Archive for Madison Hall,Oma Seddiq

Marjorie Taylor Greene raised $325,000 in 2 days, showing she isn’t going away any time soon

marjorie taylor greene congresswoman far right republican conspiracy theorist
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene walks on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on January 13, 2021.
  • Freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene raised $325,000 in two days, according to her Twitter.
  • Greene is an outspoken fan of the QAnon conspiracy and has called for the murder of her colleagues.
  • The House will vote on Thursday to strip committee assignments away from her.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Freshman GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene announced on Twitter she had raked in $325,000 as the Republican Party debated stripping House committee assignments from her.

Greene's claims cannot be independently verified, as the Federal Election Commission has yet to file candidate quarterly reports for the first quarter of this year. 

The representative from Georgia is well-known for her support of the outlandish QAnon conspiracy that claims there's an international cabal of "Satan-worshipping cannibals," but her online history prior to her election has recently been brought to light where she called for the murder of several of her now-colleagues in Congress.

The newly uncovered information caused unrest in the Republican Party as lawmakers wrestled with disciplining her. GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger spoke publicly against his new coworker last week in an interview with CNN.

"She may be like this new definition of Republican, but that's kind of a RINO thing, a Republican in name only is what she is, Kinzinger said. "I don't think she should have the privilege of any committees."

Despite Kinzinger's consternation, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced Greene would not be stripped from her assigned committees by the Republican Party. The House will vote on Thursday to remove her from all committees, a measure that will almost certainly pass as the Democrats maintain a majority in the lower chamber.

McCarthy said Greene apologized behind closed doors to her Republican colleagues for her previous statements about the QAnon conspiracy and denounced it along with anti-Semitic tropes she has spread. She spoke on the House floor on Thursday to publicly share that she stopped believing in QAnon conspiracy in 2018.

Previous reporting from the Tampa Bay Times, however, shows that Greene continued to espouse the conspiracy in February 2019 when she speculated that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had a body double, just as many QAnon theorists believe Hillary Clinton does.

Greene currently sits on the committees on budget and education. She faced widespread criticism for her placement on the education committee as she had previously claimed that the Parkland and Sandy Hook school shootings were faked. An interview from April 2019 shows Greene vociferously mocking Parkland survivor David Hogg, who became a prominent gun-control advocate after the shooting.

"He is very trained. He's like a dog. He's completely trained," she said.

Despite the negative attention she drew to herself, Greene has used it to launch a campaign for donations. She said she raised $150,000 on Tuesday and $175,000 on Wednesday from 13,000 people.

In an interview with One America News, Greene said she and former President Donald Trump recently spoke and maintain a strong relationship.

"Great news is, he supports me 100 percent, and I've always supported him," Greene said. "President Trump is always here for the people, and he's not going anywhere. So I look forward to joining him and what his future plans may be."

The freshman representative may be removed from her committee seats, but the levels of support she has received from constituents and as a consequence of her ties to the former president show she won't be going away anytime soon.

Greene's campaign did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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The vast majority of Americans are concerned about the current state of the country, a new Insider poll shows

Capitol siege kekistan flag
Supporters of President Trump storm the United States Capitol building on January 6, 2021, in Washington,DC.
  • More than nine in 10 Americans are concerned about the current state of the nation, according to a recent Insider survey.
  • 95% of the 1,059 respondents said that they are concerned about the United States.
  • Only 2% of respondents told Insider they have no present concerns about the country.
  • This survey was conducted between January 13 and January 14, amid the worst coronavirus outbreak in the world and days after deadly riots at the US Capitol.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Most Americans - more than nine in 10 - have expressed concern about the current state of the US amidst an ongoing pandemic and an attempted coup over the results of the 2020 presidential election, according to a recent Insider poll.

"Are you concerned about the state of the country right now?" we asked in an Insider survey between January 13 and January 14.

Here's a breakdown of the responses we received:

  • 61% of respondents said currently have a great deal of concern.
  • 22% of respondents said they have a lot of concern.
  • 12% of respondents said they have a moderate amount of concern.
  • 3% of respondents said they are only a little concerned.
  • 2% of respondents said they are not concerned at all.

This analysis comes from a SurveyMonkey Audience poll. The survey collected 1,059 respondents who were asked if the Capitol siege was justified, if Trump was responsible for the breached Capitol, and more.

On January 6, Trump supporters from across the country descended on the US Capitol to protest Congress certifying the election results in favor of President-elect Joe Biden.

