This article is from the source 'guardian' and was first published or seen on . The next check for changes will be

You can find the current article at its original source at https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/live/2021/mar/03/joe-biden-covid-coronavirus-vaccine-xavier-becerra-donald-trump-live-updates

The article has changed 28 times. There is an RSS feed of changes available.

Version 17 Version 18
Andrew Cuomo apologizes over sexual harassment reports but insists 'I'm not going to resign' – live Andrew Cuomo apologizes over sexual harassment reports but insists 'I'm not going to resign' – live
(30 minutes later)
Lawmakers of both parties have called on Democratic governor to resign as state attorney general investigatesLawmakers of both parties have called on Democratic governor to resign as state attorney general investigates
The Guardian’s Daniel Strauss reports:
Neera Tanden’s decision to withdraw from consideration to serve as Joe Biden’s budget director marks the first major loss for the still young Biden administration, and sets off a scramble between various political factions to push through a new nominee.
Tanden was the first of Biden’s cabinet nominees to fail to make it through the confirmation process. New presidents don’t usually see all of their cabinet picks confirmed.
But Tanden’s path was always more precarious than the rest. She is well known throughout the Democratic party as a combative figure who often engaged in Twitter fights and criticized both Republicans and Democrats.
Republicans at moments seemed to revel in highlighting Tanden’s past tweets. But those senators also expressed eagerness to support one of the potential replacements – Shalanda Young, a veteran Hill staffer who is Black.
“You know I’m going to vote for you,” Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, the ranking Republican on the Senate budget committee, said on Tuesday during Young’s hearing to serve as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget. “You’re highly qualified and I’m going to support you,” Graham added before pressing her on immigration policy.
Other names have been floated as possible OMB nominees and the Senate budget committee is now waiting for the White House to pick someone else. The names floated include Sarah Bianchi, a former director of policy for Biden; Gene Sperling, a former director of the council of economic advisers; Ann O’Leary, the former chief of staff to Governor Gavin Newsom of California.
Whoever the White House nominates is poised to have an easier confirmation process than Tanden.
Joe Biden sharply criticized the Republican governors of Texas and Mississippi, who announced yesterday that they are rescinding their mask mandates, despite public health experts’ concerns about another surge in coronavirus cases.Joe Biden sharply criticized the Republican governors of Texas and Mississippi, who announced yesterday that they are rescinding their mask mandates, despite public health experts’ concerns about another surge in coronavirus cases.
“I think it’s a big mistake,” the president said of the governors’ announcements.“I think it’s a big mistake,” the president said of the governors’ announcements.
Biden emphasized that scientific evidence shows masks make a crucial difference in limiting the spread of coronavirus.Biden emphasized that scientific evidence shows masks make a crucial difference in limiting the spread of coronavirus.
“We are on the cusp of being able to fundamentally change the nature of this disease because of the way in which we are able to get vaccines in people’s arms,” Biden said.“We are on the cusp of being able to fundamentally change the nature of this disease because of the way in which we are able to get vaccines in people’s arms,” Biden said.
The president reiterated his announcement yesterday that the US will have enough coronavirus vaccines for all American adults by the end of May.The president reiterated his announcement yesterday that the US will have enough coronavirus vaccines for all American adults by the end of May.
“The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime, everything’s fine,” Biden said. “It still matters.”“The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime, everything’s fine,” Biden said. “It still matters.”
Dr Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, similarly voiced concern about the governors’ decision during the White House coronavirus response team’s briefing today.Dr Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, similarly voiced concern about the governors’ decision during the White House coronavirus response team’s briefing today.
“We at the CDC have been very clear that now is not the time to release all restrictions,” Walensky said. “The next month or two is really pivotal in terms of how this pandemic goes.”“We at the CDC have been very clear that now is not the time to release all restrictions,” Walensky said. “The next month or two is really pivotal in terms of how this pandemic goes.”
It’s been a very lively day so far in US political news and there will be a lot more action in the coming hours, so stay tuned. Here are the main events so far today:It’s been a very lively day so far in US political news and there will be a lot more action in the coming hours, so stay tuned. Here are the main events so far today:
New York governor Andrew Cuomo, who became very well known beyond the state for his daily, plain-spoken briefings during the first coronavirus surge, a short while ago faced the press again and gave qualified apologies for behavior that some women have complained amounted to sexual harassment, but said he would not resign.New York governor Andrew Cuomo, who became very well known beyond the state for his daily, plain-spoken briefings during the first coronavirus surge, a short while ago faced the press again and gave qualified apologies for behavior that some women have complained amounted to sexual harassment, but said he would not resign.
