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Video: Pentagon to deploy troops to support vaccination efforts

new video loaded: Pentagon to deploy troops to support vaccination efforts

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Pentagon to deploy troops to support vaccination efforts

The White House announced Friday that Lloyd J. Austin III, Secretary of Defense, had approved the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s request for support and would deploy 1,110 active duty soldiers to Covid-19 vaccination centers in across the country.

I want to announce that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has approved FEMA’s request to increase and speed up immunizations across the country. He ordered the first contingent of more than 1,000 active-duty military personnel to support state vaccination sites. Some of this group will begin arriving in California within the next 10 days to begin operations there around February 15, with additional vaccination missions to follow soon. The military’s vital role in supporting the sites will help immunize thousands of people per day and ensure that every American who wants a vaccine receives one.

Recent episodes of Coronavirus pandemic: latest updates

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Trump suffered biggest loss of support in 2020 with white voters

Former President Donald J. Trump lost ground with all age groups in the 2020 election compared to his performance in 2016, but he saw his “greatest erosion with white voters, especially white men ”, according to an analysis by one of his campaign pollsters.

The 27-page report, written by Trump pollster Tony Fabrizio, focused on what he called ten key target states. Five of them – Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – were all turned over to President Biden after supporting Mr. Trump in 2016. Five others – Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas – were held by Mr. Trump in both 2020 and 2016.

Mr Fabrizio, who analyzed the exit polls from the National Election Pool and the Associated Press, also found that the majority of independent voters had broken up for Mr Biden. The analysis was first reported by Politico.

Mr. Trump’s handling of the coronavirus played a key role in why voters did not support him, Fabrizio found. Pollster and former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale had urged Mr. Trump to take the virus more seriously earlier in 2020, and Mr. Fabrizio had pushed Mr. Trump to support some form of tenure. national mask. But Mr. Trump rejected the idea.

Mr Fabrizio noted that Dr Anthony S. Fauci, the infectious disease expert Mr Trump repeatedly attacked during the campaign, had significantly higher post approval than Mr Trump. Some 72% of voters who reversed their vote on Mr. Trump supported the work Dr. Fauci has done on the coronavirus.

And very few last-minute voters voted for Mr. Trump. Most had opted for their candidate before October, according to the analysis, meaning that decisions made by the Trump campaign on how to allocate resources, including the president’s time, had a minor impact.

The analysis found that Mr. Trump had gained support from Latino voters compared to 2016, while his support among black voters was essentially unchanged.

It was not clear on Tuesday whether Mr. Trump had read Mr. Fabrizio’s report.

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Airlines seek WHO support for post-vaccination travel without quarantine

Aviation and travel industry groups are calling on the World Health Organization (WHO), a United Nations agency, to back the idea that it is safe for those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19. fly without quarantine.

On January 27, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said that WHO’s support of this principle is vital to the development and acceptance of its Travel Pass digital application for smartphones, the purpose of which is to help people resume their travels as soon as epidemiological conditions permit.

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“We can say what we want, what we do need is for the WHO to come out and say the same thing, so that it becomes a universal acceptance that once you are vaccinated you should not have to go through any of these hoops,” Vice President IATA’s senior passenger affairs officer, Nick Careen, said at a briefing.

Another crucial component of the IATA Travel Pass application is the adoption of shared global standards for vaccine certificates, an action that needs to happen much faster than current efforts are underway.

“We have been suggesting this for months,” he said. “WHO needs a fire underneath to do this sooner rather than later. Even then, there is no guarantee that all governments will adopt the standard immediately. “

The Travel Pass app is essentially ready to go and is scheduled to launch in March. Paper certificates are more susceptible to fraud than digital documentation, and there have already been several known cases of false vaccination credentials.

The WHO Emergency Committee on COVID-19 stated on January 15 that it is still unknown whether immunization also prevents the inoculated person from transmitting the virus to other people, according to Bloomberg. The agency does not recommend that countries require proof of vaccination from arriving travelers, but should instead rely on coordinated and evidence-based measures to ensure safe travel.

Since the early days of the pandemic, the travel industry and airlines have pleaded with governments and global institutions to work together to develop common standards that facilitate cross-border travel. Throughout the crisis, nations have made many abrupt changes to their travel policy, which, coupled with inconsistent protocols from one country to another, has deterred most people from traveling, which has left many companies with bleak prospects.

