Eric Adams Sworn In As Mayor Of New York City In Times Square After Ball Drop NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 01: Eric Adams is sworn in as the 110th mayor of the city of New York on January 01, 2022 in New York, NY. Due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, the official inauguration has been postponed, and Adams chose to be sworn into office in Times Square following the annual New Years Eve ball drop. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images) Arturo Holmes / Staff
Photo by Arturo Holmes/Staff/Getty Images

News

NYC Has New Leadership

It’s Tuesday, January 4th, and this is your Morning Wire. Listen to the full podcast:

1) NYC Has New Leadership

The Topline: New York City’s new mayor, Eric Adams (D), was sworn into office on Saturday and his governing style has already sparked both criticism and praise as New Yorkers try to figure out what to expect from the city’s new leader.

Quote Of The Day: “…unemployment remains high, crime is high, COVID cases are high again. So how do we get our city back? …we will not be controlled by crisis.”

– New York Mayor Eric Adams (D)

Lev Radin/Pacific Press/Contributor/LightRocket via Getty Images

COVID 

Adams immediately signed two executive orders extending former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s strict COVID rules, including the vaccine mandate for private sector employees. Some critics have called him “de Blasio 2.0” for what they saw as a heavy-handed response to New York’s surge in COVID cases, which appear to be caused by the less fatal Omicron. However, Adams also signaled he wants to keep the city open as much as possible, saying Monday morning, “the city has to operate.”

Crime

Adams is a former NYPD captain and has promised to restore law and order in a city where crime skyrocketed this year. He ran against other challengers who vowed to defund or ‘reimagine’ the police and has vowed to revive a controversial anti-crime unit.

This week, Adams visited an NYPD officer who was shot in the head and met with families of crime victims. On his first day in office, he called 911 to report a subway fight while on his way to work. On Sunday, Adams said New York’s police officers will be “responsible” but also sent a harsh warning to criminals.

Going Forward

Adams may have a better relationship with the new governor of New York, Kathy Hochul (D), than de Blasio had with former governor Andrew Cuomo (D). Adams and Hochul have both signaled they want to avoid tension. Hochul said recently that the “era of fighting” between New York’s governor and mayor is over.

Image taken by Mayte Torres via Getty Images

2) U.S. Population Growth Reaches Record Low

The Topline: According to new data from the Census Bureau, 2021 marked the slowest rate of population growth in the history of America. 

The Numbers

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s newest population report, the U.S. only grew by 0.1 percent in 2021. The data showed that the rate of “natural increase,” which is the number of babies born compared to overall deaths, was 148,043. Divided by 50 states, the number is fewer than 3,000 people per state. 

Potential Reasons

COVID was a factor in the low growth. Throughout 2021, the immigration process was largely put on hold during the lockdowns, which resulted in fewer legal immigrants than at any point in the past two decades. There were also hundreds of thousands of COVID deaths which further contributed to the disparity.

However, population growth was already slowing before COVID existed. According to experts, there were two main reasons for the dip: the marriage habits of millennials and lower fertility rates. Economic factors such as student loans and increased home prices, along with shifting cultural norms, resulted in young people waiting longer than ever before to get married, and therefore, waiting to have kids. 

The average first-time mother in the U.S. is now 28 years old, up from 21 years old a few decades ago.

There is also a massive decrease in male fertility. Numerous studies have shown a 50% drop in sperm count for American men over the last few decades. One in eight American couples now say they’ve struggled with fertility problems.

Around The World

Birth rates are also plummeting in Europe and much of Asia. Spain, Italy, and Japan all saw negative growth in 2021, while every country in western Europe was under 1% growth. 

China, which for decades had a one-child policy to keep population growth low, is now reversing course, and begging people to have kids, offering extra fertility services and closing abortion clinics nationwide. The only areas with noticeable population growth were in Africa, the Middle East, and parts of South America. 

Political Point: There has been bipartisan support for measures encouraging population growth, such as increased child tax credits, but most political leaders haven’t addressed the problem. 

Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

3) Joe Rogan Joins Gettr

The Topline: Both Twitter and YouTube removed interviews between popular podcaster Joe Rogan and two medical experts, prompting Rogan to join the new social media site Gettr.

Quote Of The Day: “Our government is out of control on this, and they are lawless. They completely disregard bioethics … They have broken all the rules that I know of, that I’ve been trained on for years and years and years. These mandates of an experimental vaccine are explicitly illegal.”

– Dr. Robert Malone

What Happened

Last week, Rogan sat down with Dr. Robert Malone, a prominent virologist who helped pioneer mRNA vaccines. During the interview, Malone suggested that pharmaceutical companies have a financial interest in pushing vaccine mandates. He also suggested COVID vaccines could be more harmful than getting the virus for certain demographics.

Rogan also previously interviewed a cardiologist named Peter McCullough who advocated for multi-drug therapy to treat COVID.

YouTube removed the videos of those podcast interviews. Meanwhile, a day before his interview with Rogan was released, Twitter banned Malone’s account.

On Sunday, Twitter permanently suspended Georgia representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R) for what it called “repeated violations” of its COVID misinformation policy.

On the same day, Rogan, who has over 11 million subscribers on YouTube and nearly 8 million followers on Twitter, announced he was opening a Gettr account.

Rogan posted, “Just in case s*** over at Twitter gets even dumber, I’m here now as well. Rejoice!”

Gettr

Gettr is a social media platform geared toward short-form posts, similar to Twitter. It also allows users to upload images and videos up to three minutes long. Former Trump communications strategist Jason Miller launched the platform on July 4th last year.

The social media site bills itself as being a “home to free speech” and “independent thought” while rejecting cancel culture. 

In a press release on Monday, Getter said that after Rogan announced he was joining the site, it saw the “biggest surge in signups in a single day” since its launch.

Photographer: Nick Oxford/Bloomberg/Contributor via Getty Images

Other Stories We’re Tracking

Pfizer Boosters

On Monday, the FDA approved Pfizer booster shots for children ages 12-15. The CDC says two shots of the mRNA vaccine are only around 35% effective against Omicron infection, but the booster doubles that effectiveness.  

Apple

Apple has become the first company to ever reach a massive $3 trillion market value, meaning Apple is now worth more than Netflix, Disney, Walmart, Home Depot, Mastercard and Facebook combined.

Fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci, citing public “pushback,” said Sunday the CDC might be considering an update to their recently changed guidelines for people who have tested positive for COVID. Asked about the CDC’s decision to reduce the quarantine period from 10 days to 5 when asymptomatic, Dr. Fauci said officials are now considering adding a required test after 5 days.

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