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When Does the Plunder Pass Start?

Sea of Thieves Season 1 is set to begin January 28, so we’re here to tell you all you need to know to get your booty prepared for its release. Curious about what time the big Season 1 update is expected to come out? Need a refresher on all the big content you can expect to see tomorrow? We’ve got the full rundown right here.

What time does the Sea of Thieves Season 1 update come out?

‘Sea of Thieves’ Season 1 is set to begin January 28. Servers will go offline at 5 a.m. EST. ‘Sea of Thieves’ is available now on Xbox and PC.
Microsoft

According to a tweet published by Sea of Thieves‘ official Twitter account Wednesday morning, downtime for the Sea of Thieves Season 1 update is expected to begin January 28 at 5 a.m. EST. At that time the update will deploy on Xbox and PC, essentially acting as a preload before server activity resumes.

Attention pirates! The Sea of Thieves servers will be offline from approximately 10am GMT tomorrow, Thursday 28th, so that we can usher in our inaugural Season! Please plan your Voyages accordingly. pic.twitter.com/JlJk5gOyQS

— Sea of Thieves (@SeaOfThieves) January 27, 2021

While it’s not quite clear how long the server downtime will last, most estimates suggest it could be about three or four hours in length. In other words, you should be able to play sometime in the later morning hours on the East Coast. We’ll update this post with more specific release details if they become available.

What to expect from Sea of Thieves Season 1

For those who missed the Season 1 announcement post on Tuesday, there are lots of changes headed to Sea of Thieves on Thursday and in the coming months. Simply put, the game is adopting a similar seasonal approach to what you’ve probably seen in many service-based games and battle royales over the past few years.

sea thieves season 1 update plunder pass
With the Plunder Pass, pirates get access to a few Emporium cosmetics before they release for sale for everyone in the future.
Microsoft
  • Renown Progression: In addition to the Trading Company progression system that currently exists in Sea of Thieves, players will also work to collect Renown, a progression metric that can be accumulated by doing pretty much anything in the game. It’s a new way to level up by playing that doesn’t necessarily involve turning in loot.
  • Tiering up and the Plunder Pass: This new Renown system essentially acts as the free Battle Pass for the game. There are 100 Renown levels per season spread across 10 tiers. Progressing through each tier unlocks new cosmetics, emotes and Ancient Coin premium currency. Speaking of Ancient Coins, those who want to spend 999 of them can purchase the Plunder Pass. This is a paid Battle Pass that unlocks 11 Emporium items before they go up for sale for everyone in a future update.
  • Trials: These function as challenges. They offer Renown and other unique items.
  • More Fixes: There will likely be a larger list of bug fixes to share once the Season 1 update is live, and we’ll presumably see it in the official patch notes. We’ll have more information on those after the update releases.

Sea of Thieves is available now on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC.

What are your thoughts on seasons coming to Sea of Thieves? Is there enough in this update to bring you back to the pirate life? Tell us in the comments section!

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Here’s Why Pamela Anderson Is Quitting Social Media

Pamela Anderson has announced she is quitting social media for good in a reflective rejection of big tech companies.

The former Baywatch star has long been politically vocal and the famous vegan has now turned her ire towards the likes of Facebook and Twitter, despite having millions of followers.

Taking to social media Tuesday for what will be her last post, the actress told her followers she is “free.”

“This will be my last post on Instagram Twitter or Facebook,” Anderson began.

“I’ve never been interested in social media And now that Im settled into the life Im genuinely inspired by reading and being in nature I am free.”

The caption was accompanied by a close up low-resolution headshot of the actress.

“Thanks for the love Blessings to you all,” she continued.

Anderson urged her fans to “find the strength and inspiration to follow your purpose and try not to be seduced by wasted time.”

She ended her declaration with a cryptic warning against big tech, claiming they want to control individual’s brains.

“Thats what THEY want and can use to make money Control over your brain #thebewilderedherd,” she said.

She made a similar announcement on Twitter, writing “Goodbye social media.”

Anderson is not the first celebrity to speak out against big tech companies in recent months.

Perhaps most prominently is Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen’s long-running campaign against Facebook.

The comedian is waging a long-standing campaign against Twitter and Facebook, which he described in 2019 as “the greatest propaganda machine in history.”

