EDITORS' BLOG
Getting Out the Checklist

TPM Reader JL walks us through the data points …

1. The ferocity of the upsurge, at least as measured by new cases has taken me aback to a large degree. Ashish Jha and Scott Gottlieb are my go to sources and I don’t think they expected to see this kind of upsurge in cases.

2. That said, I think you put your finger the other day on a key issue, i.e., that it’s really hard to know how we should be measuring cases among the vaccinated. The line between mild/asymptomatic and the antibodies did exactly what they were supposed to do but there’s enough Covid particles for a positive PCR test is not just blurry but almost impossible to define.

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Behavior Matters Too

Differential vaccine uptake is clearly playing a dominant in COVID severity across the country. But I also think behavior – including but not limited to masks – is playing a bigger role that some imagine. From TPM Reader RS

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Give This A Look

I wanted to bring this story by Josh Kovensky to your attention.

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Where Things Stand: Half Of House GOPers Are Fueling Vax Skepticism
Prime Membership Required

Some are staying silent. Others think it’s none of your business. A handful are shamelessly promoting anti-vax rhetoric.

Half of House Republicans will not share their vaccination status, or openly refuse to get the shot.

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The Great Vax Switcheroo Hits the States

According to Brett Kelman, health care reporter for The Tennessean, the state of Tennessee has completely reversed its decision to discontinue near all forms of adolescent vaccine advocacy. “We put a pause on many things, and then we have resumed all of those,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey. This decision was a huge story little more than a week ago. Now it’s being completely reversed.

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Back To This

I thought I was done with poring over COVID case data. Things change.

I took a look at what is happening in the US on a state by state basis. It’s stunning to see. The best metric for prevalence of COVID is number of cases adjusted for population. Specifically, I’m looking at the number of new cases over a seven day period per 100,000 residents. Through this prism the crisis is overwhelmingly concentrated in three contiguous states along the Mississippi River: Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana. Plus Florida.

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Where Things Stand: Garland Makes DOJ-White House Split Official
Prime Membership Required

The Justice Department and the White House have been seeking to put some distance between each other since President Biden first took office. But Attorney General Merrick Garland made it official on Wednesday.

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Biden Namechecks Fox Vax Switcheroo

Even Joe noticed …

Watch The New Episode Of The Josh Marshall Podcast: Pelosi’s Veto

A new episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast is now live! This week, while discussing the fate of the bipartisan infrastructure package, Josh and Kate react in real-time to the news that Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected some of Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s picks for the Jan. 6 committee.

Watch below and email us your theme song submissions and questions for next week’s episode.

You can listen to the new episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast here.

NYPD Lags on Vaccines

Interesting and disappointing news that the NYPD uniformed and civilian workforce significantly lags the city’s rate of vaccination. An NYPD spokesperson told the New York Post that 43% of the agency’s workforce has been vaccinated. The city’s rate is 53%. Obviously not all city cops live in New York City. But the vaccination rate in the state overall is even higher – 56%.

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| News

A far-right sheriff in rural Michigan has sent a private investigator and a deputy sheriff on a tedious journey from township to township, grilling clerks about their election processes in an apparent attempt to dig up non-existent evidence of election crimes.

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| Muckraker

“Who killed Ashli Babbitt?”

It’s a question that, in recent weeks, has become a mainstream rallying cry among the MAGA crew after growing in volume for months on the far-right fringes. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) has asked it repeatedly, as has former President Donald Trump himself.

But the thing is, they think they already know.

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Since President Joe Biden first ascended to office flanked by the barest effective Senate majority — an evenly split chamber and Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote — one Senate rule has earned more ink than any other: the filibuster. In its current form, the filibuster demands 60 votes to proceed to debate on most legislation.

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| Prime

Sometimes, in politics, an evocative piece of imagery sticks and becomes something of a meme. “Democrats in disarray.” “Shattering the glass ceiling.” “Drain the swamp.” 

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