Cheers: Fayette County’s COVID-19 vaccine task force announced that 3,600 have received the first dose of the vaccine in the week since officials opened a clinic at the Uniontown Mall. Another 3,300 are expected to receive it this week. Those who worked tirelessly to get everything up and running – including the online registration process – deserve our thanks. While there are many, many more waiting for their turn in line (15,000 registrants were signed up as of Wednesday), having a system in place is the first step in getting the shot into the arms of those who want it. The longer the registration process is in place, the more streamlined it will become. Patience, and continued vigilance, is now key for all those who wait for their turn in line.
Cheers: The Greene County sheriff’s department and Sheriff Marcus Simms have assisted area residents throughout the pandemic in a number of ways, from adding shifts to help other agencies to delivering masks to residents. When asked why the department was so committed to going the extra mile to help others, Simms simply stated that he and the staff “realized that we could not just sit idly by during this pandemic and needed to go outside of our typical duties to serve our citizens during the pandemic.”
Cheers: Bipartisanship may be extraordinarily tough to come by in Washington, D.C., but it’s not hard to find among rank-and-file Americans, particularly when it comes to the pending COVID-19 relief bill. When polled, both Democrats and Republicans agree that it needs to be big enough to meet the challenges of this moment. And while Republicans on Capitol Hill are arguing that $1.9 trillion is too much to spend, their counterparts in cities and states disagree. A story in The Washington Post earlier this week reported that Republican elected officials staring at rising crime rates, homelessness, and the possibility of handing pink slips to police and firefighters feel the relief package and its proposed $350 billion in aid to states and cities is exactly what they need. Betsy Price, the mayor of Fort Worth, Texas, told The Washington Post, “We’re not asking the Democrats or the Republicans to put money into city coffers. We’re asking them to put it into the community to help people get back on their feet.”
Jeers: Guy Reschenthaler, the congressman for this region, recently tweeted that the GOP is “the big tent party where it is okay to hold different ideas and viewpoints.” He might want to rethink that following the stampede by state and local GOP organizations to censure the seven U.S. senators, including Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey, who voted Saturday to convict former President Trump at the conclusion of his second impeachment trial. Dave Ball, the chairman of the Washington County Republican Party, garnered national attention for his comments on Toomey and his perceived lack of fealty to the former president. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, some Utah Republicans were considering censuring their senator, Mitt Romney, and proclaiming that he used his power and influence to “undermine” Trump. Moreover, the motion to censure the 2012 Republican presidential nominee states that he “appears to be an agent for the Establishment Deep State.” In reality, the big tent Reschenthaler touted appears to be shrinking, with space available only for the most servile of Trump loyalists.
Jeers: Odds are not many Americans had ever heard of Gina Carano until the right-leaning actor and fitness model generated headlines last week for being fired from the Disney television series “The Mandalorian.” The reason for her dismissal? She shared a social media post that suggested hatred of Americans for their political views is comparable to the Holocaust. It’s nonsense. But plenty of entertainers over the years have made assertions that are ill-thought, fantastical, repellant or just plain dumb. For example, Bob Dylan once declared in a rambling, drink-soaked speech in 1963 that he “saw some of myself” in presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. Jonathan Chait, a columnist for New York magazine, noted that we now look on the blacklist of the 1940s and the 1950s, when communists and progressives were blackballed from work in Hollywood, with a sense of shame. We should be careful not to let that happen again for creative professionals who express views we don’t like.