👋 Away Message: So we had a little scheduling snafu here at WTF HQ, where both myself and Joe (voice of the pod) double-booked ourselves with personal and professional obligations next week. Oopsie! Not a very great job using a calendar on my part, I guess. On the other hand, it appears the government isn't going to be open for business anyway... Unless something truly WTF-y happens, I'll see you all again on Tuesday, October 10th, because Monday is a holiday (Indigenous Peoples' Day).
In the mean time, try our little news aggregator tool – currentstatus.io – to keep you up-to-date on the daily shock and awe. Thanks for understanding and for being here. I'm going to miss you.
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1/ The director of the CDC announced a restructuring of the agency to “transform” it to better respond to public health emergencies. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said the agency had failed to effectively respond to the coronavirus pandemic, saying “in our big moment, our performance did not reliably meet expectations.” Walensky’s plan calls for less emphasis on the publication of scientific papers about rare diseases and more focus on efforts that prioritize public health needs by more rapidly turning research into health recommendations. The restructuring follows two reviews conducted in recent months into the CDC’s pandemic response and operations. (New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / Politico / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg)
Monkeypox cases jumped 20% in the last week to 35,000 across 92 countries. Nearly all reported cases are in Europe and the Americas. (CNBC)
Inside America’s monkeypox crisis. “100 days after the outbreak was first detected in Europe, no country has more cases than the United States — with public health experts warning the virus is on the verge of becoming permanently entrenched here.” (Washington Post)
2/ Federal Reserve officials indicated that they likely need to continue raising interest rates until inflation comes down substantially. Last month, officials voted to raise their benchmark rate by 0.75 percentage point in July, following June’s increase of the same size – the largest rate increases since 1994. Overall retail sales, meanwhile, were unchanged in July, slowed by the falling price of gasoline. Excluding the sale of gas and cars, retail sales rose 0.7% last month. (Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / CNBC / New York Times / Reuters)
3/ Pence said he would “consider” to testifying before the Jan. 6 committee “if there was an invitation.” “I would have to reflect on the unique role that I was serving as vice president,” Pence continued. “It would be unprecedented in history for the vice president to be summoned to testify on Capitol Hill. But, as I said, I don’t want to prejudge ever any formal invitation rendered to us.” During the same event, Pence also called on Republicans to stop attacking the FBI over the search of Mar-a-Lago. (Politico / New York Times / Bloomberg / USA Today / ABC News)
4/ Liz Cheney lost her Republican primary for Wyoming’s House seat by more than 35 points to a candidate endorsed by Trump. “This primary election is over, but now the real work begins,” Cheney said in her concession speech, noting that she had called opponent Harriet Hageman to congratulate her. Cheney, however, said she plans to be part of a bipartisan coalition that will do “whatever it takes” to keep Trump from holding office again, saying “I believe that Donald Trump continues to pose a very grave threat and risk to our republic.” Cheney also acknowledged that she was “thinking” about running for president in 2024. Cheney is now the eighth of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump to leave the House. Four others have opted against reelection, and four more lost GOP primaries. (NBC News / New York Times / NPR / Washington Post)
Six takeaways from the primaries in Wyoming and Alaska. (CNN)
Sarah Palin advanced to the general election for Alaska’s House seat. In the Senate all-party primary, Lisa Murkowski and Kelly Tshibaka will advance to the general election alongside Democrat Patricia Chesbro. (NBC News / New York Times)
5/ The Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general refused congressional requests for documents and staff testimony about the deleted Secret Service text messages that agents exchanged during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Joseph Cuffari told Congress last month that Secret Service text messages from Jan. 5 and 6, 2021, had been erased. Cuffari’s office, however, had delayed telling Congress about the missing messages for months. The House committees on Homeland Security and Oversight and Reform accused Cuffari of intentionally delaying their investigation into the Capitol attack, saying his “justifications for this noncompliance appear to reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of Congress’s authority and your duties as an inspector general.” The lawmakers also called on Cuffari to recuse himself from the investigation, a demand he refused along with blocking the release some records and interviews with staff members. (Washington Post / New York Times)
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