Tag Archives: biden

Fauci said the US coronavirus infection may not change, the vaccine must protect against the new variant | Instant News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Dr Anthony Fauci, a US infectious disease expert, said on Thursday that based on a recent seven-day average, coronavirus infections are likely to reach high ground in the United States.

COVID-19 has been out of control for months in the United States even with a massive vaccination campaign underway. The US death toll has exceeded 400,000.

At a White House press briefing, Fauci also said the coronavirus vaccine could be modified to account for new variants of the virus, and although the South African variant is worrying, it appears that a vaccine does not exist in the United States.

Another highly contagious variant of the virus first discovered in Britain has spread to at least 20 US states, Fauci said.

Fauci said he hopes the current vaccine will be effective against the newly discovered virus mutation.

“The bottom line: we are very concerned about our alternative plans if we have to modify the vaccine,” he said. “But at the moment, from the reports we have … it looks like vaccines will still be effective against them.”

The United States still has limited ability to track the presence of new variants in its population, he added.

Fauci said President Joe Biden’s plans to speed up the inoculation of COVID-19, including setting up community vaccination centers and engaging more local pharmacies, boost the Trump administration’s rollout.

He added that Biden implemented the Defense Production Act to help vaccine manufacturers, including Pfizer Inc, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna Inc, increase their production.

Most Americans are likely to be vaccinated by the middle of this year, Fauci said, although he added he remains concerned about the number of people who are hesitant about getting vaccines.

Reporting By Jeff Mason and Steve Holland; Edited by Leslie Adler and Bill Berkrot


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Joe Biden’s Inauguration: DIA New Zealand deploys counter-terror team online | Instant News


A National Guard soldier stands at a roadblock outside the Capitol in Washington DC as security is stepped up ahead of the inauguration ceremony of US President-elect Joe Biden. Photo / AP

The warning of acts of political violence in the United States has prompted New Zealand authorities to deploy an online counter-terrorism team.

The Department of Home Affairs assigned staff to monitor online platforms before, during and immediately after Joe Biden’s Presidential inauguration.

Warnings from US law enforcement about the increased risk of domestic terrorism or acts of violence in America prompted the move.

Concerns arose after a crowd supporting defeated President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol two weeks ago.

Jared Mullen, DIA’s director of digital security, said a staff of specialists was ready to detect and respond to content that could harm New Zealanders.

“This includes potentially illegal content, such as videos or images that clearly promote terrorism or extreme violence.”

A protester releases smoke grenades in front of the US Capitol building during the January 6 attack.  Photo / Bloomberg via Getty Images
A protester releases smoke grenades in front of the US Capitol building during the January 6 attack. Photo / Bloomberg via Getty Images

The counter terrorism monitoring team involved staff working in shifts to monitor the situation until at least Friday afternoon.

“Our first priority is to limit the availability of hazardous or potentially illegal materials, especially in cases where the spread of the virus poses a high public risk,” said Mullen.

“After this period, DIA will reassess the need for further monitoring.”

President Donald Trump addresses members of the media while departing from the White House on January 12.  Photo / Bloomberg via Getty Images
President Donald Trump addresses members of the media while departing from the White House on January 12. Photo / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Supporting security precautions in New Zealand in response to an incident in Washington DC is an extraordinary step, said University of Otago political scientist Dr Robert Patman.

It is also a sign of how seriously the current government is taking the threat of right-wing extremism, he added.

Patman said the pictures, the content of the killings were shared on Facebook after Christchurch mosque shooting has surprised many people.

President-elect Joe Biden spoke at an event in Wilmington, Delaware, earlier this month.  Photo / AP
President-elect Joe Biden spoke at an event in Wilmington, Delaware, earlier this month. Photo / AP

Social media platforms are rushing to shut down gruesome content such as the now banned terrorist live streaming, which proliferated after the mosque attacks on March 15, 2019.

Patman said before the Christchurch mosque shootings, local intelligence agencies were more concerned with the threat of Islamic terrorism.

“White supremacist terrorism or extreme white nationalism is not seen as a big problem. That perception has now changed significantly.”

