coronavirus liability protection is a big bill this legislative session
- State Senator Arthur Orr’s (R-Decatur) bill that would protect businesses from frivolous lawsuits related to the coronavirus pandemic has been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in a 9-2 vote.
- The bill doesn’t protect businesses that engage in “wanton, reckless, willful, or intentional misconduct,” but Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro) explained that he’s concerned that this legislation could also protect some “bad actors” instead of just the “good actors.”