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Sunday show preview: Omicron surges, and Harris sits for extensive interview

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The Sunday show coverage this holiday weekend is expected to focus heavily on the COVID-19 pandemic and Vice President Harris’ first term in the Biden White House.

Coronavirus continues to dominate headlines as the omicron, the most contagious variant yet, spreads through cities and states with striking intensity. 

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFauci says it’s ‘too premature’ for US to be discussing fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose More than 3,000 flights canceled worldwide as airlines cite COVID-19 staffing issues CDC loosens isolation rules for health workers amid omicron wave MORE, President BidenJoe Biden Harris tests negative for COVID-19 after close contact with aide Standing with Joe Manchin Holiday caller to Biden: ‘Merry Christmas and let’s go Brandon’ MORE’s top medical adviser, has recently warned about the “unprecedented” pace of the virus.

In an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America” this week, the infectious disease expert said the speed at which cases were rising nationwide was, in his view, “extremely unusual.”

Fauci has been the Biden administration’s go-to source of medical information on each new variant of COVID-19 and in many ways the public face of the response, often appearing on television news programs to address critical developments facing the nearly two-year pandemic. 

On Sunday, he will be a guest on ABC’s “This Week.”

The latest statistics on omicron have been a cause for concern among public health officials and political leaders alike, including within the Oval Office.

Biden delivered a speech on the new strain on Tuesday, offering a host of expected measures to tamp down on the severity of the spread. He said he intends to dramatically increase the number of tests available for at-home use and create additional on-site testing locations for early detection. He also pledged to give medical facilities more resources.

The Centers for Disease Control and Infection, which provides regular updates and analysis on the virus, released a new report this week indicating that experts have indeed “identified the potential for a rapid increase in infections” of omicron nationwide. 

Additionally, the report says that such increases are “most likely due to a combination of two factors: increased transmissibility and the ability of the variant to evade immunity conferred by past infection or vaccination.”

While the White House – and a good portion of news coverage – is focused on omicron, Democrats’ attention is also shifting towards Harris, who made a comment about the virus that caused some to scratch their heads.

Last week, the vice president said, “we didn’t see omicron coming,” a comment that had to be cleaned up after her interview with the Los Angeles Times.

“That’s the nature of what this,” Harris told the outlet, “this awful virus has been, which as it turns out, has mutations and variants.”

Harris will appear in a recorded interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation” as the program’s sole guest.

When Biden asked Harris to be his running mate in August 2020, many Democrats were hopeful for a do-over of an election season that had often placed the two former senators at odds. Her selection received a cheerful response from many in the party who believed she could help Biden lock up the general election and govern with a new perspective on leadership.

In the early days of the administration, however, Harris came under careful, at times intense, scrutiny as Biden’s number two, causing her to sustain brand damage and dogging much of the coverage of her early tenure as VP. 

Beyond the apparent omicron slip-up, Harris made remarks about migrants that were widely perceived to be tone-deaf and insensitive to individuals caught in an immigration system that she and Biden both promised to fix. 

Then, a report by CNN about the strife in her office caused many Democrats and journalists to probe deeper into the state of affairs in her inner circle.

The story, which included examples of infighting, led to follow-up pieces about the dissatisfaction of some of her top staffers, with several on her team calling it quits.

All of that scrutiny comes as the White House is looking to position Harris as a competent leader to stand beside the president after a tumultuous first year in office. 

Some critics have argued that she is more scrutinized than any other vice president in the nation’s history because she is the first woman and woman of color to hold that job, leaving her with little breathing room to work.

There is also the question of whether Biden is planning to try for a second term. Administration officials say he is, and Harris recently said to the Wall Street Journal that she and Biden have never talked about the prospect of her running instead of him. 

But heading into the new year, questions have nonetheless mounted about whether Harris – or another Democrat entirely – will indeed be the next nominee in 2024.

Harris is likely to be asked about all of that on Sunday. CBS News is devoting the full hour of the program to the Q&A.

