COVID-19 Task Force Hasn’t Ruled Out US Domestic Vaccine Passports


Dr. Anthony Fauci today stated that the possibility of the federal government requiring vaccine passports for domestic air travel within the U.S. is “still on the table”, among other policies under consideration.

As the White House’s Chief Medical Advisor, Fauci appeared earlier today on NBC News’ ‘Meet the Press’ to answer some of reporter Chuck Todd’s questions about the Biden administration’s continuing response to COVID-19.

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When asked whether a vaccine mandate for domestic flyers was still under consideration by the COVID-19 task force, Fauci said: “The team has a lot of things on the table, nothing has been taken off the table. That decision has not been made.”

His response echoes a remark made on September 10 by Jeff Zients—the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator—who, when questioned about the Biden administration’s stance on requiring vaccinations for domestic air travel, said: “I think we have a very strong track record that shows we’re pulling available levers to acquire vaccinations and we’re not taking any measures off the table.”

But, everyone seems to be on board as far as mandating vaccinations for inbound foreign travelers. Last Wednesday, a senior White House official let slip that the government is developing a “new system for international travel”, which would replace the U.S.’ current blanket restrictions on travelers from many foreign countries.

Based on Zients’ comments, Reuters reported that the scheme will likely include both vaccination requirements and compulsory pre-travel testing, and involve a comprehensive new contact-tracing system in cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Because the new system would mean lifting current catch-all bans on travelers from certain countries, existing international travel restrictions won’t be relaxed while the Delta variant-driven fourth COVID-19 surge continues.

Separately, Fauci stated last week that he would personally support the implementation of a vaccine passport program for domestic flyers. “I would support that if you want to get on a plane and travel with other people that you should be vaccinated,” Fauci said during a September 12 interview, according to Newsweek.

The U.S. Travel Association immediately railed against Fauci’s stance, saying that the existing precautionary measures in use by airlines and airports, such as mask-wearing, provide sufficient protection from COVID-19, even amid Delta and any other potential variants of concern.

It’s no surprise that travel sector players would collectively refuse to support any policy that threatens to diminish consumer demand after the devastation the pandemic inflicted on the industry last year.





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Richard Barnett request to change bail travel restrictions to be ruled on Thursday


A judge will rule Thursday on travel restrictions for Richard Barnett, a Gravette, Arkansas, man implicated in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol during electoral ballot counting.An attorney for Barnett filed a request asking that he be allowed to travel more than 50 miles from his home. He wants the radius extended.”Specifically, each time Mr. Barnett needs to travel more than 50 miles for work, he needs to get clearance from the court. We feel that is unduly burdensome,” said Joseph McBride, Barnett’s lead defense attorney.In a Tuesday morning hearing, the attorney said Barnett needs to travel for work so he can pay his bills and provide for his family. Barnett buys and sells cars and wants to travel to Petit Jean for work. That’s about a 200-mile drive from Gravette.”We hope that Judge Cooper sides with us in granting Mr. Barnett the ability to make ends meet and provide for his defense and his family while out on bail,” said McBride.40/29 News also reached out to the Federal Prosecuting Attorney but did not get a comment or interview.Barnett’s next status hearing is set for August 24th.Barnett was photographed with his feet up on a desk in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office during the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. He also took an envelope from her office.A federal judge granted Barnett bail in April, under the following conditions:Home detentionLocation monitoringCannot possess firearms or other weaponsPassport revoked and not allowed to get a new oneNo travel outside of a 50-mile radiusNo associating with anyone from the Jan. 6 insurrectionThe judge cited a lack of criminal history and an absence of evidence proving Barnett would be a danger to the public after release as reasons to set bail.Earlier this year, a federal grand jury indicted Barnett on eight charges:Obstruction of an official proceedingAiding and abettingEntering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weaponDisorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weaponEntering and remaining in certain rooms in the Capitol buildingDisorderly conduct in a Capitol buildingParading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol buildingTheft of government property

A judge will rule Thursday on travel restrictions for Richard Barnett, a Gravette, Arkansas, man implicated in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol during electoral ballot counting.

An attorney for Barnett filed a request asking that he be allowed to travel more than 50 miles from his home. He wants the radius extended.

“Specifically, each time Mr. Barnett needs to travel more than 50 miles for work, he needs to get clearance from the court. We feel that is unduly burdensome,” said Joseph McBride, Barnett’s lead defense attorney.

In a Tuesday morning hearing, the attorney said Barnett needs to travel for work so he can pay his bills and provide for his family. Barnett buys and sells cars and wants to travel to Petit Jean for work. That’s about a 200-mile drive from Gravette.

“We hope that Judge Cooper sides with us in granting Mr. Barnett the ability to make ends meet and provide for his defense and his family while out on bail,” said McBride.

40/29 News also reached out to the Federal Prosecuting Attorney but did not get a comment or interview.

Barnett’s next status hearing is set for August 24th.

Barnett was photographed with his feet up on a desk in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office during the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. He also took an envelope from her office.

A federal judge granted Barnett bail in April, under the following conditions:

  • Home detention
  • Location monitoring
  • Cannot possess firearms or other weapons
  • Passport revoked and not allowed to get a new one
  • No travel outside of a 50-mile radius
  • No associating with anyone from the Jan. 6 insurrection

The judge cited a lack of criminal history and an absence of evidence proving Barnett would be a danger to the public after release as reasons to set bail.

