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House Republicans ​are demanding the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explain its relationship with teachers unions — and whether they have influenced its guidance on school reopenings — following a report in The Post.

The top Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee pointed to The Post’s report from Saturday that showed a flurry of email exchanges among CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, her top advisers and union officials, suggesting that the American Federation of Teachers weighed in on the federal agency’s school opening guidelines released in February. 
The emails “raise significant concerns about whether you, as the Director of the CDC, are putting politics over science and Biden-Harris campaign donors over children,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers​ (R-Wash.) wrote​ Wednesday​ ​in a letter ​to Walensky obtained first by Fox News.“Such revelations also raise serious questions as to whether you are honoring your pledge to ensure CDC guidance is evidence-based and free from politics​,” she continued.

Rodgers, ranking Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee, wrote the letter with Reps. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) and Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), who are also members of the panel that oversees health care matters. 
The letter said the emails “shed new light on your public about-face” on whether schools can reopen safely without teachers being vaccinated.
The Post obtained the emails through a Freedom of Information Act request by the watchdog group Americans for the Public Trust. 

They reveal back-and-forth conversations between the CDC officials, AFT president Randi Weingarten and Biden administration officials leading up to the February release of the guidance.

Following the exchanges, the CDC released the guidelines that included two instances of language “suggestions” offered by the union adopted nearly verbatim in the final text. 

“The AFT’s priority is not focused on getting kids back to school, despite studies showing, with appropriate measures in place, in-person learning is safe,” the lawmakers wrote. “However, as the Director of the CDC, your decisions should be guided by science, not political interest groups.”


The three Republicans want answers about the communications involving the CDC, the AFT and the National Education Association and whether those exchanges influenced the guidelines.

They also claim the “CDC was not forthcoming” ​with the committee when it asked for names of stakeholders engaged by the CDC in preparation for the guidelines.

The CDC ​said its conversations were routine.

“As part of long-standing best practices, CDC has traditionally engaged with organizations and groups that are impacted by guidance and recommendations issued by the agency,” Jason McDonald, a spokesman for Walensky, told The Post.

“We do so to ensure our recommendations are feasible to implement and they adequately address the safety and wellbeing of individuals the guidance is aimed to protect. These informative and helpful interactions often result in beneficial feedback that we consider in our final revisions to ensure clarity and usability,” he said.



Man Who Jumped from Bridge to Rescue Toddler Honored with Thunderbirds Flight





A man who jumped off a bridge to rescue a toddler recently got to ride thousands of feet in the sky inside an F-16 Fighting Falcon.
The Air Force Thunderbirds honored Jonathan Bauer as a “hometown hero” before an Air Show that took place in Ocean City, Maryland, WJLA reported Friday.

According to Bauer, he and his daughter were running errands on May 2 when he heard tires screeching and watched a truck lose control on a bridge over Assawoman Bay, slam into a cement barrier, and flip over onto a guardrail.

Other cars were involved in the wreck and one hit his vehicle. Once he made sure his daughter was safe, he rushed to the truck that was teetering on the edge of the overpass.
A man who escaped from the vehicle pointed at the water, Bauer recalled.

“When I looked over I saw the car seat… and then about six feet away from the car seat was a little girl. She was on her back, completely floating, head completely out of the water, arms moving, legs kicking, and a little pink dress,” Bauer explained.

He immediately leaped 25 feet into the water, swam to the child and “aggressively patted her on the back,” he noted. She spit up water, coughed, and eventually took in a deep breath.
A boat picked them up and Bauer handed the child to emergency responders when they reached the shore. He was later recognized by officials for his courage.
“His selfless act shows the best America has to offer, and we’re proud to have honored him with a flight today,” the Air Force Thunderbirds said in a Facebook post on Friday:


Thunderbirds Maj. Jason Markzon told reporters Bauer aced the flight.
“There was no fear in his heart going flying and I put him through the ringer. We went rolling. We pulled some Gs. We did some loops and he crushed all of it,” he stated.

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VIDEO – Tropical Storm Claudette ravages Gulf Coast, tracking northeast





Heavy rain and gusting winds were expected to continue to pummel the northern Gulf Coast as the storm moved from Louisiana across Mississippi and Alabama.
Tropical storm warnings remained in effect from the Mississippi/Alabama border to the Okaloosa/Walton County line in Florida as of Saturday afternoon.
Tropical storm watches were also issued from Cape Fear to Duck, N.C., and in Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds, according to the National Weather Service.
From there, the storm is expected to turn northeast and weaken into a tropical depression Sunday before regaining strength over the Carolinas late Sunday night or early Monday   morning.

