Demand for ivermectin has surged despite it being an unproven treatment for COVID-19.ByJoseph Guzman | Aug. 31, 2021https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.478.1_en.html#goog_1550167755Volume 20%00:1701:01More Videos00:35Rand Paul: ‘Hatred for Trump’ blocking research into Ivermectin as COVID-19 treatment00:58In ‘horrifying and amazing’ video, a giant tortoise attacks, devours baby bird02:26Study says new Lambda variant could be vaccine-resistant02:50Trita Parsi- Other Major, U.s.-backed Middle East Powers Are Just As Interventionist As Iran00:55OPINION: In Afghanistan, President Biden had to play the losing hand his predecessors dealt him00:49The signs you have the delta variant are different than original COVID-1901:39Briahna Joy Gray- Voters Are ‘Torn’ Over Ohio Special Election03:39Zaid Jilani: ‘I Don’t Think’ Anyone Will Try To Defund The Police After Milley’s Comments00:33NBC News reporter accosted during live coverage of Hurricane Ida00:59Kennedy family erupts over release of assassin who killed Robert F KennedyClose
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During a meeting with dozens of his constituents Friday, Paul claimed researchers are unwilling to take Ivermectin seriously as a COVID-19 treatment because of their dislike for the former president.
“The hatred for Trump deranged these people so much, that they’re unwilling to objectively study it,” Paul reportedly told his constituents.
“So someone like me that’s in the middle on it, I can’t tell you because they will not study ivermectin. They will not study hydroxychloroquine without the taint of their hatred for Donald Trump,” Paul said.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says hatred of former President Trump is hindering research into whether a drug used to treat parasitic infections in animals and humans can treat COVID-19, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently said it has received several reports of people requiring hospitalization after “self-medicating with Ivermectin intended for horses” to treat COVID-19, and warned people against doing so.
“You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, ya’ll. Stop it,” the health agency tweeted last week.
Health officials say ivermectin intended for human use and medication used on livestock is significantly different, with the latter containing high levels of the drug that can be toxic to people.
And while ivermectin made for human consumption has been used for decades to treat parasitic worms and other conditions, the drug has not been approved to treat COVID-19, although several ongoing clinical trials involving ivermectin as a possible treatment are underway.
Despite this, demand for the drug has surged across the country among people infected with the coronavirus in recent weeks, with some pharmacists reporting a shortage of the drug, according to The New York Times.
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The phenomenon is similar to last year’s polarizing debate on the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which was touted by Trump during his presidency as a treatment for the coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization concluded the drug had little effect or no effect on preventing illness, hospitalization or death from COVID-19.
During a meeting with dozens of his constituents Friday in Cold Spring, Ky., Paul claimed researchers are unwilling to take the drug seriously as a COVID-19 treatment because of their dislike for the former president, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
“The hatred for Trump deranged these people so much, that they’re unwilling to objectively study it,” Paul reportedly told his constituents.
“So someone like me that’s in the middle on it, I can’t tell you because they will not study ivermectin. They will not study hydroxychloroquine without the taint of their hatred for Donald Trump,” Paul said.
The senator said he was unsure if ivermectin works because there has yet to be enough research, but told the Cincinnati Enquirer he keeps an open mind.
He also reportedly railed against mask and vaccine mandates but encouraged people to get vaccinated.
“I think I’m in the middle ground of the vaccines,” he told the local news outlet. “CNN invites me on all the time. They have announcers calling me an ‘ass’ on TV. Then they have doctors saying I’m thorougly anti-vaccine. You heard me, I’m not against the vaccine. I’ve already recommended if you’are at risk to take it…It’s still your choice if it’s a free country,” he reportedly said.
Great Britain had great plans for June 21. English citizens had been calling it “Freedom Day,” the day that nation’s COVID restrictions would be lifted after the pandemic’s long siege. A well-managed vaccine rollout has more than half the population fully inoculated, and everything appeared to be moving in the right direction.
Upon the emergence of the COVID-19 variant dubbed “Delta,” however, the U.K.’s plans have changed. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has delayed “Freedom Day” for another four weeks, with a potential for more if the variant is not better contained.
