Trump Administration, Week 209: Friday, 15 January – Wednesday, 20 January 2021 (Days 1,456-1,461)

 

 

 

“Trump: A Daily Chronicle” is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently during the day. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ for a day or so before posting. I hope readers will peruse the articles in full for a better understanding of the issues and their context; our democracy and our future depend on citizens who can distinguish between facts and falsehoods and who are engaged in the political process. Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are usually my emphasis, though not always.

 

For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

 

For a newsletter about the history behind today’s politics, subscribe to Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter, Letters from an American.

 

Friday, 15 January 2021, Day 1,456:

 

The Presidential Transition: The Capitol Police Are Investigating Whether Members of Congress Gave Rioters Tours of Capitol Before the Siege, The New York Times, Friday, 15 January 2021:

  • The Capitol Police are investigating whether lawmakers gave pre-riot building tours, as Pelosi names leader of security review.

  • Top lawmakers were not told of police request for backup before Capitol riot.

  • Pelosi says impeachment managers are preparing for Senate trial, but declines to offer timeline.

  • Joe Biden plans a vaccination blitz, but supplies are scarce.

  • Prosecutors unseal chilling accounts of violence at the Capitol.

  • The National Mall, focus of Trump’s grievances and marching orders, will be off limits for Biden’s inauguration.

  • Photos capture notes from Trump ally leaving the White House on Friday.

  • Biden names more administration picks, including a FEMA head and deputy director of the C.I.A.

  • Gun safety group calls for a ban on guns in ‘sensitive’ government buildings.
  • Justice Department closes an investigation of nine military ballots, citing ‘insufficient evidence’ of any criminal activity.
  • The F.B.I. questions dozens in the killing of a Capitol Police officer and other assaults by a pro-Trump mob.
  • In sharply worded departure letter, Alex Azar, the health secretary, tries to distance himself from Trump.

Transfer of Presidential Power: Biden unveils plans for expanded access to the coronavirus vaccine, The Washington Post, John Wagner and Colby Itkowitz, Friday, 15 January 2021: “President-elect Joe Biden on Friday offered a sober assessment of the nation’s ability to conquer the coronavirus pandemic, saying the country remains ‘in a very dark winter’ as the number of dead approaches 400,000. Biden unveiled his incoming administration’s plan to get Americans vaccinated. Vice President Pence called Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris to congratulate her Thursday, more than two months after she and Biden won the November election and just five days before the new Democratic administration takes office. President Trump plans to leave Washington on Wednesday morning before Biden is sworn in, according to a senior administration official. Trump had previously announced he would not attend his successor’s inauguration at the U.S. Capitol, breaking with decades of tradition.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • Biden is seeking to keep a focus on combating the coronavirus with his speech in Wilmington, Del., a day after he called the rollout by Trump’s administration a ‘dismal failure.’ ‘Things will get worse before they get better. I told you I would always level with you,’ Biden said Friday.
  • The vast majority of Americans say they oppose the actions of the rioters who stormed and ransacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, while smaller majorities say Trump bears responsibility for the attack and that he should be removed from office and disqualified from serving again, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.
  • A hearing scheduled for Biden’s nominee to serve as the nation’s top intelligence official, Avril D. Haines, has been postponed until next week, according to leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
  • The violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol came perilously close to Pence, who was not evacuated from the Senate chamber until about 14 minutes after the Capitol Police reported an initial attempted breach of the complex.

How the rioters who stormed the Capitol came dangerously close to Pence, The Washington Post, Ashley Parker, Carol D. Leonnig, Paul Kane, and Emma Brown, Friday, 15 January 2021: “The violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 came perilously close to Vice President Pence, who was not evacuated from the Senate chamber for about 14 minutes after the Capitol Police reported an initial attempted breach of the complex — enough time for the marauders to rush inside the building and approach his location, according to law enforcement officials and video footage from that day. Secret Service officers eventually spirited Pence to a room off the Senate floor with his wife and daughter after rioters began to pour into the Capitol, many loudly denouncing the vice president as a traitor as they marched through the first floor below the Senate chamber. About one minute after Pence was hustled out of the chamber, a group charged up the stairs to a second-floor landing, chasing a Capitol Police officer who drew them away from the Senate. Pence and his family had just ducked into a hideaway less than 100 feet from that landing, according to three people familiar with his whereabouts, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. If the pro-Trump mob had arrived seconds earlier, the attackers would have been in eyesight of the vice president as he was rushed across a reception hall into the office. The proximity of the Jan. 6 mob to the vice president and the delay in evacuating him from the chamber — which have not been previously reported — raise questions about why the Secret Service did not move him earlier and underscore the jeopardy that top government leaders faced during the siege.”

