10 most memorable Super Bowl national anthem performances


Every year, the Super Bowl always kicks off in patriotic fashion.

From Whitney Houston to Lady Gaga, the big game has birthed several performances that have been enshrined in history for many years that followed.

With Jazmine Sullivan and Eric Church performing the national anthem at this year’s Super Bowl, let’s take a look back at some of the most memorable national anthem performances over the years. 

Whitney Houston, 1991

Whitney Houston’s 1991 performance at Super Bowl XXV has been universally acclaimed. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Getty Images)

Whitney Houston’s 1991 performance at Super Bowl XXV has been universally acclaimed. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Getty Images)

Whitney Houston’s 1991 performance at Super Bowl XXV has been universally acclaimed and is often looked to as the gold standard of Super Bowl national anthem performances.

With her soaring, octave-jumping vocal range, the late Houston executed her performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” with elegance, exuberance and emotion that touched the hearts of the thousands in attendance and the millions watching at home.

WHITNEY HOUSTON RECALLED AS HAPPY IN DAYS BEFORE DEATH

Natalie Cole, 1994

Natalie Cole captivated her audience with her gospel rendition of the national anthem at Super Bowl XXVIII. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

Natalie Cole captivated her audience with her gospel rendition of the national anthem at Super Bowl XXVIII. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

Natalie Cole captivated her audience with her gospel rendition of the national anthem at Super Bowl XXVIII.

Accompanied by an exquisitely talented choir, the daughter of Nat King Cole and her accompanying choir ascended and descended scales like a rollercoaster — taking the audience along for a wild ride along the way.

Luther Vandross, 1997

Luther Vandross captivated the audience at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with his soulful performance of the national anthem at Super Bowl XXXI.

Luther Vandross captivated the audience at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with his soulful performance of the national anthem at Super Bowl XXXI.
(Stephen Dunn via Getty Images)

With his silky-smooth, velvety delivery, Luther Vandross captivated the audience at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with his soulful performance of the national anthem at Super Bowl XXXI.

The stoic faces of the players and the coaches on the field, while they listened to Vandross’ voice, told the story of how the singer was able to tap into the raw emotions of everyone in attendance that night.

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Faith Hill, 2000

Faith Hill's performance of the national anthem at Super Bowl XXXIV was widely acclaimed. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic via Getty Images)

Faith Hill’s performance of the national anthem at Super Bowl XXXIV was widely acclaimed. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic via Getty Images)

Faith Hill’s performance at Super Bowl XXXIV kicked off the new century in a big fashion.

Inspiring hope and patriotic values with her powerful performance, the songstress’ rendition of the national anthem is one that is remembered even two decades later.

Complete with a marching band, fireworks and impeccable production, Hill’s performance fired on all fronts in a magnificent way to kick off the 2000s.

Mariah Carey, 2002

Mariah Carey showed off her impressive vocal range at Super Bowl XXXVI.

Mariah Carey showed off her impressive vocal range at Super Bowl XXXVI.
(AP, File)

People often recall Mariah Carey for her 1994 hit single, “All I Want for Christmas is You,” but not enough for her Super Bowl XXXVI performance in 2002.

In one of the most impressive Super Bowl national anthem performances, Carey brought forth an unheard soul and humanity into her rendition of the piece.

At the height of her performance, Carey jumps several octaves and hits a high B, which immediately received a huge pop from the crowd.

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Beyoncé, 2004

Beyoncé performed at Super Bowl XXXVIII at the start of her solo career.

Beyoncé performed at Super Bowl XXXVIII at the start of her solo career.
(Getty)

As she began breaking away from Destiny’s Child and becoming the cultural phenomenon she is today, Beyoncé had the opportunity to perform at Super Bowl XXXVIII and truly showcase her solo skills.

Complete with a band and orchestra, the silk and calming nature of Beyoncés voice instilled hope for all Americans watching along.

Interlaced with shots of U.S. soldiers in Baghdad, Iraq and crowd members waving American flags throughout the arena, Beyoncé’s performance evoked strong feelings of patriotism — especially in a post-September 11 world.

Academy Choirs, 2005

The combined choirs of the U.S. Military Academy, Naval Academy, Air Force Academy and the Coast Guard Academy, alongside the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, continued the tradition of strong early 2000s patriotism with their grand performance at Super Bowl XXXIX.

