BIDEN SAYS INCREASING VACCINE DELIVERY TO STATES, HAS ORDERED 200 MILLION MORE DOSES: President Biden announced yesterday (January 26th) that the federal government will be sending more coronavirus vaccine doses to states over the next three weeks. He shared the news of the approximately 16 percent boost of vaccine shipments amid growing complaints and frustrations from the states about insufficient supplies. Biden also said that the government has ordered another 200 million doses of vaccine — 100 million each of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines — which, along with the 400 million that had already been ordered, will be enough to vaccinate 300 million with two shots each by the end of the summer or early fall.
NEARLY ALL REPUBLICAN SENATORS VOTE IN FAVOR OF NOT HOLDING TRUMP IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: In an indication that former President Donald Trump being convicted in his Senate impeachment trial is likely a long shot, 45 of the 50 Republican senators voted yesterday (January 26th) in favor of a motion that would dismiss holding the trial, declaring it unconstitutional to have an impeachment trial after a president leaves office. All 50 Democrats plus five Republicans were opposed to the objection by Republican Senator Rand Paul, so the trial will go forward starting in two weeks. They rejected the claim that the trial would be unconstitutional, citing the 1876 impeachment of a secretary of war who’d already resigned. The House impeached Trump of “incitement of insurrection” of the U.S. Capitol attack one week after the mob riot took place. The five Republicans who voted against dismissing the trial were Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.
CAPITOL POLICE CHIEF APOLOGIZES FOR FAILING TO PREPARE FOR ATTACK: The interim chief of the Capitol Police, Yogananda Pittman, apologized yesterday (January 26th) for the force not having prepared for what turned into the January 6th attack on the Capitol, despite having warnings that white supremacist and far-right groups would target Congress. In prepared testimony before Congress, Pittman wrote, “We knew that militia groups and white supremacists organizations would be attending. We also knew that some of these participants were intending to bring firearms and other weapons to the event. We knew that there was a strong potential for violence and that Congress was the target.” Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, who resigned soon after the Capitol assault, said the day after it happened this his force, quote, “had a robust plan established to address anticipated First Amendment activities.” However, Capitol Police officers have said they were given little guidance ahead of time and almost no communication during the assault as they were outnumbered and overwhelmed as they tried to hold off the mob.
INDIANAPOLIS TEEN ALLEGED TO HAVE KILLED FIVE FAMILY MEMBERS, INCLUDING PREGNANT WOMAN, AFTER DAD PUNISHED HIM: An Indianapolis 17-year-old who was arrested in the killing of five of his family members early Sunday (January 24th), including a pregnant woman and a 13-year-old girl, began shooting at them after he became enraged when his father punished him for leaving the house without permission, according to local station Fox59. The suspect’s name hasn’t been released because he is a minor, but Fox59 and other local stations reported he was the son of 42-year-old Raymond Childs, who was one of the victims. The only person who made it out was the suspect’s younger brother, who was found wounded close to the home, but is expected to survive.
SENATE CONFIRMS BLINKEN AS SECRETARY OF STATE: The Senate confirmed President Biden‘s nominee Antony Blinken as secretary of state Tuesday (January 26th) in a 78-22 vote. Blinken was deputy secretary of state and deputy national security adviser during the Obama administration. Secretary of state is the most senior Cabinet position, fourth in the line of presidential succession.