The historic Community Hospital Long Beach was granted a license to reopen, and it began receiving transfer patients Monday to free up other hospitals to care for COVID-19 patients.
- Yahoo News
So far, America’s vaccine rollout has been “a dismal failure,” as Biden put it. Yet for all the justified concern over America’s rate of vaccination, signs of hope are starting to emerge.
- The Independent
- Associated Press
President-elect Joe Biden’s plan to boost the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, including by spending $20 billion to create mass vaccination centers, should help speed up putting shots into the arms of millions of Americans, experts and officials told Reuters. The Biden administration on Thursday revealed a nearly $2 trillion proposal to address the economic harm from the COVID-19 pandemic that included $20 billion for vaccine distribution and $50 billion for testing. It builds on the $982 billion COVID relief bill passed in December, more than tripling the funding allocated to state and local governments for vaccine distribution.
- The Week
A reserve of second-dose COVID-19 vaccines set to be repurposed as first doses is already empty, state and federal officials briefed on distribution plans tell The Washington Post.Both the coronavirus vaccines currently authorized in the U.S. require two doses to be fully effective. So when distribution of first doses began, the Trump administration held back matching second doses to make sure recipients would be fully protected against COVID-19. Amid a massive demand for more doses, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced earlier this week that the department would begin doling out those reserved doses to more people, saying increased production speed would make up for the soon-to-be-depleted reserve.But as officials soon learned, the federal government had stopped stockpiling second dose vaccines weeks ago, they tell the Post. Both first and second doses were instead taken right off the manufacturing line. That meant Azar's announcement reportedly released a stockpile that didn't exist. The U.S. had already reached its maximum distribution capacity, and new doses distributors were expecting next week weren't coming, the Post reports.HHS spokesperson Michael Pratt confirmed in an email to the Post that the last of the reserve had been taken out for shipment this weekend. He didn't acknowledge Azar's comments, but said Operation Warp Speed had "always intended to transition from holding second doses in reserve as manufacturing stabilizes and we gained confidence in the ability for a consistent flow of vaccines." he also said states had only ordered 75 percent of the vaccines available to them. Read more at The Washington Post.More stories from theweek.com Trump's vaccine delay is getting suspicious The worst-case scenario for America's immediate future Do Democrats realize the danger they are in?
- The Independent
Karl Racine ‘extremely confident’ US president’s eldest son broke law
- Associated Press
- NBC News
The flag has become a symbol for different things: anti-communism, U.S. imperialism, democracy and recollection of the past.
- Yahoo News Video
People across the world are generally likely to say yes to getting a COVID-19 vaccine, but would be more distrustful of shots made in China or Russia than those developed in Germany or the United States, an international poll showed on Friday. The survey, conducted by the polling company YouGov and shared exclusively with Reuters, found Britons and Danes were the most willing to take the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to them, while the French and Poles were more likely to be hesitant. It also found that willingness to take the COVID-19 vaccine has been improving in many countries in recent weeks, just as shots developed by companies in the United States, Russia, China, Germany and Britain were starting to be delivered and administered in countries across Europe, North America and Asia.
