White House outlines plan to vaccinate US children once FDA gives approval – live | US news

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12.49pm EDT12:49

In the tumult of negotiations over the most consequential climate legislation ever proposed in the US, there is growing scrutiny of the fossil fuel industry connections of the man poised to tear down the core of the bill – the West Virginia senator Joe Manchin.

Manchin, a centrist Democrat, has objected to key provisions of a multitrillion-dollar reconciliation bill that would slash planet-heating emissions and help the US, and the world, to avert catastrophic climate breakdown. In a finely balanced Senate, Democrats need all 50 of their senators to vote for the bill, with no Republicans willing to vote for the climate measures.

The legislation would steadily retire the coal industry that once formed the backbone of the West Virginia economy and continues to provide ample financial support to Manchin.

In the current electoral cycle, Manchin has received more in political donations from the oil and gas industry than any other senator, more than double the second largest recipient. He is also the No 1 beneficiary of donations from the coal mining sector, leads the way in money accepted from gas pipeline operators, and is sixth in the ranking of senatorial donations from electricity utilities.
This industry largesse has led to accusations that the senator has been unduly influenced by the companies that have helped stoke the climate crisis. Manchin’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

Read the Guardian’s full report:





12.33pm EDT12:33

House speaker Nancy Pelosi was asked whether she believed Democrats could reach an agreement on the framework of the reconciliation package by the end of the week.

“We have met every milestone along the way in our timetable, and we will be where we need to be in order to reach our goal,” Pelosi said in her rather vague response.

Jason Donner
(@jason_donner)

Pelosi on if a framework can be reached by end of week: “Let’s see…we have met every milestone along the way in our timetable…”
& on community college & paid leave programs being scaled back said: “When I saw it on TV, I thought I’d never see it before…I thought news to me.” pic.twitter.com/ZeSS8UrdHM

October 20, 2021

When asked about reports that free community college and paid family leave programs may be scaled back in the final bill, Pelosi said that was “news to me”.

Joe Biden reportedly told progressive lawmakers yesterday that certain initiatives were likely to be downsized or eliminated in the final bill, as Democrats try to bring down the proposal’s price tag to appease moderates like Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.





12.13pm EDT12:13

Climate activists have gathered on Capitol Hill to demand that Democrats’ reconciliation package effectively address the climate crisis.

One protester with Greenpeace carried cutouts of Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer and moderate Democratic senator Joe Manchin, portraying Schumer as Manchin’s puppet.

There was another cutout representing Exxon Mobil to portray Manchin as a puppet of the oil and gas industry.

Lisa Desjardins
(@LisaDNews)

More at the Capitol.

Greenpeace is here with this portraying Schumer as Manchin’s puppet and Manchin as Exxon’s puppet.

(Note: a large Exxon puppet arm was not allowed by US Cap Police. And a Biden puppet is nearby but the person could only hold one, so it’s Schumer.) pic.twitter.com/2VBLGJHRvK

October 20, 2021

Manchin has pushed for scaling back the climate provisions in the reconciliation package, sparking outrage among progressives inside and outside of Congress.

Manchin has specifically called for eliminating the Clean Electricity Performance Program, which would reward utilities that make changes to rely more on renewable energy sources while penalizing companies that fail to do so.

Experts have warned that CEPP is the most important climate provision in the reconciliation package, and the bill will be much less effective without it.





11.58am EDT11:58

More than a dozen Democratic senators have requested for paid family leave to remain in the Biden administration’s flagship $3.5tn spending package, reports the Associated Press.

In a letter sent to Biden, Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer of New York and House speaker Nancy Pelosi of California today, 15 senators, with moderate and progressive leanings, demanded for paid family leave to remain in the final version of the $3.5tn bill, a package that lawmakers are working to scale down.

“The pandemic has exposed an acute emergency on top of an ongoing, chronic caregiving crisis for working people and employers alike,” wrote the group in the letter. “We cannot emerge from this crisis and remain one of the only countries in the world with no form of national paid leave.”

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, who took lead on the letter, told AP that while there is widespread support for paid family leave to be included in the final bill, she and other Democrats wanted to make sure the initiative wasn’t sacrificed to scale the bill down to $2tn.





11.38am EDT11:38

Today, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will consider the nomination of former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel for US ambassador to Japan amid pushback about Emanuel’s role in covering up the murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

During prepared remarks to the committee, Emanuel did not mention his involvement in the coverup of McDonald’s murder, instead discussing his priority to deepen an alliance between the US and Japan, reported the Associated Press.

McDonald was killed after being shot 16 times while running away from police officers. Emmanuel’s confirmation comes on the seventh anniversary of McDonald’s death.

