DML Morning Briefing ~ Wed. Sept. 28

Ian roars and grows! DeSantis hits Biden, Pompeo’s new ad, CDC quietly caves, more!
By Anneta Griffee

Today is September 28. Below are some of the stories grabbing headlines this morning. I hope you share this briefing as doing so will make you the smartest person in the room.

1 – Ian just shy of a Category 5 hurricane as it nears Florida
The Associated Press reports: ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., (AP) — Hurricane Ian rapidly intensified off Florida’s southwest coast Wednesday morning, gaining top winds of 155 mph (250 kph), just shy of the most dangerous Category 5 status. Damaging winds and rain lashed the state’s heavily populated Gulf Coast, with the Naples to Sarasota region at “highest risk” of a devastating storm surge.

U.S. Air Force hurricane hunters confirmed Ian gained strength over warm Gulf of Mexico water after battering Cuba, bringing down the country’s electricity grid and leaving the entire island without power. Ian was centered about 65 miles (105 kilometers) west-southwest of Naples at 7 a.m., swirling toward the coast at 10 mph (17 kph).

“This is going to be a nasty nasty day, two days,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said early Wednesday, stressing that people in Ian’s path along the coast should rush to the safest possible shelter and stay there. “Do what you need to do to stay safe. If you are where that storm is approaching, you’re already in hazardous conditions. It’s going to get a lot worse very quickly. So please hunker down.”

The massive storm appeared on track to slam into the Florida’s southwestern Gulf coast somewhere north of Fort Myers and some 125 miles (201 kilometers) south of Tampa, sparing the bay area from a rare direct hit from a hurricane. The Fort Myers area is popular with retirees and tourists drawn to pristine white sandy beaches and long barrier islands, which forecasters said could be completely inundated.

Meteorologist Jason Frazer: “I have never seen a Hurricane rapidly intensify within 3 hours. We just saw this happen with Hurricane Ian. When we signed on @FoxWeather at 4:45am, Ian had max winds of 120 mph. Now, Ian has max winds of 155 mph. There will be parts of Florida that will soon be unrecognizable.”

MY TAKE: Floridians, please stay safe out there!!

2 – DeSantis Team Hits Back After Biden Deems Vaccination a ‘Vital Part’ of Hurricane Prep
Breitbart reports: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) team on social media assured the Sunshine State that its officials are ready and willing to help all Floridians who will be impacted by Hurricane Ian, regardless of vaccination status, after President Biden deemed getting vaccinated a “vital part” of hurricane prep.

“Let me be clear. If you’re in a state where hurricanes often strike like Florida or the Gulf Coast or into Texas, a vital part of preparing for hurricane season is to get vaccinated,” Biden stated ahead of Hurricane Ian’s anticipated landfall on the west coast of Florida.

“Now, everything is more complicated if you’re not vaccinated in [sic] a hurricane or natural disaster hits,” he continued, making a bizarre connection between getting vaccinated and preparing for a massive storm:

The DeSantis War Room addressed Biden’s call for more vaccinations on Tuesday.

“This is a strange and puzzling assertion from @POTUS. Governor DeSantis and Florida’s world class emergency management & first responders are ready to help all Floridians impacted by #HurricaneIan, regardless of vaccination status,” it said:

MY TAKE: Biden is a total embarrassment!

3 – Pompeo launches new campaign to combat ‘wokeness in the military’
Fox News reports: Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he has a new mission — to battle what he terms is “a woke military.”

Taking aim at political correctness in the nation’s armed forces, the West Point graduate and Army officer who served in Germany during the Cold War is launching a campaign to target what he calls “woke polices” by President Biden’s administration that are directed toward the military.

The campaign, which includes a new website and two ads released by CAVFUND, a non-profit group set up by Pompeo, was shared first with Fox News on Tuesday.

“American security, and the safety of our families, rests on the shoulders of our men and women in uniform. Their training must never be corrupted to advance left-wing political goals. This matters. A woke military is a weak military,” Pompeo, who was elected to Congress before serving as CIA director and America’s top diplomat during former President Trump’s administration, argued in a statement.

MY TAKE: About time! This needs to go viral, don’t you agree?

4 – BREAKING: OU Health Plans ‘Ceasing Of Certain Gender Medicine Services’ For Minors After State Threatens Funding
The Daily Caller reports: Oklahoma Children’s Hospital will stop performing “certain gender medicine services” for minors, OU Health told the Daily Caller in a statement Tuesday.

The hospital, which is part of the Oklahoma University (OU) Health system, provides a wide range of adolescent medical services, including for sexuality and gender identity issues, according to the Oklahoma Children’s Hospital website. However OU Health told the Daily Caller the current gender program is facing cuts to its available services.

“The OU Health Senior Leadership team is proactively planning the ceasing of certain gender medicine services across our facilities and that plan is already under development,” OU Health said in the statement.

The Oklahoma House of Representatives added restrictions on Monday to special session legislation that would prevent Oklahoma Children’s Hospital from performing gender-affirming surgeries on minors at any of its locations. The Oklahoma House Conference Committee approved a new version of Oklahoma bill HB1007 on Monday that would restrict the hospital’s ability to perform some gender-affirming services, including hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgeries on minors, according to the bill.

MY TAKE: Finally, some good news!!

5 – CDC Drops Universal Masking Recommendation for Healthcare Workers
Breitbart reports: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) quietly dropped its universal masking recommendation for healthcare workers last week.

According to the federal health agency, which updated its guidance September 23, the changes were made “to reflect the high levels of vaccine-and infection-induced immunity and the availability of effective treatments and prevention tools.” The guidance emphasizes that it is applicable to United States healthcare settings before clarifying that areas without high transmission levels of the Chinese coronavirus “could choose not to require universal source control.”

Per the updated guidance:

Individuals might also choose to continue using source control based on personal preference, informed by their perceived level of risk for infection based on their recent activities (e.g., attending crowded indoor gatherings with poor ventilation) and their potential for developing severe disease. For example, if an individual or someone in their household is at increased risk for severe disease, they should consider wearing masks or respirators that provide more protection because of better filtration and fit to reduce exposure and infection risk, even if source control is not otherwise required by the facility. HCP [healthcare personnel] and healthcare facilities might also consider using or recommending source control when caring for patients who are moderately to severely immunocompromised.

MY TAKE: About time!!

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