California emerges as new front of anti-vaccine

Written By: Manny Fernandez © 2021 The New York Times Company The New York Times
Los Angeles, United States of America

LOS ANGELES — An out-of-work stand-up comic originally from New Jersey. An actor and conservative podcast host wearing a white laboratory coat. A gadfly who has run several unsuccessful campaigns for Congress in l. a. . And a minimum of a couple of who had been in Washington the day of the Capitol riot.

They were among the motley crew of so-called anti-vaxxers who recently converged on the doorway of the mass vaccination site at Dodger Stadium to protest the distribution of a coronavirus vaccine.

The loosely formed coalition represents a replacement faction in California’s long-established anti-vaccine movement. and therefore the protest was the newest sign that Californians became the unlikely standard-bearers for aggressive criticism of the vaccines whilst virus cases still spread within the state.

California, which has averaged 500 daily deaths tied to the virus over the past week, will soon become the state with the most important number of coronavirus deaths, surpassing NY .

For months, far-right activists across the country are rallying against mask-wearing rules, business lockdowns, curfews and native public health officials, casting the government’s response to the virus as an intrusion on individual liberties. But as masks and lockdowns become an increasingly routine part of American life, some protesters have shifted the main target of their anti-government anger to the COVID-19 vaccines.

Last week at Dodger Stadium, an equivalent small but vocal cord of demonstrators who previously staged anti-mask and anti-lockdown protests within the l. a. area disrupted a mass vaccination site that provides a mean of 6,120 shots daily. About 50 protesters — some carrying signs reading “Don’t be a lab rat!” and “COVID = Scam” — marched to the doorway and caused the l. a. local department to pack up the city-run site for about an hour.

The disruption illustrates the increasingly confrontational bent of a number of the state’s vaccine opponents, who have long claimed that mandatory school vaccine laws represent governmental overreach. Many were already skeptical about vaccine science, having read online disinformation sites that claimed infancy vaccines caused autism, an allegation long refuted.

In California, the anti-vaccine movement has been popular for many years among Hollywood celebrities and wealthy parents, gaining momentum as state lawmakers passed one of the nation’s toughest mandatory vaccination laws for youngsters in 2015. Previously, parents had opted out of vaccinations by seeking exemptions claiming that vaccines conflicted with their personal beliefs, but the law eliminated that option. the recognition of these exemptions led to immunization rates that dropped to 80% or lower at public and personal schools and preschools in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and other affluent l. a. area communities.

“Anti-vaccine attitudes are as old as vaccines themselves,” said Richard Carpiano, who may be a professor of public policy and sociology at the University of California, Riverside, and who studies the anti-vaccine movement. “The other thing that gets tied into this is often the wellness movement, this concept that natural is best. There’s a broader quite mistrust of massive Pharma, and about medical aid and medical professions. there’s this real marketplace for the discontent that these groups can really quite seize upon.”

In the COVID-19 era in California, vaccine opponents have found themselves increasingly in alignment with pro-Trump, working-class people sometimes wanting to embrace extreme tactics to precise their beliefs.

Anti-vaccine activists within the state have long been aggressive sometimes. But within the past two years, and within the months of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been an uptick in confrontational and threatening tactics.

They assaulted a lawmaker in Sacramento and threw menorrhea onto legislators within the Senate chambers at the state Capitol in 2019, and last spring they helped pressure the chief health officer in Orange County to resign by publicly revealing the official’s home address. Last month, a fortnight before the stadium vaccination protest, a gaggle of girls threatened lawmakers at a budget hearing at the Capitol, telling senators that they were “not taking your shot” which they “didn’t buy guns for nothing.”

“I think the thing that’s most concerning is that they’re escalating,” said state Sen. Richard Pan, a pediatrician, and Democrat who wrote vaccination legislation. Pan was struck within the back in 2019 by an anti-vaccine activist and was the likely target of the blood-throwing incident within the Senate chambers that year.