Emanuel, who served as Chicago’s mayor for two terms, has been a controversial pick to the ambassadorship position. Progressives democrats and activists have argued that Emanuel’s handling of McDonald should disqualify him from assuming the role, who delayed releasing footage of the police killing while he was running for a second term as Chicago mayor and only did so after being mandated by a state court. The released footage resulted in protests across the nation and resulted in former officer Jason Van Dyke being convicted for second degree murder.

“We need justice for Ahmaud Arbery and Laquan McDonald. Confirming Rahm Emanuel a complacent man in the face of Black people dying, should be improper representation of this country,” tweeted Democratic congressman Jamaal Bowman of New York about the hearing. “We need justice on every level for every Black person that has died in the hands of the system.”

Jamaal Bowman
(@JamaalBowmanNY)

We need justice for Ahmaud Arbery and Laquan McDonald.

Confirming Rahm Emanuel a complacent man in the face of Black people dying, should be improper representation of this country.

We need justice on every level for every Black person that has died in the hands of the system.

October 20, 2021

When asked about Emanuel’s nomination amid stiff criticism, press secretary Jen Psaki said that Biden’s “commitment to police reform speaks for itself.”

“At the same time, he selects and has nominated a range of ambassadors to serve the United States overseas because of their qualifications, whether it’s from business, public service, or other reasons that would make them qualified for these positions,” Psaki said.

Updated
at 11.54am EDT





11.11am EDT11:11

Joe Biden met privately with around 20 centrist and progressive Democratic senators yesterday in hopes of reworking and passing his version of his $3.5tn spending package, reports the Associated Press.

In meetings yesterday evening, Biden described a $2tn scaled-down version of the social care package with at least $500 billion allocated to fight climate change and provide money for free pre-kindergarten, health care, paid family leave and middle-class child tax credits.

As Democrats appear ready to abandon hopes of passing the larger $3.5tn package, several programs will likely be cut or significantly reduced including tuition free community college, ways for undocumented immigrants to receive legal citizenship, and a previous energy plan that was the focal strategy for Biden’s attempt at combatting climate change, with details shared by those familiar with the conversation who were granted anonymity.

According to press secretary Jen Psaki, Biden felt “more confident” following yesterday’s meetings.

“There was broad agreement that there is urgency in moving forward over the next several days and that the window for finalizing a package is closing,” Psaki said.





10.52am EDT10:52

Sunrise Movement activists fast to demand Congress pass climate action programs

Five activists with the climate youth organization, Sunrise Movement, have begun fasting in front of the White House in protest today, demanding that Congress pass climate crisis action programs in the Biden administration’s $3.5tn social care package, a key part of Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda, reported the New Republic.

Hunger Strike 4 Climate Justice
(@HungerStr1ke)

Movement activists are ready to put everything on the line. @POTUS must choose between our future and fossil fuel CEOs. Meet at 9am at the White House tomorrow. #NoClimateNoDeal https://t.co/asPr8xsUIC

October 20, 2021

“Movement activists are ready to put everything on the line. @POTUS must choose between our future and fossil fuel CEOs. Meet at 9am at the White House tomorrow,” tweeted the group yesterday.

Protestors made the decision to strike after the New York Times broke the news on Friday that Democrats were considering getting rid of the Clean Electricity Performance Program, an initiative within the $3.5tn proposed legislation that would incentivize utility companies to increase their use of renewable energy and switch from fossil fuels – chiefly because of opposition from Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

The fasting strategy is one action in a longer week of protests attempting to get key Democrats to support the legislation. Protestors have also previously protested next to Manchin’s yacht.

Sunrise activists also slept outside of Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona’s office yesterday, calling on her to support the bill with its climate elements included.

Sunrise Movement Tempe 🌅
(@SunriseTempe)

We’re spending the night outside Sen. Sinema’s office to demand she fight for us, not her donors! #NoClimateNoDeal #SinemaSleepover pic.twitter.com/1cA7k8ZZ8T

October 19, 2021

Updated
at 12.09pm EDT





10.32am EDT10:32

The House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol, which voted last night to pursue a criminal contempt charge against Steve Bannon for defying a subpoena from the committee, has said that other top aides to Donald Trump are still in discussions – sort of – about subpoenas served to them.

Committee chair Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi, has talked about former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, deputy chief Dan Scavino and defense department aide Kash Patel this morning.

Nicholas Wu
(@nicholaswu12)

Jan. 6 committee chair Bennie Thompson says that “our people are still talking” to Kash Patel, Dan Scavino, and Mark Meadows. They’re “somewhat” cooperating, he says

October 20, 2021

As Hugo Lowell reported for Guardian US, the select committee had issued a bevy of subpoenas to some of Trump’s closest advisers.

