🇺🇸 Mask Up - Pt. 2

Plus, a controversial new AI app allows you to text with Jesus – and Satan…

The Flag

Good morning, and happy Thursday. A female reticulated giraffe was born at Brights Zoo in northeastern Tennessee late last month — but unlike her mother she’s missing something… 

Plus, a controversial new AI app allows you to text with Jesus – and Satan…


Right: Why Trump Is Stronger Today Than He's Ever Been Rich Baris, Real America's Voice

Right: There Is Something Demented About Biden’s Lies David Harsanyi, The Federalist

Left: How the Right Broke 'Woke' Trymaine Lee, MSNBC


GOP Debate Recap, Prigozhin Dead (Maybe), India Lands on Moon, UPS Strike Put to Rest

US: Former Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell surrender in election subversion case (CNN)

US: The first Republican debate's biggest highlights: Revisit 7 key moments (ABC) + Top takeaways from first Republican debate: the good, the bad and the underestimated (Fox News)

World: Russian Wagner Group warlord Prigozhin was on plane that crashed, killing 10 (FOX News) + Prigozhin plane crash shrouded in mystery (The Hill)

Business: Teamster members ratify deal at UPS, putting strike threat to rest (CNN)

World: Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft lands on the moon in 'victory cry of a new India' (Reuters)

World: China bans seafood from Japan after Tokyo begins releasing treated radioactive water (CNN)


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Mask Up - Pt. 2

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 12,613 COVID-19-related hospitalizations in the week ending Aug. 12, a 21.6% increase from the previous week. Cases remain roughly 90% lower than their January 2022 peak. Public health officials in New York City and Los Angeles have reported increases in COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks.

Reporting from the Right: Major movie studio reinstates mask mandates 'effective immediately' (Fox News)

Reporting from the Left: COVID boosters are still weeks away as cases surge in the US (Axios)

From The Flag: Several colleges throughout the U.S., as well as some Hollywood studios, have reinstated mask mandates. With cases reportedly rising across the US and some institutions reinstating mask mandates, the public is again debating how to respond. Here’s what both sides are saying.


Rise In Cases Is Normal, Left is Fear-Mongering

  • The liberal media is renewing its push of the mask agenda, but this is just the normal cycle of a respiratory virus.

  • The mask wars are returning, and the defenders of normalcy should be ready for it unless we are to elevate the voices of paranoiacs.

  • “Anyone who is that concerned about a virus that they would don such a ridiculous get-up in public instead of just staying home and self-isolating is clearly not using their frontal lobe.”

Liberal media takes heat for renewed calls for masking: 'We have to move on' Gabriel Hays, FOX News: “The hosts of Fox News Channel’s ‘Outnumbered’ blasted the mainstream media for trying to urge society to return to masking to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Despite the pandemic being considered over and the U.S. government ending the public health emergency around it earlier this year, several big media outlets have pushed stories suggesting that masking may be necessary as cases of COVID-19 tick up. … [Dr. Nicole Saphier] explained that ‘the reason you have an uptick in cases right now is…we’ve seen an uptick in cases in the winter, and we also see one in the end of summer. This is just a normal cycle of this respiratory virus.’ … Saphier concluded, ‘The bottom line, COVID is not what it was three years ago and we have to move forward with this. This doesn’t mean that you have to quarantine, it’s just if you’re sick, stay home..”

The Return of the Mask Wars Noah Rothman, National Review: “Buoyed by the debatable but nonetheless widely reported evidence of a Covid surge, advocates of eternal masking returned to the public discourse with renewed self-confidence. The point of their activism was to nudge powerful and well-connected paranoiacs toward the conclusion that mask mandates were once again necessary to save the unwashed masses from themselves. They’ve had some successes with that message, too. … If the press is aware of any self-proclaimed public-health experts who regard this level of caution as excessive, their protests have not found their way into media reports on the college’s decision. Sure, such reports conceded, the pandemic is behind us. But that just means Covid has become endemic, like any number of common respiratory viruses.”

One more opinion piece from the Right: Georgia institution first to officially reanimate COVID-19 corpse and reinstate ‘mask mandate’ Olivia Murray, American Thinker


Not Nearly as Serious as 2020, But We Need to Be Mindful

  • It is important we stay level-headed as new subvariants emerge and mutate in the coming weeks and months

  • While we’re not at the point of requiring widespread mask use, older citizens and high-risk individuals should wear masks in crowded spaces.

  • Despite the rising number of COVID cases and hospitalizations in the past month, experts said most people should wait for the updated boosters to be released before getting another shot.

A new Covid variant is on the rise – how worried should we be? Devi Sridhar, The Guardian: “Having watched the pandemic closely since the start, my key message on the current situation is that Covid-19 in 2023 is not Covid-19 in 2020. Today, we have effective and safe vaccines that protect against severe illness and death in the vast majority of cases, and we have considerable immunity in the population through a mix of vaccination and previous infection. …it is important we stay level-headed as new subvariants emerge and mutate in the coming weeks and months. As news reports on infections increase, we must remember that we are no longer in a Covid emergency: we are in a phase of management, and the difference between crisis and non-crisis must be made clear in public messaging. There is a risk to crying wolf too many times. Otherwise, when a truly novel threat to humans does appear, such as sustained human-to-human transmission of avian flu, it might be hard to convey the extent of the challenge presented.”

It may be time to break out the masks against Covid, some experts say Sandee LaMotte, CNN: “If you’re at high risk of serious illness or death from Covid-19, it’s time to dust off those N95 masks and place them snugly over your nose and mouth to protect yourself from a recent uptick of the virus, according to a growing number of experts. That advice should go all the way up to 80-year-old President Joe Biden, said Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a cardiologist. ‘Octogenarians comprise the highest-risk group for complications following Covid infection,’ Reiner said. ‘At least until the numbers start to drop again, it would be appropriate for President Biden to take some precautions and wear a mask in crowds.’ Other high-risk groups include people with diabetes, cancer, chronic liver, kidney or lung disease, organ or stem cell transplants, HIV or other immunocompromising conditions, a history of heart disease or stroke, dementia or mental health issues.”

One more opinion piece from the Left: Most should wait for updated COVID booster shot to maximize protection: Experts Youri Benadjaoud, ABC News


Americans Not Worried

Americans don’t appear to be worried enough about the recent rise in cases to change their behavior. Covid-19 was at the bottom of their list of key public health threats in a recent poll. It should be noted that concern about the rising cases is mixed, but it’s clear there’s no behavioral change either way.

The number of adults who say they wear a mask in public sometimes or at all times continues to decline by over half over the past six months to 15%. Additionally, 82% reported not having taken a home Covid-19 test in the past week (Axios).

Would you consider getting a booster shot if cases continue to rise?

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Pluto Demoted, Semesters of Life, 8-Sided Pyramid

Northern hemisphere of Pluto in true color, taken by NASA's New Horizons probe in 2015

On This Day in 2006: In Prague, the International Astronomical Union votes to demote Pluto from the ninth planet from the Sun to one of dozens of known dwarf planets.

Today I learned the Great Pyramid of Giza actually has 8 sides. It can only be seen from above, when the sunlight hits at the right angle, and was discovered by accident in 1940 by an RAF pilot flying overhead.

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