The Delta variant of COVID first emerged from the coronavirus wave that subsumed much of India earlier this spring. Reports strongly suggest that it is far more contagious than the original version of the virus, and is doing more damage to those who become infected. It took four weeks for Delta to become the dominant COVID strain in Great Britain, and at present it has spread to more than 60 countries worldwide.
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The U.S. is one of them. At present, the Delta variant represents approximately 10 percent of all new infections here, and that rate is doubling every two weeks. “Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said Sunday that a coronavirus strain known as the Delta variant is likely to become the dominant source of new infections in the U.S.,” reportsCNN, “and could lead to new outbreaks in the fall, with unvaccinated Americans being most at risk.”
There were almost 13,000 new cases of COVID diagnosed yesterday, and 145 recorded deaths. While these numbers represent an astonishing decrease from the horrific toll the nation endured last winter, the number of new daily infections remains simply unacceptable in a country so flush with vaccines that medical experts fear whole batches will go bad for lack of use.
As of Monday, almost 44 percent of the U.S. population over 12 years old has received both doses of the vaccine, and 52.5 percent has received one. Children under 12 remain completely unvaccinated. In a nation of 328 million people, slightly more than 174 million have gotten at least one dose. This, for lack of a better phrase, is a dramatic chink in our COVID armor, especially in the face of an exceptionally virulent variant like Delta.
As with all things these days, the question of “why?” boils down to the deliberately deluded garbage politics of the right. A Washington Postanalysis shows COVID rates plummeting in states with high numbers of vaccinated people, and rising in states with fewer vaccinated people. This is simple math, really, but disquieting to confront in the face of the highly contagious Delta variant.
So where are the politics? Where they always are: in the states. “The top 22 states (including D.C.) with the highest adult vaccination rates all went to Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election,” reportsNPR. “Some of the least vaccinated states are the most pro-Trump. Trump won 17 of the 18 states with the lowest adult vaccination rates.”The conspiracy theories that have enveloped the effective distribution of this medicine to Trump supporters have morphed into their own sort of bent, all-encompassing multiverse, where all the “answers” are spelled with the letter “Q.”
Adherence to nihilistic anti-science Trumpism is not the sole factor for the lower rates in these various states. Less than a quarter of Black people have received at least one shot as of last week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the lowest among the ethnic and racial groups listed. A large part of the problem is access: There have been a number of issues with the vaccine rollout, particularly impacting people who lack access to transportation or cannot take time off work to get a shot. Meanwhile, some vaccine hesitancy persists within Black communities; it is an understandable byproduct of generations of unspeakable abuses of that community by the medical field.
However, among the largely white Trump supporters who are refusing the vaccine, the hesitancy has a very different root. Many people across the country appear to be saying no to the vaccine because doing so will shore up their pro-Trump street cred. The conspiracy theories that have enveloped the effective distribution of this medicine to Trump supporters have morphed into their own sort of bent, all-encompassing multiverse, where all the “answers” are spelled with the letter “Q” and mask mandates are equated with the Holocaust.
It is not difficult to foresee what comes next. If COVID holds to its pattern of finding all the gaps in our defenses, and if Delta is as bad as they say, we can expect to witness the return of terrible infection numbers to the regions that continue to shun the vaccine. By all accounts, the vaccines remain highly effective in their ability to stave off the Delta variant, especially if those receiving two-dose vaccines make sure to get both shots.
The United States is reopening from shore to shore, and there is great gladness for it. Vaccinated people are being told with high confidence that they can return to a semblance of normal … but with less than half the country fully vaccinated, and with a stunning portion of that half clinging to their Trump-spawned delusions, I still fear that we are reopening too soon.
The rise of the Delta variant makes this concern all the more pressing. If Trump had a single care for the people who make him possible, he would embark on a vaccination campaign in all the states he carried in 2020, but he will not do this unless forced to. He will squat in his Bedminster lair plotting revenge, even as those he owes his power to die preventable deaths every day.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in an exclusive interview Friday with NBC News, called former President Donald Trump a “colorful individual” and said he can work with President Joe Biden.
Putin compared the two presidents at a time when relations between Russia and the United States are at a historic low and ahead of the Russian leader’s upcoming summit with Biden.
