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LIVE BLOG: daily COVID Taskforce briefing – for want of a nail buffing the country was lost

5 min read

Live Blog below

5:30* PM EDT (it rarely starts on time)

Members of the Coronavirus Task Force Hold a Press Briefing

The White House


Texas Lt. Gov. @DanPatrick, defending reopening & risking more virus, said “There are more important things than living.” He did not specify exactly what things.

(CNN) The director of the agency responsible for leading the charge on the production and purchase of vaccines in the Trump administration is no longer leading the agency as of Tuesday, CNN has confirmed.

Dr. Rick Bright had led the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which has been central to the response to the coronavirus outbreak, since 2016. An acting director has taken over in his position, though the reason behind Bright’s sudden departure is still unclear.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services confirmed Bright’s move in a statement to CNN and said he will now lead a new government project: a public-private partnership on vaccine development and treatment.

Washington (CNN)

A bipartisan report from the Senate Intelligence committee released on Tuesday has backed the US intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 Presidential election to help then-candidate Donald Trump.

The committee’s findings are a rebuke to Trump’s frequent claims of a “hoax” that Russia was trying to help him win and the President’s attacks on the intelligence community. The panel concluded that the Obama administration’s assessment on Russian election interference was crafted without political bias, undercutting the President’s claims that officials like former CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper were using the intelligence community to attack him.
Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr said in a statement that the assessment reflected “strong tradecraft” and “sound analytical reasoning.”
“The Committee found no reason to dispute the Intelligence Community’s conclusions,” Burr said.
The committee has previously summarized its finding that the intelligence assessment was supported, but the 156-page report included new details — and a lot of redactions — on how the committee reached that conclusion. The report pushed back against the findings of House Intelligence Committee Republicans, who raised issues in 2018 with how the intelligence assessment was reached that Russian President Vladimir Putin was trying to help Trump.

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