Stepping Up For The Community
- The Daily Beast
Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office/GettyMINNEAPOLIS—Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on George Floyd for more than nine minutes in an arrest that spurred a worldwide reckoning on race, has been convicted of murder.After about 10 hours of deliberations, jurors in Hennepin County court found Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter for the unarmed Black man’s death after the May 25, 2020, arrest, in which the former officer was filmed pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck as he cried out for help. The 12 jurors, who were sequestered and deliberated at a nearby hotel, did not have any questions for the court.As Judge Peter Cahill read the verdict, Chauvin remained unemotional, staring at the judge from the defense table with a blue face mask covering most of his face. The ex-officer, who was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs, now faces up to 40 years in prison. The guilty verdict was greeted with an eruption of gleeful cheers outside the Hennepin County Government Center and George Floyd Square in Minneapolis, where dozens had gathered ahead of the announcement. “We are pleased that the individual who senselessly killed George Floyd in cold blood and for the world to see has been held accountable for his reprehensible actions. While nothing can bring George back, we are thankful that a jury of Derek Chauvin’s peers recognized that what he did was criminal,” Jacari Harris, executive director of the George Floyd Memorial Foundation, said in a statement. Floyd’s final pleas of “I can’t breathe” became a rallying cry, bringing energy to the Black Lives Matter movement and renewed scrutiny of Black deaths at the hands of police. The verdict comes just days after a white police officer in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center fatally shot 20-year-old Daunte Wright, a Black man, apparently firing her service weapon by accident instead of a Taser during the traffic stop. Wright’s death sparked sometimes violent protests in a city already on edge, with hundreds of residents taking to the streets.Ahead of the Chauvin verdict and possible further civil unrest, Minnesota Gov. Tim Waltz declared a peacetime emergency in seven counties in the state. Minnesota National Guard soldiers joined local law enforcement in guarding the courthouse, which is surrounded by a chain-link fence and concrete barriers. As the city braced for the verdict, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) over the weekend called for protesters to “get more confrontational” if Chauvin is cleared—which Cahill warned could put a guilty verdict in danger of being tossed on appeal.Even President Joe Biden chimed in on Tuesday, suggesting the evidence against Chauvin was “overwhelming.” “I’m praying the verdict is the right verdict,” he said.Prosecutors Say Floyd Died Because Chauvin’s ‘Heart Was Too Small’ as Case Heads to JuryOver the four-week watershed trial, prosecutors argued Chauvin, 45, “betrayed” his badge on May 25 when he ignored Floyd’s dozens of pleas for help as he knelt on his neck for a total of “9 minutes and 29 seconds.” Chauvin’s defense insisted the former cop was just doing what any other “reasonable officer” would do during a “dynamic” arrest.“George Floyd didn’t have to die that day; shouldn’t have died that day. But for the fact that the defendant decided not to get up and not to let up, George Floyd died,” prosecutor Steve Schleicher told jurors in Hennepin County court during closing arguments on Monday.Schleicher insisted the Chauvin heard Floyd’s pleas for help “but he just didn’t listen” and “chose pride over policing.” Schleicher added that while Floyd repeated he couldn’t breathe 27 times in the first four minutes and 45 seconds of his arrest, all Chauvin did “was mock him,” telling him, “It takes a lot of oxygen to complain.”