“Well even now, I believe that former U.S. president Mr. Trump is an extraordinary individual, talented individual, otherwise he would not have become U.S. president,” Putin told NBC’s Keir Simmons during a wide-ranging and, at times, contentious interview. “He is a colorful individual. You may like him or not. And, but he didn’t come from the U.S. establishment. He had not been part of big-time politics before, and some like it, some don’t like it but that is a fact.”
Video: Putin responds to being called ‘killer’ by Biden
3:44 8:57 Maddow to DOJ officials: Wake up! You have to fix this. LATER IN THE DAY, WE DID, IN
As for Biden, Putin said the current White House occupant “is radically different from Trump because President Biden is a career man. He has spent virtually his entire adulthood in politics.”
“That’s a different kind of person, and it is my great hope that, yes, there are some advantages, some disadvantages, but there will not be any impulse-based movements on behalf of the sitting U.S. president,” he said.
Meanwhile, Biden has said on numerous occasions that he told Putin to his face that he doesn’t “have a soul” during a Kremlin visit in 2011 when he was vice president.
But both men have agreed that Putin, who has been accused of ordering the assassinations of political opponents, is a “killer.”
Asked point-blank by Simmons during the 90-minute Kremlin interview whether he was a “killer,” Putin gave an evasive answer.
“Over my tenure, I’ve gotten used to attacks from all kinds of angles and from all kinds of areas under all kinds of pretext and reasons and of different caliber and fierceness, and none of it surprises me,” Putin said, calling the “killer” label “Hollywood macho.”
Pressed further by Simmons, who mentioned by name some of the Putin opponents who have been killed in recent years, the Russian leader bristled.
“Look, you know, I don’t want to come across as being rude, but this looks like some kind of indigestion except that it’s verbal indigestion. You’ve mentioned many individuals who indeed suffered and perished at different points in time for various reasons, at the hands of different individuals,” he said.
Putin also dismissed as “nonsense” a Washington Post report that Russia was preparing to offer Iran an advanced satellite system that would enable Tehran to track military targets, including the remaining U.S. troops in Iraq.
“It’s just fake news,” he said. “At the very least, I don’t know anything about this kind of thing. Those who are speaking about it probably will maybe know more about it. It’s just nonsense, garbage.”
Additional portions of the interview will be broadcast by NBC News on Monday on “TODAY” and “Nightly News with Lester Holt” and on MSNBC.
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Former President Trump issued a statement Thursday dismissing the threat of climate change and saying that President Biden should fire the joint chiefs of staff if they view it as a big problem for the country.
The message from Trump, whose is still banned on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms, comes as Biden makes his first foreign trip as president to Europe.
Biden is expected to discuss climate change during the trip with other European leaders.
Trump repeatedly downplayed climate change during his presidency, calling it a hoax and working to remove regulations put into place by the Obama administration to reduce U.S. carbon emissions. Biden in his first week in office returned the U.S. to the Paris climate agreement that Trump had removed the nation from.
Trump’s emailed statement on Thursday also took Biden’s comments out of context.
“Biden just said that he was told by the Joint Chiefs of Staff that Climate Change is our greatest threat. If that is the case, and they actually said this, he ought to immediately fire the Joint Chiefs of Staff for being incompetent!” Trump said in a statement on Thursday.
While the Joint Chiefs of Staff have repeatedly warned of the threat of climate change, Biden in his address Wednesday to American troops in the United Kingdom upon his arrival in Europe was referring to a warning the Joint Chiefs gave him at the start of his tenure as vice president.
“When I went over in the Tank in the Pentagon, when I first was elected vice president, with President Obama, the military sat us down to let us know what the greatest threats facing America were,” Biden said.
“And this is not a joke: You know what the Joint Chiefs told us the greatest threat facing America was? Global warming. Because there’ll be significant population movements, fights over land, millions of people leaving places because they’re literally sinking below the sea in Indonesia, because of the fights over what is arable land anymore,” he added.
Those officials are no longer in office, as the current Joint Chiefs were appointed by Trump.
The current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, testified before Congress on Friday that climate change was a threat.
