Friday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 76. Sunrise is 5:45 AM and sunset 8:17 PM, for 14h 31m 34s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 60.3% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1932, Walt Disney’s Flowers and Trees, the first cartoon short to use Technicolor and the first Academy Award-winning cartoon short, premieres.
Recommended for reading in full —
Isaac Stanley-Becker reports Charlie Kirk’s pro-Trump youth group stokes vaccine resistance as covid surges again:
Text messages announcing Kirk as their author warn that President Biden is “sending goons DOOR-TO-DOOR to make you take a covid-19 vaccine.” Facebook ads from Kirk’s tax-exempt nonprofit insist the government has “NO RIGHT to force you to inject yourself with an experimental vaccine,” and say the best response to outreach about the shots is to, “LOCK YOUR DOORS, KIDS!!”
These statements stand on a slew of falsehoods and mischaracterizations, according to vaccine experts. At least 400 people 18 and under have died of covid-19 in the United States, making the virus more lethal than the flu, said Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The coronavirus also carries the risk of an inflammatory syndrome that can affect the lungs, heart, and kidneys of children and young adults. Federal health authorities recommend the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children as young as 12. “Any reasonable person who looks at the data would conclude the safer choice is to get the vaccine,” Offit said.
But the communications by Turning Point USA and its affiliate, Turning Point Action, reflect the increasingly hard line taken by the group, which describes itself as the “largest and fastest-growing youth organization in America” and claims a presence on more than 2,500 college and high school campuses. Its dire warnings about a government-backed inoculation program — now a major theme of its Facebook ads, which have been viewed millions of times — illustrate how the Trump-allied group is capitalizing on the stark polarization around vaccine policy.
Adam Gabbatt reports Firm leading Arizona audit received millions from Trump supporters:
The firm leading a widely criticized, Republican-backed audit of election ballots in Arizona has received $5.7m in donations, the majority from supporters of Donald Trump, it revealed on Wednesday.
Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based company with no prior experience in election audits, said it had received $3.25m from Patrick Byrne, the CEO of the furniture sales company Overstock, who has falsely described the 2020 election as “rigged”, with more money pouring in from figures who have peddled lies about the legitimacy of the vote.
The firm was hired by Arizona’s GOP-led senate to review the 2020 election in Maricopa county, home to Phoenix and most of the state’s registered voters.
Doug Logan, Cyber Ninjas’ CEO, released the detail on the company’s donors after the congressional House oversight and reform committee demandedthe information, citing the Cyber Ninjas’ “lack of experience in conducting election-related audits” and “sloppy and insecure audit practices”.
The Arizona senate allowed Cyber Ninjas to collect private donations even though the company was being paid $150,000 for the audit.
The ballot review has been derided as a “sham audit” by Democrats, and even criticized by GOP leaders in Maricopa county. It has been condemned by election experts, who have said that officials are not using a reliable methodology.
On Wednesday the review was subjected to further scrutiny when Ken Bennett, the former Republican secretary of state and the senate’s unpaid liaison to Logan and the audit contractors, said he planned to quit.
Bennett is the only audit leader with substantial experience in elections, and his departure threatened to even further erode any legitimacy the unprecedented partisan post-election review claimed to have.