7 Things: Impeachment trial wrapping up, Fauci says ‘open season’ on vaccines in April, more casinos possible in Marsh’s gambling proposal and more …
7. Alcohol delivery is one step closer
- The Alabama Senate has passed the bill that would legalize home delivery of alcohol through grocery delivery services and other approved retailers.
- A companion bill has already been approved by the House Judiciary Committee. Now it just has to pass a vote by the House. Amendments to increase the amount of alcohol allowed and requiring background checks for those who deliver the alcohol were also added to the bill.
6. Biden administration now wants a travel ban on … Florida?
- When then-President Donald Trump started implementing a travel ban on China and Europe, now-President Joe Biden called them “racist” and “xenophobic,” but now he has people in his orbit suggesting a travel ban to Florida after a COVID-19 mutation was found in the state.
- The domestic travel ban would include California and some other states, but it would be impossible to enforce and be unconstitutional. After criticism from Florida, the Biden administration backed down from the plan saying that “no specific decisions are under consideration.”
5. Cuomo’s executive order killed thousands, and he got an Emmy for it
- Award-winning New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) is finally facing scrutiny from his allies in the media for a decision he made earlier on in the pandemic to return 9,056 actively sick individuals to nursing homes, which led to the deaths of thousands in those facilities. A Cuomo aide now says the governor hid this information from the public and the Department of Justice.
- The brother of CNN’s Chris Cuomo has been treated as a superstar during the coronavirus pandemic, but he made this decision in spite of options on the table that could have been used. This includes New York City’s Jacob Javits Convention Center, which had been set up as a makeshift hospital and the USS Comfort military hospital ship that was sent to the city.
4. Alabama Legislature approves protection for businesses
- The bill that would provide businesses with protection against frivolous lawsuits related to the coronavirus pandemic is going to Governor Kay Ivey’s desk to be signed after it was passed by the legislature on Thursday.
- In addition to businesses, schools, churches and health care providers would be protected. This doesn’t protect businesses that are negligent. Ivey has previously said this was a top priority.
3. More casinos possible under State Sen. Del Marsh’s gambling proposal
- It appears that most of the discussion in the Alabama Legislature surrounding the gambling proposal by State Senator Del Marsh (R-Anniston) is predicated on creating more opportunities for gambling rather than opposing the bill outright. Marsh says he is open to a state gaming commission that could approve two additional casinos.
- The proposal as is could generate $454 million to $672 million tax revenue. This includes $194 million to $279 million from lottery, $260 million to $393 million from casinos. Casinos would pay a 20% tax earnings plus various licensing fees.
2. Vaccines for everyone by April
- Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that “open season” for coronavirus vaccines being available to everyone should happen by April. He’s said this will be possible because of supply increasing over the next couple of months.
- Fauci added that delivery of all these vaccines will actually take “several more months,” but he is predicting herd immunity by late summer.
1. Democrats done, GOP offer defense as impeachment trial nears end
- In the U.S. Senate impeachment trial against former President Donald Trump, Democrats have rested their case, but impeachment managers did so by bringing up statements from those who rioted at the U.S. Capitol. One rioter was on video at the Capitol yelling, “We were invited by the president of the United States.” Oher video had rioters saying, “We’re fighting for Trump!” and, “He’ll be happy.”
- The case laid out by Democrats does not prove Trump incited violence. It relies on emotions provoked by vivid imagery, so there will not be a conviction. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) stated, “I think they did a good job. I don’t believe the facts are largely in dispute about what happened that day. He added, “[T]he fundamental question for me, and I don’t know about everybody else, is whether an impeachment trial is appropriate for someone who is no longer in office.”