Continue reading Week 209, Friday, 15 January  – Wednesday, 20 January 2021 (Days 1,456-1,461):

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Trump Administration, Week 208: Friday, 8 January – Thursday, 14 January 2021 (Days 1,449-1,455)

 

 

Much of Our History and Our Current Moment Reflected in a Single Photo, The Atlantic, Clint Smith, Thursday, 8 January 2021: “On Wednesday afternoon, as insurrectionists assaulted the Capitol, a man wearing a brown vest over a black sweatshirt walked through the halls of Congress with the Confederate battle flag hanging over his shoulder. One widely circulated photo, taken by Mike Theiler of Reuters, captured him mid-stride, part of the flag almost glowing with the light coming from the hallway to his left. Just above and behind him is a painting of Charles Sumner, the ardent abolitionist senator from Massachusetts…. Also behind the man in Wednesday’s photo, partially obscured by the rebel flag, is a portrait of John C. Calhoun. A senator from South Carolina and the vice president under both John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson, Calhoun wrote in 1837: ‘I hold that in the present state of civilization, where two races of different origin, and distinguished by color, and other physical differences, as well as intellectual, are brought together, the relation now existing in the slaveholding States between the two, is, instead of an evil, a good—a positive good.’ The fact that this photo was taken the day after voters in Georgia chose the first Black person and the first Jewish person in the history of that state to serve in the Senate; that it shows a man walking past the portrait of a vice president who urged the country to sustain human bondage and another portrait of a senator who was nearly beaten to death for standing up to the slavocracy; that it portrays a man walking with a Confederate flag while a mob of insurrectionists pushed past police, broke windows, vandalized offices, stole property, and strolled through the halls of Congress for hours, forcing senators and representatives into hiding and stopping the certification of the electoral process—it is almost difficult to believe that so much of our history, and our current moment, was reflected in a single photograph.”

“Trump: A Daily Chronicle” is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently during the day. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ for a day or so before posting. I hope readers will peruse the articles in full for a better understanding of the issues and their context; our democracy and our future depend on citizens who can distinguish between facts and falsehoods and who are engaged in the political process. Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are usually my emphasis, though not always.

 

For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

 

For a newsletter about the history behind today’s politics, subscribe to Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter, Letters from an American.

 

Friday, 8 January 2021, Day 1,449:

 

Presidential Transition Highlights: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Threatens Impeachment if Trump Doesn’t Resign ‘Immediately’; Twitter Permanently Suspends Trump. Senator Lisa Murkowski Becomes the First Republican Senator to call for President Trump’s Resignation. The New York Times, Friday, 8 January 2021:

  • Pelosi threatens House could move to impeach Trump if he doesn’t resign ‘immediately.’

  • Trump briefly reappears on @POTUS handle hours after Twitter permanently suspends his personal account.

  • Murkowski is the first Republican senator to say Trump should resign: ‘I want him out.’

  • Setting his sights on the inauguration, Biden says impeachment is up to Congress.

  • Read the draft of a leading article of impeachment against Trump.

  • Justice Dept. backs off the prospect of charging Trump for inciting a riot.

  • More national security officials resign from a White House in turmoil.

  • A judge has blocked Trump’s sweeping restrictions on asylum applications.

  • ‘Traitor!’ Dozens of Trump supporters heckle Lindsey Graham for breaking with the president.

  • Josh Hawley faces blowback for role in spurious challenge of election results.

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Presidential Transfer of Power: ‘I want him out:’ Lisa Murkowski becomes the first Senate Republican to call for Trump to resign, The Washington Post, John Wagner and Colby Itkowitz, Friday, 8 January 2021: “Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) became the first Senate Republican to call for President Trump to resign, telling the Anchorage Daily News: ‘I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage.’ Her comments Friday came on the same day House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told colleagues in a letter that she has spoken to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark A. Milley, about keeping an ‘unstable president’ from accessing the nuclear codes. Pelosi also threatened impeachment if Trump didn’t resign ‘immediately.’ Her letter came shortly after Trump tweeted that he would not attend the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on Jan. 20, breaking with a long-standing tradition of outgoing presidents attending the swearing-in ceremony of their successors. Biden told reporters that he agreed with Trump’s decision to skip the ceremony, though he would welcome Vice President Pence.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • A growing corps of House Democrats, furious over the invasion of the Capitol, is pushing to rapidly impeach the president a second time — hoping to force Trump from office even a few days early rather than allow him to leave on his own terms.
  • In addition to calling on Trump to resign, Murkowski questioned whether she has a future in the Republican Party. ‘If the Republican Party has become nothing more than the party of Trump, I sincerely question whether this is the party for me,’ she said.
  • A 42-year-old Capitol Police officer who was injured amid Wednesday’s takeover of the Capitol died Thursday night, according to a statement from his department.
  • Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who remained a staunch Trump supporter during her four-year tenure, was reelected unanimously Friday at an RNC meeting in Florida.
  • Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao are among the latest Trump administration officials to announce their resignations in the wake of the assault on the Capitol.

