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COVID-19 has infected nearly 1,000,000 people worldwide, including over 200,000 in the United States as of April 1. The surge in novel coronavirus cases has created a dire shortage in personal protective equipment, leaving American doctors and nurses desperate for masks, respirators and gowns to protect against the spread of the virus. As a result, hospitals and healthcare providers have sought to import large quantities of medical gear from China, where most healthcare safety products are made. However, imported equipment from China has arrived at a “trickling” pace, leaving American healthcare providers significantly under-equipped to handle the increasing number of COVID-19 hospitalizations. Besides teaching us how America can better prepare for future public health crises, this shortage in vital medical equipment has also revealed the national security imperative for America to bring all essential manufacturing permanently back home.
A U.S. drone strike killed Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, Iraq under the authorization of President Donald Trump in early January. As commander of Iran’s Quds Force, a division responsible for extraterritorial military operations, Soleimani was Iran’s highest-ranking military official, and throughout his career, he led military operations to support the Assad regime in Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Through these campaigns, he was reportedly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans. While the Trump administration views the killing of Soleimani as a decisive American victory, a more comprehensive view reveals that the U.S. will actually gain very little from the action.
Facebook came under fire by regulators in April 2018 when it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica had used millions of peoples’ Facebook profiles without their consent for political advertising purposes during the 2016 election cycle. With the 2020 elections fast approaching, the political pressure is on for Facebook to take a more active stance in monitoring and censoring untruthful political advertisements on its platform, most vocally from Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ,D-N.Y. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has instead announced that his firm would take a hands-off approach, allowing all political ads, even false ones, to circulate on its platforms. While Facebook has had a history of questionable corporate ethics, Americans should applaud Zuckerberg for refusing to censor political ads, as this decision serves to safeguard free political discourse, a cornerstone of our democracy.
California passed the “Fair Pay to Play Act,” on Sept. 30, allowing college athletes in California to be paid for the commercial use of their name, image and likeness — something the NCAA prohibits. The new law is a long-overdue victory for college football and basketball players, who collectively generate billions of dollars for the NCAA and college athletic programs each year without receiving any financial compensation. Virginia should follow California’s lead to help collegiate athletes get financial payment they deserve.