Last night it approved the contempt of Congress citation against Bannon unanimously, sending the report to the Democratic-controlled House, which is expected tomorrow to authorize the panel to go to court to punish Bannon for his noncompliance.

“It is essential that we get Mr Bannon’s factual and complete testimony in order to get a full accounting of the violence of January 6th and its causes,” said Thompson.

“Mr Bannon will comply with our investigation or he will face the consequences,” he said. “We cannot allow anyone to stand in the way of the select committee as we work to get to the facts. The stakes are too high.”

Members on the select committee took the aggressive step against Bannon to sound a warning to Trump White House officials and others connected to the Capitol attack that defying subpoenas would carry grave consequences, according to a source on the panel.

Bennie Thompson.

Bennie Thompson. Photograph: REX/Shutterstock

It will remain to be seen if Meadows, Scavino and Patel avoid similar action.

Updated
at 11.04am EDT





9.57am EDT09:57

Walter Reed on lockdown following bomb threat

The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is on lockdown this morning, after its campus received a bomb threat.

Naval Support Activity Bethesda, the military campus that includes Walter Reed, said officials received a threatening phone call about an hour ago.

Naval Support Activity Bethesda
(@nsabethesda)

1/2 – 0925, 20OCT21: At approximately 8:45 a.m., the installation received a phone call from an anonymous source stating there is a bomb at or near Building 10. Security personnel have responded to the scene.

October 20, 2021

“At approximately 8:45 a.m., the installation received a phone call from an anonymous source stating there is a bomb at or near Building 10. Security personnel have responded to the scene,” NSA Bethesda said on Twitter.

“The base is on lockdown. All personnel should shelter in place. All gates are closed to non-emergency traffic. The public is asked to avoid the area.”





9.37am EDT09:37

It’s worth noting that the Biden administration’s plan to administer coronavirus vaccine shots to children aged 5 to 11 includes an educational campaign.

According to the statement issued by the White House this morning, the department of health and human services will launch “a national public education campaign to reach parents and guardians with accurate and culturally-responsive information about the vaccine and the risks that COVID-19 poses to children”.

As part of those efforts, government officials will coordinate with local leaders at schools, churches and health departments to better convey accurate vaccine information to the public.

Vaccines are already available to children aged 12 or older in the US, but American parents have been somewhat hesitant to vaccinate their children.

According to data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just 46% of children aged 12 to 15 are fully vaccinated. Among children who are 16 or 17 years old, the vaccination rate is slightly higher, at 54%.





9.37am EDT09:37

The White House coronavirus response team held a briefing this morning to outline the Biden administration’s plan to distribute coronavirus vaccines to children between the ages of 5 and 11.

Jeff Zients, the response team coordinator, said he expected the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make their decisions on authorizing vaccines for those children “in the next couple of weeks”.

The Recount
(@therecount)

“We expect the FDA and CDC’s decision on Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11 in the next couple of weeks … Should the FDA and CDC authorize the vaccine, we will be ready to get shots in arms.”

— WH COVID Response Coordinator Jeff Zients pic.twitter.com/UkIjbDzWw7

October 20, 2021

An FDA advisory panel will meet next week to discuss Pfizer’s application to make a version of its coronavirus vaccine available to children in that age group. A CDC panel will then convene the following week.

“We know millions of parents have been waiting waiting for Covid-19 vaccine for kids in this age group,” Zients said. “And should the FDA and CDC authorize the vaccine, we will be ready to get shots in arms.”





9.37am EDT09:37

White House outlines plan to vaccinate children aged five to 11

Greetings from Washington, live blog readers.

The Food and Drug Administration has not yet authorized any coronavirus vaccines for children between the ages of five and 11, but the Biden administration is already taking steps to ensure vaccines can be quickly administered once that approval comes through.

The White House announced a plan today “to ensure that, if a vaccine is authorized for children ages five and 11, it is quickly distributed and made conveniently and equitably available to families across the country”.

White House COVID-19 Response Team
(@WHCOVIDResponse)

We expect the FDA and CDC’s decision on Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5-11 in the next few weeks and have put together a plan to ensure that vaccines for this age group are available, easy & convenient, should the FDA & CDC authorize the vaccine. https://t.co/o4eX8N2F8e

October 20, 2021

According to the White House, the US already has enough vaccine supply for the 28 million American children in that age group. Pfizer has already created a specific vaccine dose and formula for these children as well.

“Nationwide, more than 25,000 pediatric and primary care provider sites will provide vaccinations for children, in addition to tens of thousands of other provider locations that serve children, including pharmacies, children’s hospitals, and community health centers,” the White House said in its statement.

Of course, parents with young children still need to wait on the FDA approval, but that could occur in a matter of weeks.

The blog will have more coming up, so stay tuned.

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