The full line-up of guests appears below:

ABC’s “This Week” — Fauci; Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University School of Public Health

NBC’s “Meet the Press” — Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.); Brenda Sheridan, school board chair in Loudoun County, Virginia; Nikole Hannah-Jones, New York Times Magazine writer; Jelani Cobb of the Columbia Journalism School

CBS’ “Face the Nation” — Harris

CNN’s “State of the Union” — Surgeon General Vivek MurthyVivek MurthyOfficials warn children’s mental health worsens amid pandemic Hillicon Valley — Biden’s misinformation warning Biden: ‘Dangerous misinformation’ on social media, TV fueling vaccine hesitancy MORE, Reps. Debbie DingellDeborah (Debbie) Ann DingellWetlands point to extinction problems beyond climate change The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – The omicron threat and Biden’s plan to beat it Dearborn office of Rep. Debbie Dingell vandalized MORE (D-Mich.), and Fred UptonFrederick (Fred) Stephen UptonWest Virginia lawmaker slams GOP colleague over support for infrastructure law Democrats outraged after Manchin opposes Biden spending bill President Biden’s bipartisanship seems like unilateral disarmament MORE (R-Mich)

“Fox News Sunday” — Jha; Sens. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinDemocrats mull hardball tactics to leapfrog parliamentarian on immigration Democrats face painful reality as priorities stumble Democrats lack backup plan with expanded child tax credit set to lapse MORE (D-Md.) and Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntMembers of Congress not running for reelection in 2022 Senate confirms Rahm Emanuel to be ambassador to Japan Democrats push Manchin on ‘nuclear option’ for voting rights  MORE (R-Mo.) 

Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures” — Former Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoSunday shows preview: Officials, experts respond to omicron; Biden administration raises alarms about Russia, China To advance democracy, defend Taiwan and Ukraine Haley has ‘positive’ meeting with Trump MORE, Sen. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerMcConnell urges Thune to run for reelection amid retirement talk Senate Republicans call on Biden to lift vaccine mandate for truckers crossing Canadian border 14 GOP senators help advance McConnell debt limit deal MORE (R-N.D.), Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanJim Jordan says he has ‘real concerns’ with Jan. 6 panel after sit-down request Jan. 6 panel seeks sit-down with Jim Jordan New York House Democrat tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (R-Ohio) and former Trump White House senior adviser Stephen MillerStephen MillerMcCormick drawing support from Trump alumni ahead of Pennsylvania Senate bid Can France turn back the nationalist tide? How American progressives normalize anti-Semitism MORE

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Hailey Bieber Details Terrifying ‘Life-Altering’ Mini-Stroke She Suffered And Procedure To Close Hole In Her Heart

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Hailey Bieber has spoken out in her “own words” about the “life-altering,” “scariest moment” of her life she had after suffering what she called a mini-stroke, and later underwent a procedure to close a hole in her heart.

The 25-year-old supermodel and wife of superstar singer Justin Bieber took to her YouTube channel Wednesday and opened up about the terrifying experience of being hospitalized last month after she suffered a blood clot to her brain that traveled through a hole in her heart between 12 and 13 millimeters, reported People magazine.

“I had, like, a very scary incident on March 10, basically,” Bieber shared. “I was sitting at breakfast with my husband, having a normal day … and all of the sudden, I felt this really weird sensation that kind of like traveled down my arm from my shoulder all the way down to my fingertips. And it made my fingertips feel really numb and weird.”

“Justin [her husband] was like, ‘Are you okay?’” she added, as she explained that she tried to respond to him, but she “couldn’t speak.” “The right side of my face started drooping; I couldn’t get a sentence out.”

“Obviously, immediately, I thought I was having a stroke,” the supermodel continued. “He thought I was having a stroke. Right away, he asked for somebody to please call 911 and get a doctor.”

Hailey said that where they were, there happened to be a medic who started asking her lots of questions and testing her arms, calling it definitely the “scariest moment” of her life. The model talked about how the “facial drooping lasted for probably like thirty seconds.” Her speech did came back, but her “anxiety” about what was happening just made “everything worse.”

“By the time I got to the emergency room, I was pretty much back to normal – [I] could talk, [I] wasn’t having any issues with my face or my arm,” Bieber explained.

She said scans revealed she had, in fact, suffered a “small blood clot” to her brain which was labeled a “TIA” [Transient Ischemic Attack]. Hailey told her followers it was basically like having a “mini-stroke.”

Doctors still weren’t sure what caused it, but she said it was widely believed it was a combination of birth-control issues, recently having COVID-19, and having just traveled “to Paris and back in a very short amount of time,” calling it a “perfect storm.”

