Coronavirus: Boris Johnson says UK rejects "vaccine nationalism," defends 1% nurses' pay raise

Coronavirus: Boris Johnson says UK rejects "vaccine nationalism," defends 1% nurses' pay raise

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson rejected on Wednesday an assertion by European Council President Charles Michel that Britain had banned exports of COVID-19 vaccines, saying his government opposed vaccine nationalism in all its forms.

Addressing parliament, Johnson used his introductory comments to “correct” Michel’s suggestion and asked the chamber to join him in rejecting it.

The prime minister also had a tense exchange with opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer over much criticized government plans to increase National Health Service (NHS) nurses’ pay by just 1 per cent.

Johnson and finance minister Rishi Sunak have recently come under fire from opposition lawmakers and their own backbenchers for the below inflation rise. Polling has found significant public opposition to the government’s policy in light of the pressures experienced by NHS workers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Coronavirus: Ontario extends stay-at-home for some regions, premier defends reopening | FULL

Coronavirus: Ontario extends stay-at-home for some regions, premier defends reopening | FULL

Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced on Friday the extension of stay-at-home orders until March 9 for the hardest-hit regions in the province including Peel and Toronto following the advice of local health officials.

Meanwhile, Ford defended his decision to start reopening other parts of the province amid raised concerns by federal health officials over coronavirus variants’ spread.

Ford said his decisions are based on the advice of the province’s health officials. Health Minister Christine Elliot said the province has a lot of safeguards in place to prevent exponential growth of cases from happening.

Retired Gen. Rick Hillier provided an update on Ontario’s vaccine task force vaccine rollout progress, saying over 500,000 doses have been administered across Ontario.

On Wednesday, the province received 155,000 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine, and will receive around 180,000 doses next week, while it’ll get only 47,000 from Moderna instead of 90,000 next week as well.

Hillier said the task force is aiming to start vaccinating people in the age group of 80 or older by mid-March, and will start reaching out to people soon.

Ontario is reporting 1,150 new coronavirus cases on Friday, bringing the provincial total to 290,771.

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Angela Merkel warns of coronavirus mutations and defends lockdown extension | DW News

Angela Merkel warns of coronavirus mutations and defends lockdown extension | DW News

Angela Merkel has called for Germans to be “extremely cautious” and warned of the “dangers” of variants. Lawmakers are hoping to avoid the the heath system being overrun by new COVID-19 mutations.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke in the Bundestag on Thursday to defend the extension of the nationwide lockdown until March 7. The German government and state leaders agreed to maintain lockdown measures beyond February 14, but with the option of “gradually” opening schools and daycare centers as well as hairdressers earlier.

“We have to be extremely cautious that we don’t get into this exponential growth spiral again,” Merkel told lawmakers. She also warned that the new mutations, which are already present in Germany, “may destroy any success” already achieved by the monthslong lockdown. The chancellor also defended the use of infection rates to determine when it is safe to ease the lockdown measures. “I really support the fact that when it comes to further openings and reopenings we’ve decided on the basis of these new mutations, not to give dates, but to give infection rates,” she said.

As pointed out in Merkel’s speech, many people have been disappointed by the slow roll out of vaccines across the country. According to the RKI, some 2.4 million people have received their first vaccine jab — equivalent to 2.9% of the population — while 1.1 million have been given both doses — 1.3% of the population.

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Head of Pfizer Australia defends delay of COVID-19 vaccine delivery | ABC News

Head of Pfizer Australia defends delay of COVID-19 vaccine delivery | ABC News

Anne Harris says surging demand for the Pfizer vaccine around the world has delayed the rollout of the vaccination program in Australia.

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The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has today provisionally approved the Pfizer vaccine for Australians aged 16 years and over. The first batch of vaccines was expected for delivery in mid-February, but delays mean priority groups won’t get their jabs until later in the month.

ABC News provides around the clock coverage of news events as they break in Australia and abroad, including the latest coronavirus pandemic updates. It’s news when you want it, from Australia’s most trusted news organisation.

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Coronavirus: Doug Ford defends decision to not impose Ontario curfew

Coronavirus: Doug Ford defends decision to not impose Ontario curfew

Ontario Premier Doug Ford defended the decision not to impose a curfew in the province as part of new COVID-19 public health restrictions, saying he believes in residents and that as soon as you tell people you’ve “lost trust” through a curfew, “you might as well throw in the white flag.” He said he’s never been in favour of a curfew because it would mean a hard lockdown, with cars not even driving around.

Solicitor General Sylvia Jones also argued that the stay-at-home order gives more authority to bylaw officers and other provincial enforcement officers to enforce the measures, such as dispersing gatherings.

Ford also said that he would come down on big box stores “like an 800-pound gorilla” if they are not following the proper measures of restrictions for in-store shopping. He also advised that if people need to go outside to stretch their legs or walk their dog, they can, but to stay home as much as possible.