Democrats Ready Impeachment Charge Against Trump for Inciting Capitol Mob. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi threatened decisive action against the president for his role in the insurrection against Congress if he refused to resign. The New York Times, Nicholas Fandos, Maggie Haberman, and Luke Broadwater, Friday, 8 January 2021: “Democrats laid the groundwork on Friday for impeaching President Trump a second time, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California threatened to bring him up on formal charges if he did not resign ‘immediately’ over his role in inciting a violent mob attack on the Capitol this week. The threat was part of an all-out effort by furious Democrats, backed by a handful of Republicans, to pressure Mr. Trump to leave office in disgrace after the hourslong siege by his supporters on Wednesday on Capitol Hill. Although he has only 12 days left in the White House, they argued he was a direct danger to the nation. Ms. Pelosi and other top Democratic leaders continued to press Vice President Mike Pence and the cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to wrest power from Mr. Trump, though Mr. Pence was said to be against it. The speaker urged Republican lawmakers to pressure the president to resign immediately. And she took the unusual step of calling Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to discuss how to limit Mr. Trump’s access to the nation’s nuclear codes and then publicized it. ‘If the president does not leave office imminently and willingly, the Congress will proceed with our action,’ Ms. Pelosi wrote in a letter to colleagues. At least one Republican, Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, followed Ms. Pelosi’s lead and told The Anchorage Daily News that she was considering leaving the Republican Party altogether because of Mr. Trump. ‘I want him out,’ she said. ‘He has caused enough damage.'” See also, House Democrats move rapidly toward impeaching Trump a second time, The Washington Post, Mike DeBonis, Friday, 8 January 2021: “A growing corps of House Democrats, furious over the invasion of the Capitol on Wednesday by a mob inspired and encouraged by President Trump, is pushing to rapidly impeach the president a second time — hoping to force Trump from office even a few days early rather than allow him to leave on his own terms. Removing Trump by constitutional means is a tall order for the 12 days remaining in his presidency, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has not made a formal determination to move forward with a second impeachment. But outrage over Wednesday’s events has grown to the point that it could be impossible for Pelosi to ignore, prompting a rapid vote as soon as early next week, according to interviews with House Democratic members and aides.” See also, Democratic momentum builds for potential fast-track impeachment next week, CNN Politics, Lauren Fox, Manu Raju, Jeremy Herb, and Daniella Diaz, Friday, 8 January 2021: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday Democrats are prepared to move forward with impeachment next week if President Donald Trump doesn’t resign, as momentum quickly built among House Democrats furious with Trump to hold an impeachment vote. Following a Democratic caucus call earlier in the afternoon, Pelosi said in a statement that the House would ‘preserve every option,’ including legislation to establish a commission under the 25th Amendment that could recommend Trump’s removal, in addition to impeachment. Final decisions on whether to impeach have not yet been made, Democratic sources said. ‘It is the hope of Members that the President will immediately resign. But if he does not, I have instructed the Rules Committee to be prepared to move forward with Congressman Jamie Raskin’s 25th Amendment legislation and a motion for impeachment,’ Pelosi said. ‘Accordingly, the House will preserve every option — including the 25th Amendment, a motion to impeach or a privileged resolution for impeachment.’ House Democrats plan to introduce their impeachment resolution on Monday, when the House next comes into session. The latest draft of the impeachment resolution, obtained by CNN, includes one article of impeachment for ‘incitement of insurrection.’ The House Rules Committee is expected to meet Monday or Tuesday to approve a rule that would govern floor debate for an impeachment resolution and Raskin’s bill to create a new mechanism to invoke the 25th Amendment. Under that timeline, an impeachment vote is possible by the middle of next week.”

Continue reading Week 208, Friday, 8 January  – Thursday, 14 January 2021 (Days 1,449-1,455):

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Trump Administration, Week 207: Friday, 1 January – Thursday, 7 January 2021 (Days 1,442-1,448)

 

 

This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently during the day. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ for a day or so before posting. I hope readers will peruse the articles in full for a better understanding of the issues and their context; our democracy and our future depend on citizens who can distinguish between facts and falsehoods and who are engaged in the political process. Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are usually my emphasis, though not always.

 

For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

 

For a newsletter about the history behind today’s politics, subscribe to Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter, Letters from an American.

 

Friday, 1 January 2021, Day 1,442:

 

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Friday, 1 January 2021: 32 More Countries Have Found the New Covid-19 Variant First Seen in Britain. The U.S. vaccination campaign is plagued by delays, mistakes and, in one Wisconsin hospital, deliberate sabotage. The New York Times, Friday, 1 January 2021:

  • Britain authorizes mix-and-match vaccinations, but experts warn vaccines may not be interchangeable.

  • Dr. Fauci advises against the British approach of delaying a second dose of vaccine.

  • Tokyo asks for a national state of emergency, and other news around the world.

  • The New Orleans Saints’ star running back, Alvin Kamara, is placed on the N.F.L.’s Covid reserve list.

  • A Virginia state senator, Ben Chafin, has died from Covid-19-related causes.

  • Trump left town, but New Year’s festivities continued at Mar-a-Lago, indoors and without masks.

  • An inoculation ends with a marriage proposal for a South Dakota nurse.

  • N.Y.C. sheriff’s deputies break up secret New Year’s Eve parties across the city.

  • France couldn’t stop the New Year’s parties. One rave drew 2,500 people who fought off the police.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Friday, 1 January 2021: Third state identifies more-transmissible coronavirus variant as U.S. cases surpass 20 million, The Washington Post, Marisa Iati and Reis Thebault, Friday, 1 January 2021: “Florida on Thursday became the third state to identify a case of the coronavirus variant first detected in the United Kingdom, a reminder that the pandemic remains a formidable foe as infections in the United States surpass 20 million. The latest instance of the variant was found in a man in his 20s with no recent travel history, health officials said. The more-transmissible version of the virus has also been reported in California and Colorado, and experts expect it to be identified in additional states.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • The virus, spreading largely unchecked in much of the country, forced most people to have quieter New Year’s Eve celebrations. No one was likely to kiss a stranger at the annual ball drop in Manhattan’s Times Square, attended by only a few hundred front-line workers.
  • Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, said the United States would not follow Britain’s lead in prioritizing first doses of the vaccine, potentially delaying administration of the second dose.
  • British officials are shutting London’s primary schools and reactivating field hospitals to handle a surge of patients as the new variant spreads. The nation’s rolling average of new cases per capita has increased by 23 percent in the past week.
  • California on Friday reported 535 deaths from covid-19, the state’s single-day record, topped only by those New York set in mid-April.
  • A fired Wisconsin pharmacist was arrested Thursday on accusations of deliberately spoiling more than 500 doses of the coronavirus vaccine, which is available in limited supply and being rationed for high-risk people.
  • At a vaccination clinic in West Virginia, more than 40 people were accidentally given an antibody treatment for the virus, instead of Moderna’s vaccine. The West Virginia National Guard, which is assisting with inoculations, said those people were at no risk of harm.

