Commentary: Public Education’s Alarming Reversal of Learning Trend

School Work

Call it the big reset – downward – in public education.

The alarming plunge in academic performance during the pandemic was met with a significant drop in grading and graduation standards to ease the pressure on students struggling with remote learning. The hope was that hundreds of billions of dollars of emergency federal aid would enable schools to reverse the learning loss and restore the standards.

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Commentary: The Hysterical Style in American Politics

White Silence

The post-Joe McCarthy era and the candidacy of Barry Goldwater once prompted liberal political scientist Richard Hofstadter to chronicle a supposedly long-standing right-wing “paranoid style” of conspiracy-fed extremism.

But far more common, especially in the 21st century, has been a left-wing, hysterical style of inventing scandals and manipulating perceived tensions for political advantage.

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Feds Conceal Details About Anti-Ivermectin Campaign in Response to Doctors’ Reinstated Lawsuit

Ivermectin

The Food and Drug Administration wants to continue its selective promotion of off-label drug use: good for COVID-19 vaccines, bad for alternatives to those vaccines. It just doesn’t want the public to see its full reasoning for the latter.

The FDA and the Department of Health and Human Services filed a renewed motion to dismiss a lawsuit by doctors claiming  the agencies have a practice of demonizing ivermectin by conflating its human and animal doses and using “command” language, such as “stop it,” to discourage using the anti-parasite drug against COVID.

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Commentary: Conservative Methodist Exit Nears End Point

People Praying

The window that opened in 2019 to allow United Methodist churches to depart their embattled denomination closes in a week or so, at the end of the year, and at this late hour, approximately one-fourth of the member churches that constitute Protestantism’s second-largest denomination have climbed through that window.

In the largest U.S. church schism since Civil War times, nearly 7,700 churches of the roughly 30,000 in the United Methodist Church (UMC) have voted to take their property and go elsewhere.

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Americans Sour on Big Pharma After Pandemic, Opioid Crisis: Poll

COVID Pfizer

Public opinion on the pharmaceutical industry has declined sharply over the past decade, according to new polling released by Gallup.

The proportion of Americans who believe pharmaceutical companies provide good or excellent services declined 21 points between 2010 and 2023, according to a poll released Monday. Public controversies over COVID-19 vaccines and the opioid crisis have implicated the pharmaceutical industry in recent years.

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Commentary: COVID Redux

Masks People

Life is hard if you do not learn from your mistakes. With Covid, political leaders and public health authorities engaged in a series of missteps, miscalculations, and manias that amounted to an extreme overreaction to the disease.

First, statistical models overstated the risk of the disease by an order of magnitude. Then, even after these miscalculations became apparent, other extreme measures like lockdowns, mandatory masking, coercive vaccine mandates, and a million other indignities ensued. In the end, almost everyone got Covid, almost everyone survived, and, while the economic countermeasures increased our national debt by 30%, the economy soon recovered too.

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New Zealand Whistleblower Claims Public Health Data Shows COVID Vaccines ‘Are Killing People’

A public health worker in New Zealand was arrested on Sunday for allegedly accessing personal information on work databases.

Barry Young​, a whistleblower from New Zealand’s public health agency, Te Whatu Ora, leaked the information to tech entrepreneur Steve Kirsch, a prominent vaccine critic, on November 9. In an interview explaining his motives, Young said the data shows that the COVID jab “is a killer’ and is causing a “river of tears.”

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Federal Censorship Machine Started Years Before COVID, Involved Military Contractors: Whistleblower

Military Person on Computer

The public-private efforts to restrict and suppress purported “mis-, dis- and malinformation” across tech platforms started almost immediately after the surprise election of Donald Trump in 2016, ramped up a year before the COVID-19 pandemic, and included U.S. and U.K. military contractors and plans to cut off financial services to dissenters and sue them.

That’s according to a “highly credible whistleblower” who says they were recruited to participate in the Cyber Threat Intelligence League (CTIL) “through monthly cybersecurity meetings hosted by” the Department of Homeland Security, independent journalists who reviewed the Twitter Files at new owner Elon Musk’s invitation said Tuesday.

