Biden news today: President tests negative for Covid as he prepares to announce new ‘ghost guns’ plan


War in Ukraine ‘far from over’, says Joe Biden

Joe Biden has tested negative for Covid-19, according to the White House, meaning he has escaped something of an outbreak among the DC political class. Among those recently testing positive are White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock.

Meanwhile, Mr Biden is expected to announce new gun regulations on Monday to rein in so-called “ghost guns” – privately made firearms without serial numbers that have been used in several high-profile violent crimes.

Mr Biden is expected to nominate Steve Dettlebach, an Obama-era US attorney, to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, people familiar with the matter told the Associated Press.

The ceremony at the White House will be attended by survivors of and family members left bereaved by mass shootings including the Parkland school massacre and the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

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Also negative for Covid: Kamala Harris

Vice President Kamala Harris has also tested negative for Covid-19, according to the White House, alleviating concerns that she took a risk by presiding over Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation vote while the virus was apparently infecting senators.

Andrew Naughtie11 April 2022 16:51


Biden’s Covid tsar not “excessively concerned” about rising cases

Joe Biden’s coronavirus response coordinator, Dr Ashish Jha, has said he is not “excessively concerned” about the trajectory of the Covid-19 pandemic despite a notable rise in the number of cases, which he said is being driven largely by the BA.2 variant.

“It is incredibly contagious, even more contagious than the original subvariant of Omicron, and it caused a substantial spike in cases in Europe,” he told MSNBC.

Gustaf Kilander has the story.

Andrew Naughtie11 April 2022 16:49


Biden tests negative for Covid-19

Ahead of his major gun safety event today, the president has tested negative for Covid-19. This means he has escaped infection despite coming into close contact with others who have recently tested positive, among them House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Andrew Naughtie11 April 2022 16:25


Analysis: How Washington gave up on the pandemic

The Independent’s senior Washington correspondent Eric Garcia has been reporting on the rash of Covid-19 diagnoses among the DC power elite in recent days, and has this analysis to offer.

The fact that Covid is mowing through the District indiscriminately seems to have failed to move Washington. A massive superspreader event among Washington’s elites did not trigger a moment where they set aside partisan differences to focus on passing relief; if anything, it made Republicans dig their heels in on immigration. Meanwhile, many Democrats, including ones in difficult races, say that the Covid relief effort and the administration’s actions on immigration are unrelated.

Andrew Naughtie11 April 2022 16:00


Democrat challenging Chuck Grassley barred from ballot over three signatures

Abby Finkenauer, who is running to challenge the longest-serving Republican senator, Iowan Chuck Grassley, has been dealt a serious blow by a judge who has ruled her ineligible for the Democratic primary ballot.

Ms Finkenauer was challenged by Republicans who claimed she did not submit enough valid signatures to become a candidate – and the case ultimately came down to three signatures that did not include the date.

According to the Des Moines Register, the judge recognised how galling the ruling was.

“The Court takes no joy in this conclusion,” wrote the judge. “This Court should not be in the position to make a difference in an election, and Ms. Finkenauer and her supporters should have a chance to advance her candidacy. However, this Court’s job is to sit as a referee and apply the law without passion or prejudice. It is required to rule without consideration of the politics of the day.”

Andrew Naughtie11 April 2022 15:36


Also at Biden’s gun event: Pulse nightclub shooting survivor

Among the numerous attendees of Joe Biden’s gun safety announcement later will be Brandon Wolf, a survivor of the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida.

Andrew Naughtie11 April 2022 15:02


Parent of school shooting victims in DC for gun safety announcement

Gun safety campaigner Fred Guttenberg, who lost two children in the Parkland school shooting, is in Washington, DC for Joe Biden’s announcement of new measures designed to curb the spread of weapons that end up being used in deadly crimes.

Andrew Naughtie11 April 2022 14:30


Report: US government paid SpaceX to send Starlink to Ukraine

Elon Musk’s technology company SpaceX was praised for a charitable act in February when it sent hundreds of Starlink terminals to Ukraine to help maintain internet access in the country as it came under Russian assault. However, it has now emerged that the shipment of terminals was in fact delivered via a “public-private partnership” with the US government.

Andrew Naughtie11 April 2022 14:00


Watch: Ketanji Brown Jackson celebrates confirmation

After Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed as the next Supreme Court justice, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris hosted her for a jubilant appearance outside the White House where the judge reflected on the deep import of her rise to the highest court in the leand.

“I have achieved something far beyond anything my grandparents could have possibly ever imagined,” she said. “But no-one does this on their own…

“We have come a long way toward perfecting our union. In my family, it took just one generation to go from segregation to the Supreme Court of the United States.”

Andrew Naughtie11 April 2022 13:25


ICYMI: Officers cleared of assault during George Floyd protests

Two police officers in Buffalo, New York who were caught on camera pushing a 75-year-old racial justice protester to the ground have been cleared of any wrongdoing.

According to an arbitrator, Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski were justified in pushing Mr Gugino during the protest in downtown Buffalo in New York, as the protester refused to comply with the orders and acted erratically.

The video of the interaction was one of many shocking clips of police-protester encounters during the summer of 2020, which saw Black Lives Matter demonstrators and others met with often draconian and sometimes brutal reprisals when they took to the streets to protest police violence.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar has the story.

Andrew Naughtie11 April 2022 12:50

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