By LIBBY CATHEY, EMILY SHAPIRO, TIA HUMPHRIES and LAUREN KING, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — This is Day 23 of the administration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Here is how events are unfolding. All times Eastern:
Feb 11, 5:58 pm
US will have enough vaccines for 300M Americans by end of July: Biden
The U.S. will have enough supply to vaccinate 300 million Americans against COVID-19 by the end of July, President Biden said Thursday while speaking at the National Institutes of Health.
Until now, the administration has typically offered “by the end of summer” for that timeline.
Biden said Thursday the administration has been able to expedite the delivery of 100 million doses from the end of June to the end of May. Plus, 200 million additional doses the administration previously announced it planned to buy will be delivered by the end of July — which is sooner than expected.
“That’s a month faster. That means lives will be saved. That means we’re now on track to have enough supply for 300 million Americans by the end of July,” Biden said.
The administration has signed final contracts for those additional 200 million doses, which include 100 million doses each of Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines, Biden also announced. These 200 million doses, plus 400 million doses the Trump administration contracted for, would be enough to have two shots of both vaccines for 300 million Americans.
For now, Biden implored Americans to continue wearing masks and doing their part to prevent more death.
“I know it’s a pain in the neck, but it’s a patriotic responsibility,” Biden said. “Do you realize more people have died in the last 12 months than died in all four years in World War II? All four years.”
-ABC News’ Sarah Kolinovsky
Feb 11, 4:38 pm
Raskin asks senators to practice ‘common sense’
After roughly 10 hours of arguments, lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., wrapped opening arguments for the group acting as prosecutors in the Senate trial against Trump.
“Mr. President, members of the Senate, first of all, thank you for your close attention and seriousness of purpose that you’ve demonstrated over the last few days. Thank you, also, for your courtesy to the House managers as we’ve come over here — strangers in a strange land — to make our case before this distinguished body,” Raskin said with a light smile.
He reminded senators of their oaths to render impartial justice and walked them through their constitutional duties. He also reminded them that the Senate has already voted that the trial is constitutional, so their final votes on conviction should be based on the facts his team presented, not on whether they agree with the trial.
“Senators, I’ve talked a lot about common sense in this trial, because I think, I believe that’s all you need to arrive at the right answer here,” Raskin said. “When Tom Payne wrote ‘Common Sense,’ the pamphlet that launched the American Revolution, he said that common sense really meant two different things.”
“One, common sense is the understanding that we all have, without advanced learning and education, common sense is the sense accessible to everybody. But common sense is also the sense that we all have in common — as a community. Senators, America, we need to exercise our common sense about what happened,” Raskin said, reaching out to Republicans in a divided Washington.
“Let’s not get caught up in a lot of outlandish lawyers’ theories here. Exercise your common sense about what just took place in our country,” he said.
Feb 11, 4:14 pm
US sanctions 10 Myanmar military leaders, 3 companies
The Biden administration sanctioned 10 leaders of Myanmar’s military and three businesses connected to the armed forces for what the U.S. has labeled a “coup.”
The officials include commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing and deputy commander-in-chief Soe Win, who were already under U.S. sanctions, and three lieutenants general and the first vice president, a former lieutenant general, who seized control on Feb. 1. Four other military leaders named by the military to cabinet roles were also sanctioned.
The U.S. is also freezing the assets of three businesses that are controlled by the military. It is unclear at this time what U.S.-based assets these companies would have, but the military’s reach extends throughout the Southeast Asian country’s economy after decades of rule.
The sanctions and other economic penalties come one day after President Biden announced he had approved an executive order authorizing the sanctions and freezing $1 billion of U.S.-based assets controlled by the military.
In addition, the U.S. Agency for International Development also announced Thursday that it is immediately redirecting $42.4 million of U.S. assistance that would have benefited the government, while the Commerce Department is reimposing export controls on the country’s military and security forces.
It’s unclear if the reimposed penalties will have any effect reversing the coup, which has been met by days of sustained pro-democracy protests.
-ABC News’ Conor Finnegan
Feb 11, 11:54 am
Biden says if US doesn’t make infrastructure progress China will ‘eat our lunch’
During his initial remarks in the Oval Office Thursday morning, Biden told reporters that his phone call with China’s President Xi Jinping Wednesday lasted for “two straight hours,” and if the United States does not get a move on infrastructure, China will “eat our lunch.”
He went over some of China’s initiatives and investments in transportation like high-speed rail and automobiles, saying the U.S. has to “step up.”
Biden and Harris met Thursday morning with a bipartisan group of Senators to discuss infrastructure, along with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg (virtually since he is in quarantine).
Also in attendance were Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., former Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee and current Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., and Chair of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md.
-ABC News’ Justin Gomez
Feb 11, 11:12 am
Biden says ‘some minds may have been changed’ on impeachment
At the top of a meeting with a bipartisan group of senators, Harris and Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg on infrastructure, Biden said “my guess is some minds may have been changed” on impeachment after saying he saw the newly unveiled video evidence used at Wednesday’s Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.
Biden initially tried to avoid directly answering if he watched any of the new videos, saying he’s focused on seeing through some of his policy priorities, but then admitted he “didn’t watch any of the hearing live” but got up to speed through news coverage.
“I think the Senate has a very important job to complete and I think — my guess is — that some minds may have been changed, but I don’t know,” he said.
Biden’s remarks on impeachment Thursday are the most he’s publicly weighed in on the trial after his administration has repeatedly tried to avoid all questions on the matter and stay focused on seeing through a COVID-19 relief bill.
Feb 11, 10:24 am
Biden focuses on infrastructure during Day Three of impeachment trial
Before the impeachment trial starts at noon, a bipartisan group of senators is meeting at the White House to discuss infrastructure.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who is quarantining due to COVID-19 exposure on his staff, will join virtually.
At 3:45 p.m. the president visits the Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory at the National Institutes of Health, and at 4:30 p.m. he delivers remarks to NIH staff.
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