The Wider World

“Help is on the way,” says Biden

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN (White House photo).

Vowing that “help is on the way,” President Joe Biden on Thursday continued signing executive orders, many of them aimed at battling the coronavirus epidemic.

A new approach for this administration will be to put the battle against the COVDI-19 on a national, federal level, instead of leaving it to the states. That sometimes pitted them against each other in the scramble for resources.

His plans also involve providing the states with additional technical support and federal funds.

“We didn’t get into this mess overnight,” he said, speaking at the White House. “It will take months to turn this around. To a nation waiting for action let me be clear on this point: Help in on the way.”

Among the orders signed Thursday by the president, one applies specifically to transportation. According to the Associated Press, Americans traveling on airplanes, public buses, ships, trains and public transportation will be required to wear masks.

NOMINEE CONFIRMATION:  A new secretary of defense is expected to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Friday after Congress on approved a waiver to clear the way for action.

Biden’s nominee is retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin. Military officers had to wait seven years after retirement to take top civilian posts in the Defense Department, but both houses of Congress voted to waive that rule.

Other nominees to be considered by the Senate include Merrick Garland (attorney general), Marty Walsh (labor department), Gina Raimondo (commerce), Miguel Cardona (education), Deb Haaland (interior), Pete Buttigieg (transportation) and Anthony Blinken (state).

News: Corona deaths are still high

Deaths tied to the coronavirus pandemic remain high, according to the Johns Hopkins  University. The tally of deaths on Thursday in the U.S. hit nearly, 4,400 reports United Press International. That’s close to the record of almost 4,600 tallied on Jan. 12. Global deaths are now at 2,088,069.  Confirmed COVID-19 cases are now at 24.6 million in the U.S. and 97.4  million worldwide.

IMPEACHMENT DELAY?: A delay until February in the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump is being asked by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) according to USA Today. He is negotiating with Chuck Schumer (D-New York), the new Senate majority leader on the trial schedule.

Sports:  Rams get new defensive coach

Raheem Morris has been hired as the Los Angeles Rams’ new defensive coordinator. Morris comes to L.A. from the Atlanta Falcons, where he had the same job, and also served as interim head coach.  Morris will take the post vacated when Brandon Staley left the team to become the new head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers.

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