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Commentary: Elites Are Confounded by Populist Sentiment and Surprised Their Failures Are Fueling Their Ouster

American populism’s rise is directly connected to the failures of our self-styled elites.  American elites have in numerous instances missed the coming of important crises, some of which they have caused. Average Americans have borne the brunt of these crises.  Today’s populist rise is simply the people’s recognition of the elites’ hypocrisy and culpability in what they have had to endure.

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ACT Test Scores Fall to 30-Year-Low

A new report shows that the average high school student’s ACT college admissions test scores have fallen to their lowest point in 30 years, reflecting an ongoing decline in the quality of education in the United States after the Chinese Coronavirus pandemic.

As Fox News reports, the average scores for the American College Testing (ACT) exams have fallen for the last six years in a row, with the decline becoming noticeably faster in the years during and after COVID. The average score in 2023 was 19.5 out of 36, which comes out to a percentage of 54%. In 2022, the average score was 19.8.

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Commentary: Unemployment Remains Unchanged at 3.8 Percent as Record 11.1 Million Seniors Still Working

Labor markets appeared buoyed by still-working Baby Boomers in September as the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.8 percent, with 296,000 seniors finding jobs in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ household survey.

With more than 11.1 million seniors still working — a national record — peak employment still abounds, even as a massive 47.21 million seniors are no longer in the labor force — also a record — amid the Baby Boomer retirement wave that has seen those 65-years-old-and-older not in the labor force have increased about 19 million the past 25 years.

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Commentary: Stand Up to Left’s Use of COVID to Shut Down America

The Democrat Leftists and oligarchical elites are very capable people; it brings pain to admit it, but it’s true. In the midst of seeking the demise the 45th President and his legal team from 2020, they have managed to continue the fear factor that ushered in mail-in ballots and multiple week voting ensuring a myriad of unexplained discrepancies, ballots without a chain-of-custody, and the White House.

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Wisconsin Lawmakers Introduce Second Go at Constitutional Amendment to Ban Zuckerbucks in Election Administration

Looking to get around Democrat Governor Tony Evers’ veto pen, Republican lawmakers have introduced the second consideration of a constitutional amendment to bar the use of private funds in election administration.

Passage would send the proposed amendment to referendum, letting voters — not the liberal governor — decide if controversial “Zuckerbucks”-like funding of elections is legal in Wisconsin.

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Commentary: A Mother’s COVID Regret

One of the most alarming aspects of the new COVID-centric regime is how people have been deprived of the truth regarding potential harms of the COVID-19 vaccines and how citizens have been forced to get the vaccine due to bullying from medical authorities, the government, or an employer.

When the medical decision to get the jab, whether well-informed or not, is that of a parent making the choice for a child, such a potentially life-altering move might devastate two people, not just one patient. Good parents always want to do the best for their children, and making a medical decision for your child that might have terrible consequences is scary to consider.

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Wisconsin U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher’s Committee on the Chinese Communist Party Issues Subpoena in Chinese Lab Probe

The Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party led by U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI-08) issued its first subpoena in the committee’s ongoing investigation into the clandestine Chinese laboratory that local authorities uncovered in Reedley, California.

“It is deeply disturbing that a Chinese company set up a clandestine facility in small-town America that contained, per the CDC, ‘at least 20 potentially infectious agents’ like HIV and the deadliest known form of malaria. We are grateful to the city of Reedley for their cooperation,” Gallagher said in a statement.

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Commentary: Non-COVID Deaths Are Still Way Higher than Normal

According to data reported weekly by the CDC, the death rate in America remains elevated. In the six years prior to the COVID era, deaths in the United States averaged between 2.6 and 2.8 million people per year. These averages are adjusted for population growth, and with a population as large as the U.S., the numbers should be, and are, remarkably stable. During the three years immediately preceding the 2020, for example, the population growth adjusted death rate from all causes varied by only 1.5 percent.

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Appeals Court Says FDA Denunciations of Ivermectin Look Like ‘Command,’ not Advice

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  is claiming in federal court that it never told doctors not to prescribe ivermectin to treat COVID-19. Federal judges aren’t buying it, and state medical boards that rely heavily on FDA guidance continue to investigate doctors for such prescriptions.

