The Daily Agenda: Covid spreads faster in maskless schools
Why hasn't anyone mentioned this thing about masks stopping the spread... And if you've got a problem with our posture, take it up with Paul.
In case you haven’t heard, masks work, even on kids.
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors received an update yesterday from the county’s top health official, Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine, who predictably reiterated that masks seem to be the biggest factor in whether COVID-19 ravages a school or not, The Associated Press reported.
As COVID-19 and the delta variant are again on the rise, schools without mask mandates are twice as likely to see an outbreak, she told the board.
COVID-19 is spreading through schools “exponentially” and at a rate “never seen before,” she said. The county has tracked nearly three times as many outbreaks since school started this month as during the previous wave in February. (Though to be fair, many schools were online or in hybrid mode back then.)
Children make up 6 percent of hospitalizations, up from about 3.6 percent in the early pandemic.
“There's something about the delta strain that it affects children just as much as older people, and so what we're seeing is a dramatic rise in children," Sunenshine told the board.
The law banning school mask mandates kicks into effect at the end of the month, and if the virus and the delta variant aren’t in decline by then, expect mayhem.
That delay in implementing the law allowed Arizona to dodge a bullet yesterday, though. The U.S. Department of Education opened investigations into five states that ban mask mandates, but not Arizona.
Because Arizona’s law isn’t actually in effect yet, there’s nothing yet to investigate, the department said.
But we have a feeling Gov. Doug Ducey will be hearing from the feds very soon.
You get a bus pass, everyone gets a bus pass: Phoenix is using some of its federal COVID-19 relief funds to pay for transit passes for residents who need them. Phoenix City Council member Yassamin Ansari wants the city to take it further eventually: Free bus and light rail for all residents, reports KJZZ’s Christina Estes.
Congress is doing what we couldn’t: The U.S. House committee that’s investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol wants to see records from some members of Congress related to the day’s events. U.S. Reps. Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar are on the list, according to CNN. Good luck getting Biggs’ texts — we’ve tried that before.
The John Carreyrou book about all this is really good: Once upon a time, a woman in a Steve Jobs costume came to the Arizona Capitol, touting a new technology and seeking a change to state law to allow more people to use this technology by getting blood tests without a doctor’s order. Anyway, Elizabeth Holmes’ trial for fraud charges starts this week.
Well, that seems totally reasonable: Arizona schools got billions from the federal government COVID-19 relief packages. Some schools that serve low-income students received far more than those that don’t, reports the AP’s Bob Christie.
Do thorough background checks: A citizen panel charged with finding a replacement for former Arizona Sen. Tony Navarette, who resigned after being charged for child molestation crimes, came up with a list of eight future former senators.
Stephen Lemons is back in action: The federal trial against Backpage founders, including Michael Lacey and James Larkin, for facilitating prostitution begins on Sept. 1. (That’s tomorrow — yes, it’s almost Sept. 1). The Republic’s Richard Ruelas tells us what we could see during the trial, years in the making.
They do know he worked for New Times, right?: The Republic’s new politics reporter, Ray Stern, tagged along with the canvassing effort that maybe is maybe isn’t part of the official Arizona audit, a practice the Justice Department has warned constitutes illegal voter intimidation.
Budget requests are due to the governor’s office tomorrow. State agencies and boards write up what they need and want from the state budget next fiscal year, making cases for why they need more money to serve Arizonans.
There are tons of good nuggets of information in budget requests — we read them every year. Last year’s budget requests are available on the governor’s budget office’s website, and this year’s should be up soon. We can’t wait!
We’re sorry, but you’re all going to have to learn some new, useless stuff to understand what we’re about to lay out here.
Gosar’s tweet. Yes... We know... We already said we’re sorry.
But we spent a good 45 minutes searching the skeevy corners of the internet, and we don’t want that time going to waste. So here’s what we learned about his bizarre green-arrow-infused desert photo.
The green lines crossing the cacti and arrow pointing to his, uhh, well, look at the pic, are a play on a far-right meme that went stale more than a year ago when a woman-hater and “Red Pill pick-up artist” (what a phrase) decided that leaning is for cucks. He started scrawling green lines on photos to show which cucks leaned the farthest. (If you don’t know what a cuck is, you’re better off. We hope to never use the word in here again.) We won’t torture you with all the details, but Mel Magazine’s Miles Klee dug into the green line fad for a feature last year, and this is probably all you need to know.
“Soon, we found out that the late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein never leaned, the Titanic sank because it wasn’t alpha enough and Jesus Christ’s angle at the Last Supper was just a bit off. All checks out.”
Arizona Sen. Jamescita Peshlakai will join the Climate Action Campaign for a virtual press conference at noon today.