Nebraska reported 955 cases of covid-19 on Thursday and three new deaths. Just 53.3% of Nebraskans are vaccinated according to Johns Hopkins University.
“President Biden’s misguided plan steers our country down a dangerous path away from states’ rights and the freedom of private businesses to make their own decisions on vaccinations. We stand opposed to this blatant federal overreach,” Gov. Doug Burgum tweeted on Thursday.
“Safe, effective vaccines remain our best tool for preserving hospital capacity and ensuring access to care, but forcing a vaccine mandate on private employers is not the role of the state or federal government,” Burgum continued.
North Dakota reported 615 new cases of covid-19 and four new deaths. Only 43% of North Dakotans are vaccinated against covid-19, the fifth worst rate in the country according to Johns Hopkins University.
“It is not the government’s role to dictate to private businesses what to do. Once again President Biden is demonstrating his complete disregard for individual freedoms and states’ rights. As long as I am governor, there will be no government vaccine mandates in Oklahoma,” Gov. Kevin Stitt tweeted.
“My administration will continue to defend Oklahoma values and fight back against the Biden administration’s federal overreach,” Stitt continued.
Oklahoma reported 2,462 new cases on Thursday and has a seven-day average of 30 deaths. Only 45.3% of people in Oklahoma have been fully vaccinated.
“The American Dream has turned into a nightmare under President Biden and the radical Democrats. They have declared war against capitalism, thumbed their noses at the Constitution, and empowered our enemies abroad,” Gov. Henry McMaster tweeted on Thursday.
“Rest assured, we will fight them to the gates of hell to protect the liberty and livelihood of every South Carolinian,” McMaster continued.
South Carolina reported 3,556 cases of covid-19 on Thursday and 54 deaths. Just 45.5% of people in South Carolina have been fully vaccinated against covid-19, according to Johns Hopkins University.
“South Dakota will stand up to defend freedom. @JoeBiden see you in court,” Gov. Kristi Noem tweeted.
Gov. Noem went on Sean Hannity’s show last night to express her displeasure with the new vaccine mandate.
South Dakota reported 619 new cases of covid-19 on Thursday and two new deaths. Only 50.7% of people in South Dakota are fully vaccinated against covid-19.
“’This is not about freedom’ is a phrase that should never come out of a U.S. President’s mouth,” Gov. Bill Lee tweeted.
“For a fight that requires working together, a lot of cynical and divisive edicts came out of the White House today pitting the vaccinated against the unvaccinated, businesses against employees, and the federal government against states,” Lee continued. “The Constitution won’t allow this power grab, and in the meantime, I will stand up for all Tennesseans.”
“To be clear: the vaccine is the best tool we have to combat the pandemic but heavy-handed mandates are the wrong approach,” Lee tweeted.
Tennessee reported 3,895 new cases of covid-19 on Thursday and 74 deaths. Only 44.2% of people in Tennessee are fully vaccinated.
“Biden’s vaccine mandate is an assault on private businesses. I issued an Executive Order protecting Texans’ right to choose whether they get the COVID vaccine & added it to the special session agenda. Texas is already working to halt this power grab,” Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted.
Texas reported 32,054 new cases of covid-19 on Thursday and 402 new deaths. Just 49.8% of Texans are fully vaccinated against covid-19, according to Johns Hopkins University.
“Getting vaccinated is the single most important thing people can do right now to protect ourselves and our community and reduce the spread of the Delta variant. While we support efforts that encourage vaccinations, we have serious concerns about the legality of the order,” Gov. Spencer Cox tweeted in what was perhaps the most calm and measured negative response from a Republican governor.
Utah reported 2,166 new cases of covid-19 on Thursday and 10 deaths. Just 52% of people in Utah are fully vaccinated against covid-19, the best vaccination rate of all the Republican governors who denounced Biden’s plan on Thursday, but still in the bottom 25 of the 50 states.
“The Biden Administration’s announcement to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations or weekly testing for private businesses is an egregious example of big government overreach. Our Constitution was written and fought for to protect our liberties as American citizens,” Gov. Mark Gordon tweeted on Thursday.