US-Canadian actress Pamela Anderson gives a press conference during the ‘Elevate’ Festival on February 27, 2019 in Graz, Austria.
ERWIN SCHERIAU/AFP via Getty Images

“The algorithms these platforms depend on deliberately amplify the type of content that keeps users engaged—stories that appeal to our baser instincts and that trigger outrage and fear,” Baron Cohen said of Facebook in a keynote speech while accepting the ADL International Leadership Award.

“It’s time for a fundamental rethink of social media and how it spreads hate, conspiracies, and lies.”

Anderson made headlines earlier this month after an appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight.

The actress has long been an advocate for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and had urged former President Donald Trump to Anderson grant him a full pardon before he left office.

“The entire world wants, or most want him to pardon Julian Assange,” Anderson told host Tucker Carlson. “This is his time to shine and really make an impression on the world. If this goes to trial, that’s the end of the First Amendment.”

Assange did not make the former president’s list of pardons.

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Snow Storm Leaves Hundreds Stranded Overnight on Interstate Near Phoenix

A snow storm left hundreds of motorists stranded for up to 12 hours overnight on an interstate outside Phoenix, Arizona.

Two tractor-trailer trucks collided in the westbound lanes of the I-40 near Ash Fork at about 2 a.m. on Tuesday, backing up traffic past the Kingman exit ramps.

The collision was just one in a series of crashes that closed the interstate in both directions.

One woman was on her way home to Kingman from work in Lake Havasu City when she became stuck in the traffic on Monday night.

“I would say I was actually stuck on the road for at least eight hours,” Renate Bucker told 12News. “I left at 10 o’clock at night from Pilot [gas station in Lake Havasu City] and I got home at 10 o’clock in the morning.”

Bucker said she had checked the GPS before leaving and the roads were showing only light traffic.

“None of those map services were showing that there were any problems,” she said. “They were all saying the roads were clear, light traffic.”

According to her GPS, she was 0.08 miles from her exit ramp when the traffic stopped.

Photojournalist Brian Emfinger shared a photo from the scene showing a serious crash between two large trailer trucks.

“Here is the reason for the standstill along I-40 westbound between Flagstaff and Kingman (just east of exit 87)” he tweeted, adding that the red liquid seen on the snow was transmission fluid.

Greg Wadzinski was also caught up in the jam on a journey from Florida to Oregon.

“Update: I am stuck in a snowstorm outside of the Grand Canyon,” he posted to Instagram, later adding: “I guess I’ll be staying here tonight?”

The Arizona Department of Public Safety closed the interstate while waiting for emergency services to arrive and clear the wreckage.

“There was a crash that was blocking the entire road,” the Arizona Department of Transportation tweeted in reference to westbound I-40. “That crash has been removed, but slick conditions and a large queue are making for a long time to get traffic going again.”

Trucks were unable to clear the area until Tuesday morning because of the sheer number of weather-related accidents across the state.

One of our NWS Phoenix COOP Observers up in Globe…Mike Magoon has reported 3.5 inches of snow so far…and it is still snowing at this hour. Here are some great photos of the snow from him…thanks Mike! #azwx pic.twitter.com/mCseMTLrTk

— NWS Phoenix (@NWSPhoenix) January 26, 2021

Self-described storm chaser Brett Adair shared drone footage of the trucks’ collision.

“A serious-looking accident has closed I-40 westbound between Flagstaff and Kingman, Arizona, just east of exit 87,” he wrote. “Several trucks are wrecked and one shows the cab sliced apart.

“The Arizona DOT says the interstate is officially closed until the wreck can be cleared. Miles and miles of vehicles are backed up.”

The storm shut highways across northern Arizona, closing long stretches of Interstate 17 and State Route 89A, as well as I-40. The state has been hit by a barrage of heavy snow and rain in recent days, forcing drivers to battle hazardous conditions.

Winter storm warnings are in place across the country this week. These warnings mean snow will cover the roads and visibility will be limited.

“This is one of those storms that has touched every part of our state,” Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Sgt. Kameron Lee told KTAR on Tuesday.

The National Weather Service bureau in Flagstaff reported that 14 inches of snow fell on Monday and more snow was falling on Tuesday.

File photo of snow covering the ground at Dove Mountain in Marana, Arizona. A storm left Interstate 40 shut down in both directions and hundreds of drivers stranded.
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty

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Stephen Colbert Likens Defending Trump over Capitol Riot to Excusing Charles Manson for Mass Murder

Stephen Colbert has likened defending Donald Trump over the Capitol riots to excusing Charles Manson for his murders.