How Trump Tried, but Largely Failed, to Derail America’s Top Climate Report. The White House repeatedly attempted to thwart the country’s premier climate science document, one meant to steer policy for years. Scientists got in the way. The New York Times, Christopher Flavelle, Friday, 1 January 2021: “The National Climate Assessment, America’s premier contribution to climate knowledge, stands out for many reasons: Hundreds of scientists across the federal government and academia join forces to compile the best insights available on climate change. The results, released just twice a decade or so, shape years of government decisions. Now, as the clock runs down on President Trump’s time in office, the climate assessment has gained a new distinction: It is one of the few major U.S. climate initiatives that his administration tried, yet largely failed, to undermine. How the Trump White House attempted to put its mark on the report, and why those efforts stumbled, demonstrates the resilience of federal climate science despite the administration’s haphazard efforts to impede it. This article is based on interviews with nearly a dozen current and former government officials and others familiar with the process. In November, the administration removed the person responsible for the next edition of the report and replaced him with someone who has downplayed climate science, though at this point it seems to be too little, too late. But the efforts started back in 2018, when officials pushed out a top official and leaned on scientists to soften their conclusions — the scientists refused — and then later tried to bury the report, which didn’t work either.”

Continue reading Week 207, Friday, 1 January  – Thursday, 7 January 2021 (Days 1,442-1,448):

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Trump Administration, Week 206: Friday, 25 December – Thursday, 31 December 2020 (Days 1,435-1,441)

 

This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently during the day. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ for a day or so before posting. I hope readers will peruse the articles in full for a better understanding of the issues and their context; our democracy and our future depend on citizens who can distinguish between facts and falsehoods and who are engaged in the political process. Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are usually my emphasis, though not always.

 

For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

 

For a newsletter about the history behind today’s politics, subscribe to Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter, Letters from an American.

 

Friday, 25 December 2020, Day 1,435:

 

Some Global Updates for the Coronavirus on Friday, 25 December 2020: Dreading the Next ‘Code Blue’ as California Hospitals Fill to Overflowing, The New York Times, Friday, 25 December 2020:

  • In Southern California’s hospitals, Christmas this year is anything but a silent night.

  • Remote learning risks widening the achievement gap for disadvantaged U.S. students.

  • The relief bill’s fate is uncertain as the clock runs down on unemployment aid.

  • Duke women’s basketball is ending its season early because of Covid concerns.

  • A Texas funeral home director learns the hard way to ‘never let your guard down.’

  • In a first for the Moderna vaccine, a doctor in Boston reported suffering a severe allergic reaction.

  • Six states in the South are overwhelmed by virus cases after dodging the fall surge.

  • In his annual Christmas address, Pope Francis urges equitable vaccine access for ‘the health of humanity.’

  • France and Japan report cases of the virus variant that prompted lockdowns in Britain.

  • ‘Just maintain status quo and survive’: U.S. ski resorts brace for another season of big losses.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Unemployment Aid Set to Lapse Saturday as Trump’s Plans for Relief Bill Remain Unclear. At least a temporary lapse in expanded unemployment benefits for millions of Americans is now inevitable because of President Trump’s delay in signing a $900 billion pandemic relief bill. The New York Times, Alan Rappeport, Friday, 25 December 2020: “Expanded unemployment benefits were set to lapse for millions of struggling Americans on Saturday, a day after President Trump expressed more criticism of a $900 billion pandemic relief bill that was awaiting his signature and would extend them. The sprawling economic relief package that Congress passed with overwhelming bipartisan support would extend the amount of time that people can collect unemployment benefits until March and revive supplemental unemployment benefits for millions of Americans at $300 a week on top of the usual state benefit. If Mr. Trump signs the bill on Saturday, states will still need time to reprogram their computer systems to account for the new law, according to Michele Evermore of the National Employment Law Projectbut unemployed workers would still be able to claim the benefits.”

 

Saturday, 26 December 2020, Day 1,436:

 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) failed race against covid-19: A threat underestimated and a test overcomplicated, The Washington Post, David Willman, Saturday, 26 December 2020: “A new virus was exploding in Wuhan, a Chinese city with 11 million people connected by its airport to destinations around the world. In the United States, doctors and hospitals were waiting for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop a test to detect the threat. On Jan. 13, the World Health Organization had made public a recipe for how to configure such a test, and several countries wasted no time getting started: Within hours, scientists in Thailand used the instructions to deploy a new test. The CDC would not roll out one that worked for 46 more days. Inside the 15-acre campus of the CDC in northeast Atlanta, the senior scientists developing the coronavirus test were fighting and losing the battle against time. The agency squandered weeks as it pursued a test design far more complicated than the WHO version and as its scientists wrestled with failures that regulators would later trace to a contaminated lab. The Washington Post reviewed internal documents and interviewed more than 30 government scientists and others with knowledge of the events to understand more fully the missteps in those early weeks as the coronavirus began to spread unchecked across the nation. Most spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to do so publicly. This account reveals new details about how an overly ambitious test design and laboratory contamination caused the CDC’s delay, and describes previously unreported challenges that confronted the agency scientists assigned to carry out the work.”

