Roy Exum: “I’m Not My Father”

Wednesday, January 12, 2022 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

Chris Butler, a talented writer for The Tennessee Star, tried to draw Weston Wamp into a messy spot the other day when Weston, the son of Zach, was asked if he would publicly denounce a letter his dad signed in support of an investigation of the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. Chris should have known better; Weston’s smarter than a fox.

Weston is one of three good candidates in hopes of becoming Hamilton County’s new Mayor. So far Matt Hullender and Sabrina Smedley have joined Weston in the quest to be the county’s chief executive.

Here’s what Chris wrote on the website on Monday:

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By Chris Butler of The Tennessee Star, on January 11, 2022

Weston Wamp, son of former Tennessee Republican Congressman Zach Wamp, is running for mayor of Hamilton County, and he said Monday he is not his father concerning the latter’s views on former U.S.

President Donald Trump.

This, after The Tennessee Star asked Weston Wamp one question about his father and another question concerning Trump.

The Star first asked Weston Wamp whether he will publicly denounce his father’s recent letter supporting Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY At-large District) and Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL-16) for their work investigating the events of January 6, 2021.

“I am not my father, and I had nothing to do with the letter,” Wamp said, without elaborating.

The Star then asked Weston Wamp whether he worries Trump will endorse one of Wamp’s opponents in the Hamilton County primary.

“No, because I am the most conservative candidate running for Hamilton County mayor,” Wamp said.

Zach Wamp – who served in the House of Representatives for eight terms from 1995-2011 – advises a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, Issue One, that, according to its website, “unites Republicans, Democrats, and independents in the movement to fix our broken political system.”

The elder Wamp serves on the council alongside former Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile, former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, former U.S. Senate majority leaders Tom Daschle and Bill Frist, former Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, and former Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele.

Former congress member Wamp and other Issue One members last month urged more members of the GOP to assist with the January 6 committee’s work. Zach Wamp and the letter’s other co-signers described the people who came to the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, as “a violent mob” who did “lasting damage to our democratic norms and institutions.”

Issue One’s website lists Weston Wamp as a consultant and senior political strategist for the nonprofit.

Weston Wamp’s website says he leads a national nonprofit that fights wasteful government spending. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee appointed Weston Wamp to the Tennessee Board of Regents, which governs the state’s 40 community and technical colleges.

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Jan 11 (Reuters) - The United States reported 1.35 million new coronavirus infections on Monday, according to a Reuters tally, the highest daily total for any country in the world as the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant showed no signs of slowing.

The previous record was 1.03 million cases on Jan. 3. A large number of cases are reported each Monday due to many states not reporting over the weekend. The seven-day average for new cases has tripled in two weeks to over 700,000 new infections a day.

The record in new cases came the same day as the nation saw the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients also hit an all-time high, having doubled in three weeks, according to a Reuters tally.

There were more than 136,604 people hospitalized with COVID-19, surpassing the record of 132,051 set in January last year.

While the Omicron variant is potentially less severe, health officials have warned that the sheer number of infections could strain hospital systems, some of which have already suspended elective procedures as they struggle to handle the increase in patients and staff shortages.

The surge in cases has disrupted schools, which are struggling with absences of staff, teachers and bus drivers.

Deaths are averaging 1,700 per day, up from about 1,400 in recent days but within levels seen earlier this winter.

* * *


(CNN) The number of US patients hospitalized with COVID-19 has hit a record high, adding strain to health care networks and pushing states toward emergency staffing and other measures as they struggle to cope.

More than 145,900 people were in U.S. hospitals with COVID-19 as of Tuesday -- a number that surpasses the previous peak from mid-January 2021 (142,246) and is almost twice what it was two weeks ago, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services.

The hospitalization record comes amid a surge in cases fueled by the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

And it came on a day when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's acting commissioner told a U.S. Senate hearing that most people are going to get COVID-19, and the focus now must be on making sure hospitals and essential services function.

Dr. Janet Woodcock was responding to a question from Senator Mike Braun about whether it's time for the United States to change its COVID-19 strategy. Her statement was not a new assessment of COVID-19, but rather attempted to make clear the need to prioritize essential services as the Omicron variant surges.

"I think it's hard to process what's actually happening right now, which is: Most people are going to get COVID," Woodcock said Tuesday during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing. "And what we need to do is make sure the hospitals can still function, transportation, you know, other essential services are not disrupted while this happens."

Because the Omicron variant is so contagious, more people than ever are testing positive for the virus across the country. And while vaccinated people can catch the virus as well, serious risks related to COVID-19 -- including hospitalization and death -- are remarkably higher among unvaccinated people, health experts have said.

The United States averaged more than 754,200 new COVID-19 cases daily over the past week, according to Johns Hopkins University data. That's about three times last winter's peak average (251,987 on January 11, 2021), and 4.5 times the peak from the Delta-driven surge (166,347 on September 1), according to JHU.

The country has averaged 1,646 COVID-19 deaths a day over the past week -- 33 percent higher than a week ago, according to JHU. The peak average was 3,402 daily on January 13, 2021, JHU data shows.

The Omicron variant caused 98.3 percent of new coronavirus cases in the United States last week, according to estimates posted Tuesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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