Echoing a federal district judge nine months ago, a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals pressed a Justice Department lawyer to reconcile the FDA’s repeated public denunciations of ivermectin as an off-label COVID treatment with its insistence that the agency is not liable for resulting investigations of doctors who prescribe or promote it.

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Commentary: Michelle Obama Could Really Be the Choice of the Democrat Establishment

The Democratic establishment is laying the groundwork to dump Joe Biden. When the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, Axios, and the Atlantic desert a liberal president, you know the knives are out. Which raises two questions: when will they stick the shiv into Biden? And how do they plan to deal with the “Kamala problem”?

To all but her most ardent fans, it is obvious that having Kamala on the 2024 ticket would be a disaster for the Democrats. Her 2020 campaign collapsed before a single vote was cast. Biden made her his running mate, not because she was a good candidate, but solely because he had backed himself into a corner when he promised he would choose a black woman as his running mate.

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Students’ Math and Reading Scores Aren’t Bouncing Back from School Closures

Students’ academic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic has stalled despite efforts to make up for the learning loss, according to a Tuesday report.

Students on average need more than four extra months in school in order to catch up to grade-level expectations, according to a report by NWEA, a nonprofit organization that provides Pre-K-12 assessment data. The report showed that, on average, students’ math and reading scores are growing slower than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Commentary: As Hiring Slows Down, So Does the Economy

The U.S. economy added 209,000 jobs in June, according to the latest establishment survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, less than expected as 306,000 were added in May, as hiring slowed down nationwide. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate remained about the same at 3.6 percent.

Historically, when hiring slows down by establishments, that usually coincides with economic slowdowns and recessions. In the recent cycle, the 2020 and 2021 recovery from COVID notwithstanding, hiring peaked at about 5.2 percent annualized increase in Feb. 2022. Now, it’s down to 2.5 percent.

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Madison Public Health Managers Drop Fines Against Dance Studio over COVID-Era Performance

Dane County’s public health managers have agreed to drop the COVID-era tickets against a local dance studio over its Nutcracker production.

Public Health Madison & Dane County fined A Leap Above dance studio in Oregon, Wisc., $24,000 for 119 counts of violating local pandemic protocols for its 2020 Christmas time performance.

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Masks Offer ‘Small’ Benefit Against COVID, Increased CO2 May Be Tied to Stillbirths: Research

The termination of the COVID-19 national emergency has not ended mask mandates in various jurisdictions and settings such as healthcare, even as more peer-reviewed research suggests that face coverings can cause more harm than good.

The Annals of Internal Medicine published the “final update” to a three-year “living, rapid review” of research on mask effectiveness against COVID infection, which concluded masks in healthcare and community settings “may be associated with a small reduction in risk” — 10-18% — but that the evidence is weak.

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University of Wisconsin President Defends Tuition Hike, Budget Increase During Enrollment Dip

University of Wisconsin President Jay Rothman said the “war for talent” is driving his vision for the school, which he says is necessitating both a tuition increase and a request for $200 million more in the next state budget. 

Rothman told WisPolitics’ Newsmakers program that Wisconsin must do both in order to compete in that war.

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Wisconsin Ending COVID Emergency, Health Officials Continue Warnings

Wisconsin’s coronavirus emergency is ending, but the state’s public health managers are continuing to urge people to get vaccinated and “take care of their health.”

Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services on Wednesday said the state will be transitioning away from its emergency footing as the Biden Administration prepares to end the national coronavirus emergency on May 11.

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International Research Suggests Masks Better at Causing ‘Long COVID’ than Stopping Virus

Government-backed assumptions about the safety and effectiveness of high-quality mask-wearing against COVID-19 are facing scrutiny from new international research that shines a harsh light on the feds’ continued faith in face coverings.

Surgical and N95-grade masks might induce symptoms misidentified as biologically elusive “long COVID,” according to a “systematic review” in the peer-reviewed Swiss journal Frontiers in Public Health. It echoes a recent study of Norwegian adolescents and young adults on long COVID’s connection to “loneliness” and physical inactivity — conditions exacerbated by pandemic interventions.