The surge in violent or potentially illegal content has prompted DIA to deploy a team that tracks online traffic before, during and after Joe Biden's inauguration.  Photo / 123RF
The surge in violent or potentially illegal content has prompted DIA to deploy a team that tracks online traffic before, during and after Joe Biden’s inauguration. Photo / 123RF

Patman said the relationship between conspiracy theorists and Trump supporters who refuse to accept the US election results is not isolated internationally.

And he says many members of the group carrying out the deadly Capitol siege appear to have gotten most of their information from conspiracy theory sites.

Martin Cocker, executive director of Netsafe, said the DIA initiative was a possible way to get ahead of malicious content instead of catching up.

In the days following the Capitol riots, security was reviewed at Parliament in Wellington after a glass door was smashed in an ax strike.  Photo / Provided
In the days following the Capitol riots, security was reviewed at Parliament in Wellington after a glass door was smashed in an ax strike. Photo / Provided

“There is intelligence [indicating] likely people want to interfere with the inauguration, “he said.

Cocker understands that groups identified in US intelligence include entities that previously produced harmful and objectionable content.

“Most groups, even with very extreme ideologies, have followers around the world.”

Cocker said news media attention to the inauguration meant some attention-seekers might engage in provocative or extremist action to gain mainstream media coverage.

The Capitol attack also raises questions about security in the Wellington Parliament area.

The Parliamentary Service finally announced a security review – but only after the man with the ax broken glass door in Parliament on December 13.

The attack on Congress earlier this month was the first time the US Capitol was violated since 1812, when British troops invaded.

Joe Biden’s inauguration as United’s 46th President begins at 6am on Thursday New Zealand time.

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Biden will inherit a healthy Indo-Pacific alliance | Instant News

Derek Grossman is a senior defense analyst at the Rand Corporation, a non-profit, nonpartisan. He previously served as an intelligence adviser at the Pentagon.

A popular rejection from the incoming Biden administration is that US alliances and partnerships in the Indo-Pacific have atrophied under the past four years of mismanagement of the Trump administration.

Antony Blinken, who was nominated to be Foreign Minister, said last July, “We need to gather our allies and partners instead of alienating them” to deal with China. President-elect Joe Biden regretted that President Donald Trump had “belittled, belittled, and in some cases abandoned US allies and partners.”

To be sure, Trump’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and his threat of a trade war has done little to help Washington in the region. The question of whether Japan and South Korea are paying enough to make a fruitful alliance is worrying. Of course there are other examples that can be raised.

But overall, the Biden administration may be surprised to find that the US alliance and partnership is in good shape – the result of a growing Indo-Pacific consensus on the existential economic and security threats that China poses. This regional uneasiness often favors Washington, and in many cases, it becomes a partner of choice, suggesting that the Biden administration does not need to work too hard to improve US alliances and partnerships.

Of the five official US allies – Australia, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea and Thailand – four should be considered relatively healthy and supported by the Chinese threat. Australia’s relationship with China took a nosedive after Canberra’s support for Hong Kong, brazen Chinese influence operations in Australia, trade friction and Beijing’s liberation over the false image of an Australian soldier threatening to kill babies in Afghanistan. In July, Australia’s defense ministry released a strategic defense update and force structure plan aimed at countering China.

The US-Japan alliance is arguably the strongest in history. Tokyo regularly supports US goals to keep the Indo-Pacific free and open and participates in joint exercises in disputed waters. Japan has been eyeing China in the Senkaku Islands, administered by Japan but claimed by China as Diaoyu, in the East China Sea for years. And Japan’s new Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga, plans to continue to prioritize and improve the alliance. He plans to visit Washington to meet with Biden this February.

Despite anti-American and pro-China President Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines has recently shown its intention to stick with Washington. In November, Duterte allowed US troops to continue to freely enter and move across the country, contrary to previous moves to end the US-Philippines Visiting Forces Agreement. In announcing the decision, Philippine Foreign Minister Teddy Locsin expressed “clarity and strength” in dealing with China’s destabilizing actions in the South China Sea. Even Duterte, in a speech at the United Nations last September, rejected China’s attempts to undermine a 2016 decision to enforce the Manila area in the South China Sea.

