2020-09-23@05:57:21 GMT
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political interference:

    Senate Democrats have proposed a new coronavirus task force charged with investigating whether the Trump administration meddled with government health agencies responsible for handling the pandemic. “America will not defeat this virus if people do not have confidence that treatments, vaccines, and guidance are approved with only public health goals in mind,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday. "That confidence has been shaken, but this bill is a first step to restoring it.” Schumer and 33 Senate Democrats have introduced the Science and Transparency Over Politics Act, which would create a task force to investigate instances in which they say politics interfered with government public health decisions. The group’s findings would be released to relevant congressional committees...
    Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris have expressed fears about the potential interference by President Trump in the production and distribution of a coronavirus vaccine — but it’s not a concern shared by the nation’s top public health experts. “We can’t allow politics to interfere with the vaccine in any way,” Biden said on Wednesday. “Americans have had to endure President Trump’s incompetence and dishonesty when it comes to testing and personal protective equipment. We can’t afford to repeat those fiascos when it comes to a vaccine, when it occurs. The stakes are too high.” GOP RIPS DEM CANDIDATES FOR SUGGESTING THEY MIGHT NOT TAKE CORONAVIRUS VACCINE "I trust vaccines. I trust scientists. I don't trust Trump,"...
    Alex Thomas September 18, 2020 0 Comments House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says that science should support any coronavirus vaccine after President Donald Trump said that he expects a vaccine will begin to be distributed by October. Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on Friday, Pelosi said, “We don’t want [the vaccine] one day sooner than it is ready from a safety and efficacy standpoint. We don’t want it one day later and so we want to make sure there is no political interference in the timing and decisions that are made.” Pelosi said that when the vaccine is available that it will be distributed in an “ethically designed way to reach everyone, not just those with an...
    The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) mouthpiece Global Times on Wednesday accused Australia’s government of “McCarthyism” amid a recent crackdown by Canberra on Chinese agents in Australia suspected of espionage. On September 9, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian said that Australian intelligence agencies raided the homes of four Chinese journalists living in Australia in June. The four individuals represented Chinese state news agencies including Xinhua News Agency, China Central Radio, state broadcaster CCTV, and China News Agency. Zhao’s revelation was the first report of the incident. It came one day after Australia evacuated two of its citizens, also journalists, from China after they were aggressively questioned by Chinese police and told Australian diplomatic authorities that they feared detention. On September 11, Australia’s trade minister revealed that the...
    The coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly turned political but former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg told “The Story with Martha MacCallum” that he hopes the handling of a vaccine doesn’t follow the same track record. “A safe, effective vaccine can't come soon enough,” he said. “The sooner that happens, the better chance we have of being able to get this virus under control and just have our lives back… And my hope is that this will be an area free from political interference.” Buttigieg, a Joe Biden campaign surrogate, said he’s specifically worried about this interference since President Trump has a “track record” of mixing politics in public health. PENCE SCOLDS BIDEN'S 'VERY IRRESPONSIBLE' COMMENTS ON CORONAVIRUS VACCINE, PREDICTS 100 MILLION DOSES...
    (CNN)President Donald Trump's political interference in the scientific and ethical process underwriting the quest for a Covid-19 vaccine -- on stunning display on a chaotic Wednesday -- is deepening the damage of his disastrous pandemic response.In a breathtaking spell of propagandizing, a President who has no medical expertise and has incessantly downplayed the emergency, bulldozed into the White House Briefing Room to kneecap one of the nation's top health officials, Dr. Robert Redfield. The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had told lawmakers it could be fall 2021 before there are sufficient vaccine stocks to allow normal life to resume. He also said masks work. "I think he got the message maybe confused," the President said of...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — A Trump health appointee is taking a leave of absence after allegations of political interference in the federal coronavirus response, followed by a personal video that warned of election violence and all but equated science with resistance. Michael Caputo has decided to take 60 days “to focus on his health and the well-being of his family,” the Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement. Fiercely loyal to President Donald Trump, Caputo had been serving as the department’s top spokesman, a post that usually is not overtly political. He was installed by the White House in April during a period of tense relations with the president’s health secretary, Alex Azar. Caputo, who has no health...
    High-ranking federal health officials vehemently denied on Wednesday that political appointees are manipulating or meddling with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) weekly scientific reports outlining the progress of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic. During a hearing by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, Dr. Robert Redfield, the CDC Director, joined two top public health officials who dismissed claims that political interference is compromising his agency’s scientific Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports (MMWRs). “At no time has the scientific integrity of the MMWR been compromised, and I can say that under my watch, it will not be compromised,” Dr. Redfield told Senators on Wednesday, further stressing: We’re going to continue to give Congress and the nation the...
    Washington — House Democrats have launched an investigation into allegations that political appointees at the Department of Health and Human Services have sought to review and alter weekly scientific reports issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about the coronavirus pandemic. Democratic members of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis are seeking voluntary testimony from seven officials at the Department of Health and Human Services, including Michael Caputo, the agency's spokesman, and Paul Alexander, his senior adviser. Politico reported last week that Caputo, who joined the Trump administration in April, and Alexander, who Caputo hired, have attempted to alter or halt the release of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports (MMWRs), which are written by...
    House Democrats are launching an investigation into the Trump administration's political interference with the publication of scientific reports at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Democrats on the House Oversight Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis, led by Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) cited reporting from Politico that showed administration appointees have repeatedly interfered with CDC's reports on the pandemic, which are published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). The lawmakers said they are investigating the scope of political interference with CDC’s scientific reports and other efforts to combat the pandemic, the impact of the interference on CDC’s mission, whether the interference is continuing, and any "steps that Congress may need to take to stop it before more...
    OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP/Getty Images, Alex Wong/Getty Images Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign slammed the Trump administration over reports they interfered with the Centers for Disease Control’s reporting on the coronavirus. On Saturday, the Biden campaign reacted to reporting that former Trump campaign official and current HHS official Michael Caputo has led an effort to interfere with the CDC’s reporting on the coronavirus in order to align it with President Donald Trump’s “optimistic” narrative. In a lengthy statement emailed to Mediaite, Biden Communications Director Kate Bedingfield called the report a “repugnant betrayal,” and connected it to the revelations in tape recordings for Bob Woodward’s book: “When Donald Trump told Bob Woodward that he wanted to downplay the virus, this is the exact...
    A senior Department of Homeland security official alleges he was retaliated against after refusing to stand down on reporting Russia's attempts to interfere in the 2020 presidential election, according to a complaint released Wednesday by the House Intelligence Committee.   Brian Murphy, who was principal deputy under secretary in the Office of Intelligence and Analysis at DHS before his alleged demotion, says in a whistleblower complaint that he was instructed by then-Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf to withhold an intelligence notification on Russian activities because it "made the president look bad."   Murphy objected, the complaint says, telling Wolf "it was improper to hold a vetted intelligence product for reasons for political embarrassment." He claims he was subsequently excluded by...
    Moncef Slaoui, the scientific leader of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, says he will quit if there is political pressure to rush out an unsafe or ineffective coronavirus vaccine. His comments came during an interview with Science magazine posted Thursday. Asked how he would deal with political decisions he disagreed with, Slaoui  replied: “I would immediately resign if there is undue interference in this process.” Slaoui also said he would also step down if an Emergency Use Authorization he disagreed with was issued for an inoculation. But he added: “I have to say there has been absolutely no interference.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has told states to be prepare for a vaccine to be ready by...
    The leaders of the Justice Department and FBI jointly announced Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act reforms following revelations about screw-ups within and abuses of FISA during and after the 2016 presidential election. Attorney General William Barr authored two memos, dated Tuesday, that the Justice Department said will “empower the FBI to build a more robust internal compliance program” and “will ensure, among other things, the accuracy of FISA applications, as well as the active oversight of applications targeting federal elected officials, candidates for federal elected office, and their staffs.” The announcement changes come less roughly two months out from Election Day, featuring a contest for the White House between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Trump, who accuses...
    Andrew Lelling, U.S. attorney for the Massachusetts district, said U.S. Attorney for the the District of Connecticut John Durham is an apolitical prosecutor, offering his remarks on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Sunday with host Joel Pollak. Durham was selected by Attorney General William Barr to probe the origins of the Obama administration’s ostensible investigation — which continued with the operation led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller during the Trump administration — of alleged “Russian interference” in the 2016 election. “I know John Durham a little bit,” said Lelling. “He was U.S. attorney in Connecticut. He is a long-time prosecutor within the Justice Department. I think he’s in probably about 30 years. He’s probably the least political prosecutor I’ve ever met.” Lelling...
    TikTok pledged to stop the spread of online misinformation and potential foreign interference ahead of the November election. The Chinese short form video app is updating its policies in an effort to tackle misleading content, and intends on bolstering fact checking process to “verify election-related misinformation,” TikTok noted in a blog post Wednesday. The company is also allowing people the opportunity to report falsehoods. TikTok is also working with the Department of Homeland Security to “protect against foreign interference,” the company’s blog post noted. The DHS and the State Department joined the Pentagon in prohibiting staff from using TikTok on government-issued devices, the Washington Times reported in January. “While TikTok isn’t the go-to app to follow news or politics, we’re focused on...
    By Kirsty Needham SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian federal police raided the home and office of a man employed by an Australian politician as part of a foreign interference investigation into whether he was working to advance "Chinese state interests", according to court documents. The disclosure is made in documents lodged on Monday in Australia's High Court by the employee, John Zhang, who is seeking to quash the search warrants used by police and the return of seized computer evidence. Zhang, who could not be reached for comment, has not been charged with any offence. His lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Wednesday. The case is the first test of the foreign interference law which was introduced...
    Public health experts on Monday raised alarm over the White House’s aggressive push to rush a Covid-19 vaccine into production, an effort which critics say has been apparent since the first weeks of the pandemic. According to a New York Times report, researchers working on Operation Warp Speed, the public-private partnership established to find a vaccine that could be given to the public within the next few months, are “under constant pressure from a White House anxious for good news.” When the task force was first assembled in April, weeks after the pandemic began and when President Donald Trump was insisting to the public that the coronavirus would likely disappear on its own, the Health and Human Services Department shared a presentation with the White House saying...
    Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) is pressing Google CEO Sundar Pichai for answers regarding the search giant’s meddling in the U.S. presidential election after an explosive Breitbart News investigation published this week proved the company is blocking search traffic from Breitbart News and other conservative websites. Cotton’s letter to Pichai comes after a letter he sent last week to Attorney General Bill Barr asking the Justice Department to consider potential antitrust actions against Google over its search manipulation for political and other anti-competitive purposes. Cotton opens his letter to Pichai by referencing the letter he sent to Barr, then citing new reporting by Breitbart News about how Google has been shutting down search traffic to Breitbart News and other conservative sites...
    Attorney General William Barr, one of President Donald’s Trump’s unwavering loyalists, has given his critics yet another reason to speak out against him: the firing of Geoffrey Berman as a federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York. And on Sunday, June 21, at least 135 former Manhattan prosecutors voiced their displeasure with Barr  and Trump by signing a letter in defense of Berman. In a copy of the letter obtained by the Corporate Crime Reporter, the attorneys asserted, “The actions of the president and the attorney general are an attack on the concept that investigations should be conducted in a nonpartisan manner.” The ex-Manhattan prosecutors went on to say that Trump and Barr “are politicizing an office that, for more...