7 Things: Gadsden offering an incentive to get vaccinated, teachers won’t be allowed to break the law in Alabama, Fauci clashes with Rand Paul in pandemic hearing and more …
7. Birmingham won’t use flashbangs or ‘no knock’ warrants
- Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin has announced the completion of the review of the Birmingham Police Department, and one of the goals of the review was to revise policies within the department. This review was started after the death of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, although neither of those deaths was caused by “no-knock searches.”
- Woodfin has said that there will now be a ban on “no-knock search warrants,” and he stated that “all reasonable efforts will be made to knock and announce intentions before entering the property.” Woodfin added that there will also be a ban on “using devices such as flashbangs by police unless the risk assessment specifies their use extreme circumstances call for their use.”
6. It’s only not a super spreader event because they’re Democrats
- So far, six Texas Democrats have tested positive for the coronavirus after their trip to Washington, D.C. while they were blocking a vote on new voter laws in the state. White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked if this is considered a “super-spreader” event.
- Psaki said it’s “not a characterization we’re making here.” She went on to say that the administration’s “message continues to be, ‘thanks for standing up for voting rights.’” Psaki added that the federal government was not considering a mask mandate at this time.
5. Racial slur used at a Tarrant City Council meeting
- Calls for resignation have started for Tarrant City Councilman John “Tommy” Bryant after he used a racial slur during a meeting this week. The Alabama Democratic Party has joined the push for him to resign.
- The meeting was recorded, and Bryant is heard saying, “Do we have a house n—– in here? Do we? Do we?” Gasps can be heard around the room after Bryant uses the slur. Tarrant Mayor Wayman Newton said when asked to comment, “The video speaks for itself.”
4. Daily COVID-19 updates are back
- Daily coronavirus updates from the Alabama Department of Public Health have returned as cases in the state have been increasing for the last two weeks. About 85% of new cases have been the Delta variant.
- Assistant State Health Officer Dr. Karen Landers has urged everyone eligible to get the vaccine “in order to protect themselves and reduce transmission of this severe and deadly virus.” She emphasized that the “vaccine is safe, effective, free, and readily available.”
3. Fauci and Rand Paul clash again
- Another hearing in Congress leads to another confrontation between a respected doctor, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), and a television star, Dr. Anthony Fauci. Fauci was not happy that Paul outlined how he directly led to sending money to the lab in Wuhan, China, where COVID-19 is thought to have originated.
- This argument is predicated on the fact that the National Institute of Health did give money to this Chinese government lab that was doing “gain of function” research while pretending what they were doing did not fit the NIH’s definition of the research, according to the Washington Post’s Josh Rogin who wrote the book, “Chaos Under Heaven.” Fauci says this is a lie and that the National Institute of Health wasn’t involved in “gain of function” research which seems to be predicated on a tortured definition of the term and the NIH’s decision to fund the research.
2. State Rep. Crawford teachers who break the law fired
- State Representative Danny Crawford (R-Athens) has already filed a bill that would fire teachers that teach “certain concepts regarding race or sex, such as critical race theory.” Crawford has said that there isn’t a place for Critical Race Theory in K-12 education, and obviously, teachers shouldn’t be breaking the law after legislators pass them without consequence.
- Crawford questioned, “Why do you need a class? Why do you need a semester of critical race theory?” This referred to how the class is offered at some law schools. He added that “if you’re going to teach one theory, any theory, just have open discussion, but don’t teach it as the truth.”
1. Gadsden is offering a vaccine incentive to residents
- Residents of Gadsden can now receive $100 when they get vaccinated against the coronavirus. There will also be two drawings of $5,000 for every 500 people who get vaccinated in the city. This comes after Governor Kay Ivey said she saw no need for a statewide vaccine incentive.
- The city will use some of the funds they received from the American Rescue Plan’s Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. A spokesman for the city said the plan has been developed over the last several weeks. Residents will only receive their $100 after they’ve been fully vaccinated.