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Exclusive — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem on Beating Coronavirus Without Lockdown: ‘We’re Much Better on Offense’


Reported by MATTHEW BOYLE | Washington, D.C.

URL of the originating web site: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/04/22/exclusive-south-dakota-gov-kristi-noem-on-beating-coronavirus-without-lockdown-were-much-better-on-offense/

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem gives her first State of the State address in Pierre, S.D., Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019. / James Nord/AP Photo

Noem said that despite earlier projections of a surge on the hospitals in South Dakota and nationwide, “no, we haven’t” seen such a surge. In fact, South Dakota has—again, without a lockdown—cut that number down by 75 percent of the projections, with much less than a hundred people in the hospital.

According to the state’s Department of Health website, there have been 1,858 cases of coronavirus in South Dakota—937 people have recovered. There have been only 9 deaths, and there are 62 people currently hospitalized. In total, only 111 people were ever hospitalized for coronavirus in South Dakota—far less than ever was expected.

“I think we’ve got maybe 60 people in the hospital right now,” Noem said in an exclusive interview on Wednesday. “We have 2,500 beds set aside for COVID-19 patients, but we only have 63 in. We probably, from all of our projections and studying the science behind the virus, we won’t peak until the middle of June. But we already have done much better than what we had thought would have been hitting our state already.”

“We already have cut our peak projections by 75 percent just putting in place the recommendations I asked people to do, staying at home and they’ve practiced social distancing,” she explained. “They’ve washed their hands and they stayed home if they weren’t feeling well and called their doctors. Just by doing that, we’ve cut the hospitalization rates by 75 percent. So, I’ve just been super proud of what the people in South Dakota have done—they recognized that I wasn’t going to dictate to them, that I valued their freedoms and liberties and that I was going to let them take action on behalf of their families and communities.”

When asked how she made her decision to not issue a closure of businesses in South Dakota and to not issue a statewide stay-at-home order like many other governors did when the crisis was beginning, Noem told Breitbart News that she was focused on providing the best and most scientific response to the coronavirus crisis.

“I looked at our state and our people here and knew they would take on the personal responsibility that would be necessary to protect their families and their communities,” Noem said. “I had a real honest conversation with them and told them what we were facing and that I needed them to make some decisions to follow CDC guidelines and that by doing that we could look at how this virus would impact our state and peak hospitalization rates going forward and do it together.”

“I’m not one who believes in a one-size-fits-all approach, and even in South Dakota I’ve got pretty diverse communities,” she noted. “I’ve got some that are pretty sparse with not many people and then I’ve got some that are big cities as well. So I wanted to leave some flexibility there for local folks to make decisions but also recognizing that when it comes down to it that these guys had to take on the personal responsibility that is necessary to really go after this virus.”

Noem added that when it came to her decision against issuing a lockdown, she factored in her oath to defend the state’s Constitution that she took when she was sworn in as governor and her oath to defend the U.S. Constitution that she took when she was previously sworn in when she was in the U.S. Congress. She was concerned for the civil liberties and freedoms of the people of her state and did not think the facts on the ground warranted a lockdown—something that, again, the statistics have proven to be true.

“It was a decision that I made. The facts on the ground here did not support shelter-in-place,” she said. “We just didn’t have the spread. For me personally, I took an oath to uphold our state Constitution. I took an oath when I was in Congress to uphold the United States Constitution. So I believe in people’s freedoms and liberties and I always balance that with every decision that I make as governor. I get overly concerned with leaders who take too much power in a time of crisis because I think that’s how we directly lose our country someday by leaders overstepping their proper role.”

“So I was balancing all of that perspective and my value system and principles with what I was seeing here in South Dakota and never believed it was appropriate for us to take that kind of action,” Noem explained. “I trust my people. I know that if business owners here are given an opportunity to be innovative, they will protect their customers. They will take actions and change business models to make sure their employees are safe and that they can practice social distancing while still serving their customers. I knew I had to give them an opportunity to survive.”

