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7 Things: Another record coronavirus day, Alabama universities requiring masks again, Epstein’s human trafficker found guilty and more …

7. Nancy Worley has passed

  • Nancy Worley, former Secretary of State and Alabama Democratic Party chairwoman, has passed away after weeks of medical treatment. Worley had been receiving treatment at Baptist Medical Center South in Montgomery and had also been placed on life support.
  • Democratic Party chairman State Representative Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa) responded to the news of Worley’s passing, saying, “Ms. Worley was a great and loyal Alabama Democrat who cared deeply about the Alabama Democratic Party and the people of this state. She served the Alabama Democratic Party of decades in various roles…Nancy Worley was a true public servant and a great Democrat with a heart for the people. She will be sorely missed, and we offer our condolences to her friends and family.”

6. Fauci will collect largest government retirement ever

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci is already the highest-paid federal employee, but now he’s on track to collect the largest retirement in the history of the federal government. He’s currently qualified for a $350,000 annual retirement package.
  • Fauci’s yearly salary sits at $434,321, but he has no plans of retiring anytime soon. When last asked if he had considered stepping down, he said, “There’s no way I’m going to walk away from this until we get this under control. I mean, that’s the purpose of what we do. That’s – that’s our mission in life. In the middle of it, I’m not going to walk away.”

5. UNA police officer claiming discrimination

  • A 24-page lawsuit has been filed against the University of North Alabama by a police officer for the school with the claim that she was discriminated against based on her gender. The officer, Shequanda Lee Jenkins has said that the school violated the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Civil Rights Act of 1964 and age discrimination.
  • Jenkins said that in 2018, she was demoted and her pay was cut after having a disagreement with the former police chief. Jenkins applied for two promotions, but she said the job was given to a male officer with less experience each time. In the lawsuit, Jenkins is requesting a promotion, back pay from when her pay was cut in 2018 and reimbursement for other costs.

4. Jeffrey Epstein’s human trafficker found guilty

  • Ghislaine Maxwell has been found guilty on five of six sex trafficking charges after a month of trial. The charges are related to Maxwell luring girls to Jeffery Epstein to be sexually abused, with some of those mentioned in court as young as 14-years-old.
  • The jury deliberated for five days before delivering its verdict, and now Maxwell could face up to 65 years in prison. There were 24 witnesses called throughout the trial, and when the verdict was read, Maxwell gave nearly no reaction. There were pilots who took the stand and mentioned high profile people being flown with Epstein, including former President Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew and former President Donald Trump.

3. One more time — masks don’t work

  • For the first time, health officials are admitting that the cloth mask that most Americans are wearing do very little to stop the transmission of the coronavirus or slow the pandemic. Linsey Marr, a researcher at Virginia Tech stated, “Cloth masks are not going to cut it with omicron.” They are claiming this is different guidance because of the Omicron variant, but it is not.
  • Not only are those in the media finally acknowledging this fact, but government officials are also declaring that cloth masks are not enough. It is expected that the health department in Los Angeles will change its guidelines to state that cloth mask requirements will be replaced by requirements that students wear N95, KN95, KF94 or a surgical mask with a cloth mask. 

2. Auburn and UAB are bringing back mask requirements, needlessly

  • Both Auburn University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) have announced that they will be requiring masks for all students and staff, no matter what their vaccination status is. Auburn has encouraged everyone returning to campus to get a negative coronavirus test first. This is being repeated across the country, in local governments, higher education and K-12.
  • The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa has maintained only masks for those who are unvaccinated. Auburn and UAB have said that this change in mask policy is due to the coronavirus cases surging in Alabama.

1. CDC way overestimated Omicron cases but another record day for new cases

  • In Alabama, there are 5,975 new coronavirus cases and a record high positivity rate among tests of 27%. Nationally, the United States experienced a brand new single-day record for new coronavirus cases (465,670) in the United States. Even with the new cases, the United States is seeing the number of Americans hospitalized is less than half of the peak seen in January of this year and only up 12%. With vaccines, previous infections and weaker infections should keep the number of hospitalizations down.
  • The Omicron variant of the coronavirus still makes up the majority of cases in the country, but not nearly as many as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had previously estimated. The CDC had been estimating that for the week ending on December 18, 73% of cases were Omicron, but the actual percentage was 22.5%. Once again, the estimate remained around 73% for the week ending December 25, but it was 58.6%.