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Six Foot Social Distancing Rule Has Murky Origins, Says Former FDA Chief

So…was it all just made up?

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At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were plenty of precautions and guidelines being slung about, some a little more diligently than others.

This was a novel virus, after all, and the guidance of our experts was expected to shift somewhat as we learned ever more about the way this strain of coronavirus was going to behave.

But, as we’re finding out now, some of these suggestions may have come right out of thin air.

Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), admitted during an interview on Face the Nation that the six foot social distancing rule recommended by public health officials for months on end was actually “arbitrary in and of itself,” and he noted that “nobody knows where it came from.”

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Speaking with Face the Nation’s Margaret Brennan, Gottlieb discussed the rules and risks early in the pandemic, explaining that the Trump administration shifted its focus to the impact lockdowns and rules would have on the economy and children.

The admission came during a conversation about bringing children back into the classroom.

“And in fact, when the Biden administration wanted to open schools in the spring, this past spring, they got the CDC to change that guidance from six feet to three feet,” Gottlieb continued, admitting the original guidance was “arbitrary” and had unknown origins.

“The six feet was arbitrary in and of itself, nobody knows where it came from,” he said. “The initial recommendation that the CDC brought to the White House and I talk about this was 10 feet, and a political appointee in the White House said we can’t recommend 10 feet.”

One can only imagine how things would have turned out differently for the restaurant and live music industries had there been an understanding that this number wasn’t based in absolute science.

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Southwest Caves to Pressure from Anti-Vaccine Employees

But there’s one heck of a catch.

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Last weekend was an unfortunate one for Southwest Airlines, who suffered from the cancelation of nearly a third of their flight schedule…and just days after they announced that a vaccine mandate would soon go into effect for their thousands of employees.

The airlines denied that the vaccine mandate had anything to do with the cancelations, blaming weather and air traffic control issues.  But, when researchers compared the number of total flights cancelled to the number of Southwest flights cancelled, it was fairly obvious that this was a localized issue.

Only a few days after that, a massive protest of their vaccine mandate hit home near headquarters.

By Tuesday of this week, the airline had been forced to back down.

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Southwest Airlines dropped a plan to put unvaccinated workers with pending exemptions on unpaid leave after a December 8 deadline following protests by their employees.

“The employee will continue to work, while following all COVID mask and distancing guidelines applicable to their position, until the accommodation has been processed,” according to an internal note obtained by CNBC written by Southwest’s Senior Vice President of Operations and Hospitality Steve Goldberg and Vice President and Chief People Officer Julie Weber.

And then, even after a new deadline was set, the company doesn’t appear to be baring its teeth in regard to enforcement.

The company is giving employees until November 24 to finish their vaccinations or apply for a medical or religious exemptions. While these exemptions are pending, employees will continue being paid, and those who are rejected will continue working “as we coordinate with them on meeting the requirements (vaccine or valid accommodation),” CNBC reported.

It was unclear exactly where the buck would ultimately stop with the new timeline, but there is little doubt that we’ll soon find out.

Last weekend was an unfortunate one for Southwest Airlines, who suffered from the cancelation of nearly a third of their flight schedule…and just days after they announced that a vaccine mandate would soon go into effect for their thousands of employees. The airlines denied that the vaccine mandate had anything to do with the cancelations, blaming weather and air traffic control issues.  But, when researchers compared the number of total flights cancelled to the number of Southwest flights cancelled, it was fairly obvious that this was a localized issue. Only a few days after that, a massive protest of their vaccine mandate hit home near headquarters. By Tuesday of this week, the airline had been forced to back down. Southwest Airlines dropped a plan to put unvaccinated workers with pending exemptions on unpaid leave after a December 8 deadline following protests by their employees. “The employee will continue to work, while following all COVID mask and distancing guidelines applicable to their position, until the accommodation has been processed,” according to an internal note obtained by CNBC written by Southwest’s Senior Vice President of Operations and Hospitality Steve Goldberg and Vice President and Chief People Officer Julie Weber. And then, even after a new deadline was set, the company doesn’t appear to be baring its teeth in regard to enforcement. The company is giving employees until November 24 to finish their vaccinations or apply for a medical or religious exemptions. While these exemptions are pending, employees will continue being paid, and those who are rejected will continue working “as we coordinate with them on meeting the requirements (vaccine or valid accommodation),” CNBC reported. It was unclear exactly where the buck would ultimately stop with the new timeline, but there is little doubt that we’ll soon find out.

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Senator Obliterates Dr. Fauci’s Holiday Gathering Advice

“We don’t need permission”!

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If you follow the science, and the math, it’s beginning to become clear that the coronavirus pandemic is waning.  Again.

In the days before the Delta variant became the prominent strain of COVID-19, we were just about out of this whole mess.  Venues and restaurants were opening again.  People were beginning to gather at home or with friends.  When delta arrived, the ease retracted a bit.  The masks were a little more prevalent.

But now, if you simply look at the case numbers and infection rates, it is plain to see that everything is going to be okay.

This is what Florida Senator Rick Scott believes, as evidenced by his latest comments regarding the advice of Dr. Anthony Fauci.

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Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), dismissed suggestions that Dr. Anthony Fauci can give or take away permission for Americans to celebrate the holidays with their families, calling it “insane that the government thinks it can tell people how to live.”

“We don’t need Fauci’s permission to celebrate the holidays with family. People are smart. They know how to make decisions that best protect their loved ones. It’s insane that the government thinks it can tell people how to live,” Scott said in response to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases chief’s recent remarks […]

Fauci had recently insinuated that gathering with people outside of your immediate home over the holidays may not be advisable, suggesting instead that people continue to socially distance from even their own family.

 

If you follow the science, and the math, it’s beginning to become clear that the coronavirus pandemic is waning.  Again. In the days before the Delta variant became the prominent strain of COVID-19, we were just about out of this whole mess.  Venues and restaurants were opening again.  People were beginning to gather at home or with friends.  When delta arrived, the ease retracted a bit.  The masks were a little more prevalent. But now, if you simply look at the case numbers and infection rates, it is plain to see that everything is going to be okay. This is what Florida Senator Rick Scott believes, as evidenced by his latest comments regarding the advice of Dr. Anthony Fauci. Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), dismissed suggestions that Dr. Anthony Fauci can give or take away permission for Americans to celebrate the holidays with their families, calling it “insane that the government thinks it can tell people how to live.” “We don’t need Fauci’s permission to celebrate the holidays with family. People are smart. They know how to make decisions that best protect their loved ones. It’s insane that the government thinks it can tell people how to live,” Scott said in response to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases chief’s recent remarks […] Fauci had recently insinuated that gathering with people outside of your immediate home over the holidays may not be advisable, suggesting instead that people continue to socially distance from even their own family.  

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