July 4 could mark ‘independence from virus’, Biden says

Joe Biden has told America in a primetime TV address he hopes the nation can celebrate 4 July cookouts as its “Independence Day” from the coronavirus this year, also warning that the “fight is far from over” and that “everyone has to do their part” by getting vaccinated and observing social restrictions.

“If we do all this, if we do our part, we do this together, by July Fourth there’s a good chance you, your families and friends will be able to get together in your backyard, or in your neighbourhood, and have a cookout and a barbecue and celebrate Independence Day,” he said, stressing that did not mean large gatherings.

Former president Donald Trump has meanwhile been accused of inciting the Capitol riot on 6 January by Christopher Miller, acting defence secretary in the final weeks of his tenure, the first member of his administration to agree with the essential premise of his second impeachment.

1615547741

Nancy Pelosi dismisses GOP border concerns as political distraction

Like AOC, the House speaker has been ridiculing the Republicans for their invented fury about the “cancellation” of Dr Seuss.

Pelosi dismissed GOP concerns over the recent surge in migrants arriving at the US-Mexico border as a bad-faith political distraction, likening the party’s line of attack to its recent outrage that the publishers of the popular children’s books had decided to stop selling certain titles containing seemingly racist images.

“Well I guess their Dr Seuss approach didn’t work for them. So now they’ve had to change the subject,” she said at her weekly Capitol Hill press conference on Thursday regarding the criticism of Democrats’ immigration policy.

“We do not prioritise our values and how we can make a difference in the lives of the American people to be attuned to the bankruptcy of ideas that the Republicans have,” she added.

Griffin Connolly has this report.

Joe Sommerlad12 March 2021 11:15

1615546541

Trump blamed for Capitol riot by own official

Christopher Miller, who was acting defence secretary during the final weeks of the Trump administration, has turned on his former employer over the events of 6 January.

The official said the relationship between Trump’s speech in Washington, DC, that day and the subsequent insurrection appeared to be “cause-and-effect”, comments that represent a rare instance of a high-ranking Trump official agreeing with the central premise behind the former president’s second impeachment.

Asked in a Vice News interview due to be released this weekend about whether Trump was responsible for the riot, Miller said: “I don’t know but it seems cause-and-effect. Would anybody have marched on the Capitol, and tried to overrun the Capitol, without the president’s speech? I think it’s pretty much definitive that wouldn’t have happened.”

Mayank Aggarwal has more.

Joe Sommerlad12 March 2021 10:55

1615545041

AOC mocks Republican obsession with ‘cancel culture’

Progressive Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has mocked the current Republican obsession with “cancel culture”, joking that while her party passed a $1.9trn Covid relief bill on Wednesday, their opposition took a week “to read the Cat in the Hat”, a reference to the row surrounding beloved children’s author Dr Seuss.

Namita Singh has this report.

Joe Sommerlad12 March 2021 10:30

1615543813

Dentists and vets will be able to administer vaccine, Biden announces

As part of the national inoculation push, the president announced that doctors and nurses would be recieving a little outside support in administering jabs, calling up dentists, vets and paramedics to join the effort.

So far, 29.3m Americans have tested positive for Covid during the pandemic and 530,000 people have lost their lives, a stark reminder of the severity of the situation that underlines the need for left-field thinking of this kind.

Graeme Massie has the skinny on this one.

Joe Sommerlad12 March 2021 10:10

1615542613

Biden to launch $650m coronavirus testing plan in schools

The administration is preparing to launch a comprehensive national Covid testing programme, beginning with an initial $650m investment in testing and screening in schools and at “underserved congregate settings” like homeless shelters, group homes and prisons, he said in his speech last night.

The initial effort from the US Department of Health and Human Services will “begin to bring more testing to teachers, staff, and students and serve as a bridge to the comprehensive testing investment in the American Rescue Plan that is critical to get the pandemic under control,” the White House said on Thursday prior to the president’s remarks.

The administration “will immediately take steps to help schools implement regular screening testing to assist them in safely reopening classrooms, including through tests and test supplies as well as implementation assistance to make it easier for schools to adopt a testing programme,” it added.

Alex Woodward has this report.

Joe Sommerlad12 March 2021 09:50

1615541413

President condemns violence against Asian Americans: ‘It must stop’

One particularly noteworthy portion of the address saw Biden condemn a spate of “vicious hate crimes” against Asian Americans arising from the pandemic, not helped (or actively encouraged) by Trump, his secretary of state Mike Pompeo, Fox pundits and other conseratives insisting on referring to Covid-19 as the “China Virus”.

“At this very moment, so many of them, our fellow Americans, are on the frontlines of this pandemic trying to save lives and still, still they are forced to live in fear for their lives just walking down streets in America,” the president said.

He acknowledged, “Asian Americans who’ve been attacked, harassed, blamed and scapegoated” and declared: “It’s wrong, it’s un-American and it must stop.”

Joe Sommerlad12 March 2021 09:30

1615540213

What he said – and what he meant

Griffin Connolly offers this analysis of the president’s 24-minute address, which followed on from his signing the historic American Rescue Plan Act a day earlier than planned at the White House yesterday afternoon.

Joe Sommerlad12 March 2021 09:10

1615539013

Biden says 4 July cookouts could mark ‘independence from virus’

Joe Biden has told America in a primetime TV address he hopes the nation can celebrate 4 July cookouts as its “Independence Day” from the coronavirus this year, also warning that the “fight is far from over” and that “everyone has to do their part” by getting vaccinated and observing social restrictions.

In his first televised speech as president, considered a rite of passage for every occupant of the Oval Office, Biden said he was ordering that every adult be made eligible for one of the three approved vaccines by 1 May.

He said he was also hopeful of pressing ahead with a plan to open most schools for youngsters from kindergarten to the eighth grade within the first 100 days of his presidency.

“A year ago we were hit with a virus that was met with silence, and spread unchecked. Denials for days, weeks, then months. That led to more deaths,” he said of the pandemic, a clear reference to the bungled response of his predecessor, Donald Trump.

Later, he said he needed all Americans to do their part to fight the spread of the illness – to wear masks, get vaccinated and continue to observe social distancing. He warned it was not the time to give up on such efforts.

“If we do all this, if we do our part, we do this together, by July Fourth there’s a good chance you, your families and friends will be able to get together in your backyard, or in your neighbourhood, and have a cookout and a barbecue and celebrate Independence Day,” the president said, stressing that did not mean large gatherings.

Here’s Andrew Buncombe’s report.

Joe Sommerlad12 March 2021 08:50

1615538365

Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s rolling coverage of US politics and the Joe Biden administration.

Joe Sommerlad12 March 2021 08:39



READ NEWS SOURCE

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here