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Gorsuch Refuses to Wear Mask Even Though Other Justices at High-Risk for COVID-19

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Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch has refused to wear a mask during recent court sessions, even though five of his colleagues are at least sixty-seven years old and Justice Sonia Sotomayor has diabetes, a comorbidity that puts her at high-risk for severe COVID-19.

NPR reports that Chief Justice John Roberts is sensitive to Sotomayor’s understandable discomfort sitting around unmasked individuals, so he’s asked court participants to don a mask. All Justices have complied – except Gorsuch.

Gorsuch and Sotomayor sit next to each other on the bench. Last week, she and Justice Stephen Breyer – who is 83 years-old – participated in court activity remotely.

The New York Times writes:

That Gorsuch would resist mask wearing is no surprise. He is a conservative judge with a libertarian streak who has spent his life around Republican politics. In conservative circles, masks have become a symbol of big-government subjugation.

But his decision not to wear one — while the other Republican appointees on the court all were — still felt surprising. The justices usually make an effort to treat one another respectfully. They disagree on the law, sometimes harshly, while maintaining productive and even warm relationships, like the famous friendship between Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Writing in The Washington Post, columnist Ruth Marcus blasted Gorsuch’s breach of common courtesy:

The sad part here is that Gorsuch is more emblem than outlier. The pandemic has brought out the best in some of us, but the worst — the most selfish and irresponsible — in too many others. This “you’re not the boss of me” immaturity has made a difficult period even harder.

Actions that should be understood as minor inconveniences desirable for the greater good have somehow been transformed into intolerable incursions on liberty. Being required to wear a mask has assumed symbolic resonance far in excess of any reasonable objection.

No one is the boss of Justice Gorsuch. Like his colleagues, he had a choice about whether to wear a mask. Unlike them, he chose poorly.

Amid the controversy over Gorsuch’s refusal to wear a mask, court reporter Cristian Farias uncovered this ironic tidbit:

A couple of years ago, Neil Gorsuch wrote a whole book lamenting the loss of civility in public life. In it, he quotes a rule George Washington is said to have learned as a child: “Bedew no man’s face with your spittle, by approaching too near him when you speak.”

One of Gorsuch’s former law clerks, Mike Davis, came to the defense of the Trump nominee on Twitter, writing “Every justice is vaccinated and boosted. Don’t vaccines work? We know cloth masks don’t.”

Writer David Leonhardt responded to that sentiment in his New York Times’s newsletter, calling it “both exaggerated and beside the point.”

Masks, especially medical masks like KN95 and N95 masks, reduce the spread of Covid, studies show. In response to that evidence, the Supreme Court tells lawyers and reporters in the courtroom to wear medical masks.

The effect of masks may not be as large as their advocates sometimes claim, and masks can impede communication. So I recognize that well-meaning people can disagree about when they should be worn. Still, Gorsuch’s lack of a mask inside the courtroom seemed needlessly risky and disdainful of his colleagues.

The post Gorsuch Refuses to Wear Mask Even Though Other Justices at High-Risk for COVID-19 appeared first on News & Guts Media.

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deezil
1 day ago
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Throw the bums out.
Louisville, Kentucky
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A Health Screening Questionnaire for Teachers

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1. Are you a teacher?

Yes

You are cleared to enter the building.

Wait, what? Aren’t you going to ask whether I’ve tested positive for COVID-19 in the past ten days?

2. Have you?

I don’t know, there are four-hour waits at all the testing sites within a thirty-mile radius, and the stores have been completely emptied of rapid home tests.

3. Have you tried Amazon? They advertised an off-brand antigen test for $115 online just minutes ago.

Really? I’m checking right now!

iB-Safe Test? I’ve never heard of it, but it’s the only test kit I’ve seen in weeks. I’m going to order a bunch of these.

Just kidding—they’re sold out.

4. That’s a bummer. Well, have you been exposed to anyone else who’s tested positive?

No. I’ve been home caring for my six-year-old, who’s been quarantined for the past ten days due to an exposure in her class. She’s totally fine, by the way. She’s off playing Nintendo Switch while I write two weeks of sub plans for the disgruntled colleagues stuck covering for me.

Yes, I’ve been exposed a minimum of twenty-two times in the past week since Omicron rampaged through my homeroom, and according to their mask-wearing practices, my students think their face starts below their noses.

Yes, I left my house in the past day, so naturally, I’ve been exposed.

5. Do you have symptoms?

Is fatigue a symptom? Because I am very, very tired.

Seriously. My body is breaking down under the unbearable weight of making kids care about state exams that affect their (and my) future, while also dodging an infectious illness.