Claudette also spawned a suspected tornado that slammed through at least 50 homes in Alabama just north of the Florida border, flattening a mobile home park, tossing trees through homes and even blew the roof off of a high school gym.
There were no early reports of serious injuries or deaths.
In Florida, whipping winds knocked over an 18-wheeler, which slide through multiple utility poles and caused one to slam into an SUV – and another possible tornado ripped the roofs off of two houses.
Louisiana and Mississippi saw flash flooding and heavy rains.

The National Hurricane Center declared Claudette a named storm at 4 a.m. Saturday, after the storm made landfall southwest of New Orleans. By Saturday afternoon, it was 80 miles north-northwest of Mobile, Alabama, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph. It was moving north-northeast at 14 mph. Most of the heavy weather was happening far to the north and east of the center.
At 7:50 a.m. ET, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that that the third named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season had shifted “Inland Over Southeastern Louisiana.”
“Heavy Rains and Tropical-Storm-Force Winds Continue Along Portions of the u66

“A turn toward the northeast is expected later today, followed by a motion toward the east-northeast tonight or Sunday. On the forecast track, the system should move farther inland over Louisiana during the next few hours, move across portions of the southeastern states later today and on Sunday, and then over the western Atlantic Ocean on Monday,” the agency explained.
Maximum sustained winds for Claudette reportedly remain at around 45 mph with higher gusts and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205 miles east from the center. 

The NHC noted that a National Ocean Service station on Petit Bois Island, Miss. had recently recorded maximum winds of 39 mph with a gust to 46 mph.

The NHC said Claudette is expected to weaken to a tropical depression by Saturday night, become a post-tropical cyclone on Sunday and re-develop as a tropical storm over the western Atlantic Ocean on Monday.
Nevertheless, the storm was expected to produce heavy rainfall and life-threatening flash flooding across coastal Mississippi and Alabama, and the far western Florida Panhandle through the afternoon.
Considerable flash, urban and small stream flooding impacts – in addition to “new and renewed minor to isolated moderate river flooding” – were also anticipated to continue throughout the weekend along the Gulf Coast, with flood impacts spreading northeastward into the interior Southeast.

Flooding had already begun on Friday night, with local media reporting high water over roads, stranded vehicles and water rescues; flood warnings and watches were in effect in addition to a widespread tropical storm warning.
“Tropical storm conditions are occurring along portions of the central Gulf Coast from east of Morgan City, Louisiana, to the Okaloosa/Walton County line, Florida, including New Orleans. These winds will spread inland and continue through this afternoon,” the NHC warned in a Twitter post.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the areas east of Morgan City to the Okaloosa/Walton County line, including Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, and Metropolitan New Orleans.
Claudette is expected to produce rainfall totals of five to ten inches and isolated areas of 15 inches across areas in the central Gulf Coast.

By Friday, up to four inches of rain per hour was falling on parts of the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts.
Additionally, the NHC said a few tornadoes were possible Saturday across southern Mississippi, southern Alabama, the western Florida Panhandle and southwest Georgia and tornado warnings were widely issued.

All of this comes as the Southwest and western U.S. has been impacted by a sweltering and relentless heatwave and as Mexico was threatened by Tropical Storm Dolores, which was expected to make landfall on its west-central coast Saturday night.

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Donald Trump

Oklahoma Senate passes bill that would name highway after former President Donald Trump





The Oklahoma Senate passed a revised version of a bill that would name a highway in the Sooner State after former President Donald Trump.
The revised version of Senate Bill 624 addresses memorial bridge and highway designations in Oklahoma. It would remove the requirement that people must be deceased for three years before getting a highway named after them so that a highway in the Oklahoma panhandle can be named after Trump.

The bill proposes to name the section of State Highway 287 beginning at the municipal limits of Boise City extending southeast to the Oklahoma-Texas border in Cimarron County to be designated as the “President Donald J. Trump Highway.” It would direct the Department of Transportation to place suitable permanent markers bearing the name on the highway.
Read the full language of the bill here.
The House of Representatives passed a version of the bill in late April. Because the Senate passed a new version of Senate Bill 624 on Wednesday, the measure heads back to the House again.


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