President Biden’s Job Approval Now Stands at an Average of 53.6%.

According to my new average of President Joe Biden’s job approval numbers, 53.6% of voters approve of the President’s job performance. It was at 53.9% Friday afternoon after the Hill/HarrisX numbers were released. His disapproval, according to my average, is 41.1%. The latest polling data that I factored into my average, is the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll, which gave the President an approval rating of 48% and a disapproval of 49%.

The White House, last Thursday, released new numbers on the country’s vaccination rate. The President, earlier this year, laid out a goal, to have 70% of the nation fully vaccinated by July 4th. It’s looking like we might fall a bit short.

70% is the threshold for herd immunity.

According to the White House’s numbers, 63% of Americans have received at least one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. 52% of Americans have been fully vaccinated. 12 states have already reached the 70% threshold.

Last week, vaccination rates fell about one percentage short of the targeted number, many that, if that trend continues, the number of Americans having at least one dose, would be 67%. Short of the President’s 70% goal.

We’ll probably get to the 70% threshold, but it might not be by July 4th.

RCP Poll Average Now Shows President Biden With a Job Approval of 53.8%.

According to the RCP average of polls, President Biden has a job approval of 53.8%. His disapproval is 42% according to the average. The one new po out today that was factored into the average was the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll which showed President Biden with an approval rating of 54%, the highest that it’s been in that survey, and a disapproval of 44%.

50% of Americans are now fully vaccinated, according to a new CDC report. That put’s us that much closer to the 70% threshold needed for herd immunity. If you haven’t been vaccinated, I strongly urge to get vaccinated. They are safe and effective.

The more people get vaccinated, the faster we can all return to our normal lives.

Moderna today, announced that it’s Covid-19 vaccine is 100% effective for those whose ages are between 12 and 17. This according to clinical trials done.

El Paso Public Schools Will Hold In-Person Summer School Classes.

After a turbulent year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the accompanying shutdown, school closures, remote learning, lack of in-person instruction, and low student performance, school districts in the El Paso-area are announcing that they will be holding more in-person summer school classes.

Summer school classes were canceled last year due to the Covid-19 shutdown.

The reported number of active cases have been steadily declining as the vaccination process moves into high gear. Nearly 50% of the eligible population of El Paso have been fully vaccinated.

EPISD, YISD, and the SISD, will be holding in-person summer school classes this year.

My Preview of Tonight’s Presidential Address to a Joint Session of Congress and What I Would Like to Hear the President Talk About.

This evening the President will be giving his first address to a joint session of congress. President Biden is expected to talk about his $1.5T American Families Plan, and his $2T American Jobs Plan, his infrastructure bill. The President is expected to talk about the Coronavirus pandemic and the progress that has been made in the vaccination effort. He is also expected to focus on racial justice and policing reform. He is expected to mention George Floyd.

The President is expected to talk about his $1.5T American Families Plan, and his $2T American Jobs Plan, as well as he proposes to pay for these pieces of legislation. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters last weeks that the President also plans to address expanding access to health care and policing reform.

The President is also expected to address what the administration has done in the efforts to combat and control the Coronavirus pandemic, as well the administrations vaccination efforts. Recently, the President announced that the nation has reached his goal of 200M vaccinations within his first 100 days.

I would like to see the President give some focus to the issue of disability policy and justice. I would like to see him give mention to the disability community in his focus on the Coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic has hit the disability community particular hard. I would also like to see the President, during his address to a joint session of congress, commit the nation to ending the practice of subminimum wages for workers with disabilities.

I will be watching the President’s address this evening, and will be giving you my take and analysis here tomorrow.

Congress Passes the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. ASAN and the Disability Community Applaud.

By a vote of 220-211, the House of Representatives passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 earlier this afternoon. The bill now goes to the White House, where it is expected to be signed into law by President Biden on Friday, giving the President the first legislative victory of his young administration. The Autistic Self Advocacy Network, just released a statement praising the measure. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called the plan the most progressive in American history.

The includes about $90B in funding for Medicaid and Home and Community Based Services, something that Disability Rights Activists had been pushing for in previous legislations, but finally won a victory with this bill. The bill also includes funding that can be used to move people with disabilities from dangerous congregate settings.

Over the past year, thousands of people with disabilities, including adults on the Autism Spectrum have died from Covid-19 related illnesses, including those in dangerous institutionalized settings. Medical experts classify people with IDD/DD to be at high risk of contracting Coronavirus.

The bill also includes $1,400 in direct stimulus payments to every American making under $75,000 a year, including adult dependents. It also includes $300 a week jobless benefits through September 6th.

The plan also provides $14B for vaccine distribution, $49B for Covid-19 testing, contact tracing and PPE, $125B for K-12 Public schools, $40B for high education, $39B for Child Care grants, $25B in rental assistance, and $30B for Public Transit.

If our budgets are moral documents, which reflect what our nation’s priorities are, and place it against the standard that Jesus taught us in the Gospels about loving the poor, and loving your neighbor as yourself, then this document passes with an A.

President Biden Maintains a 54.6% Approval Rating in the RCP Average.

According to the Real Clear Politics average, President Biden has a 54.6 job approval rating as of today, with 39.9% disapproval according to the average. One new poll released this morning, the Rasmussen daily presidential tracking poll gives Biden a 50% approval, with 48% disapproving. 33% said that they “strongly approve” of the President’s job performance, while 40% said they “strongly disapprove of Biden.

