Biden launches targeted vaccination campaign: ‘Our fight against this virus is not over’
Joe Biden is now delivering remarks on his administration’s plans to launch targeted outreach efforts in communities with lower rates of vaccination against coronavirus.
Celebrating his administration’s vaccination efforts so far, Biden said at the White House, “We’re closer than ever to declaring our independence from this deadly virus.”
Biden makes remarks on Covid-19 vaccination programme – watch live
The president noted that more than 160 million Americans will be vaccinated by the end of this week, just a few days after the July 4 deadline that Biden set for that milestone.
New coronavirus cases and deaths are also down 90% since January, allowing Americans to start “living their lives as they did before,” Biden said.
“The bottom line is: the virus is on the run, and America is coming back,” Biden said. “But our fight against this virus is not over.”
Joe Biden will soon deliver remarks on his administration’s ongoing efforts to vaccinate more Americans against coronavirus.
The Biden administration has already said it will launch more targeted outreach efforts in communities with lower vaccination rates, amid concerns about the spread of the delta variant of the virus.
The president also just received a briefing from members of his coronavirus response team, including chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci and CDC director Rochelle Walensky.
The Hillbilly Elegy author turned Republican Ohio Senate candidate JD Vance has apologised for a former political position: critic of Donald Trump.
“Like a lot of people, I criticised Trump back in 2016,” Vance told Fox News. “And I ask folks not to judge me based on what I said in 2016, because I’ve been very open that I did say those critical things and I regret them, and I regret being wrong about the guy.”
Vance’s need to address the subject came out of good digging by CNN, which unearthed deleted tweets. However, Vance’s dislike of Trump and intent to vote for the independent conservative Evan McMullin was widely known in 2016.
As Hillbilly Elegy surged up the charts, for example, Vance spoke to the journalist Matt Lewis.
“The reason, ultimately, that I am not” a Trump voter, he said, “is because I think that [Trump] is the most-raw expression of a massive finger pointed at other people.”
Of course, back then Trump did not have a stranglehold on the Republican party of the kind which meant anyone running for office as a Republican anywhere had to kiss the ring to stand any chance of winning a nomination.
Pentagon drops controversial ‘Jedi’ cloud contract
The Pentagon has announced it has dropped a $10bn cloud-computing contract with Microsoft that caused a huge political kerfuffle when Donald Trump was in the White House, over the question of whether Trump intervened to steer the contract away from Amazon, the owner of the Washington Post.
The Department of Defense said on Tuesday the contract for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure – or Jedi, Star Wars fans – no longer met its needs.
Microsoft won the contract in 2019 – and Amazon sued to block it.
In a statement not light on defenseworld newspeak, John Sherman, acting DoD chief information officer, said: “Jedi was developed at a time when the department’s needs were different and both the CSPs technology and our cloud conversancy was less mature. In light of new initiatives like JADC2 and AI and Data Acceleration (ADA), the evolution of the cloud ecosystem within DoD, and changes in user requirements to leverage multiple cloud environments to execute mission, our landscape has advanced and a new way-ahead is warranted to achieve dominance in both traditional and non-traditional warfighting domains.”
He added: “The department intends to seek proposals from a limited number of sources, namely the Microsoft Corporation (Microsoft) and Amazon Web Services (AWS), as available market research indicates that these two vendors are the only Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) capable of meeting the Department’s requirements.”
Here’s an in-depth read on Amazon’s move into the defense industry:
Jen Psaki said the administration does not currently plan to set any new goals in terms of administering coronavirus vaccines.
The US failed to reach Joe Biden’s goal of having 70% of American adults at least partially vaccinated by July 4. About 67% of US adults have received at least one vaccine dose as of today.
The administration is now launching more targeted outreach efforts in communities with lower vaccination rates, and the president will deliver a speech outlining those plans in a speech this afternoon.
The White House press briefing has now concluded.
Asked about the crafting of the reconciliation package, Jen Psaki said this week will include “a lot of behind-the-scenes bill-writing” and “long nights and lots of coffee” for Democratic staffers on Capitol Hill.
Democratic congressional leaders hope to include many elements of Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan in the package.
A number of Biden’s proposals were not included in the bipartisan infrastructure framework, and the reconciliation package is a second chance to enact those policies.
Because the bill will be passed via reconciliation, Democrats will not need to attract any Republican support in order to get the legislation to Biden’s desk.
Jen Psaki said Joe Biden will convene an interagency meeting tomorrow to address the administration’s ongoing efforts to respond to ransomware attacks.
The meeting follows a series of high-profile ransomware attacks on major companies, which have been blamed on groups based in Russia.