As the vocal performance concluded, the backing band then tagged the ending with a performance that evoked powerful feelings of victory and success.

Completing the performance were a set of Air Force jets that flew above the Alltel Stadium, captivating fans, musicians and players alike.

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Carrie Underwood, 2010

Carrie Underwood kicked off the 2010s with a stunning performance of the national anthem.

Carrie Underwood kicked off the 2010s with a stunning performance of the national anthem.
(Eric McCandless via Getty Images)

Carrie Underwood performed the beloved “Star-Spangled Banner” at Super Bowl XLIV with unmatched power and emotion that had fans cheering loudly by the height of the song.

By retaining the original melody of the piece, Underwood’s delivery was straight to the point and still packed a punch that left viewers and attendees feeling patriotic.

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Kelly Clarkson, 2012

Kelly Clarkson delivered a heartfelt performance at Super Bowl XLVI.

Kelly Clarkson delivered a heartfelt performance at Super Bowl XLVI.
(Photo by Amy Sussman/BBMA2020/Getty Images for dcp)

Accompanied by a drumline and an angelic choir of children backing her, the Grammy Award-winning Kelly Clarkson opened up Super Bowl XLVI with a truly heartfelt performance.

Like Underwood’s performance, Clarkson keeps the performance relatively straightforward — receiving a positive reception from the audience.

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Lady Gaga, 2015

Lady Gaga shined in her stellar performance at Super Bowl 50.

Lady Gaga shined in her stellar performance at Super Bowl 50.
(AP, File)

In typical Lady Gaga fashion, the “Paparazzi” singer took listeners on an emotional rollercoaster with her powerful and commanding voice at Super Bowl 50.

The singer wasted no breath as she soared seamlessly through the entire piece while carrying the audience along with her.



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Coca-Cola's iconic Super Bowl commercial with "Mean" Joe Greene took days to film, and for this silly reason


You try chugging an entire Coca-Cola without belching.

Coca-Cola’s iconic 1980 Super Bowl commercial starring “Mean” Joe Greene, the then-defensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers, might be one of the most memorable ads ever aired during the Big Game. But the commercial — officially titled “Hey Kid, Catch!” — wasn’t too much of a gas to film.

"Mean" Joe Greene, a longtime defensive tackle with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the star of Coca-Cola's 1980 Super Bowl commercial, had once said that drinking all those bottles of Coke left him with a (predictable) problem.

“Mean” Joe Greene, a longtime defensive tackle with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the star of Coca-Cola’s 1980 Super Bowl commercial, had once said that drinking all those bottles of Coke left him with a (predictable) problem.
(Ross Lewis/Getty Images)

Greene himself admitted as much in a 1992 interview, in which he claimed he drank 24 Cokes during one day of filming, finishing each bottle in just a few gulps.

“Between me belching and going to the men’s room, it took three days to film it,” Greene joked in a statement shared with the Baltimore Sun. (Coca-Cola says bad weather also played a role in extending the shoot, though the company admitted Greene “struggled” to get his lines out after chugging down the 16-ounce Cokes.)

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The Clio Award-winning commercial was also responsible reshaping Greene’s previously intimidating “public persona,” according Coca-Cola. In it, Greene at first rebuffs a child (Tommy Okon) who offers him a Coke after a game, only to reconsider, chug the Coke, and offer the boy his jersey.

“Little kids were no longer afraid of me, and older people – both women and men – would come up and offer me a Coke,” Greene once remembered of the commercial’s impact at a Coca-Cola event.

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As strange as it may seem, “Hey Kid, Catch!” didn’t even debut during the Super Bowl, but during the 1979 MLB playoffs before airing again months later during Super Bowl XIV. Even stranger, it almost starred an entirely different NFL pro, according to Coca-Cola.

McCann Erickson, the advertising agency who came up with the idea for the commercial, had also considered Tony Dorsett, Terry Bradshaw and Roger Staubach. Greene, however, is thrilled he was ultimately chosen for the part.

“Aside from football, it’s been my whole life,” he said.



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FBI agents' slayings in Florida draw Biden's grief: 'Hell of a price to pay'


Good morning and welcome to Fox News First. Here’s what you need to know as you start your day …

FBI agents’ slayings in Florida draw Biden’s grief: ‘Hell of a price to pay’
After the first major law enforcement tragedy of his presidency, Joe Biden expressed condolences to the families of two FBI agents killed Tuesday while trying to serve a warrant in connection with a child pornography and violence against children investigation in Florida.