South Korea under President Moon Jae-in has been an enthusiastic supporter of Trump’s summit diplomacy with North Korea, and in so doing has ignored tensions in the alliance related to burden sharing. Moon may want to include China in this engagement, but he may remain wary of Beijing’s intentions in the wake of economic retaliation for Seoul’s deployment of the anti-dissile THAAD system.

Thailand is the only US ally to have slipped into China’s orbit, largely because of a lack of common goals or major disputes with China.

Apart from the US alliance, there have also been successes among partners. In particular, the US and India initiated a two-plus-two ministerial dialogue that resulted in numerous security agreements. Taiwan is another bright spot after several pro-Taiwan bills passed by Congress, visits by top US officials, and the routineization of a strong arms sales package. The US has also done very well with Vietnam. Trump traveled to Vietnam twice – once for the second North Korean summit – and Hanoi is pleased that the US is pushing back on China’s maritime aggression and its dam projects along the upper reaches of the Mekong River.

Donald Trump and Nguyen Xuan Phuc greeted by students in Hanoi in February 2019: Hanoi is pleased that the US is pushing back on China’s maritime aggression. © Reuters

The US is also diplomatically competitive elsewhere. For example, Indonesia participates in China’s Belt and Road Initiative project, but is concerned about Chinese designs in the Natuna Sea. The Maldives recently welcomed the opening of a US embassy, ​​and when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Sri Lanka, Colombo stressed the importance of “safeguarding freedom of navigation in our seas and airspace” – a direct nod to US Indo-Pacific strategy. Other important partners, such as Singapore and Malaysia, are friendly with the US even though they maintain deep ties with China.

Finally, in Oceania, the US sustains relations in particular with the Free Association States – the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau – which provide the US military with exclusive access essential to enabling the military to conduct future operations against China. In his first history, Trump invited the three FAS leaders to the White House, and the Secretary of State and Defense visited Micronesia and Palau for the first time, respectively. In September, Palau offered to host the US air force, while New Zealand also grew increasingly concerned about China’s behavior, both in Australia and in the Pacific islands.

Multilaterally, the US has struggled at times. The Trump administration does not send sufficiently senior representatives to important events such as the ASEAN Regional Forum and the East Asia Summit – a decision that has angered Southeast Asian leaders. However, Washington can also claim some success. Significantly, in October, Quad attendees – Australia, Japan, India and the US – met for the first stand-alone ministerial meeting in Tokyo to underline their collective determination to tackle the Indo-Pacific challenge together.

There is definitely a lot of work ahead as the US starts its next round of competition against China across the Indo-Pacific. But the good news is that the new Biden administration is likely to inherit far better alliances and partnerships than conventional wisdom suggests.


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How President-elect Biden plans to get to his inauguration in Washington, DC | Instant News

How President-elect Biden plans to get to his inauguration in Washington, DC Advertiser Disclosure Many credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. This compensation may have an impact on how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please see our Advertising Policy page for more information. Editorial Note: The views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not not been reviewed, approved or approved by any of these entities. .

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2021 for Great Britain – From the COVID vaccine and the economic downturn, to Brexit and Biden | Instant News

The effects of the pandemic have been so pervasive that every political and social issue facing Britain has become involved with it.

Mike Finn – Flickr / CC BY 2.0

This article is part of a series – Future Pandemics in 2021 and beyond.

While foolish for anyone to predict the future, it seems pretty certain that for Great Britain 2021 and beyond will be difficult. Such a future is quite certain because of the immediate consequences and further evolution of things that started happening in 2020 and a few years earlier. Improper handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit colliding. Instead of the overwhelming sense of relief many in the United States may feel, the beginning of 2021 is likely to be chaotic in Britain.

The effects of the pandemic have been so pervasive that every political and social issue facing Britain has become involved with it. While the lesson for 2020 is that there is a real possibility that something unpredictable or unknown can have a dramatic impact, several known and interrelated issues will significantly impact life in Britain in 2021 and beyond. Key issues include Brexit, the continued health effects of COVID, the economy, internal politics of devolution, and President Biden.