Careen said the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recognized that those who are fully vaccinated should be able to travel freely; and that those who have already recovered from COVID-19 should be exempted from quarantine and testing requirements, based on the premise that it made them immune to reinfection and unable to transmit the virus.

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“ California is eager to support your bold agenda ”

Hello.

Today is the day.

Joseph R. Biden Jr. will become president of the United States and Kamala Harris of California will become a barrier-breaking vice president. The women swore to wear pearls out of solidarity.

The transition will end one of the most turbulent presidential terms in American history. President Trump has said he will not be here to watch this happen, breaking with tradition.

Crowds of supporters won’t be there either, as the nation continues to grapple with the end of a pandemic that on Tuesday killed more than 400,000 people in the United States – a staggering and incomprehensible loss.

Security will be stepped up, both in Washington and California, where Governor Gavin Newsom has authorized the deployment of 1,000 National Guard troops to protect the Capitol.

And the Golden State will no longer be the center of resistance in the White House. (Although Attorney General Xavier Becerra still managed to sue the Trump administration only nine times on Tuesday, according to a CalMatters tracker.)

In a letter to Mr. Biden, Mr. Newsom set a new tone for California’s relationship with the president.

“I offer you my full partnership and support as you take office and inherit the immense responsibility of restoring our country’s economy and its leadership place on the world stage,” he wrote. “California is eager to support your bold program.”

Here’s what else to know:

  • You will be able to broadcast the inaugural ceremonies starting at 7:30 a.m. PT (10:30 a.m. EST) on bideninaugural.org/watch, or check the Times website for full coverage and live broadcast.

  • Although Mr. Trump is not at the inauguration, George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush are expected to visit Washington. Barack Obama and Bill Clinton are also expected to attend, along with former First Ladies Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton. Learn more about the acts in The Times Questions and Answers.

(This article is part of California today newsletter. Register to have it delivered to your inbox.)


California’s terrifying coronavirus outbreak, which has overwhelmed hospitals and killed thousands, appears to be easing, one of the state’s top health officials said on Tuesday.

Covid-19 hospitalizations have fallen 8.5% in the past two weeks, suggesting a ‘flare-up-plus-flare’ after the holidays was not as bad as feared . The state’s overall transmission rate has declined.

[Track coronavirus cases, deaths and hospitalizations across California.]

“These are rays of hope shining,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, California Secretary of Health and Human Services, in a virtual press conference.

But even as the growing number of cases and hospitalizations began to decline, another variant of the virus – separate from that found in Britain – has been found statewide.

While it’s still unclear whether the variant is deadlier or more transmissible than other forms of the virus, it was found in more than half of the samples researchers tested last week in Los Angeles, this which suggests that it could be a driver of the current crisis in the region.

“We continue to keep our guards,” Dr Ghaly said.

[Read the full story about the new California variant.]

The state’s vaccine rollout also continued to be in the grip of widespread confusion.

After Governor Newsom announced last week that the state would expand eligibility to anyone 65 and over, qualifying Californians scrambled to find appointments, quickly overwhelming county websites. and blocking the phone lines of their health care providers.

In an email to members on Tuesday in response to a host of inquiries, Kaiser Permanente, one of the state’s largest healthcare providers, said it was looking after 1.5 million people aged 65 and over. Last week, the system received “only 20,000 first doses” of the vaccine.

“At the current rate, we are looking to distribute vaccines much more slowly than we find acceptable,” the email said.

San Francisco officials said they expected to run out of vaccine doses Thursday after receiving less than they requested.

Dr Ghaly said that on Tuesday at least 1.5 million doses had been administered, including a peak on Friday of 110,505.

“We continue to pick up the pace,” he said. The goal, he said, is to ensure that “the only limiting factor in California is the supply we receive.”

He said that in the future, more doses would likely be transferred to what he called multi-county entities – essentially, larger health care systems, rather than the counties themselves.

Experts said much of the chaos to date has stemmed from California relying on already overwhelmed county public health departments to handle much of the vaccine distribution.

And each county has risen to the challenge with their own evolving guidelines, intended to resolve the tension between vaccinating as many people as possible as quickly as possible and protecting the most vulnerable populations first.