“They put their lives on the line and it’s a hell of a price to pay,” Biden said from the Oval Office. “And every single day … by and large the vast, vast majority of these men and women are decent, honorable people who put themselves on the line. We owe them.”

He said he had not yet had the chance to speak with the victims’ families and did not plan to do so Tuesday.

The 6 a.m. shootout left FBI special agents dead, two in a hospital and another with minor injuries. The suspect was also killed. FBI Director Christopher Wray identified the two slain agents as Daniel Alfin and Laura Schwartzenberger. It was the deadliest day for the FBI since the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON OUR TOP STORY.

In other developments:
– FBI identifies slain agents who ‘exemplified heroism’ in Fort Lauderdale shootings
– Florida dispatch audio reveals chilling moment two FBI agents are fatally shot
– Florida FBI agent killed fought child exploitation in the field and educated students in the classroom
– FBI overhauled weapons, armor for agents after deadly Florida shootout 35 years ago
– FBI’s January gun background check statistics show people buying firearms at ‘blistering pace,’ expert says

Ilhan Omar targeted by GOP for removal from House committees as Dems focus on Greene
House GOP lawmakers say they’re seeking this week to oust U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., from her committee assignments as Democrats push for similar action against U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., Fox News has learned.

A GOP proposed measure calls for Omar, frequently identified as a member of the “Squad” of progressive Democrats, to be removed from her committee assignments “in light of conduct she has exhibited,” Fox News congressional correspondent Chad Pergram reported.

In the amendment, Republicans argue that Omar has made anti-Semitic comments that are grounds for dismissal. Omar’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

In other developments:
– Jim Jordan calls out Dem ‘double standard’ amid Greene scrutiny
– Romney says GOP must distance from ‘wacky weeds’ like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene
– Ilhan Omar slams Wall Street over GameStop frenzy: Those who ‘cut off the public’ should go to prison
– Rep. Ilhan Omar calls on Biden to back ‘recurring cash payments’ until economy recovers

Nuclear war with China or Russia a ‘real possibility,’ STRATCOM commander warns
The head of U.S. Strategic Command is calling for military and federal leaders to reimagine methods of deterring aggressive action from rivals such as China and Russia, including the “real possibility” of nuclear war.

In a stark assessment of the current geopolitical landscape, STRATCOM Commander Adm. Charles Richard warned that China and Russia have “begun to aggressively challenge international norms” in “ways not seen since the height of the Cold War.”

Richard cited a rise in cyberattacks and “threats in space,” as well as their investment in advanced arms such as nuclear weapons. STRATCOM is responsible for the U.S. nuclear deterrent.

“There is a real possibility that a regional crisis with Russia or China could escalate quickly to a conflict involving nuclear weapons, if they perceived a conventional loss would threaten the regime or state,” Richard wrote in the February issue of “Proceedings,” the U.S. Naval Institute’s monthly magazine. “Consequently, the U.S. military must shift its principal assumption from “nuclear employment is not possible” to “nuclear employment is a very real possibility,” and act to meet and deter that reality.” CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

In other developments:
– North Korea likely ‘had help from China’ in developing new submarine-launched missile: Gordon Chang
– China will double its arsenal of nuclear warheads, report says

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TODAY’S MUST-READS:
– Trump appointees to Pentagon boards blocked by Biden defense chief: reports
– WHO team visits high-security Wuhan virus lab at center of speculation
– Psaki accused of making fun of Space Force, refuses to apologize
– Putin critic Navalny defiant during prison sentencing
– LeBron James heckler issues apology after courtside spat: ‘I take full responsibility’

THE LATEST FROM FOX BUSINESS:
– Jeff Bezos reveals why he’s stepping down at Amazon
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– A record 7.6 million Super Bowl gamblers will bet online this year
– Dem’s qualms about COVID relief include minimum wage, state & local aid

#The Flashback: CLICK HERE to find out what happened on “This Day in History.”

SOME PARTING WORDS

Tucker Carlson blasted a New York University study saying there was no evidence to support claims of conservative censorship. 

“They didn’t hide their findings in footnotes, they got right to it in the title — ‘False Accusations: The Unfounded Claim Social Media Companies Censor Conservatives,'” Carlson said during Tuesday’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

“So it turns out what we’ve been telling you for years isn’t true, it’s merely an unfounded claim. There’s no truth to it. That’s what they concluded. It’s all there in the paper.”