Further testing at the University of California, Los Angeles, revealed Bieber had a Grade 5 PFO [a small opening in the heart that usually closes after birth]. The outlet said the hold measured between 12 and 13 millimeters. She later underwent a procedure to close the hole, and said it went “very smoothly” and she’s recovering.

“The biggest thing I feel is I just feel really relieved that we were able to figure everything out, that we were able to get it closed, that I will be able to just move on from this really scary situation and just live my life,” Hailey shared.

“If there’s anybody that watches this that has gone through the same thing or something similar, I definitely really empathize with you,” she concluded. “And I understand how life-altering and scary it is.”

Bieber, who’s the daughter of actor Stephen Baldwin and Kennya Baldwin, married her husband Justin in 2018.

Related: Hailey Baldwin Credits Christian Faith For Marriage To Justin Bieber

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Wikipedia’s Left-Wing Bias

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I love Wikipedia. I donated thousands of dollars to the Wikimedia Foundation.

Before Wikipedia, all we had were printed encyclopedias—out of date by the time we bought them.

Then libertarian Jimmy Wales came up with a web-based, crowd-sourced encyclopedia.

Crowd-sourced? A Britannica editor called Wikipedia “a public restroom.” But Wales won the battle. Britannica’s encyclopedias are no longer printed.

Congratulations to Wales.

But recently, I learned that Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger now says Wikipedia’s political pages have turned into leftist “propaganda.”

That’s upsetting. Leftists took over the editing?

Sadly, yes. I checked it out.

All editing is done by volunteers. Wales hoped there would be enough diverse political persuasions that biases would be countered by others.

But that’s not what’s happening.

Leftists just like to write. Conservatives build things: companies, homes, farms.

You see the pattern comparing political donations from different professions: Surgeons, oil workers, truck drivers, loggers, and pilots lean right; artists, bartenders, librarians, reporters, and teachers lean left.

Conservatives don’t have as much time to tweet or argue on the web. Leftists do. And they love doing it. This helps them take over the media, universities, and now, Wikipedia.

Jonathan Weiss is what Wikipedia calls a “Top 100” Wikipedian because he’s made almost half a million edits. He says he’s noticed new bias: “Wikipedia does a great job on things like science and sports, but you see a lot of political bias come into play when you’re talking current events.”

Weiss is no conservative. In presidential races, he voted for Al Gore, Ralph Nader, and Barack Obama. Never for a Republican. “I’ve really never identified strongly with either political party,” he says.

Maybe that’s why he notices the new Wikipedia bias.

“People on the left far outweigh people on the center and the right … a lot [are] openly socialist and Marxist.” Some even post pictures of Che Guevara and Lenin on their own profiles.

These are the people who decide which news sources Wikipedia writers may cite. Wikipedia’s approved “Reliable sources” page rejects political reporting from Fox but calls CNN and MSNBC “reliable.”

Good conservative outlets like The Federalist, the Daily Caller, and The Daily Wire are all deemed “unreliable.” Same with the New York Post (That’s probably why Wikipedia called Hunter Biden’s emails a conspiracy theory even after other liberal media finally acknowledged that they were real).

While it excludes Fox, Wikipedia approves even hard left media like Vox, Slate, The Nation, Mother Jones, and Jacobin, a socialist publication.

Until recently, Wikipedia’s “socialism” and “communism” pages made no mention of the millions of people killed by socialism and communism. Even now, deaths are “deep in the article,” says Weiss, “treated as an arcane academic debate. But we’re talking about mass murder!”

The communism page even adds that we cannot ignore the “lives saved by communist modernization”! This is nuts.

Look up “concentration and internment camps” and you’ll find, along with the Holocaust, “Mexico-United States border,” and under that, “Trump administration family separation policy.”

What? Former President Donald Trump’s border controls, no matter how harsh, are very different from the Nazi’s mass murder.

Wikipedia does say “anyone can edit.” So, I made a small addition for political balance, mentioning that President Barack Obama built those cages.

My edit was taken down.

I wrote Wikipedia founder Wales to say that if his creation now uses only progressive sources, I would no longer donate.

He replied, “I totally respect the decision not to give us more money. I’m such a fan and have great respect for you and your work.” But then he said it is “just 100% false … that ‘only globalist, progressive mainstream sources’ are permitted.”

