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Trump news – live: President takes credit for ‘miracle’ vaccines as Biden honours frontline workers

Related video: Nancy Pelosi says Mitch McConnell and GOP Senate has ‘endless tolerance for other peoples’ sadness’

Donald Trump ended 2020 by taking credit for the “miracle” vaccines actually developed by private companies, not the federal government, to tackle the coronavirus, claiming in a video address posted to social media: “Everybody’s calling to thank me.”

By contrast, president-elect Joe Biden marked the turning of the year by praising frontline medical staff for their heroism during the pandemic, reminding the American public: “We owe them, we owe them, we owe them.”

As rebel Republicans continue to back the president’s call to overturn the electoral results ahead of their certification in the Senate on 6 January, vice president Mike Pence has broken ranks to ask a federal judge to drop Texas congressman Louie Gohmert’s latest legal challenge as GOP senator Josh Hawley’s pledge to protest continues to attract derision.

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Trump predicted he would lose election and blamed Jared Kushner and Covid testing

Here’s Josh Marcus with a little more from that damning account of this administration’s handling of the election and the pandemic in The New York Times.

Joe Sommerlad1 January 2021 11:10
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Trump ‘did not want anyone tested for Covid unless they were in hospital and vomiting’

In a closer look at this president’s last few months in office, The New York Times has published a detailed new report on how he wanted to approach the worsening coronavirus pandemic.

“They don’t give you a test till you get to the emergency room and you’re vomiting,” he said during a gathering of top aides in the Oval Office.

Yeesh. You can almost smell the compassion.

Rachel Brodsky has more.

Joe Sommerlad1 January 2021 10:50
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Republican congressman posts video attacking Trump election falsehoods

Another member of the GOP taking to social media to call out the mendacity of the president’s acolytes is Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, who warns in a new video:  “Members of Congress are planning to try to overthrow this election by using debunked conspiracy theories. Let’s be clear – they won’t succeed and they all know it.”

Joe Sommerlad1 January 2021 10:30
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Republican senator hits out at colleague’s ‘dangerous ploy’

Missouri GOP senator and Trump loyalist Josh Hawley has attracted plenty of derision since announcing his intention to protest Congress certifying the Electoral College results on Wednesday, with fellow Republican Ben Sasse of Nebraska the latest to call him out, issuing a detailed rebuke to his “dangerous ploy” on Facebook.

Here’s a couple of choice extracts:

But let’s not get too carried away in praising Sasse for belatedly doing the right thing.

Joe Sommerlad1 January 2021 10:10
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Pence urges judge to overturn GOP election result challenge

Gohmert’s lawsuit, filed earlier this week and supported by a cabal of fellow GOP representatives, seeks to expand Pence’s role during next week’s session in the upper chamber of Congress, which he will preside over and sees lawmakers formally tot up the states’ Electoral College results to certify Joe Biden as the winner.

But in a Thursday brief fired off to Texas-based US district judge Jeremy Kernodle, himself appointed by Trump, Pence said he was not a proper defendant to the suit.

“A suit to establish that the Vice President has discretion over the count, filed against the Vice President, is a walking legal contradiction,” a Department of Justice attorney representing Pence wrote.

His boss won’t like that one bit, as the vice president is well aware, hence his fleeing abroad as soon as his duties are done.

Joe Sommerlad1 January 2021 09:50
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Biden honours frontline workers: ‘We owe them, we owe them’

By contrast, president-elect Joe Biden marked the turning of the year by praising frontline medical staff for their heroism during the pandemic, reminding the American public on ABC’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve broadcast from Times Square oin New York City: “We owe them, we owe them, we owe them.”

“They risked their lives, they’ve done so much for us and we owe them, we owe them, we owe them.”

Joe Sommerlad1 January 2021 09:30
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Trump takes credit for ‘miracle’ vaccines in NYE video

Donald Trump ended 2020 by taking credit for the “miracle” vaccines actually developed by private companies, not the federal government, to tackle the coronavirus, claiming in a video address posted to social media: “Everybody’s calling to thank me.”

“Thanks to Operation Warp Speed we developed a vaccine in just nine months. We’ve already begun a nationwide vaccination programme, and we’re sending the vaccine all over the world,” he said in the clip. 

“The world will benefit, we’ll benefit, and everybody’s calling to thank me. They said it would take a medical miracle, and that’s exactly what it is.”

The likes of Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna might have something to say about that.

The outgoing president chose to make his remarks less than 24 hours after the country suffered its deadliest day of the pandemic so far, the US recording 3,763 fatalities on Wednesday. 

More than 345,000 Americans have died of Covid-19 overall.

Here’s John T Bennett’s report.

Joe Sommerlad1 January 2021 09:10
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Good morning, happy new year and welcome to The Independent’s rolling coverage of the presidential transition as Donald Trump’s administration enters its final weeks.

Joe Sommerlad1 January 2021 08:57