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Dems worry a COVID outbreak among House members could cost Pelosi her job



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As Nancy Pelosi gears up for another run at the speakership in the House, there is one factor that she cannot control that could cost her the powerful seat: the coronavirus.

Working with a slim majority of Democrats and facing several in her own party who will oppose her, Pelosi does not have much wiggle room.

Thus, a COVID-19 outbreak among House members—in which several Democrats were sick and unable to come into work—could result in Republicans voting for Kevin McCarthy to reign as speaker, despite Democrats holding the majority, as reported by The Hill.

“Let’s say, just theoretically, we had six or eight people out with Covid and the Republicans have none. They probably could elect [Kevin] McCarthy,” Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky) told the Hill in its report on this subject.  

An outbreak among members over the holidays is a big fear among the Democrats, especially since three of their own: Pennsylvania’s Conor Lamb, Maine’s Jared Golden and Michigan’s Elissa Slotkin are all set to oppose Pelosi in her bid.

“We’re in a health care crisis, right? No one can get sick. That’s the X-factor here,” said one House Democrat anonymously told The Hill. “We need everyone to be healthy. … That’s the big fear.”

So far 35 members of the House have gotten COVID-19 since the outbreak began—including 5 members that tested positive just this week.

“There’s the usual suspects who make it part of their brand to vote against her,” Jim Himes (D-Ct) told the Hill. “But I think there’s an awareness — and there’s certainly a message coming from within the caucus — that this may not be a year for the usual branding.”

With opponents in her own party, perhaps more than usual, and the possibility of COVID keeping her loyal members at home, Pelosi may face a devastating re-election failure in the coming weeks.

Read the full report here.

You can follow Ben Wilson on Twitter @BenDavisWilson

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Chinese Spy Balloon: Tensions rise between the U.S. and China



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A strange object was spotted Wednesday over Billings Montana. The Pentagon confirmed Thursday that the strange object was, in fact, a Chinese spy balloon. According to a report from KPAX, a western Montana news outlet, the balloon had been on the governments radar for days.

On Friday, the Chinese government released a statement saying that the balloon spotted in Billings is a “civilian airship” that’s sole purpose is used to collect research on weather and that it had just blown off course. The balloon was not shot down by orders of the Pentagon due to the risk of falling debris injuring people on the ground.

Sara Carter, who has spoken frequently on the Chinese government’s threat and expansion to the West, stated on Twitter that the United States has failed to stop China from purchasing land near military installations, vital agricultural land, as well as, allowing Chinese linked companies, such as Huawei, to install technology in cellular towers. Those cellular towers are located in Montana, along side more than 150 ICBM nuclear silos.

China said, “The Chinese side regrets the unintended entry of the airship into U.S. airspace due to force majeure.” Majeure meaning that it was out of there control. It blew off course due to limited “self-steering” capabilities according the Ministry. The ministry also stated that the balloon, “deviated far from its planned course.”

This incident is adding fuel to the fire of what is already a tense relationship between the worlds two largest economies. China already lays claim to approximately 80% of the South China Sea, and is seeking full control over Taiwan after assuming full control of Hong Kong. China’s belt and road initiative has invested copious amounts of money into building infrastructure in other countries and uses it as economic blackmail. China’s transportation of fentanyl into Mexico is yet again another example of how they are seeking to damage the US.

Is this just a weather ballon that blew off course? US officials at the White House seem to be unconvinced and will continue to monitor the balloon, as reported.

UPDATED: Statement from the Pentagon was jaw dropping when a reporter asked if the public has a right to know about Beijing’s balloon.

“The public certainly has the ability to look up in the sky and see where the balloon is,” a DOD official responded.


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