1/ Biden condemned Trump and his allies of holding “a dagger at the throat of America,” denouncing “the former president” for promoting a “web of lies” and going to extraordinary lengths to cling to power because he “can’t accept he lost” a free and fair election. Speaking from Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol on the anniversary of that Jan. 6 attack, Biden said “for the first time time in our history, a president not just lost the election, he tried to prevent a peaceful transfer of power as a violent mob breached the Capitol.” Biden charged Trump with waging an “undemocratic” and “un-American” campaign to “pre-emptively sow doubt about the election results,” adding that Trump bears “singular responsibility” for the attack. “You can’t love your country only when you win,” Biden said. “You can’t obey the law only when it’s convenient. You can’t be patriotic when you embrace and enable lies.” (Washington Post / NBC News / NPR / Politico / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / CNBC / ABC News / CNN)
2/ Republicans accused Democrats of “exploiting” the deadly Jan. 6 attack for political purposes instead of “conducting basic oversight” of Capitol security. Top Republicans, however, were nowhere to be found at the Capitol as Biden and members of Congress commemorated the deadliest attack on the building in centuries. In a statement, Mitch McConnell called Jan. 6 “a dark day for Congress and our country” before accusing Democrats of trying to “exploit this anniversary” to advance voting rights protections that Republicans have repeatedly blocked. (NBC News / New York Times)
3/ Federal judges in D.C. have imposed lighter sentences than prosecutors have sought in 49 out of 74 sentencings held for Capitol riot defendants so far. Of the 701 federal defendants, 174 of defendants have pleaded guilty to storming the Capitol on Jan. 6, and 74 have been sentenced, but nearly all for misdemeanors. Of the 74 people who have been sentenced, fewer than half have received prison time for their actions. (Washington Post / Politico)
4/ The number of children in U.S. hospitals with Covid-19 more than doubled to over 4,000 in less than two weeks. An average of 766 children were admitted to hospitals every day with Covid-19 over the last seven-days. Over the previous seven-days, 383 children were hospitalized on average. The CDC, meanwhile, recommended that children ages 12 to 17 get a Pfizer coronavirus vaccine booster as Omicron infections disrupt schools and workplaces. (Washington Post / CNN)
5/ About 35% of Americans have received a coronavirus booster shot, and about 62% of Americans — about 206 million people — are fully vaccinated. The U.S. is averaging 1.08 million shots in arms per day, but reporting an average of 585,000 cases a day. Hospitalizations, meanwhile, are up 53% in the past two weeks, while deaths are down by 3%. (New York Times)
6/ The U.S. Postal Service asked for a temporary waiver from Biden’s coronavirus vaccine mandate, saying the vaccine-or-test mandate “is likely to result in the loss of many employees — either by employees leaving or being disciplined.” The mandate takes effect Jan. 10, but OSHA officials have said the agency would not issue citations for violations until Feb. 9. The Postal Service asked OSHA to extend the deadline by 120 days and to suspend the Postal Service’s compliance obligations until the Supreme Court rules on the legality of the vaccine requirement. (Washington Post)
7/ A group of Biden’s former health advisers called on the administration to develop a new national Covid-19 strategy centered on the “new normal” of living with the coronavirus indefinitely. In a series of articles in the Journal of the American Medical Association, six of the former health advisors who counseled Biden during the presidential transition called for universal access to low-cost testing; for vaccine mandates to be imposed more broadly; for the development of next-generation Covid-19 vaccines; for a “universal coronavirus vaccine” that would combat all known coronaviruses; for upgrades to public health infrastructure; and to make N95 masks free and readily available to everyone. The authors suggested that the administration needs to accept that Covid-19 is here to stay and to set specific benchmarks that should trigger emergency measures in order to avoid becoming stuck in “a perpetual state of emergency.” Asked about the recommendations, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden’s “ultimate goal continues to be to defeat the virus.” (New York Times / Wall Street Journal / Politico)
poll/ 20% of Americans say they’re very confident in the integrity of the election system, 39% say they’re somewhat confident, and 41% say they’re somewhat or not confident at all in the system. (ABC News)
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