The protests turned into an insurrection as the crowd breached the Capitol building, leading to the death of one police officer and several protesters. Two more deaths occurred in the days following the attempted coup: a Capitol Police officer and a rioter facing felony charges. Both died of suicide.

Congress inevitably certified Biden's election win the same night as the Capitol riots. He will officially become the 46th president of the United States around 12 p.m. local time on January 20.

The nearly yearlong but still surging coronavirus pandemic has also cast a pall over over the nation. The US has confirmed more than 23 million COVID-19 cases and nearly 390,000 deaths due to the disease as of Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn't try to weight its sample based on race or income. Polling data collected 1,059 respondents January 13-14, 2021. All polls carried approximately a 3 percentage point margin of error individually.

Expanded Coverage Module: capitol-siege-module
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A NASA scientist was charged with lying to the FBI about participating in a Chinese government recruitment program

Moffett Airfield ames nasa
Aerial views of the Ames Research Center, NASA Research Park, and Moffett Airfield in California.
  • The US Department of Justice alleges a chief scientist at NASA was illegally a member of a Chinese government recruitment program.
  • Meyya Meyyappan, 66, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to lying to federal investigators about his ties to foreign universities and a Chinese government recruitment initiative.
  • Meyyappan was a member of the Thousand Talents Program, a Chinese government group that works to recruit international experts in scientific research and innovation.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A chief scientist at NASA pleaded guilty on Wednesday to lying to the FBI and investigators about his ties to a Chinese government recruitment program and several Chinese, South Korean, and Japanese universities.

Meyya Meyyappan, 66, has been employed by NASA since 1996. In 2006, he rose to the rank of chief scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center in California. According to the Department of Justice, Meyyappan failed to notify the US about his outside employment between 2009 and 2020 and later lied to federal investigators during questioning.

"Meyya Meyyappan held a trusted position at NASA with access to valuable intellectual property," Acting US Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a statement. "In violation of the terms of his employment and relevant laws and regulations, Meyyappan failed to disclose participation in a Chinese government recruitment program, and subsequently lied about it to NASA investigators, FBI agents, and our Office.  Now, having admitted his crime, Meyyappan awaits sentencing."

In 2016, Meyyappan applied to the Thousand Talents Program, a Chinese government initiative to recruit people with access to foreign intelligence and intellectual property. According to court records, Meyyappan was accepted into the program and later traveled to China and recommended others into joining the program.

Additionally, Meyyappan was employed between 2009 and 2020 as a visiting professor at three separate universities in China, South Korea, and Japan. During this time, he traveled to the countries on numerous occasions where he gave lectures, received compensation, and wrote research papers.

According to prosecutors, NASA required approval for any outside employment activities, including travel and compensation. It was also mandatory by federal regulation to annually report any outside employment and compensation to the US Office of Government Ethics.

Meyyappan failed to disclose his involvement with the Thousand Talents Program or any ties to Chinese or South Korean universities in any of his required reports, according to the DOJ. When interviewed, prosecutors allege that Meyyappan lied to investigators and denied any involvement with the Thousand Talents Program and the Chinese university.

"Members of U.S. government agencies are strictly prohibited from maintaining undisclosed affiliations with foreign entities, especially those that are actively seeking our intellectual property and technological advances," FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said in a statement. "Meyyappan violated this sacred rule, and then lied to FBI agents about it. Actions like those carried about by Meyyappan can have security implications, and his charges should serve as a warning to others thinking about engaging in the same type of activity."

According to a release from the DOJ, Meyyappan's charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine up to $250,000 or "twice the gross gain or loss from the offense." His sentencing is scheduled for June 16.

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The US Capitol secured 4 hours after being breached by pro-Trump rioters

capitol seige
Capitol Police with guns drawn as protesters try to break into the House chamber on January 6.
  • Thousands of protesters from across the US gathered in Washington, DC, on Wednesday to protest the presidential vote certification in Congress.
  • The protests turned into riots, which led to the Capitol being evacuated as rioters stormed the building and halted the vote-certification process.
  • The US Capitol was secured four hours after being breached.
  • Before the vote-certification process, Trump whipped his supporters into a frenzy using a groundless claim that Congress could selectively throw out states' electoral votes based on unsubstantiated assertions of fraud.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

US officials announced Wednesday evening that the US Capitol building had been secured - four hours after it was breached by pro-Trump supporters in an attempted coup.