“What I was going to ask them to do was not going to be something they would have to do just for a week or two,” she explained. “I knew they would have to do it for months, and I didn’t know how they would survive if I shut them down, and for me, it’s always been about whatever I ask you to do today you have to sustain, and I knew that doing that kind of an action was not sustainable. People would not be able to shelter in their homes for six weeks on end, and businesses would not be able to survive and have an economy to be able to put food on the table for folks.”

“All of that was part of my decision-making process, and I decided as well—I knew it was unconventional and it was something that would not be widely embraced across the country–but I knew I had to communicate it and I knew I had to make myself available to South Dakota and tell them why I was making these decisions and make sure we were having real palms-up honest conversations, and I think by and large they’re seeing the wisdom in the action and decisions we’ve made, and they’re grateful for it, but we have a long ways to go though,” Noem said. “We’ve got, that’s the thing, a lot of people want to be done with this now, and I have to keep reminding people we still have not even hit our peak—our numbers are going to continue to get worse, and that reality is something that we’re going to have to deal with for quite some time here.”

Just because there is no stay-at-home order or statewide mandated closure of businesses does not mean South Dakota is just waiting and doing nothing to fight the coronavirus. Noem has undertaken a number of initiatives in South Dakota, including alongside the state’s northern neighbor, North Dakota, the introduction of a cell phone application that helps state health officials with contact tracing of those who test positive for the virus—something she said has been very effective in helping control the spread of the disease.

“The app is called CARE19 and it’s downloadable on both android and iPhones, but what it does is so much of the time of individuals—when somebody tests positive for COVID-19 our Department of Health immediately calls them, asks them to isolate, and then follows up with them and then also does extensive interviews with them to find out about where they had been the previous three or four or five days, where they had been, where they had stopped, so we can identify other individuals that may have been exposed to the virus to let them know and ask them to isolate and slow down the spread,” Noem said. “This app will do all of that in seconds. So, it’s completely voluntary. People can download it on their phone, then turn on location services and then forget about it. Then if they do test positive a week or two weeks down the road they can decide if they want to share that information with us or not and then that will tell us everything about where they were and people that may have been exposed to the virus so they don’t have to try to remember.”

“It literally takes hours of interviews we would have with an individual down to getting all of that same information and having it be much more accurate in seconds,” she explained. “It helps us be much more aggressive in slowing and isolating the spread. The average person we have to contact—if somebody tests positive, we have to call eight or nine people on average that they may have come in contact with and let them know. So even if we only have a hundred cases a day, that’s 800 to 900 phone calls we have to be making to them. Then everybody who tests positive and everybody who has been exposed we call them back the next day and then the next day and so on to make sure they’re still doing okay and that they’re still isolating and all that. By being able to cut down that amount of time it takes to know who may have been exposed, boy it just saves us hundreds of hours and is really helpful. We’re the only—I think North Dakota started it first, I think we started it the next morning, and I think we’re the only two states that are using that kind of technology.”

South Dakota has also, at Noem’s direction, formally launched a statewide, fully-funded, and all-encompassing trial to study the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for coronavirus. There have been some studies that suggest the drug is promising as a potential treatment, and President Donald Trump has touted it as a hopeful possibility, while the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized its usage on a compassionate care basis if a doctor decides a patient should use it. But no formal studies yet exist to demonstrate the effectiveness of the antimalarial hydroxychloroquine against COVID-19, so Noem stepped up and rallied all of the state’s major healthcare systems to lead a statewide test of the drug.

“What’s happening here in South Dakota is really unprecedented,” Noem said. “There has never been anything like this that has happened before. There is the state government partnering with all of our major health systems to run a statewide, state-backed-and-funded clinical trial. We have Sanford Health in our state that does a lot of research, and they’re running many other clinical trials, and they came to the table and said they would lead it, and I said the state would support it and help secure the drugs with the White House’s help, the hydroxychloroquine and whatever else we would need, and then the other two health systems, Avera and Monument, were excited to partner as well. So we will literally have a clinical trial now where every person in the state will be allowed to participate in.”