“Climate change is a threat. Climate change has significant impact on military operations, and we have to take it into consideration,” he said. “Climate change is going to impact natural resources, for example. It’s going to impact increased instability in various parts of the world. It’s going to impact migrations and so on. And in addition to that, we have infrastructure challenges here at home, witness some of our hurricanes and stuff.
“But the president is looking at it at a much broader angle than I am. I’m looking at it from a strictly military standpoint. And from a strictly military standpoint, I’m putting China, Russia up there. That is not, however, in conflict with the acknowledgement that climate change or infrastructure or education systems — national security has a broad angle to it. I’m looking at it from a strictly military standard,” he added.
In response, Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) said, “I just think it’s peculiar that the president would go to another continent and tell our service members there that the No. 1 threat is climate change, albeit a threat.”
The Biden administration announced plans on Friday to reverse policies implemented under President Donald Trump that weakened the Endangered Species Act, a half-century-old law credited with the recovery of the bald eagle, humpback whale, grizzly bear and dozens of other species.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service under President Biden are moving to undo much of the Trump administration’s work that altered the ways habitats of plants and animals on the verge of extinction are kept from total collapse.
The decision to bolster the federal government’s power to protect vanishing plants and animals comes as the world finds itself in the midst of what United Nations scientists say is a worldwide decline in biodiversity that threatens to erode food systems and other key parts of the global economy.
Martha Williams, principal deputy director at the Fish and Wildlife Service, said in a statement that her agency will work with both industry and Native American tribes “to not only protect and recover America’s imperiled wildlife but to ensure cornerstone laws like the Endangered Species Act are helping us meet 21st century challenges.”
Led by former interior secretary David Bernhardt, an expert on the Endangered Species Act, the Trump administration whittled down several long-standing protections for imperiled plants and animals following complaints from loggers, ranchers and other business interests.
For example, the previous administration allowed wildlife officials to take the economic cost of conserving species into account when deciding whether to put a plant or animal on the endangered species list — a move many environmentalists claimed violated both the letter and spirit of the law.
Trump officials also made it easier to remove protections for threatened species, such as the American burying beetle, which once scurried nearly everywhere east of the Rockies but now lives in only a few parts of the country and is further threatened by climate change. Under Trump, the Fish and Wildlife Service weakened protections for the beetle at the behest of oil and gas drillers who must work around the imperiled insect.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service say they will revise or rescind those rules.
David Henkin, a senior attorney at Earthjustice, which sued the Trump administration over the changes, said the Biden administration’s announcement is “excellent news for critically endangered species.”
“As long as they do it quickly,” he added, “we can avoid bad on-the-ground consequences.”
Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, called the announcement “a good start,” urging the Biden administration to update the regulation in a way that safeguards species threatened by rising temperatures.
“With climate change bearing down on us and no serious doubt remaining about the consequences of inaction, we should take this opportunity to update all federal standards as thoroughly as possible to prevent habitat destruction and biodiversity loss before it’s too late,” he said in a statement.
Republicans criticized the move for potentially undermining any push to rebuild roads, bridges and other infrastructure if opposed by environmentalists.
“Many of the reforms put in place under President Trump were born out of input from local communities and the men and women most affected by the policies created in Washington,” said Rep. Bruce Westerman (Ark.), the top Republican on the House panel. “Yet by reinstating burdensome regulations, this administration has once again opened the door for environmental groups to weaponize the ESA and use it to delay critical projects across the country.”
Jonathan Wood, a research fellow at the Property and Environment Research Center, a free-market think tank focused on environmental issues, cautioned that restrictions on how habitat can be developed by humans “aren’t always better for recovering species.”
“The law’s punitive approach does little to encourage landowners to provide or restore habitat for imperiled species,” he said, adding that the Endangered Species Act “too often makes rare species liabilities that landowners and states understandably want to avoid.”
Historically hailed as a success by the World Wildlife Fund and other conservation groups, the Endangered Species Act has helped keep the vast majority — 99 percent — of protected wildlife from extinction.
Yet many supposedly protected species are still far from thriving. A new study by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution this week, for instance, found that something isn’t right with the North Atlantic right whale.
Although the animal is listed as endangered and protected from harvest, it’s still impacted by deadly contact with humans through boat strikes and becoming entangled in fishing nets. Not all those incidents are lethal, but, according to research published in Current Biology, it has led to a startling finding. Right whales are getting smaller.