The former president has been impeached for inciting violence after a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol building on January 6.

Five people died, including a police officer, during the siege that took place after Trump addressed crowds that had gathered for a Stop the Steal rally.

While Trump stands accused of inciting the violence, many public figures have defended him, with some saying he only spoke to the crowd and did not march with the mob to the Capitol.

Stephen Colbert pictured in 2019 in New York City. He has likened those defending Donald Trump over the Capitol riots to excusing Charles Manson for mass murder.
John Lamparski/Getty Images

During the Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Monday, the host went on a comic tirade against Republican lawmakers who claim this is a reason not to convict Trump in his Senate trial.

Colbert said: “To get a conviction, the House is going to have to convince 17 Republican senators that the former president incited the riot. And even though they were all hustled about in secret tunnels to stop them being murdered by the president’s own blood-thirsty fascist squad of goons, they’re on the fence.”

Colbert named Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst as one of those who had refused to point the finger at Trump. “She was in the Capitol when it was attacked but doesn’t blame the former president, saying, ‘He exhibited poor leadership.’ I think we can all agree with that.”

He continued to mock Ernst’s argument that Trump was innocent, saying: “It was these people that came into the Capitol. They did it knowingly, so they bear the responsibility. Yes. That’s his defense. He didn’t actually go with his cult members to commit murder, so he’s not guilty.

“I’m sorry, that’s actually Charles Manson’s defense. But I’m sure Charlie would fit in with those rioters. He’s got the team tattoo,” he said.

Cult leader Charles Manson, who got a swastika tattooed on his face in prison, is one of the most notorious killers in American history, infamous for the murder of actress Shannon Tate and four others in August 1969.

Four of his followers—or “Family” members—broke into a Bel Air mansion where Tate and her husband, director Roman Polanski, were living. They murdered everyone inside: Tate, who was eight-and-a-half months pregnant; celebrity stylist Jay Sebring; screenwriter Wojciech Frykowski; Folger coffee heiress Abigail Folger and 18-year-old Steven Parent, who was visiting the property’s caretaker

Manson directed his followers Tex Watson, Linda Kasabian, Patricia Krenwinkel and Susan Atkins to commit the murders.

The home of Tate and Polanski, who was filming in Europe at the time, was previously owned by music producer Terry Melcher. Manson was convinced Melcher had cost him a record contract. According to Watson, he told his followers to go “to that house where Melcher used to live… [and] totally destroy everyone in [it], as gruesome as you can.”

Charles Manson
Murderer and cult leader Charles Manson, who died in 2017, in a police van going to trial in Los Angeles on June 25, 1970.
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty
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Dr. Anthony Fauci Says Double-Masking Likely ‘More Effective,’ U.K. COVID Strain in 20 States

Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s leading infectious diseases expert, says wearing a double layer of masks “likely does” help protect against new COVID-19 strains.

Fauci’s words come as the B.1.1.7 variant—a more transmissible strain first detected in the U.K. toward the end of last year—is confirmed in more than 20 states, according to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Speaking to NBC‘s Today show, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said: “This [a mask] is a physical covering to prevent droplets and virus” from entering the body.

“You put another layer on it just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective. And that’s the reason why you see people either double-masking or doing a version of an N95,” said the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden.

The country’s seven-day average of daily new cases has declined since earlier this month, after reaching a record 254,862 on January 11, according to data from Worldometer.

Fauci warned: “We don’t want to get complacent and think, ‘Oh, things are going in the right direction, we could pull back a bit.’

“We do have circulating in this country a variant from the U.K. that’s in over 20 states right now. That is a variant that has a better capability of being transmitted more efficiently from person to person,” he said.

If the U.K. variant becomes dominant, “we’re gonna be faced with another challenge of a virus that has a more efficient capability of spreading,” Fauci added.

Asked whether the recent drop in cases could mark the beginning of the end of the pandemic or be a sign that the worst is behind us, Fauci told Today: “It’s [the recent drop in cases] just a natural peaking and then plateauing and coming back down.

“The number of vaccines that we’ve gotten into the arms of people [is] a good start. We wanna keep going. But I don’t think the dynamics that we’re seeing now with the plateauing is significantly influenced yet by the vaccine,” he said. “It will be soon.”

The B.1.1.7 variant has been identified in at least 24 states, according to the report published on Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including most recently in Washington state.

The state’s first case of the U.K. strain was confirmed on Saturday in Snohomish County, where the first known case of COVID-19 in the U.S. was reported last January.

