A Northern Kentucky family and restaurant are mourning the sudden loss of a man many describe as the backbone of their community.
- The Independent
President-elect Biden has ordered up a shock-and-awe campaign for his first days in office to signal, as dramatically as possible, the radical shift coming to America and global affairs, his advisers tell us. The plan, Part 1 ... Biden, as detailed in a "First Ten Days" memo from incoming chief of staff Ron Klain, plans to unleash executive orders, federal powers and speeches to shift to a stark, national plan for "100 million shots" in three months. Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here. * A federal mask mandate on government property and for interstate travel — Biden's "100 Day Masking Challenge." * Expand neighborhood access by activating local pharmacies, working directly with both independent drugstores and massive chains. * Reimburse states for deploying the National Guard to support vaccinations, and provide additional FEMA assistance.The plan, Part 2 ... Biden plans a $2 trillion stimulus/coronavirus plan plus the following executive orders to symbolize and solidify a substantial shift here and abroad: * Rescind the travel ban on several predominantly Muslim countries. * Rejoin the Paris climate accord. * Extend pandemic-related limits on evictions. * Order federal agencies to find ways to reunite children split apart from their families after crossing the border.The big picture: Watch for Biden to wrap everything, even tangential ideological priorities, under the banner of the coronavirus, in hopes of speeding up legislative action and picking up some Republican votes. * Biden privately says he has a small window to get the vaccination rollout right and the economy recovering. Otherwise, he'll fall victim to liberals who find his actions too timid, and Republicans who find them too liberal. Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.
- The Telegraph
- NBC News
- National Review
Eleven years ago, Dan Senor and Saul Singer dubbed Israel the “Start Up Nation” for its disproportionately large number of technology start-ups and NASDAQ stock listings. Make way for the Vaccination Nation. Israel leads the world in COVID-19 vaccinations. It has already vaccinated nearly a quarter of its population, including 75 percent of the population most at risk, people over age 60. It has administered 24.5 doses per 100 persons, nearly double the next-best country (the United Arab Emirates) and about 8 times as many people per capita as in the U.S. and the U.K. Israel’s per capita vaccination rate is 24 times that of the normally efficient Germans and 50 times better than the world average. Only three other countries in the world — the U.S., China, and the U.K. — have administered more vaccines. Why is Israel doing so much better than anyone else? Israel’s small size simplifies logistics. But there are other factors. First, unlike American states, which have administered only about a third of the doses they have received, Israeli made sure it was ready to use its supply. Officials set up large vaccination centers and mobile units in advance. They reached out to minority groups, such as the ultra-Orthodox and Arab citizens, ahead of the roll-out to encourage vaccine uptake. Israel started vaccinations in mid-December and by the end of the month was vaccinating more than 150,000 people a day. Second, Israel secured a large supply from Pfizer by promising to provide comprehensive safety and effectiveness data. Israel has a nationwide, computerized health database that can provide anonymized outcomes for all citizens, letting Pfizer use the country of nearly nine million as a real-time laboratory. In return, Pfizer has pledged to provide enough doses to vaccinate every Israeli over 16 by the end of March. In addition, Israel was the first country outside of North America to approve the Moderna vaccine and has purchased six million doses. Israel also paid premium prices — a wise investment in ending the economic devastation occasioned by pandemic lockdowns. Needless to say, Israel is good at planning for and executing during emergencies. Senor and Singer identified universal army service as promoting Israelis’ resourcefulness and willingness to take the initiative to improve existing systems. Pfizer packages its vaccine in trays of 1,000 doses, which, because of the need for ultra-cold storage, must be all be used within a short period of time once they have been defrosted. The large number of doses limits vaccinations to centers that can line up large numbers of recipients. Israel figured out how to repackage the trays into smaller lots of doses to improve flexibility for delivering doses to a broader range of providers and less populated locations. Israelis are also willing to buck established authority. The Pfizer multi-dose vaccine vials were authorized to hold five doses. This led many American vaccinators to discard vaccine remaining after administering five doses, even if it was adequate to provide one or two extra doses, for fear of running afoul of FDA instructions (the FDA eventually clarified that it is acceptable to use every obtainable full dose). Israelis, in contrast, were willing from the start to use windfall sixth and seventh doses. American vaccinators have been reluctant to give remaining doses to people outside of government-mandated priority order — New York’s Governor Cuomo promised hefty fines for vaccinating out of order — leading to doses’ being discarded at the end of the day. Israeli providers vaccinated end-of-day walk-ins outside of the guidelines to avoid wasting valuable doses. Finally, Israelis’ willingness to pull together and treat the pandemic as if it were a war and the government’s successful roll-out have changed Israelis’ initial reluctance into eagerness to be vaccinated. Prime Minister Netanyahu set an example by being the first Israeli to be vaccinated. The prophet Isaiah said Israel would function as “a light unto the nations,” providing spiritual and moral guidance to the world. Modern-day Israel, the Start-Up Nation, can provide technological and practical guidance as well.
- The Week
- The Telegraph
- NBC News
Federal law enforcement hasn't had to use significant legal and technical resources at its disposal because of online documentation.
