Beltway Insider: Biden, Trump, Stimulus, COVID & The New Normal, Implant Investigation, Pardons, Brexit

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President Trump, members of the House and Senate left Washington for the Holiday Break, leaving the fate of millions of Americans behind as all refused to address an issue that has derailed the negotiations for six months.

 

The President's job approval rating, according to the website fivethirtyeight.com, for the period ending December 20, 2020, decreased by .08% to 42.7% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness increased by .04% percentage points to 53.0%. A slight 3% of the population polled have no opinion. Ratings are calculated weekly.

Trump Refuses to Sign Stimulus Deal

After six months of unreliable and dishonest negotiations, both the House and Senate in a last ditch, Hail Mary, effort came together to agree on a $900billion dollar stimulus package that looked more like an opportunity to add gratuitous side deals that included unnecessary spending in the deadline driven expectation of signage.


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President Trump has refused to sign the bill. In the balance, of course, the human toll, benefits effecting nearly 12million Americans expiring.

Trump has explained his refusal, "I simply want to get our great people $2000, rather than the measly $600 that is now in the bill," he tweeted Saturday. "Also, stop the billions of dollars in 'pork,'" reported ABC.com.

After the president announced his expectation, of $2000.00 in direct stimulus checks the GOP blocked attempts of House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to move ahead for a rare December 24, Christmas Eve, session.

For struggling Americans, the paltry inclusion which the GOP and Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin had fought the pandemic relief bill will include an additional $300.00 per week in enhanced unemployment benefits, a $600 stimulus check, for each member of the household, along with additional reprieves.

Not included in the Stimulus package were any mention of Student Loans amnesty. This is due to Trump's Executive Order which suspended interest and payments until January 31, 2021. No interest and no new interest will accrue on any student loans.

To avert a government shutdown the president will either sign the economic stimulus or a stop gap motion creating essentially a bridge until his terms are met.

Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin had both remained adamant in their referrals to increase direct stimulus payments to Americans anywhere near the level the president is demanding.

Senate Minority leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) and House Majority Leader Pelosi along with other democrats across the board have tried, repeatedly, to introduce legislation that would increase direct payment within range of the president's request.

Stimulus Pork

For many Americans, the mention of Pork in a stimulus bill leaves them trying to figure out the exact meaning of the word. Pork, essentially, means any unnecessary spending.


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"The $900 billion stimulus package COVID-19 "relief" bill is exactly what one would expect from a dysfunctional, tone-deaf Congress: a pork-filled cluster filled with anything and everything that has nothing to do with the coronavirus pandemic or relief.   And in the swampiest thing ever, the bill, which is combined with a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill, is 5,593 pages long, or 5,583 pages too many, was given to lawmakers six hours before a vote to review what exactly is in it (hint: more pork than a Tyson Foods plant)," reported The Hill.com.

In this deadline driven stimulus package elected members of the House and Senate have included foreign aid for nations who alliances run opposite the United States, essentially assisting foreign nations buy arms from Russia, the second global leader in weapons sales. Other obvious unnecessary spending includes any monies earmarked for studies of downed trees.

President Trump has pulled the United States from the Paris Accord which leads to the question, why would an environmental study on the effects of downed trees be on his must agenda? Any environmental studies would be redlined as unnecessary and left to the next president to make the determination on their validity.

What is important, of course, the curbing the coronavirus. The impact and fall out of this global catastrophe should have been the only priority. Earmarking funding for vaccine inoculation in Third World countries, in nations where clusters cases can create global flareups (not included).

Vaccine distribution within the U.S. and of course "The New Normal," financial assistance for businesses so they can adapt to the necessary models which allow them to remain open as well as assistance to get American cities, large and small, back to pre-pandemic levels.

Coronavirus Totals

The infection rates of the coronavirus have alarmingly increased around the world. The weekly account confirms that a second wave is building with European nations enforcing shutdowns for, at minimum, one month. A new strain, a mutation, has created global concern leaders around the world are determining the best direction for the protection of the population. The importance of maintaining personal protective practices is imperative to controlling the spread.

For the week ending December 27, 2020, coronavirus cases globally increased by 4,060,300 confirmed cases, bringing the total of confirmed cases worldwide to 80,336,900 people with a total worldwide death toll of 1,756,800 deaths, an increase of 71,800 over the past week.

Infections rates in the United States are also on the rise. For the week ending December 27, 2020, the total confirmed cases rose to 19,023,700 people with new confirmed cases increasing by 1,322,200 this week alone with an average of 188,885 cases per day. The coronavirus has claimed 332,000 total deaths, a weekly increase of 15,700 deaths. (Data from The New York Times).

COVID and The New Normal

One year ago, December 2019, the beginnings of a new highly contagious SARS related virus had been reported to global health organizations.

Dispatching teams to the Wuhan China, the determination from The World Health Organization, The Centers for Disease Control, The National Institutes of Health, and The United Nation along with the preeminent national health organizations and scientific minds throughout every civilized nation in the world, each considered authorities in the field, developed a two fold diagnosis of the impending crisis: That which will be if no action is taken and that which can be if determined and immediate action is taken.