Earlier this year, a federal grand jury indicted Barnett on eight charges:

  • Obstruction of an official proceeding
  • Aiding and abetting
  • Entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon
  • Disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon
  • Entering and remaining in certain rooms in the Capitol building
  • Disorderly conduct in a Capitol building
  • Parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building
  • Theft of government property



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Suspicious Death Ruled a Homicide



UPDATE LAKELAND, FL (April 13, 2021) – On Monday, April 12, 2021, a review done by the Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the victim’s death a homicide. Investigators are continuing to interview persons who may have information related to the case. (see original release below) 

 

 

If a person wishes to remain anonymous, and possibly be eligible for a reward, contact Heartland Crime Stoppers Florida:

* Call 1-800-226 TIPS (8477)

* From your cell phone, dial **TIPS

* Or download the free “P3tips” app on your smartphone or tablet.


LAKELAND, FL (April 11, 2021) – On Saturday, April 10, 2021, at approximately 4:16 p.m., officers from the Lakeland Police Department responded to a residence in the 500 block of West Crawford Street for a report of a missing person. The reportee advised last seeing the victim at 7:00 a.m. when she left to travel out-of-town for the day. According to the reportee, the victim had not responded to texts or calls throughout the day. When the reportee arrived home, the victim was nowhere to be found, and there was blood underneath a vehicle the victim had been working on in the driveway.

Upon a search of the location, officers located the body of the victim, a 42-year-old man, inside another vehicle on the property. The victim was transported to the Medical Examiner’s office, where an exam will be conducted on Monday to confirm his cause of death. No additional details will be released at this time to protect the integrity of the investigation.

Anyone with information related to the case should contact Detective Troy Smith at 863.834.8958 or troy.smith@Lakelandgov.net. To remain anonymous, contact Heartland Crime Stoppers Florida – call 1-800-226 TIPS (8477), dial **TIPS from your cell phone, visit the website www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com and click on “Submit A Tip,” or download the free “P3tips” app on your smartphone or tablet.

The name of the victim is being withheld in accordance with Marsy’s Law. 





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Nets’ Kevin Durant ruled out due to NBA health and safety protocols


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A strange scene unfolded at Barclays Center when Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant did not start the game due to NBA health and safety protocols, then was cleared to play only to ultimately be pulled during the third quarter and ruled out for the rest of the night.

Durant was ruled unavailable to start shortly before the Nets tipped off Friday against the Toronto Raptors because of COVID-19 contact tracing. After being cleared, Durant entered the game at the 4:13 mark of the first quarter.

Durant played the rest of the first half and started the third quarter for Brooklyn. He was then removed from the game with 9:06 left in the third during a coach’s challenge. While play was stopped, Durant was seated in the bench area when cameras showed a Nets team staffer approach and inform him he was being ruled out. Durant was seen shaking in head in frustration as he headed to the locker room.

Shortly after, the team announced Durant would not return due to health and safety protocols, but did not provide any additional details.

As the game finished without him, Durant took to Twitter from the locker room and tweeted, “Free me.”

In a statement, the NBA said Durant had tested negative three times in the last 24 hours, including two PCR tests Friday. League spokesman Tim Frank said someone with whom Durant interacted during the afternoon returned an inconclusive COVID-19 test shortly before the game, and Durant was held out to start.

“Under the league’s health and safety protocols, we do not require a player to be quarantined until a close contact has a confirmed positive test,” Frank said. “During the game, a positive result was returned for the person Durant interacted with. … Once that test was confirmed positive, out of an abundance of caution, Durant was removed from the game.”

Durant did not appear satisfied with the league’s statement on the situation, returning to Twitter to write, “Yo @nba, your fans aren’t dumb!!!! You can’t fool em with your Wack ass PR tactics. #FREE7”

Durant’s teammates were just as frustrated and confused as he was.

“For him to not start, then play, then he couldn’t play, just doesn’t make any sense,” said Joe Harris. “But I don’t make the decisions. I just work here.”

James Harden questioned why the game was even played when Durant was around the Nets before tip-off.

“They just said contract tracing and I’m thinking to myself, ‘Well, if it’s contact tracing, then we were all in the locker room together. That means there’s no game if he’s not going to be able to play.’ That was my thought process,” Harden said.

The Nets are conducting contact tracing to see if Durant was in close contact with the person who tested positive.

Brooklyn is scheduled to play the 76ers in Philadelphia on Saturday. According to ESPN, the rest of the Nets have been cleared to travel, but Durant will not make the trip with the team. The Raptors have been cleared to travel to Atlanta where they are scheduled to face the Hawks on Saturday.

Durant finished with eight points, six rebounds and five assists in 19 minutes. He came off the bench as a reserve for the first time in 867 career games. Brooklyn lost 123-117.

“It’s tough to lose Kevin Durant twice in one night,” Nets coach Steve Nash said during an ESPN interview after the third quarter. “It wasn’t easy, but we got to be adaptable. This is the type of season it’s going to be, we’ve got a lot going on in our world. We got a lot of guys who can step up.”

Durant missed three games last month while completing a seven-day quarantine after being exposed to someone with coronavirus. Durant himself tested positive for COVID-19 in March.

Follow Matt Eppers on Twitter @meppers_. Contributing: Associated Press.





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