“This movement not only puts out mis- or disinformation about vaccines or lies about vaccines, which in itself are often harmful, but they’re also aggressively bullying, threatening and intimidating people that try to share accurate information about vaccines,” he said.

Protesters who attended and helped organize the Dodger Stadium demonstration said they didn’t plan to enter the location and didn’t block the doorway. They blamed firefighters for overreacting to their presence and shutting the gates and said their goal was to teach those expecting vaccinations but not prevent them from driving inside to urge their shots.

One of the protesters, a 48-year-old actor whose given name is Nick and who asked that his surname not be published due to death threats the group had received, said he didn’t believe that any of the protesters were a part of previously established anti-vaccine groups within the state. “This has all stemmed as a result of this whole COVID-19 crisis,” he said. “It started with the mask-wearing and evolved to now worrying over the vaccine. It’s all about civil liberties.”

The lead organizer, Jason Lefkowitz, 42, a stand-up comic and server at a Beverly Hills restaurant, said the catalyst for the stadium protest was the death of Aaron , the baseball legend who died at the age of 86 on Jan. 22.

Aaron was vaccinated for the coronavirus in Atlanta on Jan. 5, and anti-vaccine activists, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr., have seized on his death to draw a link. The Fulton County doctor has said there was no evidence that he had an allergic or anaphylactic reaction to the vaccine.

“I’m not a violent person,” Lefkowitz said. “Nobody in my group is violent or physical or anything, but there are tons of individuals that don’t want to require this vaccine or be forced into it.”

No one was arrested, but city officials, including the captain, were disturbed by the symbolism and therefore the global headlines — that a little group of vaccine opponents had temporarily packed up one among the country’s largest vaccination sites and was walking and chanting mask-free among older residents waiting in their cars for his or her vaccine appointments.

“The optics of it’s that it appeared that the protesters were ready to symbolically interfere thereupon line and that I think that we have a greater public responsibility to make sure that that symbolism isn’t repeated,” Chief Michel Moore told the l. a. Police Commission at a virtual meeting.

Protesters were getting to return to Dodger Stadium and were more energized by the eye than discouraged by the social media criticism. Lefkowitz said that after the hearth Department shut the gates, he immediately took it as a positive sign for his group.

“They’re indirectly helping us, because now I’m like, ‘Oh, this is often getting to make the news,’” Lefkowitz said.

The ease with which many of the protesters have slipped from anti-mask to anti-vaccine ideology was on display in one Facebook live stream.

A protester at the location, Omar Navarro, a frequent Republican challenger to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., told his Facebook viewers that he was “100% certain” that voter fraud led to President Joe Biden’s victory; touted the trouble to recall the Democratic governor of California, Gavin Newsom; and called Democrats “the real virus.”

“They want to deceive us,” Navarro said within the video. “They want to regulate us. they need to place this muzzle on our face, this mask, which I don’t use.”

One of the foremost prominent anti-vaccine activists in Southern California, Leigh Dundas, a lawyer, spoke at a rally in Washington the day before the Capitol riot and posted videos on social media as she stood outside the building on Jan. 6, shouting, “This is 1776 everywhere again!”

In May, Dundas led a push to force out Orange County’s chief health officer, Dr. Nichole Quick, over her mask order, which was unpopular within the historically conservative county. Quick received death threats and was given a security detail. During a Board of Supervisors meeting, Dundas ridiculed Quick’s credentials, announced her home address, and said she was getting to have people “do calisthenics in masks on her front doorstep, and when people start dropping like flies, and that they will, I’m getting to ask every single first responder during a 30-mile radius to roll lights and sirens to her front entrance .”

Quick resigned nearly a fortnight later.

Kenneth Austin Bennett, the activist who attacked Pan, the senator, was charged with misdemeanor battery and was scheduled to be re-arraigned during a few weeks. Rebecca Dalelio, who was arrested after throwing blood from the Senate gallery, was charged with felony assault on a public official and felony vandalism and features a preliminary hearing this month. A spokesperson for state Sen. Toni Atkins, the Senate president pro tempore, said a report was filed with enforcement after the ladies made the threatening gun-related remarks in January.