“So it’s the first statewide one. I think we’re the only state where it would have been possible to get all of the healthcare systems to agree to participate in,” she continued. “It really is unprecedented as well to get them all to step up and agree to participate, and then we can include up to 100,000 people so it is much larger than a typical clinical trial would be.”

“Sometimes the accuracy of a clinical trial is in question when it’s a super small sample and you don’t get enough people to participate,” Noem explained. “By this, including this many people getting access to the drug and seeing what the results would be, not only allows us to meet the current need but also allows us to get the background data and research that we can use to be on offense against this virus into the future.”

“So, I think this is kind of what South Dakota does best—we’re much better on offense than we are just sitting back and playing defense, and this is one way where I said let’s not just sit back and access the drug and let people use it that are in ICUs and in healthcare systems that need it to save their lives,” she said. “But let’s use it as an opportunity to build out our capacity for doing research so that in the long run we’re contributing to addressing COVID-19 for years into the future.”

South Dakota is still, Noem added, planning to have fireworks over Mount Rushmore this year—a promise President Trump made when signing a phase one trade deal with China earlier this year.

“They are—we’ll decide what it looks like but there will be fireworks over Mount Rushmore this year. We’re still moving ahead,” Noem said.

Poll: 47% of Young Democrats Prefer Other Countries over America


Written by Alana Mastrangelo | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2020/01/14/poll-47-of-young-democrats-prefer-other-countries-over-america/

ORLANDO, FLORIDA – JUNE 18: An anti-Trump protester makes a sign during a protest against President Donald Trump outside a rally where Trump officially launched his re-election campaign on June 18, 2019 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images) 

A shocking new poll has discovered that 47 percent of young Democrats believe that other countries are better than the United States. Moreover, many young Americans admit that they wouldn’t mind other countries becoming as militarily powerful as the United States.

Slightly more than one third — 36 percent — of Americans 18 to 29 say that other countries are better than the United States, according to a recent poll released by Pew Research.

Among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents under the age of 30, nearly half, 47 percent, say that there are other countries that are better than the U.S. Meanwhile, just 20 percent of Democrats age 50 and over agree with this sentiment.

“Democrats have become more likely to say there are other countries that are better than the U.S.,”says Pew Research. “In telephone surveys, the share of Democrats saying this is higher than at any point since the question was first asked by Pew Research Center in 2011, and there has been a corresponding decline in the share saying the U.S. stands above other nations.” This poll demonstrates the dramatic shift in the Democrat party’s base, and the potential schism between traditional Democrat voters and young and woke progressives.

The study also noted that young Americans are “more likely to say it would be acceptable if another country became as militarily powerful as the U.S.”

According to Pew Research, a majority of adults — 61 percent — say that the United States should maintain its status as a military superpower, but that more than half — 55 percent — of Democrats under the age of 30 admit that they would find it acceptable if other nations became as militarily powerful as the United States.

Among young Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, these numbers are significantly lower, as just 19 percent of adults under the age of 30 agree with their young Democrat counterparts with regards to the idea that other countries are superior to the United States.

Among Republicans ages 50 and older, only 4 percent share agree with this sentiment.

The report added that while a majority of Republicans say that the Untied States should try to maintain its status as a military superpower, 38 percent of Republicans under the age of 30 say that it would be acceptable if another country became as militarily powerful as the U.S.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

Top 10 Craziest Attacks on Campus Conservatives of 2019


Written by Alana Mastrangelo | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2020/01/01/top-10-craziest-attacks-on-campus-conservatives-of-2019/

UC Berkeley Assault TPUSA / screencap

Conservative students are relentlessly harassed and assaulted on college campuses around the country, as documented by Breitbart News in the last few years. 2019 saw an increase in assaults against conservative students carried out by leftists. Take a look at some of 2019’s wildest attacks perpetrated by leftists on college campuses.