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Trump Asks NRA Members for Their Votes to End the Radical, Gun Control Left’s Reign

Reminding gun owners what he did for the protection of the Second Amendment and pledging to do much more, former President Donald Trump closed the National Rifle Association’s main event Friday with a stemwinder that brought the crowd to its feet. 

In a full-on campaign speech, the Republican presidential frontrunner told those assembled at the NRA-Institute for Legislative Action Leadership Forum that he was running for another term to right the ship listing from “nation-wrecking, globalist marxists, RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) and tyrants.” 

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World Health Organization Puts CDC on Defense by Drastically Narrowing COVID Vax Recommendations

The U.S. one-size-fits-all COVID-19 vaccine policy, which recommends “up to date” inoculation at all ages regardless of risk level and provides the basis for ongoing mandates in low-risk settings, has become an even bigger international outlier.

The World Health Organization’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization is removing “healthy children and adolescents” from its default recommendations for primary series and booster shots, according to an official “highlights” summary from its meetings the week of March 20.

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Report: Wisconsin Schools Directing Largest Share of Federal COVID Aid to Construction Projects

A new report shows Wisconsin schools are marking a significant amount for federal COVID relief on construction projects, outpacing planned pandemic aid for core educational and mental health programs.  

The Institute for Reforming Government’s updated K-12 COVID relief Audit found some $265 million of the current $1.49 billion in taxpayer funds allocated is going to construction.

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Wisconsin Senator Johnson Presses FAA on Vaccine Effects

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) is asking the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to provide information about the effects that COVID-19 vaccines may have had on numerous aviation professionals and the agency’s response to those effects. 

Johnson wrote a letter to FAA Acting Administrator Billy Nolen and Office of Aerospace Medicine Federal Air Surgeon Susan Northrup last week requesting an investigation into the conditions of commercial pilots Greg Pierson, Bob Snow and Wil Wolfe. The three were all in their 50s or 60s and the latter two received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine while Pierson got the Pfizer shot. The senator also wants investigations to determine vaccine effects on agricultural pilot Cody Flint and air-traffic controller Hayley Lopez, respectively 33 and 29, who both obtained the Pfizer jab. 

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Federal Agencies Withholding Data Behind Pilot Heart Condition Change, COVID Vax Stroke Reversal

Federal agencies are withholding the data behind recent decisions that relate or may relate to COVID-19 vaccines and severe adverse events, fueling speculation that they are putting both vaccinated and unvaccinated lives at risk. The Federal Aviation Administration told Just the News it widened the acceptable range of heart rhythms for commercial pilots, who were initially subject to industry-wide vaccine mandates, in light of “[n]ew scientific evidence” that it has yet to specify.

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Commentary: Biden Admin Blames the American People for its Own Ludicrous Spending

Last week, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen blamed the American people for the 40-year high inflation we have been enduring.

Appearing on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” she said that Americans “were in their homes for a year or more, they wanted to buy grills and office furniture, they were working from home, they suddenly started splurging on goods, buying technology.” According to her, this consumer “splurging” caused prices to rise so much.

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Rigorous International Study of N95 Masks Upends Federal COVID Narrative

The CDC took nearly two years to formally recognize distinctions between masks for mitigating COVID-19 spread, finally saying in January that cloth masks offer “the least” protection and N95 respirators, which meet strict federal standards, “the highest.”

The agency’s slight nod to the largely symbolic value of cloth masks, predominantly worn in school settings, followed months of calls by onetime White House COVID advisers, among others, to promote masks actually designed to stop aerosolized transmission. It also spurred a run on N95s, sending prices skyward.

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National Science Foundation Gives Tens of Millions to Fight COVID ‘Disinformation,’ Populism

Government efforts to squelch purported misinformation and disinformation on the most contested subjects in American politics don’t stop with Cabinet-level agencies.

The National Science Foundation has awarded at least $39 million in grants and contracts in fiscal years 2021 and 2022 for projects that target misinformation or disinformation, frequently pertaining to COVID-19 and elections.

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FDA Social Media Posts on COVID Under Legal, Medical Scrutiny for Misleading Claims

The FDA’s Twitter habits are getting scrutiny in court and from medical professionals as the feds seesaw between walking back their once-confident COVID-19 assertions and making sweeping new claims without providing evidence.