He gave examples of left-wing media that Wikipedia rejects, like Raw Story and Occupy Democrats.

I’m glad he rejects them. Those sites are childishly far left.

I then wrote again to ask why “there’s not a single right-leaning media outlet Wiki labels ‘reliable’ about politics, [but] Vox, Slate, The Nation, Mother Jones, CNN, MSNBC” get approval.

Wales then stopped responding to my emails.

Unless Wikipedia’s bias is fixed, I’ll be skeptical reading anything on the site.

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Public Health England to blame for sending patients to care homes without Covid tests

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Speaking on condition of anonymity, Whitehall officials alleged that Prof Duncan Selbie, the former PHE chief executive, was ultimately responsible for informing Mr Hancock of the risks.

Prof Selbie is working as a senior adviser to the DHSC. Neither he nor the department responded to requests for comment on Wednesday.

Mr Hancock, who was replaced by Sajid Javid last year, claimed the High Court ruling had exonerated him and the had been cleared “of any wrongdoing” because PHE “failed to tell ministers what they knew about asymptomatic transmission”.

The High Court judges concluded that care home policies in March and April 2020 were “irrational” because they failed to advise that those discharged from hospitals “should, so far as practicable, be kept apart from other residents for up to 14 days”.

“Since there is no evidence that this question was considered by the secretary of state, or that he was asked to consider it, it is not an example of a political judgment on a finely balanced issue,” they said. “Nor is it a point on which any of the expert committees had advised that no guidance was required.”

After the ruling, Boris Johnson said he wanted to “renew my apologies and sympathies” to relatives who lost loved ones, adding: “The thing we didn’t know in particular was that Covid could be transmitted asymptomatically in the way that it was.”

However, the risks of asymptomatic transmission had been highlighted by Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government’s chief scientific adviser for England, who said it was “quite likely” as early as March 13 2020. Varying levels of risk had been outlined in papers from late January, the ruling said.

The judicial review was brought by Dr Cathy Gardner and Fay Harris, whose fathers, Michael Gibson and Donald Harris, died after testing positive for Covid.

‘Opens the floodgates for potential claims’

Paul Conrathe, a solicitor at Sinclairslaw who was instructed by both women, said: “It’s possible that care home providers and relatives who lost loved ones in the first wave could bring compensation claims. The Government was found to have acted ‘irrationally’ – that’s a very high legal hurdle.”

Nadra Ahmed, who chairs the National Care Association, said the ruling “opens the floodgates for potential claims to be brought against government policy”.

“This will be especially pertinent where the individual was not given a choice,” she said. “There will be a lot of people assimilating to the information as they consider if the loss of their loved one was premature, and holding the Government to account is the only way forward for them.”

Helen Wildbore, the director of the Relatives and Residents Association, said that the ruling proved “the protective ring around care homes was non-existent” and that older people were “abandoned at the outset of the pandemic”.

A government spokesman said it had been a “very difficult decision” to discharge hospital patients into care homes, taken when evidence on asymptomatic transmission was “extremely uncertain”.

The spokesman added: “We acknowledge the judge’s comments on assessing the risks of asymptomatic transmission and our guidance on isolation, and will respond in more detail in due course.”


‘He was in a home and should have been safe’

They stood outside the Royal Courts of Justice, two women unknown to each other before the Covid pandemic but brought together by tragedy, writes Tom Ough.

Cathy Gardner spoke first, delivering a steely reading of a statement. Matt Hancock’s boast of a “protective ring” encircling care homes, Dr Gardner said, was “a despicable lie of which he ought to be ashamed and for which he ought to apologise”.

Fay Harris, more downcast in demeanour but no less forthright, told journalists: “I have lost precious years with my wonderful Dad.”

Both women lost their fathers in early 2020, arguing that they might still be alive were it not for hospital patients having been discharged into care homes without having been tested for Covid.

Michael Gibson, born in 1931, had been a superintendent registrar of births and deaths. “He was in a home and should have been safe,” Dr Gardner told The Independent after his death.

Mr Gibson, who had advanced dementia, had fallen ill a couple of weeks before the first lockdown. Staff at his care home were unable to procure tests for Covid, but the virus is believed to have struck him down.

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