In Los Angeles County, for example, officials first said they planned to stick to strict priority rules, first vaccinating thousands of health workers, before expanding eligibility.

“Politically, it would be easy to say, open it to over 65,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in an interview with The Times last week.

[Read more about why experts say California’s vaccine rollout has been so confusing.]

But on Monday, Hilda Solis, chairman of the powerful Los Angeles County Oversight Board, announced that she was signing an executive order ordering the county’s public health department to make vaccination appointments available to anyone in County of Los Angeles. 65 and over.

Ms Solis said in an interview on Monday that it would be important in the coming weeks to physically bring vaccines to clinics, pharmacies and schools in the county’s hardest-hit communities.

But the most urgent priority now is to get the vaccines out.

“We learned a lot of these lessons from testing,” she said. “If we can, we’re not going to waste any dose.”

San Diego County has also expanded eligibility to anyone aged 75 and over.

Some state lawmakers have asked the governor to develop and implement a “pilot” program aimed specifically at vaccinating farm workers, who are among the state’s most critical and at risk residents.

“Farm workers are the backbone of the food chain ravaged by Covid-19 with no reserve of replacement labor available”, lawmakers said in a letter.

Dr Ghaly pointed out on Tuesday that the state is working to better communicate with counties, as well as residents, to find out when they might sign up for a vaccine.

To Californians who were confused, he said, “Stay tuned.”

[Find all of The Times’s vaccine coverage here.]


High and unusual winds across the state cut power to thousands of people and started fires, including at least a dozen in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties. Learn more about The Santa Cruz Sentinel and The Weather Channel.


At 16, Amanda Gorman was named the Los Angeles Youth Poet Laureate. Today, at age 22, she will become the youngest inaugural poet in the country’s history. She will join the likes of Maya Angelou and Robert Frost.

As my colleague reported, Ms. Gorman stayed up late at night on January 6, writing the poem she will read today. He says in part:

“But if democracy can be periodically delayed,

He can never be defeated definitively.


California Today goes live at 6:30 a.m. weekdays Pacific Time. Tell us what you want to see: CAtoday@nytimes.com. Have you been forwarded this email? Sign up for California Today here and read each edition online here.

Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, graduated from UC Berkeley and has reported statewide, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles – but she always wants to see more. Follow us here or on Twitter.

California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from UC Berkeley.

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Poll finds majority of voters support climate change initiatives

A majority of registered voters from both parties in the United States support initiatives to fight climate change, many of which are outlined in the climate plans announced by President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr, according to a new poll.

The survey, which was conducted after the presidential election, suggests that a majority of Americans from both parties want a government that tackles climate change forcefully instead of denying its urgency – or denying that it exists at all.

In the survey, released Friday by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, 53% of registered voters said global warming should be a high or very high priority for the president and the Congress, and 66 percent said developing clean energy sources should be a high or very high priority.

Eight in 10 support the achievement of these goals by offering tax breaks to people who buy electric vehicles or solar panels and by investing in renewable energy research.

“These results show that there is very strong public support for bold and ambitious action on climate change and clean energy,” said Anthony Leiserowitz, who heads the Yale program. This suggests an opening for bipartisan legislation backed by voters in lawmakers.

During the campaign, Mr Biden spoke often about how his proposals would generate jobs, and the survey indicates broad support for the idea, and not just the jobs that would come from creating renewable energy.

Of those polled, 83% said they were in favor of creating an employment program that would hire unemployed coal workers, safely close old coal mines, and restore the natural landscape. The same percentage said it supports an employment program that would shut down thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells across the country, which pollute water and leak methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

Some of the policies that appear in the survey echo points from Mr Biden’s campaign, including 78% of respondents’ support for setting stricter fuel efficiency standards for vehicles and 67% for l installation of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations across the United States by 2030.

The nation is still politically divided, of course, with higher levels of support for some of the initiatives among Democrats than Republicans. The percentage of Liberal Democrats who said global warming should be a high or very high priority was 86%; among conservative Republicans, the figure was only 12 percent, and among all Republicans, the figure was closer to 23 percent.

While 93% of Liberal Democrats said they thought developing clean energy sources should be a high or very high priority for the President and Congress, only 32% of conservative Republicans did; among all Republicans, however, the figure was 43 percent – and 58 percent among liberal and moderate Republicans.

