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Explained: Why Antony Blinken’s appointment as US Secretary of State is a bad news for Pakistan, China | Trending News in India



Explained: Why Antony Blinken's appointment as US Secretary of State is a bad news for Pakistan, China | Trending News in India Trending News in India

US President-elect Joe Biden on Monday (November 23) appointed Antony Blinken as new US Secretary of State and Jake Sullivan as National Security Advisor.

The 58-year-old Blinken served as Deputy Secretary of State under President Barack Obama, while 43-year-old Blinken served as the Head of Policy Planning at the State Department under Hillary Clinton.

A look through Blinken’s recent statements about India shows that his appointment as US Secretary of State is a welcome news for India and a bad news for Pakistan.

On July 9, Blinken addresses a gathering at the Hudson Institute, Washington DC and said. “Strengthening and deepening the relationship with India is going to be a very high priority. It’s usually important to the future of the Indo-Pacific and the kind of order that we all want; it’s fair, stable, and hopefully increasingly democratic and it’s vital to being able to tackle some of these big global challenges,” he said.

Read: ‘Do what needs to be done’: Donald Trump finally clears way for Joe Biden’s transition to White House

“By the way, I think this has been over Republican and Democratic administrations’ success story, going back to the Clinton administration, the Bush administration and then the Obama-Biden administration,” he said.

Talking about Biden’s contribution, Blinke had said, “During the Bush administration, then Senator Biden partnered with that administration to help get the peaceful nuclear cooperation agreement, the 123 agreement through the United States Senate, usually important to solidifying our relationship,” Blinken said.

Blinken also mentioned how during Obama administration, the US made India a “major defence partner”. “In our own administration, during the Obama-Biden administration, there was concrete progress across a whole series of initiatives and efforts under both Prime Minister Singh and then under Prime Minister Modi. There was this defence technology and trade initiative. The idea there was to kind of strengthen India’s defence industrial base and that then paved the way for American and Indian companies to work together to produce important technology. We made India a so-called major defence partner,” Blinken said.

On August 15, Blinken participated in a panel discussion on Indo-US ties and raised the issue of UN reforms. “In a Biden administration, we would be an advocate for India to play a leading role in international institutions and that includes helping India get a seat on a United Nations Security Council,” he said.

Talking about China’s aggressive policy, Blinken said, “We have a common challenge which has to deal with an increasingly assertive China across the board, including its aggression toward India at the Line of Actual Control but also using its economic might to coerce others and reap unfair advantage. I think you’d see Joe Biden as president investing in ourselves, renewing our democracy, working with our close partners like India, asserting our values and engaging China from a position of strength. India has to be a key partner in that effort.”

Blinken also talked about the issue of cross-border terrorism and said, “We would work together to strengthen India’s defence and also I might add its capabilities as a counterterrorism partner. On the question of terrorism, specifically, we have no tolerance for terrorism, in South Asia or anywhere else: cross-border or otherwise.”

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by Trending News in India.


Joe Biden names this Indian-American as Assistant White House Press Secretary | Trending News in India



Joe Biden names this Indian-American as Assistant White House Press Secretary | Trending News in India Trending News in India

Washington: President-elect Joe Biden on Friday named Indian-American Vedant Patel to be the Assistant Press Secretary as he announced the additional members of the White House Communications and Press Staff.

Patel is currently the senior spokesperson of the Biden Inaugural and has been a part of the Biden Campaign as well where he served as Regional Communications Director.

During President-elect Biden’s primary campaign, Patel served as the Nevada and Western Primary-States Communications Director. Previously, he worked as Communications Director to Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Western Regional Press Secretary at the Democratic National Committee, and Communications Director to Congressman Mike Honda.

Born in India and raised in California, Patel is a graduate of the University of California-Riverside and the University of Florida.

Patel is one of the 16 appointments announced by Biden to his White House communications and press staff. Prominent among them are Megan Apper, Director of Research ; Kate Berner, Deputy Communications Director; Rosemary Boeglin, Assistant Press Secretary; Amanda Finney, Chief of Staff for the Press Office and Special Assistant to the Press Secretary; Mike Gwin, Director of Rapid Response and Meghan Hays, Director of Message Planning.

Biden also named Paige Hill as Senior Regional Communications Director; Michael Kikukawa as Press Assistant; Jennifer Molina as Senior Director of Coalitions Media; Kevin Munoz as Assistant Press Secretary; Angela Dela Cruz Perez as Press Assistant; Emma Riley as Chief of Staff for the Office of Communications; Mariel S?ez, Director of Broadcast Media; Amijah Townsend-Holmes, Press Assistant and Remi Yamamoto, Senior Advisor for Communications to the Chief of Staff.

These diverse, experienced and talented individuals demonstrate President-elect Biden’s continued commitment to building an administration that looks like America and is ready to deliver results for working families on day one, the transition said.

“Restoring faith in government by speaking honestly and directly to the American people will be a hallmark of my administration. Our communications and press staff are integral to this effort and are committed to building this country back better for all Americans. I’m proud to have them serve the American people in the White House,” said Biden.

“These appointees are among a diverse and experienced team that is dedicated to rebuilding the trust of the American people amidst a pandemic and a struggling economy,” said incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain.

