Republican senators current smaller Covid proposal

Senator Mitt Romney, a Republican from Utah, listens during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Iran-US relations on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, the United States, on Wednesday, October 16, 2019.

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WASHINGTON – A group of 10 Republican Senators urged President Joe Biden to consider a smaller, alternative proposal for Covid-19 aid as his administration works to pass a $ 1.9 trillion package, to deal with the economic consequences caused by the pandemic.

In one Letter to Biden on SundaySens. Susan Collins from Maine, Mitt Romney from Utah, Rob Portman from Ohio, Lisa Murkowski from Alaska and five other lawmakers said they would announce their bills on Monday.

“We recognize your demands for unity and would like to work in good faith with your administration to meet the health, economic and social challenges of the Covid crisis,” wrote the senators.

“We believe that with your support, Congress can once again work out a relief package that will provide meaningful and effective relief to the American people and get us on the road to recovery,” the group wrote, asking to meet with Biden on the subject to discuss the proposed law in detail.

Republican senators said their version of Covid’s aid package is “providing more targeted aid” to Americans in greatest need. The proposed legislation provides a total of $ 160 billion for vaccine development and distribution, testing and tracking, treatment, and other vital supplies.

The senators set the following details of their plan:

  • An additional round of economic impact payments for families in need of help most, including their dependent children and adults.
  • Extends the federal government’s improved unemployment benefits to the current level.
  • Funds food aid entirely to help families in trouble.
  • Additional resources to support small businesses and their employees through the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.
  • Funds funds for the safe opening of schools and for childcare.
  • Dedicated $ 4 billion to strengthen behavioral health and substance abuse services.

On Sunday, Portman told CNN’s State of the Union that the proposal would be a leaner version of what was put forward by the Biden administration.

“It would be less than $ 1.9 [trillion] Because a lot of what the government has planned has nothing to do with Covid-19, “Portman said.” As an example of the direct payments, we think they should be much more targeted, “he added.

Brian Deese, director of the National Economic Council, told MSNBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday that the White House had received the letter and was open to discussing the proposed legislation.

“The president has said repeatedly that he is open to ideas wherever they may come to improve the approach to actually dealing with this crisis. What he is uncompromising is the need to quickly take a comprehensive approach here,” Deese said .

“We have been working with members of Congress from both parties and in both Houses for the past week or two. We will continue to do so,” he added.

Deese also told CNN’s State of the Union that the government was ready to negotiate the stimulus checks.

The Republican counter-proposal comes as The House will pass a budget resolution this week, the first step towards approving the discharge law by vote. The process would allow Senate Democrats to approve a relief effort without Republican support.

Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer from New York signaled last week that the chamber would also work to pass a budget resolution soon. He said the Senate “will begin examining a very strong Covid relief bill as early as next week.”

When asked if Senate Democrats could lead the bailout bill through the reconciliation process, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders told ABC’s “This Week” that he believed the party had the votes.

“I have a hard time imagining a Democrat, whatever state he or she comes from, who doesn’t understand the need to act aggressively now to protect the country’s working families,” Sanders said.

“Look, we’re all going to have disagreements. This is a $ 1.9 trillion bill. I have differences and concerns about this bill, but at the end of the day we are going to support the President of the United States and we will . ” what the American people overwhelmingly expect of us, “he added.

In a Twitter post on Sunday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen reiterated the government’s call for Congress to act as soon as possible.

“The president is absolutely right: the benefits of acting now – and acting big – will far outweigh the costs in the long run,” Yellen wrote.

CNBC’s Jacob Pramuk, Tucker Higgins and Emma Newburger contributed to this report from New York.

Robinhood says restrictions on GameStop resulting from tenfold improve in clearinghouse deposit necessities

The Robinhood application on a smartphone.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Online broker Robinhood announced that it has placed temporary purchase restrictions on a small number of stocks as the deposit requirements for stocks imposed by the Wall Street clearinghouse have increased tenfold.

The decision of Robinhood, a pioneer and app for free trade popular with retail investors, was scrutinized by its customers over the past week.

“It wasn’t because we wanted to stop people from buying these stocks,” said Robinhood said in a blog post published late Friday.

“We did this because the amount required to deposit into the clearing house was so large – with individual volatile securities adding up to hundreds of millions of dollars in deposit requirements – that we had to take steps to purchase them limit volatile stocks to ensure this could comfortably meet our requirements, “it continued.

