The Monday Politics Thread is Vaxxed, Still Masked

‘What if it was your kid?’: Parents of young children feel forgotten as CDC loosens mask restrictions

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says fully vaccinated people can ditch masks in most indoor settings. Several states have begun to lift mask mandates. And some schools are loosening mask requirements.

But as many Americans celebrate the new guidance as a step toward a return to normalcy, some parents of young children who cannot yet be vaccinated say they feel left behind.

“For me, it wasn’t a time to celebrate,” said Janie Able, a mother of two 7-year-old girls in Omaha, Nebraska. “My husband and I are vaccinated, but what about my children?”

She added, “I absolutely don’t trust people to do what’s right and wear their masks if they’re not vaccinated. And that’s going to put my children at risk.”

USA Today

Fauci: Vaccinated people become ‘dead ends’ for the coronavirus

Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Biden, said during a discussion on Sunday about the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) decision to drop mask recommendations for fully vaccinated individuals that vaccinated people become “dead ends” for COVID-19.

Appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Fauci explained to host John Dickerson that fully vaccinated people can go without masks even if they have an asymptomatic case of COVID-19 because the level of virus is much lower in their nasopharynx, the top part of their throat that lies behind the nose, than it is in someone who is unvaccinated.

“So even though there are breakthrough infections with vaccinated people, almost always the people are asymptomatic and the level of virus is so low it makes it extremely unlikely — not impossible but very, very low likelihood — that they’re going to transmit it,” Fauci said.

The Hill

Congressional Democrats have a 100% vaccination rate

Democratic lawmakers in both chambers of Congress have a 100% vaccination rate against Covid-19, a CNN survey of Capitol Hill found this week, significantly outpacing Republicans in the House and Senate and illustrating the partisan divide over the pandemic.

For Republicans, at least 44.8% of House members are vaccinated and at least 92% of senators are, CNN found.

In a follow-up to a March House-wide survey and interviews with members, CNN confirmed that 312 of the 431 members of the House — just over 72% of the 431-member body — have now received a Covid-19 vaccination. Of that, all 219 House Democrats have reported being vaccinated.

Among the Republican conference, 95 of the 212 members — 44.8% — have said they are vaccinated.

One hundred and twelve Republican offices did not respond to multiple CNN inquires.


Israel kills 42 in Gaza as Netanyahu warns war will go on

Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City flattened three buildings and killed at least 42 people Sunday, Palestinian medics said — the deadliest single attack in the latest round of violence. Despite the toll and international efforts to broker a cease-fire, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signaled the fourth war with Gaza’s Hamas rulers would rage on.

In a televised address, Netanyahu said the attacks were continuing at “full-force” and would “take time.“ Israel “wants to levy a heavy price” on the Hamas militant group, he said, flanked by his defense minister and political rival, Benny Gantz, in a show of unity.

Hamas also pressed on, launching rockets from civilian areas in Gaza toward civilian areas in Israel. One slammed into a synagogue in the southern city of Ashkelon hours before evening services for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, Israeli emergency services said. No injuries were reported.

AP News

Fauci: Coronavirus pandemic showed ‘undeniable effects of racism in our society’

Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious diseases expert, said Sunday the COVID-19 pandemic had exposed racial disparities in living conditions and access to healthcare across the U.S. that required serious action to fix.

During a commencement address given virtually to new graduates of Emory University, the president’s chief medical adviser pointed to higher rates of COVID-19 deaths among Black Americans, Latino Americans, and members of other minority groups as evidence of “social determinants” that caused the pandemic to hit those communities especially hard.

“Now, very few of these comorbidities [with COVID-19] have racial determinants. Almost all relate to the social determinants of health dating back to disadvantageous conditions that some people of color find themselves in from birth regarding the availability of an adequate diet, access to health care and the undeniable effects of racism in our society,” he said.

“Let us promise ourselves our memory of this tragic reality — that an infectious disease disparately kills people of color — does not fade,” Fauci continued. “Righting this wrong will take a decades-long commitment. I urge you to be part of that commitment.”

