Delta variant, Louisiana doctors, slowly cracking vaccine resistance
Head pharmacist Floyd Talley was at the center of the action, one minute donning full protective gear to carry out nasal swabs in the parking lot. The next, he was back in his white jacket, fielding questions from moms about possible COVID symptoms their children displayed.
“There is a huge uptick in the request for vaccines,” Talley said. “We’re back almost to how we were when the vaccine first came out.”
For G.O.P., Infrastructure Bill Is a Chance to Inch Away From Trump
The former president’s efforts to bring down the bipartisan deal fell mostly on deaf ears among Republicans, signaling his waning influence on Capitol Hill. Can it last?
“I think they take their jobs more seriously than he ever took his,” said Republican strategist Scott Jennings, a former top campaign aide to Mr. McConnell, explaining why senators in his party were not swayed by Mr. Trump’s latest attacks.
Mr. Jennings said their motivation was not so much defying the former president as trying to undercut Democrats’ argument in favor of eliminating the filibuster — namely, that the G.O.P. is a party of unreasonable and irresponsible acolytes of Mr. Trump who will reflexively reject any proposal that Democrats support. (Mr. McConnell is particularly insistent on preserving the rule setting a 60-vote threshold to advance legislation.)
Natalie Shure/In These Times:
Nina Turner’s Loss Holds Lessons for Future Left Candidates
A flood of dark money and establishment opposition helped sink Turner’s campaign—but progressive challengers can still win if they learn from the defeat while running on a redistributive platform.
There’s a reason that the Democratic Party antagonism played well enough with voters to matter, and it presents a messaging challenge for the insurgent Left. Cuss words aside, Turner had a point: Democrats do overlap with Republicans in key ways that help explain the persistent inequality upon which Turner and other left-wing politicians have built their redistributive platforms. If the Republicans have lurched so far to the right that the Democrats can’t help but look better by comparison, the unfortunate fact is that both parties are captured by the same well-heeled corporate donor base, and generally prioritize the interests of the rich.
Support for neoliberal trade policies, never-ending wars and bloated military budgets have been resoundingly bipartisan. So, too, is disdain for universal public welfare programs like Medicare for All. Winning left victories — like the extension of the eviction moratorium that Rep. Cori Bush (D‑MO) helped secure through her high-profile campout on the Capitol steps — demands a confrontation with the Democratic Party. The whole point of a movement to elect more insurgent politicians is to get more elected officials with ties to movement politics in public office to confront the party establishment, which wouldn’t be necessary if “half a bowl of shit” weren’t more or less accurate.
David Wallace-Wells/New Yorker:
Too Many People Are Dying Right Now
“It’s hard to look at these indicators and feel at all optimistic,” explains scientist Eric Topol.
For a couple weeks now, concerned Americans have taken comfort in the Delta experience of other countries, namely the U.K. and the Netherlands, whose Delta waves had begun earlier and who had — very roughly — similar vaccination rates to ours. In those countries, as models would have suggested given our expectations for vaccines, caseloads dramatically diverged from hospitalizations and deaths, with case numbers growing much, much faster than severe disease, which stayed, all things considered, pretty low. That simply does not seem to be happening here, even though the vaccines are working well enough that hospitalization and death remain, for breakthrough cases, very rare. Could these trends reflect rates of under-testing? To some extent, of course. But how much?
On Saturday morning, looking at Friday’s figures, I emailed Topol to ask if he was as worried as I was. Yes, he said. We spoke again later in the afternoon.
Jamelle Bouie/NY Times:
Tucker Carlson Has a New Hero
To critics, Orban’s Hungary is corrupt, repressive and authoritarian, a place where democracy is little more than window dressing and the state exists to plunder the public on behalf of a tiny ruling elite. To Carlson, it’s a model for the United States, a showcase for anti-immigrant policies and reactionary cultural politics.
“If you care about Western civilization and democracy and families and the ferocious assault on all three of those things by the leaders of our global institutions,” he told his audience on Monday, “you should know what is happening here right now.”
Carlson is not alone. “Orban’s fans in the West include notable writers at major conservative and right-leaning publications like National Review, the American Conservative and the New York Post,” Zack Beauchamp wrote in a piece for Vox last year.