“He knew better. He just didn’t do better. What [Chauvin] did is not policing. What [Chauvin] did is assault,” the prosecutor added. “That day, his badge wasn’t in the right place. He’s not on trial for who he was. He’s on trial for what he did.”To make that point, prosecutors called several of Chauvin’s former peers, including Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo who claimed the ex-cop “absolutely” violated department protocol. Three medical experts also testified that Floyd died of low oxygen from the cop’s actions during the arrest. In the gut-wrenching video, Floyd can be heard repeatedly asking for help, calling out for his mother, and saying he could not breathe.Veteran Cop Who Killed Daunte Wright Charged With Second-Degree ManslaughterChauvin’s lawyer, Eric Nelson, offered his own narrative to the jury. With seven of his own witnesses, Nelson argued that Floyd’s death could have been caused by several other factors, including carbon-monoxide poisoning or his history of drug use, and not necessarily his client’s forceful knee restraint. At least two law-enforcement officers who also assisted the Minneapolis police department during Floyd’s arrest testified that the crowd that surrounded the officer was “very aggressive”—which may have spooked him.“There is absolutely no evidence that Officer Chauvin intentionally, purposefully applied unlawful force,” Nelson insisted during his closing argument on Monday. “These are officers doing their jobs in a highly stressful situation. It’s tragic. It’s tragic.”Nelson urged jurors to look at the “totality” of Floyd’s arrest—and not just the nine minutes Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck. He also argued that several factors could have contributed to Floyd’s death and that Chauvin was distracted while dealing with the growing anger from bystanders and failed to notice that Floyd had stopped breathing.“Human behavior is unpredictable and nobody knows that better than a police officer. Someone can be compliant one second and fighting the next,” Nelson said. “Officers are human beings capable of making mistakes in highly stressful situations.”Three other officers involved in the arrest—Tou Thao, Thomas K. Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng—will now face trial in August on charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder while committing a felony, and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter with culpable negligence.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- National Review
Representative Ilhan Omar on Tuesday became the latest in a string of elected Democrats to weigh-in on the trial of Derek Chauvin, telling reporters in Brooklyn Center, Minn., that the case against the former police officer feels like a “closed case.” “This case, to me, feels like a closed case, where it shouldn’t be really even a questioned whether there will be an acquittal or a verdict that doesn’t meet the scale of the crime that was committed,” the Minnesota Democrat said. “I know that a majority of the community has trust in the leadership of Attorney General Ellison and the prosecutors… to be able to prosecute this case in a way that was dignified and just,” she continued. “The community is still on edge and feels that we are a community that has experienced injustice over and over again. This might actually be the turning point.” “The case, to me, feels like a closed case” Representative Ilhan Omar gives remarks about the Derek Chauvin Trial this morning in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota #BrooklynCenter #ChauvinTrial pic.twitter.com/3fKCY3IcVX — Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) April 20, 2021 Chauvin is charged with second and third-degree murder, as well as manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd. Omar did not specify which charge she believes Chauvin is guilty of. Omar’s comments came just hours after President Joe Biden said that the evidence against Chauvin was “overwhelming” and that he was “praying” that “the right verdict” would be reached. Speaking to protesters in Brooklyn Center on Saturday, Representative Maxine Waters (D., Calif.) told the crowd to “get more confrontational” if Chauvin was acquitted. She was chastised on Monday by the judge presiding over the Chauvin trial, who said her comments to protesters were “abhorrent” and could lead the trial to be overturned on appeal. Omar said she hoped the verdict would come soon, so “the community can begin the process of healing.” Law enforcement and officials in the area anticipate unrest and protest if the jury returns a decision of “not guilty.”