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'I can't save every job': Rishi Sunak defends new Covid-19 job protection scheme

'I can't save every job': Rishi Sunak defends new Covid-19 job protection scheme

The chancellor has defended his decision to replace the government’s furlough scheme with a plan that will subsidise the wages of people in work. Workers will need to work at least a third of their normal hours to qualify for the new Job Support Scheme.
Speaking at a Downing Street press conference, Sunak said the change was necessary to manage the long-term economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.
‘We can’t continue to provide the same degree of support that we did at the beginning of this crisis,’ he told reporters. ‘It’s not sustainable for a prolonged period of time.’
Covid scheme: UK government to cover 22% of worker pay for six months
Key points from Rishi Sunak’s winter economy plan – at a glance

Trump defends coronavirus response amid revelation he downplayed threat

Trump defends coronavirus response amid revelation he downplayed threat

President Trump is denying that he lied to the American people when he downplayed the danger of the coronavirus weeks after telling journalist Bob Woodward that the virus was deadly. Ed O’Keefe reports. (Disclosure: “Rage” is distributed by Simon & Schuster, a division of ViacomCBS)

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W.H. Press Secretary McEnany defends against allegations Donald Trump downplayed Covid-19 danger

W.H. Press Secretary McEnany defends against allegations Donald Trump downplayed Covid-19 danger

President Donald Trump admitted he wanted to publicly downplay the threat of the coronavirus even as advisors warned him about the dangers of the disease, Bob Woodward wrote in his forthcoming book about the Trump administration, multiple outlets reported Wednesday. Despite a tape of the president saying he downplayed the coronavirus—and despite him saying on that tape that he still likes “playing it down”—White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said at a briefing Wednesday that Trump never downplayed the virus. For access to live and exclusive video from CNBC subscribe to CNBC PRO: https://cnb.cx/2NGeIvi

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Trump Defends Sharing Bogus COVID-19 'Cure' At Odds With His Own FDA | The 11th Hour | MSNBC

Trump Defends Sharing Bogus COVID-19 'Cure' At Odds With His Own FDA | The 11th Hour | MSNBC

A defiant Trump defended sharing a video promoting the debunked drug hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 from a conspiracy theory-promoting doctor who also reportedly believes in ‘demon sperm’ and ‘alien DNA.’ Aired on 7/28/2020.
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Trump Defends Sharing Bogus COVID-19 ‘Cure’ At Odds With His Own FDA | The 11th Hour | MSNBC

White House defends Trump for saying 99% of coronavirus cases are “totally harmless”

White House defends Trump for saying 99% of coronavirus cases are “totally harmless”

The White House is defending President Trump after he said the vast majority of coronavirus cases are “totally harmless.” CBS News correspondent Nikole Killion and Boston Globe deputy Washington bureau chief Liz Goodwin join “Red and Blue” to discuss the administration’s coronavirus response, President Trump’s messaging, the economy and where the 2020 presidential race stands now.

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White House Defends Trump's Use of 'Kung Flu' to Refer to Coronavirus: McEnany

White House Defends Trump's Use of 'Kung Flu' to Refer to Coronavirus: McEnany

The White House is defending President Donald Trump’s use of “Kung flu” when referring to the coronavirus.

“What the president does do is point to the fact that the origin of the virus is China,” said White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Monday.

“It’s a fair thing to point out as China tries to ridiculously rewrite history, ridiculously blame the corona virus on American soldiers. This is what China’s trying to do, what President Trump is saying. No, China. I will label this virus for its place of origin.”

“Kung flu,” is a racist term for COVID-19, which originated in China.

The president used the term Saturday as he aired pent-up grievances about the coronavirus at a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“The president never regrets putting the onus back on China,” said McEnany.

“Pointing out that China is responsible for this and in the process, standing up for U.S. troops who are being blamed by China in a campaign of misinformation.”

Trump also tried to defend his handling of the pandemic, even as cases continue to surge in many states, including Oklahoma.

Trump complained that robust testing was making his record look bad and suggested the testing effort should slow down.

“Here’s the bad part. When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more cases,” Trump said. “So I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down.’ They test and they test.”

McEnany was asked if it was true officials were asked “to slow down testing.”

“It was a comment that he made in jest,” said McEnany.

“It’s common that he made in passing, specifically with regard to the media coverage and pointing out the fact that the media never acknowledges that we have more cases, because when you test more people, you find more cases.”

A White House reporter then asked if t was “appropriate to joke about coronavirus, when the 120,000 people have died,”

“He was not joking about coronavirus,” said McEnany.

“I just said he was joking about the media and their failure to understand the fact that when you test more, you also find more cases.”

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PMQs: Boris Johnson defends govt record on COVID-19 deaths

PMQs: Boris Johnson defends govt record on COVID-19 deaths

Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer reads through the death figures from coronavirus before saying “there’s no pride in those figures, is there?”

The PM responded by saying people must wait until ‘the coronavirus pandemic is over’ until making international comparisons.

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