CDC director defends unusual decision on Pfizer's Covid boosters: 'It was a scientific close call'
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky insisted Friday she didn't overrule a vaccine advisory committee by expanding the agency's approval of Pfizer's Covid boosters to include a proposal rejected by the panel. In an unusual move, Walensky broke from the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which voted 9-6 Thursday against authorizing vaccines for those in high-risk transmission environments. She said the last vote, which clears extra doses for teachers, health workers and other essential employees, was a "scientific close call." "I want to be very clear that I did not overrule an advisory committee," Walensky said at a White House Covid briefing Friday. With a split vote, Walensky said "it was my call to make.cnbc.com
Sussexes agree partnership with US brands giant Procter & Gamble
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have signed a long-term “global partnership” with US consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble. The couple on Tuesday night announced that their Archewell Foundation had joined forces with the US-based company to “uplift girls and women” to “build more compassionate communities” and promote the “transformative power” of sport. P&G owns billion-dollar brands including Pampers, Aerial, Gillette, Head & Shoulders, Febreze and Olay. The deal is the latest the Sussexes have struck with major companies as they seek to establish their non-profit organisation and secure their financial futures. They said the P&G partnership would focus on gender equality, creating inclusive online spaces and resilience and impact through sport. The announcement comes 28 years after the Duchess wrote to Procter & Gamble as an 11-year-old to complain about a “very sexist” advert she had seen on television for Ivory dishwashing soap that declared: “Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans.” The move gave the aspiring activist one of her first tastes of success as the company changed the word “women” to “people.”news.yahoo.com
Police groups endorse Biden’s pick for civil rights chief
Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division nominee Kristen Clarke speaks during an event with President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)WASHINGTON – Some of the largest law enforcement groups in the U.S. are throwing their support behind President Joe Biden’s nominee to run the Justice Department’s civil rights division. Other supporters also include the National Association of Police Organizations, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association, the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives and dozens of crime victims. As attorney general in the Obama administration, Eric Holder frequently criticized violent police confrontations and opened a series of civil rights investigations into local law enforcement practices. The civil rights investigations often ended with court-approved consent decrees that mandated reforms.
CDC director warns recent decline in U.S. Covid cases may have stalled as variants spread
Susan Walsh | APThe decline in Covid-19 cases reported in the U.S. since early January may be flattening, a concerning shift as highly transmissible variants threaten to exacerbate infections, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday. The U.S. peaked at close to 250,000 cases per day in early January following the winter holidays. The recent shift may be a sign that new, highly transmissible variants of the coronavirus are beginning to take hold, Walensky said. The B.1.1.7 variant appears to account for roughly 10% of new Covid-19 cases in the U.S., up from just 1% a few weeks ago, Walensky said. However, some states have more cases of the highly transmissible variant than others.cnbc.com
Biden's trade pick vows to work more closely with allies
FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2020, file photo Katherine Tai, the Biden administration's choice totake overas the U.S. trade representative, speaks during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del. President Joe Bidens pick to be the top U.S. trade envoy is promising to work with Americas allies to combat Chinas aggressive trade policies. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden's pick to be the top U.S. trade envoy is promising to work with America's allies to combat China's aggressive trade policies, indicating a break from the Trump administration's go-it-alone approach. Fluent in Mandarin, Tai served several years as head of China enforcement at the trade representative's office. Far from working with allies on trade, Trump sparred with them instead, putting tariffs on imported steel and aluminum and threatening to target European cars, too.
Biden moves to reengage with Palestinians after Israel focus
FILE - In this Nov. 24, 2020, file photo President-elect Joe Biden listens as his Secretary of State nominee Tony Blinken speaks at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del. The State Department said Tuesday that a U.S. delegation attended a meeting of a Norwegian-run committee that serves as a clearinghouse for assistance to the Palestinians. Although little-known outside foreign policy circles, the so-called Ad Hoc Liaison Committee has been influential in the peace process since Israel and the Palestinians signed the Oslo Accords in 1993. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is close to Trump, has eschewed the two-state solution. The Trump administration had presented its own version of a two-state peace plan, though it would have required significant Palestinian concessions on territory and sovereignty.