- Architectural Digest
The singer reportedly bought the place beside it three months earlier for $13.8 million
- The Week
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is calling on investor Leon Cooperman to come face her and other lawmakers in a Senate Finance Committee hearing next week. Cooperman, a billionaire investor and one of Warren's most prominent critics, is considering her invitation, which he received via a letter from Warren on Monday, reports CNBC. The subcommittee, chaired by Warren, has titled the April 27 hearing "Creating Opportunity Through a Fairer Tax System" in hopes of discussing the senator's wealth tax proposal. Warren and Cooperman clashed during Warren's presidential campaign as a wealth tax became a central pillar of her campaign. Warren's latest Ultra-Millionaire Tax Act proposal seeks to "level the playing field and narrow the racial wealth gap" through increased taxes for the top 0.05 percent, she says. With a net worth of over $2 billion, Cooperman would be affected by the bill, which proposes a 3 percent annual tax on wealth exceeding $1 billion. Cooperman previously argued Warren had no regard for the American Dream, and participated in an emotional 2019 interview with CNBC decrying her proposal and her "vilification of billionaires." In return, Warren's campaign created a mug with the tagline "BILLIONAIRE TEARS." Leon, you were able to succeed because of the opportunities this country gave you. Now why don't you pitch in a bit more so everyone else has a chance at the American dream, too? https://t.co/OODIM7RcRn — Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) October 23, 2019 In a March 2021 interview, Cooperman told CNBC that if Warren's tax proposal passes, Americans should buy gold as a way of "hiding their wealth," and said while he believes the wealthy should pay more, Warren's strategy is an idea with "no merit." The saga may come to an end if Cooperman agrees to face lawmakers in the congressional hearing, where Warren plans to allow Cooperman to voice his concerns about her bill. Warren has requested he RSVP by Thursday. More stories from theweek.comThe new HBO show you won't be able to stop watchingFormer Trump aides are reportedly frustrated he didn't become vaccine 'salesman-in-chief' as plannedDonald Trump's most dangerous political legacy
- National Review
Joe Biden said Tuesday that he’s “praying” the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial is “the right verdict,” and suggested that the evidence of Chauvin’s guilt is “overwhelming.” “I’m praying the verdict is the right verdict. The evidence is overwhelming in my view,” he told reporters. Chauvin is charged with second and third-degree murder, as well as manslaughter. Biden did not specify which charge he believes Chauvin is guilty of. On Monday, Biden reportedly called Floyd’s family after the jury entered the deliberation room. He said to reporters on Tuesday, “I can only imagine the pressure and anxiety they’re feeling, and so I waited until the jury was sequestered and I called.” “They’re a good family,” Biden continued. Biden’s call coincided with the day closing arguments were delivered in court. White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed that the call occurred. At Tuesday’s White House press briefing, Psaki mentioned that Biden’s “I’m praying the verdict is the right verdict” comments in the Oval Office were not meant to influence the jury. “I don’t think he would see it as weighing in on the verdict…,” Psaki said. George Floyd’s brother, Philonise, said about Biden’s phone call, “He was just calling. He knows how it is to lose a family member. And he knows that the process of what we’re going through so he was just letting us know that he was praying for us, and hoping that everything would come out to be OK.” Biden is the second major elected official to comment on the Chauvin trial proceedings this week. Biden’s call to the Floyd family and words to reporters come after Maxine Waters’s inflammatory speech at a protest near Brooklyn Center, Minn. Waters urged protestors to “get more confrontational” and “stay in the streets” if the jury acquitted Chauvin. The defense attorney in the trial argued that Waters comments were prejudicial to the jury and constituted grounds for a mistrial. The judge subsequently denied the defense’s motion for a mistrial. Waters visited Brooklyn Center after Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, was fatally shot by a police officer. Biden has pleaded for calm in the aftermath of Wright’s death. Officials are reportedly preparing for unrest and potential violence pending the verdict of the trial.
- The Telegraph
Eyes of the world on 'unusually diverse' jury ahead of verdict How the charges against Derek Chauvin hold the key to unrest in America Five big moments the jury are now considering at Derek Chauvin's trial Derek Chauvin has been convicted of murder after kneeling on George Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes until he died, in a landmark trial heralded as a turning point for police accountability in the US. The former officer was on trial for second-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder. Mr Chauvin showed little emotion as the verdict was read out in the courtroom in downtown Minneapolis. His sentence will be determined in eight weeks. A member of the Floyd family, younger brother Philonise was in court as the verdict was handed down. It followed just 11 hours of deliberations from an ethnically diverse panel of jurors who ranged in age from their 20s to their 60s. Footage of Mr Floyd's death led to a resurgence in the "Black Lives Matter" movement, with protesters across the nation demanding for more accountability for police killings. Watch the verdict being read out in the video player at the top of this blog.
- Miami Herald
A 32-year-old mother was found dead early Tuesday next to her sleeping child inside a car in the parking lot of a Boynton Beach hotel.