- National Review
Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) on Friday called for the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol last week to be “prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” saying those who participated in the unrest that left five dead were “terrorists attacking this country’s constitutionally-mandated transfer of power.” Sasse’s comments come after the Department of Justice said in court documents that the rioters breached the Capitol with the intent to “capture and assassinate elected officials.” In a memo requesting that “QAnon shaman” Jacob Anthony Chansley be kept in detention, Justice Department lawyers in Arizona wrote that “strong evidence, including Chansley’s own words and actions at the Capitol” show that the intent was to harm elected officials. Sasse said it would be “wrong” of “rage-peddlers” to “try to whitewash the attack on the Capitol, saying that a few bad apples got out of control.” “Every American needs to understand what the Department of Justice has just made public: Investigators have strong evidence to suggest that some of the rioters who stormed the United States Capitol planned to kidnap and possibly assassinate the Vice President,” he said. “These men weren’t drunks who got rowdy — they were terrorists attacking this country’s constitutionally-mandated transfer of power,” he added. “They failed, but they came dangerously close to starting a bloody constitutional crisis.” He concluded: “They must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The FBI is investigating widespread calls for violence across the country and every American has an obligation to lower the temperature.” Last week, before the House impeached President Trump for a second time on an “incitement of insurrection” charge, Sasse had vowed to consider any articles of impeachment against Trump that came before the Senate. “The House, if they come together and have a process, I will definitely consider whatever articles they might move,” Sasse said in an interview with CBS. “I believe the president has disregarded his oath of office…what he did was wicked.”
- The Week
Israel has vaccinated at least 25 percent of its population against the coronavirus so far, which leads the world and makes it "the country to country watch for herd effects from" the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, says infectious disease expert David Fishman. Recently, the case rate in Israel appears to have declined sharply, and while there could be a few reasons for that, it's possible the vaccination effort is beginning to play a role.> Israel's reproduction number appears to have declined rather sharply in recent days, with around 25% of the country vaccinated, and some additional percentage having at least partial immunity via prior infection. pic.twitter.com/sVyCYYd9dj> > — David Fisman (@DFisman) January 17, 2021One study from Clalit that was published last week reports that 14 days after receiving the first Pfizer-BioNTech shot, infection rates among 200,000 Israelis older than 60 fell 33 percent among those vaccinated compared to 200,000 from the same demographic who hadn't received a jab.At first glance, Fishman writes, that might seem disappointing since clinical trials suggested the vaccine was more than 90 percent effective. But he actually believes the 33 percent figure is "auspicious." Because vaccinated and non-vaccinated people are mingling, there could be "herd effects of immunization." In other words, when inoculated people interact with people who haven't had their shot, the latter individual may still be protected because the other person is. On a larger scale, that would drive down the number of infections among non-vaccinated people, thus shrinking the rate gap between the two groups. > Estimated vaccine efficacy is a function of relative risk of infection in the vaccinated...when there is indirect protection via herd effects, we expect efficacy estimates to decrease because the risk among unvaccinated individuals declines.> > — David Fisman (@DFisman) January 17, 2021More data needs to come in, and Fishman thinks "we'll know more" this week, but he's cautiously optimistic about how things are going.More stories from theweek.com 5 more scathing cartoons about Trump's 2nd impeachment How 'bewildered' Trump campaign aides would reportedly discreetly escape election challenge meetings New Yorker reporter's footage provides 'clearest view yet' of Capitol rioters inside Senate chamber
- Yahoo News Video
Joe Biden will start his presidency next week with relatively strong performance ratings, according to a Pew Research Center survey. On the other hand: President Trump will leave the the White House with his lowest approval rating ever. Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here. By the numbers: On Biden: * 64% of voters expressed a positive opinion of Biden's conduct since he won the November election, Pew found. * 58% of Americans approve of the job Biden has done in explaining his plans and policies. That compares to: * 39% of Americans who said they approved of how Trump explained his plans ahead of his inauguration in 2017. * 70% of people who said in January 2009 they approved of how former President Barack Obama explained his plans as president-elect. * 50% of Americans who said in January 2001 that they approved of how George W. Bush explained his plans. * 64% of Americans who said in January 1993 they approved of how Bill Clinton explained his plans. * 57% of Americans approve of Biden's Cabinet choices and other high-level appointments. On Trump: * 29% of Americans approve of Trump's job performance — the lowest approval rating of his presidency. * Pew notes that much of the decline has come among Republicans and GOP leaners. About 60% of Republicans currently approve of Trump's job performance, down from 77% in August. * 76% of American voters said they would rate Trump's conduct since the election as fair or poor, up from 68% in November. * 68% said Trump should not remain a political figure for years to come; 29% say he should. * 52% said Trump bears "a lot" of responsibility for the violence at the U.S. Capitol. * 81% of Democrats say he bears "a lot" of responsibility, while only 18% of Republicans said so. * 46% of Republicans say he bears no responsibility for the violence.Go deeper: GOP voters choose Trump — againPew methodology: The research center "surveyed 5,360 U.S. adults in January 2021. Everyone who took part in this survey is a member of Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel (ATP), an online survey panel that is recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses. The survey is weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education and other categories. Read more about the ATP’s methodology."Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- NBC News
Jennifer Ryan faces charges of disorderly conduct and knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful entry.
- The Telegraph
The US claimed on Saturday that staff at a Chinese virology laboratory became sick with a Covid-like illness in autumn 2019, months before the coronavirus spread widely from Wuhan. In a long-awaited document from the state department, the Trump administration called for an investigation as it published dubious accusations that a possible "laboratory accident" at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) may be the source of the global pandemic. The claims were dismissed by analysts who insist the disease came from a naturally occurring event. In a statement late on Friday claiming to reveal "undisclosed information", the state department said it "has reason to believe that several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019, before the first identified case, with symptoms consistent with both Covid-19 and common seasonal illnesses." The statement also said that the lab had been carrying out research on a bat coronavirus similar to the Sars-CoV-2 strain that spread globally and that the lab had collaborated with China's military on publications and secret projects. Some experts were nonplussed by the announcement. "Zero details given," noted Kristian Andersen, an immunologist at Scripps Research, rating the statement as "an F". The fact that Wuhan was home to the world's leading coronavirus research facility before it became known as ground zero for the pandemic has led to speculation that the virus could have originated in the lab.
- The Independent
- National Review