The protests grew violent after a speech from the president on Wednesday morning in which he told the crowd that he would never concede the presidential election to President-elect Joe Biden.

"We will never give up. We will never concede. It doesn't happen," Trump said. "You don't concede when there's theft involved. Our country has had enough. We're not going to take it anymore."

The president also told his supporters to walk to the Capitol building, insisting that he would join them to applaud members of Congress certifying the presidential election results. He quickly backtracked, saying that some members did not deserve cheers - the president ultimately did not walk with the crowd to the Capitol building.

"We're probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them," Trump said. "Because you'll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong."

Hours later, rioters fought against police while attempting to enter the US Capitol. They ultimately succeeded.

The Capitol went into lockdown as both the House of Representatives and the Senate were in their chambers discussing the validity of Arizona's vote in the election. Congress was later sent into recess before members were evacuated from the building when protesters gained entrance into the Capitol building about 1:30 p.m. ET.

Members of Congress were seen wearing emergency gas masks as they were evacuated. In the hours following the evacuation, the siege continued as supporters of President Donald Trump rallied inside the building with Confederate and pro-Trump flags.

Gunshots were later heard in the building, and one woman was fatally shot, according to NBC News. Multiple prominent members of the far-right QAnon conspiracy-theory movement were also seen inside of the Capitol and among the first rioters to gain entrance.

Congress has yet to finish certifying the results of the presidential election, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is pushing members of Congress to continue to verify the election results now that the building has been secured, according to The Washington Post.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his intent to legalize marijuana in New York

Andrew Cuomo
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his desire on Wednesday to legalize marijuana in New York in 2021.
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo intends to move forward with marijuana legalization in New York during the state's 2021 legislative session, the governor announced in his daily press briefing on Wednesday.
  • The governor of New York said that the state is currently operating with a $15 billion deficit brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Legalizing marijuana is one way the state government intends to bring in additional tax revenue.
  • "Too many people have been imprisoned, incarcerated, and punished," Cuomo said. "Too many of those people are Black, Latino, and poor. It's exaggerated the injustice of the justice system."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his desire to legalize marijuana in the state during his daily press briefing on Wednesday, citing a need to raise state revenue amidst a multi-billion dollar state deficit.

"I think this should've been passed years ago," Cuomo said. "I think too many people have been imprisoned, incarcerated, and punished," Cuomo said. "Too many of those people are Black, Latino, and poor. It's exaggerated the injustice of the justice system."

On Tuesday, 19 New York lawmakers filed a marijuana legislation bill for the 2021 legislative session. According to Marijuana Moment, a cannabis news publication, the bill is identical to one State Sen. Liz Krueger filed in 2020. 

"It is long past time for New York State to catch up with our neighbors and legalize, tax, and regulate adult-use marijuana," Krueger told Marijuana Moment. "To my mind the most compelling reason for doing so has always been to end the unnecessary and destructive impact of the so-called 'War on Drugs' on communities of color."

During his press briefing, Cuomo said New York currently has a $15 billion deficit, the largest in the history of the state, which was primarily brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and federal bias against the state of New York.

In an effort to counter this, he noted that the state needed to do its part to raise revenue.

"This is the year we do need the funding and a lot of New Yorkers are struggling, so I think this year will give us the momentum to get it over the goal line," Cuomo said.

Robert Mujica, New York's Director of Budget, said the state's marijuana proposal would bring in massive amounts of tax revenue but would take years to fully implement.

"By the time it's fully effective under our proposal," Mujica said, "you'll get around $300 million per year."

Following the November 2020 election, Democrats in the New York Senate gained a supermajority, more than enough seats to overturn any veto from the governor.  Additionally, the general election saw four states vote in favor of legalizing cannabis: Arizona, South Dakota, Montana, and New Jersey - New York's neighboring state.

Directly following New Jersey's legalization vote, Cuomo said that the upcoming 2021 legislative session would be a promising time for marijuana legalization.