- Lexington Herald-Leader
The timber was worth an estimated $20,000.
- The Daily Beast
REUTERS/Jane RosenbergAs Derek Chauvin’s murder trial comes to a close, both sides made their closing arguments on Monday, with prosecutors insisting the former Minneapolis cop’s fatal arrest of George Floyd wasn’t “policing” but “murder”—as his defense claimed he used “reasonable” force.Prosecutors on Monday detailed to jurors in Hennepin County court how Chauvin’s decision to press his knee into the 46-year-old Black man’s neck while he repeated that he could not breathe was unjustifiable and inhumane.“The truth of the matter is that the reason that George Floyd is dead is that Mr. Chauvin’s heart was too small,” special prosecutor Jerry Blackwell said Monday just before the case was sent to the 12-member jury.Prosecutor Steve Schleicher also insisted the officer “knew better; he just didn’t do better” during Floyd’s May 25 arrest over a fake $20 bill. “What [Chauvin] did is not policing. What [Chauvin] did is assault.”“That day, his badge wasn’t in the right place. He’s not on trial for who he was. He’s on trial for what he did,” Schleicher argued, adding that Chauvin “chose pride over policing.” During his closing argument—which lasted 2 hours and 47 minutes—defense attorney Eric Nelson argued that Chauvin was distracted while dealing with the growing anger from bystanders—and failed to notice that Floyd had stopped breathing. “A reasonable police officer will hear the frustration growing...the increase of the volume of the voices...will hear the name-calling...they’ll take that into their consideration,” Nelson said. “Officers are human beings capable of making mistakes in highly stressful situations.”“There is absolutely no evidence that Officer Chauvin intentionally, purposefully applied unlawful force,” Nelson claimed.Defense Expert Claims Exhaust From Cop Car Contributed to George Floyd’s DeathThe closing arguments come after four weeks of testimony in the watershed trial. During the trial, prosecutors have insisted to jurors that Chauvin, 45, “betrayed” his badge when he ignored Floyd’s dozens of pleas for help as he knelt on his neck for a total of “9 minutes and 29 seconds” over a suspected counterfeit $20 bill. During the arrest, Floyd cried out he could not breathe a staggering 27 times before losing consciousness.Chauvin “heard him and all he did was mock him, [saying] ‘It takes a lot of oxygen to complain,’” Schleicher said. “George Floyd struggled, desperate to breathe, to make enough room in his chest to breathe. But the force was too much. He was trapped, with the unyielding pavement beneath him, as unyielding as the men who held him down,” Schleicher said. “A grown man, crying out for his mother. A human being.”Prosecutors called 38 witnesses over 11 days. Among those were five current and former cops—as well as the Minneapolis police chief, who said Chauvin used excessive force in violation of his training and department protocol. Three medical experts concluded Floyd died of low oxygen, or asphyxia, from Chauvin’s actions during the arrest, while several bystanders, family members, and friends of Floyd gave days of emotional testimony.Schleicher insisted Monday that Floyd’s death “wasn’t a sudden cardiac arrhythmia, a heart attack, a drug overdose, a death from underlying conditions or an accident. It was an intentional act by Chauvin.”“The government put on a very strong case. I thought that the testimony of the chief and other officers that the force was not authorized or part of [the] training was very effective. It is rare to have testimony from police officers in these cases other than retained experts. The cross of the use-of-force witnesses was largely ineffective,” Jonathan Smith, the executive director of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, told The Daily Beast.Chauvin’s defense lawyer, however, argued that his client was simply doing what “he was trained to do throughout his 19-year career,” calling on seven witnesses in two days and focusing heavily on Floyd’s previous health issues and alternative explanations for his death. Chauvin declined to testify on his own defense, invoking his Fifth Amendment right. On Monday, Nelson compared criminal cases to baking chocolate cookies and emphasized the high standard of reasonable doubt. “Space aliens flew in and inhabited the body of Derek Chauvin and caused this death. That’s fanciful,” Nelson said.The defense attorney then focused on two key points: The state has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Floyd died as a direct result of Chauvin’s actions and the ex-officer must have intentionally harmed him.