COVID-19 – vaccines and investigations

More than 64,000 people have died from COVID-related causes, and by mid-December, most of Great Britain will be locked again due to a sharp increase in infections and deaths. What is different during this third cycle of blackouts is the vaccine. On 8 December, the UK started its biggest vaccination program in the history of the country. It began administering vaccines to people aged 80 or older, long-term facility care workers, and medical personnel who were at high risk of exposure. This is a significant achievement for the UK, and researchers, the health care system and politicians are no exception. At least they would be able to say that despite the mishandling of the early months and the spread of infection, Britain was the first to give a vaccine to its people. Vaccines, as far as we know, neither prevents infection nor does it prevent further transmission. What it does effectively is prevent serious illness and the death of those who are infected. And the very valuable thing a vaccine will do is blunt any potential analysis or criticism from an official COVID investigation. There is little doubt that there will a question, but we can expect to hear over and over again, ‘we’re doing the best we can,’ and ‘we’re helping produce and deliver vaccines.’


Vaccines, no matter the actual details of what they actually do and don’t do, provide much-needed oxygen for the economy to restart. A strange thing has happened in England as in any other country. While the economy has contracted badly, it’s not done as badly as it should be. It is global equity market has soared. And it is likely that as the UK government will continue to support wherever it is needed, equity markets will continue to move up. The dark side of the peculiar COVID economy, of course, is rising unemployment and severely reduced income. Child malnutrition increases, which also means that child development tends to slow down more generally, increasing inequality among groups of children as well as between social groups for years to come. Those who have the resources to get through 2020, or perhaps, even benefit from the boom in the equity market, are the winners of this pandemic. As 2021 begins to unfold, increasing deprivation and social inequality will become more visible. This means that once things start opening up again, people will start opening up see the effect one another.


January 31st 2020 is supposed to be a big day of celebration for the British Prime Minister and most of the UK population. It was the day Britain officially left the European Union. Indeed, it was reported that the main reason Prime Minister Johnson did not attend some of the emergency meetings regarding the pandemic that was taking place in January was that he was so focused on the landmark Brexit events. UK and EU agree there will be 11 months for negotiations new rules for dealing with each other – “trade deals.” And, it has been said that one of the reasons the UK is responding so badly to the pandemic is because the entire civil service and political leadership is focused on ‘Getting Brexit Done’.

Towards the December 31 deadline, it’s already there disagree with the EU. This is not a situation where last-minute negotiations will lead to an agreement; the number of problems is too great, and too interrelated. This will have enormous consequences in all sectors, for the government, and the daily lives of most people. Two places where people will feel the impact are at the grocery store and on their holidays. At the very least, some meals will be more expensive. And a getaway to a warm climate or a weekend trip to Europe’s major cities will be far from smooth. In fact, EU countries can make it difficult for visitors from the UK given its COVID situation.


During 2020, the Scotsman will be outraged whenever the international media reports how badly Britain is responding to COVID. Much self-government or devolution between different countries means they have implemented different policies, with different results. That Scottish expresses pride in acting more quickly and implementing policies that appear to have reduced the pandemic to date. In contrast, most of the deaths occurred in the UK. Apart from countries, the pandemic has also increased tensions between the Center and cities and other large metropolitan areas. For example, requiring increased restrictions in certain cities and regions due to increased infections while not providing further financial support to the region seems unfair and increasingly burdensome local governments. 2021 is sure to see more of these issues of intra-national governance and devolution, and perhaps increase hatred against the center and the ruling party.

President Biden

The momentum behind Brexit and rising anti-EU sentiment in the UK is seen to some extent amplified by Trump’s rise in the US. Indeed, there is clear evidence that individuals are spearheading the movement to leave the EU related to Trump and his reign. And many of the methods used in US elections to elect Trump are also used used on Brexit Choose. There are also many comparisons between Johnson and Trump. That the election of Joe Biden immediately change what the UK can do in many domains including Brexit, the COVID response, devolution and so on. Biden will aim to build multilateralism again, trying to isolate some of the rising authoritarian powers, and aiming to contain China. And this may mean that Britain will have to follow in Biden’s footsteps. Following in the US footsteps will become commonplace for British people. What will be new is that the black Americans who get Biden elected will make the connection that Britain played a fundamental role in creating their predicament. I predict the photo with Kamala Harris, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will go viral.


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