Cuomo said he will fully cooperate with the investigation that has been started into his conduct by the New York state attorney general, Letitia James.Cuomo said he will fully cooperate with the investigation that has been started into his conduct by the New York state attorney general, Letitia James.
The leader of the Washington, DC, National Guard, William Walker, told a Senate panel that the Pentagon restricted his ability to call out troops to back up the police at the US Capitol during the insurrection on January 6.The leader of the Washington, DC, National Guard, William Walker, told a Senate panel that the Pentagon restricted his ability to call out troops to back up the police at the US Capitol during the insurrection on January 6.
Joe Biden has reportedly agreed to phase out the $1,400 direct payments in the coronavirus relief package at a more rapid rate then expected.Joe Biden has reportedly agreed to phase out the $1,400 direct payments in the coronavirus relief package at a more rapid rate then expected.
The US Capitol Police says it has obtained intelligence about a militia group potentially attempting to attack the US Capitol tomorrow. The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security issued a similar warning around midnight last night, though the House acting sergeant at arms said online extremist chatter around this has quietened down of late.The US Capitol Police says it has obtained intelligence about a militia group potentially attempting to attack the US Capitol tomorrow. The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security issued a similar warning around midnight last night, though the House acting sergeant at arms said online extremist chatter around this has quietened down of late.
Cuomo said there were no buts about his qualified apology, but there were plenty of “ifs”.Cuomo said there were no buts about his qualified apology, but there were plenty of “ifs”.
The governor got off on a terrible foot by saying he was sorry “if anyone was offended” – it’s very clear from the public accounts so far from three women who accuse Cuomo of sliming around them that they were offended.The governor got off on a terrible foot by saying he was sorry “if anyone was offended” – it’s very clear from the public accounts so far from three women who accuse Cuomo of sliming around them that they were offended.
He also said he had never touched anyone inappropriately. Which is his take on that word, when it’s very clear from the most recent photographs, at least, that he has touched someone a fraction of his age, with little of his power, inappropriately.He also said he had never touched anyone inappropriately. Which is his take on that word, when it’s very clear from the most recent photographs, at least, that he has touched someone a fraction of his age, with little of his power, inappropriately.
When asked if he had been given the standard anti-sexual harassment training that his public employee colleagues receive, he said, in a word, “yes”.When asked if he had been given the standard anti-sexual harassment training that his public employee colleagues receive, he said, in a word, “yes”.
And Cuomo said: “I never knew at the time that I was making anyone uncomfortable.” Which, in a no-win situation, sounds better than I knew/had a pretty good idea, but I just behaved like a power oaf and bullied onwards.And Cuomo said: “I never knew at the time that I was making anyone uncomfortable.” Which, in a no-win situation, sounds better than I knew/had a pretty good idea, but I just behaved like a power oaf and bullied onwards.
And it’s interesting that the second woman publicly to accuse Cuomo, Charlotte Bennett, submitted detailed complaints to senior staff at the New York seat of government in Albany, upstate, about the governor’s conduct.And it’s interesting that the second woman publicly to accuse Cuomo, Charlotte Bennett, submitted detailed complaints to senior staff at the New York seat of government in Albany, upstate, about the governor’s conduct.
The New York attorney general, Letitia James, is investigating the allegations against Cuomo.The New York attorney general, Letitia James, is investigating the allegations against Cuomo.
Asked what his message is to New Yorkers, Andrew Cuomo said he was “embarrassed” that his behavior had such a negative impact on one of his aides. He did not appear to address the allegations from two other women.Asked what his message is to New Yorkers, Andrew Cuomo said he was “embarrassed” that his behavior had such a negative impact on one of his aides. He did not appear to address the allegations from two other women.
The governor said he was not caveating his apology in any way. “There’s no ‘buts.’ I’m sorry,” Cuomo said.The governor said he was not caveating his apology in any way. “There’s no ‘buts.’ I’m sorry,” Cuomo said.
But the governor did attempt to qualify his apology multiple times by emphasizing he did not intend to hurt or offend anyone through his actions.But the governor did attempt to qualify his apology multiple times by emphasizing he did not intend to hurt or offend anyone through his actions.
Andrew Cuomo made clear that he would not resign in the wake of multiple sexual misconduct allegations against him.Andrew Cuomo made clear that he would not resign in the wake of multiple sexual misconduct allegations against him.
“I’m not going to resign,” the New York governor said at his press conference. “I’m going to do the job the people of the state elected me to do.”“I’m not going to resign,” the New York governor said at his press conference. “I’m going to do the job the people of the state elected me to do.”
A number of lawmakers of both parties have called on the Democratic governor to resign as the state attorney general investigates the allegations against him.A number of lawmakers of both parties have called on the Democratic governor to resign as the state attorney general investigates the allegations against him.