An incentive program promoting renewable energy could win the support of conservatives seeking energy independence or economic development, Dr Leiserowitz said, though they may not be as deeply concerned about tackling the issue. climate change. “There are many roads leading to Damascus,” he said.

The Green New Deal, a set of progressive proposals to tackle climate change that has come under heavy attack from conservatives, garnered support from 66% of those polled, a figure lower than most specific proposals examined in the survey. . Mr Biden declined to support the Green New Deal in particular, although his campaign called it a “crucial framework” for climate action.

Some of the Trump administration’s flagship initiatives have proven deeply unpopular with the public, especially efforts to promote drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: only 28% of voters supported it. Just 40% supported the drilling and extraction of fossil fuels on public lands, and 47% supported the expansion of offshore oil and gas drilling in the United States.

On the Paris climate deal, which Mr. Trump abandoned with great fanfare, 75% of American voters said they wanted the nation to return. And while Mr. Trump has announced his aggressive efforts to relax energy efficiency standards for home appliances like dishwashers and lighting. light bulbs, 83% of voters in the survey said they supported more energy efficient appliances.

The fact that interest in climate issues is so strong, given the proliferation of crises that include the coronavirus pandemic and its attendant economic woes, as well as months of racism-related unrest, is impressive, said Dr. Leiserowitz. This could in part be attributed to increased media coverage and events such as the very active wildfire and hurricane seasons last year.

“For most people, until recently, climate change was an abstract issue,” he said.

The survey of 1,036 registered voters was conducted between December 3 and 16 and has a margin of error of three percentage points.

Dr Leiserowitz said support for government action to move the nation forward towards a clean energy future, even among conservative Republicans, has shown a shift in American political thinking.

“We are in a fundamentally different political climate today than we lived in the 80s and 90s,” he said.

This survey suggests that Americans accept the idea that “the free market alone will not solve people’s problems,” he said. “It takes a strong government to solve these problems.”

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Republicans say they support Trump’s impeachment

As the House prepared to move forward on Wednesday with a vote to formally accuse President Trump of inciting violence against the United States government, a small but growing number of Republicans have said they support the effort.

The vote is expected to take place exactly one week after an angry mob of Trump loyalists violated the United States Capitol.

In 2019, not a single Republican voted in favor of impeachment. Republican House leaders said they would not formally pressure party members against the vote to impeach the president this time around, and it was Republicans who said they intended to vote for the dismissal.

Representative John Katko from New York was the first Republican to publicly announce that he would support the impeachment process. A former federal prosecutor, Katko said he had looked into the facts of the siege, which began as lawmakers worked to certify the presidential election results.

“It cannot be ignored that President Trump encouraged this insurgency – both on social media before January 6 and in his speech that day,” Katko said in a statement. “By deliberately promoting baseless theories that suggest the election was somehow stolen, the President has created a fuel environment of disinformation, disenfranchisement and division. When this manifested itself in acts of violence on January 6, he refused to quickly and forcefully cancel it, putting countless lives at risk.

Failure to hold the president accountable for his actions would be “a direct threat to the future of our democracy,” he said.

Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the Republican 3rd Chamber, said Tuesday night that she would vote for impeachment, citing the president’s role in an insurgency that has caused “death and destruction in our most sacred space. Republic”.

“The President of the United States called this crowd, gathered the crowd and lit the flame of this attack,” she said in a statement. “All that followed was his work. None of this would have happened without the president. The president could have intervened immediately and forcefully to stop the violence. He does not have. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.

Illinois Representative Adam Kinzinger, a frequent critic of Mr. Trump, joined his fellow Republicans on Tuesday evening, saying the nation was in uncharted waters. He said Mr. Trump “had encouraged an angry mob to storm the United States Capitol to stop the counting of electoral votes.”

“There is no doubt in my mind that the President of the United States has broken his oath and incited this insurgency,” he said in a statement, adding that while the president’s actions “do not deserve to be ‘to be indicted, then what is an impeach? offense? “

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Citing Taylor Swift, Supreme Court Appears To Support Nominal Damages Lawsuits

WASHINGTON – About 70 minutes into what had been a technical and twisty Supreme Court argument on Tuesday over whether two Georgian students could sue their college for symbolic damages, a series questions about Taylor Swift brought the issue to the forefront.

