ArchiveLocal 3-5-31Herb Scribner·March 5, 2021· Share Deseret News How religious freedom’s PR crisis affects the Equality Act debate – A recent survey found that 44% of U.S. adults believe their rights are threatened by religious liberty claims Healthcare in America is failing the people who need it most. It’s time for change – The U.S. would do well to follow the lead of other developed nations and begin working to envision and create its own unique iteration of universal health care. The untold story of President Nelson’s selection of counselors – President Nelson noted that “upon my demise, he (Oaks) is the next president of the church. “That’s the kindest thing I could do to the church and for him … to give that exposure.” Bill restricting governor, mayor, health officials’ emergency powers is nearly through Utah Legislature – The bill has been the subject of heavy negotiation between House and Senate leadership, as well as Gov. Spencer Cox and the Utah Department of Health. Vaccine eligibility drops to 50 and older as Salt Lake, other counties move to moderate risk – All Utahns 50 and older, as well as those with some less severe medical conditions, will be able to start scheduling COVID-19 vaccination shots Monday. Sen. Mitt Romney backs effort to slow down ‘massively misdirected’ COVID-19 relief bill – The Utah Republican also plans to introduce a number of amendments to the bill, including one that would direct billions of dollars to state and local government to only those that need pandemic-related assistance. Protests at person’s home off-limits as Legislature restricts demonstrators – HB291 would make “targeted residential picketing” — a protest “specifically directed or focused toward a residence, or one or more occupants of the residence” — a class B misdemeanor, which is punishable under Utah law by up to six months in jail or fines of up to $1,000. Salt Lake Tribune LGBTQ students at BYU light up the ‘Y’ in rainbow colors – The event was meant to mark the anniversary of when the university clarified that same-sex romantic behavior was “not compatible” with its rules. Activist arrested while livestreaming SLC homeless encampment cleanup – A Hopi activist who works with Salt Lake City’s unsheltered population was taken into custody Thursday night in an arrest that he livestreamed online. Gov. Spencer Cox says Utahns age 50 and over can sign up for COVID-19 vaccine – The expansion will mean 700,000 more Utahns now can be vaccinated, “a huge addition to eligibility. Push for in-person classes gains final OK in Utah Legislature – The proposal would push colleges and universities to hold a certain number of in-person classes this fall. Government’s use of facial recognition software regulated under bill headed to governor – There’s currently nothing in Utah code that limits the use of facial recognition technology, though it’s routinely used to identify criminals and prevent fraud. Salt Lake County leaders denounce councilman’s ‘culture wars’ comments, affirm commitment to diversity – Salt Lake County Council member David Alvord took to Facebook to claim the “left” wants a world filled with people with the same “light brown” skin tone who are all bisexual, but also neither male nor female. Other Salt Lake County, five others to move to “moderate” transmission phase (KSL) – Nearly a year after COVID-19 first arrived in Utah, six counties in the state, including the state’s most populated, Salt Lake County. How Utah plans to ensure underrepresented groups can get COVID-19 vaccine (KSL) – Utah leaders launched a new “vaccine distribution road map” to ensure all groups within the state have access to the COVID-19 vaccine as the state continues to expand parameters regarding who qualifies to receive it. Forget COVID-19? CDC offers tips on surviving zombie apocalypse (FOX 13) – In case the walking dead take over the planet, the CDC advises those still alive prepare as they would for a “real emergency,” which is kind of the point of the entire post. IN FOCUS Discussion: Should Dixie State University change its name? (ABC4) – Some background on why the name change was before the legislature and arguments for and against. COVID Corner Texas Gov. Abbott blames Covid spread on immigrants, criticizes Biden’s ‘Neanderthal’ comment (CNBC) – Abbott claimed the Biden administration has been “releasing immigrants in South Texas that have been exposing Texans to Covid.” Popular Drug Does Not Alleviate Mild Covid-19 Symptoms, Study Finds (New York Times) – Ivermectin, a drug typically used to treat parasitic worms, has been prescribed widely during the coronavirus pandemic, but rigorous data has been lacking. These countries had a higher risk of death from COVID-19 than others (Deseret News) – Countries that have a high population of overweight people saw a higher risk of death associated with the novel coronavirus. COVID-19 does something to your immune system (Deseret News) – Scientists recently said the novel coronavirus creates a reaction in your immune system that is hard to recover from. States shift to vaccinate those in their 50s against Covid-19 as supply expands (CNN) – “When you’re talking about some states moving on to vaccinating people over 50, that’s a positive sign that they have saturated the previous priority group and are expanding — so that’s all good news and that will happen very rapidly and naturally with the expansion of supply chain as well.” Covid tongue? Why new Covid-19 symptoms keep popping up. (Vox) – Scientists say they still have more to learn about the symptoms of Covid-19 infections, long Covid, and the new variants.