Here’s more on states with the highest levels of vaccine hesitancy. They have a couple things in common. First, they are Republican-leaning. Second, they tend to rank high on the “social vulnerability index”. This index generally measures vulnerability to natural disasters, but has been used widely in the context of Covid-19.
That is because counties with higher social vulnerability, “including poverty and crowded housing units, have more adverse outcomes during and following a public health event,” according to a recent CDC study.
Supreme Court to take up case that could expand gun rights
The Supreme Court will take up an important gun rights case in the coming session, focused on whether people can carry guns outside the home in New York. The case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc v Corlett, will come before a conservative-leaning court.
Here’s a brief description of the case from SCOTUS Blog:
In New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Corlett, 20-843, Robert Nash and Brandon Koch applied for New York licenses to carry firearms outside the home. The licensing officer denied their requests after determining that, under New York law, they had “failed to show ‘proper cause’ to carry a firearm in public for the purpose of self-defense, because [they] did not demonstrate a special need for self-defense that distinguished [them] from the general public.” Nash, Koch and the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association argue that the Second Amendment protects the right to carry a firearm outside the house for self-defense, and they say that the state abridges “a right that the Constitution guarantees to all ‘the people’” when carrying a firearm for self-defense is “deemed a crime unless one can preemptively convince a state official that she enjoys an especially good reason for wanting” to do so.
The last important gun rights case that came before the court was in 2010.
While the CDC is reportedly expected to release new mask guidance, there is another big story with the pandemic – a slowing vaccination rate and an increasing presence of highly transmissible variants.
Below is Dr Eric Topol, the director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute. The graph shows the rate of US vaccinations. As of this morning, about 28% of the US population is fully vaccination, and 42% have one dose.
But demand is waining in some states, especially rural and conservative places such as Wyoming and Mississippi.
We’re going to get one of the first looks at the decennial count of all Americans today – the census.
The US Census Bureau is expected to release “apportionment” numbers today, the figures which decide how many representative seats each state gets in the US House of Representatives. Seats are based on population.
As experts are already pointing out, this year’s census was especially challenging, with pressure from both the pandemic and the Trump administration.
Here’s more from Michael McDonald, an expert in US elections:
Officials to announce new guidance on mask-wearing
Welcome to the Guardian US politics liveblog. This morning there’s news that the Biden administration is expected to announce a change to US mask policy for vaccinated people, an important move as the nation moves toward the new “normal” the president has promised by the Fourth of July.