Vilsack confirmed for 2nd stint as US agriculture secretary
FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2020, file photo former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who the Biden administration chose to reprise that role, speaks during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)WASHINGTON – The Senate on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly to confirm Tom Vilsack as agriculture secretary, his second run at the Cabinet post. The former Iowa governor spent eight years leading the same Department of Agriculture for former President Barack Obama's entire administration. “We’re going to be a USDA that represents and serves all Americans,” Vilsack said after the vote. AdWith systemic racial inequity now a nationwide talking point, Vilsack also envisioned creating an “equity task force” inside the department.
CDC director says U.S. needs to curb Covid before it can mutate again and make the pandemic even worse
Three variants first identified in the U.K., South Africa and Brazil have given researchers some concern, according to a research opinion she wrote with White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci. The United States needs to rapidly deploy Covid-19 vaccines and ramp up its surveillance before highly contagious variants take hold or the virus mutates again and makes the pandemic even worse, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday. However, the more the virus circulates and infects other people, the more chances it's given to mutate. The CDC has partnered with public health and commercial laboratories to rapidly scale up the nation's genomic sequencing. "It's going to be a dial not a switch, and we need to dial it up," Walensky said.cnbc.com
CDC director says schools can safely reopen without vaccinating teachers
Teachers do not need to get vaccinated against Covid-19 before schools can safely reopen, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday. "There is increasing data to suggest that schools can safely reopen and that safe reopening does not suggest that teachers need to be vaccinated," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told reporters during a White House news briefing on Covid-19. "Vaccinations of teachers is not a prerequisite for safely reopening schools," she added. However, it may take a while for most teachers to get their shots as U.S. officials work to pick up the pace of vaccinations. Meanwhile, teachers and other faculty have expressed concerns about returning to school, potentially putting their health at risk.cnbc.com
Justice Department drops Yale admissions discrimination suit
FILE - In this May 24, 2010 file photo, future graduates wait for the procession to begin for commencement at Yale University in New Haven, Conn. The Biden Justice Department says it is dismissing its discrimination lawsuit against Yale University. On Feb. 3, 2021, the Justice Department noted in its filing that it was voluntarily dismissing the action. Federal prosecutors said the Justice Department’s underlying investigation, aimed at ensuring Yale complies with federal anti-discrimination laws, continues. The group’s president, Kristen Clarke, is Biden’s nominee to run the Justice Department’s civil rights divisionAdBiden’s Justice Department is working to undo Trump policies, including “zero tolerance,” the immigration policy that was responsible for family separations.
Agriculture secretary nominee Vilsack endorses biofuels push
FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2020, file photo former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who the Biden administration chose to reprise that role, speaks during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)WASHINGTON – Tom Vilsack, President Joe Biden's nominee for secretary of agriculture, pledged Tuesday to focus on climate change initiatives and work to address racial inequities in agricultural assistance programs. Vilsack, who testified before the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, would bring much on-the-job experience to the position. In addition to serving two terms as the governor of Iowa, he spent eight years as President Barack Obama's Agriculture Secretary. But if you don’t have a grocery store, what then?”AdVilsack seems to enjoy bipartisan support and faced no serious criticism from Republicans on the committee.
Biden's pick for UN post calls China 'a strategic adversary'
United States Ambassador to the United Nations nominee Linda Thomas-Greenfield testifies during for her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, in Washington. Johnson asked her why she had said the United States is not in a new Cold War with China. “This speech is cheerleading for the Chinese Communist Party” and makes no mention of China’s human rights violations, he said. Johnson asked her what the stronger language and tougher tactics would be toward China. “And yet, I had an extraordinary 35-year career, that culminated as the assistant secretary of state of African affairs,” Thomas-Greenfield said.
