The White House on Tuesday said it’s canceling a training course at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that appeared to flout President Trump’s recent ban on programs that use “critical race theory.”
“Glad to report, per @POTUS’s directive, this training is being cancelled immediately,” White House budget director Russ Vought wrote on Twitter.
Christopher Rufo of the Discovery Institute published documents on Monday from what he said was a 13-week CDC series called “Naming, Measuring, and Addressing the Impacts of Racism on the Health and Well-Being of the Nation and the World.”
The trainings taught how to view “racism as a public health crisis” and said “systemic racism” causes “police killings of unarmed Black and Brown men and women” and “the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color.”
Rufo, who was influential in publicizing other federal uses of the academic theory, which applies a focus on race rather than individuals to social issues and history, said the CDC course was “textbook critical race theory.”
Trump’s ban on critical race theory trainings also forbade references to “white privilege.”
The ban was implemented through a memo written by Vought. “It has come to the President’s attention that Executive Branch agencies have spent millions of taxpayer dollars to date ‘training’ government workers to believe divisive, anti-American propaganda,” the memo said.
The CDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Post.
Some Democrats have pushed in the opposite direction. “Squad” member Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) recently called on the government to declare racism a public health crisis.
A bill written by Pressley would establish within the CDC “at least 3 regional centers of excellence… in antiracism for the purpose of developing new knowledge in the science and practice of antiracism in health.” The bill also would establish a CDC Law Enforcement Violence Prevention Program.
New York Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jerry Nadler, Yvette Clarke and Brian Higgins are co-sponsors of that legislation.
Armenia says warplane downed; Azerbaijan and Turkey deny it
YEREVAN, Armenia — Armenia said one of its warplanes was shot down Tuesday by a fighter jet from Azerbaijan’s ally Turkey, killing the pilot, in fighting over the separatist territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. Both Turkey and Azerbaijan denied it.
The move would represent a major escalation in the decades-old conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the region that was reignited on Sunday. It followed numerous calls from around the globe for a cease-fire.
Armenian officials said an SU-25 from its air force was shot down in Armenian airspace by a Turkish F-16 fighter jet that took off from Azerbaijan and the pilot was killed.
The allegation of downing the jet was “absolutely untrue,” said Fahrettin Altun, communications director for Turkey’s president. Azerbaijani officials called it “another fantasy of the Armenian military propaganda machine.”
Earlier in the day, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said Armenian forces shelled the Dashkesan region in Azerbaijan. Armenian officials said Azerbaijani forces opened fire on a military unit in the Armenian town of Vardenis, setting a bus on fire and killing one civilian.
Armenia’s Foreign Ministry denied shelling the region and said the reports were laying the groundwork for Azerbaijan “expanding the geography of hostilities, including the aggression against the Republic of Armenia.”
Dozens of people have been killed and wounded since fighting broke out Sunday. The Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Ministry reported 84 servicemen killed, while Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev said 10 civilians were killed on its side, although he didn’t detail the country’s military casualties.
Nagorno-Karabakh lies within Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by the Armenian government since 1994 at the end of a separatist war following the breakup of the Soviet Union three years earlier.
The region in the Caucasus Mountains of about 1,700 square miles, or about the size of the US state of Delaware, is 30 miles from the Armenian border. Soldiers backed by Armenia also occupy some Azerbaijani territory outside the region.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has pushed for “an immediate cease-fire and a return to the negotiating table” in phone calls with the leaders of both countries, her office said.
She told them the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe offers an appropriate forum for talks and that the two countries’ neighbors “should contribute to the peaceful solution,” said her spokesman, Steffen Seibert.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a visit to Greece that “both sides must stop the violence” and work “to return to substantive negotiations as quickly as possible.”
Turkey supports Azerbaijan in the conflict, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urging Armenia to withdraw immediately from the separatist region.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey is “by Azerbaijan’s side on the field and at the (negotiating) table.”
Cavusoglu said the international community must defend Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity in the same way it defended the integrity of Ukraine and Georgia.
“They are holding Azerbaijan, whose territories have been occupied, on an equal footing with Armenia. This is a wrong and unjust approach,” Cavusoglu said after a visit to Azerbaijan’s Embassy in Ankara.
Russia, which along with France and the United States co-chairs the Minsk group set up in 1992 to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, urged every country to help facilitate a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
“We call on all countries, especially our partners such as Turkey, to do everything to convince the opposing parties to cease fire and return to peacefully resolving the conflict by politico-diplomatic means,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday.
Councilman Andy King should be expelled, ethics panel says
The City Council’s ethics committee took the extraordinary step of recommending that Bronx lawmaker Andy King be expelled from office Tuesday after determining that he continued to misuse government resources and wantonly mistreated his staff.
It’s the third time in the last two years that the watchdog panel has probed and substantiated allegations of wrongdoing by King, a Democrat who was first elected in 2013.
“The Committee on Standards and Ethics found the charges against Councilmember King to have been substantiated and is recommending the sanction of expulsion to the full [City] Council,” said the committee chairman, Steven Matteo (R-Staten Island).
Matteo reported that his panel — essentially a grand jury for investigating violations of council ethics rules — charged King with four separate counts, including misusing government resources, violating anti-discrimination and harassment policies, and failing to comply with the terms of his prior reprimands.
The charges will be published Wednesday.
California wildfire burned 1 acre every 5 seconds: officials
The wildfire racing California’s wine country has more than tripled in size, burning one acre every five seconds as crews struggle to get a handle on the blazes, authorities said.
Cal Fire said Tuesday that the Glass Fire rapidly spreading through the Napa Valley and Sonoma counties has torched at least 46,560 acres while remaining 0 percent contained.
The fire erupted early Sunday around 4 a.m. local time, spreading through the wine country at a rate of 1 acre every five seconds between then and Monday morning, CNN reported.
More than 100 buildings, including homes and winery installations, had been destroyed by the inferno, which had tripled in size as of Monday night, officials said.
Meanwhile, more than 70,000 people have been ordered to evacuate in Sonoma and Napa counties, CNN reported.
But Ben Nicholls, a division chief with Cal Fire, said that the powerful gusts accelerating the inferno had begun to ease, leaving the agency “much more confident” about containing the blazes.
“We don’t have those critical burning conditions that we were experiencing those last two nights,” he said.
The Glass Fire is one of nearly 30 fires currently raging across the Golden State in a historic wildfire season.
So far, more than 8,100 blazes in the Golden State have killed 29 people, destroyed 5,780 square miles and burned more than 7,000 structures.
With Post wires
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