Continue reading Week 206, Friday, 25 December  – Thursday, 31 December 2020 (Days 1,435-1,441):

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Trump Administration, Week 205: Friday, 18 December – Thursday, 24 December 2020 (Days 1,428-1,434)

 

This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently during the day. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ for a day or so before posting. I hope readers will peruse the articles in full for a better understanding of the issues and their context; our democracy and our future depend on citizens who can distinguish between facts and falsehoods and who are engaged in the political process. Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are usually my emphasis, though not always.

 

For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

 

For a newsletter about the history behind today’s politics, subscribe to Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter, Letters from an American.

 

Friday, 18 December 2020, Day 1,428:

 

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Friday, 18 December 2020: Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) Authorizes Moderna Vaccine for Emergency Use, Adding Millions of Doses to U.S. Arsenal, The New York Times, Friday, 18 December 2020:

  • F.D.A. OKs the Moderna Covid vaccine, adding millions more doses to the U.S. supply.

  • The U.S. has recorded over 250,000 cases in a day for the first time.

  • Pence, McConnell and other officials receive vaccinations, but will that close the partisan divide on the shot?

  • When will governors get vaccinated? Some would prefer to wait.

  • California counts the dead by the hour as its I.C.U.s fill up.

  • A Chinese official confirms that a million citizens received unproven homegrown vaccines.

  • These frontline hospital workers were left off the vaccine list. They fought back.

  • The U.S. says employers can require workers to get the Covid-19 vaccine.

  • American student sentenced to 4 months in prison for violating quarantine rules in the Cayman Islands.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Friday, 18 December 2020: Nearly all of California under stay at home order as the Food and Drug Administration authorizes second vaccine, The Washington Post, Meryl Kornfield, Carolyn Y. Johnson, Hannah Knowles, Lateshia Beachum, Laurie McGinley, Derek Hawkins, Marisa Iati, Siobhán O’Grady, and Taylor Telford, Friday, 18 December 2020: “Nearly all of California is under regional stay-at-home orders triggered by alarmingly low capacity in intensive care units. Statewide, a sliver of those critical beds were available: 2.1 percent. The news came as a second coronavirus vaccine received emergency authorization Friday, an unprecedented scientific feat that gives the United States two powerful tools to fight a pandemic that emerged almost exactly a year ago.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

Presidential Transition Updates: Congress Passed Short-Term Spending Bill as Stimulus Talks Continued, The New York Times, Friday, 18 December 2020:

  • Congress passes short-term funding bill to avert government shutdown as snags delay stimulus talks.

  • Lara Trump served on the board of a company through which the Trump political operation spent more than $700 million.

  • Pence, Pelosi and McConnell receive a coronavirus vaccine. Biden is set to get an injection on Monday.

  • Harris will campaign in Georgia on Monday for Senate runoffs that are practically impossible to poll.

  • Biden addresses accusations against his son, saying, ‘I think it’s kind of foul play.’

  • Unswayed by hacking breach, Trump threatens to veto a bill aimed at fortifying cyberdefense.

Continue reading Week 205, Friday, 18 December  – Thursday, 24 December 2020 (Days 1,428-1,434):

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Trump Administration, Week 204: Friday, 11 December – Thursday, 17 December 2020 (Days 1,421-1,427)

 

 

This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently during the day. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ for a day or so before posting. I hope readers will peruse the articles in full for a better understanding of the issues and their context; our democracy and our future depend on citizens who can distinguish between facts and falsehoods and who are engaged in the political process. Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are usually my emphasis, though not always.

 

For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

 

For a newsletter about the history behind today’s politics, subscribe to Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter, Letters from an American.

 

Friday, 11 December 2020, Day 1,421:

 

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Friday, 11 December 2020: Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) Clears Pfizer Vaccine and Millions of Doses Will Be Shipped Right Away. The accelerated timeline comes after President Trump’s chief of staff threatened the F.D.A. head’s job if he didn’t get it done on Friday. The Trump Administration will buy another 100 million doses of Moderna vaccine. New York Times, Friday, 11 December 2020:

  • With F.D.A. approval, Pfizer will ship millions of vaccine doses immediately.

  • Trump administration to buy another 100 million doses of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine.

  • Los Angeles County could face ‘catastrophic suffering and death,’ a health official warns.

  • Mexico approves Pfizer vaccine for emergency use, and other news around the world.

  • To build confidence, Fauci says he’ll ‘get vaccinated publicly.’

  • Indoor dining in N.Y.C. will shut down again, Cuomo says.

  • Devin Nunes said he has tested positive for coronavirus antibodies.