“In times of crisis, clear communication can save lives and keep families safe. These staff members recognise the important role they play in communicating fact-based information to the public on behalf of the president and vice president-elect. They are respected and creative communicators ready to tackle the urgent challenges facing our nation, he said.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by Trending News in India.

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After Pfizer, US authorizes Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use | Trending News in India



After Pfizer, US authorizes Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use | Trending News in India Trending News in India

WASHINGTON: Moderna has become the second company to get emergency use authorisation for its anti-coronavirus vaccine from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a week after the one developed by Pfizer received a similar approval.

According to an official statement, the FDA has determined that the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine has met the statutory criteria for issuance of an emergency use authorisation (EUA).

“Congratulations, the Moderna vaccine is now available!” President Donald Trump tweeted soon after.

The FDA based its recommendation on the totality of scientific evidence shared by Moderna, including a data analysis from the pivotal phase three clinical study announced on November 30. The primary efficacy analysis conducted on 196 cases indicated a vaccine efficacy rate of 94.1 per cent.

This vaccine is for people aged 18 or older.

An immunisation drive using the vaccine developed by Pfizer has begun in the US earlier this week. Vice President Mike Pence took the shot publicly on Friday.

Health Secretary Alex Azar said, “To have two vaccines against a novel coronavirus authorized and distributed within a year is extraordinary, and to have one of these vaccines developed by scientists at the NIH (National Institutes of Health) should be a great source of pride for every member of the HHS family and every American.”

National Institutes of Health was a partner in the development of Moderna’s vaccine.

“Authorization of Moderna’s vaccine means we can accelerate the vaccination of frontline healthcare workers and Americans in long-term-care facilities, and, ultimately, bring a faster end to this pandemic,” Azar said.

Moderna said that its mRNA-1273 vaccine is now authorized for distribution and use under an emergency use authorization.
Delivery to the US government will begin immediately. Moderna will continue to gather additional data and plans to file a Biologics License Application (BLA) with the FDA requesting full licensure in 2021, it said.

“I am proud of what the Moderna team has achieved in collaboration with our partners. We were able to create and manufacture the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine in 11 months from sequence to authorization, while advancing clinical development with a phase one, phase two and pivotal phase three study of 30,000 participants,” said Chief Executive Officer of Moderna St phane Bancel.

Allocation and distribution of the vaccine will be prioritised according to populations identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

Approximately 20 million doses will be delivered to the US government by the end of December 2020. The company expects to have between 100 million and 125 million doses available globally in the first quarter of 2021, with 85-100 million of those available in the US, Moderna said.

Under Operation Warp Speed, the Department of Defense, in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC, will manage allocation and distribution of the vaccine in the United States.

“With the availability of two vaccines now for the prevention of COVID-19, the FDA has taken another crucial step in the fight against this global pandemic that is causing vast numbers of hospitalizations and deaths in the United States each day,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen M Hahn.

He said through the FDA’s open and transparent scientific review process, two COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized in an expedited timeframe while adhering to the rigorous standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization that the American people have come to expect from the FDA.

Congressman Michael Burgess, a member of the House Rules Committee and Republican Leader of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, said that having a second anti-coronavirus vaccine approved for emergency use in a span of one week, is a shining example of American resourcefulness and the successful work done through Operation Warp Speed.

“I want to thank President Trump for putting American innovation first, our scientists and medical community, and the countless volunteers who have stepped up during this pandemic to serve on the front lines,” she said.

“This second vaccine is a signal that we are nearing the end of this pandemic, but we cannot stop taking the proper precautions especially now that cold and flu season is in full swing.

“Please continue to wash your hands thoroughly, wear a mask if you are unable to properly social distance, and stay home if you are sick. At the start of this pandemic, America declared that we are in this together and together we will reach the end,” Burgess said.

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Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by Trending News in India.

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US head nurse faints during press briefing, received COVID vaccine shot hours back | Trending News in India



US head nurse faints during press briefing, received COVID vaccine shot hours back | Trending News in India Trending News in India

Tennessee: Tiffany Dover, a head nurse at Chattanooga Hospital in Tennessee, created a stir after she passed out during a press briefing from CHI Memorial Hospital. According to reports, the Dover was addressing media informing them that her team was among the first one to receive Pfizer-Bion Tech’s coronavirus vaccine shot.

However, while taking up questions during the media interaction, she suddenly fainted and was helped out by a doctor. The incident was captured on camera. Minutes before she fainted, the head nurse was heard saying, “Sorry, I’m feeling really dizzy.”

She, however, later clarified that she has a history of fainting incident and the latest reaction was not uncommon to her. “I have a history of having an over-reactive vagal response, and so with that if I have pain from anything—hangnail or if I stub my toe — I can just pass out,” the head nurse said. 

According to reports, the head nurse is now feeling better. 

The US FDA has authorized Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use for the prevention of coronavirus disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. A day after the US Food and Drug Administration granted an emergency use authorization to Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, President Donald Trump announced that the US will start rolling out the vaccine in less than 24 hours. He also asserted that he had made sure that this vaccine would be free to all Americans.

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