10. “You’re going to end up fucking dead” shouts a Sacramento State leftist at a black conservative student after appearing to strike him on video.

An alleged leftist and LGBT activist at California State University, Sacramento (Sacramento State) appeared to assault a black conservative student on video in December, before shouting, “you’re going to end up fucking dead.”

9. UT Austin leftists threaten to dox students for joining conservative student groups on campus.

Leftists at the University of Texas at Austin — who have doxed conservative students in the past — threatened to dox incoming freshmen students in June, claiming that they would release the students’ personal information if they were caught joining conservative groups on campus — namely the Young Conservatives of Texas and Turning Point USA.

8. Mob of leftist students surrounded and harassed conservative students at Binghamton University. Leftist protesters then shut down an event hosted by the conservative students days later.

A mob of leftist students at Binghamton University surrounded and harassed conservative students in November. “Look at you shaking, you little bitch,” shouted one leftist. Days later, leftist protesters crashed the conservative students’ event featuring economist Arthur Laffer, causing the event to immediately be shut down. Two protesters were arrested. All incidents were caught in a series of disturbing videos. Binghamton University did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

7. Man arrested after attempting to chain the doors to a University of Washington conservative event.

A man was arrested in June after attempting to chain the doors to a College Republicans event in a classroom at the University of Washington. The move, which appeared to be an attempt to lock the conservatives inside the classroom, failed as the speaker’s personal security members and students forced the doors open. The man acted after an Antifa call to action to disrupt the event.

6. Chico State protester takes sign from a conservative student and strikes him in the face with it.

In November, a student protester at California State University, Chico shouted expletives at the school’s College Republican’s chapter president, before taking his sign and striking him in the face with it. The incident was caught on video.

5. Students assault pro-life activists at both UNC-Chapel Hill and the University of Wisconsin-Madison in two separate incidents caught on video.

A student allegedly assaulted a pro-life activist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill after seeing pro-life signage depicting aborted children. In a separate but similar incident at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a woman was caught on video assaulting a pro-life activist, and spray painting one of his signs.

4. North Carolina State University student sprays paint into the face of Rep. Dan Bishop’s son.

An alleged member of NC State’s Young Democratic Socialists of America club sprayed paint into the face of Jack Bishop — the son of Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) and a member of the school’s Turning Point USA club — while spray painting over a message promoting the conservative student group’s upcoming event in November.

3. Three students arrested at Tulane University after setting fire to Turning Point USA chapter president’s dorm room door.

Three individuals were arrested for aggravated arson after allegedly setting a dorm room door on fire in March at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. One of the students living in the targeted dorm room was the president of Tulane’s Turning Point USA chapter, and had recently been “doxed” by leftists seeking to “expose” members of the conservative student group, as well as Young American for Liberty.

2. Police investigate “bias incident” at South Seattle College after Turning Point USA chapter president was stalked by a man in an SUV.

Police investigated a hit and run accident that they considered a “bias incident” in April, after a man allegedly followed the president of the South Seattle College Turning Point USA student group with his vehicle as she walked to her car. The incident — which occurred following an argument between the two individuals over TPUSA signage — resulted in the conservative student calling 911 after the man struck another vehicle while circling her with his SUV.

1. Conservative activist Hayden Williams punched in the face at UC Berkeley.

Hayden Williams, a field representative from the Leadership Institute, was punched in the face at the University of California, Berkeley in February while recruiting conservative students. The incident — which was caught on video — is said to be the catalyst for prompting President Donald Trump to sign an executive order in March requiring colleges and universities to uphold the First Amendment on campus if they want to receive federal funding.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

2 Million Sign Petition Protesting Netflix’s ‘Gay Jesus’ Christmas Special


Reported by David Ng | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/entertainment/2019/12/17/2-million-sign-petition-protesting-netflix-gay-jesus-christmas-special/

gay jesus / Netflix via IMDB

An online petition protesting a Netflix Christmas special that portrays Jesus Christ as a gay man has reached two million signatures, putting pressure on the streamer to pull the show.

