The next round of US sanctions against Moscow over Ukraine will target Russia's defense industry as well as individuals and companies close to President Vladimir Putin, a senior US official said Sunday. "Starting this week, in coordination with our…
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January 17, 2021
You've seen them on social media: healthcare workers posing with a small index-sized card indicating that they have received their COVID-19 vaccine. Their appearance as a kind of status symbol might seem sinister: will society be split into two tiers, one of the vaccinated and card-bearing and another of the card-less?
This article first appeared in Salon
<p>Don't worry about a pandemic dystopia just yet. We spoke to healthcare workers and public health experts about the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine card that is given out as a standard part of the vaccination process. And they say it's a far less important piece of paper than it might seem, and it's not even a big deal if one loses it.</p><p>The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains on its website that after the first inoculation, the vaccinated will receive either a card or printout telling them which coronavirus vaccine they received. Currently, two different vaccines have been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA): one from <a href="https://www.salon.com/2020/11/09/pfizers-covid-19-vaccine-just-hit-a-major-milestone-heres-what-it-means-for-the-pandemic/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Pfizer/BioNTech,</a> and one from Moderna. Both require two doses delivered in two separate shots for the vaccine to achieve full efficacy. For the <a href="https://www.salon.com/2020/11/09/pfizers-covid-19-vaccine-just-hit-a-major-milestone-heres-what-it-means-for-the-pandemic/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine</a>, patients receive the two doses three weeks apart; for the Moderna vaccine, the span of time is four weeks. </p><p>This distinction is a major reason why the COVID-19 vaccine card is important, in that it tells you — and perhaps your doctor or nurse — when you're due for your second dose.</p><p>"The vaccination card is a piece of paper that just says, for example, you got the Pfizer vaccine, this is the lot number, this is a date you got it, and this is the date you get your second dose," said Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. Adalja said it wasn't anything special. "It's literally a flimsy piece of paper," he added. "It's not like a credit card, it's not laminated, and it's just for you to have a record that you got vaccinated."</p><p>Adalja noted that after you receive any vaccination, you always receive a printout or a card.</p><p>"But most people just throw it in the trash can before they've left the doctor's office," he said.</p><p>But for a virus like the novel coronavirus, having that record can be important for things like travel or, perhaps eventually, enrollment in school. Indeed, being vaccinated may eventually be a requirement in order to enter certain countries. So if you throw away or lose the card, does that mean you're out of luck?</p><p>Not quite. Litjen Tan, Chief Strategy Officer of the Immunization Action Coalition, told Salon there's no need to worry if that happens. Technically, the card is a second form of documentation for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. The first form is electronic.</p><p>"If they show up and say, 'I've lost my car but I got my first dose,' the provider who has been authorized to give COVID-19 vaccines will be able to look it up in the electronic system," Tan said. "That being said, I would say, obviously to any patient who is going back for a second dose to call the provider and say, 'I'm coming back to get my second dose, but I lost my card.'"</p><p>For this reason, Tan said fraudulent cards aren't expected to be a problem. That's because for now, the card also won't be needed for anything else than keeping track of your vaccination schedule for now.</p><p>Yet in the future, it could be used for travel if you're traveling somewhere that requires a COVID-19 vaccination.</p><p>"For international travel it might be something, but it's probably going to be a different type of card," Adalja said. "You could see those to be used as a way to avoid a quarantine or avoid a test when you're going into another country."</p><p>Adalja compared it to how some countries require proof of a yellow fever vaccine to travel to them. </p><p>Tan agreed, noting that if COVID-19 certificates are required for travel in the future, they wouldn't be these "flimsy" cards, because they are too easy to fake.</p><p>Tan added that now is a good time for policymakers to be discussing how potential COVID-19 vaccination certificates could be used to reopen the economy in the U.S., too.</p><p>"I think we should be thinking about how we might be able to operationalize something like that for the future," such as for business travel or increasing capacity for small businesses, Tan said.</p><p>But this is all "premature" thinking, Tan said. Right now, the goal is to get as many people as possible vaccinated.</p><p>"We're in the middle of a huge surge, and we only have about 10 million people vaccinated; we've got to get more people vaccinated," Tan said. "And then once we get to a point where we have maybe 40 percent of a community vaccinated, maybe you can then work with that, as well as the vaccine certifications."</p>
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January 17, 2021
Republican strategist Karl Rove on Sunday predicted that President Donald Trump would likely be convicted in his upcoming Senate trial if he allows attorney Rudy Giuliani to orchestrate his defense.