Amateur Investors Using Robinhood and Other Apps Offer sharply abbreviated stocks and causes GameStop Shares rose 400% over the past week, causing significant losses for hedge funds, which sold the shares short.

Robinhood first announced to investors that they couldd only sell and not buy certain stocks of certain companies that caught the attention of retailers on Reddit. With the online broker, customers can now only buy a single GameStop share. All in all 50 stocks are now limited to the stock trading app.

Maryland confirms case of South African Covid variant that is extra infectious

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan will hold a press conference on November 17th in Annapolis, MD to discuss COVID-19 concerns.

Bill O’Leary | The Washington Post | Getty Images

Maryland has reported a case of the new, highly communicable Covid-19 The first variant found in South Africa marks the third case discovered in the United States, Governor Larry Hogan announced on Saturday.

The case involves an adult resident who lives in the Baltimore area and has not taken any international travel in the past. Maryland health officials and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed this.

“We strongly encourage Marylanders to exercise particular caution to limit the additional risk of transmission associated with this variant,” said Hogan. “Please continue to practice normal health and safety precautions, including wearing masks, regular hand washing, and physical distancing.”

The first two U.S. cases of the South African variant, known as B.1.351, were identified in South Carolina on January 28. Other variants found in the US come from the UK and Brazil.

The variants do not appear to cause more serious illness or an increased risk of death, but are considered highly contagious. Health officials are particularly concerned about variant B.1.351 as preliminary research suggests that vaccines may be less effective at controlling it.

president Joe Biden signed a travel ban last week on most non-U.S. citizens who entered the country and were recently in South Africa Reintroduction of travel restrictions on the entry of non-US citizens from the UK and Brazil.

The virus has infected more than 25.9 million people and killed at least 436,000 people since the pandemic began in the United States. according to dates compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Moderna asks FDA to permit 5 further doses per Covid vaccine vial: Supply

Modern has asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for permission to fill its Covid-19 vaccine bottles with up to five additional doses to help clear a manufacturing bottleneck, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The change would allow Moderna to fill 15 cans into vials of the same size, now cleared for 10, which eases the pressure on the manufacturing process known as filling / finishing, said the person who refused to named because the application is not public yet.

The availability of Covid-19 vaccines has caused frustration since their approval in the US in mid-December. While the pace of administration has increased to an average of more than 1 million a day, the limited supply has hampered states’ ability to operate mass vaccination centers. By Friday, the US had distributed 49.2 million doses and 27.9 million administered Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We have problems making these mRNA vaccines,” said Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center and a physician at Philadelphia Children’s Hospital. “We have up to 1.2 million doses a day when we need 3 million doses a day.”

The FDA declined to comment and asked questions to the company. Moderna did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The move of Moderna comes after that Pfizer requested and received a change in emergency approval from the FDA to indicate that the Covid-19 vaccine bottles contain six doses instead of five after pharmacists determined a bonus dose could be extracted with the correct syringes. Pfizer then said it would ship fewer vials to the US, but the same number of doses specified in its contracts.

Moderna vials have also been found to contain a bonus dose, but a policy change is being sought to add volume to the vials.

The bottleneck is not the vials themselves, but the manufacturing capacity to fill the vials. The manufacturing filling / finishing process must be performed under aseptic conditions to ensure contamination does not occur and the capacity is high.

Companies have begun to form manufacturing partnerships that focus on this step in the process to increase production. Novartis said Friday it signed an initial agreement to fill vials for BioNTech, Pfizer’s partner in Europe for the Covid-19 vaccine.

“We expect this to be the first in a series of such agreements.” said Steffen Lang, Head of Novartis Technical Operations.

There can be sufficient Covid vaccines for the ‘whole U.S. grownup inhabitants by June,’ physician says

Johnson & Johnson Board member Dr. Mark McClellan told CNBC Friday that there could be enough vaccinations for the entire US adult population by the summer.

“Assuming that the exact verification of the J&J data is no longer possible, we have the capacity between Modern, Pfizer, J&J to have enough vaccines available for the entire US adult population by June, “McClellan, a former FDA commissioner, said on “The news with Shepard Smith. ”

The US plans to buy 200 million doses of Covid vaccine from Modern and Pfizer. The Department of Health and Human Services will increase its vaccine supply to states from 8.6 million to at least 10 million doses per week. To date, states have received more than 49 million doses, but only about half of that actually ended up in people’s arms Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency reports that the US fires just over a million shots every day.