Biden's Commerce pick, Raimondo, voices tough line on China
Gina Raimondo testifies remotely during her nomination hearing before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. Gina Raimondo, a former venture capitalist, would be responsible for promoting opportunities for economic growth domestically and overseas. U.S. companies need to get a license to sell sophisticated technology to companies on the list. Raimondo promised to give the Census Bureau more time to crunch the numbers for the 2020 census if needed. “I believe we need to take the politics out of the census and we need to rely on the experts,” Raimondo said.
CDC director says federal government does not know how much Covid vaccine the U.S. has
WASHINGTON – The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Sunday that the federal government does not know how much coronavirus vaccine the nation has, a complication that adds to the already herculean task before the Biden administration. "I can't tell you how much vaccine we have, and if I can't tell it to you then I can't tell it to the governors and I can't tell it to the state health officials," CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told "Fox News Sunday." "If they don't know how much vaccine they're getting not just this week but next week and the week after they can't plan. In a dig at the Trump administration, Walensky said the lack of knowledge of vaccine supply is indicative of "the challenges we've been left with." The Biden administration has been repeatedly pressed on whether that target is ambitious enough given the severity of the pandemic.cnbc.com
The U.S. is racing to stay ahead of new Covid strains as virus mutates, Biden health officials say
"The virus is basically telling us that it's going to continue to change and we've got to be ready for it," Dr. Vivek Murthy told ABC News' "This Week." "I would say we've been in a race all along," Walensky told Fox News' Sunday. "The more virus that is out there, the more virus that is replicating, the more likely that we are going to have mutations and variants." When asked, Murthy said the U.S. still needs more data on the U.K. variant before making the same determination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned last week that the U.K. variant, which is already circulating in at least 10 states, could become the dominant variant in the U.S. by March.cnbc.com
Yellen's nomination as treasury secretary advances in Senate
President-elect Joe Biden announced Yellen as his nominee for Treasury Secretary. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)WASHINGTON – The Senate Finance Committee approved President Joe Biden’s nomination of Janet Yellen to be the nation’s 78th treasury secretary on Friday, setting up a final vote that would make her the first woman to hold the job. The Finance Committee approved her nomination on a 26-0 vote. Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the incoming chair of the Finance Committee, said he hoped to get Yellen's nomination approved by the full Senate later Friday, but the vote was not scheduled. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, told Yellen that Biden’s plan represented a “laundry list of liberal structural economic reforms.”As treasury secretary, Yellen, 74, would occupy a pivotal role in shaping and directing Biden’s economic policies.
Joe Biden's business allies discuss ways to pay for infrastructure plan, including a carbon tax
President Joe Biden's allies in the business community have been meeting to craft a set of proposals, including a potential carbon tax, to help pay for an expected $2 trillion infrastructure plan. Some of the ideas are on course to be brought to Biden administration officials, along with congressional leaders. The people on the calls have discussed several ideas to pay for the plan, including a carbon tax, the person said. A carbon tax is a "fee imposed on the burning of carbon-based fuels (coal, oil, gas)," according to the Carbon Tax Center. Along with pushing for large-scale upgrades to bridges and roads, Biden's plan has a heavy focus on clean energy technologies.cnbc.com
@POTUS resets as Twitter juggles presidential accounts
Its a Twitter users worst nightmare: Wake up to find most of your followers gone. But thats exactly what will happen on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, to the official presidential accounts on Twitter. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)It's a Twitter user's worst nightmare: Wake up to find most of your followers gone. But that's exactly what will happen on Wednesday to the official presidential accounts on Twitter. That's unlike the previous Twitter transition, when then-President Barack Obama's official accounts were transferred to President Donald Trump with followers intact.
