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The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Emergent – House votes to fund US government, aid Ukraine

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                             Presented by Emergent

 

 

Welcome to The Hill’s Morning Report. It is Thursday! We get you up to speed on the most important developments in politics and policy, plus trends to watch. Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver are the co-creators. Readers can find us on Twitter @asimendinger and @alweaver22. Please recommend the Morning Report to friends and let us know what you think. CLICK HERE to subscribe!

The House on Wednesday approved a long-term spending bill and an emergency aid package for Ukraine but faced unexpected drama as Democrats stripped out proposed COVID-19 relief funding that stirred a budgetary uprising in key states. 

 

Early on Wednesday, top negotiators announced after months of discussions a deal on a $1.5 trillion spending agreement that will keep the government’s lights on through the end of September. The deal, coupled with nearly $14 billion in humanitarian and military aid for Ukraine, was set to pass early on Wednesday, allowing House Democrats to travel to Philadelphia for their annual retreat (The Associated Press).

 

However, the vote was delayed over a snag as House Democrats railed against how the funding proposal would pay for the $15 billion in COVID-19 relief funds sought by the White House. As The Hill’s Mike Lillis and Aris Folley detail, the pandemic relief money would have been offset by clawing back unspent money sent to certain states as part of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill signed by President BidenJoe BidenHouse passes bill banning Russian oil imports, authorizing sanctions White House congratulates South Korea’s new president, citing ‘ironclad’ alliance Expected rent spike adds to record inflation MORE exactly one year ago. Lawmakers from those states threatened to hold up the bill’s passage, forcing Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to yank it from the bill entirely (Politico). 

 

“Because of Republican insistence — and the resistance by a number of our Members to making those offsets — we will go back to the Rules Committee to remove COVID funding and accommodate the revised bill,” Pelosi wrote in a note to her colleagues. “We must proceed with the omnibus today, which includes emergency funding for Ukraine and urgent funding to meet the needs of America’s families.”

 

The final bills passed the House late on Wednesday. The House first voted 361-69 to back funding for the Pentagon, Department of Homeland Security and other national security items, and then 260-171, with one Democrat voting “present,” to advance the provisions largely related to domestic programs (The Hill). 

 

Lawmakers also passed a stopgap spending measure until Tuesday in case problems arise before Friday with the final package and a government shutdown cannot be averted. 

 

The Hill: House overwhelmingly passes bill banning Russian oil imports, authorizing sanctions.

 

The New York Times: Uncertainty for Biden’s COVID-19 plan after aid is dropped from spending bill.

 

The Hill: Russian invasion scrambles Democrats’ agenda.

 

Politico: House Democrats park in Philadelphia bruised by potholes.

 

The 2,700-page omnibus spending package is expected to be passed by the Senate ahead of Friday’s deadline to avert a government shutdown. 

 

However, the legislation also represents the end of an era in the upper chamber. As The Hill’s Alexander Bolton notes, it’s likely the last omnibus spending bill that will be cobbled together by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) and committee ranking member Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyOvernight Health Care — Congress to provide COVID-19 funding  Congress nears deal on Ukraine aid, government funding Congress nears deal on billions in coronavirus aid MORE (R-Ala.), two retiring senators who have mastered the art of directing funds to their home states.

 

Politico: Democratic-led Congress keeps ban on Washington, D.C., weed.

 

The U.S. taxpayer assistance for Ukraine was seen as good news on Wednesday, even as the horrors of war mounted and Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinReporter in Lviv says Ukrainians ‘want to be able to fight for themselves’ UK to urge West to ‘ramp up the global pressure on Putin’ Overnight Defense & National Security — US rules out combat aircraft for Ukraine MORE appeared determined to target civilians in an effort to control Ukraine.

