Wednesday morning news – April 7, 2021

Biden: All Americans can get vaccine by April 19 » President Biden announced on Tuesday that all Americans who want a COVID-19 vaccine will be eligible to get it within the next two weeks.

BIDEN: Beginning April 19th, every adult in every state, every adult in this country is eligible to get in line to get a COVID vaccination. 

The president previously set May 1st as the deadline for states to make all adults eligible. But White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the distribution process has gone so smoothly, the president felt confident bumping up the date.

PSAKI:  COVID response coordinator Jeff Zines announced there will be more than 28 million doses across channels this week. Cumulatively over the last three weeks we will have sent out nearly 90 million doses of the vaccine.

According to the CDC, more than 207 million doses have gone out so far. Nearly two-thirds of them have been administered.

Prior to the president’s announcement, many states had already expanded eligibility to include all adults.

The White House announced Monday that nearly 1 in 3 Americans have had at least one dose of the vaccine. Nearly 1 in 4 is fully vaccinated.

Senate parliamentarian rules reconciliation OK to use again » The Senate parliamentarian has given Democrats a boost in their bid to pass President Biden’s massive new spending bill. WORLD’s Paul Butler has more.

PAUL BUTLER, REPORTER: The ruling issued late Monday gives Democrats permission to use the budget reconciliation process again this year. They already used it to push through the president’s COVID-19 relief package.

Budget reconciliation allows Democrats to avoid a likely filibuster and pass the legislation with just 51 votes.

But that doesn’t mean the $2.3 trillion dollar proposal is a done deal. With the Senate evenly split between the parties, Democrats can’t afford to lose any support from their own members.

Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia has already said he opposes raising the corporate tax rate above 25 percent. President Biden wants to increase it to 28 percent to help pay for his infrastructure bill.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Paul Butler.

Navy corpsman shoots two people in Maryland » A Navy corpsman shot and critically wounded two people at a business park in Frederick, Maryland, on Tuesday.

Frederick Police Chief Jason Lando said the 38-year-old petty officer shot his victims at a business in the Riverside Tech Park.

LANDO:  Both males were in critical condition. They were flown by helicopter to Baltimore Shock Trauma.

Police confirmed that both victims are U.S. Navy sailors.

After leaving the business park, the shooter drove to nearby Fort Detrick. Lando said guards on the military base confronted him shortly after he drove through the front gate without stopping.

LANDO: We were given notice that personnel on the base had shot the suspect and he was down. When we arrived at that scene, life saving efforts were in progress and we were notified shortly thereafter that the shooter was reported dead.

Investigators are still trying to determine a motive for the shooting.

Netanyahu tries again to form government » Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will try once again to form a government headed by his Likud Party.

NETANYAHU: [Man speaking Hebrew]

Netanyahu told Likud members on Tuesday that he would try to stop the cycle of recurring elections and establish a strong government.

The country’s president tasked Netanyahu with forming a governing coalition after no party won a majority in the March 23rd election. It was the fourth time Israeli voters have gone to the polls in the last two years.

Netanyahu has six weeks to put together a coalition. If he cannot, one of his rivals will get a shot.

The prime minister’s political battles are playing out alongside his legal ones. He is on trial for corruption. Witnesses in the case began testifying on Monday. Netanyahu claims the charges against him are politically motivated.

Congressman Alcee Hastings dies » Longtime Florida Congressman Alcee Hastings died on Tuesday. He was 84 years old. WORLD’s Leigh Jones has that story.

LEIGH JONES, REPORTER: Hastings began his career as a civil rights lawyer and eventually went on to take the bench as a state judge. President Jimmy Carter elevated him to the federal bench in 1979. But he quickly ran into legal trouble of his own.

Prosecutors accused Hastings and a Washington-based lawyer friend of soliciting bribes from two convicted racketeers who wanted to shorten their sentences. Hastings became the first sitting U.S. judge tried on criminal charges.

Although a jury acquitted him, a judicial panel accused Hastings of fabricating his defense. The House impeached him in 1988 and the Senate convicted him in 1989.

Three years later, Fort Lauderdale-area voters elected him to Congress.

Hastings announced two years ago that he had pancreatic cancer. But he won reelection in 2020 with 80 percent of the vote.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Leigh Jones.


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