- The Telegraph
Palestinian leaders have announced that they expect their first batch of coronavirus vaccines to arrive by March, as the West Bank and Gaza face an anxious wait to receive jabs while Israel presses ahead with its record-setting vaccination drive. This week the Palestinian Authority said it had secured a provisional agreement with AstraZeneca and was seeking doses from Moderna, as well as the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine. The Palestinians are also working with the World Health Organisation to receive free vaccines under the Covax scheme. It came as Palestinian officials accused Israel of “ignoring” its duties as an occupying power to assist them in protecting their people from the disease. “The search by the Palestinian leadership to secure the vaccines from various sources doesn’t exempt Israel from its responsibilities towards the Palestinian people in providing the vaccines,” the Palestinian foreign ministry said in a statement. Israel refutes this and says it has no legal obligation to provide vaccines for the West Bank and Gaza, as the Oslo peace accords state that this is the duty of Palestinian leaders. However, according to Israeli media reports, the Israeli government provided the Palestinian authorities with around 100 vaccine doses earlier this month as a “humanitarian gesture.” Israel has already given the first coronavirus jab to more than two million people - around 20 per cent of the population - as part of the world’s fastest vaccinations programme. The 1990s-era Oslo accords grant the Palestinian Authority limited self-rule in the West Bank while the Gaza strip is controlled by Islamist group Hamas. While the accords say Palestinian authorities should vaccine their own citizens, they also says both sides are required to “cooperate in combating” epidemics and contagious diseases. Arab-Israeli citizens, and Palestinians who live in East Jerusalem, are already able to receive vaccines from the Israeli programme. But human rights groups, such as Amnesty International, are putting pressure on the Israeli government to provide further assistance. In a recent statement, Amnesty’s deputy regional director for the Middle East, Saleh Higazi, accused Israel of “instutionalised discrimination.” “While Israel celebrates a record-setting vaccination drive, millions of Palestinians living under Israeli control in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip will receive no vaccine or have to wait much longer,” he said. Husam Zomlot, a senior Palestinian diplomat in London, described the situation as “vaccine apartheid” in a post on Twitter, a charge that Israel denies. Palestinian officials said on Wednesday that they had recorded 30 deaths from coronavirus in the past 24 hours, while more than 90 people are in intensive care units. To date, coronavirus has caused around 1,800 deaths in the Palestinian territories.
- Architectural Digest
- Associated Press
A Minnesota man who traveled to Syria and Iraq where prosecutors say he became a soldier for the Islamic State group pleaded guilty on Wednesday to a terrorism count. Abdelhamid Al-Madioum, 24, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court of Minnesota to one count of providing and attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. According to his plea agreement and court documents, Al-Madioum left his family while they were visiting extended relatives in Morocco in 2015 and went to Istanbul, Turkey, where members of the Islamic State group helped him cross into Syria.
- The Week
Less than a week before the inauguration, Vice President Mike Pence has reportedly called Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to offer his congratulations.Pence and Harris spoke over the phone Thursday, with Pence congratulating the incoming vice president and offering "his belated assistance," The New York Times reported on Friday and The Associated Press confirmed.This is the first time Pence and Harris have spoken since their debate in October, and the call was "described as gracious and pleasant," the Times writes. President Trump has yet to speak with President-elect Joe Biden since the election, having spent more than two months falsely claiming to have won.Pence may invite Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, to the vice-presidential residence prior to next week's inauguration, according to the Times, though this is reportedly not set in stone due to scheduling issues created by the ongoing security concerns following last week's Capitol riot.Trump is reportedly expected to leave Washington, D.C. the morning of the inauguration. The president previously confirmed he will skip Biden's swearing-in, but Pence is expected to attend.More stories from theweek.com Trump's vaccine delay is getting suspicious The worst-case scenario for America's immediate future Do Democrats realize the danger they are in?
* Some EU nations are receiving fewer than expected doses of vaccines as Pfizer slows shipments, while Turkey and China race ahead with inoculations. * Millions of vaccine doses secured by the African Union will be allocated according to countries' population size, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said.
- The Telegraph
The man accused of throwing a fire extinguisher during the Washington, D.C. riots last week has been arrested. Robert Sanford, a retired Chester Fire Department firefighter, was arrested on Thursday and charged with assault on a police officer, among other offenses. Attorney Enrique Latoison argues Sanford went on a free bus to the rally for Trump at the Capitol, but he did not enter the government building.
- Associated Press
President-elect Joe Biden will no longer be taking an Amtrak train to Washington for his inauguration because of security concerns, a person briefed on the decision told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The president-elect’s decision reflects growing worries over potential threats in the Capitol and across the U.S. in the lead-up to Biden's Jan. 20 inauguration.