Judge Elena Kagan asked about “the most famous nominal damages case that I know of in recent times, namely the Taylor Swift sexual assault case.”

Pop superstar Ms. Swift sued a Denver radio host who she said had groped her. She asked for $ 1 in nominal damages.

“I’m not really interested in your money,” Justice Kagan said, describing Ms. Swift’s thinking. “I just want a dollar, and that dollar will mean something both to me and to the world of women who have been through what I have been through.”

The jury sided with Ms Swift and awarded her the dollar she asked for. “It was undoubted physical harm, but she just asked for that dollar to say she was injured,” Justice Kagan told Andrew A. Pinson, solicitor general of Georgia. “Why not?”

Mr Pinson admitted that he only vaguely knew about the case. But he said proving a point, as opposed to getting compensation, “isn’t something federal courts exist to do.”

Judge Amy Coney Barrett followed up on her own thoughts on Ms Swift’s case. “What Taylor Swift wanted was, you know, the moral right, the legal right, that sexual assault is wrong and wrong,” Justice Barrett said.

And Judge Neil M. Gorsuch said the court should be wary of penalizing plaintiffs who act on principle, including “those like Ms Swift who have a qualm or a reason not to ask for more, who might.”

At the end of the discussion, it seemed that the singer’s position would help that of the students in the case before the judges, Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski, No. 19-968.

The students said officials at Georgia Gwinnett College, a public institution in Lawrenceville, Georgia, violated their First Amendment rights by enforcing a particularly harsh version of school language codes that have become commonplace at colleges and universities across the country. .

One of the students, Chike Uzuegbunam, was threatened with discipline for making public remarks about his Christian faith outside a campus food court. Shortly after pursuing college, he abandoned his policy and replaced it with one that allows students to “speak anywhere on campus and at any time without having to first obtain a permit.”

The revised policy, state officials said, rendered the case moot. A trial judge agreed, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta upheld her ruling.

The students said they should be able to pursue their claim for symbolic damages to gain recognition that their constitutional rights had been violated.

Some members of the Court have expressed concern over this approach. “The only remedy you are asking for is a statement that you are right,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. told Kristen K. Wagoner of the Defending Freedom Alliance, which represents the students.

Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh said nominal damages claims may have an additional purpose, at least when plaintiffs are entitled to recoup their legal fees. He said he had “a strong suspicion that attorney fees are what drives all of this on both sides.”

But Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. said nominal damages can serve an important purpose, such as when there is “a real, concrete violation that cannot be easily monetized.”

Justice Alito made a similar point in a dissent in April, when the court dismissed a Second Amendment challenge to a New York City gun control order after the city repealed it. The majority said there was nothing more to decide, with the plaintiffs only asking for a declaration of unconstitutionality of the law and an injunction blocking its application.

But, Judge Alito wrote, the plaintiffs may well be entitled to symbolic damages.

“Courts routinely award nominal damages for constitutional violations,” he wrote. “And it is widely accepted that a claim for symbolic damages excludes mootness.”

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The group is pledging up to $ 50 million to defend Republicans who support Trump’s impeachment.

A group of former administration officials and anti-Trump Republicans have said they will pledge $ 50 million to support the re-election of Republican lawmakers who join Democrats in supporting the president’s impeachment.

The group’s financial pledge, the Republican Accountability Project, aims to get Republicans who have shown themselves open to vote in favor of the new impeachment article that is expected to be considered by the House on Wednesday.

“Donald Trump has made it clear that he will try to politically punish anyone who stands against him,” said Sarah Longwell, a prominent Never Trump Republican who is behind the new group. “Its ability to do that is dwindling by the minute, but we want to provide a counterweight to say that there is real money to support the people doing the right thing.”

No House Republican backed the president’s first impeachment in 2019. But up to a dozen Republicans are reportedly considering joining the Democrats this time around, including Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Republican No. 3 of bedroom.

If Ms. Cheney “continues to push for accountability,” Ms. Longwell said, “she is exactly the kind of person we would want to stand up for.”

