No vaccines, no employment!

In the spirit of the “no shoes, no shirt, no service” policy we have historically seen displayed on many businesses, many employers are making it clear to their vaccine hesitant staff that “no vaccine” can and will equate to “no jobs.” From hospitals, to airlines and, most recently, to the city of Houston, employers are letting staff know that it is imperative to be vaccinated in order to remain on the roster. And despite the pushback and lawsuits, businesses are not budging. The first local hospital system to take a stand was the Houston Methodist system, requiring all of its employees to get vaccinated or face termination.  After that, others followed, including Baylor College of Medicine, recently announcing that faculty and staff were required to be COVID-19 vaccinated by Sept. 15 or face disciplinary action.  Hospital officials said there will be exceptions, however, for certain medical and religious beliefs. As for those helping us to safely fly the friendly skies, Delta Air Lines will charge employees on the company health plan $200 a month if they fail to get vaccinated against COVID-19, a policy the airline’s top executive says is necessary because the average hospital stay for the virus is costing the airline $40,000. CEO Ed Bastian said that all employees who have been hospitalized for the virus in recent weeks were not fully vaccinated. Bastian said that 75% of Delta employees are vaccinated, up from 72% in mid-July. He said the aggressiveness of the leading strain of the virus “means we need to get many more of our people vaccinated, and as close to 100% as possible.” The airline also announced that it also will stop extending pay protection to unvaccinated workers who contract COVID-19 on Sept. 30 and will require unvaccinated workers to be tested weekly beginning Sept. 12, and employees will have to wear masks in all indoor company settings effective immediately. United Airlines will require employees to be vaccinated starting Sept. 27 or face termination. Mayor Sylvester Turner signed this week Executive Order (EO 1-71) COVID-19 Mitigation Safety Measures requiring City of Houston employees to test […]

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Vaccine Effectiveness Declines Overall, Remains Strong in Preventing Hospitalization

By: Stacy M. Brown Vaccine-induced protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection begins to decrease over time. In a blunt – perhaps troubling – assessment about the need for a third vaccine shot, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said the agency examined numerous cohorts through the end of July, and early August and three points are now clear: “First, vaccine-induced protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection begins to decrease over time. Second, vaccine effectiveness against severe disease, hospitalization, and death remains relatively high. And third, vaccine effectiveness is generally decreased against the delta variant.” Dr. Walensky’s comments come as health officials and medical experts connected to the Biden-Harris administration announced that booster shots would commence September 20. The statement also arrives the same day as the CDC published its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, reinforced the notion that vaccines alone can’t stop the pandemic. Safety precautions like wearing masks must coincide with “a layered approach centered on vaccination,” Researchers at the New York State Department of Health and the University at Albany School of Public Health wrote in a new study of vaccine effectiveness across New York state. Another report that collected data from the Mayo Clinic discovered a 42 percent drop in the Pfizer vaccine’s effectiveness against the delta variant. The study found the Moderna vaccine proved about 76 percent effective against delta. Overall, the CDC found effectiveness against infection declined for those living in nursing homes. The CDC said the vaccine’s effectiveness against delta in nursing homes dropped from 75 percent in March through May to 53 percent in June and July. Officials stressed that vaccines remain highly effective against hospitalizations. “Additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine might be considered for nursing home and long-term care facility residents,” the researchers concluded. Still another analyst published by the CDC noted that patients at 21 hospitals in 18 states found sustained protection against hospitalization. In addition, the study revealed that effectiveness remained at 86 percent, despite the uptick in cases caused by delta. The effectiveness for adults without comprised immune systems also held steady at 90 percent. “We are concerned that

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WATCH: Michelle Obama encourages Americans to get vaccinated

Former first lady — and many people’s “forever” first lady, Michelle Obama is encouraging Americans to get vaccinated.  The coronavirus is still out there, and in order to fight it, we all need to continue following the Centers for Disease Control’s safety guidelines regarding proper hygiene, social distancing and wearing masks (if you are not vaccinated), but the best protection for everyone is to get their COVID-19 shots. In order to return to normal, we all must do our parts. From Mrs. Obama: “Hey everyone it’s Michelle Obama, and I wanted to let you know that Barack and I couldn’t be more thrilled that we got our Covid-19 vaccine. This is a deadly disease, and we know the vaccine will protect us from getting really sick. It’s how we’ll start getting back to seeing friends and family and doing all those things we love again. So I hope you’ll join me, Barack and millions of others around the country and get your vaccine as soon as it’s available to you. It’s safe, it’s free, and it could save your life or the life of someone you love. To learn more just go to “I know it’s been a long, hard year, but we can beat back this pandemic. With your help, we can do this.” Paid for by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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COMMENTARY: The longer a lie lives, the harder it is to kill

The transmission of the pox is contagious. It often moves by community spread. Even if you observe the protocols, lies have legs and wings, often in your face, but more often slick and near invisible. The man or woman that doesn’t know that they have been infected or deny the evidence of infection is very sick. And so, we know that if the people around us share a false belief, the odds are exponentially greater that we will adopt that belief, even if it is absurd. Sharpshooter Steph Curry can defy logic in launching a sphere toward and consistently through a cylindrical hoop from 40 feet away, yet deny the moon landing. Flat earthers think that the Earth is not a globe that is curved, despite the views from the Apollo craft. Galileo, in possession of the telescope was sentenced to life imprisonment because his views contradicted the ignorant church leaders. Some rappers think that because we can’t see over the horizon in Galveston Bay that the Earth is flat. Astro physicist Neil de Grasse Tyson clarion calls from his scientific podium do not dissuade the flat earthers from their fixed beliefs. There are sworn advocates of the theory that the Earth is 5,000 years old, and that planet Earth is the center of the universe.  Fairytales must be acknowledged as fairytales. There are flat earthers that believe that the COVID-19 vaccines are sent from hell below and instruments of white supremacy in 2021. Believe it or not, black epidemiologists and other scientists researched and helped in the creation and design of the leading vaccines. Some military members have taken hundreds of vaccines and never had any serious side effects. The Tuskegee syphilis experiment was genocidal in effect but an anomaly in the history of vaccine development. If your friends and associates are predominantly anti-vaxxers, you will be more prone to being a conspiracy zealot. If you believe that the presidential election was stolen, if you believe that the murder of Officer Brian Sicknick by the Neo-Confederates on January 6 was not sedition, you are in a select club of

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October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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