Pan said the shortage of arrests at the Dodger Stadium protest suggested that anti-vaccine extremists would feel emboldened.

“There’s a history of individuals being bullying and intimidating, and there’s little or no consequence for doing this, then they escalate, and that they escalate, and that they escalate,” he said.

SUV driver runs over bicycles

Police try to apprehend a man that attempted to leave the scene after striking a bicycle involved with a Black Lives Matter protest 

An SUV driver was taken in custody after driving through a crowd and over a barrier of bicycles that Black Lives Matters protesters wont to attempt to prevent traffic on a Midtown road, police sources said.

The confrontation between the activists and therefore the driver of a Dodge Durango unfolded at 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue at about 9:10 p.m., consistent with witnesses and police.

The man was driving westbound on 42nd Street, when he was surrounded by roughly a dozen protesters, many on bikes, who were attempting to dam access to the road for five minutes as marchers made their thanks to Bryant Park, an organizer told The Post.

As the ralliers tried to shut off road access, positioning themselves round the SUV, “the driver kept moving,” the organizer, who identified as Mary, 23, said.

“There was a skater ahead … the driving force was being aggressive,” Mary said. “[The skater] tried to form him understand that we weren’t getting to be long.”

Since-deleted video of the incident posted on social media shows a minimum of three protesters step ahead of the vehicle near one among the intersection’s crosswalks as others to the side of the vehicle threaten to pop the car’s tires.

“My man, we’re gonna pop your tire bro,” one protester might be heard saying.

Another protester with a megaphone asks, “Do you’ve got to travel this manner , sir?”

Seconds later, a voice within the video might be heard saying, “Pop his tire, pop his f—ing tire.”

A separate video, which has also since been deleted, shows a person stab the rear driver’s side tire several times. An audible hissing sound follows.

The driver then hits the gas, running over and dragging several bikes.

The man told police he fled because he felt threatened by the group, sources said.

He drove a couple of blocks faraway from where he was stopped by police and brought to the Manhattan South Precinct, sources said.

Police said the person has not been arrested. No injuries were reported.

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China aims only to dominate the world

FBI Director Christopher Wray. Photograph:( Reuters )

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday said that China is taking advantage of America’s open system while preserving its own closed system.
During remarks at an occasion hosted by the Hudson Institute, FBI Director Chris Wray said China’s leaders believe they’re during a “generational fight” to form China the “world’s only superpower by any means necessary.”

“Greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and property , and to our economic vitality, is that the counterintelligence and economic espionage threat from China. It’s a threat to our economic security—and by extension, to our national security.” Chris Wray said.
He added that Beijing uses a various set of methods to realize its goals, including economic espionage, intelligence gathering, pushing for censorship at universities, and “malign foreign influence,” pertaining to covert and coercive attempts to form powerful people advocate for China’s interests within the US.

“All these seemingly inconsequential pressures add up to a policymaking environment during which Americans find themselves held over a barrel by the Chinese Communist Party ,” Wray said.

Talking about economic espionage he said that it’s the people of the us who are the victims of what amounts to Chinese theft on a scale so massive that it represents one among the most important transfers of wealth in human history. If you’re an American adult, it’s more likely than not that China has stolen your personal data.

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The Highest Celebrities on Instagram

(Photograph:Twitter)

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has become the highest paid celebrity of Instagram at 48-year-old the star can charge advertisers $41,015,000 for a sponsored post.

(Photograph:Twitter)

Kylie Jenner who is now number two, earns estimated $986,000  per post.

(Photograph:Twitter)

This year Kim Kardashian West, takes the third position and she charges $889,000 per post. 

(Photograph:Twitter)

Cristiano Ronaldo is the highest paid athelete on Instagram and he charges about $889,000 per post. 

(Photograph:Twitter)

Ariana Grande dropped down from the second position to five as she is paid $853,000 per post..  Now Ariana with 193 million followers.