Speaking to Newsweek at the end of last month, Fauci said the vital safety measures that health officials have been “talking about all along” should be followed in order to mitigate any mutation that helps the virus spread more easily.

Asked what measures Americans could take against a more contagious strain, he replied: “If it’s [the mutation] not interfering with the vaccine, you don’t need to do anything about the vaccine.

“Wearing masks, keeping distances, avoiding congregate settings, doing things outdoors more than indoors, washing your hands frequently—those are the things that stop any virus, regardless of whether it mutates or not,” Fauci told Newsweek at the time.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, pictured during a White House coronavirus briefing on November 19, 2020. America’s leading infectious diseases expert said this week that wearing a double layer of masks “likely does” help protect against new COVID-19 strains.
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The wider picture

The novel coronavirus has infected more than 100.3 million people, including just over 25.4 million in the U.S., since it was first reported in Wuhan, China.

More than 2.1 million people have died worldwide and more than 55.4 million have recovered as of Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The graphic below, produced by Statista, illustrates the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S.

COVID spread across U.S.
STATISTA

The graphic below, also produced by Statista, illustrates countries with the highest rate of vaccination.

COVID vaccinations across the globe
STATISTA
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‘I’m Transgender—Here’s How the Ban Shaped My Service With the Air Force’

I first joined the United States Air Force in 2013, and it was to run away. All of my life I have jostled with my gender identity, never feeling comfortable in the male body I was originally born with. Growing up in South Carolina, I saw the military as one of the most masculine jobs someone could do. I thought that if I joined the Air Force, I could “solve” my gender identity issues and be “a man”.

Today this reads desperately simplistic, but looking back, I could not be more thankful for my misguided understanding of the military and what it meant. After joining the Air Force, I found myself a part of a team where I meant something. My job was in IT and my role fixing computers and solving problems was important. It was satisfying to know that what I did, no matter how small, made a difference. This was exactly what I needed and from early on in my career, I flourished. Small victories built my confidence, helping me find courage I needed.

In winter of 2016, I found myself deployed to Africa. It was there that the issues I had ran away from 3 years earlier finally caught up to me. Deployments are a crucible and I was trapped in a 2 by 4 square mile camp, with nowhere to hide. This was my darkest hour. I was forced to face my gender identity issues and accept the fact that I was deeply unhappy living my life as a man. Each day was a struggle, I felt like I was betraying myself and my family. I didn’t want to go on, I didn’t want to face this problem, I just wanted it to go away.

A glimmer of hope shone down as a coworker showed me an article about a transgender man who was serving in the Air Force. I pretended to be disinterested in the article as I was mortified of being found out. But when I had a moment alone, I scoured the internet to find and read the article. As I read, I learned about how he had found acceptance and happiness. Perhaps I could find that for myself? The fear of transition began to lose its hold over me.

Under that hot African sun, I came to terms with the truth. My life felt like it was slowly shattering as I sat in the corner of my office. My coworkers were unaware of the meltdown I was having. I had no one else to turn to so I reached out to my best friend. My hands shook as I messaged her and typed the words, stating I wanted to live my life as a woman. I stared at them on the screen, accepting my unhappiness and deciding that when I returned to America, I would transition.

The process began in early 2017. It was all going smoothly until July, when President Trump tweeted that “the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”

My world was turned upside down. Was I going to be forced to choose between a job I loved serving my country or being allowed to live as who I truly am? Could I force myself back into the closet I had so recently escaped? Some of that same fear I had dealt with in Africa began to come back to me. Those first couple of months after the tweets were chaotic. No one was sure what it meant or what would happen. All we could do was sit and wait for clarification to come.

Thankfully, the tweets didn’t stop my transition process, and I was able to start hormone replacement therapy in October of 2017. My two lives were meshed into one in January of 2018 as I had my name changed and the military updated my records to reflect my correct gender. It was so affirming to get a new ID card with my correct name on it!

Still, I worried. Would all I worked for be tossed away one day? Would I find myself having to start over somewhere new? The Air Force had become my family and I was scared that I would lose it.

Thankfully, the ban took a while to come into force. Implementation was halted by the courts for about two years, but on 12 April 2019 it became policy. Because I had come out when the original policy was still in force, I was told I would not be kicked out, but I was heartbroken all the same. When my commander at the time took me into his office and tried to focus on that glass-half full I couldn’t help but think of the countless others who hadn’t had the opportunity to come out before the ban was put into place. How could I look them in the eyes while living a life they desperately wanted for themselves?

