COVID-19

COVID vaccines
How Many Lives Have Coronavirus Vaccines Saved? We Used State Data On Deaths And Vaccination Rates To Find Out
Clinical trials demonstrate how effective vaccines are individually, but the real world shows how effective they are at a population level.
Where Things Stand: Airlines Buck Abbott’s Confusing Anti-Mandate Mandate Prime Badge
This is your TPM evening briefing.

Two Texas-based airlines plan to follow federal regulations about vaccination mandates, defying the state’s Republican governor’s recent mandate barring such mandates in the Lone Star State.

How many times can we say mandate?

Gov. Greg Abbott’s whole positioning on COVID-19 vaccine mandates in Texas would be amusing if it weren’t so dark. Abbott passed an executive order on Monday, banning “any entity” from adopting vaccine requirements in the state, even if private businesses want to implement them and/or follow federal requirements on vaccinations for employees. His order is hyper-focused on the badness of government mandates, while being a mandate in and of itself.

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Where Things Stand: Are Workers Getting Fed Up With COVID-Era Aggression? Prime Badge
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TPM has been covering the way in which the pandemic and the public health measures necessary to tamp it down have resulted in periodic eruptions of anger, often egged on by opportunistic, MAGA-aligned politicians. It’s become a theme for us: the specter of violence in politics that’s simmered for the last few years, predating the pandemic but inflamed by it.

But of course, the current level of public outrage is not limited to the political sphere of life. Anecdotal reporting — and, increasingly, data — suggest there might be an economic corollary to this trend as well.

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Where Things Stand: DOJ Will Probe Violent Threats Against Teachers, School Board Members Prime Badge
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The Justice Department announced this week that it will soon start investigating violent threats against school teachers and school board members around the country — a concerning trend that escalated in recent months as students returned to the classroom amid a lingering pandemic and GOP-instigated culture wars violently boiled over during school board meetings across the U.S.

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Where Things Stand: Pastor Trades Vax Exemptions For Church Dues Prime Badge
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Jackson Lahmeyer is a Tulsa-based 29-year-old pastor, small business owner and GOP candidate challenging Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) in 2022. And he’ll get you out of getting the COVID-19 vaccine for religious reasons if you pay the right price.

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Where Things Stand: DeSantis Again Threatens Fines For Those Who Dare Defy His Deadly COVID Rules Prime Badge
This is your TPM evening briefing.
MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 29: Governor Ron DeSantis gives a briefing regarding Hurricane Dorian to the media at National Hurricane Center on August 29, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is re-upping his main and, seemingly, only defense against those in his state who dare to buck his rules against COVID-19 mitigation measures: He’s threatening more of the little guys with fines again.

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UNITED STATES - AUGUST 30: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., makes remarks during a roundtable discussion with House Republican ranking members and veterans on the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in the Capitol Visitor Center on Monday, August 30, 2021. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Where Things Stand: Jan. 6 Lawyer Who Went AWOL After Possible COVID Infection Reemerges Prime Badge
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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06:  Protesters gather storm the Capitol and halt a joint session of the 117th Congress on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

The whereabouts of conservative lawyer John Pierce, who is representing 17 Capitol insurrectionist defendants, have been fuzzy for some time.

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In a 1st grade classroom where the desks have been spread out for social distancing, and there are marks on the floor to indicate where the students should stand when lining up. At Shiloh Hills Elementary School, part of the Wilson School District in Spring Township, PA Friday afternoon August 21, 2020 where school teachers and administrators are preparing to open on August 26th for the school year after being closed since spring as a precaution against the COVID-19 / Coronavirus outbreak.
Where Things Stand: Pro-Choice When They Like Your Choice Prime Badge
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AUSTIN, TX - JUNE 08: Texas Governor Greg Abbott speaks during a press conference at the Texas State Capitol in Austin, Texas on June 8, 2021. Abbott signed Senate bills 2 and 3 into law to reform the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and weatherize and improve the reliability of the state's power grid. The bill signing comes months after a disastrous February winter storm that created widespread power outages and left dozens of Texans dead. (Photo by Montinique Monroe/Getty Images)

Since the pandemic reached our shores last year, the right has been extremely vocal about its deeply held opposition to any type of government regulation that impacts personal health choices.

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Where Things Stand: Native Tribes Have Been Bucking Anti-Mask Rules For A While Prime Badge
This is your TPM evening briefing.

We’ve watched and covered public school districts in red states around the U.S. defying Republican governors’ orders against universal masking in schools for the past several weeks. But as sovereign nations, many Native American tribes around the country have been taking school-related COVID mitigation measures into their own hands for some time.

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HALAJUN, HARRISBURG, PENNSYLVANIA, UNITED STATES - 2021/08/29: Steve Lynch, Republican candidate for Northampton County executive, speaks during the anti-vaccine, anti-mask mandate Rally for Freedom.Anti-vaccine protesters gathered on the steps of Pennsylvania State Capitol during the Rally for Freedom. The Worldwide Rally for Freedom 3.5 at the Pennsylvania State Capitol was one of many coordinated events across the United States calling for an end to vaccine mandates. (Photo by Paul Weaver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Where Things Stand: Mississippi Guv Blames Everything And Everyone But Himself For Deadly COVID Spike Prime Badge
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Back in April of this year, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) blamed the lackluster vaccination situation in the Magnolia State on “a very large African American population” and “a lot of rural people.”

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People Are Facing Federal Criminal Charges For Forged Vax Cards. But It’s Not A New Phenomenon
For many years, it has been a federal crime to make or use “any materially false writing in any matter involving a health care benefit program.”
UNITED STATES - MAY 13: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, testifies during the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing to “examine offshore energy development in federal waters and leasing under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act,” in Dirksen Senate Office Building on Thursday, May 13, 2021. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
LAKELAND, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES - 2021/08/21: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks at a press conference to announce the opening of a monoclonal antibody treatment site for COVID-19 patients at Lakes Church in Lakeland, Florida. DeSantis stated that the site will offer the Regeneron treatment, and will operate 7 days a week, treating 300 patients a day. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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