(Photograph:Twitter)

This year, Selena dropped from fifth position to sixth and now the ‘Boyfriend’ singer charges $848,000 per post. But in the year 2017 was the highest-paid celebrity on Instagram.

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Mike Pompeo slams China’s ‘Destructive’ censorship moves in Hong Kong

FIle photo of Mike Pompeo. 

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday slammed China’s ‘Orwellian’ censorship moves in Hong Kong .

”With the ink barely dry on the draconian National Security Law, Hong Kong authorities are now removing books from libraries, banning political slogans, and requiring censorship in schools,” he said during a tweet.
”The US condemns these Orwellian assaults on the rights and freedoms of the Hong Kong people,” he added
Hours after China passed the draconian national security law on the finance hub, books written by prominent Hong Kong democracy activists have started disappearing from the city’s libraries within the aftermath of China imposing a draconian national security law on the finance hub.

Beijing’s new national security law is that the most radical shift in how the semi-autonomous city is run since it had been handed back to China by Britain in 1997.

Britain rejects ‘gross interference’ remark over Hong Kong by China

Among the authors whose titles are not any longer available are Joshua Wong, one among the city’s most prominent young activists, and Tanya Chan, a documented pro-democracy lawmaker. Searches on the general public library website showed a minimum of three titles by Wong, Chan and native scholar Chin Wan are not any longer available for lending at any of dozens of outlets across the town .
The government recently said that the favored protest slogan “Liberate Hong Kong , the revolution of our times” would now be deemed illegal.

For some, the phrase represents genuine aspirations to separate Hong Kong from China, a line for Beijing, except for many others, it’s a more general cry out for democracy and an expression of rising frustration with Chinese rule.

China has caused great damage to United States fumes Trump

Trump Fumes on China because of global economy slow down

US President Donald Trump lashed out at China once more saying that the country has caused “great damage to the us and therefore the remainder of the world!”
Trump had earlier called coronavirus “China virus” in yet one more dig at China because the number of coronavirus cases within the us shot up to over 2.8 million.
The us has reported over 129, 947 deaths thanks to the virus with several states including Texas and California experiencing new outbreak.

Several states within the US cancelled the annual fireworks displays on Independence Day thanks to the virus outbreak. a minimum of 15 US states have reported record increases in coronavirus cases.

Florida, Arizona are hit with rising cases within the past month worrying officials and putting health services under severe strain.

In Florida’s Miami Beach hospitalizations have reportedly doubled within the last 14 days with states like South Carolina, Alabama, Nevada, Texas, Georgia, Idaho and Kansas reporting huge surge in cases.

Amid the rising cases, however, Trump claimed that 99 per cent of COVID-19 cases within the us were “totally harmless.”

According to Johns Hopkins coronavirus tracker, the US recorded 39,379 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours along side 234 fatalities on Monday.

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Ivanka by Trump supporters slam for wearing face mask

Representative image from NBC news

US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka posted a photograph on Instagram on Wednesday showing herself wearing a light-weight blue mask as she posed outside with Republican Leader of the House Kevin McCarthy and Republican Rep. Bruce Westerman from Arkansas.

But while Ivanka’s caption encouraged others to imitate and wear their own masks publicly , her father’s supporters aren’t convinced — and are chastising the primary daughter, telling her to get rid of the mask.

The photo shows Ivanka and therefore the two representatives outside. Rep. Westerman wears a suit and surgical mask, Rep. McCarthy features a gray cloth mask, and Ivanka is modeling a reasonably blue watercolor mask.

The caption — which Ivanka copied from Rep. McCarthy — reads ‘Wear a mask. Plant a tree,’ and includes both a tree and a mask emoji.

Ivanka has been pictured wearing face masks before during the pandemic. She donned a black one while accompanying her father to a photograph op outside St. John’s Church, after he’d had protesters cleared away with smoke canisters and pepper balls.

This, however, appears to be the primary time that she has encouraged others to wear masks too — and Trump voters aren’t pleased.

Many criticised her for wearing a mask.

‘Please don’t wear a mask that’s not what we were created to try to to ,’ wrote one, while another told her to ‘take the mask off.’