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Fox News First was compiled by Fox News’ Jack Durschlag. Thank you for making us your first choice in the morning! We’ll see you in your inbox first thing Thursday.



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Los Angeles driver in custody after hours-long vehicle chase


A bizarre, hours-long vehicle chase in Los Angeles ended early Wednesday with a suspect in custody and his severely damaged vehicle — with at least three flat tires — sitting on a freeway.

Video posted to social media around 1:30 a.m. local time showed police officers moving in on the reportedly “armed and dangerous” suspect as he stood outside his vehicle. He was quickly surrounded, handcuffed and led away.

Just minutes earlier, sparks flew from the left wheel on the driver’s side of the suspect’s vehicle as the rim fell off, leaving the silver Chevy Malibu finally disabled after hours of traveling with at least three of its tires damaged.

THIEVES THROW WINE BOTTLES AT POLICE DURING CHASE FOLLOWING $430G BOOZE HEIST: REPORT

Throughout the evening, video posted by FOX 11 in Los Angeles and other stations had showed the Malibu with Oklahoma plates traveling around the city, largely on Interstate 110, with police vehicles close behind and news helicopters overhead.

What started as a high-speed chase after 7 p.m. eventually slowed to less than 5 mph after the suspect’s vehicle was damaged by a spike strip, KNBC-TV of Los Angeles reported.

Police were pursuing carefully because the driver was believed to be in possession of a weapon, the report said.

The cautiousness of the pursuit was in accordance with police training, Joe Buscaino, a Los Angeles city councilman who served as an L.A. police officer, told the station.

He noted the vehicle chase came amid a time of rising crime in the nation’s second-largest city.

“I anticipate it’s going to get worse before it gets better, unfortunately,” Buscaino said.

The chase covered stretches of Interstate 110, in both north and south directions, as the driver exited and re-entered the freeway, KNBC-TV reported.

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Around 11 p.m. local time the suspect was seen driving slowly in El Monte, Calif., with at least four police vehicles close behind. All vehicles were in driving slowly, and many vehicles were seen parked along the roadway, with passengers watching the action.

The chase began around 7 p.m. local time on a report of a suspect with a gun, the station reported.

The suspect’s identity, and a list of potential criminal charges, were not immediately available.

 

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.



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Los Angeles vehicle chase continues after multiple hours


A vehicle chase was still underway in Los Angeles on Tuesday night after more than five hours.

Video posted by FOX 11 in Los Angeles showed a silver Chevy Malibu with Oklahoma plates traveling around the area, with several police vehicles close behind and news helicopters overhead.

The driver was considered to be armed and dangerous, reports said. The vehicle had at least three flat tires after running over a spike strip, KNBC-TV of Los Angeles reported.

What had been a high-speed chase earlier in the evening slowed to less than 5 mph after the vehicle was damaged, FOX 11 reported. Police were pursuing carefully because the driver was believed to be in possession of a weapon, the report said.

The cautiousness of the pursuit was in accordance with police training, Joe Buscaino, a Los Angeles city councilman who served as an L.A. police officer, told the station.

He noted the vehicle chase came amid a time of rising crime in the nation’s second-largest city.

“I anticipate it’s going to get worse before it gets better, unfortunately,” Buscaino said.

THIEVES THROW WINE BOTTLES AT POLICE DURING CHASE FOLLOWING $430G BOOZE HEIST: REPORT

The chase covered stretches of Interstate 110, in both north and south directions, as the driver exited and re-entered the freeway, KNBC-TV reported.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Around 11 p.m. local time the suspect was seen driving slowly in El Monte, Calif., with at least four police vehicles close behind. All vehicles were in driving slowly, and many vehicles were seen parked along the roadway, with passengers watching the action.

The chase began around 7 p.m. local time on a report of a suspect with a gun, the station reported.

 

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.



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Burmese doctors stop working amid COVID-19 outbreak to protest coup: report


Doctors in Burma stopped working on Wednesday to protest what they called an illegal coup and the subsequent illegitimate government, according to a report.

Reuters reported that the work stoppage occurred in 70 hospitals in the country of 54 million. These doctors said in a statement that military leaders put their own interest above that of the public and have no regard “for our poor patients.”

Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, Burma’s new leader, said he plans to investigate alleged voter fraud in November’s election in the country. The military had said one of its reasons for ousting the elected civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi was because it failed to properly investigate its allegations of alleged widespread electoral irregularities. 

BURMA’S LEADER AUNG SAN SUU KYI AND OTHER OFFICIALS ARRESTED, PARTY SPOKESMAN SAYS

Western countries have called on the Burmese military to stand down, and have threatened sanctions. Some experts on the region said that threatening sanctions may not be an effective strategy because Burma does so little business with countries like the U.S.

Suu Kyi’s party captured 396 out of 476 seats in Parliament last November. The main opposition party, the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party, won only 33 seats.

The Reuters report did not indicate how many doctors were joining the work stoppage. A 29-year-old doctor told the news agency, “I want the soldiers to go back to their dorms and that’s why we doctors are not going to hospitals. I don’t have a time frame for how long I will keep on this strike. It depends on the situation.”

Burma has had 140,000 confirmed cases and 3,138 deaths since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

 

 

 

 



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Los Angeles vehicle chase continues after multiple hours


A vehicle chase was still underway in Los Angeles on Tuesday night after more than five hours.

Video posted by FOX 11 in Los Angeles showed a silver Chevy Malibu with Oklahoma plates traveling around the area, with several police vehicles close behind and news helicopters overhead.

The driver was considered to be armed and dangerous, reports said. The vehicle had at least three flat tires after running over a spike strip, KNBC-TV of Los Angeles reported.

What had been a high-speed chase earlier in the evening slowed to less than 5 mph after the vehicle was damaged, FOX 11 reported. Police were pursuing carefully because the driver was believed to be in possession of a weapon, the report said.

The cautiousness of the pursuit was in accordance with police training, Joe Buscaino, a Los Angeles city councilman who served as an L.A. police officer, told the station.

He noted the vehicle chase came amid a time of rising crime in the nation’s second-largest city.

“I anticipate it’s going to get worse before it gets better, unfortunately,” Buscaino said.

THIEVES THROW WINE BOTTLES AT POLICE DURING CHASE FOLLOWING $430G BOOZE HEIST: REPORT

The chase covered stretches of Interstate 110, in both north and south directions, as the driver exited and re-entered the freeway, KNBC-TV reported.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Around 11 p.m. local time the suspect was seen driving slowly in El Monte, Calif., with at least four police vehicles close behind. All vehicles were in driving slowly, and many vehicles were seen parked along the roadway, with passengers watching the action.

The chase began around 7 p.m. local time on a report of a suspect with a gun, the station reported.

 

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.



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Biden administration to open overflow shelter for migrant children in Texas


The Biden administration said it plans on reactivating a “temporary Influx Care Facility” in Carrizo Springs, Texas, to potentially accommodate up to 700 migrant children within the next two weeks.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a statement obtained by Fox News that said its Office of Refugee Resettlement division currently funds 13,200 licensed beds. Axios reported on Monday that President Biden has faced a crisis at the border with an influx of unaccompanied minors and strict health guidelines in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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The report pointed to how the Trump administration was “lambasted” for its use of similar temporary shelters in 2019. Both Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris vocally opposed the Trump administration’s immigration priorities during the presidential campaign.

The facility in Carrizo Springs has been unoccupied since late 2019.

“Initially, the Carrizo Springs ICF will accommodate approximately 700 children in hard-sided structures. Additional semi-permanent (soft-sided) capacity may be added if necessary, though ORR will always prioritize place children in hard-sided structures over semi-permanent structures,” the statement read.

The statement said that the wellbeing of the children are the top priority and is going to run the temporary Influx Care Facility “to the same or higher standards as state-licensed facilities.”

Biden on Tuesday signed a second spate of orders to undo his predecessor’s immigration policies. His orders on family separation, border security and legal immigration bring to nine the number of executive actions on immigration during his first two weeks in office.

“I’m not making new law. I’m eliminating bad policy,” he said during a signing ceremony.

Fox News’ Adam Shaw and the Associated Press contributed to this report



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Teen wakes up from 11-month coma, as family weighs how to explain pandemic to him: report


A teenager from the United Kingdom has woken up from a roughly 11-month long coma, leading his family to weigh how they will explain the coronavirus pandemic to him, according to reports this week. 

Joseph Flavill, 19, from Staffordshire, suffered a severe brain injury after being hit by a car on March 1, 2020,  about three weeks before the UK entered its first national lockdown. 