Dr. Jane Orient, MD, the Executive Director of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons, said, in a January 28, 2020, Op/Ed, "Clusters of a dozen or so deaths may get nonstop "if-it-bleeds-it-leads" press coverage. But the lack of preparedness for the really, really, big threats may be met with virtual radio silence—until panic breaks out. The worst, possibly existential, threat is the stealthy, invisible one that multiplies exponentially—in the accurate sense of the term: 400 cases today, 800 tomorrow, then 1600, 3200, 6400, 128000, 256000, 512000, and 1.024 million after only eight doubling times. Biological threats proliferate—until they run out of susceptible victims."

Her predictions based on a career of studying communicable diseases proved more than accurate. Unfortunately, they were spot on, a bull's eye of prediction of an upcoming year of global death and devastation.


COVID-19: Vaccination Precautions


Throughout Europe, the virus traveled with efficiency on a migratory circular pattern. Beginning in China, then surrounding Asian nations, onto Europe where it held Italy in a death grip and fanned out into surrounding regions.

The quarantine, in the U.S., did not arrive until March 15, 2020. Most Americans watched, with some level of curiosity as the coronavirus gripped Italy, and other nations in the European Union.

An invisible enemy, the media began to shift from the swamp of Washington politics to the realities of a virus that had no thought or concern for position, refused to discriminate, and maintained a killing track unlike any disease many had ever encountered.

Americans carried on, with limited concern, and a belief that this new, lethal, and extremely communicable disease would somehow pass us by or our leaders, even the embroiled political of Washington politics would double down, as it was an election year, and the sitting president needed to prove himself the savior of the people to earn the next four years. Confidence was high.

Coming Next Week - Beltway Insider: The Coronavirus and The New Normal Part 2 – George Floyd and Pandemic Rage

The virus however, had other plans and by March 12, 2020, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, soon and New York State Andrew Cuomo, both of whom had diagnosed cases arrive their states, announced radical changes and the beginning of bans on gatherings.

Suddenly the world was cascading out of control. Unprecedented actions, lockdowns, interstate travel bans were instituted. Business and establishments ordered to close. The people were grossly uninformed on the dangers and were determined to live free. The sudden oppression imposed by government felt like an overreactive parent, which triggered reactive responses. Suddenly we were a nation on the edge.

Daily briefs, accompanied by charts, graphs, and new terminology flatting the curve, paralleled the 2020 Democratic primaries and debates.

Trump Pardons, A Who's Who of Cronies, Operatives, and Fundraisers

President Trump, as is customary for any president announced those whom he will be grant a presidential pardon. This year, his last in office, the President has chosen to grant to date twenty pardons including for political operative roger Stone, convicted during the Muller Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 election, along with retired US Army Lieutenant General and former National Security Director Michal Flynn, former Campaign Director Paul Manafort along with three Republican members of Congress and several contractors convicted of killing unarmed Iraqi civilians in 2007.

Medical Influence and Implant Investigations

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) released this week a report stating annually physicians are susceptible to influence peddling and are often seduced to prescribe not quite approved medication and market flawed and, in some cases, unnecessary implants to patients.

"In 2018, an investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists into the medical device industry zeroed in on these financial enticements as the final link in a chain of influence-peddling that has too often resulted in flawed implantable products — from artificial knees to birth control implants — put into patient bodies with scant clinical evidence of safety or effectiveness," reported The ICIJ.org.

Pharmaceutical companies, with available resources often compared to the peak days of the Oil Industry, have utilized for decades the practice of wooing medical professionals with perks, essentially paying physicians to promote their products.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has gone so far as to issues "a rare fraud alert" stemming from an investigation in Salix Pharmaceuticals and the over the top means of promoting the anti-diarrhea drug, used to combat Irritable Bowel syndrome, (IBS), as it had yet to be approved for use.

Salix set in motion a wide scale, pay for prescribing and additional a pay for promoting the wonder drug to fellow physicians. Most pharmaceuticals marketing strategies used to promote drug use are common among the community and have been for decades.

The alert, available here, highlights the fraud and abuse associated with the offer, payment, solicitation or receipt of remuneration, relating to speaker programs by pharmaceutical and medical device companies.


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Nashville Christmas Day Bombing

Federal authorities have indicated they have named a person of interest in the Christmas Day RV bombing in Nashville, Tennessee.

"On Sunday, a spokesman for Nashville Police Chief John Drake said that Anthony Q. Warner, 63, is under investigation in connection with the bombing. According to NPR member station WPLN, Warner until recently owned a home in the suburban Nashville community of Antioch that was searched on Saturday by federal officials," reported NPR.org.

Bye, Bye Britain

The European Union bids adieu to the United Kingdom, ending an arduous chapter that consumed three Prime Ministers, more than four years of tense negotiations, and encompassed every area of life as Britain marks the end of its association with the European Union.

EU President Ursula von der Leyen announced via Twitter, "It was worth fighting for this deal. We now have a fair & balanced agreement with the UK. It will protect our EU interests, ensure fair competition & provide predictability for our fishing communities. Europe is now moving on." @vonderleyen.

United Kingdom Prime Minster Boris Johnson, also took to Twitter announcing, "The Deal is Done." @BorisJohnson.

For more information on President Donald Trump www.whitehouse.gov.

Sources: Various © Articles covered by Copyright protection

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