Florida faces questions over ban on mask mandates amid Covid rise

Good morning.

With the Delta variant tearing through unvaccinated communities, Florida reported this weekend its highest one-day total of Covid-19 cases since the start of the pandemic. Yesterday, the state broke its previous record for hospitalizations, also set more than a year ago.

It comes after Ron DeSantis, Florida’s governor, signed an executive order prohibiting school districts from requiring staff and students to wear masks. “The federal government has no right to tell parents that in order for their kids to attend school in person they must be forced to wear a mask all day, every day,” DeSantis said.

Anthony Fauci, the chief White House medical adviser, defended the mask mandate, telling CBS’s Face the Nation that wearing masks to combat Covid was a “responsibility to society”.

In Florida, courthouses, theme parks and numerous businesses are again requiring the public to wear masks indoors. Disney World has a vaccine requirement for its workers, while Universal Orlando Resort said all workers have to be masked indoors and that guests should follow CDC guidance.

The questionable fundraising and spending of Donald Trump’s new political action committee, Save America, coupled with his class-action lawsuits against Facebook, Google and Twitter that tell supporters they can join the lawsuit by donating, are just a few of Trump’s post-presidency moves that are raising eyebrows.

Adam Kinzinger, one of two Republicans serving on the House select committee investigating the 6 January attack on the US Capitol, went on ABC’s This Week yesterday to say he will support subpoenas for testimony from Kevin McCarthy, the Republican minority leader, as well as senior members of his party.

That would include the Republican congressman Jim Jordan – he and McCarthy are known to have spoken to Trump on 6 January.

Texans are in the fight of their generation, demonstrating and rallying against the most restrictive voting processes in the country. In marching on the capitol this weekend, they are appealing to Washington, where federal voting protections have stalled in the US Senate.

The number of background checks for gun purchases in 2020 was more than double the number in 2010. With a run on guns that many store owners are attributing to pandemic fears over crime and safety, US dealers are facing an ammunition shortage.

To protect their intellectual property, companies frequently withhold the information and tools needed to repair their products from consumers – some warranties outright ban third parties from tinkering with certain devices. But when devices break, they need fixing. A farmer, a medical worker and a computer store owner spoke to the Guardian about how Joe Biden’s recent executive order calling on federal agencies to prioritize consumers’ “right to repair” their own devices could change their lives for the better.

It was always assumed that remote work, with no rush-hour commute or bumper-to-bumper traffic, was better for the environment. But climate calculations comparing remote work and in-office work are more complicated than mere commute observations.

The #MeToo movement has made clear the price of toxic masculinity and unchecked male privilege. That has left many parents scrambling, unsure yet determined to raise well-adjusted boys into well-adjusted men. One father consulted the experts to find out how to make sure he brings up his young son in a way that is fit for the 21st century.

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