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White House Embraces Herd Immunity in Latest Push to End COVID-19 Lockdowns

White House Trump
U.S. President Donald Trump addresses a rally in support of law and order on the South Lawn of the White House on October 10, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Trump invited over two thousand guests to hear him speak just a week after he was hospitalized for COVID-19.
Samuel Corum/Getty

The White House is doubling down on its push to reopen the economy, now openly embracing a herd immunity strategy at the urging of some health experts.

Two senior advisers told Newsweek and other media outlets on Monday that the Trump administration supports the Great Barrington Declaration, a controversial document that argues against lockdowns and calls for a reopening of schools, businesses and other entities, while protecting people deemed vulnerable to the virus because of age or other risk factors.

“I think Americans should be cautiously optimistic about what’s going on here,” one of the officials said.

The officials were not authorized to speak on-the-record about the matter, but both defended the decision to move toward a broad-scale reopening, even though at least 5,900 people in the United States died with COVID-19 last week.

The coronavirus has contributed to the deaths of more than 214,000 people in the U.S. since the pandemic began earlier this year.

Experts have argued that approaching “herd immunity”—essentially allowing more people to contract COVID-19 in the hopes that they would quickly recover and create a mass immunity—would likely result in many more deaths and illnesses.

World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters during a virtual press briefing on Monday that such an approach would be “unethical.”

“Herd immunity is achieved by protecting people from a virus, not by exposing them to it,” he said.

President Donald Trump has mentioned the idea in the past, mistakenly referring to it as “herd mentality,” and the

House Democrats push forward on probe of Pompeo’s political speeches

House Democrats are widening an investigation into whether Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump COVID-19 result raises pressure on Pompeo GOP Sen. Thom Tillis tests positive for coronavirus Pelosi tests negative for COVID-19 MORE is illegally campaigning for the president ahead of the November election. 

Reps. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelDemocrats introduce bill to combat sexual harassment at State Department Overnight Defense: Congress recommends nuclear arms treaty be extended | Dems warn Turkey | Military’s eighth COVID death identified Democrats warn Turkey over involvement in Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict MORE (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroCalls for COVID-19 tests at Capitol grow after Trump tests positive Democrats introduce bill to combat sexual harassment at State Department Disinformation, QAnon efforts targeting Latino voters ramp up ahead of presidential election MORE (D-Texas), chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, sent a letter Monday to the State Department demanding the agency’s legal guidance over at least three recent speeches Pompeo delivered in the U.S. 

This includes speeches to the Wisconsin state legislature and a church in Texas in September and a speech Saturday at an event for the anti-abortion advocacy organization the Florida Family Policy Council.

Pompeo was originally expected to deliver his remarks in person, where attendees paid upward of $10,000 for tickets to secure a personal visit with the secretary, CNN reported.

Pompeo rescheduled his remarks, delivering them remotely from Washington out of an abundance of caution following President TrumpDonald John TrumpQuestions remain unanswered as White House casts upbeat outlook on Trump’s COVID-19 fight White House staffers get email saying to stay home if they experience coronavirus symptoms White House says ‘appropriate precautions’ were taken for Trump’s outing to see supporters MORE’s positive diagnosis of COVID-19. 

But his participation

House Reports Push for More Focus on China by Intelligence Agencies

WASHINGTON — The United States could fall behind in its global competition with China without additional resources to develop better intelligence on the Chinese government, and spy agencies must focus more on the challenge of pandemics and trade, according to a report by the Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee released Wednesday.

The warnings in the report, the result of a classified two-year study of American intelligence agencies’ work, were similar to the conclusions of a Republican study on China also released Wednesday. While that report, by a task force of House Republican lawmakers, has a wider focus, it too called for a more aggressive stance toward China and better defenses against Chinese theft of intellectual property and efforts to influence American politics.

While there is a bipartisan consensus on China, the failure of Democrats and Republicans in the House to work together on the issue was another sign of the partisan dysfunction that has gripped Washington and that could be a hurdle to revising American policy on China despite the agreement.

The House Intelligence Committee report, primarily the work of the panel’s Democratic majority, calls for a “significant realignment of resources” to help the United States compete with China. The report calls for a broader look at national security threats, including climate change and pandemics, while trying to collect intelligence on China.

“Absent a significant and immediate reprioritization and realignment of resources, we will be ill prepared to compete with China — diplomatically, economically and militarily — on the global stage for decades to come,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the committee. “The good news is that we still have time to adapt.”

China has been a growing challenge for the United States. President Trump has said without evidence that the coronavirus

Parents jumping on New World Little Garden bandwagon push full set price over $70

The New World Little Garden collection craze has taken root.

The supermarket chain began the six-week promotion on September 7, giving away vegetable, herb and flower seedling kits with every $40 spent – so you’d have to spend $960 over six weeks to collect them all.

The going rate for a full set of New World Little Garden seedlings at auction is currently about $70.

Stuff

The going rate for a full set of New World Little Garden seedlings at auction is currently about $70.

Kiwi parents committed to collecting the full catalogue have adopted a ‘work smarter not harder’ approach and founded numerous community Facebook groups to trade and on-sell excess seedlings of one type in exchange for the plants they don’t have.

Trade Me spokesperson Millie Silvester said the individual seedlings and sets are selling for “big bucks” online.

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“There is currently a full set of Little Garden seed pots onsite with a leading bid of $67.80,” she said. 138 people have saved the auction to their watchlist and it’s not due to close for another two days.

Just after New World launched Little Garden people began to search for the various seedlings in online marketplaces.

Last week, a full set of Little Garden seedlings sold for $72 after racking up almost 8,000 views. Interest in the promotion seems to be gaining momentum.

“In the last seven days we’ve seen 3,000 searches for Little Garden, that’s up 76 per cent on the week prior,” said Silvester.

“We typically see the number of listings for these items surge each time New

Democrats Narrow Gap in Washington District Trump Won by 7 Points Amid Push to Expand House Seats

As Democrats look to push House Republicans further into the minority, the Democratic challenger in a Washington state House race has narrowed her deficit against the Republican incumbent to make it a near neck-and-neck contest, according to an internal Democratic poll provided to Newsweek.

Despite President Donald Trump winning Washington state’s 3rd Congressional District in 2016 by more than seven points, Democrat Carolyn Long is trailing Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wa.) by just two points, within the survey’s margin of error. In 2018, Herrera Beutler bested Long by roughly 16,400 votes, or 5.4 percent, and is serving her fifth term.

Long is one of 37 candidates that House Democrats hope will help them expand their majority in the lower chamber.

The poll, conducted by the progressive firm GQR, shows Long at 47 percent and Herrera Beutler at 49 percent. Four percent of voters in the longtime Republican district, which is located in the southwest region of the state, remain undecided.

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Abby Olmstead, Long’s campaign manager, said “the stakes have never been higher.” And the choice between the candidates, she added, should be clear.

“In 2020, we face the choice between reelecting a career politician who has spent a decade staying silent, who is never available to her constituents and who is continuously working with Trump to dismantle access to healthcare,” Olmstead said. “Or Carolyn—who will be a hard-working, present, accountable, representative that always puts the people of Southwest Washington first.”

Democrat Carolyn Long
A new internal poll by Democrats shows challenger Carolyn Long, a Democrat, trailing the Republican incumbent for Washington state’s 3rd Congressional District, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler by two points.
Courtesy of the Carolyn Long campaign

Long enjoys a net +11 favorability rating, compared to Herrera Beutler’s net +5 rating. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is