AM News Break 9/17/21
By: Zachary Masters
In local news, the Watauga Medical Center is said to be reaching pandemic levels of Covid-19 hospitalizations in the month of September. The Watauga Democrat reports that, as of September 15th, the current number of patients that have confirmed cases of Covid is at 23, compared to the high of 28 back in December of 2020. Out of the 23 current patients at WMC, 16 of the patients are not vaccinated. The rising number of cases and hospitalizations is a “cause for concern”, according to Rob Hudspeth, senior vice president of system advancement for Appalachian Regional Healthcare System.
Nationally, it seems democrats and republicans finally have something they can agree on, as Secretary of State Anthony Blinken defended President Biden’s Afghanistan evacuation plan. Congressmen on both sides of the aisle criticized the withdrawal as being rushed and mismanaged by Biden and his staff. Democratic Senator Bob Menendez had this to say on the withdrawal: “The Execution of the U.S. withdrawal was clearly and fatally flawed... There has to be accountability.” The feeling was shared by Republican Senator Jim Risch of Idaho who said: “The withdrawal was a dismal failure.” The Associated Press reports that Blinken stood by the withdrawal, saying that it ended America’s longest war and evacuated nearly 124,000 Afghan civilians, even though the US faced many challenges.
In world news, the Associated Press reports that SpaceX launched its first private flight piloted by an all amateur crew in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The crew consisted of two contest winners, a health care worker and their sponsor, with the plan to complete a 3 day flight orbiting the Earth. The fully automated capsule has already been used in a previous flight, as it transported a NASA astronaut to the International Space Station. The transition from government trained and funded space programs to non-professionals is still a hot topic among NASA personnel.
This morning’s weather comes from BooneWeather.com. Today, be sure to pack your umbrellas, as scattered showers and light fog are expected to make their way through the High Country. Prepare for High of 71 degrees and a low of 58 degrees with light winds.