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What a week! As the Biden administration continues its push to force normalcy on a nation still in the throes of the deadly pandemic, the president tested positive for COVID-19. The U.S. House voted to protect same-sex marriage. And the Jan. 6 hearings ramped up with explosive allegations about Donald Trump’s decisions on the day of the attack on the Capitol.

One of the biggest stories is monkeypox. On Saturday, the World Health Organization declared the spread of the virus a global public health emergency.

However, in the U.S., where 2,500 people have been infected so far, the response to the virus has been somewhat muted. Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic proving the need for rapid mitigations—widespread testing, vaccination, masking, and contact tracing—these measures have yet to be adopted on a large scale.

Public health officials have meanwhile framed the virus—which can spread through close physical contact, respiratory secretions, indirect contact with infected clothing and linens, through placenta during pregnancy, or from contact with animals—as largely a sexually transmitted disease among gay men.

Critics have warned that the Biden administration’s messaging is problematic because while most of the monkeypox cases have thus far occurred among men who have sex with other men, the virus is sure to spread outside of that community—particularly in schools among children. In fact, it’s already begun. Some have drawn parallels between the current framing of the virus as a gay disease and the botched handling of the AIDS crisis by the Reagan administration.

In addition to providing a false sense of security for society at large, and potentially stigmatizing and discouraging testing or even research, framing monkeypox as a gay disease could have violent consequences for a community still fighting homophobia.

Today, right-wing politicians and pundits are ramping up their hateful rhetoric, trying to characterize LGBTQ people as threats to children. That rhetoric has contributed to an uptick in anti-LGBTQ violence, reported PRISM in April.

OptOut is committed to keeping you informed with the latest, most accurate information we can provide. Please enjoy this week’s selection of articles, podcasts, and videos from our network of independent outlets.

Your Independent News Roundup

New York state leads the nation with 900 monkeypox cases, followed by California (356) and Florida (247), reports FLORIDA PHOENIX.

Monkeypox now a public health emergency of international concern; FL cases rank 3rd in the U.S. - Florida Phoenix
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared Saturday that the monkeypox outbreak that’s expanded globally is now a public health emergency of international concern. “In short, we have an outbreak that has spread around the world rapidly, through new modes of transmission, about which we understand…
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The January 6 Hearings

THE NATION has a sharp analysis of what we've learned about Donald Trump’s attempt to undermine the Constitution and American democracy on Jan. 6.

187 Minutes of Treason
Thursday’s January 6 Committee hearing painted a portrait of “an out-of-control, criminal, seditious, mad president.”
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THE MAJORITY REPORT discussed the Jan. 6 hearings and had Jamelle Bouie on talk about the dysfunctional, "sick" Senate.

The Most Corrupt Guy in Congress?

Trump isn't the only politician promoting a "big lie." THE AMERICAN PROSPECT covers what's really behind coal millionaire Sen. Joe Manchin’s anti-inflation rhetoric. It has to do with opposing green energy initiatives, and remember, Manchin's waste coal business has made him and his family millions of dollars.

Manchin’s Big Lie
Today on TAP: He killed the Democrats’ bill because, he said, he was concerned about inflation. But the bill was anti-inflationary; what he really didn’t like was boosting green energy.
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Jordan Chariton of STATUS COUP is on a tour to interview people about how inflation is affecting their lives. He stopped off in West Virginia to talk with residents about how Manchin's policies have made their lives harder—and their air more polluted.

COVID-19 Continues Its Spread

MICHIGAN ADVANCE reports on the potential return of COVID-19 mitigation measures in Michigan schools as viral spread continues to rise.

The pandemic isn’t over — but are schools over COVID protocols? ⋆ Michigan Advance
The days of state-mandated COVID-19 protocols in schools may be over, but parents and educators still want there to be some mitigation efforts so that the virus doesn’t wreak havoc on students during the fourth school year during the pandemic. Jennifer Tuksal, a parent and co-founder of Michigan Pa…
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And speaking of COVID, Dr. Steven Thrasher wrote a new piece for PRISM about the Biden administration’s failures to contain the virus.

More people are dying of COVID, and it didn’t have to be this way
Despite Biden’s campaign promises, the administration has abandoned COVID precautions and infrastructure, leading to a higher COVID death count than under Trump
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In Other News

At THE REAL NEWS NETWORK, the Marc Steiner Show describes the winners and losers in President Biden’s proposed budget. SPOILER ALERT: The military once again rakes it in at the expense of necessary programs.

Biden budget showers military with cash, shafts everyone else
Democrats give the Pentagon more money than it asked for while letting extremist colleagues like Sen. Joe Manchin kill every useful part of their legislative agenda.
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EXPOSED BY CMD has details about the Republican Attorneys General Association’s massive fundraising haul in the second quarter as GOP AGs fight abortion, companies that divest from fossil fuels or publicly support voting rights, EPA regulation, and a lot more. An arm of RAGA paid for robocalls encouraging people to attend the Jan. 6 rally and march to the Capitol, but it didn't take long for its corporate donors to forget about its role in the insurrection.

Republican AG Pay-to-Play Group Raises $4.9 Million in Second Quarter - EXPOSEDbyCMD
The Republican Attorneys General Association raised $4.9 million in the second quarter of this year, according to a report filed with the Internal Revenue Service on Friday.
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FAIR has a good rundown of the increasingly dire coverage of Russian President Vladimir Putin as his country’s war on Ukraine continues.

Calling Putin ‘Hitler’ to Smear Diplomacy as ‘Appeasement’ - FAIR
The hyperbolic comparisons between Russia and Vladimir Putin to Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler, as well as constant accusations that anyone who attempts to negotiate with Russia for a peaceful end to the war is engaged in “appeasement,” have cost the world opportunities to de-escalate.
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CHAMPAGNE SHARKS' latest podcast episode focuses on the study of Black men in academia.

Today Vida sits down with Miron Clay-Gilmore on the show to talk about his work in Black Male Studies. Miron is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Edinburgh as well as a husband, father, and vet.
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Listen on the OptOut app, Soundcloud, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Thanks as always for following the work of our great, financially independent news outlets! See you soon.

The OptOut Media Foundation (EIN: 85-2348079) is a nonprofit charity with a mission to educate the public about current events and help sustain a diverse media ecosystem by promoting and assisting independent news outlets and, in doing so, advance democracy and social justice.

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