Connect with us


The Mood in the Capitol Was Already Dark. Then Came Omicron. – The New York Times



Supported by
Congressional Memo
Congress, always a reflection of the country, is in a testy mood, as the latest coronavirus variant looms over the Capitol and schadenfreude is in full swing.
Send any friend a story
As a subscriber, you have 10 gift articles to give each month. Anyone can read what you share.

WASHINGTON — Across the country, the Omicron variant has sent coronavirus infections into the stratosphere. Winter weather and empty shelves have turned moods surly. Americans have turned on each other over vaccinations, mandates and masks.
And at the U.S. Capitol, where all manner of people are thrown together in an unhappy stew, the moment was crystallized this week in a hot-mic episode. In an audible whisper, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, summed up his feelings for another physician, Senator Roger Marshall, Republican of Kansas.
“What a moron,” Dr. Fauci said on Tuesday after a testy exchange with the senator over the infectious disease expert’s financial disclosures. “Jesus Christ.”
Just when it seemed as if the atmosphere on Capitol Hill could not get worse, Omicron came to town. At least 129 House members and senators have announced a coronavirus infection since the outset of the pandemic, nearly a quarter of the lawmakers in Congress. A baker’s dozen announced infections in the last week alone. A mask mandate that has been only fitfully respected by Republicans in the House was turned up a notch to require only N95s and KN95s — and compliance is just as spotty.
Social distancing is back; when the body of Harry Reid, the former Senate majority leader, lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday, chairs were arranged several feet apart. The grand atrium of the Capitol Visitor Center, once filled with tourists, has been reconfigured with stanchions to demarcate the Covid testing line for lawmakers and staff members.
Schadenfreude is in full tilt.
Democrats cackled about what Dr. Fauci called Mr. Marshall; Republicans countered by invoking Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York, who was spotted maskless and outdoors in Miami Beach late last month. Her office announced on Sunday that she had tested positive for the virus.
Of course, it is no laughing matter. Two Republicans have died after contracting Covid — Representative Ron Wright of Texas and Representative-elect Luke Letlow of Louisiana — and the refusal of some lawmakers on the right fringe to wear a mask in the hustle and bustle of House floor votes has some colleagues fearing for their health.
“I see people — members, staff — without masks,” the House sergeant-at-arms, William J. Walker, a former District of Columbia National Guard commander, said this week. “I’ll walk up to them and ask them to put the mask on. Some just walk away from me.”
On the House floor on Wednesday, Representative Brian Mast, Republican of Florida, walked through the well on two prosthetic legs, smiling broadly without his mask. In the back of the chamber, Georgia’s maskless duo, Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Andrew Clyde, both Republicans, held court seemingly without a care, sure to get fined for their rule-breaking but confident their fortunes could handle it.
(Ms. Greene’s father built a significant Atlanta-area building company before selling it to his daughter and son-in-law, while Mr. Clyde’s hulking gun shop, Clyde Armory, has kept him flush. They have already absorbed more than $100,000 in fines for their mask strike.)
Speaking just outside the chamber with his mask off, Representative Lee Zeldin, Republican of New York, was nonchalant. Omicron is mild, he said, and the steep rise in cases, in his home county on Long Island and across the country, will be followed, he hoped, by an equally steep decline.
“Those who are testing positive include the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, but for those I speak to — and there are many who have tested positive in recent weeks — fortunately for them, every single person I’ve spoken to has had a much milder experience than what was experienced in past variants,” said Mr. Zeldin, who is running for governor of New York.
Democrats tend to be a little less sanguine. Signs posted throughout the House proclaim in all capital letters “USE OF FACE COVERINGS REQUIRED,” but they appear to have only made the defiant dig in.
