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Emily Miller

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Emily Miller says kids are "safe" from the coronavirus pandemic despite at least 371 children having died from COVID-19 and the number of children contracting the disease and being hospitalized is increasing.

Miller, who made her remarks on social media Monday in a thread defending her own refusal to be vaccinated, is facing strong criticism as she attacks her vaccinated critics as "scared."

"My decision not to get vaccinated does not affect anyone else's health. Full stop. The #ScaredVaccinated are dividing our communities and the country," she tweeted.

She says scared vaccinated Americans' "cognitive bias and panic make them perceive that they could die. They are afraid of their children dying. This is why they want everyone else vaccinated."

Despite having no medical background Miller served as Assistant Commissioner for Media Affairs at the FDA in the Trump administration, although for just 11 days. She's also been a reporter at OANN and WTTG, and worked for Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and Tom DeLay. And like some, she appears to believe she has the right "take" on why people should not be vaccinated against a virus that has killed over 630,000 Americans.

Last year Media Matters called Miller "a pro-Trump sycophant who spreads COVID-19 misinformation."

She also claims, vaccinated or not, "For adults under 65 with no health conditions, it's virtually impossible to die from COVID.

Last year Media Matters called Miller "a pro-Trump sycophant who spreads COVID-19 misinformation."

She also claims, vaccinated or not, "For adults under 65 with no health conditions, it's virtually impossible to die from COVID.

Those 371 children who have died from COVID is an incomplete number, because not all states break down mortality by age. The number comes from just 43 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, and New York City.

So listen to what this children's hospital physician says:

The child hospitalization numbers are even less complete, with just 21 states and NYC reporting. Florida, for example, stopped reporting child hospitalization rates in June. But given the numbers available, at least 3849 children have been hospitalized with COVID.

Last week there were more than 93,000 new cases of COVID-19 in children. Here's what that looks like:

None of this sounds like kids are "safe" from COVID, despite Miller's claim.

Here's how one pediatrician responded to Miller:

And how a clinical psychologist responded:

She's getting roundly criticized for her remarks.

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Eric Holder

The failure of major federal voting rights legislation in the Senate has left civil rights advocates saying they are determined to keep fighting—including by suing in battleground states. But the little bipartisan consensus that exists on election reform would, at best, lead to much narrower legislation that is unlikely to address state-level GOP efforts now targeting Democratic blocs.

“This is the loss of a battle, but it is not necessarily the loss of a war, and this war will go on,” Eric Holder, the former U.S. attorney general and Democrat, told MSNBC, saying that he and the Democratic Party will be suing in states where state constitutions protect voting rights. “This fight for voting rights and voter protection and for our democracy will continue.”

“The stakes are too important to give up now,” said Damon Hewitt, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which for years has operated an Election Day hotline to help people vote. “Our country cannot claim to be free while allowing states to legislate away that freedom at will.”

In recent weeks, as it became clear that the Senate was not going to change its rules to allow the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to pass with a simple majority, there have been efforts by some lawmakers, election policy experts, and civil rights advocates to identify what election reforms could pass the Senate.

“There are several areas… where I think there could be bipartisan consensus,” said David Becker, executive director of the Center for Election Innovation and Research, in a briefing on January 20. “These areas are all around those guardrails of democracy. They are all about ensuring that however the voters speak that their voice is heard… and cannot be subverted by anyone in the post-election process.”

Becker cited updating the 1887 Electoral Count Act, which addressed the process where state-based slates of presidential electors are accepted by Congress. (In recent weeks, new evidence has surfaced showing that Donald Trump’s supporters tried to present Congress with forged certificates as part of an effort to disrupt ratifying the results on January 6, 2021.) Updating that law could also include clarifying which state officials have final authority in elections and setting out clear timetables for challenging election results in federal court after Election Day.

Five centrist Washington-based think tanks issued a report on January 20, Prioritizing Achievable Federal Election Reform, which suggested federal legislation could codify practices now used by nearly three-quarters of the states. Those include requiring voters to present ID, offering at least a week of early voting, allowing all voters to request a mailed-out ballot, and allowing states to start processing returned absentee ballots a week before Election Day.

But the report, which heavily drew on a task force of 29 state and local election officials from 20 states convened by Washington’s Bipartisan Policy Center, was notable in what it did not include, such as restoring the major enforcement section of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was removed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013. It did not mention the Electoral Count Act nor growing threats to election officials from Trump supporters.

“This won’t satisfy all supporters of the Freedom to Vote Act, but this is a plausible & serious package of reforms to make elections more accessible and secure that could attract bipartisan support,” tweeted Charles Stewart III, a political scientist and director of the MIT Election Data and Science Lab. “A good starting point.”

The reason the centrist recommendations won’t satisfy civil rights advocates is that many of the most troubling developments since the 2020 election would likely remain.

Targeting Battleground States

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Former president Donald Trump

By Rami Ayyub and Alexandra Ulmer

(Reuters) -The prosecutor for Georgia's biggest county on Thursday requested a special grand jury with subpoena power to aid her investigation into then-President Donald Trump's efforts to influence the U.S. state's 2020 election results.

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