“We find that entanglements in fishing gear are associated with shorter whales, and that body lengths have been decreasing since 1981,” the study says. “Arrested growth may lead to reduced reproductive success and increased probability of lethal gear entanglements.”
The researchers used aerial photogrammetry data dating back to the early 2000s to measure whales observed for the study, taking 202 measurements of 129 individuals. Based on the findings, the authors determined that a whale born in 2019 is expected to reach a maximum length that’s one meter shorter than a whale born in 1981, a 7 percent decline.
To further protect some of the hundreds of thousands of plants and animals near extinction, Biden campaigned on a plan to conserve 30 percent of the nation’s land and waters by the end of the decade.
So far, though, his administration has offered few details on how it will achieve that ambitious goal, while weathering criticism from Republican lawmakers who call the plan an example of government overreach.
And plenty of other Trump moves, including a decision to deny protections for the monarch butterfly along the West Coast, still remain on the books.
“It’s disappearing,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “It may be gone before 2024.”
Republicans in the Senate voted to acquit Donald Trump in the former president’s second impeachment trial. Although a bipartisan majority of senators found Trump guilty of inciting an insurrection on Jan. 6 with his monthslong campaign of lies about election fraud, most Republicans blocked his conviction.
Thus, in 57-43 Senate vote, Trump was found not guilty — again — falling 10 votes short of the 67 votes needed to convict.
Seven Republican senators did join with all 50 Democrats to find Trump guilty, including Richard Burr of North Carolina, who just barely won reelection in the election Trump claimed was fraudulent; Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, who surprised observers when he switched his earlier vote to declare the trial constitutional; Susan Collins of Maine; Lisa Murkowski of Alaska; Mitt Romney of Utah; Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, who is retiring after this term.
Other retiring Republican senators — Rob Portman of Ohio and Richard Shelby of Alabama — voted to acquit even without the looming threat of soon facing Trump voters.
“I want to first thank my team of dedicated lawyers and others for their tireless work upholding justice and defending truth,” Trump said in a statement released after the verdict. “My deepest thanks as well to all of the United States Senators and Members of Congress who stood proudly for the Constitution we all revere and for the sacred legal principles at the heart of our country.”
The Republican leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, voted to acquit Trump and then immediately took to the Senate floor to blast Trump’s actions, calling the former president “morally responsible” for the mob attack on Congress.
Responding to McConnell, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., blasted his decision to have held the trial over until after Trump left office. “It is so pathetic that Senator McConnell kept the Senate shut down so that the Senate could not receive the Article of Impeachment and has used that as his excuse for not voting to convict Donald Trump.”
“Whatever it was, it was a very disingenuous speech,” she continued of McConnell, “and I say this regretfully.”
“But we will be going forward to make sure that this never happens again.”
Other Senate Republicans spent the four days of the trial working with Trump’s defense team to undermine the process, deflect blame to Democrats who attacked on Jan. 6 and downplay the historic attack on Capitol Hill.
After presenting a convincing case full of harrowing footage of the Capitol riot, House managers surprised the Senate trial when they moved for a vote to call witnesses, which passed with 55 votes. Democrats then frantically backed away from their position after Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., reportedly warned House managers that calling witnesses could cost them Democratic votes to convict in the Senate.
“People want to get home for Valentine’s Day,” Coons reportedly said.We’re furious.
Although the House impeachment managers have focused on events leading up to the Capitol breach last month it is the real time response of former President Trump to the rioters that yields smoking gun evidence of his intent to incite this historic insurrection. Trump failed promptly to call off his followers or summon timely assistance to beleaguered Capitol Police, despite pleas from fellow Republicans caught in the mayhem. And his own final words that day connect his inflammatory claims about a “stolen election” to the storming of the Capitol by his followers.
As he watched the insurrection unfold on television, with some delight according to eyewitnesses, Trump did not demand that the rioters immediately leave the Capitol. He failed to heed the pleas of Republicans in Congress, who fearing for their lives, desperately tried calling him with no response.