 

There are mass graves in the outskirts of port city Mariupol (pictured below) into which corpses of civilians, bagged in black plastic or wrapped in cloth, have been piled and covered in dirt. Ukraine accused Russian forces of bombing a maternity hospital in Mariupol on Wednesday, allegedly killing three people and injuring 17 amid heavy structural damage (The Associated Press). Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said today, “We will definitely ask our military because, of course, we don’t have clear information on what happened there,” the Interfax news agency reported.

 

 

 

 

Ukraine continued to try to establish cease-fires with Russian troops to help escaping civilians, with little success. The Associated Press reported that Russian aircraft bombed Zhytomyr, a city of 260,000 to the west of Kyiv, on Wednesday evening, while artillery fire continued pounding the suburbs of Kyiv and Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city. When darkness fell, Russian artillery again began shelling some Kyiv suburbs. Among mounting Ukrainian casualties: children.

 

The challenges in Ukraine include the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which Russian forces disconnected from the plant’s power supply on Wednesday, according to an operator. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called for a cease-fire to allow safety repairs at the plant (The Hill).

 

An adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during an interview with Bloomberg News on Wednesday, said the country was open to discussing armed neutrality but would cede no territory to Russia. Analysts again pondered whether Ukraine, to appease Russia, might try to resolve the conflict by becoming “neutral” as a nation, akin to Switzerland (The Washington Post). Representatives of EU member states are meeting today at Versailles outside Paris and are expected to discuss Ukraine’s appeal to join the bloc.

 

Vice President Harris today has begun her meetings in Poland to show solidarity with the Ukrainian people, including millions of refugees there (The Hill and The Associated Press). The Biden administration is opposed to a proposed fighter jet deal with Poland to help Ukraine (The Hill); U.S. resistance expressed on Tuesday was repeated on Wednesday with a firm Pentagon “no.” During Harris’s meeting today with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, he praised the United States for its “brave decision of being independent of Russian oil.” Morawiecki described Russian energy profits as “money for their war machine, so to say.”

 

The European Union said Wednesday it planned to ratchet up sanctions on Russian individuals and banks in Belarus that serve Russia (Reuters). The United Kingdom froze the assets of Chelsea soccer club owner Roman Abramovich and six other Russian oligarchs. To ensure Chelsea soccer operations can continue, the government said it issued the club a license permitting play, including in a Premier League match tonight (The New York Times).

 

U.S. officials continued to discuss America’s boycott of Russian petroleum, natural gas and coal announced on Tuesday. The average price of gas nationally for U.S. consumers hit a new high of about $4.25 per gallon on Wednesday.

 

Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenOvernight Energy & Environment — EPA green-lights California car standards US, Poland still discussing possible jet deal Blinken welcomes UAE support for increasing oil production MORE said he welcomed support for increased oil production by the United Arab Emirates to fill gaps in supply (The Hill). U.S. officials have demanded Venezuela supply at least a portion of oil exports to the United States as part of any agreement to ease oil trading sanctions, Reuters reported.

 

 

 

 

Financial markets gyrated on Wednesday, offering glimmers of better news for consumers and some investors, at least for a few hours. Higher oil prices fell in afternoon trading, giving stocks an extra boost. West Texas Intermediate crude prices fell more than 12 percent at nearly $109 per barrel. Prices for Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, plummeted 13 percent for the largest one-day drop since April 2020 (CNBC).

 

The Wall Street Journal: Trading remains volatile. Oil prices jump and stock futures fall.

 

“Ferocious rebound” was a phrase U.S. analysts used Wednesday to describe a global stocks recovery, the largest surge since 2020 (Yahoo News). The changes erased some losses since the outset of Russia’s attacks.

 

Niall Stanage, The Memo: Rising gasoline prices in the United States have revived bipartisan debate about energy sources.

 

The Hill and The New York Times: Major companies are exiting Russia. It’s being called a “retail exodus.”

 

The State Department’s Office of Global Partnerships said on Wednesday that those who want to donate to help Ukrainians during the war can visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/ukraine-humanitarian-fund for ideas. On social media, donors are encouraged to include the campaign’s website and the hashtag #UnitedWithUkraine, the State Department adds. For updates: https://www.state.gov/united-with-ukraine/ or follow @GPatState on Twitter.