  • Superspreading Boston biotech conference in February is linked to 1.9 percent of all U.S. cases.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Friday, 11 December 2020: Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorizes Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, first approved in the U.S., The Washington Post, Laurie McGinley, Carolyn Y. Johnson, Lateshia Beachum, Meryl Kornfield, Derek Hawkins, Marisa Iati, Hamza Shaban, and Miriam Berger, Friday, 11 December 2020: “The Food and Drug Administration on Friday gave emergency use authorization to the nation’s first coronavirus vaccine, setting in motion a highly choreographed and complex distribution process aimed at expediting vaccines throughout the United States to curb the pandemic. The nation set a record for covid-19 deaths Thursday for the second day in a row, surpassing 3,300. The death tally for Friday was 2,950, only slightly lower, bringing the U.S. death toll to nearly 295,000.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • The United States reported 237,092 new infections and 108,507 coronavirus inpatients, both new highs.
  • Mexico has authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the coronavirus, health officials announced Friday.
  • The Trump administration said it will purchase an additional 100 million doses of a Moderna vaccine.
  • The coronavirus can travel farther and faster inside restaurants than previously thought, a South Korean study suggests.

Presidential Transition Highlights: Democrats and Some Republicans Applaud Supreme Court Rejection of Suit to Overturn Election, The New York Times, Friday, 11 December 2020:

  • ‘Our institutions held’: Democrats (and some Republicans) cheer Supreme Court ruling on election suit.

  • Texas suit to overturn election results is denied by the Supreme Court.

  • Still divided over a stimulus deal, Congress staved off a shutdown this week.

  • Congress might ban surprise medical billing, and that’s a surprise.

  • The long, strange road Trump took to challenge the election results.

  • Biden is considering Cuomo for attorney general.

  • The federal investigation into his son is likely to hang over Biden as he takes office.

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Continue reading Week 204, Friday, 11 December  – Thursday, 17 December 2020 (Days 1,421-1,427):

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Trump Administration, Week 203: Friday, 4 December – Thursday, 10 December 2020 (Days 1,414-1,420)

This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently during the day. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ for a day or so before posting. I hope readers will peruse the articles in full for a better understanding of the issues and their context; our democracy and our future depend on citizens who can distinguish between facts and falsehoods and who are engaged in the political process. Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are usually my emphasis, though not always.

 

For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

 

For a newsletter about the history behind today’s politics, subscribe to Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter, Letters from an American.

 

Friday, 4 December 2020, Day 1,414:

 

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Friday, 4 December 2020: San Francisco Bay Area Issues Strict Stay-at-Home Order, The New York Times, Friday, 4 December 2020:

  • The San Francisco Bay Area will enact new restrictions before California orders them.

  • Cases surge in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, often exceeding the scale of the spring outbreak.

  • Bahrain follows Britain in approving Pfizer’s vaccine for emergency use before the U.S. does.

  • The C.D.C. urges Americans to wear face masks outside the home.

  • Outbreaks at nursing homes appear to be linked to Washington State wedding. Seven have died.

  • The New York Young Republican Club held a secret gala, despite coronavirus concerns.

  • Restaurants in Washington State defy governor and invite guests inside.

  • As Miami’s cases soar, officials plead with residents to stay home for the holidays, and other news from around the country.

  • Pence says the nation is in a ‘season of hope’ as vaccine development speeds up.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic for Friday, 4 December 2020: Bay Area becomes first California region to enact state’s new stay-at-home orders, The Washington Post, Hannah Knowles, Meryl Kornfield, Taylor Telford, Antonia Noori Farzan, Erin Cunningham, Kim Bellware, Siobhán O’Grady, and Paulina Villegas, Friday, 4 December 2020: “Millions of people in the San Francisco Bay Area will be subject to new stay-at-home orders, local officials announced Friday, a day after California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said most of the nation’s most populous state was on track to hit critically low hospital capacity levels, triggering new restrictions. The Bay Area has not reached those triggers yet but became the first region to implement the stay-at-home plans Newsom outlined. Health officials for the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco and Santa Clara said Friday that they want to act before hospitals grow too strained. California on Friday reported 22,000 new coronavirus infections, the highest ever single-day total for any state.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has for the first time urged  universal mask use indoors.
  • President-elect Joe Biden encouraged fellow Democrats to get on board with a bipartisan, $908 billion deal even as some liberals blasted it as insufficient.
  • The U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs in November — the slowest month of growth since the recovery began.
  • Covid-19-related deaths are likely to reach 539,000 by April, according to a new estimate Friday.
  • The United States has set new highs for daily infections three days in a row, climbed past 2,500 deaths a day for four straight days, and hit new highs for hospitalizations for the eighth consecutive day.

Federal Judge Orders the Trump Administration to Fully Reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program, The New York Times, Caitlin Dickerson and Michael D. Shear, Friday, 4 December 2020: “A federal judge on Friday ordered the Trump administration to fully restore an Obama-era program designed to shield young, undocumented immigrants from deportation, dealing what could be a final blow to President Trump’s long-fought effort to end the protections. The program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, was created by President Barack Obama in 2012. Over the years, it has protected more than 800,000 individuals, known as ‘dreamers,’ who met a series of strict requirements for eligibility. Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn directed the administration to allow newly eligible immigrants to file new applications for protection under the program, reversing a memorandum issued in the summer by Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of Homeland Security, which restricted the program to people who were already enrolled. As many as 300,000 new applicants could now be eligible, according to the lawyers who pushed for the reinstatement. The memo from the Department of Homeland Security also limited benefits under the program, including permits to work, to one year, but the judge on Friday ordered the government to restore them to a full two years. Judge Garaufis, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton, also said the government must find a way to contact all immigrants who are eligible for the program to inform them of the change. The program still faces other challenges, including a case in federal court in Texas, where Republican attorneys general have asked a judge to declare the program unlawful. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. has vowed to restore the DACA program when he takes office next month, but a legislative solution that would permanently allow the dreamers to live and work legally in the United States remains elusive, leaving their fates to the shifting political winds.” See also, Federal judge restores DACA and orders the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to accept first-time applications from immigrants, The Washington Post, Maria Sacchetti, Friday, 4 December 2020: “Thousands of undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children are immediately eligible to apply for an Obama-era program that grants them work permits, a federal judge in New York ruled Friday. U.S. District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis in Brooklyn said he was fully restoring the eight-year-old Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program to the days before the Trump administration tried to end it in September 2017. He ordered the Department of Homeland Security to post a public notice by Monday to accept first-time applications and ensure that work permits are valid for two years.”

