Politics Rundown: California senators consider vaccines, omicron deaths climb, Congress blocks voting rights bill

Californians adapt to changing coronavirus restrictions.

Julianne Foster, Staff Writer

REQUIRED STUDENT VACCINATIONS

State Sen. Richard Pan introduced a bill that forbids students from using the personal belief exemption to avoid school-based COVID-19 vaccination requirements. The Keep Schools Open and Safe Act aims to assure parents that their child’s in-person learning remains safe. 

“The most effective way to keep schools open and safe is to ensure the COVID vaccination rate of students and school staff is as high as possible in addition to masks, testing, and good ventilation to minimize infections,” Pan said. 

OMICRON CAUSES MORE DEATHS IN L.A. COUNTY

L.A. County officials reported 102 new deaths last Thursday—the highest tally in a day since March 10, 2021. Though omicron shows milder symptoms, most deaths caused by COVID-19 in L.A. County were related to the variant. According to the L.A. Times, L.A. county averages 57 COVID-19 related deaths per day. 

“As cases and hospitalizations remain high, of most concern is the increase in deaths,” said the Los Angeles Department of Public Health in a statement. 

FEDERAL VOTING RIGHTS

On Jan. 19, congress blocked President Joe Biden’s federal voting rights legislation, one of the many promises Biden made to those in Black communities. 

According to the L.A. Times, civil rights groups are not seeing the reform they expected following the tragedy involving George Floyd. Failures to interact with the public leave Democrats in the White House vulnerable to losing important votes in the upcoming midterm elections.

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