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Flu outbreak closes schools
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Flu outbreak closes schools

Flu outbreak closes schools
Photo Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Flu outbreak closes schools

More than a half dozen school districts in Oklahoma have closed for at least a day because of the flu outbreak.

The Morris, Quinton, Swink, Hugo and Valliant districts are closed until next week.

Cleveland and Union City schools both closed for a day earlier this week.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reports at least 22 flu-related deaths this flu season.

 The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports widespread flu in 49 states.

 

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  • As he wrapped up a three day, three state campaign swing in Nevada this weekend, President Donald Trump told reporters he was expecting that the Republican Congress would roll out out a new GOP tax cutting plan before the November elections, what he described as ‘a major tax cut for middle income people,’ which the President said could be finished as early as the ‘first of November.’ But it wasn’t immediately apparent what the President was talking about, as the House and Senate are not on Capitol Hill to vote on any legislation until November 13, a week after the elections, and there has been no talk of GOP leaders issuing a new tax cutting bill. Republicans have already introduced – and the House approved in September – a new package of tax relief plans, which would make a series of tax cuts for individuals permanent, rather than expiring after 2025. “We are looking a major tax cut for middle-income people,” the President said. Asked about a time frame, Mr. Trump said, “the first of November, maybe a little before that.” In Congress, critics of the President basically said he was making things up. “The President of the United States is a pathological liar,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). The President’s comments came just before a rally in Elko, Nevada, where he again castigated Democrats for opposing a big package of tax cuts which he signed into law at the end of 2017. “Don’t forget the big tax cuts,” the President said. “And we’re going to get you more,” as Mr. Trump and Republicans have repeatedly argued to voters that if Democrats take charge of Congress, then they will move to repeal the 2017 tax cut. Air Force One will again be logging a lot of miles this coming week, as the President has four campaign rallies scheduled in Texas, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Illinois. It’s all part of the President’s effort to bolster Republicans running for both the House and Senate, all part of a frantic GOP effort to save their majorities in the Congress. trump2918 The President’s rally on Monday night in Houston for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was moved to a larger arena after thousands asked for tickets. Cruz and President Trump of course tangled repeatedly during the 2016 campaign, but for the Texas Senator, all of that is in the past. “He’s the President,” Cruz told ABC News this weekend. “I work with the president in delivering on our promises.”
  • After seeing their ranks decimated in 2010 during a mid-term backlash against the Obama health law, times have changed for Democrats in the 2018 elections for Congress, as polls show voters moving away from Republicans on the issue of health care, as Democrats “are now embracing it whole-heartedly” in the final days of the campaign. they In a report issued last week titled, “2018: The Health Care Election,” Wesleyan University’s media trackers found that health care “is most prominent in ads supporting Democrats, appearing in 54.5 percent” of their commercials. The Wesleyan Media Project said back in 2010 – in the big Tea Party wave election for the GOP – Democrats talked about health care in less than 9 percent of their advertisements. Year-over-year comparisons show that while Dems previously avoided the issue of health care after the Affordable Care Act was passed, they are now embracing it whole-heartedly https://t.co/B2tHGU6B6j @wesleyan_u pic.twitter.com/sG14qUo5jF — WesleyanMediaProject (@wesmediaproject) October 19, 2018 Recent polling also backs up the change of heart by Democrats, as polls consistently are showing more support for the Obama health law than a few years ago. Public support for what the GOP derides as “Obamacare” peaked during the unsuccessful effort by the Republican Congress in 2017-2018 to repeal and replace that law with a GOP sponsored plan. A new Fox News poll released on October 17 shows voters nationally give President Donald Trump a thumbs down on he’s handled health care, with 37 percent of voters approving, and 53 percent of voters disapproving. The divide is slightly larger, at 37-55, for ‘likely’ voters in the November mid-term elections. And of those who see health care as a big issue, they are definitely more drawn to candidates on the Democratic side. Obamacare favorability at an all-time high in FOX News poll. Can’t wait for the closing ads from Republicans: “And if those Democrats try to take away your Obamacare, I’ll fight to protect it like I’ve always done.” pic.twitter.com/pJaa7MVkHK — Nick Gourevitch (@nickgourevitch) October 18, 2018 But the President and other Republicans this past week have been expressing their support for protection those with pre-existing conditions, possibly feeling the election heat on the issue. “All Republicans support people with pre-existing conditions, and if they don’t, they will after I speak to them,” the President tweeted. “I am in total support.” Statements like that from the President – and a variety of GOP lawmakers have left Democrats in disbelief, as they accuse Republicans of completely changing their tune on health care in order to portray themselves as something that they are not. The hutzpah of the GOP on health care this election is stunning. I’m listening right now to NY Rep. John Faso on NPR claim he’s against ACA repeal. He voted FOR the repeal bill!!!! It ended insurance for 30m Americans! Does the think his constituents are so stupid they forgot? — Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) October 20, 2018 “President Trump and Republicans will do anything to undermine health care and pre-existing condition protections for patients and families across the country,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). “What. A. Bunch. Of. Lies,” tweeted House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.  
  • KRMG has learned an increasing number of parents in Oklahoma are seeking exemptions from immunizations for their school-age children. According to the Oklahoma Department of Health, our overall exemption rate is 2.2 percent. A survey of lat year's kindergarten students found the exemption rate increased by three-tenths of 1 percent from the previous year. Dr. Kristy Bradley is an epidemiologist, she tells us there's a risk of vaccine preventable disease outbreaks if children enter school without being immunized. Do you believe all children should get vaccinations before being allowed in school?  Let us know in the comments.  
  • We will have a cold start in Tulsa on Sunday. However, the sun will come out.  National Weather Service Meteorologist Craig Sullivan says we have a nice day for outdoor plans ahead of us. “We’ll see increasingly sunny skies,”  Sullivan said.  “Not quite as warm as we saw yesterday.  We will still make it up into the mid-60’s.” There is a frost advisory in effect for Tulsa, Osage, Wagoner, Rogers, Mayes and Cherokee counties until 8 a.m. Rain will remain out of the area Sunday night.  The low will be close to 44 degrees.
  • KRMG has previously told you about the Gathering Place banning firearms. Gerry Bender, Tulsa’s Litigation Division manager, recently told the Tulsa World police won't arrest people who violate the park's gun policy. This is reportedly because of concerns such an action would be legally challenged. Under state law, firearms are allowed to be carried on property designated by a governmental authority as a park, recreational area or fairgrounds. “TPD has had a presence at the Gathering Place since its opening and will continue to do so in order for the citizens of Tulsa to enjoy the park in a safe environment,” a Tulsa police statement reads.  “We maintain the legal authority to enforce all ordinances and State laws applicable to private spaces open to the public.” Do you believe people should be allowed to have firearms at the Gathering Place?  Let us know in the comments.