In this undated image provided St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Jared Isaacman pauses while speaking about his enthusiasm for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and his spaceflight called Inspiration4, in Memphis, Tenn. Isaacman, a billionaire who made a fortune in tech and fighter jets is buying an entire SpaceX flight and plans to take three people with him to circle the globe this year. Isaacman announced Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, that he aims to use the trip to raise more than $200 million for St. Jude. (St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital via AP)
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Billionaire announces trip to space for childhood cancer research

A young billionaire announced on Monday that he is chartering a rocket for a three-or-four-day trip to space and giving away seats to raise money for childhood cancer research, according to the New York Times.

Jared Isaacman, the founder of Shift4Payments, made the announcement on Monday.

The spacecraft, SpaceX Crew Dragon, will take off in October. The mission will be the first to travel into space without professional astronauts from NASA or other government space agencies.

The 37-year-old billionaire is giving two seats to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, one of which will go to a former cancer survivor and frontline healthcare worker.

The last seat will go to the lucky winner of a raffle to help raise money for St. Jude.

The fundraising goal is going to be far in excess of the cost of the mission, said Isaacman.

Those previously infected with COVID-19 are subject to reinfection

New variants could lead to more people become re-infected with COVID-19, according to CNN.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease, said that the virus variants have a “very high rate” of re-infection.

Health experts have zeroed in on three variants of the coronavirus from the U.K., South Africa and Brazil.

Iowa’s Department of health reported three cases of the U.K. variant on Monday.

McConnell condemns Marjorie Taylor Greene’s conspiracy theories

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., sits in the House Chamber, Jan. 6, 2021,(Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool, File)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell condemn a freshman congresswomen who has drawn scrutiny for endorsing fringe conspiracy theories in the past.

“Loony lies and conspiracy theories are cancer for the Republican Party and our country,” McConnell said in response to questions about Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-GA.

Greene has faced backlash after she described the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., and Parkland, Fla., as staged.

“Somebody who suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.’s airplane is not living in reality,” McConnell said, according to NBC.

A group of House Democrats recently introduced a resolution to remove Green from her two committees, the House Education & Labor Committee and the House Budget Committee, over her controversial statements.

The Rules Committee said it would take the first step towards getting the resolution to a vote on the floor on Wednesday.

Oregon becomes the first state to decriminalize possession of drugs

Volunteers deliver boxes containing signed petitions in favor of the measure to the Oregon Secretary of State’s office in Salem, Ore., June 26, 2020 (Yes on Measure 110 Campaign via AP, File)

A ballot measure that decriminalized the possession of small amounts of drugs, such as heroin, methamphetamine, LSD and oxycodone, took effect on Monday in Oregon.

Instead of being arrested, those in possession of these drugs would accept a fine of $100 or a health screening, which could lead to addiction counseling.

Backers of the ballot said treatment needs to be the priority and that criminalizing drug possession was not working, according to NBC.

The addiction recovery centers are funded by the millions of dollars in tax revenue Oregon’s legalized marijuana industry has earned.