“We are imploring the president to help, to stand up, to help defend the United States Capitol and the United States Congress, which was under attack,” said Republican Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio), no coward, but a former professional football player. “We are begging, essentially, and he was nowhere to be found.”https://3b034e9facc91f33536619a2a62072f5.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html
We know that Trump did call newly elected Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville (Ala.) because he mistakenly reached him on the phone of Republican Sen. Mike Lee (Utah). He called Tuberville not to ask about his safety or to offer help, but to plot strategy for objecting to the electoral vote count.
When rioters breached the Capitol in full view of cameras, Trump did not appear on television to denounce the riot and call upon his followers to cease and desist. Instead, he stoked the incitement with a tweet that attacked his vice president and doubled down on grievances about a stolen election, “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our Constitution, giving states a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones.”
Trump later tweeted a minimally calming message, but in the passive voice: “Stay peaceful!” He issued a similar passive voice tweet over half an hour later. He still had not appeared in person on any medium. Finally, Trump released a video that told his supporters “you have to go home now.” But he prefaced that request with another incitement: “I know your pain. I know you are hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election and everyone knows it.” He ended by praising the rioters, “We love you. You are very special.”
The most incriminating “smoking gun” tweet came just after 6 p.m. that day and was later deleted by social media. Trump wrote, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”
In his own words Trump admitted that violent protest was a likely consequence of grievances over a supposedly stolen election that thwarted the will of patriotic Americans. But it was Trump himself who ginned up these grievances with a two-month drumbeat of lies about the election that culminated in the fiery rhetoric of his Jan. 6 rally. Simply put, no incitement about the election, no insurrection, by Trump’s own admission. In his tweet, Trump further assured rioters with love that they had acted as patriots, not insurrectionists. Their storming of the Capitol, he implied, should be forever remembered and cherished, not reviled.https://3b034e9facc91f33536619a2a62072f5.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html
The rioters themselves understood that they were Trump’s people, summoned by him. Video shot during the riot shows that they shouted at police their claim of legitimacy, “We were invited by the president of the United States.” Trump loyalist Jenna Ryan said after the Capitol was breached, “We were going in solidarity with President Trump. So this was our way of going and stopping the steal.”
Trump has yet to acknowledge Biden’s win or to retract his claims of a landslide win snatched away by massive fraud.
Allan Lichtman is an election forecaster and a distinguished professor of history at American University.
A survey by The New York Times of all 50 states found at least 10 — California, Oregon, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Washington, Kentucky, Maine, Illinois and Florida — that are activating National Guard troops in their capital cities. Texas, Virginia and Kentucky are among states planning to close their Capitol grounds at different points in the coming days.
Some states where legislatures are preparing to convene, such as New Mexico, have placed protective fencing around their Capitols. Michigan and Indiana took the extraordinary step of canceling their legislative activities next week because of the possibility of violence.
The moves by state officials point to the growing fear over continuing violence around the country in the aftermath of the mob attack last week on the U.S. Capitol in which assailants supporting President Trump’s efforts to overturn the presidential election forced their way inside the building.
“If you’re planning to come here or up to Washington with ill intent in your heart, you need to turn around right now and go home,” Ralph Northam, the governor of Virginia, said at a news conference Thursday. “You are not welcome here, and you’re not welcome in our nation’s capital. And if you come here and act out, Virginia will be ready.”
An example of how volatile the situation has become emerged on Friday in Florida, where the F.B.I. arrested a former U.S. Army Airborne infantryman, Daniel Alan Baker, 33, of Tallahassee, the state capital. Mr. Baker “specifically called for others to join him in encircling any protestors and confining them to the Capitol complex using firearms,” the F.B.I. said in an arrest report.
John Dailey, the mayor of Tallahassee, called on Friday for Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida to activate the National Guard in preparation for the protests this weekend. Not long after, Mr. DeSantis, a Republican, announced that he was activating the Guard “in response to reports of potential civil unrest.”
Concerns are particularly high in Michigan, where Gov. Gretchen Whitmer activated the Michigan National Guard to help with security around the state Capitol in Lansing. The move followed the flooding of Michigan’s Capitol last year by armed extremists protesting the state’s coronavirus restrictions.
