COVID HOSPITALIZATIONS IN NC HIT 3,651 UNDER DELTA VARIANT: At least 1,189,296 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus, and at least 14,319 have died since March 2020, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Friday reported 8,105 new COVID-19 cases, down from 8,620 on Thursday. At least 3,651 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Friday, up from 3,552 the day before. Health officials reported Friday that 912 adults were being treated in intensive care units — the highest count since the pandemic began. As of Wednesday, the latest date with available information, 12.8% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. People who haven’t gotten COVID-19 vaccines are over 15 times more likely to die from the disease than those who are vaccinated, North Carolina officials said.
CONGRESSMAN WHO SHOULD BE RECALLED WANTS BIDEN REMOVED FROM OFFICE: Republican members of North Carolina’s congressional delegation, already critical of President Joe Biden’s Afghanistan withdrawal plan and execution, amplified their criticism of the president after more than a dozen U.S. service members were killed in a bombing Thursday. Rep. Virginia Foxx and Rep. Richard Hudson derided Biden’s “incompetence.” Rep. Greg Murphy called for Biden’s resignation. Rep. Madison Cawthorn went one step further, sending letters to Vice President Kamala Harris and Biden’s Cabinet officials asking them to invoke the 25th Amendment, which allows them along with the vice president to declare “the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” “I truly believe he is unable to discharge the duties of his office. ... We must not allow this mentally unstable individual to direct our country for one second longer.” Biden's pinky finger is more capable than you are, comms guy.
BIG SURPRISE, CHEMOURS IS STILL POLLUTING THE AIR AND WATER: North Carolina environmental regulators announced this week that a plant that for years discharged so-called “forever chemicals” into the air and water is not currently in compliance with its air permit. In its letter to Chemours, the Department of Environmental Quality warned that it is preparing an enforcement action against the company's Fayetteville Works plant in Bladen County, which has been exceeding its GenX air pollution limits for much of 2021, The StarNews reported. Officials said the company could be facing up to a $25,000 fine per day. In a statement to the newspaper, Chemours said the site experienced a temporary increase in air emissions this year from one of its carbon adsorption units. “The issue was quickly resolved when the carbon was replaced in this unit, and emissions returned to their usual low levels,” the statement said. “However, the data results from that one emissions sampling caused an exceedance of the site’s calculated 12-month rolling air emission allowance.” Which means you have been barely in compliance for the rest of the time. No more excuses.
NEW ORLEANS HIT WITH ANOTHER MONSTER HURRICANE: On the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s assault on New Orleans, Category 4 Ida slammed into the southeast Louisiana coastline after rapidly gaining strength Saturday night. The powerhouse storm, packing winds of 150 mph, is forecast to wallop New Orleans with hurricane-force winds and over a foot of rain Sunday afternoon and evening. Near where Ida comes ashore, the National Hurricane Center is predicting “potentially catastrophic” wind damage and an “extremely life-threatening” ocean surge. Devastating effects from destructive winds and flooding rain could extend more than a hundred miles inland. Ida’s surge has reached at least 4 to 7 feet in southeast Louisiana and coastal Mississippi, engulfing roads, homes, businesses and marinas. New Orleans’ flood protection system, bolstered by a $14.5 billion investment post-Katrina, will be tested by Ida’s surge and torrential rain. The core of the storm’s hurricane-force winds could pass through Houma, New Orleans and Baton Rouge, producing structural damage, downed trees and widespread power outages, which could last weeks. Nearly 300,000 customers have lost power in Louisiana so far. The storm could unload up to two feet of rain in parts of southeast Louisiana, causing severe flash flooding.
ACTIVISTS RALLY IN DC FOR VOTING RIGHTS AND DC STATEHOOD: Thousands of people marched on Saturday to mark the 58th anniversary of the historic March on Washington and voice their support for expanding and protecting access to the ballot. The crowd cheered, sang and danced in the streets on the way to the National Mall while calling on Congress to pass an extensive voting rights measure and eliminate the filibuster if necessary to do so. The marchers, though fewer than in years past, also demanded D.C. statehood and an end to police brutality. “If we keep going down this road, we’re going to be back like Jim Crow,” said Craig Browne, 74, who traveled to the nation’s capital from Wyncote, Pa. Organizers had arranged buses to bring people in from across the country to rally on the Mall. There was a celebratory mood as demonstrators urged Congress to pass the For the People Act, a sweeping elections and ethics bill that would impose national standards for voting and override state-level restrictions. They also called for passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which aims to restore voting rights protections that have been weakened by the U.S. Supreme Court. Civil and labor leaders have coalesced around the cause, saying this is a continuation of the same battles King fought when he inspired tens of thousands of people to show up to the seminal March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. As the crowd passed the National Museum of African American History and Culture, one protester yelled into a megaphone: “You can’t stop the revolution!” No, but you can slow it down to s snail's pace. We can't allow that to continue.