The First Temptation of Christ depicts a thirty-ish Jesus bringing his boyfriend home to meet Mary and Joseph. The Portuguese-language special, which debuted worldwide on Netflix earlier this month, comes from the Brazilian comedy group Porta dos Fundos (literally, “Back Door”).

The petition is demanding that Netflix retract the 46-minute show and that its makers be held responsible for committing a “crime” against the faith.

Netflix is facing mounting criticism over the show. The Catholic bishop of Tyler, Texas, has called the streamer blasphemous over its release of the Christmas special.

“Respect is the last thing they are thinking about, every Christian should denounce this film, it is blasphemy against the Son of God who suffered & died even for all who deny that He is Lord of the Universe,” said Bishop Joseph Strickland in a tweet Sunday.

Strickland later said that he had cancelled his Netflix subscription.

“Dear America Podcast” host Graham Allen also condemned the show, saying: “Jesus isn’t some ‘woke’ culture experiment for you to convince young people that biblical teachings are ‘debatable’?!”

Netflix offers a wide array of progressive and left-leaning content, including shows from its high-profile production deal with former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama.

Former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice currently sits on Netflix’s board of directors.

Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos is a close friend of the Obamas’ and was an active fundraiser for the former president’s campaign.

The First Temptation of Christ also portrays the Virgin Mary as a marijuana smoker. Netflix backed the comedy group’s last religious send up, The Last Hangover, which satirized the last supper. Fábio Porchat, the star of the Netflix Christmas comedy special told Variety that the backlash to the film is “homophobic.”

The online petition is seeking a total of 3 million signatures.

Follow David Ng on Twitter @HeyItsDavidNg. Have a tip? Contact me at dng@breitbart.com

Rap Sheet: 117 Acts of Violence and Harassment Against Conservatives on Campus


Written by Alana Mastrangelo | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2019/11/28/rap-sheet-117-acts-of-violence-and-harassment-against-conservatives-on-campus/

MAGA Make America Great Again hat burning at Berkeley (Elijah Nouvelage / Getty)

Since 2016, there have been over 100 acts of reported violence and harassment perpetrated against conservatives on college campuses. Within the last few months, scores of additional instances of violence and harassment have been reported bringing the current total to 117 incidents. Whether perpetrated by students or school faculty, instances of violence or threats against conservative students — and sometimes even conservative professors — are becoming commonplace on America’s college campuses. This trend is also expanding to the high school level.

Here is a list of incidents of violence and threats made against conservatives on campus, or made by leftists in academia, that have been reported within just the last few months.

November 22, 2019: Chico State protester takes sign from conservative student and strikes him in the face with it

November 19, 2019: Leftist protesters shut down Art Laffer speech at Binghamton University

November 18, 2019: Mob of leftist students surround and harass members of College Republicans and Turning Point USA at Binghamton University

November 13, 2019: North Carolina State University student sprays paint into the face of Rep. Dan Bishop’s son Jack Bishop while spray painting over a Turning Point USA display.

November 8, 2019: University of Florida students demand impeachment of student body president over Donald Trump Jr. visit to campus

November 6, 2019: North Carolina State teaching assistant compares conservatism to “white supremacy”

November 1, 2019: Pacific Lutheran professor Troy Storfjell: “I have no problem” with Antifa violence

October 31, 2019: University of Michigan student dismantles entire Turning Point USA recruiting table and steals all of the group’s supplies — even the cookies and hot chocolate

October 30, 2019: University of California Riverside student destroys conservative group’s sign promoting Second Amendment

October 22, 2019: “I Hope You Die:” University of New Hampshire students destroy Turning Point USA display