HEARTBEAT OF POLITICS

 Introducing NotedDC: The Hill’s curated commentary on the beat of the Beltway by journalists Elizabeth Crisp and Kelsey Carolan. Click here to subscribe to our latest newsletter

LEADING THE DAY

CORONAVIRUS: Total U.S. coronavirus deaths reported each morning this week: Monday, 958,621; Tuesday, 960,311; Wednesday, 961,935; Thursday, 963,819. 

 

> Clinical trials of the antiviral drug Paxlovid developed by Pfizer are advancing in stages studying the effectiveness among children ages 6 to 17 infected with COVID-19 but not hospitalized (CNN and Politico). Paxlovid was previously granted emergency approval by the Food and Drug Administration for use in children ages 12 and older.

 

> United Airlines decided it will let workers who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 return from noncustomer-facing roles and from unpaid leave (The Wall Street Journal).

 

> Some international public health and biodiversity experts recommend a global treaty that would ban wildlife markets, a crackdown intended to help head off a future viral pandemic. Civet cats and scaly pangolins (pictured below) in animal markets have been found to harbor the coronavirus, highlighting the risks of “zoonotic” diseases, which develop in animals and jump to humans. But moving to international bans of wet markets and markets where wild animals are sold as edible delicacies or as medically beneficial is complicated (The Hill).  

 

 

 

 

> During the pandemic to date, at least 152 House and Senate lawmakers publicly disclosed they tested positive for COVID-19. The Hill analyzed those known cases of infection and determined that 69 were House Republicans and 58 were House Democrats. In the Senate, the known cases of infection occurred in 15 Republicans, 10 Democrats and one independent.

A MESSAGE FROM EMERGENT

We Go to protect those who protect us. For more than two decades, Emergent has developed, manufactured, and delivered protections against critical health threats. 

 

The vaccines and treatments we manufacture have protected millions, including US service members. Learn more about how our life-enhancing products help create a better, more secure world: www.emergentbiosolutions.com

IN FOCUS/SHARP TAKES

POLITICS: Former President TrumpDonald TrumpWhite House congratulates South Korea’s new president, citing ‘ironclad’ alliance RNC sues over Jan. 6 panel’s subpoena of Salesforce Russia’s war on Ukraine upends nuclear talks with Iran MORE’s ex-White House adviser Stephen MillerStephen MillerStephen Miller sues Jan. 6 panel over subpoena for his phone records, citing ‘family plan’ Sunday shows preview: Russian invasion of Ukraine intensifies The Senate confirmation scandal is a liability to US foreign relations MORE filed a lawsuit on Wednesday to block the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack from subpoenaing for his phone records, arguing the panel’s request was overly broad because Miller’s account is linked to a family phone plan shared with his parents. 

 

Miller’s court filing lists Carron Drive Apartments, a California real estate company, as a co-plaintiff, saying that the firm is the subscriber of a T-Mobile “family plan” account that is used by Miller’s parents and their children.

 

“Because Mr. Miller’s phone number is included with other numbers assigned by T-Mobile to the Family Plan Account, in the absence of explicit instructions from the Committee, it is possible that T-Mobile may respond to the Subpoena by producing data for other numbers assigned to the Family Plan Account,” reads the 15-page complaint filed in federal court in Washington, D.C.

 

As The Hill’s John Kruzel notes, the push for phone records by the committee is separate from a subpoena issued to him in November focusing on false statements he made to advance Trump’s false claims of widespread voter fraud. Ahead of the Jan. 6 rally on the Ellipse, Miller (pictured below) told Trump’s supporters to “fight like hell.” 

 

The Washington Post: Inside the Jan. 6 committee’s effort to trace every dollar raised and spent based on Trump’s false election claims.

 

The Wall Street Journal: Republican National Committee files suit against House Jan. 6 committee.