"Normally we'd say not much chance [of conviction]," Rove explained to Fox News host Chris Wallace. "But [Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's] statement is a sign that every Republican senator needs to take this seriously."
<p> "And I think it's all going to boil down to what's the president's defense?" he continued. "Rudy Giuliani charted a very bad course for the president in the morning papers when he suggested that the argument was going to be, well, there couldn't have been incitement because all the charges of widespread voter fraud are true." </p> <p> Rove insisted that the charges of voter fraud "have been rejected by over 50 courts with judges appointed by President Trump, President Obama, President Bush, President Clinton and I think even one Reagan justice." </p> <p> "So if it's the Rudy Giuliani defense, there's a strong likelihood that more than 17 Republicans will [vote for conviction]," Rove said, "because essentially that argument is, this was justified, the attack on the Capitol and the attempt to end the congressional hearing on certifying the election was justified because all these charges are true. And frankly, they aren't." </p> <p> "I think it really boils down to what's the defense that the president is going to make," he concluded. "And if it's Rudy Giuliani's defense, I think it raises the likelihood of more than 17 Republicans voting for conviction." </p> <p> Watch the video below from Fox News. </p> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ze29gdaciq8" width="560"> </iframe>
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Trump aides were forced to flee Giuliani after he showed up daily to spout 'deep state' election tales: report
January 17, 2021
According to a deep dive by Jonathan Swan for Axios, right after the election former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani became a daily visitor to Donald Trump's campaign headquarters where he spouted tales of "deep state" interference in the presidential vote counts that eventually drove staffers from the room.
The report notes that Giuliani -- who has now been accused of accepting cash from wealthy felons to lobby the president for pardons -- was accompanied by attorney Sidney Powell for meetings that included some of the president's most trusted advisers.
As Swan reports, "On the day after the election, Nov. 4, top staff including Stepien, Clark, Miller, general counsel Matthew Morgan and Jared Kushner had gathered at Trump campaign headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. They believed this would be a serious search for a path to 270 electoral votes through credible legal challenges. Then Giuliani, Sidney Powell and a swelling conspiracy crew marched into the room — literally."
What followed was Giuliani and Powell expounding at length about how they believed the "deep state" was behind the president's loss to former Vice President Joe Biden, which led staffers to start filtering out of the room after hearing some of their theories for days in a row.
"A bizarre routine set in," Swan explained. "These meetings would begin with official staff raising plausible legal strategies. Then Giuliani and Powell, a lawyer with a history of floating 'deep state' conspiracy theories, would take over, spewing wild allegations of a centralized plot by Democrats — and in Powell's view, international communists — to steal the election. Bewildered campaign aides would look around the table at one another, silently asking what the hell was going on. One would invariably shuffle out of the room, followed by another a few minutes later. Then another. Then another. The professional staff would reconvene in Stepien's office, about 20 yards down the hall."
The report goes on to note that the former New York City mayor would notice that the room had emptied and was forced to go see where everybody was,
"Eventually, Giuliani would realize that he and his crew were alone in the conference room. He'd walk down the hall and knock on the glass outside Stepien's office, where about eight aides had squeezed onto a pair of couches. 'You guys, where did you go?' Giuliani would say. "This is serious!'" the Axios report states.
According to Swan, for days after the election some of Trump's top advisers, "spent many hours trying to stop the former New York mayor from running to the press or the president and muddling the campaign's legal approach."
You can read more here.