COVID 19 Situation

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When Dr. Anthony Fauci was asked a question at a White House briefing Thursday that he couldn't answer, he said so.

When Fauci laid out the challenges still facing the nation to get the coronavirus pandemic under control, he didn't sugarcoat them.

And when the nation's top infectious disease expert was asked if he feels less constrained in the new administration, he readily agreed.

“The idea that you can get up here and … let the science speak, it is somewhat of a liberating feeling," Fauci said.

With apologies to The Who, meet the new Fauci, same as the old, but with a new boss.

“Above all, our plan is to restore public trust,” President Joe Biden said Thursday, when laying out from the State Dining room a national plan to tackle the virus. “That’s why you’re going to be hearing a lot more from Dr. Fauci, not from the president, but from the real genuine experts and scientists.”

As Biden spoke, Fauci stood behind him, wearing a face mask patterned with beakers, Bunsen burners and other scientific equipment.

Amazon is offering to help President Biden hasten distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, inviting questions about whether the offer was ever made to the Trump administration.

Amazon executive Dave Clark pitched the idea to Biden as soon as he took office in a Wednesday letter that also congratulated him on his inauguration. 

“We are prepared to leverage our operations, IT, & communications capabilities and expertise to assist your administration’s vaccination efforts. Our scale allows us to make a meaningful impact immediately,” Clark wrote.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at a Thursday afternoon briefing that “we’ve had a lot of outreach, some privately, some publicly from a range of businesses and private sector entities. And we certainly welcome that. And we’ll be considering all of those offers.”

A journalist pressed Psaki about the timing of Amazon’s offer, inquiring if the tech giant waited until after Trump left office as “a political call… while lives are hanging in the  balance.

Twelve minutes before noon on Wednesday, President Joe Biden was sworn into office as the nation’s 46th president. Seven hours later, the United States reported more than 4,409 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, according to data collected by the COVID-19 Tracking Project.

The Biden administration came into power with purpose and an extensive agenda to combat the coronavirus pandemic, but purpose and planning only gets you so far—particularly when the president’s team is only just now getting a clear picture of how badly the previous administration had managed the crisis.

Amazon has extended assistance to President Joe Biden to distribute coronavirus vaccines but did not make the same offer to President Donald Trump, according to officials of the previous administration.

Hours after Trump’s presidency drew to a close, Amazon offered Biden assistance in distributing coronavirus vaccines, with Dave Clark, CEO of Amazon’s consumer business, writing, “We are prepared to leverage our operations, IT, & communications capabilities and expertise to assist your administration’s vaccination efforts.”

“As you begin your work leading the country out of the COVID-19 crisis, Amazon stands ready to assist you in reaching your goal of vaccinating 100 million Americans in the first 100 days of your administration,” Clark added.

Additionally, Clark has requested employees at Amazon fulfillment centers and Whole Foods grocery stores “who cannot work from home” receive the vaccine at their earliest convenience.

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