 

 

 

 

> Putin politics: Former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory accused Trump-backed Rep. Ted BuddTheodore (Ted) Paul BuddThe Hill’s Campaign Report: GOP hits Dems over rising prices at the pump GOP Senate candidate accuses Trump-backed GOP challenger of supporting Putin The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Emergent – Biden, Congress take aim at Russian oil MORE (N.C.) of supporting Putin in a campaign ad as the two politicians lock horns in a battle for the GOP nomination in the state’s Senate contest. 

 

In the ad, McCrory’s campaign spliced together soundbites of Budd saying in a recent interview that Putin is “a very intelligent actor,” with the lawmaker adding that, “There are strategic reasons why he would want to protect his southern and western flank. We understand that.” 

 

In that February interview, however, Budd also called Putin “evil” and an “international thug.” 

 

“But, he is intelligent. And so, we have to treat him as such,” Budd added in the interview (The HIll).

 

Politico: MAGA-world fails to flock to Truth Social.

 

Max Greenwood, The Hill: Former Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceTrump’s plane made emergency landing after GOP retreat: reports McCarthy breaks with Trump on Putin: Russian leader not ‘savvy,’ ‘genius’ Judge questions Eastman’s work for Trump amid House committee’s allegation MORE ramps up political activity as he eyes 2024 run.

The Morning Report is created by journalists Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver. We want to hear from you! Email: asimendinger@thehill.com and aweaver@thehill.com. We invite you to share The Hill’s reporting and newsletters, and encourage others to SUBSCRIBE! 

OPINION

Once again, Congress comes together on the main thing it can agree on — sticking it to future generations, by Henry Olsen, columnist, The Washington Post. https://wapo.st/3635KVq 

 

Masking policy is incredibly irrational right now, by Emily Oster, opinion contributor, The Atlantic. https://bit.ly/367Isxx 

WHERE AND WHEN

The House meets at 10 a.m. on Friday. House Democrats hold a retreat in Philadelphia (The Hill). Punchbowl News published the schedule for the event.

 

The Senate convenes at 10 a.m.

 

The president will receive the President’s Daily Brief at 9:30 a.m. Biden will speak by phone about Ukraine’s situation with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey at 10 a.m. The president will hold a bilateral meeting at 1:40 p.m. with Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez at the White House. Biden at 7:15 p.m. will speak at a Washington hotel to members of the Democratic National Committee (The Hill).

 

The vice president is in Warsaw, Poland, and is holding bilateral meetings with Polish President Andrzej Duda as well as Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. Harris in the evening plans a bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauOvernight Defense & National Security — US rules out combat aircraft for Ukraine Harris lands in an Eastern Europe bloodied by war Harris to meet with Ukrainian refugees in Poland MORE, who is in Warsaw as well. Harris will also meet some Ukrainians who have fled the war in their country, plus U.S. Embassy staff in Warsaw and those U.S. Embassy personnel who departed Kyiv to temporarily base their work in Poland. On Friday, Harris will travel to Romania.  

 

Second gentleman Doug EmhoffDoug EmhoffUkraine ambassador to join Jill Biden at State of Union The Hill’s 12:30 Report – Russian economy tanks as crippling sanctions take effect Photos of the Week: Marking COVID-19 deaths, Mt. Etna and Olympic snowboarders MORE is in Florida to deliver remarks at Democratic National Committee fundraising events in Miami at 9 a.m. and at 1 p.m.

 

Economic indicator: The Bureau of Labor Statistics at 8:30 a.m. reports on February’s consumer price index.

 

The White House daily briefing is scheduled at 12:45 p.m.

 

Hill.TV’s “Rising” program features news and interviews at http://thehill.com/hilltv and on Facebook at 10:30 a.m. ET. Also, check out the “Rising” podcast here.