McClellan that the US should significantly increase the number of shots given per day and “should bring our ability to vaccinate closer to 3 million doses per day.”

The US has ordered 100 million doses of the J&J vaccine, which the company plans to deliver by June. J&J plans to apply for an emergency permit next week. If J & J’s vaccine is FDA approved, it would be the third emergency approved vaccine in the US Pfizer vaccine approved by the FDA on December 11 and Moderna’s has been authorized one week later.

The effectiveness of the J&J vaccine numbers were lower than those for Pfizer and Moderna. Pfizer’s vaccine was found to be 95% effective against Covid-19, while Moderna’s vaccine was about 94% effective. J & J’s vaccine was found to be 66% overall effective in preventing moderate to severe Covid.

Host Shepard Smith asked McClellan about the lower efficacy numbers compared to Pfizer and Moderna, explaining to Smith, “We are fighting a different virus today than three months ago when previous studies were done.”

In addition, J&J conducted its process on three continents and the level Protection varies by region. The vaccine showed an overall effectiveness of 72% in the US and 66% in Latin America. In South Africa, where it’s dangerous B.1.351 strain of Covid caused an increase in some cases, the J&J vaccine showed 57% effectiveness.

“Unfortunately, in three months’ time, we’ll likely be fighting another virus. The most important thing to winning this fight is getting as many people as possible vaccinated,” said McClellan. “The faster we shoot in the arms, the more people will be vaccinated here in this country and around the world, the better we can contain this further spread and further damage from Covid.”

Client focus is finest response to antitrust scrutiny

Alphabet and Google are facing multiple government antitrust cases, but the company believes continuing to serve consumers is a winning strategy.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

alphabet and Google are facing increased government control. including an antitrust lawsuit filed in December, the third since October. It could take years to resolve the legal conflict with government regulators. According to Google’s head of marketing, an ongoing focus on the consumer is the best answer.

Google will continue to resonate with its users as the government scrutinizes big tech companies, the company’s marketing director Lorraine Twohill said recently at CNBC CMO exchange.

“We are by far the most helpful company in their lives and we must continue to do so,” Twohill said at the CNBC virtual event Thursday.

Twohill said user trust is a “core part” of Google’s DNA and consists of three components. This includes providing accurate and timely information as well as improving data protection and security measures to ensure user safety. Around 200 million users have already passed the platform’s privacy review, she said.

“If we continue to have a close relationship with our consumers and users by being helpful … that is the right answer for me right now,” said Twohill.

Then SVP speaks for global marketing at Google Lorraine Twohill on the stage of Creativity & Technology: Lorraine Twohill & David Droga in the discussion panel presented by Google during the Advertising Week 2015 AWXII on the Times Center Stage on September 30, 2015 in New York City.

Laura Cavanaugh | Getty Images

The government cases allege that the company used anti-competitive and exclusive contracts to ensure a continued monopoly on online search and to prevent competitors from accessing many of these sales search channels.

Earlier this month, the company called the case “a misleading attack” on the advertising technology business, while addressing a claim the company allegedly conspired on Facebook to Fixed prices and minimize competition.

While government attorneys claim that the tech giant’s business practices are restricting consumers’ access to competing technologies, Google executives focus on the argument of delivering the services consumers want and improving them.

Google’s economic policy director Adam Cohen responded to the latest lawsuit in one blog entry This complaint “suggests that we shouldn’t have worked to improve the search, and that we should, in fact, be less useful to you.”

Google isn’t the only big tech company under scrutiny. Facebook has gone through a number of government antitrust cases including filed a lawsuit last month by the Federal Trade Commission and a number of attorneys general from 48 territories and states who claimed the tech beast used its power to eliminate competitive threats in acquiring platforms like WhatsApp and Instagram.

Amazon could possibly face increased government scrutiny under the Biden governmentwhile AppleApp Store has too was a focus for possible regulatory measures.

As the largest tech companies in the history of the world, they are under competition law scrutiny – sometimes as in the case of the Billions of dollars that Google pays Apple To be the default search engine for iPhones, Twohill said it was important not to put them all together.

“It’s important not to put all of the big technologies in one bucket. We’re all very different, we think and work very differently,” she said.

