A man walks past a coffee shop as the store displays information signs in Chicago. File photo/AP
Gulf Today Report
President-elect Joe Biden’s scientific advisers plan to meet with vaccine makers in coming days as Britain expects to start rolling out the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine just before Christmas.
A stalled presidential transition keeps Biden’s team out of the loop on government plans to inoculate all Americans against COVID-19.
President Donald Trump’s refusal to accept that he lost the election means that the Biden team lacks a clear picture of the groundwork within the government for a mass vaccination campaign that will last the better part of next year.
Biden’s chief of staff Ron Klain said, “We now have the possibility... of a vaccine starting perhaps in December or January. There are people at HHS making plans to implement that vaccine. Our experts need to talk to those people as soon as possible so nothing drops in this change of power we’re going to have on January 20th.”
UK health minister Matt Hancock said on Monday, "We're working very closely with the company," he told BBC TV. "We'll be ready to roll it out as soon as it comes, we'll be ready from the first of December..., but more likely is that we may be able to start rolling it out before Christmas."
Asked how many vaccines Britain would need, he said it depended on how effective they were at preventing transmission.
After a painful October, equities have enjoyed a huge bounce this month after Biden's election win, which was followed by news that Pfizer and BioNTech's vaccine candidate had proved 90 per cent effective, lifting hopes the world can soon begin returning to normal.
"The vaccine enthusiasm booster shot remains the dominant narrative, even with surging infections across the US," said Axi strategist Stephen Innes. "Indeed, the vaccine could prove to be the ultimate market backstop and recessionary economic plugger."
A lack of coordination between outgoing and incoming administrations would be especially problematic in a worsening public health crisis, said the government’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci.
“Of course it would be better if we could start working with them,” said Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who has been through multiple presidential transitions during 36 years of government service. He likened the process to runners passing on the baton in a relay race. “You don’t want to stop and then give it to somebody,” he said. “You want to just essentially keep going.”
It’s too early to have anything close to a clear vision of the effect the COVID-19 pandemic will have on the 2020 presidential election, but rest assured, it will make a difference. But to whose advantage?
Democratic presidential candidates promised major changes to US immigration law, contrasting their ideas to the hardline policies of President Donald Trump during a forum with Latino political activists in Milwaukee.
In a tweet accompanied by a three-and-a-half minute video, Biden said giving Trump four more years in power would be extremely dangerous and "fundamentally alter the character of this nation, who we are."
Nineteen of the Democrats running for president were in New Hampshire for the state party convention on Saturday — an event that provides an important chance for them to woo political power brokers in the first-in-the nation primary state.
The latest phase of these repatriation flights, known as the "Vande Bharat Mission," began on March 1 and will last till March 28. Slightly more than 1,350 international flights are scheduled to be operated from 28 countries in this phase, enabling an estimated 260,000 Indians to travel home.
Sheikh Hamdan took to his Instagram account and wrote, Thank you @willsmith for the bike! I named it Scotty…”
Pope Francis also urged Iraqi officials to "combat the scourge of corruption, misuse of power and disregard for law," in a country consistently ranked one of the most graft-tainted by Transparency International.