President Trump on Wednesday slammed Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden for saying he distrusts potential COVID-19 vaccines.
“I’m calling on Biden to stop promoting his anti-vaccine theories because all they’re doing is hurting the importance of what we’re doing,” Trump said at a White House press briefing.
“They’re recklessly endangering lives. You can’t do that… and that’s only because they know we have it, or we will soon have it.”
Biden said at a Wednesday press conference he doubts the efficacy of any vaccine if there isn’t robust independent scientific oversight of the approval process.
Biden also called for “an effective distribution plan” for a COVID-19 vaccine at a Wednesday press conference before admitting he didn’t study a plan put out Wednesday by the Trump administration.
“We’ll be able to distribute at least 100 million vaccine doses by the end of 2020 and a large number much sooner than that,” Trump said at the briefing.
“He said that we don’t have a distribution plan, but we do indeed,” Trump said. “Biden acted as though there was no distribution plan and we’ve been working on this for months.”
Trump said “it’s a great plan, and it’s a plan like no other. And we can start doing it, I believe, the day that we come up with a vaccine.”
“Biden was saying that, oh he’s gonna have a plan — they did so bad on swine flu, you wouldn’t even believe it, take a look at their record on swine flu.”
The Defense Department and Department of Health and Human Services released plans for vaccine distribution amid hopes for positive results in October from clinical trials.
The Trump administration plan calls for rapid distribution of a vaccine free of cost and anticipates two doses administered 21 to 28 days apart. Health care workers and vulnerable people would be prioritized in the first wave.
States and local communities will need to devise precise plans for receiving and locally distributing vaccines, some of which will require special handling such as refrigeration or freezing. States and cities have a month to submit plans.
Trump intends to nominate Ruth Bader Ginsburg replacement
President Trump signaled his intention Saturday to move forward quickly with a replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died after a long battle with cancer.
“We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices,” Trump said in a tweet also tagging the official GOP account. “We have this obligation, without delay!”
Ginsburg’s Friday death touched off a firestorm from partisans on both sides, with Republican voters eager to see a conservative replacement.
Democrats, however have cried foul, citing Republican’s own precedent from 2016 that Supreme Court Justices should not be confirmed during an election year. Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell denied a hearing on Judge Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee to replace conservative icon Antonin Scalia — who died in February 2016.
Other Senate Republicans have said they would honor it going forward.
“If an opening comes in the last year of President Trump’s term, and the primary process has started, we’ll wait to the next election. And I’ve got a pretty good chance of being the Judiciary [chairman]. Hold the tape,” Sen. Lindsey Graham said during an interview at the Atlantic Festival in 2018.
McConnell — whose Senate majority has confirmed a record number of judges to the federal bench — has long insisted he would not let the precedent stop him from sending a nominee to the high court should there be an opening.
Just hours after her death, he confirmed his intention to move forward with a replacement.
“Americans re-elected our majority in 2016 and expanded it in 2018 because we pledged to work with President Trump and support his agenda, particularly his outstanding appointments to the federal judiciary,” McConnell said in a statement Friday. “Once again, we will keep our promise. President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”
Iran vows to ‘hit’ anyone who had role in Soleimani strike
Iran’s top military commander is vowing to take down anyone who took part in the US drone strike that killed one of his top generals.
Gen. Hossein Salami made the promise Saturday on the website of his Revolutionary Guard: “Mr. Trump! Our revenge for martyrdom of our great general is obvious, serious and real,” the Associated Press reported.
The drone strike, conducted in January over Iraq, struck Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Iran retaliated just a short time later with a ballistic missile attack targeting US soldiers in Iraq.
President Trump tweeted his own threat this week after a report that Iran is plotting to assassinate Lana Marks, the US ambassador to South Africa: “If they hit us in any way, any form, written instructions already done we’re going to hit them 1000 times harder.”
Salami denied any plans to kill Marks but gave his assurance that Iran would avenge the general’s death.
“Do you think we hit a female ambassador in return to our martyred brother?” Salami said. “We will hit those who had direct and indirect roles. You should know that everybody who had role in the event will be hit, and this is a serious message. We do prove everything in practice.”
NYC proposal calls for serving booze at COVID quarantine hotels
It’s happy hour at the quarantine hotel!
A bizarre city proposal would serve up cocktails to alcoholic, COVID-positive guests who are quarantining at hotels on the taxpayer dime.
A top official at the city Health + Hospitals Corp. last month proposed serving booze to thirsty guests with substance issues because the agency was finding they were rejecting the free quarantine lodging where drugs and alcohol are off-limits.
“This is not the time to mandate sobriety or abruptly begin treatment of alcohol use disorder,” according to a copy of the plan seen by The Post.
The hotels were set up in April as places for COVID-positive or virus-exposed New Yorkers who couldn’t risk returning home or for recovering patients to isolate, to stop the spread of the deadly bug.
It was unclear how much or what kind of booze would be dispensed, and if the guests would access their alcohol through a lobby bar, room service or in-room mini-bars. It did mention that guests would be screened for issues like alcohol-induced seizures.
The plan was put together by Dr. Amanda Johnson, who heads the tracing and isolation operation for the city’s Test & Trace Corps, according to a source. Johnson appears in commercials that air frequently urging New Yorkers to get tested for the coronavirus.
But she apparently wanted to keep the cocktail plan quiet. Her proposal calls for avoiding “a mass media press release” to get the word out, and suggests directly informing health care centers and psychiatric programs instead.
The city is offering free stays at the LaGuardia Plaza hotel in Queens, and some 1,600 people have used the lodging.
The program is staffed with nurses, security guards, hall monitors, social workers and others.
But a guest, who an insider said was positive for both COVID-19 and HIV and had mental health issues, checked himself out earlier this month without telling anyone, leaving staffers to unsuccessfully try to track him down for days.
“We do not provide guests with alcohol at the hotel,” a Health + Hospitals spokeswoman said, but would not comment on whether the booze plan was still under consideration.
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