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7 Things: Ivey ready to oppose Biden’s COVID-19 strategy, the pandemic crushed Alabama students, Tuberville wants Afghanistan hearings and more …

7. DOJ suing Texas over abortion ban

  • U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has announced that the Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against Texas due to their abortion ban, which makes the practice illegal once there’s a heartbeat. Garland said that the law is unconstitutional.
  • One of the issues Garland brought up is how the law “deputizes all private citizens, without any showing of personal connection or injury, to serve as bounty hunters, authorized to recover at least $10,000 per claim from individuals who facilitate a woman’s exercise of her constitutional rights.” In his remarks, Garland was referring to the reporting system that Texas established that allows citizens to report women for getting illegal abortions and doctors for providing illegal abortions.

6. Immunocompromised people continue to be hit hard by COVID-19

  • UAB Hospital has released information on the patients they are currently treating for the coronavirus, and they’ve clarified that a “vast majority” of the patients that are vaccinated and have the coronavirus are also immunocompromised.
  • According to the hospital, 65% of the patients are immunocompromised, but vaccinated patients make up only about 10% of those being treated at the hospital for the virus. The hospital used these figures to reiterate how important it is to be vaccinated.

5. Carl believes Fauci has been financially motivated

  • U.S. Representative Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) believes Dr. Anthony Fauci has made decisions throughout the pandemic due to financial motivation. Carl said part of his belief is due to the constantly changing guidance from Fauci.
  • Carl said there is “no doubt in my mind” that Fauci’s guidance is somehow financially tied. He added, “It’s got to be financially related. I still believe that, and I’ll go to my grave believing that.” He offered no evidence or serious allegation beyond this hunch.

4. Tuberville wants to see hearings on Afghanistan

  • In the Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) called for hearings on removing troops from Afghanistan and the issues that came with withdrawing military presence.
  • Tuberville and other Republicans from the committee sent a letter to committee chairman Jack Reed (D-RI), and they’ve requested that there be testimony given by military leaders relating to the withdrawal. The letter says it’s “necessary for Congress to examine the manner in which our military mission ended in Afghanistan.”

3. Alabama test scores are in, and they’re not looking great

  • It was expected that test scores for the Alabama Comprehensive Assessment Program would decline since 2019 due to the pandemic and challenges students have been subjected to. These numbers could also provide an outlook on how many students could be held back next year due to the Alabama Literacy Act. Many will be held back because learning has obviously been negatively impacted.
  • This year, only 43% of second-grade students in the state were graded as proficient in English Language Arts, but the detailed reports on the reading portion won’t be available until next month. There was varied participation among districts, but 93% of students in the state took the test. For the English Language Arts test, fourth and eighth-grade students had the highest proficiency rate with 52%; on the math portion, second-graders scored the highest with 34% being proficient; in science, eighth-graders had the highest proficiency rate at 39%.

2. Biden has taken vaccine mandates to the extreme

  • President Joe Biden has announced his plans to get everyone in the United States vaccinated, and he’s going to use the Department of Labor to require every company that has 100 or more employees to require their employees to get vaccinated or be tested for the coronavirus once a week. There have already been arguments made about the constitutionality of the order.
  • This mandate alone will impact 80 million people. Biden will also sign an executive order requiring all federal employees and contractors to get vaccinated, and there isn’t an option to get tested regularly instead. During his announcement, Biden blamed the unvaccinated for the pandemic continuing and expressed frustration with the continuing pandemic. However, Biden has already been criticized for expressing this anger toward United States citizens while just last week he was shrugging off the conduct of the Taliban.

1. Ivey says Alabama will not get out of the way

  • Part of Joe Biden’s plan to convince people to get vaccinated came with an implicit threat towards any governors who might object to his over-reaching plan. Biden warned, “If these governors won’t help, I will use my powers as president and get them out of the way.” Governors seem prepared to stand in the way, setting up a showdown.
  • Alabama Governor Kay Ivey heard these words and responded on Twitter, saying, “Bring it on. Washington won’t be telling Alabama what to do.” She expounded with an official statement declaring, “Alabamians have stepped up by rolling up their sleeves to get the COVID-19 vaccine, increasing our doses administered significantly in recent weeks. We have done so without mandates from Washington D.C. or Montgomery. I’ve made it abundantly clear: I support the science and encourage folks taking the vaccine. However, I am absolutely against a government mandate on the vaccine, which is why I signed the vaccine passport ban into law here in Alabama. This is not the role of the government.”