"I think this year it is ripe, because the state is going to be desperate for funding, even with Biden, even with stimulus, even with everything else, we're still going to be desperate for funding - and it's also the right policy," Cuomo said in November 2020.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his intent to legalize marijuana in New York

Andrew Cuomo
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his desire on Wednesday to legalize marijuana in New York in 2021.
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo intends to move forward with marijuana legalization in New York during the state's 2021 legislative session, the governor announced in his daily press briefing on Wednesday.
  • The governor of New York said that the state is currently operating with a $15 billion deficit brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Legalizing marijuana is one way the state government intends to bring in additional tax revenue.
  • "Too many people have been imprisoned, incarcerated, and punished," Cuomo said. "Too many of those people are Black, Latino, and poor. It's exaggerated the injustice of the justice system."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his desire to legalize marijuana in the state during his daily press briefing on Wednesday, citing a need to raise state revenue amidst a multi-billion dollar state deficit.

"I think this should've been passed years ago," Cuomo said. "I think too many people have been imprisoned, incarcerated, and punished," Cuomo said. "Too many of those people are Black, Latino, and poor. It's exaggerated the injustice of the justice system."

On Tuesday, 19 New York lawmakers filed a marijuana legislation bill for the 2021 legislative session. According to Marijuana Moment, a cannabis news publication, the bill is identical to one State Sen. Liz Krueger filed in 2020. 

"It is long past time for New York State to catch up with our neighbors and legalize, tax, and regulate adult-use marijuana," Krueger told Marijuana Moment. "To my mind the most compelling reason for doing so has always been to end the unnecessary and destructive impact of the so-called 'War on Drugs' on communities of color."

During his press briefing, Cuomo said New York currently has a $15 billion deficit, the largest in the history of the state, which was primarily brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and federal bias against the state of New York.

In an effort to counter this, he noted that the state needed to do its part to raise revenue.

"This is the year we do need the funding and a lot of New Yorkers are struggling, so I think this year will give us the momentum to get it over the goal line," Cuomo said.

Robert Mujica, New York's Director of Budget, said the state's marijuana proposal would bring in massive amounts of tax revenue but would take years to fully implement.

"By the time it's fully effective under our proposal," Mujica said, "you'll get around $300 million per year."

Following the November 2020 election, Democrats in the New York Senate gained a supermajority, more than enough seats to overturn any veto from the governor.  Additionally, the general election saw four states vote in favor of legalizing cannabis: Arizona, South Dakota, Montana, and New Jersey - New York's neighboring state.

Directly following New Jersey's legalization vote, Cuomo said that the upcoming 2021 legislative session would be a promising time for marijuana legalization.

"I think this year it is ripe, because the state is going to be desperate for funding, even with Biden, even with stimulus, even with everything else, we're still going to be desperate for funding - and it's also the right policy," Cuomo said in November 2020.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Americans think elected officials should be among the last to get the COVID-19 vaccine, a new Insider poll found

Nancy Pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi receives a COVID-19 vaccination shot by doctor Brian Monahan, attending physician Congress of the United States in her office on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on December 18, 2020.
  • The US Food and Drug Administration recently approved of two COVID-19 vaccines for public use, and members of Congress were among the first in the nation to get vaccinated.
  • But many Americans believe that elected officials should be among the last to get vaccinated, recent polling from Insider and SurveyMonkey found.
  • According to the Library of Congress, the average age of members of the Senate and House of Representatives is 63 and 58, respectively — and several members are above the age of 75, a demographic the CDC suggests should be among the first to receive the vaccine.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Following FDA approval for two separate COVID-19 vaccines, members of the US Congress were among the first to get inoculated. Many members quickly accepted the opportunity - notably some who have underplayed the severity of the novel coronavirus, leading to waves of online backlash.

But according to recent polling from Insider and SurveyMonkey, most Americans believe that elected officials should be among the last to receive a vaccine.

Insider provided a list of 13 demographic groups to survey-takers and requested they rank the groups by vaccine priority. The following chart shows the share of respondents who ranked a group in their top three:

Elected government officials placed eighth in the overall ranking - just above inmates in correctional facilities, people who have already had COVID-19 between the ages of 16 and 65, and the general population aged 64 and below.

This analysis comes from a SurveyMonkey Audience poll taken on December 21. The poll also surveyed the 1,123 respondents about pandemic holiday plans and the congressional stimulus package. The question on vaccine priorities was skipped by 38 respondents, leaving 1,085 total responses in the final ranked list.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, essential workers are defined as a broad category of workers whose jobs are essential to the nation's infrastructure. A frontline worker is generally defined as a subcategory of essential workers who cannot feasibly do their work at home.

Members of Congress, on average, skew older

While elected officials were ranked eighth out of 13 for vaccine priority, the two leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives, Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi, are 78 and 80 years old, respectively - among the age demographic most vulnerable to COVID-19.

