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7 Things: More Americans leave Afghanistan as Biden criticism mounts, free antibody testing is available in Alabama, another school system chooses masking for questionable reasons and more …

7. The Taliban wants to fight climate change

  • The Taliban desperately wants to be taken seriously, so now a senior official with the terrorist regime has said that they want to tackle climate change. The organization is also advocating to be recognized by other nations globally.
  • Specifically, they said they want to be seen “as the legitimate representative government of the people of Afghanistan.” When discussing “coming together to tackle the challenges not only facing us but the entire humanity,” the official said the “challenges ranging from world security and climate change need the collective efforts of all, and cannot be achieved if we exclude or ignore an entire people who have been devastated by imposed wars for the past four decades.”

6. Vaccine mandates continue to be implemented

  • The United States military is now mandating vaccines to all service members, even though 76% of the military has already received at least one shot. Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said they expect full implementation. He advised, “It’s a lawful order. We fully anticipate that our troops are going to follow lawful orders. When you raise your right hand and take that oath, that’s what you agree to do.”
  • Some governors are banning mandates from all entities, Texas’ Greg Abbott is placing a ban on these mandates for government entities, and South Dakota’s Kristi Noem has chosen not to follow suit. Alabama law allows employers to require vaccines to maintain employment. Police unions are pushing back, too.

5. AG Marshall applauds SCOTUS ruling on “Remain in Mexico” policy

  • President Joe Biden has attempted to move away from former President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, but the U.S. Supreme Court has decided that the immigration policy has to be upheld. This will once again require that those who come to the southern border seeking asylum have to stay in Mexico while their request is processed.
  • Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall celebrated the decision by saying that it’s “a win for America’s border security and a stern rebuke to the Biden administration.” He went on to say that the policy “not only served to deter the number of migrants attempting to illegally enter our country, but it also reduced the number of illegal immigrants released into our communities, many of whom fail to show up for their court hearings and remain in our country indefinitely.”

4. Jefferson County Schools will now require masks

  • Due to an increase in coronavirus cases, which have forced more students to quarantine, Jefferson County Schools have decided to require masks for all students and staff in school buildings.
  • Superintendent Walter Gonsoulin has said that their “exclusion numbers” increased from 3% to 10%. The goal with masking is to prevent so many students or teachers from having to quarantine, Gonsoulin explained. He stated, “With universal maskings, students and employees will be notified of possible exposure. However, these individuals will not be excluded from school unless they become symptomatic.”

3. Free antibody testing is available all over Alabama

  • With so much talk of waning vaccine effectiveness, booster shots and natural immunity, testing for antibodies is the one simple way to know if you have immunity from COVID-19. If you get tested for COVID-19 antibodies, you can know exactly where you stand and there are ways to do it for free — cheaper than horse dewormer.
  • LifeSouth is providing antibody testing to all eligible blood donors across the state. Antibody testing can expose natural immunity or show waning vaccine effectiveness, giving us a more accurate look at where we are and who needs the vaccine.

2. U.S. citizens told not to go to the airport in Kabul due to security concerns

  • The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan has notified Americans that they shouldn’t go to the airport in Kabul, saying that there are “security threats outside the gates of Kabul airport.” The embassy statement also says to only go if “you receive individual instructions from a U.S. government representative.”
  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that there are about 1,000-1,500 Americans still in Afghanistan looking for a way out, but those who were on their way to the airport or already at the gates were told to “be aware of their surroundings” and “adjust your plans based on new information.” There is concern that with these developing “security threats” it may become more difficult to evacuate the remaining Americans.

1. Republicans call Biden out for giving in to the Taliban

  • The Taliban has demanded that all U.S. troops leave Afghanistan by August 31, and President Joe Biden has indicated that he’ll fully comply with their wishes. Now, Alabama Republicans are calling Biden out for his weak stance. 
  • U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) said he’s “outraged” to see Biden “take orders from the Taliban” with the date to leave. U.S. Representative Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) had similar comments, adding, “We MUST safely evacuate every American still stranded in Afghanistan.” U.S. Representative Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) called the issue “unbelievable weakness” from Biden.