 

DC spotted: Steve Kornacki of NBC News on Wednesday night ran into a ballroom at the Marriott Marquis hotel just as he was being introduced to the crowd at the 31st annual First Amendment Awards dinner. Kornacki, sporting a tux (no trademark khakis!) received the 2022 First Amendment Clarity Award. In remarks, Kornacki fondly remembered the late Tim Russert’s famous 2000 low-tech white board and his astute call on election night that it all was coming down to “Florida! Florida! Florida!”

ELSEWHERE

INTERNATIONAL: Negotiators from the United States, Europe, Russia, China and Iran had appeared close in Vienna to a breakthrough in nuclear talks. However, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine two weeks ago upended discussions, report The Hill’s Laura Kelly and Reuters. … On Wednesday, South Korean voters narrowly elected Yoon Suk-yeol, an anti-graft prosecutor turned opposition leader, as president to succeed Moon Jae-in. Candidate Lee Jae-myung of the governing Democratic Party conceded the contest early Thursday (The New York Times). The United States described its relationship with South Korea “ironclad” and congratulated the president-elect. Biden spoke with Yoon by phone (Reuters and The Hill).

 

MEDICINE: Two months after experimental transplant surgery, a 57-year-old man who received a genetically modified pig heart as a last-ditch medical intervention died Tuesday at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Doctors were unclear whether the organ implanted in David Bennett Sr. was rejected by his system. “There was no obvious cause identified at the time of his death,” a hospital spokeswoman said. Bennett’s contributions to transplant science and results after additional study will be described in a future medical journal report (The New York Times). 

 

JUSTICE, POLICING & LAW: A Cook County judge today will sentence Jussie Smollett, a former “Empire” actor who was convicted of staging a fake hate crime. Smollett was found guilty in December of five counts of felony disorderly conduct over false assertions that he had been the target of a racist and homophobic attack in 2019 (The Associated Press and CNN). … In an exclusive investigation, The Washington Post reports that more than $1.5 billion has been spent to settle claims of police misconduct involving thousands of officers repeatedly accused of wrongdoing. Taxpayers are often in the dark about the costly patterns of misconduct.

 

LOCKED OUT: The death of a 162-game baseball season was made official on Wednesday as Major League Baseball canceled all games through April 13 as the league and the MLB Players Association were unable to strike a deal on a collective bargaining agreement to end the lockout. The most recent issue to come up between the two sides was a draft for international prospects, with no resolution being agreed to on the subject (ESPN).

A MESSAGE FROM EMERGENT

 

We Go to protect those who protect us. For more than two decades, Emergent has developed, manufactured, and delivered protections against critical health threats.

 

The vaccines and treatments we manufacture have protected millions, including US service members. Learn more about how our life-enhancing products help create a better, more secure world: www.emergentbiosolutions.com

THE CLOSER

And finally … It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for this week’s Morning Report Quiz! Inspired by Wednesday’s 11-year anniversary of the Space Shuttle Discovery’s retirement, we’re eager for some smart guesses about U.S. space travel and the now-defunct shuttle program.

 

Email your responses to asimendinger@thehill.com and/or aweaver@thehill.com, and please add “Quiz” to subject lines. Winners who submit correct answers will enjoy some richly deserved newsletter fame on Friday.

 

Over the 42-year duration of the U.S. space shuttle program, how many shuttles took part in the 130 non-test missions?

  1. Four
  2. Five
  3. Six
  4. Seven

How many successful, accident-free shuttle missions took place between the Challenger and Columbia disasters in 1986 and 2003, respectively?

  1. 75
  2. 82
  3. 88
  4. 100

Which of the shuttle orbiters accounted for the least amount of time in space (excluding Challenger)?

  1. Discovery
  2. Columbia
  3. Atlantis
  4. Endeavor 

The late Sen. John Glenn (D-Ohio) went into outer space for the second time in 1998 (becoming the oldest individual to do so) as part of the STS-95 crew aboard which shuttle?

  1. Discovery 
  2. Enterprise
  3. Atlantis
  4. Endeavor

 

 

 

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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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