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7 Things: Biden admits there’s no federal solution to the coronavirus, Mobile County sheriff takes aim at legislators, locals should decide tolls and more …

7. Unruly airline passenger is not Rosa Parks

  • More information is available about a former Playboy playmate and former NFL cheerleader who was arrested after striking and spitting on another passenger during a mask dispute. Apparently, before Patricia Cornwall’s actions were caught on tape, she was asked to wait for the beverage cart to pass and responded by asking, “What am, I Rosa Parks?” Upon hearing this, the male passenger she later struck told her she “isn’t black … this isn’t Alabama and this isn’t a bus,” which set off the confrontation.
  • Believe it or not, this is not the first person on an airline to invoke Rosa Parks recently over masking up. Adam Jenne was wearing thong underwear and a “Let’s Go, Brandon!” T-shirt when he was removed from an airplane before comparing his plight to Parks.

6. Fauci says the United States should have a vaccine requirement for air travel

  • As coronavirus cases rise in the United States due to the Omicron variant, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that the country needs to consider placing a vaccine requirement for those traveling by air domestically.
  • Fauci advised, “When you make vaccination a requirement, that’s another incentive to get more people vaccinated. If you want to do that with domestic flights, I think that’s something that seriously should be considered.”

5. Coronavirus quarantine time cut in half

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shortened the quarantine time for people who have tested positive for the coronavirus again. The quarantine time has now gone from 10 down to five days.
  • According to the CDC, the most infectious period for those with the virus are the few days before and after symptoms begin. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky also spoke about the Omicron variant, saying, “Not all of those cases are going to be severe. In fact, many are going to be asymptomatic. We want to make sure there is a mechanism by which we can safely continue to keep society functioning while following the science.”

4. New coronavirus cases double in Alabama over the last week

  • The seven-day average for new coronavirus cases in Alabama has doubled to 1,750 over the last week, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. This is the highest number of new cases since October.
  • Leading up to Christmas, there were three straight days of over 2,000+ cases, and the positivity rate is now sitting at 18.2% over the last week. This is a 143% increase and the highest number since mid-September. Both that number and the total number of tests being conducted have skyrocketed. Facilities that are doing testing are reporting that people are seeking out tests without symptoms.

3. Brooks and Britt agree that Mobile community should get final say in I-10 toll bridge

  • U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) has joined those saying that the toll situation with the new I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway should be decided by those within the community.
  • Brooks said, “This is predominantly a local issue that is very important to Mobile and Baldwin Counties…I will support whatever it is that the local officials, local community, local citizens come up with as a solution.” U.S. Senate candidate Katie Britt previously spoke out against using tolls and maintained that “local leaders know best, and we need local solutions to problems.”

2. Battle over constitutional carry will pit lawmakers against sheriffs

  • The state legislature could consider a constitutional carry bill in the 2022 legislative session, and State Senator Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa) said that the current permit process is an infringement on people’s Second Amendment rights. He argued, “[Y]ou should not have to pay a fee to fulfill your right as a citizen of the state and country…you shouldn’t have to pay a fee to defend yourself, your family, your properties – and it’s a right.”
  • However, removing the permit process for concealed carry of firearms has also been seen as a threat and risk to public safety. Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran recently raised these concerns, saying he’s putting lawmakers “on notice.” He added they are taking a “grave risk” and “that all law enforcement in this county are opposed” to constitutional carry. Cochran stated, “[T]hey’re going to take a grave risk if they pass this bill and then a police officer or citizens are killed, and we can call it directly back to that thing.”

1. Biden acknowledges the main tenet of his campaign was garbage

  • President Joe Biden has actually sided with many Republican governors on the issue of how to handle the coronavirus pandemic, admitting, “There is no federal solution. This gets solved at the state level.” This came after Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) raised the issue over the potential of federal decisions overstepping states. 
  • However, much of his statement isn’t reflected in Biden’s action since there are still vaccine mandates put in place by the president. Biden did say, “This is not like March of 2020…We’re prepared and we know what it takes to save lives, protect people and keep schools and businesses open. My message to governors is simple. If you need something, say something.” The president also announced that the federal government was using 1,000 medical personnel to take the place of those sidelined by his vaccine mandates.