* As with daily press conferences, the White House COVID briefings are welcomed for their transparency, reassurance and professionalism. Nary a “Kung Flu” reference. No hydroxychloroquine or bleach endorsements. No scientific eye-rolling, no soap opera scenarios for Dr. Anthony Fauci—just science-based updates and candid outlooks. And let’s not ever forget the ultimate bottom line: no unnecessary loss of lives because of Trump-agenda confusion and mis-messaging.
* Bottom line Biden: “I support passing COVID relief with support from Republicans if we can get it. But the COVID relief has to pass.” Stay tuned because the Administration’s $1.9 trillion relief package is a lot more than Republicans want to sign on to. This was underscored when a group of 10 (of the more moderate GOPsters) signed a letter to Biden supporting a relief package that was less than one-third of Biden’s “American Rescue Plan.” The disagreements range from funding the $15 per hour minimum wage to extended unemployment benefits.
* “This is a first step to stop corporations from profiting off of incarceration.”–President Joe Biden, in issuing an order that directs the attorney general not to renew Justice Department contracts with privately operated criminal detention facilities.
* “We can’t wait any longer. We see with our own eyes. … It is time to act.” President Biden, in signing executive orders to transform the country’s (heavily) fossil-fuel powered economy into a clean-burning one, pausing oil and gas leasing on federal land and targeting subsidies for those industries.