‘I love POTUS but this mask bs must stop,’ said another, while others called her ‘silly’ and ‘stupid’ and posted sheep emojis.

More comments have poured in, with countless Trump supporters telling her to lose the mask.

‘Why are you reppin the mask? Take that off…….’ wrote one commenter

‘Mask are bs if you where a mask why social distance all bs political bs,’ wrote another.

‘The administration must concentrate more on health, vitamins, and exercise to assist fight Covid-19,’ said yet one more .

‘You don’t got to wear a mask to plant a tree. Fresh air is far healthier for you than inhaling what’s therein mask. Plant a tree while breathing fresh air enjoy mother nature. i’m a supporter of you and your family but the mask issue possesses to finish ,’ added another .

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Fresh shooting at South Carolina nightclub

Crime Scene picture by clip library

A shooting at a South Carolina nightclub left two people dead and eight wounded on early Sunday.

According to reports, a Greenville County sheriff’s deputy noticed a skirmish at Lavish Lounge just before 2 am, and involved backup due to gunfire from inside the building.

Responding officials took victims inside the lounge to the hospital, while others were taken via private vehicles.

The nightclub is about 5 miles (8 kilometers) southwest of downtown Greenville, in South Carolina’s Upstate region. A post on Lavish Lounge’s Facebook page advertised a Independence Day performance by trap rapper Foogiano.

Further details are awaited.

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Man kicked out from the airline for not wearing mask

A man was captured on video being faraway from a Florida-bound flight at LaGuardia Airport Friday for not wearing a mask .

The tense standoff unfolded when a person , whose name wasn’t known, “took his face covering off and refused to place it back on,” a spokesman for Spirit Airlines said.

A video from inside the plane shows a part of an exchange between a Port Authority cop and therefore the man, during which the officer asks the passenger to urge off the plane and therefore the man argues with him.

“I don’t want to force you, I’m asking you,” the cop are often heard saying while asking the person to urge off the fight, which was headed for Fort Lauderdale .

A spokesman for the airline said the person eventually agreed to “deplane on his own rather than risking legal consequences.”

“Spirit will always err on the side of caution when it involves the health and safety of our guests,” the spokesman said. “Wearing a face covering is straightforward , it’s easy, and it’s critical to Spirit and therefore the airline industry as an entire .”

A rep for Port Authority police didn’t immediately respond.

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In series of shootings across NYC One dead, six wounded

Police at the scene where three people were shot on the FDR Drive Service Road at East 110th Street in New York around 11 p.m. July 2, 2020 Christopher Sadowski

One person was dead and 6 others wounded after a spate of shootings across ny City Thursday night.

The gunplay began about 6:45 p.m. in Brownsville, Brooklyn when a 20-year-old man was killed and a 36-year-old woman injured during a shooting on New Lots Avenue near Mother Gaston Boulevard, cops said.

The man was shot within the head and therefore the woman was hit within the arm and torso, police said. Both victims were taken to Brookdale Hospital, where the person died.

Another shooting erupted at about 10:30 p.m. on Avenue H Middle East 57th Street in Canarsie, Brooklyn, leaving a 34-year-old man with a gunshot wound to the leg, authorities said.

He was taken to a close-by hospital and was expected to survive.

At about 11 p.m. in East Harlem, two people were shot — a 26-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman — Middle East 108th Street and therefore the FDR Drive frontage road , cops said.

The man was struck within the leg, while the lady took bullets to the torso and leg, consistent with police. Both victims were taken to NewYork-Presbyterian Weill Cornell center .

About five minutes later, a 19-year-old man was shot within the buttocks by a suspect inside a dark-colored SUV on Lincoln Place near Franklin Avenue in Crown Heights, cops said.

The victim was taken to Kings County Hospital.

Just after 11:30 p.m. in Far Rockaway, a 27-year-old man was shot within the torso outside a residence on Beach 26th Street, police said. He was taken to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital.

As of early Friday, no arrests were made in any of the shootings.

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