EU publishes AstraZeneca vaccine contract as battle over provides heats up

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, will give a lecture at the end of a video conference of the members of the European Council that dealt with the Covid 19 pandemic in Brussels on January 21, 2021.


LONDON – The European Union co-published an edited version of the treaty on Friday AstraZenecaas the bloc is putting pressure on the drug maker to deliver the promised Covid vaccine.

The EU, which has been criticized for its slow adoption of vaccinations, was hit with a blow by AstraZeneca last week when the company said it could only deliver a fraction of the shots it agreed to for the first quarter.

AstraZeneca has denied it failed to deliver on its commitments, stating that shipments to the 27-nation bloc were targets rather than promises. The company also cited production problems at its European plants for the delays.

The European Medicines Agency is expected to make a decision on Friday on whether the AstraZeneca vaccine will actually be approved for use.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said on Friday morning on German radio: “There are binding orders and the contract is crystal clear.”

“AstraZeneca also explicitly assured us in this contract that no other obligations would prevent the fulfillment of the contract,” she said, according to Reuters.

The head of the EU executive alleged the deal included clear delivery amounts for December and the first three quarters of 2021.

AstraZeneca wasn’t immediately available for comment when CNBC reached out on Friday.

International Competition Concerns

Earlier this week, Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca, said the EU contract was based on what is known as a “best effort” clause and did not officially oblige the drug maker to a specific delivery schedule.

The EU von der Leyen rejected this proposal on Friday, adding that the clause would only apply if it was unclear whether AstraZeneca could develop a safe and effective vaccine. She also claimed that the contract specifically mentioned four manufacturing facilities that would supply the vaccine to Europe, two of which are in the UK.

EU officials have indicated that deliveries from the UK to Europe could be rerouted if delays in European production persist.

The EU of around 450 million people is struggling to get its vaccinations up and running as it is insufficiently supplied and is currently lagging far behind countries like Israel and the UK in delivering vaccines to its citizens.

A look at the headquarters of the British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca as a Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and inspected in Brussels, Belgium on January 28, 2021.

Dursun Aydemir | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Vaccine maker Pfizer-BioNTech initially delivered a blow, announcing it would temporarily cut production to improve its production capacity in Belgium. This was followed by AstraZeneca last Friday, which reduced its delivery estimates for the region.

An unnamed senior EU official said Reuters The bloc expected around 80 million doses by March, but had learned it would only receive 31 million doses instead. The company has not confirmed the quantities concerned.

A deepening dispute between the EU and AstraZeneca has raised concerns about international competition for limited vaccine supplies. Hopefully the vaccinations can help end the coronavirus pandemic.

– CNBC’s Holly Ellyatt contributed to this report.

GOP Sen. says Trump impeachment trial may set a harmful precedent

Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman told CNBC why he had joined 44 other Republicans to deny the constitutionality of the charges against former President Donald Trump.

“I think the constitutional question needs to be addressed and not tabled and not put aside, and as a juror I will listen to both sides, but we have to deal with the constitutional question and the precedent that would create. So if you look at the constitution … it’s about the distance, and this is a private person now, Donald Trump, not a president, “Portman said during a pre-recorded interview Thursday night “The news with Shepard Smith.”

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul initiated charges of dismissing the constitutionality of the trial. Firstly, on the grounds that Trump is no longer in office, and secondly, given that the Senate President Patrick Leahy (D-VT) is presiding over the process in place of the Supreme Court Justice John Roberts becomes.

Roberts led Trump’s first impeachment trial, but he won’t repeat the role a second time. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer from New York told Rachel Maddow of MSNBC Show on Monday that the decision to chair it was Roberts’.

“The constitution says that the chief judge presides over a seated president,” said Schumer. “So it won’t be so – so it was up to John Roberts to see if he wanted to preside over a president who is no longer in office, Trump. And he doesn’t want to do it.”

Portman told host Shepard Smith he was concerned about the precedent this impeachment trial could set.

“Think about the precedent of saying that Republicans could go after President Obama or President Clinton or Democrats George W. Bush as a private citizen,” Portman said.

Portman had previously specified that Trump has “some responsibility” for the January 6th uprising in the Capitol. He did not support Trump’s efforts to scrap the 2020 election results and voted to maintain the certified January 6 election results and delayed the count.

Smith pressed Portman on what he thought was an appropriate punishment for Trump.