“That kind of defiance, we see it all across the board here,” said Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, the Democratic whip, who missed his granddaughter’s wedding last month as he battled Covid. “And these are people who I hope will be able to survive whatever comes their way.”
The procedural machinations around voting rights legislation and the hand-wringing over President Biden’s social safety net and climate change bill can seem a bit beside the point when cases are soaring, hospitalizations nationwide are up 84 percent over the past two weeks and the average number of deaths now exceeds 1,700 a day.
Behind those marquee issues, the pandemic is again rising as a political focus. House Democrats on Wednesday rushed out new legislation to provide free at-home coronavirus tests while Senator Bernie Sanders, independent of Vermont, reintroduced his bill to send N95 masks to every home.
For their part, Republicans appeared to have determined that the real victims of the virus were those who refused to be vaccinated against it.
House Republican leaders forced Democrats to vote on a procedural motion to ensure that service members discharged for refusing to be vaccinated would not lose their G.I. Bill benefits. It failed.
The latest Covid data in the U.S. As the Omicron surge caused case counts to reach record highs and hospitalizations to surpass last winter’s peak, here’s what the data suggests about the variant’s potential toll. Reports of falling infection rates in parts of the U.S., meanwhile, hint that a national peak may be approaching.
The U.S. Covid response. President Biden announced that the U.S. government would deploy military personnel to help overwhelmed hospitals and buy 500 million more tests for distribution to Americans, doubling its previous purchase. Americans will be able to order free rapid tests online beginning Jan. 15.
Around the world. Some European countries have changed their approach to the virus to more closely align with how they handle the flu. Public health experts say the shift might be premature. Outbreaks in China weeks ahead of the Winter Olympics underscored the challenges of holding the Games while sticking to a “zero Covid” policy.
Staying safe. Worried about spreading Covid? Keep yourself and others safe by following some basic guidance on when to test and how to use at-home virus tests (if you can find them). Here is what to do if you test positive for the coronavirus.
Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida, and 19 other House members on the party’s right flank also introduced a bill to block the District of Columbia from requiring vaccinations to enter establishments like restaurants, clubs and concert venues.
The conflict that erupted this week between Dr. Fauci and Mr. Marshall was over a serious issue, as was a clash between the infectious disease expert and Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky.
Mr. Paul, an ophthalmologist, accused Dr. Fauci and the director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis S. Collins, of collaborating to smear scientists who disagreed with them. That prompted Dr. Fauci to recount the arrest of a California man who was driving across the country with an AR-15; the man was accused of planning to kill Dr. Fauci, among other public figures.
And though Dr. Fauci could easily parry Mr. Marshall’s insinuation that he was somehow hiding his financial disclosure records, few could argue with the senator’s assertion that government messages have been mixed and confusing on quarantine lengths and testing during the Omicron surge.
“The American people, my family, all of our families, are struggling as this pandemic continues to drag on with no end in sight,” Mr. Marshall said during a sparsely attended hearing, depleted of participants and observers because of Covid’s resurgence. “The words I hear every day, multiple times each day, continue to resonate and echo in my mind, words like, ‘I’m tired, confused, burned out.’”
Representative Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma, agreed on Wednesday that the mood in the Capitol reflected the mood at home.
“Obviously it’s a very difficult time,” he said. “We all thought we’d be on top of the virus now. We’re clearly not.”
He added: “We’ll get through it. The country’s seen a lot darker days than these.”
Luke Broadwater contributed reporting.


Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply


Carrots Have These 8 Amazing, Surprising Health Benefits



Initially, the vegetable originated in the geological area and the Asian United States, and it was initially only available in purple and yellow hues. Carrots are an excellent source of beta carotene, a natural mineral introduced by the body to provide sustenance, and they are high in fibre.

Carrots, which are crunchy, orange, and delicious, provide a variety of benefits to our health, pores, skin, and hair. These don’t appear to be particularly tasty, but they are loaded with numerous important nutrients, for example, beta-carotene, cell reinforcements, potassium, fibre, sustenance K, and so on.

Carrots are cultivated to promote eye health, lower dangerous LDL cholesterol, and aid in weight loss. Let’s put it to the test and find out why carrots are so good for you!

The following are twelve effective edges you might get from carrots:

1. Supports gadget

Most importantly, carrots contain a few phytochemicals that are well-known for their cancer-causing properties. Carotenoids and carotenoids are present in more than one of these associations. Overall, compounds create resistance and activate specific proteins that prevent the growth of most tumor cells. An investigation reveals on a screen that carrot juice can also fight leukemia.

2. Advances Glowing Skin

Investigate tips that stop outcome, and vegetables well off in those composites will finish pores and pores and skin ground and work with people’s appearances, thus making them more noteworthy young.

3. Fortifies Bones

Carrots are high in vitamins, minerals, and cancer-fighting agents. Vitamins B6 and K, potassium, phosphorous, and other minerals contribute to bone health, a more durable, and help with mental performance. Aside from selling the body to free extreme annihilation, cancer prevention agents keep an eye on the casing in the course of dangerous microbes, infections, and diseases. Physical cell digestion is managed by the ophthalmic component. Carotenoids have been linked to improved bone health.

4. Advances Male physiological circumstance (ED)

These fruitfulness meals may increase the number of sperm cells and their motility. According to research, this is a direct result of the fake carotenoids found in carrots, which are responsible for the vegetable’s orange color. However, it is still unknown whether carrots can improve sperm enjoyment and motility. Carrots are being tried to improve food for male physiological conditions and erectile dysfunction. Cenforce FM and Cenforce D can be used to treat impotency.

5. Keeps From Cancer and Stroke

Carrots have an unusual endowment in that they are loaded down with anti-cancer resources that will depress the cells’ blast. Essentially, studies have discovered that carrots can reduce the risk of a variety of diseases, including colon, breast, and prostate cancer.

6. Further develops the natural framework Health

Carrots contain a significant amount of dietary fibre, which plays an important role in supporting healthy stomach function. Fibre expands your stool, allowing it to pass more easily through the stomach-related plot and preventing stoppage.

7. Assists with managing polygenic affliction and basic sign

Carrots are high in fibre, which promotes cardiovascular health by lowering LDL cholesterol levels in veins and blood vessels. Calcium is absorbed through the frame of carrots, resulting in low but dangerous cholesterol levels.

Carrots have an unbalanced fibre content. An investigation found that advanced fibre consumption improves aldohexose digestion in people with the polygenic disorder. Following a healthy, well-balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Inconsistencies in glucose digestion may require a high level to combat aerophilic strain, and this is frequently where the inhibitor nutrients dilettanti ophthalmic thing axerophthol fats-solvent sustenance may also benefit.

According to one review, juice provided a 5 wrinkle inside the beat fundamental sign. The supplements in carrot juice, with fibre, K, nitrates, and vitamin C, have all been obtained to help this final product.

8. Advances Healthy Heart

To begin with, each cancer prevention agent is beneficial to your coronary heart. Furthermore, at 0.33, they should contain fibre, which can help you stay in shape and lower your chances of having a heart attack.

9. Forestalls devolution

Edges that are hostile to ophthalmic detail ensure the floor of the eye and provide a sharp inventiveness and perception. Taking juice will help to delay many eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and visual impairment. Overall, carrots contain lutein, which is an inhibitor that protects the eye from obliterating light.

10. Works on urinary organ and Liver perform

Carrots contain glutathione. Cell reinforcement has been shown to be effective in treating liver disease caused by aerophilic strains. The greens are high in plant flavonoids and beta-carotene, both of which stimulate and develop your popular liver component. Carrots contain carotenoid, which can help fight liver problems.

11. Palatable Anti-Aging

Along with carrots on your regular food, you will appreciate limiting the way you get more seasoned. Furthermore, beta-carotene functions as an inhibitor that advances cell harm, which happens as a result of the casing’s normal digestion.

12. Advances Weight Loss

Uncooked Carrots are 88% water when raw or ebb and flow. A regular carrot has the lowest difficulty level of 25 energy. Taking everything into consideration, including carrots in your diet is a wise way to fuel yourself while collecting calories.

Continue Reading


%d bloggers like this: