Several States Report Zero COVID Cases

( For the first time in months, several states have reported zero cases of COVID-19 and zero deaths from the virus, marking a milestone for the nation’s recovery from the disastrous COVID-19 lockdown.

Last weekend, Texas reported that there were zero deaths from COVID-19 for the first time since March of last year. And, the states of Minnesota, Arizona, and Massachusetts also announced a day free of COVID-19-related deaths for the first time in several months.

Reuters also revealed how Maryland reported the lowest new daily cases of COVID-19 since March of last year, and that Virginia saw the lowest rate of new COVID cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

It means that as more Americans get vaccinated, and with more people having recovered from the virus and achieved natural immunity, the virus is becoming less of a threat by the day.

But President Biden is still wearing a mask during indoor and outdoor events despite being vaccinated…

The good news for Texas coincides with a decision by the state’s Governor Greg Abbott to reject further federal government funding for unemployment in a bid to get people leaving their homes and going back to work. The decision means that unemployment benefits will go down by $300 and allow those on unemployment benefits to start filling the huge number of vacancies in the state.

Data even showed that the number of job vacancies in Texas is roughly the same as the number of people on unemployment benefits.

President Joe Biden previously labeled Texas’ plans to completely reopen its economy “neanderthal thinking. The president expressed his disappointment with states that plan to completely reopen and said that the goal was for every single American to receive a vaccination before gatherings restarted and people went back to their normal life.

But achieving total vaccination across the country isn’t possible, and President Biden has since lowered his aim to achieve 70% of American adults vaccinated by July 4.

But it looks like we’re reaching the end of the pandemic even as things stand.

Joe Biden Will Waive Sanctions For Vladimir Putin’s Country

( While President Joe Biden immediately ended the construction of a pipeline in the U.S., his administration is apparently on the verge of waiving sanctions on a company that’s headed by one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s allies.

This week, the Biden administration may waive sanctions on a company that is in charge of building a gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. It is known as the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

In order for the pipeline to go forward, the Biden administration will be invoking a waiver for national security for any penalties that would target the company as well as Matthias Warnig, who heads up the company. The State Department plans to this week deliver a report on sanctions on Russia to Congress, which apparently will include this waiver.

In April, Politico reported the Biden administration reversed a previous Department of Justice decision that allowed for sanctions to be placed on Warnig. That DOJ decision happened as debate was raging internally over which entities could have sanctions placed on them.

In addition to heading up the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, Warnig is the deputy chair of Rosneft, an oil company based in Russia.  Gazprom, another Russian gas company, owns Warnig’s company.

Many lawmakers have argued that both Warnig and the Nord Stream 2 AG could be subject to sanctions under what’s known as PEESA, or the Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act of 2019.

Four ships and four companies that are supporting the construction of the pipeline are to be put on the State Department’s list of entities that should be sanctioned.

A spokesperson for the State Department wouldn’t comment on the waivers but did say:

“The Biden Administration has been clear that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is a Russian geopolitical project that threatens European energy security and that of Ukraine and eastern flank NATO Allies and partners. We continue to examine entities involved in potentially sanctionable activity and have made it clear that companies risk sanctions if they are involved in Nord Stream 2.”

The pipeline is being built to transport natural gas from Russia to Germany. Placing sanctions on firms that are either contributing to the construction or are financing the gas pipeline has bipartisan support in Congress.

At the same time, the Biden administration is trying to weigh its support with the German government, which has expressed its support for the pipeline.

Republicans in Congress have pushed the president to place financial sanctions on companies so that the pipeline will stop before it’s started.

Texas Representative Michael McCaul, for example, released a statement through his office that said:

“If the Putin regime is allowed to finish this pipeline, it will be because the Biden Administration chose to let it happen. I want to be clear: This pipeline is not a simple commercial project that could frustrate our relationship with Berlin. It is a Russian malign influence project that threatens to deepen Europe’s energy dependence on Moscow, render Ukraine more vulnerable to Russian aggression and provide billions of dollars to Putin’s coffers.”

Is this the new military?