“I do not believe I have ever done anything in my public career that I am ashamed of,” Cuomo said.“I do not believe I have ever done anything in my public career that I am ashamed of,” Cuomo said.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that he has learned from the experience of having multiple women accuse him of sexual misconduct.New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that he has learned from the experience of having multiple women accuse him of sexual misconduct.
“I’m sorry,” Cuomo said. “I’m sorry for whatever pain I caused anyone. I never intended it, and I will be the better for this experience.”“I’m sorry,” Cuomo said. “I’m sorry for whatever pain I caused anyone. I never intended it, and I will be the better for this experience.”
Cuomo acknowledged that his intentions did not matter when his behavior had such a negative impact on the women affected by it. And yet, the governor continued to emphasize that he did not intend to hurt or offend anyone.Cuomo acknowledged that his intentions did not matter when his behavior had such a negative impact on the women affected by it. And yet, the governor continued to emphasize that he did not intend to hurt or offend anyone.
“If they were offended by it, it was wrong,” Cuomo said. “And if they were offended by it, I apologize.”“If they were offended by it, it was wrong,” Cuomo said. “And if they were offended by it, I apologize.”
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a press conference moments ago that he will “fully cooperate” with the state attorney general’s investigation of sexual misconduct allegations against him.New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a press conference moments ago that he will “fully cooperate” with the state attorney general’s investigation of sexual misconduct allegations against him.
“I fully support a woman’s right to come forward, and I think it should be encouraged in every way,” Cuomo said.“I fully support a woman’s right to come forward, and I think it should be encouraged in every way,” Cuomo said.
The Democratic went on to apologize for engaging in behavior that made anyone feel uncomfortable.The Democratic went on to apologize for engaging in behavior that made anyone feel uncomfortable.
“I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable,” Cuomo said. “It was unintentional, and I truly and deeply apologize for it.”“I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable,” Cuomo said. “It was unintentional, and I truly and deeply apologize for it.”
But Cuomo went on to say, “I never touched anyone inappropriately.”But Cuomo went on to say, “I never touched anyone inappropriately.”
The governor asked the people of New York to wait for the attorney general’s investigation to conclude before reaching any conclusions about him.The governor asked the people of New York to wait for the attorney general’s investigation to conclude before reaching any conclusions about him.
“I ask the people of this state to wait for the facts from the attorney general’s report before forming an opinion. Get the facts please before forming an opinion,” Cuomo said. “I will fully cooperate with it, and then you will have the facts.”“I ask the people of this state to wait for the facts from the attorney general’s report before forming an opinion. Get the facts please before forming an opinion,” Cuomo said. “I will fully cooperate with it, and then you will have the facts.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked when Joe Biden will start naming his nominees for key ambassadorships.White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked when Joe Biden will start naming his nominees for key ambassadorships.
“This is a popular question, including from some people who want to be ambassadors, which won’t surprise you,” Psaki told reporters.“This is a popular question, including from some people who want to be ambassadors, which won’t surprise you,” Psaki told reporters.
The press secretary noted past administrations have often nominated ambassadors in March, but she was not sure whether Biden would follow that timeline, given his current focus on responding to the coronavirus pandemic.The press secretary noted past administrations have often nominated ambassadors in March, but she was not sure whether Biden would follow that timeline, given his current focus on responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki dodged a question about whether Joe Biden is breaking his promise to millions of Americans who will no longer receive stimulus payments if the faster phaseout is authorized.White House press secretary Jen Psaki dodged a question about whether Joe Biden is breaking his promise to millions of Americans who will no longer receive stimulus payments if the faster phaseout is authorized.
Psaki emphasized Biden was following through on delivering direct relief to American families, while sidestepping the fact that fewer families would now be receiving checks.Psaki emphasized Biden was following through on delivering direct relief to American families, while sidestepping the fact that fewer families would now be receiving checks.
Asked whether there might be another round of direct payments in the future, Psaki said, “I can’t predict for you there will never be stimulus checks in the future.”Asked whether there might be another round of direct payments in the future, Psaki said, “I can’t predict for you there will never be stimulus checks in the future.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked why the Biden administration seems to be prioritizing teachers over other frontline workers.White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked why the Biden administration seems to be prioritizing teachers over other frontline workers.
A reporter noted some have suggested that Joe Biden is bowing to political pressure from teachers’ unions, who have expressed strong opposition to sending teachers back to the classroom before they are vaccinated.A reporter noted some have suggested that Joe Biden is bowing to political pressure from teachers’ unions, who have expressed strong opposition to sending teachers back to the classroom before they are vaccinated.
