Politics 10 Things in Politics: Biden says Fox News saw the light on vaccines
Biden tiptoes around Fox News amid pushback on Covid vaccine disinfo
The White House hasn’t called out the network. Nor has it engaged it aggressively. Some supporters of the vaccine campaign say that’s a mistake.The White House has so far taken an arms-length approach to Fox, despite its strong following among supporters of former President Donald Trump, who watch the network more regularly than any other cable outlet, and are less likely to be vaccinated than the average American. Administration officials have appeared only sparingly on the network to discuss the necessity of the vaccine and counter persistent doubts about its efficacy being voiced there. And off of Fox’s airwaves, they have been reluctant to call out the network.
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Here's what we're talking about:
1. FINALLY WITHIN EARSHOT: President Joe Biden paid a backhanded compliment to Fox News. He didn't mention the conservative bastion directly, but during a CNN town hall last night he said an unnamed network (definitely Fox News) "had an altar call" in its shift toward promoting COVID-19 vaccines as the Delta variant tore through unvaccinated Americans..
'The glue that is holding us all together': Joe Biden rides herd on Democrats ahead of tough 2022 election cycle
Biden has been a driving force as the Democratic National Committee gears up for the 2022 elections in which control of Congress is at stake.But behind the scenes, the chief executive is playing another role: Democratic Party leader.
- Biden himself underlined the enormous stakes: "If you're vaccinated, you're not going to be hospitalized. You're not going to be in an ICU unit. And you are not going to die," he said during the town hall. Fully vaccinated people can very much still get COVID-19, sometimes severely, but as Biden emphasized .
, per my colleagues:
The changes: Fox News did create a new vaccine public-service announcement. Hosts including Sean Hannity and Jesse Watters have been open about getting the shot. And the network,, is also plugging Vaccines.gov, the US federal vaccine website, for the first time in six weeks.
A Pacific island's Covid-19 crisis has become a political power play between China and Australia
Pacific island Papua New Guinea is trying to keep its Covid-19 outbreak under control. Instead, it's found itself at the center of a political power play.Canberra has hit back at Beijing's claims it is derailing the rollout of Chinese vaccines in Papua New Guinea (PNG), the most-populous Pacific island nation. "We support Papua New Guinea making sovereign decisions," Australia's Minister for the Pacific, Zed Seselja, said in an interview with CNN on Wednesday.
- But some of the highest-rated personalities remain against the lifesaving shot: Tucker Carlson's show especially continues to remain vocally anti-vax. In fact, Biden's praise of Fox News' apparent about-face came the same night one of Carlson's guests
Republican lawmakers are also emphasizing getting vaccinated: House Minority Whip Steve Scalise revealed he just received his first dose. His push , but just as on Fox News there are .
One thing is certain: Cases are rising more rapidly in states, per The New York Times.
- But the change in rhetoric is coming too late for some: "One of the last things they do before they're intubated is beg me for the vaccine. I hold their hand and tell them that I'm sorry, but it's too late," .
2. Inside the inner circle of South Dakota's governor: Gov. Kristi Noem's national profile is quickly rising as Noem explores a 2024 presidential run. My colleagues took a look at her top advisors, who include the former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and several aides who have worked on Capitol Hill. Two members of Noem's family are also in the inner circle.
Laura Ingraham Doubles Down on Anti—Vaccine Claims: 'Experimental Drug'
The Fox News host made the claim while responding to criticism from Senator Dick Durbin, who called her and colleague Tucker Carslon "anti-vaxx quacks."During a Senate floor speech on Monday, Durbin, 76, an Illinois senator, claimed that Ingraham and Carlson are "anti-vax quacks" and said that they have circulated on their shows "what I consider to be irresponsible information about vaccines.
3. Republicans pull out of Capitol riot panel: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the GOP would not participate in the select committee investigating the riot after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi vetoed two of McCarthy's five choices to serve on the panel. Pelosi acknowledged her decision was unprecedented but said the equally "unprecedented situation" of the insurrection necessitated her blocking Reps. Jim Jordan and Jim Banks..
- Rep. Liz Cheney defended Pelosi's decision: Cheney, the only Republican on the panel, said McCarthy's behavior had disqualified him from being speaker should the GOP retake the majority. .
Biden's quote of the day:
4. The White House is said to be debating a masking push: Top officials are discussing whether they should urge all Americans regardless of their vaccination status to wear masks in more settings because of the Delta variant, The Washington Post reports..
Biden, Congress and student loan forgiveness: What is the federal government doing to address the issue?
Biden has relieved some student loan debt, but Democrats want to go bigger to undo some of the nation's $1.7 trillion in student loan debt.Now, as the deadline approaches, Democrats are not only calling on the White House to extend the forgiveness once again, but to take lasting action towards forgiving student loans — which reached record high numbers in 2020.
5. Amazon, investment banks, and even tobacco companies are trying to cash in on pot: Cannabis legalization is big business on Capitol Hill. A record number of interests lobbied to shape marijuana laws from April to June this year as legalization talks heated up. Beyond Amazon, some of the largest cannabis companies are expanding their lobbying efforts..
6. Early infrastructure vote fails, but lawmakers don't seem discouraged: Senate Republicans voted against advancing the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal. But a key faction called for more time and said they could support the same agreement in four days. The vote failed on a 49-51 vote, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer voting no only so he could bring it up again later..
7. Mitch McConnell signals GOP will play hardball on nation's debt: Congressional Democrats slammed McConnell for threatening to oppose an extension of the US's ability to pay its bills, a step that could jeopardize the economic recovery if Congress doesn't act. Democratic lawmakers pointed out that they supported raising the limit more than once under President Donald Trump..
Unvaccinated Arkansas Is Running Out of Time
Only 35 percent of the state is fully vaccinated, and with case rates rising, living there can feel like moving through a distorted reality.Arkansas has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the United States, and one of the worst case rates for COVID-19. Our neighboring states—especially Missouri—are seeing similar trends. Case counts have been increasing at the highest rates since February, and we have the most new cases per capita in the nation. On Monday, we saw the highest single-day increase in hospitalizations, 79 new patients, of the entire pandemic. Test-positivity rates are also high, suggesting that infections are undercounted.
8. Melania Trump agreed that John McCain wasn't a war hero, former aide says: Lewandowski told Insider that Trump supported her husband privately after they met up following the presidential candidate's declaration in 2016 that McCain, a decorated Vietnam POW, was "not a war hero." The detail was part of a new Insider oral-history project on the 2016 campaign. A spokeswoman for Melania Trump denied that she disparaged McCain..
- Don't miss the entire project for yourself -
9. South Korea is tapping BTS to help with diplomacy: The seven-member boy band - consisting of RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook - will attend international conferences like the 76th United Nations General Assembly this September..
10. Parents are getting on the nerves of counselors at ritzy camps: A Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer employed by one camp says dealing with overbearing parents makes it "the hardest work I have ever done.".
Today's trivia question: The US has only one national historic site that is located outside the country. Where is it? Hint: It's somewhat alluded to in one of the service branches' songs. Email your guess and a suggested question to me at.
- Yesterday's answer: Some businesses frame the first dollar they receive. Amazon named a building on its campus after John Wainwright, its first customer. .
Michael Flynn Criticizes DeSantis, Hannity for Vaccine Push: 'They Know That They Have Influence' .
The former national security advisor accused the prominent Republicans of "trying to be politically correct."Flynn accused the two of "trying to be politically correct" as he spoke Friday on The Right Side With Doug Billings.