The White House press secretary also said that “a high level of our national security team” has been in touch with senior Russian officials to engage in discussions about preventing such attacks.
“If the Russian government cannot or will not take action against criminal actors residing in Russia, we will take action or reserve the right to take action on our own,” Psaki said.
Psaki says “high level” of U.S. national security has been in touch with top Russian officials about $70 million ransomware attack by a Russia-linked hacking group
She says if Russia doesn’t take action against cyber criminals residing there, “we will” https://t.co/6096ZKXN39 pic.twitter.com/GLhelp2Wyg
July 6, 2021
Jen Psaki confirmed an earlier Wall Street Journal report that national security adviser Jake Sullivan will meet with Saudi Arabia’s deputy defense minister in Washington this week.
The Saudi deputy defense minister, Prince Khalid bin Salman, is the son of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and a younger brother of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The Biden administration has implicated the crown prince in the 2018 killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and Psaki indicated that issue could possibly come up during the Saudi official’s meeting with Sullivan.
Jen Psaki gave some details on Joe Biden’s trip tomorrow to Crystal Lake, Illinois, saying he will promote the bipartisan infrastructure framework.
The press secretary said Biden will also explain the need to enact his American Families Plan, which congressional Democrats hope to pass via reconciliation, meaning they will not have to get any Republican support to approve the proposal.
Biden has made several trips in recent weeks to promote his infrastructure plans, most recently traveling to La Crosse, Wisconsin, last week.
The White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, is now holding her daily briefing, and she opened her remarks with a preview of Joe Biden’s speech this afternoon.
Psaki said the president will outline the administration’s reinvigorated efforts to get more Americans vaccinated against coronavirus, which she said is critically important because “fully vaccinated people are protected against the Delta variant”.
The press secretary explained that the administration is launching door-to-door outreach efforts in communities with lower vaccination rates and working to get more doses to primary care doctors and pediatricians in those communities.
Psaki also announced that the US is shipping 1.5 million doses of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine to Guatemala and 2 million doses of the Moderna vaccine to Vietnam, confirming an earlier report.
Today so far
Here’s where the day stands so far:
- Joe Biden will deliver an update this afternoon on his administration’s ongoing efforts to vaccinate more Americans against coronavirus. The update comes after the country missed Biden’s goal of having 70% of Americans adults at least partially vaccinated by July 4. A senior administration official said the president will outline the White House’s plans to launch targeted outreach efforts in communities with lower vaccination rates.
- Today marks six months since the Capitol insurrection. The anniversary comes as some of Donald Trump’s supporters are working to deny the reality of that violent day, which resulted in five deaths.
- The death toll in the Surfside condo building collapse rose to 32, after four more bodies were recovered. Local officials said 113 people remain potentially unaccounted for, as search and rescue teams brace for heavy rains from Tropical Storm Elsa that could affect the disaster site.
The blog will have more coming up, so stay tuned.
The US continues to distribute more coronavirus vaccines to other nations, with 2 million doses being shipped to Vietnam today.
The Moderna vaccine shipment — part of a first 80 million doses that President Joe Biden has pledged to allocate worldwide — should arrive in Vietnam this weekend, a White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP.
‘This is just the beginning of doses being shipped to southeast Asia,’ the official said.
A million doses went to Malaysia on Monday and last week the White House announced delivery ‘soon’ of four million doses to Indonesia.
Biden had initially pledged to ship 80 million vaccine doses abroad by the end of June, but the White House fell short of that goal.
Jeff Zients, the coordinator of the White House pandemic response team, said on Friday that the White House was working to deliver tens of millions of additional doses over the next couple of months.
The journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones said on Tuesday she will join Howard University, a prominent historically black college in Washington, as its Knight chair in race and journalism, turning down a similar position at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill even though it reversed a controversial decision to deny her tenure.
Howard has also appointed the award-winning writer Ta-Nehisi Coates as writer-in-residence.
Hannah-Jones is a journalist for the New York Times best known for creating the Pulitzer-winning 1619 Project, which focuses on the place of slavery in American history.
She has been at the center of a tense fight in academia since the UNC board of trustees denied her tenure, despite her having the support of faculty and students.
Hannah-Jones was offered a five-year contract at the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media that did not initially include tenure.
In her first interview about the controversy, Hannah-Jones told CBS on Tuesday every Knight chair before her at UNC “received that position with tenure”.
“This is my alma mater,” she said of UNC. “I love the university … it was embarrassing to be the first person to be denied tenure. It was embarrassing, and I didn’t want this to become a public scandal.”