Biden's incoming CDC director says she's 'optimistic' Covid vaccines will work against new variants
Vaccines from both Pfizer and Moderna have shown to be roughly 95% effective in preventing Covid-19 in large clinical trials. It could be that we'll find variants and variants may emerge ... where the vaccine is less potent, but I'm still currently optimistic." That doesn't mean people shouldn't get vaccinated because they think the vaccines won't be effective against Covid, she said. "Almost no vaccine we have is 95% effective," Walensky said. Although the new virus strains appear to spread more easily, they don't appear to make infected people sicker or increase someone's chances of death, global health experts have said.cnbc.com
The Latest: Trump declassifies Crossfire Hurricane material
___HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PRESIDENT-ELECT JOE BIDEN’S INAUGURATION:President-elect Joe Biden appeared at a memorial for COVID-19 victims at the Lincoln Memorial on Tuesday evening. ___4:45 p.m.President Donald Trump does not mention his successor, Democrat Joe Biden, by name in his farewell address. A person familiar with Pence’s schedule cited “logistical challenges” in getting from the air base to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremonies on Wednesday. The information was passed from the National Guard Bureau to the D.C. National Guard. ___10:45 a.m.Three new Democratic senators are set to be sworn into office after President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration Wednesday.
The Latest: Hawley blocks quick confirmation of DHS nominee
Homeland Security Secretary nominee Alejandro Mayorkas testifies during his confirmation hearing in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Hawley said he made the move because Mayorkas, in his confirmation hearing, would not commit to spending the $1.4 billion appropriated to expand the border wall with Mexico. Alejandro Mayorkas was asked about it Tuesday at his Senate confirmation hearing. ___10:30 a.m.One of President Donald Trump’s national intelligence directors is introducing President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for the job at her confirmation hearing. Avril Haines faces a confirmation hearing Tuesday before the Senate intelligence committee.
Biden defends why stimulus checks should go to employed Americans
US President-elect Joe Biden delivers remarks on the public health and economic crises at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Delaware on January 14, 2021. President-elect Joe Biden made a case for sending stimulus payments to all Americans who are eligible – including those who have kept their jobs through the coronavirus pandemic. One of the biggest arguments against the proposed total $2,000 stimulus payments is that they aren't concentrated enough – some argue that money should be focused more on those who need it most, including the unemployed. "Even for those who have kept their jobs, these checks are really important," Biden said. Those who made more qualify for reduced checks, which phase out completely for individuals that earned $87,000 and couples that made $174,000 in 2019.cnbc.com
Confirmation hearing postponed for Biden's intel chief pick
FILE - In this Nov. 24, 2020, file photo President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines speaks at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)WASHINGTON – A confirmation hearing for President-elect Joe Biden's pick for national intelligence director has been postponed until next week, according to leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Avril Haines, a former CIA deputy director and former deputy national security adviser in the Obama administration, was to have appeared Friday before the Senate Intelligence Committee. The hearing was announced Wednesday, setting Haines up to be the first of Biden's picks to face a Senate committee for confirmation. “We are disappointed the hearing was delayed, particularly given the urgency to have national security leaders in place in this time of crisis.
Biden calls for $30 billion more in rental assistance and extending eviction ban
US President-elect Joe Biden delivers remarks on the public health and economic crises at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Delaware on January 14, 2021. President-elect Joe Biden called on Congress to pass a range of protections and financial relief for Americans at risk of losing their homes because of the coronavirus pandemic. To stop a wave of evictions, Biden plans to ask lawmakers to approve $30 billion in rental assistance on top of the $25 billion in aid approved in the most recent $900 billion stimulus package, according to a briefing document distributed prior to the president-elect's Thursday night speech. Another $5 billion would go toward finding those experiencing or at risk of homelessness secure housing, and a fund would help individuals facing eviction get legal assistance. Biden said his plan would help to keep the 14 million Americans who are behind on their rent in their homes as the pandemic rages.cnbc.com
Biden’s stimulus proposal would boost these tax credits for families
Jim Watson | AFP | Getty ImagesPresident-elect Joe Biden's stimulus proposal includes a bevy of tax credits aimed at stabilizing the finances for American families. Boosting the child tax creditThe president-elect wants to increase the child tax credit to $3,000 for qualifying children aged 17 and under. To further benefit low-income families, Biden also wants to make the child tax credit fully refundable. Higher child and dependent care creditFatCamera | E+ | Getty ImagesBiden will call on Congress to boost the child and dependent care tax credit for one year, also on an emergency basis. Earned income tax credit tweakscnbc.com
Yellen's Senate confirmation hearing set for Jan. 19
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)WASHINGTON – The Senate Finance Committee announced Tuesday that it will hold a confirmation hearing for Treasury Secretary-nominee Janet Yellen on Jan. 19. The timing for the hearing will mean that Yellen will appear before a panel still controlled by Republicans. Democrats will not take over control of the Senate until Jan. 20 after President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are sworn into office. With the election to the Senate of two Democrats from Georgia last week, the Senate will be split 50-50. Biden is hoping to get Yellen's nomination through the Senate quickly so that she will be able to help win congressional passage of another COVID-19 relief package.