The Hill

Iran: How transgender people survive ultraconservative rule

Iran’s state subsidizes gender reassignment surgery while prohibiting homosexuality. A long and continuing history of activism has helped transgender people bolster their community despite the discrimination they face.


The Violence in Jerusalem Over the Pending Evictions of Palestinians Horrifies Me

In this op-ed, a Jewish American writer calls for an end of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Teen Vogue

Thousands Of People Protested In Support Of Palestinians In Major Cities Around The World

Thousands of people across the world showed their support for Palestinians in protests amid some of the worst fighting between Israelis and Palestinians since the 2014 Gaza war, with demonstrators from Canada to Japan waving flags and chanting “Free Palestine” on Saturday.

The protests come as tension and violence in the region grows, with at least 145 Palestinians and 10 Israelis killed, including children.

The violence began when Israeli security forces raided Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan last week, injuring scores of worshippers and causing Hamas to retaliate with rocket fire. Israeli police also violently clamped down on protesters demonstrating against the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

Videos also showed Israel’s Iron Dome defense system lighting up the night sky as it intercepted a flurry of rockets.

On Saturday, an Israeli airstrike hit a refugee camp in Gaza, killing eight children and two women. Hours later, more airstrikes destroyed a 12-floor residential building in Gaza that housed international news organizations, including the Associated Press and Al Jazeera, in a move widely condemned as a threat to the free press in the region.

Buzzfeed News

Ecuador indigenous party wins National Assembly presidency, backed by Lasso

Ecuador’s National Assembly on Saturday evening elected a representative of the Pachakutik indigenous political party as its president for the next two years, with the support of allies of conservative President-elect Guillermo Lasso.

Lawmaker Guadalupe Llori won the National Assembly presidency with 71 votes in the 137-seat chamber. She previously served as a local official in Orellana province in the Amazon region and was jailed during former President Rafael Correa’s government on terrorism and sabotage charges after organizing protests against oil companies.

Llori was later granted amnesty and calls the charges politically motivated.

The alliance between Pachakutik and Lasso’s CREO party effectively sidelined the left-wing UNES party. UNES won the most seats in the congress in elections earlier this year but fell short of an outright majority.


Chileans elect body to rewrite Pinochet-era constitution

Chileans are casting ballots in a weekend poll to elect 155 delegates who will be tasked with drafting a new constitution. The vote has been billed as the country’s most vital since the fall of the military dictatorship in 1990.

The delegates, along with 17 indigenous envoys, will have 9 months to revise the constitution. 

Any reforms will require a two-thirds agreement within the new Constituent Assembly, before the constitution is approved, or rejected, by the nation in 2022.

Overhauling Chile’s existing constitution — enacted in 1980 by the late General Augusto Pinochet’s junta — was a widespread demand focused on social inequality during mass protests in October 2019.  The unrest claimed 36 lives and was triggered by hikes in public transport fares. 

In a subsequent plebiscite, in October last year, 80% of voters backed the rewrite procedure, which excludes current members of congress.


The Black Hair Experience Exhibit Is a Nostalgic Celebration for Black Women

If, as a Black woman, you’ve ever dreamed of your reliving your childhood hair experiences, then The Black Hair Experience exhibit is for you. 

When it comes to weekend activities, Instagrammable pop-up museums are all the rage these days because of the fun photo ops, but this exhibit is not one of those. Yes, it’s fun and also a space for cute photos, but it’s also more than that: It’s a celebration of joy for Black women as well as a nostalgic experience. 

Visual artist Alisha Brooks and photographer Elizabeth Austin-Davis joined forces in hopes of creating an exhibit dedicated to celebrating Black communities and Black women in particular. Alisha and Elizabeth tell Teen Vogue that they wanted to “create an experience that connected us despite our differences.” 

While we’re all different, one thing that a lot of Black women across the country and the world share is our experiences with our hair. This space showcases that. The exhibit explores the nostalgia of the Black hair experience and the relationship that Black women have been nurturing with their hair since childhood. From afros and braids to curls and weaves, Black hair is an essential part of Black history and the Black experience. Across the diaspora, hair is a part of our identity and that’s why the Black Hair Experience exhibit is so important.

Teen Vogue