The Republican accountability project will be led by two former Trump administration officials: Olivia Troye, former assistant to Vice President Mike Pence, who served on the coronavirus task force, and Elizabeth Neumann, who served as deputy chief of staff of the department. internal security. During the election, Ms Troye and Ms Neumann became fierce critics of the administration. The group will operate under the umbrella organization of Defending Democracy Together, an advocacy group aimed at fighting Trumpism within the Republican Party.

Ms Longwell said the group would even consider supporting Mr Pence in his future political endeavors if he “endorsed the idea that the president should step down, be subject to the 25th Amendment, or support impeachment.”

The new group also planned to release a letter signed by more than 100 Republicans and former national security officials calling for Mr. Trump’s removal from office. The list included Michael Hayden, a retired Air Force general who headed both the CIA and the National Security Agency under President George W. Bush; and two former Acting Attorneys General: Peter D. Keisler and Stuart M. Gerson.

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After Riot, business leaders count on their support for Trump

Big business made a Faustian deal with President Trump.

When he said something inflammatory or flirted with authoritarianism, high-minded CEOs would make vague and moralizing statements and try to distance themselves from a pro-business president who coveted their approval.

But when Mr. Trump cut taxes, overturned onerous regulations, or used them as props for a photoshoot, they applauded his leadership and smiled for the cameras.

After Wednesday’s events on Capitol Hill, the true cost of this balancing act was evident, even through the tear gas floating in the rotunda.

The leaders who stood by Mr. Trump’s side were ultimately among his catalysts, giving him the imprimatur of big business credibility and normalizing a president who turned the country against himself.

“This is what happens when we subordinate our moral principles to what we perceive to be business interests,” said Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation and a member of the board of directors of Square and Ralph Lauren. “It’s ultimately bad for business and bad for society.”

Since the beginning of Mr. Trump’s presidency, American businesses have hesitated between supporting the president’s economic agenda and condemning his worst impulses.

At the start of Mr. Trump’s tenure, dozens of business leaders joined a pair of presidential advisory boards. Eager to take seats at the table and influence policy as they see fit, top-notch CEOs have put aside their reservations about Mr. Trump’s character flaws, his history of racist behavior, the assault allegations sexual assault against him and his declarations of legal impunity. .

“He is the President of the United States. I believe he’s the pilot who flies our plane, ”said Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan at the time. “I would try to help any President of the United States because I am a patriot.”

The effort did not last long. Months after the groups formed, they disbanded following Mr. Trump’s insistence that there were “very good people on both sides” during a spasm of white nationalist violence in Charlottesville, in Virginia.

In the process, business leaders tried to explain how they got into the mess.

“I joined because the president asked me to join, and I thought it was the right thing to do as the CEO of a company like Merck,” Ken Frazier, one of the executives The country’s most prominent blacks, who were the first to leave the councils, said shortly after leaving. “I just felt that out of personal conscience I couldn’t stay.”

But money has a short memory, and it wasn’t long after Charlottesville that Mr. Trump was back in the good graces of corporate America. A few months later, the Trump administration passed a tax overhaul that offered a boon to businesses and high net worth individuals.

By lowering corporate taxes, Mr. Trump handed the business community one of his most coveted awards, and business leaders have lined up to support the effort.

During an appearance at the White House with Mr. Trump in October 2017, Tom Donohue, chief executive of the US Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the prospect of tax cuts. “The business community has long waited for an administration, president and congress willing to do what we have not done for many decades,” Donohue said.

However, by basking in their new wealth, companies have come even closer to a White House that separated children from their families at the border and rubbed shoulders with dictatorial regimes.

“Trump’s tax cut was madman’s gold,” Howard Schultz, former Starbucks chief executive, said Thursday. “People were won over and unfortunately decided, for their own benefit and that of their business, that it was the right thing to do.”

In 2019, it was as if Charlottesville had never happened at all, and a new business advisory group was formed, this one with Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO; Doug McMillon, general manager of Walmart; and Julie Sweet, Executive Director of Accenture.

At the first meeting, Mr. Cook sat next to Mr. Trump. When the president asked Mr. Cook to start speaking with a slap on the wrist, Chief Apple said, “Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It is an honor to serve on this board.

At the same meeting, Visa chief executive Al Kelly praised Mr. Trump for his “very, very good leadership,” and Ginni Rometty, then IBM’s chief executive, praised the president for his “leadership without fault”.