Transitioning gave me peace and happiness I had been looking for all my life. To know that others who might be questioning their gender identity would see me as an example of how wonderful transitioning could be, but not be able to follow in my footsteps, was terrible. I was devastated each time an Airman reached out to me for help in transitioning and I had to break the news that under current policy, they couldn’t.

While I couldn’t do anything to help those members, I could do my best to make sure that when they were able to transition, all they found was acceptance. Early on, I decided to be open about being transgender, to be that role model I needed when I was younger. I pushed my comfort zone at work, by answering uncomfortable questions, by approaching ignorance with education. I did my best to be an example of why transitioning is important and how it allowed me to become a better Airman than I ever had been before.

All of that has led us to today. President Biden revoked the transgender ban and I personally sent each one of the Airmen who had expressed their desire to transition but were couldn’t, a copy of the executive order that will allow them to be their true selves.

I hope that each one of them is able to find the happiness that I have found by transitioning and continuing to serve in the United States Air Force. And as I look forward to the future, I am excited to transfer to the United States Space Force—and work to build a culture of diversity and inclusion also in the newest branch of the Department of Defense.

Technical Sergeant Sabrina Bruce serves with the United States Space Force, and is currently stationed in the United Kingdom.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.

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Pfizer Follows Moderna in Developing Vaccine Booster Shots for COVID Variants

Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, makers of currently the only U.S.-approved COVID-19 vaccines, are both developing booster shots to improve protection against troubling new strains of the virus.

The development of Pfizer/BioNTech boosters against variants that could have resistance to current vaccines was announced on Tuesday, according to Reuters. On Monday, Moderna revealed that it was developing a follow-up shot to better protect against the South African B.1.351 virus strain, which is believed to be significantly more contagious than versions of the virus that are frequently seen in U.S. patients.

Pfizer told Reuters that the company was “already laying the groundwork to respond quickly if a variant of SARS-CoV-2 shows evidence of escaping immunity by our vaccine.” Bloomberg had first reported the news, with Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla telling the outlet that if testing reveals any of the variants have resistance, the company will “very, very quickly be able to produce a booster dose that will be a small variation to the current vaccine.”

Vials of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are displayed at a vaccination center in Ludwigsburg, Germany on January 22, 2021.
THOMAS KIENZLE / AFP/Getty

Both vaccines were developed with a technique that uses messenger RNA, or mRNA, a process that offers significant speed advantages over methods that have been traditionally used to create vaccines. Pending testing and any regulatory roadblocks, potential booster shots could be ready for the public within months.

The companies have indicated that their existing vaccines, which currently consistent of two shots given about a month apart, do offer at least some protection against the emerging variants. Early data suggests that the highly contagious B.1.1.7 strain that was first detected in the U.K. and has quickly spread in the U.S. has little or no resistance to the current vaccines.

However, data also suggests that the vaccines may be somewhat less effective against the B.1.352 strain. The South African variant results in a sixfold reduction in antibodies when confronted with an immune system that has received the Moderna vaccine, which the company said was still “above levels that are expected to be protective.”

“Out of an abundance of caution and leveraging the flexibility of our mRNA platform, we are advancing an emerging variant booster candidate against the variant first identified in the Republic of South Africa into the clinic to determine if it will be more effective to boost titers against this and potentially future variants,” Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a statement on Monday. A titer is a measurement of concentration of something; the higher the titers, the more concentrated something—in this case, antibodies—is.

It is not clear if existing vaccines have been tested against the Brazilian P.1 strain, which Minnesota health officials announced had been detected in the U.S. for the first time on Monday. In addition to being more transmissible than dominant strains, experts have expressed concerns that vaccines could offer less protection against the P.1 variant because it has mutations to the virus’s “spike” protein that are similar to the B.1.351 strain, which has not yet been detected in the U.S.

The potential for further virus mutations that could result in a more deadly form of COVID-19 or a greater resistance to vaccines increases as the pandemic continues due to the virus having more opportunities to mutate inside the bodies of those it infects.

Newsweek reached out to Pfizer for comment.

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Florida Super-Spreader Wrestling Tournaments Caused At Least 79 COVID Infections, 1 Death, CDC Says

Florida has opened its sports arenas to players and spectators over the last nine months, regardless of the sport and no matter the level of competition. From youth sports to professionals, the Sunshine State has championed athletics, whether it was indoors or out.