“The use of force is an incredibly difficult analysis,” Nelson insisted, urging the jury to look at the totality of the incident and not just the nine minutes that Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck. “You can’t limit it to 9 minutes and 29 seconds, but it started nearly 17 minutes earlier.”The defense attorney argued that several factors could have contributed to Floyd’s death, including carbon monoxide poisoning from the police squad car or drug overdose.Smith, a former official in the Department of Justice’s civil-rights division who also led the independent investigation into Elijah McClain’s death at the hands of police in Colorado, said he believed Nelson’s defense was “more effective at trying to create confusion on the cause of death” than anything else.Defense Expert in Chauvin Trial: Knee on George Floyd Was ‘Justified,’ Caused No Pain“The controversy on whether Mr. Floyd had an enlarged heart and about carbon monoxide blood levels should have been avoidable for the prosecution, but it is unclear whether it will matter much in the end,” he said, before noting that conviction in police cases are rare. “Even in light of the very strong case by the state, it remains to be seen what the jury will do.”The idea of creating confusion in the courtroom also caused late drama in the case when prosecutors slammed the defense’s witnesses who seemed to suggest Floyd could have died from carbon monoxide poisoning.On Thursday, Martin Tobin, a renowned pulmonologist who testified that Floyd’s airflow was so restricted it was “as if a surgeon had gone in and removed” his lung, was called back to the stand at the last minute to rebut the bizarre idea the squad car’s exhaust contributing to Floyd’s death.The idea was brought forward by David Fowler, a forensic pathologist, without any data or test results. Tobin’s testimony also came after prosecutors said they got last-minute test results of “blood gas readings” that show Floyd’s carbon monoxide levels were normal.Andrew Baker, the Hennepin County medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Floyd, also testified for the defense that the 46-year-old died of “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law-enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression” and that heart disease, fentanyl use, and methamphetamine were “other significant conditions.”“The defense seems to have put most of its marbles in that basket,” said Mike Lawlor, an associate professor at the University of New Haven and a former prosecutor, added about Floyd’s cause of death. He added to The Daily Beast that the defense’s “expert witnesses did not really undermine the state’s case–and “have bolstered it to some extent.”While the defense seemed focused on sowing doubt, prosecutors leaned heavily on emotional testimony and showing jurors the deep trauma that watching Floyd’s death caused so many people.“The most moving, and searing part of the trial were the eyewitnesses. Their testimony was compelling and impactful. The trauma that they experienced watching Mr. Floyd be killed and the helplessness they felt in being unable to stop Chauvin came through clearly,” Smith said.Among the group were an off-duty Minneapolis firefighter and EMT—who said she was ignored after repeatedly offering her assistance—as well as an MMA fighter who tried to explain that Chauvin’s chokehold was cutting off Floyd’s circulation. Several teenagers, and one 9-year-old girl, also testified how they begged the officers to stop as Floyd was “gasping for air.”“You could see his eyes slowly, you know, rolling back up and in his head, and him having his mouth open, wide open,” MMA fighter Donald Williams, who is heard in the viral video yelling at Chauvin to release Floyd, testified during the trial. Eventually, Williams said, Floyd began to “fade away, like a fish in a bag” before he lost consciousness.As prosecutors played the viral video to jurors on Monday, Chauvin kept his eyes down at the defense table.“George Floyd was not a threat to anyone,” Schleicher said Monday while lightly pounding his hand onto the lectern before insisting to jurors that “no courage was shown that day” while Floyd begged for his life in front of strangers. “George Floyd begged until he could speak no more and the defendant continued this assault.”“No courage was required, all that was required was a little compassion and none was shown on that day,” the prosecutor added. Throughout the trial, jurors also got a peek into how cracked the thin blue line really is in Minneapolis. In addition to Police Chief Medaria Arradondo’s sharp rebuke of Chauvin’s actions, several current and former police officials all disagreed with the use of force.‘Totally Unnecessary’: Cops Desert Derek Chauvin on the Witness Stand“Totally unnecessary. First of all, pulling him down to the ground face-down and putting your knee on a neck for that amount of time is just uncalled for,” Lt. Richard Zimmerman, the longest-serving officer in Chauvin’s old department, testified. “I saw no reason why the officers felt they were in danger. And that’s what they would have to feel to be able to use that kind of force.”The defense, however, tried to smooth over the clear signal that Chauvin has been abandoned by his former peers, bringing forward former cop Barry Vance Brodd, who insisted the former law enforcer’s knee restraint on Floyd was not a “use of force”—but a “control technique” because it caused him no pain.Lawlor added that while he believes that the prosecution did an “excellent job,” the defense did poke holes in the theory Chauvin inequitably caused Floyd’s death—but that the matter is now up to the jury. The sequestered jury will now decide whether Chauvin is guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.To do so, the 12-person jury will have to unanimously agree that Chauvin caused Floyd’s death, intentionally intended to commit harm, and acted unreasonably as a police officer by not adhering to the training of the Minneapolis Police Department.“It’s clear to me that Chauvin expects to be heading to prison at some point. How long he spends there is in the hands of this jury,” Lawlor said, adding that for the defense, “their only hope at this point [is] reasonable doubt.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- Business Insider