“A proper consequence, as I have said very clearly, is that people speak before, openly and during and after, and I think that it is also important that the House acted, so there have been consequences that way . ” said Portman.

Portman announced that he will not seek re-election next year, but will serve his term until January 3, 2023. He said he “will not miss out on politics and partisanship, and that will get more difficult over time.” “”

Cuomo administration underreported Covid deaths in nursing properties, report says

A view of a patient being rolled out of a nursing home in Flushing Queens New York USA during the coronavirus pandemic on April 22, 2020.

John Nacion | NurPhoto | Getty Images

The New York Department of Health reported Covid-19 deaths in nursing homes by up to 50%, according to a new report released Thursday by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

The 76 page report comes after a month-long investigation by the attorney general’s office to allegations that nursing homes have not followed the security protocols for coronaviruses.

The investigation found that the number of Covid deaths among nursing home residents in some facilities has increased by more than 50% after counting residents who died in the hospital. The official Covid-19 state death toll in nursing homes excludes patients who have died after being transported to hospital.

Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo has Exposed to criticism for not disclosing the total number of nursing home residents who have died from Covid-19. In her comprehensive report, James, also a Democrat, noted that “many nursing home residents in hospitals died of Covid-19 after being transferred from their nursing homes, which is not reflected in the overall data on nursing home deaths published by DOH . “

Cuomo representatives did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request to comment on the results.

The attorney general’s findings put them directly in conflict with the governor, who often boasted of the state’s response to the coronavirus. Cuomo has also dismissed criticism of a policy by the Ministry of Health that directed nursing homes to accept residents who tested positive for the coronavirus. The governor has repeatedly defended his government’s response to the pandemic, stating that the state was poorly supported by an inept federal government that was caught by surprise by importing the virus.

James’ results are based on a survey of 62 nursing homes, or approximately 10% of nursing homes in the state. She said her law firm is continuing to investigate inconsistencies in the data reported by the Ministry of Health and the numbers reported to the Attorney General.

The investigation also found that a number of nursing homes did not adhere to “Critical Infection Control Guidelines”; B. Failing to isolate residents who test positive for the virus.

“As the pandemic and our investigation continue, it is imperative that we understand why New York nursing home residents have suffered needlessly so alarmingly,” James said in a statement. “While we cannot bring back the people we lost to this crisis, this report aims to provide transparency the public deserves and encourage increased action to protect our most vulnerable residents.”

This is the latest news. You can find updates here.

West Virginia governor claims each individual over 65 may very well be vaccinated by Valentine’s Day

Jim Justice, governor of West Virginia, praised that of his state Coronavirus Success in distributing vaccines, claiming that if the mountain state had the “doses by Valentine’s Day,” everyone in that state, 65 years and older, would be vaccinated.

West Virginia has spent the past three weeks as the number one or number two state in the nation for vaccine doses given per capita Covid-19 vaccination tracker from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The state also has an administration rate for the first dose of 95.2% and a vaccination rate for the second dose of 46.8%. This is based on vaccination data published in West Virginia Covid-19 dashboard Wednesday.

The judiciary has broken his state’s “all-in” approach to distributing the Covid vaccine on CNBCs “The News with Shepard Smith”

“We didn’t necessarily take the federal approach, we took a practical approach and we took an all-in approach,” Justice said during an interview on Wednesday evening. “We brought our National Guard, our local pharmacies, our local health workers, our local health clinics and everything.”

Justice added that the West Virginia model “is not rocket science, it just moves and doesn’t sit back and plan a strategy”.

However, vaccine adoption remains slower than expected in several states in the country. Wisconsin, for example, has lagged behind, handing out only 42.5% of its Covid vaccine doses Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Governor Tony Evers called the state’s vaccine launch “a little bumpy”. Evers said his state did not get enough vaccines from the federal government and those who give vaccines needed more time to prepare.

West Virginia has delivered nearly 12,000 doses, 77% of their dose coverage. The judiciary emphasized the importance of putting older Americans at the forefront of a vaccination strategy.

“We just saw it that way and it was age and age and age and we knew we had to move,” Justice said. “We didn’t want vaccines on a shelf, we needed them in people’s arms.”

January 2021 is already the worst month in the US since the coronavirus pandemic began, with more than 79,000 deaths. according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins data. It’s a grim milestone that has broken the December record by more than a thousand deaths.