When Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced this week that the federal government would begin releasing coronavirus vaccine doses held in reserve for second shots, no such reserve existed, according to state and federal officials briefed on distribution plans. The Trump administration had already begun shipping out what was available beginning at the end of December, taking second doses directly off the manufacturing line.
Now, health officials across the country who had anticipated their extremely limited vaccine supply as much as doubling beginning next week are confronting the reality that their allocations will remain largely flat, dashing hopes of dramatically expanding access for millions of elderly people and those with high-risk medical conditions. Health officials in some cities and states were informed in recent days about the reality of the situation, while others are still in the dark.
Because both of the vaccines authorized for emergency use in the United States are two-dose regimens, the Trump administration’s initial policy was to hold back second doses to protect against the possibility of manufacturing disruptions. But that approach shifted in recent weeks, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.
One of the two Virginia police officers arrested Wednesday in connection with last week’s deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol is a current member of the Virginia National Guard, officials confirmed Thursday.
Jacob Fracker has been charged with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. The Virginia National Guard said Thursday that he is a corporal in the Virginia Guard.
“The Virginia National Guard will conduct an investigation into the matter, and we will be able to release more information when that is complete,” the Guard said in a statement.
Fracker, whose status as a guardsman was first reported by Military.com, is the first known person currently in the military to be arrested in connection with the Capitol assault.
Fracker is an infantryman in a traditional National Guard status who normally drills one weekend a month and does two weeks of annual training, the Virginia Guard said.
He is not currently on duty with Virginia National Guard troops in Washington, D.C., it added.
Last week’s attack has raised questions about the extent of extremism in the military and among veterans after several rioters were identified as former members of the military.
Republicans are in a bind as they consider how to move on from President Trump, who has passionate support from a large chunk of the party but has become completely toxic in the eyes of more traditional Republicans.
Washington Republicans are urging the party to cut ties completely with Trump over his role in the deadly riot that consumed Capitol Hill last week as corporations halt donations.
Some say Trump and his brand can have no future in GOP politics if the party is to survive given his increasingly toxic image with women, suburban voters, moderates and independents.
Many U.S. Secret Service agents have stood guard in Washington’s elite Kalorama neighborhood, home over the years to Cabinet secretaries and former presidents. Those agents have had to worry about death threats, secure perimeters and suspicious strangers. But with the arrival of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, they had a new worry: finding a toilet.
Instructed not to use any of the half-dozen bathrooms inside the couple’s house, the Secret Service detail assigned to President Trump’s daughter and son-in-law spent months searching for a reliable restroom to use on the job, according to neighbors and law enforcement officials. After resorting to a porta-potty, as well as bathrooms at the nearby home of former president Barack Obama and the not-so-nearby residence of Vice President Pence, the agents finally found a toilet to call their own.
The White House asked to borrow a van Gogh. The Guggenheim offered a gold toilet instead.
But it came at a cost to U.S. taxpayers. Since September 2017, the federal government has been spending $3,000 a month — more than $100,000 to date — to rent a basement studio, with a bathroom, from a neighbor of the Kushner family.
House lawmakers on Wednesday impeached President Trump for his role in last week’s deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol, capping an extraordinary week of violence, apprehension and partisan brawling in Congress just as Washington cranks up security in preparation for Joe Biden’s inauguration, just a week away.
The vote was historic: It made Trump the first president in the country’s history to be impeached twice.
And unlike the first debate, this time the president’s Democratic critics had support across the aisle. At least 10 Republicans joined every voting Democrat to approve the single impeachment article, which accuses Trump of inciting violence against the same federal government he leads.
The vote was still taking place when this story was posted, but the vote total had cleared the 217 voted needed to impeach the president. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who oversaw both impeachment efforts, said Trump’s refusal to concede his election defeat — and his subsequent efforts to rally supporters to the Capitol to overturn the election results — amounted to sedition. The president, she said, gave Congress no choice. “We know we experienced the insurrection that violated the sanctity of the people’s Capitol,” Pelosi said in a floor speech before the vote. “And we know that the president of the United States incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion, against our common country.