"Losing this many intelligence officers will reduce the amount of activity and capabilities of the Russians," said the central European official.
- USA TODAY
Chase and Sadie: They married after his terminal cancer diagnosis. A year later, they spend their final moments together.
As Chase Smith died, Sadie lay next to him. "I kissed his face and never let go until he entered the gates of heaven and took his last breath."
- Business Insider
The STRATCOM commander says he needs a modern nuclear force because he cannot deter "leftovers of the Cold War" forever.
A banned Pakistani Islamist group called an end to violent nationwide anti-France protests on Tuesday, after the government called a parliamentary vote on whether to expel the French ambassador and said it would halt criminal cases against the group's members. Pakistan arrested the leader of the group Tehrik-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) on April 12 and banned the group last week after its members blocked main highways, railways and access routes to major cities, assaulting police and burning public property. The group has demanded that Pakistan expel the French ambassador in retaliation for the publication in France of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed.
European soccer's governing body UEFA led a backlash against plans for a breakaway Super League on Monday, saying associated players and clubs could be banned from its competitions - including three of this season's Champions League semi-finalists. Addressing an emergency meeting the day after 12 of Europe's top clubs announced the new league, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin described the Super League plan as a "spit in the face" of all football lovers. Three of the 12 clubs in the new league - Real Madrid, Manchester City and Chelsea - could be withdrawn from this season's Champions League semi-finals, UEFA executive committee member Jesper Moller told Danish broadcaster DR.
- The Week
Former Trump aides are reportedly frustrated he didn't become vaccine 'salesman-in-chief' as planned
Former aides to former President Donald Trump are reportedly looking back at the end of his term as a major missed opportunity to encourage his supporters to get vaccinated against COVID-19. A new report in Politico describes how Trump's "unwillingness to pitch his voters on getting the jab has become the source of frustration for former aides," not to mention experts who believe he could have helped sway those Republicans who say they won't get vaccinated. While Trump was in office, there was reportedly a "monthslong effort to get him to publicly take the lead" on pushing vaccinations. "If he spent the last 90 days being the voice — and taking credit because he deserved to for the vaccine — and helping get as many Americans get vaccinated as he could, he would be remembered for that,” a former senior administration official said. In fact, health officials pushed for Trump to receive a COVID-19 vaccine on camera, and officials from the White House and federal agencies planned for him take on the role of the "vaccine's salesman-in-chief," Politico reports. Ultimately, Trump didn't get the vaccine publicly, though former Vice President Mike Pence did. A senior administration official told Politico there were concerns that Trump would be seen as "jumping the line" ahead of those at higher risk after he had COVID-19 in the fall. But officials were also reportedly skeptical that Trump would be open to getting the vaccine on camera. "Someone joked and said, 'Have you ever seen him wear a short sleeved shirt in public?'" a former administration official told Politico. "'I don't think that's going to happen.'" It was later revealed in March that Trump actually quietly received the vaccine off camera before he left office — and not only did the White House not tell anyone, but Politico says top health officials and aides didn't even know this was happening at the time Read more at Politico. More stories from theweek.comThe new HBO show you won't be able to stop watchingDonald Trump's most dangerous political legacyFauci flubs the freedom question
Ben Higgins says it was 'incredibly courageous' of 'Bachelorette' winner Zac Clark to open up about his drug addiction on the show
Ben Higgins was also addicted to painkillers in the past, but didn't talk about it during his season of "The Bachelor."
