December 9, 2020
 
Dear Friend,
 
Several important items in today’s update:

  • Governor Cooper announced yesterday that he would be implementing a modified statewide stay-at-home order as COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and the percentage of cases coming up positive, and other trends continue to rise. The order, which takes effect Friday at 5 p.m., requires individuals to stay home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. and is expected to stay in place through the first week of January. Exemptions like those found in the stay-at-home orders earlier this year, such as traveling to and from work or to obtain food or medical care, will still apply. Businesses like restaurants, bars, entertainment venues will be required to close with at 10 p.m. (which certain exemptions) and the sale of alcoholic beverages will be prohibited for on-site consumption after 9 p.m.
  • The executive order can be found here.
  • A frequently-asked-questions document about the order is available here.

  • On the good news front, the Trump Administration’s Operation Warp Speed continues its historic success. The FDA published documents this week indicating that it has found that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate provides strong protection against the virus within about 10 days of the first of two doses, and that the vaccine works well regardless of a patient’s race, age or weight. Just six months after President Trump launched Operation Warp Speed to deliver a safe, effective vaccine five times faster than any other vaccine in history, the FDA is on the verge of approving not one, but two vaccine candidates for use by the end of the year. Manufacturing is underway at 23 sites nationwide and 20-40 million Americans will be able to receive the vaccine by the end of the month.

  • President Trump’s campaign continues to pursue its legal options regarding the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. The State of Texas filed suit last night against Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, claiming those states ignored or made changes to their election procedures in violation of federal law and the Constitution. The Supreme Court has “original jurisdiction” of suits filed by states against one another, meaning the suit will go straight to the Supreme Court and bypass federal district and appellate courts. Stay tuned for more as this, and other legal and legislative options being pursued by the campaign, continue. Many of us in the House will be filing an amicus brief with the Court in support of this case.

  • Last night, I voted against the National Defense Authorization Act, which I ordinarily would not do. There are a number of very important provisions in this bill. But the way I see it, if we aren’t going to strike Section 230 for the social media giants now using this as the vehicle, it will not happen for some time. After all, the NDAA is going to get adopted one way or another whether it is now or soon after the first of the year. If this election proved anything, it proved that the social media giants are now publishers. They should be treated as publishers and subject to the same laws as publishers. 
  • Section 230 is a provision of law adopted with the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which provides immunity for websites that host content from those who post, comment, etc. In other words, it is to protect the free-flow of information and opinion, regardless of whether it is factual. Now that these social media giants are choosing what users can see, they are essentially picking winners and losers in the battle of ideas, truth, and free speech. Certainly, a lot of what is on the internet is false or misleading, but it is not the job of social media giants to be the police of such. That’s the job of each of us — to discern and think critically about all that we read and see. Or to think about it another way, with Section 230 protections in place for Facebook, Google and all the other social media platforms out there, there is nothing to keep these social media giants from preventing the flow of factual information while boosting the flow of misinformation. This is as much a threat to our republic as any foreign adversary!  

  • Lastly, the House voted today on a 7-day stopgap government funding measure to prevent a looming government shutdown at the end of the week. Negotiations on a longer-term funding package, as well as some form of COVID-19 relief, continue. I remain hopeful that sometime in the next week or so both chambers will find common ground and put a compromise funding/COVID-19 relief package on the table that President Trump can sign into law.  

As always, stay tuned to Coronavirus.gov and the NC Department of Health and Human Services’ website for the latest on the outbreak.  And please feel free to send good news stories our way to highlight in this newsletter by replying to this e-mail. 

Sincerely,
David Rouzer

For the latest COVID-19 Updates and Archived information from the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce, please CLICK HERE
(If on a cell devise, Click Events and then click on COVID-19 updates)


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