The #DiedSuddenly ‘epidemic’, Santos the lightning rod and other commentary

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Health battle: the #DiedSuddenly ‘epidemic’

“A worried, uncertain public is increasingly turning to a single, ominous explanation” for events such as the near-death of Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin, Vinay Prasad & John Mandrola write at The Free Press: “Covid Vaccinations.” The jabs are “an important tool,” but “Americans have good reason to be skeptical” of public health expertise. Consider: “When evidence emerged that myocarditis in young men was linked to the mRNA vaccines, the Biden administration denied it.” And only last year did the CDC admit “that the vaccines do not prevent people from getting or spreading the disease.” “People feel that their medical leaders are withholding basic facts” and “denying reality.” So “it is deeply unfortunate but also understandable that many Americans are turning to Twitter instead of the CDC.”

Libertarian: 1st Amendment transcends politics

Police in Laredo, Texas, have jailed “leftist” journalist Priscilla Villarreal for “obtaining ‘non-public information’ from the government” with the “intent to profit from it”. That’s “cut-and-dry infringement of her First Amendment rights,” argues Billy Binion of Reason. The Fifth Circuit initially ruled that the police action was “a clear violation.” But a majority of the panel’s judges agreed to repeat the case en banc, with Conservative Chief Justice Priscilla Richman in particular questioning the initial finding. So it’s good to see right-leaning outfits like Alliance Defending Freedom step in on behalf of Villareal, suggesting they “understand that constitutional rights don’t just apply to those we find attractive.”

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China Bureau: The West has failed the Uyghurs

The Chinese Communist Party’s “actions against the Uyghur people” meet “every piece” of the criteria for genocide, Kuzzat Altay thunders on The Hill. “In East Turkistan [a k a Xinjing], the CCP has created the perfect Orwellian police state” where Uyghurs “have to register via a system of QR codes almost everywhere they go” and “even the slightest hint of resistance will send them to concentration camps.” Plus, “Uyghur population growth has come to a complete standstill due to the CCP’s imposition of forced sterilizations and abortions on Uyghur women.” Yet “many powerful actors in the world have turned a blind eye to the genocide of the Uyghurs,” as groups such as the World Economic Forum “not only ignore the genocide of the Uyghurs, but openly praise the dictator who carries it out.” To live up to “never again,” Western leaders must stop “prioritizing their bottom line” and find the nerve to “punish the very thing the world declared would never allow again after the Holocaust of the Jews in World War II”.

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Congress Watch: Santos the Lightning Rod

“How much news will you hear about Congress on any given day?” asks Jim Geraghty of National Review. For most, “probably one story, maybe two.” And now, “almost every day there’s a bizarre new story about George Santos.” Yes: “A rep whose life story is almost completely fabricated is a big story, and there are serious questions about where Santos made his money,” and much more. “Santos should go.” But “you can understand why Kevin McCarthy might think it’s worth slowly turning the gears of impact on Santos”: Media “obsessed with Santos’s relentless lies and possibly shady connections” don’t spend as much time insisting that the House GOP is the root of all evil.”

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Eye on NY: The worst post-pandemic recovery

“The more time passes since the Covid-19 outbreak in the spring of 2020, the more New York stands out among all states for the weakness of the post-pandemic job recovery,” notes EJ McMahon of the Empire Center. As of December, New York and “18 other states were below their pre-pandemic job count,” and “New York’s shortfall of 236,600 jobs was by far the largest.” “By contrast, private employment in Texas and Florida rose 6.7 percent (740,000 jobs) and 6.6 percent (527,000 jobs).” In short, “the Empire State’s recovery path remains roughly parallel to but well below the national trend.”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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