Biden to talk on Covid vaccinations; safety considerations delay inaugural rehearsal – Thebritishjournal

WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden will deliver remarks Friday about his plan to administer Covid-19 vaccines to people across the country, as security concerns have postponed a dress rehearsal for his inauguration on Wednesday.

The inaugural rehearsal that was scheduled for Sunday has now been postponed until Monday because of those concerns, according to two sources familiar with the matter. Politico first reported the postponement.

Biden is expected to speak Friday afternoon from Wilmington, Delaware. He’s also scheduled to meet with transition advisers and will attend a finance event for the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

Health experts and government officials at the state and local levels have said that the Trump administration bungled the distribution of the vaccines and never had a strategy. As of Thursday, from the more than 30 million vaccine doses distributed nationwide, but just over 11 million people had received their first doses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Over the last week, Trump administration officials finally began giving Biden’s team access to critical Covid-19 vaccination data. After weeks of requesting to attend Operation Warp Speed vaccine briefings, last week, Trump officials finally allowed Biden’s representatives to attend, according to a person familiar with the plans. As of Thursday, the Biden transition team has not yet obtained access to the Defense Department’s vaccination plans for the military, the source said.

Biden has said that his goal is for 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to be administered within the first 100 days of his presidency, which would be the end of April.

Meanwhile, the death toll from the pandemic and case count counts to climb. For several days in a row this week, it exceeded 4,000 deaths. According to NBC News’ Covid-19 data tracker, 388,599 people have died from the disease and there have been more than 23 million cases.

In other transition news:

  • In a primetime speech Thursday, Biden laid out a $1.9 trillion relief package that he wants Congress to quickly pass to help people who are struggling from the coronavirus pandemic. The plan would provide $1,400 direct payments and include an extra $400 per week for people who are unemployed. It would also raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
  • Biden will appoint lawyer David Cohen as deputy director of the CIA, a transition team official told NBC News. Cohen previously served in the role for two years in the Obama administration and unlike the position of CIA director, this job doesn’t require Senate confirmation so he can start immediately.
  • The committee overseeing Biden’s inaugural announced Friday morning several more speakers and performers for the primetime special that is expected to air between 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday. “Eva Longoria and Kerry Washington will introduce segments throughout the night ranging from stories of young people making a difference in their communities to musical performances. Foo Fighters, John Legend and Bruce Springsteen will perform from iconic locations across the country, joining Demi Lovato, Justin Timberlake, Ant Clemons, and Jon Bon Jovi with additional performances to be announced ahead of January 20,” the committee said.

Biden to speak on Covid vaccinations; security concerns delay inaugural rehearsal The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ NBC News.

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