Psaki said teachers are a vaccination priority because the reopening of schools has an impact on the next generation of American children and the future of the workforce.Psaki said teachers are a vaccination priority because the reopening of schools has an impact on the next generation of American children and the future of the workforce.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki criticized the Republican governors of Texas and Mississippi for rescinding their mask mandates as health experts warn of another potential surge in coronavirus cases.White House press secretary Jen Psaki criticized the Republican governors of Texas and Mississippi for rescinding their mask mandates as health experts warn of another potential surge in coronavirus cases.
“This entire country has paid the price for political leaders who ignored the science,” Psaki said.“This entire country has paid the price for political leaders who ignored the science,” Psaki said.
The press secretary said Joe Biden would raise the issue the next time he speaks with governors. She encouraged Americans to follow the guidance of public health experts, who are “basing their recommendations on how to save people’s lives”.The press secretary said Joe Biden would raise the issue the next time he speaks with governors. She encouraged Americans to follow the guidance of public health experts, who are “basing their recommendations on how to save people’s lives”.
Dr Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said earlier today, “Every individual is empowered to do the right thing here, regardless of what the states decide.”Dr Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said earlier today, “Every individual is empowered to do the right thing here, regardless of what the states decide.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki would not definitively say whether Joe Biden has signed off on more rapidly phasing out the $1,400 checks in the coronavirus relief bill.White House press secretary Jen Psaki would not definitively say whether Joe Biden has signed off on more rapidly phasing out the $1,400 checks in the coronavirus relief bill.
“He is comfortable with where the negotiations stand,” Psaki said. She added, “We don’t have a final bill.”“He is comfortable with where the negotiations stand,” Psaki said. She added, “We don’t have a final bill.”
The press secretary emphasized there were “ongoing discussions” about the specifics of the bill, and the White House expected there to be “tweaks on the margins” as the Senate moves toward final passage.The press secretary emphasized there were “ongoing discussions” about the specifics of the bill, and the White House expected there to be “tweaks on the margins” as the Senate moves toward final passage.
Reports have indicated Biden has signaled support for completely phasing out the checks for individuals who make $80,000 a year, rather than $100,000 a year.Reports have indicated Biden has signaled support for completely phasing out the checks for individuals who make $80,000 a year, rather than $100,000 a year.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Joe Biden does not intend to name another nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget this week.White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Joe Biden does not intend to name another nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget this week.
Psaki told reporters that she would not get into the White House’s discussions with specific senators regarding Neera Tanden’s nomination.Psaki told reporters that she would not get into the White House’s discussions with specific senators regarding Neera Tanden’s nomination.
Tanden withdrew her nomination last night, saying she no longer believed she had a path to confirmation.Tanden withdrew her nomination last night, saying she no longer believed she had a path to confirmation.
Joe Biden’s press secretary, Jen Psaki, is now holding her daily briefing with reporters at the White House.Joe Biden’s press secretary, Jen Psaki, is now holding her daily briefing with reporters at the White House.
Psaki announced the Biden administration would release its “interim national security strategic guidance” on the White House website this afternoon.Psaki announced the Biden administration would release its “interim national security strategic guidance” on the White House website this afternoon.
The guidance will provide recommendations to government departments and agencies, before the administration releases its full national security strategy later this year.The guidance will provide recommendations to government departments and agencies, before the administration releases its full national security strategy later this year.
First lady Jill Biden has arrived in Connecticut, where she is visiting an elementary school with Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.First lady Jill Biden has arrived in Connecticut, where she is visiting an elementary school with Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.
Biden and Cardona, both former educators, are visiting Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in Meriden, Connecticut, and they will later travel to Fort LeBoeuf Middle School in Waterford, Pennsylvania.Biden and Cardona, both former educators, are visiting Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in Meriden, Connecticut, and they will later travel to Fort LeBoeuf Middle School in Waterford, Pennsylvania.
The trip comes two days after the Senate confirmed Cardona, in a vote of 64 to 33. Cardona has said that safely reopening schools will be his top priority as education secretary.The trip comes two days after the Senate confirmed Cardona, in a vote of 64 to 33. Cardona has said that safely reopening schools will be his top priority as education secretary.
Previewing the trip yesterday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, “They will highlight the key CDC mitigation strategies that the schools have implemented successfully in these locations; listen to the challenges they are facing due to the pandemic, including the academic, social, and emotional needs of students; highlight the additional resources in the American Rescue Plan needed for schools to open -- remain open; and address the needs of students, and thank educators for their work in supporting students and their families.”Previewing the trip yesterday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, “They will highlight the key CDC mitigation strategies that the schools have implemented successfully in these locations; listen to the challenges they are facing due to the pandemic, including the academic, social, and emotional needs of students; highlight the additional resources in the American Rescue Plan needed for schools to open -- remain open; and address the needs of students, and thank educators for their work in supporting students and their families.”