Having long ago conceded that COVID vaccines can’t stop viral transmission and that assertions to the contrary by President Biden among others were based on “hope” rather than science, the feds are now downplaying the influence of their social media to escape liability for allegedly violating statutory limits by interfering in medical judgments.

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Commentary: The Top 10 U.S. Senate Races to Watch

Americans will soon get to cast their first votes since the science–denying COVID mask and vaccine mandates, the second wave of COVID-related blowout spending and subsequent inflation, and the COVID-related school closures that allowed parents to see what the public schools are really teaching their boys and girls – including that they can choose whether they are boys or girls. With all of these matters implicitly on the ballot, how are things shaping up going into Election Day?

Starting with the House of Representatives, six months ago Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report projected “a GOP gain in the 15-25 seat range.” At the time, I responded, “While things could change over the next six months (although the cake is probably largely baked), a GOP gain of 30 to 40 House seats appears more likely at this stage of the contest than Walter’s projected GOP gain of 15 to 25 seats.”

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Commentary: The Left Were the Mad Scientists, Americans Were Their Lab Rats

As the midterms approach, one way of looking at America’s current disaster is that we, the American people, were lab rats. And since 2021, the Left were the mad scientists, eager to try out their crackpot leftist experiments on us. 

The result is that the housing market is tottering on the verge of collapse. 

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Commentary: The Fed’s Interest Rate Hikes Have only Destroyed $398 Billion of the $6 Trillion It Printed

“Our expectation has been we would begin to see inflation come down, largely because of supply side healing.  We haven’t. We have seen some supply side healing but inflation has not really come down.”

That was Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Sept. 21, speaking to reporters following the central bank’s meeting where the Federal Funds Rate was once again increased 0.75 percent to its current range of 3 percent to 3.25 percent in a bid to combat sticky 8.3 percent consumer inflation the past year.

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Biden Says COVID Pandemic Is ‘Over’ in the United States

President Joe Biden said the COVID-19 pandemic is “over” in the United States.

“The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lotta work on it. It’s– But the pandemic is over,” Biden said during a pre-recorded CBS “60 Minutes” interview aired Sunday.

“As you notice, no one’s wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape, and so I think it’s changing,” he said.

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Denmark Will No Longer Offer COVID Vaccines to Healthy People Under 50

Denmark has just tacitly admitted that the risks of mRNA injections outweigh the benefits for healthy people under 50.

The Nordic country will no longer offer COVID-19 boosters and vaccines to persons under 50 who are not at high risk of becoming ill from the virus, the Danish Health Authority (SST) announced on Tuesday.

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Commentary: Enormous Amounts of Money Flow into the Bottomless Education Pit

Spurred by COVID panic, schools have been the recipient of ungodly sums of money. And it’s not as if the beast was starving before. To put things into perspective, the United States spends about $800 billion on national defense, more than China, Russia, India, the UK, France, Saudi Arabia, Germany, and Japan combined, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. America now spends even more on K-12 education, with an outlay of about $900 billion dollars a year, which includes an additional $122 billion from the COVID-related American Rescue Plan. 

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U.S. Senator Ron Johnson Presses Feds for Source of Vaccine at Military Bases After Whistleblower Allegations

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) is pressing the Pentagon, Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for answers after multiple whistleblowers raised concerns about the provenance of a Comirnaty-labeled COVID-19 vaccine shipped to military bases.

On Monday, nine military officers from across all the branches sent a whistleblower report to Congress regarding a COVID vaccine appearing at Coast Guard medical clinics. Key GOP senator presses feds for source of vaccine at military bases after whistleblower allegations

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Judge Chastises DoD, Marine Corps in Order Granting Class Action Status in Vaccine Mandate Case

U.S District Court Judge Steven Merryday issued a blistering rebuke of the Department of Defense and Marine Corps for refusing to grant religious accommodation requests to service members.

Merryday did so when issuing a 48-page ruling Thursday in which he granted class action status for all active and reserve U.S. Marine Corps service men and women in a lawsuit filed against the Secretary of Defense over the department’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

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