“He won’t know anything about the pandemic as he’s been asleep for 10 months,” his aunt, Sally Flavill Smith, told the Guardian on Tuesday. “A year ago if someone had told me what was going to happen over the last year, I don’t think I would have believed it. I’ve got no idea how Joseph’s going to come to understand what we’ve all been through.”

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The teenager spent months at Leicester General Hospital before being moved to Adderley Green neurological rehabilitation center in Stoke-on-Trent.

During that time he caught the coronavirus twice and recovered.

Flavill Smith said the family hasn’t yet attempted to explain the scale of the pandemic, but they’ve tried to let him know over video calls that they’re unable to be with him in person due to virus restrictions.

“We don’t really have the time to go into the pandemic hugely – it just doesn’t feel real does it? When he can actually have the face-to-face contact, that will be the opportunity to actually try to explain to him what has happened,” said Flavill Smith, according to the news website.

MISSOURI TEEN WHO BEAT CANCER 3 TIMES DIES FROM COVID-19

Though he’s not fully recovered, the teen has started to move his limbs and is responding to family through blinking and smiling, his family said.

“We’ve still got a long journey ahead, but the steps he’s made in the last three weeks have been absolutely incredible,” Flavill Smith added.

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As of early Wednesday, the family has raised nearly £33,000 (roughly $40,000) to support Flavill in his long-term recovery.



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As Biden focuses on policy, are we secretly missing the Trump drama?


The Biden White House briefings have been remarkably civil affairs, virtually devoid of personal attacks. 

When invited to unload on Marjorie Taylor Greene or Mitch McConnell, Jen Psaki generally deflects the question, says she doesn’t have any new information to share, or she offers to “circle back” later on.  If she pushes back on a question, she assures the reporter that she’s not challenging his or her intent.

So journalists took note when the press secretary was asked whether it’s easier for President Biden to push his Covid aid package without Donald Trump’s critical tweets.

“This may be hard to believe, we don’t spend a lot of time talking about or thinking about President Trump here – former President Trump, to be very clear,” Psaki said, adding: “I can’t say we miss him on Twitter.”

That mild jab made headlines, though it’s hardly in the Trumpian league of calling opponents morons, low-lifes, or dumb as a rock, among other choice phrases. And this reflects the administration’s softer tone, as well as a less confrontational approach by the press corps. 

What’s left, when you scrape away the vitriol, is policy. 

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And that policy is hugely important in the midst of a devastating pandemic and ailing economy. The stakes are huge as President Biden tries to pass his $1.9-trillion aid package, meeting Monday night with 10 Republican senators promoting a counterproposal less than one-third that size. Everything from small businesses to schools is affected. 

But that has led to the press asking a whole bunch of process questions—Will Democrats resort to reconciliation? Will Biden set a deadline for the talks?—that doesn’t exactly make for scintillating stories. Congressional negotiations are arduous, agonizing, and endless.

One result is that ratings are down sharply—and this was predictable—at the three cable news networks, with CNN down roughly 44 percent in prime time last week compared to the previous week. 

The new president is unveiling a whole raft of proposals and executive orders for the most liberal agenda since LBJ, including climate change, immigration, racial “equity” and a $15 minimum wage (which is tucked into the virus bill). This sets the stage for grand ideological debates. 

But it turns out that arguing over issues doesn’t generate quite the same passion as the Trump drama, with its hour-by-hour, hand-to-hand combat, including the aforementioned tweets.

It’s funny, that’s what we used to do in this country. The pols and the pundits spent a year and a half fighting over the passage of ObamaCare, and plenty of time in the last administration on the war over its repeal. Barack Obama’s stance on immigration, gun control, terrorism, and foreign hot spots such as Syria and Ukraine consumed enormous amounts of political oxygen. Sure there were lots of side battles over scandals from the IRS to Fast and Furious, racial issues, and Obama himself, but the big debates were over the big stuff.

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Now many are finding it hard to shift back into that gear, especially with Trump still contending he won the election and a second impeachment trial looming.

Biden’s softer rhetoric, and Psaki’s calmer briefings, are part of a conscious effort to lower the temperature, which was essentially part of his platform. He envisioned a country in which the president isn’t constantly in your face, isn’t using social media as a sword, and America isn’t continually shouting about politics. 

That approach may or may not work, but it’s a fundamental adjustment from the last four years.



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