How concerned investors should be about Biden's tax proposals
Raising taxes on the wealthy will also revive the old debate that raising taxes would not necessarily provide a dramatic increase in revenues. Most of the increase would come from raising the corporate income tax rate and the Social Security payroll tax increase. The capital gains tax discourages capital gains realizations because capital gains are only taxed when realized. I don't think individual tax rates are the bigger concern, I think corporate tax rates and capital gains are going to be the main focus." Wiener believes that major tax changes are unlikely in 2021: "It's very unlikely they will try to force a big corporate tax hike this year."cnbc.com
Biden blames Trump for violence at Capitol that's shaken US
President-elect Joe Biden speaks during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, to announce key nominees for the Justice Department. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)WASHINGTON – President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday denounced the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol as “domestic terrorists” and he blamed President Donald Trump for the violence that has shaken the nation's capital and beyond. It was chaos.”Those who massed on Capitol Hill intending to disrupt a joint session of Congress that was certifying Biden’s election victory over Trump “weren’t protesters. The remarks came during an event in Wilmington, Delaware, to introduce Biden's Justice Department team, to be led by federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland as attorney general. The Justice Department is expected to dramatically change course during the Biden administration, with a greater focus on civil rights issues and a review of policing policies.
WATCH: President-elect Joe Biden announces key DOJ nominees
WILMINGTON, Del. – President-elect Joe Biden announced key nominees for the Justice Department Thursday afternoon. Among his nominees is his pick for attorney general, Judge Merrick Garland, who Biden will help “restore the independence” of the Justice Department and faith in the rule of law. The AP reports Garland is a federal appellate judge with an extensive amount of experience. Decades ago, he held senior positions at the Justice Department and was a supervisor of the prosecution of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
Biden's pick to lead Treasury made over $7M in speaking fees
Yellen’s was among three financial disclosures turned in by Biden transition officials that were made public on Thursday by the Office of Government Ethics. She took in the speaking fees in 2019 and 2020. Hillary Clinton faced criticism from the left wing of the Democratic Party while running for president in 2016 for having received lucrative speaking fees at Wall Street firms. "She’s been fully transparent.”Also released Thursday were disclosure forms from Biden’s choice to be secretary of state, Antony Blinken, who detailed his work at a consulting firm he co-founded, WestExec Advisors, LLC. Avril Haines, Biden’s choice to be national intelligence director, disclosed being a consultant at WestExec Advisors and collecting around $55,000 in fees between October 2017 and last summer.
Investors believe the stock market could see headwinds under a Biden presidency
Getty ImagesWall Street investors largely believe a Joe Biden presidency could mean lower stock-market returns, according to a new CNBC survey. Two-thirds said the first four years of Biden will be worse for stocks than Trump's term. The Trump administration has also relaxed many regulations over the last four years, creating a market-friendly environment for oil and other industries. While investors believe Biden's policies could create headwinds for the overall market, some sectors would fare better than others. Consumer discretionary, industrials and financials will perform the best under a Biden administration, according to the survey.cnbc.com
Joe Biden says he will push for more stimulus checks in next Covid relief bill
President-elect Joe Biden will push for a third round of stimulus checks in the next Covid-19 relief bill, he said Tuesday. "I think you're seeing that there is a clear understanding that these issues go beyond any ideology," Biden said. The $900 billion legislation provided for $600 payments to most Americans, which are expected to arrive as soon as next week. That plan was modeled on the CARES Act, which was passed in March and provided for $1,200 checks. "One thing I promise you about my leadership during this crisis, I'm going to tell it to you straight," Biden said.cnbc.com
Biden's profoundly private Pentagon pick joins Twitter
Retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, the Biden administrations choice to be secretary of defense, speaks at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020. Well, today I’m learning about Twitter,” Austin, 67, tweeted mid-morning. Under the law, a service member must be out of uniform for at least seven years before serving as defense secretary. Austin retired in 2016. Austin's Twitter video treads a careful line between touting his military career and emphasizing his current status as a civilian.