Fourteen people were charged in Michigan on terrorism, conspiracy and weapons charges. At least six of them, officials said, had hatched a detailed plan to kidnap Ms. Whitmer, a Democrat who became a focal point of anti-government views and anger over coronavirus control measures.
In Lansing, a six-foot high fence has been erected around the state Capitol and windows of state office buildings boarded up to guard against potentially violent protests that are expected on Sunday and Wednesday.
The state Legislature, which just had its first session of the year and had been scheduled to meet several times next week, canceled those sessions after hearing about “credible threats” received by Michigan State Police.
The increased law enforcement presence will continue through at least mid-February, said the Michigan State Police director, Col. Joe Gasper. He declined to reveal how many more police and National Guard members would be in place to guard against violence.
Still, not every state sees the need for increased security. In North Dakota, for instance, Kim Koppelman, a Republican who is the speaker of the state’s House of Representatives, said, “Suffice it to say that security is in place and adequate to meet any challenges anticipated.”
“No major changes have been implemented in response to riots, property damage, and attacks around the nation last year, nor in response to violence at the U.S. Capitol last week,” Mr. Koppelman said.
But other states are taking different steps. Gov. Gavin Newsom of California on Thursday authorized the deployment of 1,000 National Guard troops and surrounded the state Capitol grounds in Sacramento with a six-foot, covered chain-link fence to “prepare for and respond to credible threats.”
In Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker has activated 250 members of the National Guard in response to the warnings issued by the F.B.I. about the potential armed protests, in addition to the 300 Illinois troops already activated in support of the inauguration in Washington.
Illinois officials said their aim was for soldiers to help local authorities in enforcing street closures and designated perimeters.
“Our soldiers and airmen come from every community across Illinois, and each has sworn to protect their communities, their state and their nation,” said Maj. Gen. Rich Neely, the Adjutant General of Illinois and commander of the Illinois National Guard.
Shawn Hubler, Mitch Smith, John Yoon, Michael Hardy, Alex Lemonides, Jordan Allen and Alyssa Burr contributed reporting.
ined by ABC News shows warnings of “a huge uprising.”
On Jan. 6, rioters coming from a pro-Trump rally broke into the U.S. Capitol, resulting in death…Read More
Starting this week and running through at least Inauguration Day, armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols and at the U.S. Capitol, according to an internal FBI bulletin obtained by ABC News.
The FBI has also received information in recent days on a group calling for “storming” state, local and federal government courthouses and administrative buildings in the event President Donald Trump is removed from office prior to Inauguration Day. The group is also planning to “storm” government offices in every state the day President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated, regardless of whether the states certified electoral votes for Biden or Trump.Recent Stories from ABC News
“The FBI received information about an identified armed group intending to travel to Washington, DC on 16 January,” the bulletin read. “They have warned that if Congress attempts to remove POTUS via the 25th Amendment, a huge uprising will occur.”
Federal law enforcement officials have advised police agencies to increase their security posture at statehouses around the country following the riot at the U.S. Capitol, law enforcement sources told ABC News.
Following the violent pro-Trump breach of the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday, Democratic lawmakers in the House of Representatives pushed forward Monday with an effort to get Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment, which would declare Trump incapable of performing his presidential duties and would install Pence as acting president until Biden is inaugurated Jan. 20.MORE: Trump-Biden transition live updates: House Democrats introduce article of impeachment
The effort was ultimately blocked by Republican Rep. Alex Mooney of West Virginia, and House Democrats then introduced an article of impeachment against Trump for “incitement of insurrection.”
The measure, which has more than 200 Democratic co-sponsors, states Trump has “demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law.”
“It’s sad that we have to get to that point, but you know our expectation is that someone may try to kill us,” Meijer, R-Mich., said Thursday in an interview on MSNBC.
Meijer said the body armor is a reimbursable purchase.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen next. We weren’t expecting for the Capitol to get overrun for the first time in 200 years,” he said. “And so in this unprecedented environment with an unprecedented degree of fear of divisiveness and hatred, we have to account for every scenario.”
Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives on Wednesday for inciting an “insurrection” in last week’s attack on the Capitol that left five people dead. Ten Republicans broke from their party to impeach the president, including GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney of Wyoming.