- The Daily Beast
Photo: GettyIf someone gets a headache or feels a bit under the weather after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, it’s become common to hear them say something like “Oh, it just means my immune system is really working hard.” On the flip side, when people don’t notice any side effects, they sometimes worry the shot isn’t doing its job or their immune system isn’t reacting at all.Is there any link between what you can notice after a vaccine and what’s happening on the cellular level inside your body? Robert Finberg is a physician who specializes in infectious diseases and immunology at the Medical School at the University of Massachusetts. He explains how this perception doesn’t match the reality of how vaccines work.What does your body do when you get a vaccine?Your immune system responds to the foreign molecules that make up any vaccine via two different systems.The initial response is due to what’s called the innate immune response. This system is activated as soon as your cells notice you’ve been exposed to any foreign material, from a splinter to a virus. Its goal is to eliminate the invader. White blood cells called neutrophils and macrophages travel to the intruder and work to destroy it.This first line of defense is relatively short-lived, lasting hours or days.The second line of defense takes days to weeks to get up and running. This is the long-lasting adaptive immune response. It relies on your immune system’s T and B cells that learn to recognize particular invaders, such as a protein from the coronavirus. If the invader is encountered again, months or even years in the future, it’s these immune cells that will recognize the old enemy and start generating the antibodies that will take it down.In the case of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, it takes approximately two weeks to develop the adaptive response that brings long-lasting protection against the virus.Be Very, Very Skeptical of These ‘Bad News’ Vaccine ReportsWhen you get the vaccine shot, what you’re noticing in the first day or two is part of the innate immune response: your body’s inflammatory reaction, aimed at quickly clearing the foreign molecules that breached your body’s perimeter.It varies from person to person, but how dramatic the initial response is does not necessarily relate to the long-term response. In the case of the two mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, well over 90 percent of people immunized developed the protective adaptive immune response while fewer than 50 percent developed any side effects, and most were mild.You may never know how strongly your body’s adaptive immune response is gearing up.The bottom line is you can’t gauge how well the vaccine is working within your body based on what you can detect from the outside. Different people do mount stronger or weaker immune responses to a vaccine, but post-shot side effects won’t tell you which you are. It’s the second, adaptive immune response that helps your body gain vaccine immunity, not the inflammatory response that triggers those early aches and pains.What are side effects, anyway?Side effects are normal responses to the injection of a foreign substance. They include things like fever, muscle pain and discomfort at the injection site, and are mediated by the innate immune response.Neutrophils or macrophages in your body notice the vaccine molecules and produce cytokines—molecular signals that cause fever, chills, fatigue and muscle pain. Doctors expect this cytokine reaction to happen any time a foreign substance is injected into the body.In studies where neither recipients nor researchers knew which individuals were getting the mRNA vaccine or a placebo, approximately half of people aged 16 to 55 who received a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine developed a headache after the second dose. This reaction may relate to the vaccine—but a quarter of people who received just a placebo also developed a headache. So in the case of very common symptoms, it can be quite difficult to attribute them to the vaccine with any certainty.Researchers anticipate some reports of side effects. Adverse events, on the other hand, are things that physicians do not expect to happen as a result of the vaccine. They would include organ failure or serious damage to any part of the body.The blood clots that triggered the U.S. to pause distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are a very rare event, apparently happening with one-in-a-million frequency. Whether they are definitely caused by the vaccine is still under investigation—but if scientists conclude they are, blood clots would be an extremely