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7 Things: Talk of lockdowns returns, 94% of hospitalizations for COVID-19 are unvaccinated, Trump announces big tech lawsuit and more …

7. Law aimed to increase voter participation

  • State Senator Jabbo Waggoner (R-Vestavia Hills) and State Representative Jim Hill (R-Moody) sponsored a bill that changed the schedule for most municipal elections across the state so they’re not on the same schedule as presidential elections. The purpose of this is to increase voter participation.
  • Alabama League of Municipalities executive director Greg Cochran, who supports the bill signed into law by Governor Kay Ivey, said that this “will improve the current process for municipal elections and further strengthen the democratic process by moving municipal elections off the national election cycle.”

6. Tuskegee city councilman attempts to take down Confederate statue

  • The saga of Alabama’s Confederate memorials enters a new chapter as former Tuskegee mayor and current city councilman Johnny Ford has been stopped from using a saw to cut down a Confederate memorial that sits in a city park. He was able to cut one of the legs off before the sheriff stopped him.
  • Ford told the Associated Press that he wanted to take it down because “we can’t have a Confederate statue which represents slavery standing up in the middle of our town.” Sheriff Andre Brunson stopped Ford and another man from damaging the statue further and will file a report with the district attorney and charges could be filed for “destruction of property.”

5. Britt doesn’t support a toll bridge

  • U.S. Senate Candidate Katie Britt said that the I-10 Mobile Bay Bridge cannot be a toll bridge. She also described it as “a federal bottleneck that has been acknowledged as that for years.”
  • Britt acknowledged that something has to be done to improve the bridge and she wants “to find a way to go a different route here” than tolling. The bridge has been the point of discussion for quite some time now, with no clear solution yet.

4. Redstone Arsenal is a national asset — some in Colorado still complaining 

  • Some retired generals are making waves about the decision to move the Air Force’s U.S. Space Command to Alabama. This is the latest attempt to undo the scheduled move to Redstone Arsenal with the claim of political reasons. The Air Force says this wasn’t true, and even President Joe Biden’s acting secretary of the Air Force John Roth said, “I have personally no evidence that the decision was politically motivated.”
  • Redstone Arsenal has recently received some high praise from Vice Chief of Staff of the Army General Joseph Martin when he called it a national asset and said, “Spending just a day here is worth 20 times the amount of time that I could spend being briefed in the Pentagon.” Martin added that Redstone is essential as the “Army couldn’t do its mission without this team here,” and there’s an “impact it has on the Army and the future of the Army.”

3. Trump suing Facebook, Google and Twitter

  • Facebook, Google and Twitter are all involved in a lawsuit now from former President Donald Trump where he is alleging that the companies and their CEOs wrongfully censored Trump when he was banned from the platforms earlier this year.
  • Trump held a press conference to announce the lawsuit, and he said that they’re “demanding an end to the shadow-banning, a stop to the silencing and a stop to the blacklisting, banishing and canceling that you know so well.”

2. Coronavirus hospitalizations are mostly unvaccinated people

  • In Alabama, hospitalizations for the coronavirus have remained low, and while there is growing concerned about the Delta variant, those who are hospitalized are mostly those who are unvaccinated. If you are vaccinated, you probably won’t end up in a hospital.
  • The Alabama Hospital Association has said that 94% of patients in Alabama who are hospitalized with the coronavirus are unvaccinated. There has not been a significant increase in new cases with the Delta variant, but the variant does make up more than 50% of cases nationally.

1. Push for lockdowns and restrictions reignited by Delta variant

  • Due to the spreading of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, there has been a renewed push nationally for the return of masks and restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus. Los Angeles County has already started recommending that people mask indoors. With only 33% of Alabamians fully vaccinated, there has been more concern for a potential “summer surge” that could result in another lockdown.
  • UAB Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo is concerned about the hospitalizations in Alabama, saying that the “rates are increasing exactly as we saw before.” A lot of the talk sounds familiar with claims that health care delivery could be threatened and that we may not actually have an accurate case count since testing rates have declined rapidly.

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