Psaki Brushes Off Concerns about Constitutionality of Eviction Moratorium: ‘Who’s Saying That?’


Yahoo News 04 August, 2021 - 01:03pm 125 views

President Biden announced Tuesday that the CDC would extend the eviction moratorium in the areas of the country that have been hardest hit by the resurgence of COVID-19. After making the announcement, Biden conceded that “the bulk of the constitutional scholars say it’s not likely to pass constitutional muster.”

When a reporter suggested that many Americans are concerned about Biden’s willingness to pursue a constitutionally dubious course of action, Psaki pushed back, suggesting that the reporter was citing non-existent critics.

“You know I’m going to ask you who’s saying that,” Psaki said.

“I think what’s important to note here is that the president would not have moved forward with a step where he didn’t feel comfortable and confident in the legal justification,” she continued. “But he asked the CDC and his legal experts to look at what is possible. This is a narrow, targeted moratorium that is different from the national moratorium. It’s not an extension of that,” she added.

Just one day before Biden announced the unilateral moratorium extension, the head of his COVID task force, Jeff Zients, said that the administration had “kicked every tire” but was unable to come up with a legal justification for the move. The administration’s initial insistence on staying within the bounds of their constitutional authority angered progressives, particularly those in the House Democratic caucus who camped in front of the Capitol for days to show solidarity with those who might be evicted.

In response to a reporter’s inquiry about landlords struggling to pay their bills because they’re prohibited from evicting tenants with overdue rent, Psaki replied, “Well actually the landlords can benefit from exactly the same emergency rental assistance that renters can benefit from.” The reporter followed up that the distribution of relief to landlords has been delayed across the country, exacerbating their financial plight.

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Citing a Supreme Court decision issued in late June, the White House said it was unable to unilaterally extend the moratorium for evictions.

U.S. congressional Democrats on Tuesday pushed the White House to reinstate an expired moratorium on residential evictions that kept millions of people from being forced out of their homes for unpaid rent during the pandemic, but which expired over the weekend. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi both called for reinstatement of the ban on evictions that expired at midnight on Saturday. Congress wants the Biden administration to reinstate the ban, while the White House says a Supreme Court ruling in June means it lacks legal authority to do so without congressional approval.

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US reaches 70% of adults with at least 1 COVID-19 shot

WPTV News - FL Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast 04 August, 2021 - 03:00pm

The unvaccinated still think Covid vaccines are a risk, survey finds

CNN 04 August, 2021 - 05:14am

Unvaccinated adults still also largely believe the news media have exaggerated the severity of the pandemic, and are less likely than vaccinated adults to wear a mask in public, according to the ongoing Kaiser Family Foundation survey.

The health-focused nonprofit group surveyed 1,500 US adults between July 15 and 27 for this chapter of its survey, and found little change among those with the most hardened attitudes about vaccination. About 14% of those surveyed say they will "definitely not" get vaccinated -- the same proportion as in December.

"Among those who say they will 'definitely not' get a vaccine, 75% say the news is exaggerated. The sharply different views of the vaccinated and unvaccinated help to explain the contentiousness of ongoing policy debates about vaccine mandates," KFF said in its report.

Only 23% of adults who have yet to get vaccinated say they believe vaccines are very or extremely effective at preventing death -- despite strong evidence that they are.

"A narrow majority (53%) of unvaccinated adults believe the vaccine poses a bigger risk to their health than COVID-19 itself," Kaiser said. "In contrast, an overwhelming majority (88%) of vaccinated adults say that getting infected with COVID-19 is a bigger risk to their health than the vaccine."

"The increase in COVID-19 cases and news of the Delta variant spreading in the U.S. has made some people say they are more likely to wear a mask in public or avoid large gatherings, though this is mainly driven by vaccinated adults," KFF said.

"Seeing their friends get sick and local hospitals fill up again with COVID patients may speed them along and add to their ranks," KFF President and CEO Drew Altman said in a statement.

The survey found 57% unvaccinated people said news media have "generally exaggerated" the pandemic's impact, while three-fourths of vaccinated adults say media have been "generally correct" (53%) or even "underestimated" its severity (24%).

Among vaccinated adults, 53% say they wear masks in grocery stores and other indoor places, compared to 44% of unvaccinated adults.

"These differences are to a large degree driven by unvaccinated Republicans. Majorities of Republicans say they 'never' wear a mask outdoors in crowded outdoor places, at work, or in a grocery store," KFF said.

A quarter of unvaccinated people -- 8% of all adults -- say they are likely to get vaccinated by the end of the year.

But 10% of adults who remain unvaccinated say they want to "wait and see" how the vaccine works for other people before getting vaccinated. Another 3% say they will be immunized "only if required." But that's down from 6% in June.

The survey found people divided on whether the federal government should recommend employers require vaccines among their employees. Half said the federal government should recommend employers require staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine unless they have a medical exception.

Three quarters of Democrats support a mandate for federal employees, while two-thirds of Republicans oppose the idea.

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