Continue reading Week 203, Friday, 4 December  – Thursday, 10 December 2020 (Days 1,414-1,420):

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Trump Administration, Week 202: Friday, 27 November – Thursday, 3 December 2020 (Days 1,407-1,413)

 

This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently during the day. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ for a day or so before posting. I hope readers will peruse the articles in full for a better understanding of the issues and their context; our democracy and our future depend on citizens who can distinguish between facts and falsehoods and who are engaged in the political process. Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are usually my emphasis, though not always.

 

For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

 

For a newsletter about the history behind today’s politics, subscribe to Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter, Letters from an American.

 

Friday, 27 November 2020, Day 1,407:

 

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Friday, 27 November 2020: Los Angeles County Bans Private Gatherings of Multiple Households, The New York Times, Friday, 27 November 2020:

  • Los Angeles County, where the virus is surging, urges residents to stay home.

  • U.S. coronavirus infections shoot past 13 million as officials plead with Americans to spend Black Friday online.

  • Covid is slamming U.S. hospitals with patients and robbing them of staff, pushing health systems to the edge.

  • Nursing homes in the U.S. account for roughly 40 percent of Covid-19 fatalities.

  • Britain moves to quickly approve a coronavirus vaccine with unclear test results.

  • ‘Unprecedented learning loss’: U.S. students rack up failures as grading returns to pre-pandemic standards.

  • The virus won’t stop evolving when a vaccine arrives.

  • After beating back the virus, officials in East Asia are forced to recalibrate their responses.

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Presidential Transition Highlights: Appeals Court Rejects Trump Election Challenge in Pennsylvania. The ruling by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals was a complete repudiation of President Trump’s effort to halt Pennsylvania’s certification process. Mr. Trump committed to leave the White House in January if the electors vote, as expected, for President-elect Joe Biden on Dec. 14. The New York Times, Friday, 27 November 2020:

  • A federal appeals court denies the Trump campaign’s challenge to a lower court loss on certifying Pennsylvania’s vote.

  • ‘Certainly I will’: Trump says he’ll leave if the electors vote for Biden.

  • The killing of Iran’s top nuclear scientist could have broad implications for the Biden administration.

  • A final deregulatory rush at the E.P.A. has run into open resistance from career employees emboldened by Biden’s win.

  • Empowered by an odds-defying win, Susan Collins is more influential than ever.

  • Ten years ago, the Olori Sisterhood was a small-time ‘political sorority.’ Now they’re ready for a seat at the table.

  • Biden’s pick to lead the Agriculture Dept. could decide the direction of U.S. hunger policy.

  • Senate Democrats face a power struggle for the top job on the panel that controls judicial nominations.

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Iran’s Top Nuclear Scientist Killed in Ambush, State Media Say, The New York Times, Farnaz Fassihi, David E. Sanger, Eric Schmitt, and Ronen Bergman, Friday, 27 November 2020:

Continue reading Week 202, Friday, 27 November  – Thursday, 3 December 2020 (Days 1,407-1,413):

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Trump Administration, Week 201: Friday, 20 November – Thursday, 26 November 2020 (Days 1,400-1,406)

This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently during the day. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ for a day or so before posting. I hope readers will peruse the articles in full for a better understanding of the issues and their context; our democracy and our future depend on citizens who can distinguish between facts and falsehoods and who are engaged in the political process. Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are usually my emphasis, though not always.

 

For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

 

For a newsletter about the history behind today’s politics, subscribe to Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter, Letters from an American.

 

Friday, 20 November 2020, Day 1,400:

 

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Friday, 20 November 2020: U.S. Passes 12 Million Covid-19 Cases. The country has also set a hospitalization record. Pfizer asked the F.D.A. for emergency approval of its vaccine, which might start being deployed by mid-December. The New York Times, Friday, 20 November 2020:

  • U.S. records 12 millionth case as virus surge gathers speed.

  • As curfews multiply, the U.S. breaks more records for new cases and hospitalizations.

  • Pfizer applies for emergency authorization of its vaccine.

  • Two Chinese port cities mobilize after finding a handful of cases.

  • Donald Trump Jr. tests positive for coronavirus. He has been isolating since Monday.

  • Andrew Giuliani, a White House official, tests positive after attending a news conference with his father and other Trump lawyers.

  • Senator Rick Scott of Florida is the latest member of Congress to test positive.

  • As the U.S. outbreak grows with alarming speed, political conflict hampers the response.

  • Health care systems struggle as newly detected cases approach 200,000 a day in the U.S.

