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GOP blocking coronavirus bill — because it limits how much drugmakers can charge for a vaccine: report

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On Tuesday, Politico reported that GOP lawmakers are holding up a bipartisan emergency funding bill to provide treatment and research for coronavirus.

The main reason? They object to a provision that prevents drug manufacturers from overcharging the government for any vaccines or other treatment.

“Democrats are insisting the spending package include significant funding to purchase large amounts of coronavirus diagnostics, treatments and vaccine, when it becomes available, which would then be made available to the public free of cost, according to a senior Democratic aide,” reported Politico. However, “Republicans are trying to eliminate the ‘fair and reasonable price’ federal procurement standard for the vaccines and treatments that will be developed and purchased with the emergency funds. ‘Fair and reasonable price’ is a basic standard to prevent price gouging in federal contracts. Without the language, drugmakers could charge the government above-market rates, meaning fewer Americans will have access, according to the Democratic aide.”

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A vaccine for coronavirus is in the works, but experts suggest it is still at least a year away from becoming available. Other therapeutic treatments may become available before that.

“Our Republican friends don’t want to see the kinds of limitations that we want to see,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to reporters after a meeting with White House officials.

Congressional leaders hope to pass the bill by the end of the week.


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Team Trump ‘running for cover’ after attempt to crack down on protests results in ‘humiliation’: conservative columnist

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Writing in the Washington Post this Wednesday, columnist Jennifer Rubin writes that the "tear-gassing of peaceful protesters, the debasement of St. John’s Episcopal Church, the wholly inappropriate participation of the defense secretary and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the goose step across Lafayette Square" were actually President Trump's way of compensating for reports that he retreated to an underground bunker when protesters got close to the White House.

Rubin points to Trump's claim that he went to the bunker for an "inspection." But according to Defense Secretary Mark Esper, he had no idea where Trump and the rest of his entourage were going.

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Trump’s attempt to look tough backfires — and even Republicans seem to see the writing on the wall

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From the moment that protests against racist police violence started to spread from Minneapolis to the rest of the country (and the world), after a white police officer named Derek Chauvin killed an unarmed black man named George Floyd in a gruesome incident captured on video, it's been clear that Donald Trump thought this was exactly the Hail Mary he needed to win re-election. Trump has been desperate for a way to distract the country from the soaring death rate of the coronavirus pandemic (now at 108,000 and counting) and the 40 million left unemployed in the resulting economic collapse. He believed that a racist and sadistic backlash against the protesters was just the ticket.

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‘Like George W. Bush after 9/11’: Kayleigh McEnany declares Trump Bible photo op a historic moment

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White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Wednesday defended the use of force against protesters in order to clear way for President Donald Trump's photo op at St. John's Episcopal Church.

At her daily press briefing, McEnany was asked why it was necessary for Trump to walk to the church, where he held up a Bible.

McEnany suggested that Trump's photo op had been a historic moment.

"This was a very important moment," she explained. "I would note that through all of time, we've seen presidents and leaders across the world who have had leadership moments and very powerful symbols that were important for a nation to see at any given time, to show a message of resilience and determination."

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