This is while the state recently passed the 1.6 million mark of positive COVID-19 cases, which is third in the country only behind California and Texas.

On Tuesday, state officials declared they want to make a bid for this year’s Tokyo Olympics should Japanese officials decide not to hold the Games that have already been postponed once because of the virus. Later in the day, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a report of Florida two high school wrestling tournaments from December that turned into a COVID super-spreader.

The report states that a total of 10 schools from three counties participated in the tournaments, and that masks weren’t used because of the obvious choking hazards that can result from wearing them during such a rough contact sport.

Once the tournaments ended, nearly 80 people grappled with the virus, and one person has died so far from COVID, according to the CDC report.

This story goes back to the first week in December when two wrestling tournaments were held in one county over December 4 and 5. The host school participated both days. Five teams from two separate counties participated on the first day, and four schools from another county participated the second day. In all, there were 130 wrestlers, coaches and referees over the two-day span.

Two days later, on a Monday (December 7, 2020), local health officials reported that one person who attended both tournaments had an antigen-positive test, which led them to test other participants.

Over the next two days (December 8-9), 13 wrestlers from one school tested positive. Nine of them had COVID symptoms, two were asymptomatic and two others are unsure of their symptoms status at the time of the test.

Once testing hit all the participating schools, a total of 54 of the 130 attendees were tested (41.5%), and 38 positive cases came back.

Two high school wrestling tournaments from December turned into a COVID super-spreader, resulting in at least 79 positive cases and already one death. (This is a stock photo from a college wrestling match).
Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images

The multiple cases triggered contact tracing, and this is where the spread of the virus continued beyond the wrestling mats and gymnasiums. Those included classmates, teachers, noncompeting wrestling team members, other school athletic team members and family members.

One person over the age of 50 died, according to the CDC report.

In all, approximately 1,700 days of classroom learning was lost from the quarantine of not just the infected people, but those others they may have come in contact with. The CDC says that number could have been much higher if they had not been so close to the holiday break.

“The number of in-person school days lost would likely have been higher had the outbreak not occurred toward the end of the fall 2020 semester. In addition, this outbreak resulted in the suspension of all winter indoor and outdoor high school athletics in county A, affecting approximately 1,500 students,” the CDC stated.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, in their guidance for a return to sports, advised athletes to not wear masks during wrestling because of the choking hazards it could cause while covering the face. The same goes for other high-contact sports.

“High-contact school athletic activities for which mask wearing and physical distancing are not possible should be postponed during periods with substantial or high levels of SARS-CoV-2 community transmission,” the CDC claimed.

Florida recently held several college bowl games, including the College Football National Championship in Miami. Its college and pro football teams played before modified crowds, and Tampa will host Super Bowl LV on February 7, although it will be before just 22,000 people.

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Ted Cruz Says Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama Could Be Impeached Next

Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz suggested during a Fox News appearance that former presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama could be impeached like former President Donald Trump.

Trump, the only president to be impeached twice, is expected to face trial in the U.S. Senate in February. Trump was impeached in January after allegedly inciting a riot at the U.S. Capitol building. Trump was previously impeached in December 2019 for abuse of power and obstruction of justice. Trump was acquitted of both charges by the Senate. Cruz told Fox News host Sean Hannity that the Democrats‘ perceived urgency in impeaching Trump was an “exercise in political rage.”

“They hate Donald Trump,” Cruz said. “For anybody who hadn’t been paying attention, they made it very very clear. Look, these are the same Democrats who 4 years ago in 2017—actually, in December of 2016 before Trump was sworn in—said they wanted to impeach him. They’ve wanted to impeach him from the beginning. They did it a year ago.”

Cruz said he felt as though he were trapped in the Bill Murray time-loop comedy Groundhog Day “where apparently every January we’re going to be doing another impeachment,” Cruz continued. “So I guess next year, I don’t know, maybe it’ll be the impeachment of Jimmy Carter or the impeachment of Bill Clinton or the impeachment of Barack Obama because that’s what we do in Januaries.”

Clinton was impeached in 1998 for perjury and obstruction of justice. After declining to vacate the office, Clinton was acquitted by the Senate in February 1999.

During the January Congressional confirmation of Electoral College votes, Cruz stepped forward to submit a challenge to Arizona’s electoral vote. Objections to President Joe Biden‘s win were seen as Trump’s last gasp at retaining the presidency. Trump had repeated baseless claims that widespread voter fraud was to blame for Biden’s victory.

Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz called the upcoming Senate impeachment trial for former President Donald Trump an “exercise in political rage” on the part of Democrats.
Tom Williams-Pool/Getty

Cruz explained his decision to challenge the votes to Fox News at the time by saying he believed he had an obligation “to protect the integrity of the election and to protect the integrity of the democratic system.”

The confirmation was interrupted by a mob of rioters that descended upon the U.S. Capitol building. Members of the mob, some of them armed, were able to breach the Capitol. Some lawmakers were forced into hiding until the riot could be quelled.

Trump’s second impeachment stemmed from his alleged connection to the riot. On the morning of the electoral vote count, Trump delivered remarks to a crowd of his supporters at a Washington, D.C. Stop the Steal rally.

“We fight like hell,” Trump said, “and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

Five individuals died as a result of the riot. The violence at the Capitol caused some Republicans to recant their pledge to challenge electoral votes for Biden when certification resumed. Cruz chose to submit an objection to Arizona’s electoral votes which was voted down. Biden was certified as the winner of the 2020 election.

Some alleged that Cruz was partially to blame for the riot and called for him to resign. Cruz denied any responsibility for the actions of the rioters.

Biden said in January that Cruz and fellow Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, who had also been accused of supporting Trump’s election fraud claims, should be “just flat beaten the next time they run. I think the American public has a real good clear look at who they are. They’re part of the big lie, the big lie.”

Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment.

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Senate Republicans Appear Ready to Hand Donald Trump Second Impeachment Acquittal

Republican members of the U.S. Senate may not vote to convict former President Donald Trump in his upcoming second impeachment trial slated to begin in February.

After some lawmakers held Trump’s rhetoric responsible for the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol building in January, the House passed an article of impeachment against Trump for inciting violence against the government. Trump, the only U.S. president to be impeached twice, was acquitted by the Senate for abuse of power and obstruction of justice in February 2020. Although he is no longer in office, a conviction in the Senate impeachment trial would mean Trump could not hold office again.

On Tuesday, a group of GOP members led by Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul sought to block the Senate trial, asserting that impeaching a president no longer in office was unconstitutional. With a vote of 55-45, the Senate voted to table Paul’s motion.

Only 5 Senate Republicans voted against Paul’s motion. In order for Trump to be convicted in the Senate trial, 17 Republicans would need to break ranks and cast their votes alongside Senate Democrats. Some lawmakers don’t expect that many Republicans to vote to convict Trump.

After the vote, Paul wrote on Twitter that the number of Republicans that sided with him could be a predictor of how a Senate trial would conclude. “The Senate just voted on my constitutional point of order,” Paul wrote. “45 Senators agreed that this sham of a ‘trial’ is unconstitutional. That is more than will be needed to acquit and to eventually end this partisan impeachment process. This ‘trial” is dead on arrival in the Senate.”

Most Senate Republicans sided with Paul, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. McConnell declined to say on Tuesday if he would vote for Trump’s impeachment.

Republicans in the U.S. Senate may acquit President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial which is expected to begin in February.
Eric Thayer/Getty

Senators publicly expressed doubt about Trump’s conviction in a Senate trial, citing the lack of Republicans willing to vote against Paul.

“I don’t see how you get 17,” said Republican Arkansas Senator John Boozman on Tuesday. “I think that was a test vote.”

Republican Minority Whip John Thune told reporters the vote was “indicative of where a lot of people’s heads are” regarding Trump’s acquittal.

The Republicans who voted against Paul’s motion and allow Trump’s impeachment trial to begin were Senators Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine.

Murkowski decried the vote forced by Paul’s motion as “premature and unnecessary,” adding that her vote to table Paul’s motion was needed in order to allow the Senate time to “thoughtfully consider this weighty institutional issue.”

Collins was more forthright in her Tuesday comments.

“It is extraordinarily unlikely the president will be convicted,” Collins told reporters.

Newsweek reached out to the offices of Senators McConnell and Collins for comment.

Despite Trump’s two impeachments, his hold over some Republicans may still remain strong. In a farewell address after leaving the White House in January, Trump assured a small crowd at Joint Base Andrews that “we will be back in some form.”

On Monday, Trump instituted the Office of the Former President in Palm Beach, Florida. A statement said the new office would work to “carry on the agenda of the Trump Administration through advocacy, organizing, and public activism.”