From the blocking of President Biden’s vaccine mandate by the Supreme Court to the RNC threatening to end Presidential debates in 2024, this week’s news changed rapidly.
Missed some of our updates? Catch up now with our weekly Breakdown.
VACCINE MANDATE BLOCKED BY SUPREME COURT
In a major blow to the President’s attempt to fight the spread of Covid-19, the Supreme Court blocked Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate. The mandate called for vaccination and testing for large businesses that planned to reopen during a surge in Omicron cases.
President Biden stated that he was “disappointed” with the ruling, which he said was against what he thought were “common-sense life-saving requirements.”
The Supreme Court made one exception, however, allowing the vaccine mandate for healthcare workers nationwide. The ruling will likely have less impact since many of the roughly 10 million healthcare workers in the country have already received at least the first dose of the vaccine. The mandate for larger businesses would have affected roughly 80 million people.
RNC THREATENED TO SKIP PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES IN 2024
The Republican National Committee (RNC) threatened the Commission on Presidential Debates on Thursday that the committee will consider keeping their politicians from participating in debates if certain demands are not met in 2024. The group claimed that the questions had become significantly biased and that the party has lost faith in its ability to “restore trust in the debate process.”
Back in October 2020, former President Donald Trump threatened to pull out of a presidential debate with then-candidate Joe Biden, citing that the nonpartisan commission showed bias against him. The debate was moved to a virtual format, though later canceled entirely, after Trump was infected with Covid-19 and momentarily hospitalized.
GAETZ’S EX-GIRLFRIEND TESTIFIED IN SEX TRAFFICKING PROBE
Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz, who is being investigated by the Department of Justice on claims of sex trafficking, seems closer to indictment this week. Under a potential immunity deal, it was revealed that Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend, whose name is being kept private to protect her identity, has been working with prosecutors for months.
Though Gaetz has denied all wrongdoing in the investigation, he is accused of sex trafficking a 17-year-old girl, as well as transporting her over state lines for prostitution. He previously called the claim “a witch hunt.” Complying with prosecutors, despite planning to fight the charges, Gaetz has also been accused of obstructing justice.
POPE FRANCIS CONDEMNED ‘CANCEL CULTURE’
In his annual “State of the World” address to the Vatican, Pope Francis issued a warning about the risks of “cancel culture,” which he called “one-track thinking.” Without addressing any one incident specifically, he said that those wishing to “rewrite history” present a significant risk to diplomacy and society.
His comments came after a tumultuous year and reevaluation of public accountability leading to movements such as #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter. The Roman Catholic Church has had its own share of troubles over the years with numerous accusations of covered up sexual abuse. Pope Francis also spoke about the need to get vaccinated against Covid-19, which he called a “moral obligation.”
BRONX FIRE TRAGEDY KILLED 17
A horrific apartment fire in the Bronx, a borough of New York City, killed 17 people, including eight children aged 2 to 11 years old. The Bronx fire victims all died from smoke inhalation, as the thick, black smoke spread throughout hallways and stairwells with malfunctioned doors.
The fire allegedly started after a broken space heater on the third floor ignited a bedroom in flames, though the family who lived in the apartment escaped unharmed. Tragically, others were not so lucky. A vigil was held on Tuesday night for the community, made of mostly Ghanian and Muslim immigrants. The Dukurays, one of the hardest hit families in the tragic fire, reportedly mourned five family members.
Newly elected Mayor Eric Adams spoke, along with other community leaders, about the need to pass stricter housing legislation for low-income communities. It was reportedly the deadliest recorded residential fire in the U.S. in over 30 years.
BOB SAGET DIED AT AGE 65
Celebrities and family mourned the death of actor and comedian Bob Saget on Sunday night, after the 65-year-old was found dead in a hotel room. Though no cause of death was reported, the medical examiner ruled out any foul play or drug use. Investigators believe it could have been a heart attack, and that he possibly died in his sleep.
The Full House star was remembered by his three children and his wife, Kelly Rizzo, during a private funeral held on Friday. Former co-stars Jodie Sweetin and John Stamos also wrote touching tributes on social media, shocked by the comedian’s sudden passing.
PRINCE ANDREW STRIPPED OF MILITARY TITLES
Prince Andrew was stripped of multiple military titles and duties this week after backlash mounted due to involvement in sexual assault litigation. Queen Elizabeth II authorized the decision to discharge his honorary titles and take away The Duke of York’s use of “His Royal Highness.”
Charged in a lawsuit in the United States under allegations of sexual abuse, Prince Andrew has denied all of accuser Virginia Giuffre’s claims. Giuffre has fought within the legal system since 2006 to sue those involved in the assault, such as Prince Andrew, Jeffrey Epstein, and Ghislaine Maxwell. Prince Andrew has until July to respond to the court’s request for testimony under oath before being forced to appear in court.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC GOT HIS VISA CANCELED AGAIN
After winning his court battle to enter Australia on “medical exemption” from the Covid-19 vaccination, Novak Djokovic found himself in hot water once again. The Australian government canceled his visa a second time, citing inaccuracies on his immigration forms. Djokovic later admitted that he broke the country’s travel regulations, after images on social media contradicted boxes he had checked pertaining to recent travel.
Though still scheduled to compete in the Australian Open, which started on Thursday, Novak Djokovic plans to appeal once again. Australia’s immigration minister, Alex Hawke, has allowed Djokovic to stay in the country as he attempts appeal on Saturday. The tennis pro now faces deportation for lying to the Australian government, as well as punishments including fines and possible jail time.
THE SCREEN ACTORS GUILD ANNOUNCED ITS 2022 NOMINEES
The Screen Actors Guild announced the nominees for its annual SAG Awards Show honoring those in film and television this week. Streaming network series such as Succession, Ted Lasso, and Squid Game, garnered multiple nominations, as well as films such as House of Gucci, which received lukewarm reviews from critics.
Kristen Stewart fans were shocked to find that the Spencer star was not in the running for Female Actor in a Leading Role, especially after many believed she was snubbed out of a Golden Globe win last week. Selena Gomez’s fans were also surprised that Only Murders in the Building stars Martin Short and Steve Martin were both nominated, but not the 29-year-old singer.
The show is set to take place on Feb. 27, 2022, in Santa Monica, Ca. British actress Helen Mirren will also receive the Life Achievement Award.
MEGAN FOX AND MACHINE GUN KELLY GOT ENGAGED
Actress Megan Fox and singer Machine Gun Kelly got engaged on Wednesday, sharing a clip of the momentous event on Instagram. The passionate couple has been dating since May 2020, capturing tabloid attention with their public and raunchy displays of affection.
Back in February, the singer shared that he owns a necklace containing a vial of Fox’s blood that he often wears. After the engagement, he also joked (maybe) that the pair “drank each other’s blood.” Wishing the blood prince and his bride-to-be a huge congrats!