rare side effect.What component in the shot causes side effects?The only “active ingredient” in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is the mRNA instructions that tell the recipient’s cells to build a viral protein. But the shots have other components that help the mRNA travel inside your body.To get the vaccine’s mRNA into the vaccinated person’s cells where it can do its job, it must evade enzymes in the body that would naturally destroy it. Researchers protected the mRNA in the vaccine by wrapping it in a bubble of lipids that help it avoid destruction. Other ingredients in the shots—like polyethylene glycol, which is part of this lipid envelope—could cause allergic responses.If I feel sick after my shot, does that signal strong immunity?Scientists haven’t identified any relationship between the initial inflammatory reaction and the long-term response that leads to protection. There’s no scientific proof that someone with more obvious side effects from the vaccine is then better protected from COVID-19. And there’s no reason that having an exaggerated innate response would make your adaptive response any better.Both the authorized mRNA vaccines provided protective immunity to over 90 percent of recipients, but fewer than 50 percent reported any reaction to the vaccine and far fewer had severe reactions.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. 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- The Week
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) moved to censure Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) on Tuesday in response to comments she made about the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. The House is expected to vote on the resolution later in the afternoon. NEWS: Here’s @GOPLeader’s resolution censuring @RepMaxineWaters. It will come up for a vote this afternoon pic.twitter.com/n9NPptffRa — Punchbowl News (@PunchbowlNews) April 20, 2021 Last week, Waters joined protesters in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, for a demonstration related mainly to the recent police shooting of Daunte Wright, though George Floyd's death and the Chauvin trial served as an undercurrent. While there, the congresswoman said that if Chauvin was acquitted, demonstrators should "stay on the street" and "get more confrontational" so "they know we mean business." Her words didn't sit well with Republican lawmakers, who saw it as inciting violence. Additionally, Judge Peter Cahill, who is presiding over the Chauvin trial, suggested to Chauvin's defense attorneys that her remarks could be grounds for an appeal. The situation escalated a bit on Tuesday, with Democratic and Republican lawmakers going back-and-forth. At one point, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) told reporters that McCarthy should "sit this one out" and "clean up [his] own mess," referring to some of the more controversial or scandal-ridden figures in the House GOP, including Reps. Laura Boebert (R-Colo.), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.). McCarthy clearly didn't heed Jeffries' advice, but Democrats, who hold a slim majority, are reportedly confident they'll kill the censure. CNN's Manu Raju reports that one of their main arguments is that Republican lawmakers, like Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), who many considered to have played a role in riling up the pro-Trump mob that breached the Capitol on Jan. 6, weren't censured for their remarks, making it unfair to single out Waters. More stories from theweek.comThe new HBO show you won't be able to stop watchingFormer Trump aides are reportedly frustrated he didn't become vaccine 'salesman-in-chief' as plannedDonald Trump's most dangerous political legacy
- Associated Press
Malaysian opposition lawmakers led by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad submitted a petition to the country's king on Tuesday seeking an end to a coronavirus emergency so Parliament can resume. The king approved Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin's plan for an emergency in early January to curb the spread of the coronavirus, but critics said it was a political ruse to help the embattled leader stay in power amid challenges to his leadership. Muhyiddin's government remains in control and has extraordinary powers to introduce laws without parliamentary approval.
- Business Insider
Kevin McCarthy jumps on Marjorie Taylor Greene's bandwagon, saying he'll introduce his own resolution to censure Maxine Waters for her 'dangerous comments'
McCarthy said he would file a resolution of his own just as Greene filed her resolution to "expel" Waters for "inciting Black Lives Matter terrorism."