The Latest: Biden's picks point to their diverse backgrounds
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)WASHINGTON – The Latest on President-elect Joe Biden (all times local):3:55 p.m.Several of the latest picks announced by President-elect Joe Biden are emphasizing the diversity of the backgrounds as they prepare to join an administration Biden has promised will reflect the varied experiences of Americans. Tom Vilsack, Biden’s pick to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture, noted he grew up in an orphanage near Pittsburgh. Biden spoke while introducing Vilsack, Fudge and three other top picks for his administration on Friday. ___3:05 p.m.President-elect Joe Biden says the American public should have confidence in a coronavirus vaccine that may soon begin to become available. Biden fills Cabinet with former White House leaders— Hundreds of GOP members sign onto Texas-led election lawsuit— Joe Biden, Kamala Harris named Time magazine’s Person of the Year
The Latest: Biden signals limit on executive authority use
President-elect Joe Biden speaks during an event to announce his choice of retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin to be secretary of defense, at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)WASHINGTON – The Latest on President-elect Joe Biden (all times local):6:10 p.m.Joe Biden has suggested he can’t go as far with executive authority as some of his most vocal supporters would like, declaring that he won’t violate the Constitution in a leaked recording of his call with civil rights leaders. Biden is urged to use executive action to promote police reform and is heard promising to use his presidential power to overturn “every single damn thing” that President Donald Trump did via executive action. Executive authority that my progressive friends talk about is way beyond the bounds.” He cited the specific example of assault-style weapons, saying it’d be unconstitutional to ban them with executive action. ___7 a.m.President-elect Joe Biden is heading to Georgia to campaign for the Democratic candidates in the state’s two critical U.S. Senate runoffs.
AP sources: Biden to pick Katherine Tai as top trade envoy
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)WASHINGTON – President-elect Joe Biden is set to nominate Katherine Tai to be the top U.S. trade envoy, according to two people familiar with his plans. Biden's selection of Tai, who is Asian American, reflects his promise to choose a diverse Cabinet that reflects the makeup of the country. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Tai earlier oversaw China trade enforcement for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, setting U.S. strategy in trade disputes with China. Biden’s trade representative will inherit a trade war with China, put on pause by an interim trade pact in January that left many of the hardest issues unresolved and U.S. taxes remaining on $360 billion in Chinese imports. As the top trade staffer at Ways and Means, Tai handled negotiations last year with the Trump administration over a revamped North American trade deal.
Fauci says Covid could be under control in 'back half of 2021' if enough people are vaccinated
The United States could get the coronavirus pandemic under control by the "back half of 2021" if enough people are vaccinated against the disease in the spring once doses are widely available, White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Tuesday. "I think we can get there towards the second half of 2021 if we implement the vaccine program properly and aggressively," Fauci said. However, the challenge will be persuading the "overwhelming majority" of people in the U.S. to get vaccinated, Fauci said. Fauci's comments come only days before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration could potentially issue Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine an emergency use authorization. On Tuesday, the FDA said data from Pfizer's vaccine trials showed the drug was highly effective and did not raise any specific safety concerns.cnbc.com
Biden predicts 'bleak future' if Congress doesn't act on aid
– President-elect Joe Biden is predicting a “bleak future” if Congress doesn't take speedy action on a coronavirus aid bill amid a nationwide spike in the virus that's hampering the country's economic recovery. “If we act now — I mean now — we can begin to regain momentum and start to build back a better future,” he said. While the Trump administration has undertaken some planning around vaccine distribution, Biden said Friday that their proposal lacks significant details. Democrats and Republicans have been deadlocked on a coronavirus aid bill for months, with Republicans opposed to a previous, more expensive bill that passed the House. Biden said Friday that he plans to ask Congress for funding for expanded testing, vaccine distribution, jobless aid and help for those at risk of eviction.