Mitch McConnell
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, December 18, 2020..

The average age of the Senate and members of the House generally skews older in age - according to the Library of Congress in January 2019, the average age among members of the House was 58 while for the Senate it was 63.

Several members of Congress are also above the age of 75 and among the demographic that the Centers for Disease Control recommend should be among the first to receive the vaccine.

McConnell and Pelosi were among the first in Congress to receive the vaccine alongside Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Joni Erst, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and others.

Many Americans are clamoring to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible to begin a return to normalcy, but Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US's top infectious-disease expert, predicts the earliest the general public will likely get the vaccine is mid-2021.

But while the CDC's current recommendations say that the first rounds of vaccines should go to healthcare professionals, frontline workers, and people 75 and older, Insider reported that some states are sidestepping the suggestion and have already begun vaccinating other demographics.

"The only way to beat this pandemic is for us to follow the advice of our nation's health care professionals: get vaccinated and continue to follow CDC guidelines," McConnell said in a statement. "As a polio survivor, I know both the fear of a disease and the extraordinary promise of hope that vaccines bring. I truly hope all Kentuckians and Americans will heed this advice and accept this safe and effective vaccine."

Vice President Mike Pence received the COVID-19 vaccine on December 18. President Donald Trump, who tested positive for COVID-19 in October, has yet to receive a coronavirus vaccine and will not until it is recommended by the White House medical team, a White House official told CNN.

SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn't try to weight its sample based on race or income. Polling data collected 1,123 respondents on December 21. All polls carried approximately a 3 percentage point margin of error individually.

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Newly released Georgia Senate runoff poll finds Democratic candidates with widening leads

Rev Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff meet in a georgia senate runoff rally
Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, the two Democratic US Senate candidates in Georgia, greet each other at an event on Monday.
  • The two Georgia Senate runoff elections next Tuesday will decide whether Republicans maintain control of the Senate.
  • If Jon Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock both win, Democrats will control the legislative and executive branches, allowing for Joe Biden to more easily accomplish his legislative goals.
  • A newly released poll from JMC Analytics and Polling found Warnock and Ossoff leading over Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue as early votes are cast.
  • JMC is one of just a handful of pollsters participating in the Senate runoffs — many of the most recognized and reputable pollsters have not conducted any polls since the general election in November.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Jon Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock, the two Democratic US Senate candidates in Georgia, widened their leads against Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in a new poll from JMC Analytics and Polling.

The JMC poll, conducted with 500 respondents on Monday and Tuesday, found Ossoff ahead of Perdue 50% to 43%, or 7 points, with 7% of respondents saying they were undecided.

The divide between Warnock and Loeffler in the poll was even larger: Warnock was ahead 53% to 44%, or 9 points, with 3% of respondents saying they were undecided.

JMC's poll was its first of the Senate runoff elections. A recent survey conducted by SurveyUSA found Ossoff with a 5-percentage-point lead and Warnock with a 7-point lead. And according to FiveThirtyEight's polling tracker, the margin of support has steadily increased for the Democratic candidates in polls conducted since the general election on November 3.

When JMC asked how and when its respondents planned to vote, 91% said they had already voted or planned to vote early in person or by mail, while 7% said they planned to vote on Election Day on Tuesday.

In November, about 20% of the state's votes were cast on Election Day. JMC's poll suggests that Loeffler and Perdue would need to receive far more of Georgia's 2.6 million early votes than expected to win.

The two elections will directly affect the beginning of Joe Biden's presidency. If Ossoff and Warnock win, the Democratic Party will have control of the legislative and executive branches, allowing Biden to more easily accomplish his legislative goals.

But while JMC's poll is a good sign for Democrats, it is one of only a handful of pollsters that have participated in the Georgia Senate runoffs.

Hundreds of polls were conducted throughout the country before the 2020 general election; some were grossly off and led to backlash.

Nick Gourevitch, a Democratic pollster with Global Strategy Group, recently told Politico that trusting the accuracy of polls in Georgia following the tumultuous presidential polling would be a mistake.

"Everybody fundamentally understands that it's going to become an issue of partisan turnout," Gourevitch said. "And anybody who tells you they know exactly what's going to happen in terms of partisan turnout in a special election with two senators to decide control of the Senate in a post-Trump era when he's not on the [ballot] - nobody knows the answer to that question. It's a completely unique situation."