  • Iran shuts businesses in 160 cities and adds restrictions to 200 more as cases rise.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Friday, 20 November 2020: Pfizer applies for emergency vaccine approval as U.S. cases reach new high, The Washington Post, Hannah Knowles, Carolyn Y. Johnson, Darren Sands, Derek Hawkins, Antonia Noori Farzan, Hamza Shaban, Ruby Mellen, Marisa Iati, and Jacqueline Dupree, Friday, 20 November 2020: “Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech on Friday became the first companies to seek emergency authorization for a coronavirus vaccine in the United States, a landmark moment and a signal that a powerful tool to help control the pandemic could begin to be available by late December. Conditions around the country remain dire: The United States reported a record high of more than 196,000 new coronavirus cases on Friday and is likely to cross 12 million cases nationwide on Saturday, six days after surpassing 11 million.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • The Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory committee will meet Dec. 10 to consider the Pfizer-BioNTech request, the agency said late Friday.
  • Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a spokesman.
  • President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team condemned the Trump administration’s decision to end several emergency lending programs.
  • Infection rates dropped in Kansas counties that adopted mask mandates over the summer, while rising sharply in counties that didn’t, according to new research.
  • More than a quarter-million people in the United States have died of covid-19.

Pfizer Applies for Emergency Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) Approval for Covid-19 Vaccine, The New York Times, Noah Weiland and Katie Thomas, Friday, 20 November 2020: “The drug maker Pfizer said on Friday that it had submitted an application to the Food and Drug Administration to authorize its coronavirus vaccine for emergency use, setting in motion an accelerated regulatory process that could allow the first Americans to get a vaccine by the middle of December. Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech, announced Wednesday that the vaccine was safe and 95 percent effective, and that it also worked well in older people and in preventing severe Covid-19. Another front-runner, Moderna, said on Monday that its vaccine, which uses similar technology, was 94.5 percent effective and that the company also expected to apply soon for emergency authorization. The two vaccines use a synthetic version of coronavirus genetic material, called mRNA, to program a person’s cells to churn out many copies of a fragment of the virus. An emergency authorization would allow limited groups of Americans to get the vaccines before the F.D.A. has completed the typical monthslong approval process, but agency officials have made clear through new guidelines that their bar for emergency authorization will be high.”

Continue reading Week 201, Friday, 20 November  – Thursday, 26 November 2020 (Days 1,400-1,406)

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Trump Administration, Week 200, Friday, 13 November – 19 November 2020 (Days 1,393-1,399)

 

This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently during the day. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ for a day or so before posting. I hope readers will peruse the articles in full for a better understanding of the issues and their context; our democracy and our future depend on citizens who can distinguish between facts and falsehoods and who are engaged in the political process. Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are usually my emphasis, though not always.

 

For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

 

For a newsletter about the history behind today’s politics, subscribe to Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter, Letters from an American.

 

Friday, 13 November 2020, Day 1,393:

 

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Friday, 13 November 2020: Lockdowns Return, and North Dakota Issues Mask Mandate. As coronavirus cases trend upward in 49 states, President Trump makes no mention of the surge at a Rose Garden event. New Mexico and Oregon announce lockdowns. The New York Times, Friday, 13 November 2020:

  • More than 1 in 400 Americans test positive in a week, pushing New Jersey to a record and prompting restrictions in North Dakota.

  • Trump projects a rosy view on vaccines, while Biden blasts the federal coronavirus response.

  • Several states add restrictions across the country, including lockdowns in New Mexico and Oregon.

  • N.Y.C.’s mayor warns that public schools could close as early as Monday if positivity rate hits 3 percent.

  • At least 30 Secret Service officers test positive for the virus as others are asked to isolate.

  • Fauci weighs in on celebrating Thanksgiving as the virus rages through the United States.

  • These are the restrictions and mask mandates for all 50 states.

  • Russian and North Korean operatives are trying to hack coronavirus research firms, Microsoft said.

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic for Friday, 13 November 2020: New Mexico is at ‘breaking point’ as U.S. shatters coronavirus case record again with 177,000 new cases, The Washington Post, Hannah Knowles, William Wan, Jacqueline Dupree, Brittany Shammas, Hamza Shaban, Miriam Berger, and Kim Bellware, Friday, 13 November 2020: “New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) said the state is at a ‘breaking point’ and reinstated the country’s most restrictive statewide measures since the fall surge began, while Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) announced a two-week statewide ‘freeze’ on Friday, which included curbing gatherings ahead of Thanksgiving.Other states are trying to avoid full-blown shutdowns by enacting almost every other kind of restriction, as the United States reported more than 177,000 new coronavirus cases, a record high for the third straight day.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

More than 130 Secret Service officers are said to be infected with coronavirus or quarantining in wake of Trump’s campaign travel, The Washington Post, Carol D. Leonnig and Josh Dawsey, Friday, 13 November 2020: “More than 130 Secret Service officers who help protect the White House and the president when he travels have recently been ordered to isolate or quarantine because they tested positive for the coronavirus or had close contact with infected co-workers, according to three people familiar with agency staffing. The spread of the coronavirus — which has sidelined roughly 10 percent of the agency’s core security team — is believed to be partly linked to campaign rallies that President Trump held in the weeks before the Nov. 3 election, according to the people who, like others interviewed for this report, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the situation. In all, roughly 300 Secret Service officers and agents have had to isolate or quarantine since March because they were infected or exposed to infected colleagues, according to two people with knowledge of the figures.”

Continue reading Week 200, Friday, 13 November  – Thursday, 19 November 2020 (Days 1,393-1,399)

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