October 21, 2019: University of Minnesota Duluth student admits to tearing down Turning Point USA posters

October 18, 2019: Leftist students steal Michigan State pro-life display

October 16, 2019: Man steals Turning Point USA signs at UNLV and punches them into a trash can

October 11, 2019: Student covers University of Wisconsin college GOP office with accusations of racism

October 4, 2019: Student arrested for attacking conservatives on University of Nevada, Reno campus

October 4, 2019: Georgia Tech students call for university president’s firing over Kavanaugh support

September 30, 2019: University of Minnesota College Republicans’ mural vandalized for a fourth straight year

September 24, 2019: Colorado State University president compares Turning Point USA to blackface and swastikas

September 23, 2019: University of Maryland students act as “Free Speech Zone” enforcers by stealing conservative signage and running away

September 23, 2019: Clown shuts down Georgetown College Republicans event

September 19, 2019: Man arrested for bomb threat at a pro-life event at Rochester Community and Technical College

September 19, 2019: Conservative students harassed at Irvine Valley College by students, as well as adults who appear to be professors

September 12, 2019: University of Maryland official accuses conservative activists of “trespassing”

September 10, 2019: Jones County Junior College faces lawsuit after threatening students with arrest for exercising their First Amendment rights on campus

September 9, 2019: University of Wisconsin official tells a conservative student to move or police will be called

September 4, 2019: College of Charleston professor celebrates the death of political opponents

August 22, 2019: University of Kentucky staffers mock and slow-walk application for conservative club on campus

August 19, 2019: University of Houston student leader apologizes after defending free speech amid calls for his removal

August 16, 2019: NC State Vice Chancellor Mike Mullen resigns after calling GOP “Neo-Nazis” and “KKK,” but remains a professor

August 15, 2019: University of Texas instructor Alex Wild says Trump and his supporters are Nazis

July 23, 2019: Ole Miss professor James Thomas compares pro-Trump teenagers to Hitler Youth

July 15, 2019: UC Santa Barbara teaching assistant under fire for saying men are not women

July 11, 2019: Woman assaults pro-life activist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

July 9, 2019: Conservative student assaulted at Bentley University while promoting Tomi Lahren event

July 9, 2019: Colorado State professor Oi Yan Poon: “I’m ready to punch” political opponents “in the neck”

July 4, 2019: University of Florida student says he was attacked for MAGA hat on the 4th of July

June 23, 2019: Leftists at the University of Texas at Austin threaten to dox students for joining conservative groups on campus

June 20, 2019: Whatcom Community College student destroys pro-life display, “because I disagree”

June 11, 2019: the University of Illinois faces a lawsuit for allegedly installing a campus “Speech Police” system

June 10, 2019: Students at Georgia Gwinnett College want legal immigrant professor fired for criticizing illegal immigration

June 7, 2019: Man arrested after attempting to chain the doors to University of Washington conservative event

June 5, 2019: Rap sheet: 76 additional acts of violence and harassment against conservatives on campus that have been reported since 2016

This list will be updated as needed. Back-filling it will be an ongoing project. Please contact Breitbart News with any updates or incidents you think deserve to be added to this list.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo and on Instagram.

Chick-fil-A Will Stop Donating to Salvation Army, Christian Athletes Following LGBT Pressure


Written by David Ng | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2019/11/18/chick-fil-a-will-stop-donating-to-salvation-army-christian-athletes-following-lgbt-pressure/

Chick-fil-A protest / Robyn Beck/Getty

Chick-fil-A will reportedly stop donating money to charities including the Salvation Army and Fellowship of Christian Athletes following pressure from LGBT groups.

The company announced Monday that it is refocusing its charitable foundation to a smaller number of charities, focusing exclusively on education, homelessness, and hunger.