Nate Silver, the editor-in-chief and founder of FiveThirtyEight, said the answer was even simpler. "I think pollsters are being chicken," he said on FiveThirtyEight's podcast on Tuesday.

Since the general election, FiveThirtyEight has tracked just 20 polls, many of which have come from smaller, less experienced polling groups.

"You are not polling," Silver said of many of the large university-aligned pollsters, "because you are scared of being wrong."

He added: "Pollsters don't want to put their necks on the line because we live in a world where people are not very rational about probabilities and uncertainty."

Trump's recent defiance of the GOP is not helping the Republican candidates

Trump Georgia rally
President Donald Trump recently headlined a campaign rally in Valdosta, Georgia, for Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.

Though Loeffler and Perdue have run as allies of President Donald Trump, he has put them in difficult political positions during their campaigns.

The president traveled to the state on December 5 to headline a rally on their behalf, but he mostly used the event to air his own grievances about the presidential election, repeatedly making baseless claims of voter fraud and falsely saying he won the state over Biden.

Trump has jousted with top Georgia Republicans from Gov. Brian Kemp to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, creating a sense of political disunity that the Republican candidates can't afford in races against well-funded Democratic challengers who have strong support from Biden and the party base.

The president's pressure campaign against the state's election results drove Loeffler and Perdue last month to call for Raffensperger's resignation, which the secretary of state firmly rejected.

Warnock and Ossoff have for months been pressing for increased direct aid in a COVID-19 relief bill, and it has emerged as a major campaign issue in both Senate races.

Loeffler and Perdue had expressed support for the $900 billion compromise bill that Congress passed last week. But after the president called the $600 stimulus checks in it a "disgrace," Perdue and Loeffler backed his proposal for $2,000 checks.

Previously, Loeffler was on the fence about larger stimulus payments. Perdue has generally opposed stimulus checks - something Ossoff has highlighted in his campaign.

Though Trump isn't on the ballot, his legacy is at stake. Loeffler and Perdue still have to closely align themselves with the president to win or risk turning off his most ardent supporters.

With control of the Senate on the line and Democrats in a solid position to capture both seats, Loeffler and Perdue will have to increase turnout on their side, or a blue wave could give Biden a unified government to enact his agenda.

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Insider poll: The typical American expects to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine within the next 3 months. That’s not likely.

Doctor receives covid-19 coronavirus moderna vaccine
Dr. Ramkumar Sankaran receives the Covid-19 vaccine with the first batch of Moderna's vaccine at Hartford hospital in Hartford, Connecticut on December 21, 2020. -
  • The typical American believes they will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine within the next three months, according to recent Insider polling.
  • The CDC recommends that the first round of vaccinations should go to frontline workers and people aged 75 and up, but each state is in charge of its vaccine distribution process.
  • Experts predict the general public will be able to be vaccinated by summer 2021, after high-priority groups such as healthcare professionals and essential workers get the shots.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

After two COVID-19 vaccines were approved by the Food and Drug Administration, many Americans are clamoring to get vaccinated and begin a return to normalcy.

According to recent polling from Insider and SurveyMonkey, the typical American - the median respondent in the adjusted collected survey data - expects they'll be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination within the next three months.

A further breakdown of responses are as follows:

  • About 50% of respondents in the adjusted data believe they will be vaccine eligible by the end of March 2021.
  • 26% of respondents believe they will be eligible between April and June 2021.
  • 3% of respondents believe it will take over two years before they will become eligible for the vaccine.

This analysis comes from a SurveyMonkey Audience poll taken on December 21. The poll also surveyed the 1,123 respondents about pandemic holiday plans and the congressional stimulus package. Insider excluded empty answers and dates before December 21, 2020 and after December 31, 2026, leaving 945 respondents in the adjusted set of data.

Read more: 5 public health experts told us what the US needs to do right now to get COVID-19 under control

But according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US's top infectious-disease expert, the general public will likely need to wait longer - at least until mid-2021 to receive the vaccine.

"By the time we get through December, January, February, March, April, we hopefully will have been able to get to the people who are listed as priority people," Fauci said. "I would say starting in April, May, June, July, as we get into the late spring and early summer, that people in the so-called general population, who do not have underlying conditions or other designations that would make them priority, could get them."

 

Each state creates its own guidelines and regulations for distributing the coronavirus vaccine, muddying the approximate time that each person will be eligible for vaccination. An advisory group with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that the next round of vaccinations should go to frontline workers and people 75 and older, but not every state is following the CDC's suggestions.

