Dr. Gayle Galletta has anticipated this moment for months. WBZ-TV's Lisa Hughes reports.
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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 Do Democrats realize the danger they are in? 5 scathing cartoons about Trump's second impeachment
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Federal prosecutors in a new court filing reportedly point to "strong evidence" that rioters who stormed the Capitol building last week aimed to "capture and assassinate elected officials."The prosecutors included this assessment while asking a judge to detain Jacob Chansley, one of the men who was arrested and charged following the deadly Capitol riot, Reuters reports."Strong evidence, including Chansley's own words and actions at the Capitol, supports that the intent of the Capitol rioters was to capture and assassinate elected officials in the United States government," the prosecutors wrote.Supporters of President Trump stormed the Capitol building on the day Congress was meeting to certify President-elect Joe Biden's election win, leaving five people dead. Trump was subsequently impeached for a second time for "incitement of insurrection" after delivering a speech calling on his supporters to march to the Capitol building.The prosecutors in the filing reportedly wrote that the charges against Chansley "involve active participation in an insurrection attempting to violently overthrow the United States government," adding that the "insurrection is still in progress." They also revealed that Chansley, who was photographed wearing horns at Vice President Mike Pence's desk, allegedly left a note for Pence that warned, "it's only a matter of time, justice is coming," Reuters reports. The filing, Politico writes, "spells out clearly the government's view of an ongoing 'insurrection movement' that is reaching a potential climax as Biden's inauguration approaches." More stories from theweek.com Trump's vaccine delay is getting suspicious Do Democrats realize the danger they are in? 5 scathing cartoons about Trump's second impeachment
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In the week since a mob laid siege to the U.S. Capitol, the House has impeached President Donald Trump. Twitter and other social media sites have banned Trump and thousands of other accounts. Officer Eugene Goodman isn't saying whether he thinks he saved the Senate, as many of the millions who've viewed the video believe.
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Yemen's Houthi movement will not walk away from peace talks with the United Nations and Saudi Arabia despite the U.S. decision to designate the Iran-aligned group as a foreign terrorist organisation, the Houthi chief negotiator told Reuters. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the designation, which will trigger sanctions against the movement and three of its leaders, will come into effect on Jan. 19 at the end of the Trump administration's term. "These (peace talks) have nothing to do with the (U.S.) decision which will not limit our movements nor our international relations," Mohammed Abdulsalam said on Thursday, adding this applied to both U.N. efforts and ceasefire talks with Riyadh.
New variants of the coronavirus circulating globally appear to increase transmission and are being closely monitored by scientists. Why it matters: Countries are being overwhelmed by surges in cases that have led to border closures, quarantines and more aggressive pushes for the public to get vaccinated. So far, the variants do not appear to be resistant to the existing vaccines or cause more severe disease. Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.The state of play: Public officials are tracking SARS-CoV-2 variants, including the B.1.1.7 variant detected in the U.K., the 501.V2 variant in South Africa and a newly discovered variant in Brazil. Driving the news: The highly contagious variant B.1.1.7 could become the dominant strain in the U.S. by March if no measures are taken to control the spread of the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday. The B.1.1.7 variant has been identified in about 45 countries, but nations without routine genetic surveillance, including the U.S., may not fully know the extent of the spread, sparking calls for increased monitoring. * Public Health England released a new study of B.1.1.7 that estimated the variant is 30% to 50% more transmissible than other forms of the virus. * 10 state health departments in the U.S. have detected the B.1.1.7 variant. The CDC estimates it's linked to about less than half a percent of cases in the U.S. so far and isn't the dominant variant. The 501.V2 variant is "a little bit more concerning regarding the possibility of interfering with some of the monoclonal antibodies," based on preliminary findings, top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci told Axios last week. * The variant carries a number of mutations that show changes to some of the virus' spike protein, which experts say is cause for concern since the spike protein is what coronavirus uses to gain entry into human cells, BBC reports.Japan’s Health Ministry detected a variant on Sunday after travelers returned from Brazil. There are still many unknowns, but scientists say it has 12 mutations and studies are underway into the efficacy of vaccines against the new variant. * Brazil's Health Ministry has asked Japan for information such as the genetic sequence of the new strain, according to the Japan Times.The big picture: Viruses mutate, often without impacting the severity of disease or how the virus spreads. But sometimes mutations are consequential for public health and scientists say it's important to monitor them. * Both Pfizer and Moderna are in the process of testing their vaccines against the variants. Pfizer and BioNTech said Thursday the mutation N501Y found in both variants B.1.1.7 and 501.V2 was tested against their vaccine and found “no reduction in neutralization activity against the virus.” * But there are multiple mutations and more studies are underway.What to watch: On Friday, CDC officials pushed back on reports of a U.S. variant of the virus, the New York Times reports. * “To date, neither researchers nor analysts at CDC have seen the emergence of a particular variant in the United States,” the CDC said. * The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.The bottom line: Viruses mutate and evolve and the coronavirus is no different. So far, public health officials still say wearing a mask, socially distancing, testing and contact tracing, and hand washing are best practices for stopping the spread of COVID-19.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.
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.
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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 Do Democrats realize the danger they are in? 5 scathing cartoons about Trump's second impeachment
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With a chainsaw in his car, Ahmed Abdelal tours the Gaza Strip, asking around for people wanting to cut down trees, regrow orchards or make way for construction. One of the few remaining woodcutters in the Palestinian territory, Abdelal, who learned woodcutting from his father, is struggling to scratch out a living in a traditional job that is less and less in demand. Job opportunities are rare in this Palestinian enclave wedged between Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea, and so are green spaces.
In a blog post published on Friday, the EU's top diplomat Josep Borrell said Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed now needed to live up to the Nobel Peace Prize he was awarded in 2019 by doing all it takes to end the conflict in Tigray. "We are ready to help, but unless there is access for humanitarian aid operators, the EU cannot disburse the planned budget support to the Ethiopian government," Borrell said.
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The apparent use of "small unit tactics," trained to military and law enforcement, drew immediate scrutiny from investigators