“Our goal is to donate to the most effective organizations in the areas of education, homelessness and hunger. No organization will be excluded from future consideration – faith based or non-faith based,” Tim Tassopoulos, president and COO of Chick-fil-A, said in a statement.

Chick-fil-A’s tax records shows that it gave to several Christian schools and charitable groups in 2018. None of those groups appears in a list of Chick-fil-A’s 2019 charitable giving that the company made available for preview.

Tassopoulos told the news site Bisnews on Monday that Chick-fil-A wants to be “clear about who we are” as it enters new markets.

“There’s no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are,” he told the site. “There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message.”

As a result, the company will no longer give money to organizations including the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home.

Those charities have caused LGBT activists to target Chick-fil-A due to those organizations’ stances on homosexuality.

In 2018, Chick-fil-A gave $115,000 to the Salvation Army for the Angel Tree program, which provided gifts for 11,000 children during the holiday season. The fast-food chain also gave $1.65 million to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes to provide underserved youth with week-long summer sports camps at historically black colleges and universities (HCBU).

In August, progressive Silicon Valley giant followed Chick-fil-A’s lead, giving $1.5 million to the Salvation Army to fight homelessness.

Chick-fil-A has faced mounting criticism from LGBT groups as it seeks to expand its corporate footprint. The Atlanta-based company recently announced the closure of its first restaurant in Great Britain just a week after it opened due to protests from LGBT activists. Airports in Buffalo, New York, and San Antonio, Texas, have banned Chick-fil-A restaurants in the face of similar pressure.

Follow David Ng on Twitter @HeyItsDavidNg. Have a tip? Contact me at dng@breitbart.com

Amazon Moves into the Business of Elections


Written by Lucas Nolan | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2019/10/15/amazon-moves-into-the-business-of-elections/

Jeff Bezos arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Sunday, March 4, 2018, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Amazon is reportedly making an aggressive push into the business side of state and local elections. Since the 2016 election, more than 40 states are using one or more of Amazon’s services for elections.

Reuters reports that tech giant Amazon has begun aggressively expanding its Web Services division into the world of election technology and has been quietly doing so since the 2016 U.S. presidential election. More than 40 states are now using one or more of Amazon’s election offerings according to a recent presentation given by an Amazon executive this year which was seen by Reuters.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and the U.S. federal body that administers and enforces campaign finance laws also reportedly use Amazon’s election products. While Amazon does not handle voting on election days, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is running state and county election websites, storing voter registration rolls and ballot data, and helping overseas servicemembers to participate in voting.

Amazon describes its services to prospective clients telling them that they are a low-cost provider of secure election technology, a key selling point as many officials aim to avoid a repeat of the 2016 elections when allegations of poor cybersecurity were made against multiple government bodies.

Michael Jackson, leader of Public Health & U.S. Elections at AWS, told prospective government clients during a webinar presentation in February: “The fact that we have invested heavily in this area, it helps to attest to the fact that in over 40 states, the Amazon cloud is being trusted to power in some way, some aspect of elections.”

Many welcome Amazon’s push into the election market, David O’Berry, co-founder of Precog Security, said that moving to AWS is “a good option for campaigns, who do not have the resources to protect themselves.” But others have warned that Amazon could become a bigger target for hackers.

Chris Vickery, director of cyber risk research at cybersecurity startup Upguard, stated: “It makes Amazon a bigger target” for hackers, “and also increases the challenge of dealing with an insider attack.”

Amazon believes that its systems are reliable with a spokesperson telling Reuters: “Over time, states, counties, cities, and countries will leverage AWS services to ensure modernization of their elections for increased security, reliability, and analytics for an efficient and more effective use of taxpayer dollars.”

Ron Morgan, the chief deputy county clerk of Travis County in Texas which uses Amazon’s servers to run its election website stated: “We think (AWS) provides us with the best available level of security.” Morgan added: “Is it bullet proof? I don’t know. But is it a very, very hard target? Absolutely.”

Read more at Reuters here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com

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