“This administration’s latest pronouncement demonstrates its complete disregard for the rule of law and the freedoms individuals and private companies enjoy under our Constitution. In Wyoming, we believe that government must be held in check,” Gordon continued.
“I have asked the Attorney General to stand prepared to take all actions to oppose this administration’s unconstitutional overreach of executive power. It has no place in America. Not now, and not ever.”
Wyoming reported 533 new cases of covid-19 on Thursday. Just 39.5% of Wyoming residents are fully vaccinated against covid-19, the worst vaccination rate in the entire country, according to Johns Hopkins University.
McAfee’s Instagram account was being run by other people while he was in prison, and shortly after he went to that big file quarantine in the sky, a “Q” image appeared on it. (QAnon, the future of the GOP, is a sprawling, loosely organized network of crackpots, anti-Semites, and fascists who believe Donald Trump is secretly fighting a secret Underworld-style war against a cabal of Democratic pedophiles. Numerous QAnon supporters have committed crimes or acts of violence including murder, and they provided key manpower during the deadly pro-Trump riots at the Capitol on Jan. 6.) The account was later deleted but has since been replaced by three accounts on messaging app Telegram the Daily Beast wrote have “racked up followers by pushing QAnon-like ramblings and providing a countdown clock for revelations that—shockingly—never materialized.”
It’s not as though this is somehow a surprising development. QAnon wackos are fond of theorizing that various historical deaths were actually faked, particularly the late John F. Kennedy Jr., who many of them believe is still living as a Trump supporter named Vincent Fusca. McAfee was a well-accomplished internet troll and no doubt hoped for rumors about his death to linger long after he had actually departed this mortal coil, hence the tat.
One account, titled “I Would Describe Myself As Quite Sane and Lucid, Which is Why I’m Still Alive. John McAfee,” launched on July 20 and already has over 125,000 followers. Two others are far smaller but apparently piggybacking off its shtick. According to the Daily Beast, evidence the account has posted for its veracity include personal documents belonging to McAfee such as a scan of his gun license, all of which had previously leaked are easily available online, including from a group of documentary filmmakers trying to sell copies of them as a non-fungible token.
The Telegram channel has also posted links to a YouTube account full of drone footage of notorious pedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s private island, which conspiracy theorists had previously, and without evidence, posited was run by McAfee. Some of the channel’s followers have attempted to decode garbled segments of its other message, the Daily Beast wrote, asking each other whether they knew how to access the “dark web” for more information.
While former McAfee’s lawyer, Andrew Gordon, confirmed that McAfee was dead to the Daily Beast, the account had seen this coming and simply posted rants about how he was not to be trusted.
At least a few other major conspiracy accounts, perhaps sensing unwelcome competition for grifting revenue, have called out the fake McAfee accounts. Ron Watkins, the former 8chan administrator widely rumored to have been behind the QAnon movement, posted to his own Telegram channel that “The John McAfee telegram account didn’t [sic] announce anything at the end of the countdown. None of the alleged 31 terabytes of deadman’s switch data has materialized. Now his account is posting Q-style drops and signing them as McAfee. Be careful.” For the record, Watkins has frantically distanced himself from QAnon and tried to rebrand as a ufologist.
After Trump failed to throw a coup d’etat either immediately following the November 2020 elections or before Joe Biden was inaugurated in January, the QAnon movement has been down and dispirited but far from out.
In June, the FBI warned members of Congress that remaining members of the movement are more extreme than ever and may tire of being “digital soldiers,” and instead devote their seemingly inexhaustible energy to violent attacks rather than “continually awaiting Q’s promised actions which have not occurred.” According to NBC News, QAnon adherents who watched members of the movement mostly fail to win elections in 2020 are now focusing on local races like school boards and city councils. A number of major QAnon accounts have tried to ditch the baggage associated with the label by insisting the QAnon movement referred to by the media does not exist, publicly disavowing any connection to the movement while changing nothing else about their rhetoric.