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Biden news – live: President snaps at reporter asking if 100m vaccines is enough in ‘war’ on Covid

Joe Biden quotes ‘American Anthem’ during inaugural address

President Joe Biden has moved swiftly to undo the work of his predecessor Donald Trump by signing 17 executive orders on issues ranging from Covid-19 to immigration in his first day on the job.

Acting homeland security secretary David Pekoske has paused some deportations for 100 days while asylum policies are reviewed and the newly elected president rescinds the US withdrawal from the World Health Organisation (WHO). The president has also sent to congress a comprehensive immigration reform bill, which includes, among many other items, removing the term “alien” and replacing it with “noncitizen” in government documents.

Meanwhile he is administration is reportedly starting from “scratch” on a critically needed vaccine distribution plan after the Trump administration failed to meet its vaccination goals.

The now-former president is spending his first full day out of the White House at his Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Leaders around the world congratulated Mr Biden after his inauguration on Wednesday but the Kremlin has so far kept silent. That didn’t stop Russian state media portraying him as an absent-minded politician pre-occupied with minority rights or Aleksey Zhuralyev, a deputy for the ruling United Russia party, branding Mr Biden’s first speech as a “boring, old man’s” spiel.

Follow live updates and analysis from The Independent

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The history behind the Winston Churchill sculpture Biden removed from White House

As Joe Biden took up residence in his newly decorated Oval Office, observers were quick to point out that the new administration had once again removed a bust of Winston Churchill reinstated by Donald Trump.

The bust, loaned to the White House by the UK government in 2001, features a head and shoulders sculpture of Churchill.

Former President Barack Obama became the first president to remove the bust from the Oval Office upon his inauguration, which later prompted comments from then-Mayor of London Boris Johnson in 2016.

In an article for The Sun, Mr Johnson, who was at the time also spearheading the Vote Leave campaign for the UK in the EU referendum, said that the move was a “snub to Britain.”

Louise Hall reports.

Justin Vallejo21 January 2021 20:45

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Biden snaps at reporter while sitting at Trump’s ‘miniature’ desk

It may just be the cursed desk.

Biden snapped at a reporter asking a question about the Covid response while sitting at the same tiny desk that Trump was criticised for having a “meltdown” at a few short weeks ago when #DiaperDon went viral.

For those who thought that today’s scene looked familiar, here are the two side by side:

(REUTERS)

(AP)

And here is how The Independent covered “#DiaperDon trends following meltdown at miniature table”.

Justin Vallejo21 January 2021 20:33

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Photo of lone Trump protester goes viral after inauguration protests fail to materialise

An image of a lone Trump supporter protesting Joe Biden’s inauguration outside of the New York State Capitol has gone viral.

The protester, Mark Leggiero, travelled to the state’s Capitol in Albany on Wednesday under the impression that he would be protesting President Biden’s inauguration alongside thousands of Trump supporters, according to Spectrum News reporter Morgan Mckay.

An image of Mr Leggiero standing alone in front of the Capitol while holding a Trump flag, went viral on Wednesday after Ms McKay shared it to her Twitter profile.

Mr Leggiero told NBC New York that he turned up to the state Capitol on Wednesday because he “wanted to be part of the Patriot Party, join supporters of Trump, y’know?”

James Crump reports.

Justin Vallejo21 January 2021 20:20

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Biden snaps at reporter and refuses to take questions from media following remarks on Covd response

The president signed about a dozen executive orders following his brief remarks, appearing to read prompts of the executive orders from a flash card on his desk.

When as asked if his goal of 100 million vaccines was high enough given where the US is right now, Mr Biden snapped back at the reporter.

“When I announced it you all said it’s not possible, come on give me a break man. That’s a good start, 100 million,” he said.

His press team quickly directed the president from the room.

Justin Vallejo21 January 2021 20:14

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Watch Biden Live with The Independent

Justin Vallejo21 January 2021 20:04

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BREAKING: Biden vows to move ‘heaven and earth’ to get 100 million vaccinated in 100 days as he calls Trump effort a ‘dismal failure’

President Joe Biden has vowed to move “heaven and earth” to administer 100 million vaccines to Americans in 100 days while unveiling his national Covid-19 plan on Thursday – all while calling the Trump administration vaccine plan a “dismal failure”. 

Danielle Zoellner is following the story as it unfolds.

Justin Vallejo21 January 2021 20:02

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Biden’s first foreign policy call to Justin Trudeau could be awkward

Joe Biden broke an agreement between the US and its northern neighbour to block the $9bn Keystone XL Pipeline, shortly after the newly-minted president announced Canada’s Justin Trudeau would be his first call to a foreign leader. 

After Biden cut an estimated 10,000 American new jobs in one of his first acts on his first day as president, and another 1,000 Canadians losing their jobs in the coming weeks, Mr Trudeau was “disappointed”.

Louise Boyle has more.

Justin Vallejo21 January 2021 19:55

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‘A million’ vaccines a day, Fauci says

Dr Anthony Fauci, ahead of Biden’s remarks on the administration’s Covid-19 response, tells reporters that the president’s “100 million vaccines in 100 days” plan is feasible.

Alex Woodward21 January 2021 19:28

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Biden’s economic chief urges Congress to pass $1.9 trillion relief plan

Brian Deese, director of the National Economic Council, said today’s unemployment report from the Labor Department “is another stark reminder that we must act now on the President’s American Rescue Plan to get immediate relief to families and spur our economy.”

“900,000 more Americans filed claims for unemployment because they are out of work in an economy that is moving in the wrong direction,” he said in a statement. “We must act now to get this virus under control, stabilize the economy, and reduce the long-term scarring that will only worsen if bold action isn’t taken.”

The administration has asked Congress to move quickly to pass the president’s proposed $1.9 trillion relief legislation, which includes expanded unemployment relief, direct payments and rental assistance, as well as funding for coronavirus response.

“It’s critical that Congress act quickly on the President’s proposals and provide relief for families in need,” Mr Deese said.

Alex Woodward21 January 2021 18:44

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Biden’s proposed US Citizenship Act includes key word change

Biden has sent his US Citizenship Act of 2021 to Congress, which the White House says will create “an earned path to citizenship for our immigrant neighbors, colleagues, parishioners, community leaders, friends, and loved ones – including Dreamers and the essential workers who have risked their lives to serve and protect American communities.”

There’s a key word change in the bill: it “recognizes America as a nation of immigrants by changing the word ‘alien’ to ‘noncitizen’ in our immigration laws.”

The term has frequently been criticized as a dehumanizing slur, weaponized during the hard-line immigration agenda under Trump.

Alex Woodward21 January 2021 18:08

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