Meijer previously said in a statement that supported impeaching the president because Trump “betrayed his oath of office by seeking to undermine our constitutional process, and he bears responsibility for inciting the insurrection we suffered last week.”https://97e7a49bfbf4e65bea9d4c46b745be3c.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., the chairwoman of the panel overseeing the administration of the Capitol, told reporters at the Capitol Tuesday that reimbursements for body armor were not a new policy.
“That is not new. That’s been the case, for multiple years. People asked, you know, what were allowable expenses, and…those have been allowable expenses for years,” she said.
Though deprived of his big online megaphones, Trump does have alternative options of much smaller reach, led by the far right-friendly Parler — even if Google and Apple both removed it from their app stores.
Trump may launch his own platform. But that won’t happen overnight, and free speech experts anticipate growing pressure on all social media platforms to curb incendiary speech as Americans take stock of Wednesday’s violent takeover of the U.S. Capitol by a Trump-incited mob.
Facebook and Instagram have suspended Trump at least until Inauguration Day. Twitch and Snapchat also have disabled Trump’s accounts, while Shopify took down online stores affiliated with the president and Reddit removed a Trump subgroup. Twitter also banned Trump loyalists including former national security advisor Michael Flynn in a sweeping purge of accounts promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory and the Capitol insurrection. Some had hundreds of thousands of followers.
In a statement Friday, Trump said: “We have been negotiating with various other sites, and will have a big announcement soon, while we also look at the possibilities of building out our own platform in the near future.”
Experts are betting Trump pops up on Parler, a 2-year-old magnet for the far right that claims more than 12 million users and where his sons Eric and Don Jr. are already active. Parler hit headwinds, though, on Friday as Google yanked its smartphone app from its app store for allowing postings that seek “to incite ongoing violence in the U.S.” and Apple threatened to do the same, giving Parler a 24-hour ultimatum.
Apple told Parler executives in an email Friday it got complaints the app was being used to “plan and facilitate yet further illegal and dangerous activities.”
Parler CEO John Matze complained on his site of being scapegoated. “Standards not applied to Twitter, Facebook or even Apple themselves, apply to Parler.” He said he “won’t cave to politically motivated companies and those authoritarians who hate free speech.”
Losing access to the app stores of Google and Apple — whose operating systems power hundreds of millions of smartphones — severely limits Parler’s reach, though it will continue to be accessible via web browser. Another potential landing spot for Trump is Gab — though both Google and Apple booted it from their app stores in 2017.
David Kaye, a University of California-Irvine law professor and former U.N. special rapporteur on free speech believes the Parlers of the world will also face pressure from the public and law enforcement as will little-known sites where further pre-inauguration disruption is now apparently being organized. They include MeWe, Wimkin, TheDonald.win and Stormfront, according to a report released Saturday by The Althea Group, which tracks disinformation.
Kaye rejects arguments by U.S. conservatives including the president’s former U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, that the Trump ban savaged the First Amendment, which prohibits the government from restricting free expression. “Silencing people, not to mention the President of the US, is what happens in China not our country,” Haley tweeted.
“It’s not like the platforms’ rules are draconian. People don’t get caught in violations unless they do something clearly against the rules,” said Kaye. And not just individual citizens have free speech rights. “The companies have their freedom of speech, too.”
While initially arguing their need to be neutral on speech, Twitter and Facebook gradually yielded to public pressure drawing the line especially when the so-called Plandemic video emerged early in the COVID-19 pandemic urging people not to wear masks, noted civic media professor Ethan Zuckerman of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Zuckerman expects the Trump de-platforming may spur important online shifts. First, there may be an accelerated splintering of the social media world along ideological lines.
“Trump will pull a lot of audience wherever he goes,” he said. That could mean more platforms with smaller, more ideologically isolated audiences.
A splintering could push people towards extremes — or make extremism less infectious, he said: Maybe people looking for a video about welding on YouTube will no longer find themselves being offered an unrelated QAnon video. Alternative media systems that are less top-down managed and more self-governing could also emerge.
Zuckerman also expects major debate about online speech regulation, including in Congress.
“I suspect you will see efforts from the right arguing that there shouldn’t be regulations on acceptable speech,” he said. “I think you will see arguments from the democratic side that speech is a public health issue.”