The Latest: Biden: Trump inaugural presence important to US
WASHINGTON – The Latest on President-elect Joe Biden (all times local):9:55 p.m.President-elect Joe Biden says it is important that President Donald Trump attend his inauguration only in the sense that it would demonstrate the nation’s commitment to a peaceful transfer of power between political rivals. ___8:45 p.m.Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus have made a fresh push for President-elect Joe Biden to nominate New Mexico Gov. But $207.5 million came in after Election Day as Trump repeatedly – and falsely – claimed President-elect Joe Biden won due to voter fraud. Gina Raimondo has knocked down talk that she is in the running for President-elect Joe Biden’s secretary of health and human services. ___12:25 p.m.President-elect Joe Biden has tapped former Obama administration senior economic adviser Brian Deese to be director of the National Economic Council.
The Latest: Trump, US agency allow formal Biden transition
WASHINGTON – The Latest on President-elect Joe Biden (all times local):8 p.m. The General Services Administration has formally designated President-elect Joe Biden as the “apparent winner” of the Nov. 3 election. ___3:30 p.m.President-elect Joe Biden says he wants to work closely with the nation’s mayors to help Americans cope during the coronavirus pandemic. Haines, 51, was the White House deputy national security adviser during the Obama administration. About a dozen other senior White House staffers also have been announced by the president-elect.
Joe Biden wins Georgia, flipping the state for Democrats
President-elect Joe Biden, accompanied by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, speaks at The Queen theater, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)WASHINGTON – Joe Biden has won Georgia and its 16 electoral votes, an extraordinary victory for Democrats who pushed to expand their electoral map through the Sun Belt. The win by Biden pads his Electoral College margin of victory over President Donald Trump. Biden was declared the winner of the presidential election on Nov. 7 after flipping Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin to the Democrats’ column. Biden now has 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232.
The Latest: International observers see no fraud in US vote
President-elect Joe Biden listens during a meeting with his COVID-19 advisory council, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020, at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)WASHINGTON – The Latest on President-elect Joe Biden (all times local):9 p.m.International observers from the Organization of American States say they saw no instances of fraud or voting irregularities in the U.S. presidential election. Some Republicans are renewing their attacks on President-elect Joe Biden’s lead over President Donald Trump in Georgia, with Sens. Political appointees who are looking for job opportunities after President Donald Trump’s election defeat to President-elect Joe Biden should think twice. Carson is the first member of President Donald Trump’s cabinet known to have tested positive.
The Latest: Winfrey boosts Biden at get-out-the-vote event
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)WASHINGTON – The Latest on the presidential campaign (all times local):8:35 p.m.Joe Biden is getting a boost from Oprah Winfrey in the final days of the presidential campaign. While President Donald Trump won all but Minnesota in 2016, Democrats are increasingly optimistic Biden can win at least Michigan and Pennsylvania back, and he’s making a play for Ohio as well. ___HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:The presidential campaign shifts west as President Donald Trump visits an Arizona town across the Colorado River from Nevada. The Biden campaign announced the rally on Wednesday but hasn’t said where it will be held. President Donald Trump won Michigan by just under 11,000 votes four years ago, making it his closest margin of victory in any state.
Lego family leads $6 billion deal to take Madame Tussauds owner private
The Queens of The Queen of The Ride hold the world's longest feather boa during the Guinness World Record with Madame Tussauds and Ripley's Believe It or Not! (CNN) - The Danish family behind Lego has partnered with Blackstone to take the owner of Madame Tussauds private. The deal values Merlin Entertainments at 4.7 billion ($6 billion). In addition to the wax museum Madame Tussauds, the company owns LegoLand theme parks and other attractions in 25 countries, including The London Eye. Yet in going private, Merlin Entertainments is returning to its roots.