The House is scheduled to hold a vote for final passage of the American Rescue Plan tomorrow. This is the $1.9T Covid relief bill. Gone from the legislation is the $15 federal minimum wage hike, and the weekly unemployment benefits have been reduced from $400 to $300, but have been extended into August. Included in the plan is funding for Home and Community Based Services for people with disabilities, that wasn’t included in other relief packages.It also includes funding for vaccine distribution.

The plan passed the Senate this past Saturday by a vote of 50 to 49.

Also, yesterday, the CDC issued new guidance for gatherings in light of the availability of vaccine. If a person over 65 has been vaccinated, he or she visit with family and friends, if they have been vaccinated or not, providing that they aren’t in a high risk category. Face masks aren’t required for these gatherings.

Face coverings are still recommended when out in public, and when traveling.

Greg Abbott Order to Rescind the State’s Mask Mandate Receives Backlash and Criticism.

Yesterday, Governor Greg Abbott, announced before the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, that, effective next Wednesday, the statewide mask mandate would be lifted, and that all businesses of any kind would allowed to reopen at full capacity. Abbott said that he based his decision on the declining hospitalization rate, and the vaccine distribution process. Texas is 48th in terms of vaccine distribution. The move by Governor Abbott immediately received backlash and criticism.

Various Texas doctors and medical expert have already spoken out against the Governor’s new order, saying that its too soon, and would hinder efforts to get the virus under control Health experts say that the pandemic is far from over, despite the decline in hospitalizations. Texas still averages over 200 deaths per day due to the Coronavirus, 297 were reported today. Only 7,2% of Texans have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Several state and national political leaders, including President Joe Biden, have criticized Governor Abbott’s order. Former El Paso Congressman Beto O’Rourke, who is being touted as a possible Democratic challenger to Governor Abbott attacked the Governor on Twitter, calling it a “death warrant for Texas,” The Democrat Mayor of Houston Sylvester Turner also went on twitter blasting the new order for Abbott, saying, “Texas keeps making news for all the wrong reasons: an electric grid that failed systemwide throughout the state and rolling back the mask orderwhen 88% of Texans are not vaccinated. We are better than this. Leadership matters. st. President Biden, today, called Abbotts lifting the mask mandate “Neanderthal thinking.”

As a Texan and an American, I, as much as anybody wants to restrictions lifted and for life to get to normal. I am though, like many Texans thinking that it might be a bit to soon.

Even without the mask mandate, still wear a face covering when out in public, wash your hands regularly, maintain social distancing, avoid large social distancing, and seriously people, get vaccinated when its your turn.

President Biden and Congressional Democrats Are Prepared to Pass the $1.9T Covid-19 Relief Package With or Without Republican Support.

Democrat lawmakers on Capitol Hill are talking about the possibility of using the Budget Reconciliation process to push through President Biden’s $1.9T Covid-19 relief plan if a bipartisan deal isn’t reached. Budget Reconciliation is the process used to expedite legislation with a simple majority vote, as a way to forestall a filibuster. Republicans have come out strongly against the relief package, saying that the price tag is too high.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Thursday, that she plans on bring a budget resolution to the floor of the House for a vote next week. This would be the first step in the budget reconciliation process. Given Republican opposition to the President’s relief package, the reconciliation process may be needed to pass the bill.

“I hope we don’t need it, but if needed we will have it…we want it to be bipartisan always.”Speaker Pelosi said on Thursday.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also announced in speech on the Senate floor on Thursday that the Senate would “begin the process of considering a very strong Covid relief bill” next week as well.

With the Senate filibuster rules requiring a 60 vote majority to cutoff debate on legislation and force a up or down vote, the budget reconcilliation process could very well be needed there.

With a 50-50 split in the Senate, Vice President Kamala Harris could possibly be called into cast tiebreaking vote, should that be needed.

In an answer to a question on the possibility that the budget reconciliation process might be utilized, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that President Biden still wants to pass the plan with bipartisan, and that could still happen with reconciliation. “Republicans can still vote for a package.” Psaki said.

Daily El Paso Covid-19 Update-January 6, 2021

511 new positive cases of the Coronavirus are being reported in El Paso this morning. That brings the total number of cases to 100,944. The number of recoveries is 62,870. 2 additional deaths were also reported by El Paso officials this morning, which brings that total to 1,489. 447 people are hospitalized for Covid-19, with 157 in ICU.

We might be seeing the beginning of a post-holiday surge.

El Paso will receive up to 1,100 more doses of the Moderna vaccine. Those are scheduled to arrive by the end of the week. Up to 20,000 people have been inoculated here in El Paso to date.

As always remain vigilant, wash your hands regularly, wear a mask when out in public, maintain social distance, and avoid large gatherings.

Stay safe and healthy.

Daily El Paso Covid-19 Update-January 5, 2021

493 new positive cases of the Coronavirus are being reported by El Paso officials this morning. That brings the total number of cases to 100,421. 62,493 have been recoveries. 5 additional deaths are also being reported in El Paso this morning, which brings that total to 1,487. 383 people are hospitalized due to Covid-19, with 148 in ICU.

Health officials in El Paso reported yesterday that the city has run out of the 17,000 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that it was allotted. No word yet on when the next round of doses will arrive in El Paso. I’ll be following this development closely.

White House officials are discussing the possibility of halvingg the doses in an effort to speed up the vaccination process. To date, only around 4 to 5 million have been inoculated, far short of the vaccine rollout schedule. Studies are showing that for adults aged from 18-55, the doses administered to them could be halved, and still be effective against the virus.

As always, remain vigilant, wash your hands regularly, wear a mask when out in public, maintain social distance, and avoid large gatherings.

Stay safe and healthy.