In New York, the group getting the first allocation of vaccines includes high-risk hospital workers, nursing home staff and residents, and other healthcare professionals. In Texas and Florida, people 65 and older have begun to get vaccinated - a clear break from the CDC recommendations.

The White House testing czar, HHS Assistant Secretary Admiral Brett Giroir, said on Sunday that all Americans will have access to the vaccine by June. He noted that if additional vaccines are approved by the FDA, that date could arrive even sooner. Still, Giroir warned Americans from becoming too complacent in the meantime.

"With good mitigation steps, with increasing vaccinations - particularly among those who are vulnerable - we should see clearly a light at the end of the tunnel," Giroir said. "But we've gotta keep disciplined, gotta keep vigilant, right now as we vaccinate."

SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn't try to weight its sample based on race or income. Polling data collected 1,123 respondents on December 21. All polls carried approximately a 3 percentage point margin of error individually.

Read the original article on Business Insider

54% of Americans disapprove of how Trump has handled his presidential transition, a new Insider poll shows

Trump - Biden
President Donald Trump (L) shakes hands with former US President Barack Obama (C) and President-elect Joe Biden after being sworn in as president on January 20, 2017 at the US Capitol in Washington, DC
  • A peaceful and cooperative transfer of power between the outgoing and incoming president is a historic precedent dating back to the Adams administration in 1800.
  • According to recent Insider polling, a majority of Americans disapprove of the Trump administration's transition of power.
  • Additionally, Insider polling shows that nearly one in 10 Biden-voting respondents approve of how Trump has handled his presidential transition.
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As a president's time in office draws to a close, historic precedent set by President John Adams in 1800 dictates that the outgoing administration coordinates with the incoming president's team to ensure a smooth transfer of power.

But as President Donald Trump's term comes to an end, his administration has repeatedly placed hurdles in the way of the incoming Biden administration - and Americans are taking notice.

Recent polling from Insider and SurveyMonkey shows that 54% of respondents somewhat disapproved, disapproved, or strongly disapproved of Trump's transition of power to President-elect Joe Biden. Conversely, 31% of survey respondents said they strongly approved, somewhat approved, or approved of the outgoing president's transfer of power.

A further breakdown of responses are as follows:

  • 14% of Trump-voting respondents disapproved of Trump's presidential transition
  • 9% of Biden-voting respondents approved of Trump's presidential transfer of power
  • 15% of all respondents neither approved or disapproved of Trump's transition

This analysis comes from a SurveyMonkey Audience poll taken on December 21. The poll also surveyed the 1,123 respondents about pandemic holiday plans and the congressional stimulus package. Of the respondents, 305 told Insider they voted for Trump, and 507 said they voted for Biden.

Stonewalling transition cooperation

Though it took several days longer than previous presidential elections to count the majority of the presidential votes cast for the November 3 election, it took even more time - nearly three weeks - for the Trump administration to formally recognize Biden as the next president after withholding transition resources for his incoming administration.

But even after the General Services Administration allowed Biden's team access to the transition resources, Trump's administration has not fully cooperated with the president-elect's staff.

Joe Biden
President-elect Joe Biden speaks about the US economy following a briefing with economic advisors in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 16, 2020.

According to recent Insider reporting, several Trump officials have stonewalled Biden's transition team and have yet to acknowledge Biden's victory.

Read more: Federal workers are in a 'twilight zone' where Trump officials are stonewalling Joe Biden's transition team and refusing to publicly acknowledge his win

A senior government employee told Insider's Robin Bravender that "it is still this twilight zone mentality where everybody knows, including all of the political leaders, that on January 20th it's going to be President Biden… But the term Biden-Harris is not coming out of the mouths of any politicals."

On December 18, Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller ordered the Pentagon to cancel meetings with the Biden transition team, Axios reported. In a statement, Miller said the cancellation of the meetings was mutually agreed upon as a holiday break, but the executive director of the Biden transition, Yohannes Abraham contradicted that.

"Let me be clear: There was no mutually agreed-upon holiday break," Abraham said. "In fact, we think it is important that briefings and other engagements continue during this period as there's no time to spare."

Cooperation or not, Biden will be sworn in as president on January 20. It is unclear if Trump will be in attendance.

SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn't try to weight its sample based on race or income. Polling data collected 1,123 respondents on December 21. All polls carried approximately a 3 percentage point margin of error individually.

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