Updating Google Classroom with a supplemental curriculum for my remote students has left me with a permanent pulsing headache. Does that count?

6. Let’s be clear: Do you have COVID-19 symptoms?

I almost definitely have COVID, but there’s no way to get tested, so.

You are cleared to enter the building.

I just said I probably have COVID. Why are you letting me in the building?

7. Listen, you are an essential worker. If you don’t show up to monitor the sick kids barking around this festering petri dish, their parents won’t be able to work from home, and the whole system will fall apart. You are childcare, an EMT, psychological triage, and a behavioral therapist, with the body of Tom Berenger from The Substitute, the mind of Dustin Hoffman from Outbreak, and the emotional intelligence of Mr. Rogers. If you leave, you will shatter the fragile social-emotional well-being of our nation’s children. Do you want that on your shoulders? Do you???

No. Of course not.

Jesus. My head is really throbbing.

8. Are you a teacher?

Yes, for now.

Great. You are cleared to enter the building.

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deezil
1 day ago
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McSweeney's flying a little too close to the sun on this one. I'm sure this exact conversation has been had somewhere in our "great" nation.
Louisville, Kentucky
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Web3 Is Going Just Great

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Also from Molly is this wonderful new blog, documenting grift in the world of “Web3”. Here’s one recent gem:

A SolSea-verified NFT project on the Solana blockchain, Doodled Dragons, touted that they would distribute all profits “straight to charities protecting animals on the brink of extinction”. They announced on Twitter that they would be donating $30,000, “our first donation”, to the World Wildlife Fund. Two hours later, they tweeted, “actually. fuck that. our charity will instead now be... my bank account. cya nerds.” They deleted the Twitter account shortly after.

I couldn’t subscribe to this RSS feed fast enough. Good little glossary too.

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deezil
5 days ago
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Louisville, Kentucky
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U.S. Insurers Wasted Millions on Ivermectin for Covid-19, Study Finds

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Researchers analyzing insurance claims data estimate that U.S. insurers have paid tens of millions of dollars for ivermectin as a covid-19 treatment, despite little good evidence that ivermectin does anything to treat or prevent the viral illness. During a single week in August 2021, private and Medicare insurance…

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deezil
6 days ago
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How about we charge those that demanded ivermectin treatments for the full cost of those treatments.
Louisville, Kentucky
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Glenn Beck Has COVID Again: ‘It’s Starting to Go Into My Lungs’

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Glenn Beck is dealing with his second bout of COVID-19 and it’s affecting his lungs, the longtime right-wing media personality said during his radio show Wednesday.

Beck told fellow conservative radio host Mark Levin that he was feeling “great, despite having COVID and seeing the destruction of our country,” according to the Daily Beast

“It’s starting to go into my lungs today and a little disturbing,” Beck said. “I’m on all the medications and treatments and everything else.” He later added, “It’s all good,” while coughing, according to the Daily Beast.

Beck, who is unvaccinated, said on Tucker Carlson’s show last April that he had already contracted and recovered from COVID-19. “I had COVID, my wife had COVID, everybody in my family had it,” Beck said then. “I’m not going to get a vaccination because I’ve already had [COVID].”

But last week, Beck posted a picture of a positive COVID test while also complaining that he was having a hard time getting monoclonal antibody treatments, most of which have been shown to be less effective at treating the Omicron variant.

“My second covid test positive! Crap,” Beck said. “So far it is way different than the first time I had it in Dec ‘20. That time it wiped me out for almost 3 weeks. This time it is just the worst ‘cold’ I have ever had. This is really good news if that becomes the dominant variant and almost the same pattern as the Spanish flu.”

During his show Wednesday, Beck acknowledged that “the monoclonal doesn’t seem to be working for the new strain,” according to the Daily Beast.

While having COVID-19 previously provided some degree of immunity to reinfection for at least some period of time, the emergence of the highly transmissible Omicron variant has changed that. Several hundreds of thousands of people are testing positive every day in the U.S., far more than at any other point during the pandemic—and the new variant is putting a record-breaking number of people in the hospital.  

“I’m not going downhill. I mean, I think I’m feeling better. It’s just getting into my lungs,” Beck said Wednesday. “You will want to avoid that.”

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deezil
7 days ago
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Tots and Pears.
Louisville, Kentucky
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Rachael Rollins, First Black Woman to Be US Attorney in Massachusetts, Faces Racist Threats

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Earlier this week, Rachael Rollins, the former Suffolk County district attorney, was sworn in as the next United States Attorney for Massachusetts, becoming the first Black woman to hold that position in the state. Since then, she has faced racist and violent threats after her confirmation process was questioned by…

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deezil
7 days ago
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The shock and surprise!
Louisville, Kentucky
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