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Buttigieg claims mask mandates on planes are just a ‘matter of respect’

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Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg echoed President Biden’s stance on masks during an interview with ABC’s This Week. Host Martha Raddatz pressed him on public transportation mask mandates Sunday.

“Health experts have told us there’s really no difference between an airplane or a restaurant or gym where vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear masks,” Raddatz said. “Why not institute that same policy on airplanes?”

“Well, some of the differences have to do with the physical space, some of them have to do with it being a workplace where in some of these transit and travel situations people don’t have a choice,” Buttigieg responded. In the end, he said the mandate really is “a matter of safety but it’s also a matter of respect.”

This comes after Biden himself said that those vaccinated persons who continue to wear masks are keeping a “patriotic responsibility.”

On the other hand, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced weeks ago that they removed the mask requirement for the vaccinated. Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases also said he will not be wearing a mask, admitting he only wore one previously as to not give mixed signals.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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College to begin offering abortion pill on campus

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Barnard College, a partner campus of Columbia University, will be rolling out a plan in May that involves supplying students with abortion pills, the Columbia Spectator reported. The plan to provide the abortion service in the form of mifepristone abortion pills to students was initially announced in the fall of 2022 after the overturning of Roe. V Wade, according to the Spectator. However, the rollout’s delay has been partially attributed to an August 2023 grant the college received, which allowed Barnard to join a large network of primary care providers that will help steer the college through the procedures.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reports Barnard’s Primary Care Health Service will host student focus groups in upcoming weeks to find out student perspectives about the service and to identify new ways to support students considering abortion. “We wanted to make sure that we’re addressing this from every angle that will be supportive of students,” Sarah Ann Anderson-Burnett, director of Medical Services and Quality Improvement of Barnard, told the Spectator. Anderson-Burnett also said it has expanded the availability of its abortion providers to after-hours and year-round.

Barnard has six medical professionals, including two physicians and four nurse practitioners, who are capable of performing the procedure, Mariana Catallozzi, vice president for Health and Wellness and chief health officer of Barnard, told the Spectator. The school also launched a partnership with AccessNurse, a medical call center that will assist with patient concerns related to abortions.

“The training doesn’t end with the clinicians,” Anderson-Burnett told the Spectator. “Clinicians are trained on the actual provision, but there’s also an overall training that will be provided to key partners and stakeholders across the campus because we want every step, every touchpoint, to be supportive and to be trauma-informed and to be patient-valued and centered but also respect confidentiality and privacy.”

The University of Massachusetts Amherst spent more than $650,000 to stock abortion pills in March 2023 at the request of Democratic Maryland Gov. Maura Healey. Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill in May 2023 forcing college in the state to stock abortion pills on campus.

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