Some of those same leaders had previously excoriated Mr. Trump for his behavior. Yet they were there at the White House. It was as if the worst moments of his presidency were a bad dream.

“The past four years have presented difficult challenges for CEOs who must find a balance in helping to advance policies to move the country forward, while speaking out firmly on issues that go against their core beliefs.” said Rich Lesser, managing director of the Boston Consulting Group, which was on one of the early advisory boards.

Ultimately, however, leaders were reduced to the same kind of mental gymnastics and underestimation that the president’s socially liberal supporters have had to perform in recent years, praising Mr. Trump’s economic policies at the right times, all the way. ignoring its fundamental flaws.

The big market was well articulated last year by Stephen Ross, the billionaire Hudson Yards developer and owner of the Miami Dolphins, who backed Mr. Trump. “I think he’s been a bit of a divisor,” Ross said in an interview at the time. “But I think there are a lot of good trade policies that he has adopted that have been fantastic and no one else could have done but him.”

The pandemic has brought a new round of photo ops for the president and senior leaders. Here is Mr. McMillon from Walmart with Mr. Trump in the rose garden. There was the president with the president of the Ford Motor Company, Bill Ford, in a factory in Michigan. And here’s Chris Nassetta, the Managing Director of Hilton, with Mr. Trump in the Cabinet Room.

As Mr. Trump lied about his administration’s response to the pandemic and strived to reverse the democratic process, some in big business stood by his side. Even as the president refused to accept the election results, Steve Schwarzman, chief executive of Blackstone and one of Mr. Trump’s staunch allies, made remarks saying he understood why people were concerned about electoral irregularities. At the end of November, he issued a statement saying that “the outcome is very certain today and the country should move on.”

On Wednesday, many CEOs had, once again, had enough. The National Manufacturers Association has called on Vice President Mike Pence to consider invoking the 25th Amendment to the Constitution and removing Mr. Trump from office. Many leaders – including Mr Cook of Apple, Mr Dimon of JPMorgan and Mr Schwarzman – have denounced the violence, lamented the state of the country and called for accountability.

But after four years of much talking but little action, their words ringed hollow.

“When people make political decisions for business reasons,” Walker said, “it can have dire social consequences.”

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Alaska Airlines reduces number of emotional support animals on flights

If you are traveling on Alaska Airlines from mid-January, do not plan to board with your support pig or miniature horse.

The airline, acting on new federal guidelines to subdue a range of sometimes exotic animals that passengers have brought on commercial planes as emotional support animals, made it simple by announcing on Tuesday that it would allow: only qualified assistance dogs. able to lie on the floor or stand on their knees.

Ray Prentice, director of customer defense for Alaska Airlines, who said it was the first major airline to publicly change its animal policy in light of updated federal guidelines, said the decision to the airline was a positive step.

“This regulatory change is good news as it will help us reduce disruption on board while continuing to accommodate our customers traveling with qualified service animals,” Prentice said in a statement.

The airline said that from January 11 it would only allow assistance dogs trained to work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.

A Dec. 2 decision by the US Department of Transportation that amended the department’s air carrier access law grants airlines the power to classify emotional support animals as pets rather than service animals. Under the decision, only dogs that meet specific training criteria are allowed as service animals for people with physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual or other disabilities.

The new regulatory decision has been criticized by disability rights advocates, who said the restrictions would weaken protections for people with disabilities by limiting the definition of a service animal. According to official guidelines released by the Department of Transportation in 2019, common service animals include miniature dogs, cats and horses.

“While it’s no secret that we still remain a long way from a truly accessible transportation system in this country, the DOT rule will only exacerbate existing inequalities for people with disabilities participating in air travel and instead address almost exclusively to the interests of the airline. industry, ”said Curt Decker, executive director of the National Disability Rights Network, in a statement this month.

Despite criticism, airlines and other players in the air travel industry, such as lobbying group Airlines for America, celebrated the recent changes, saying they would do more to reduce inappropriate animal behavior on the road. theft and help deter those who abuse the service rules. animals.

In the past, passengers have tried to travel with a variety of animals, from the most mundane to the simply unusual, such as pigs, monkeys and birds. (One failed attempt even included a peacock.)

The Americans With Disabilities Act defines miniature dogs and horses as service animals “that are individually trained to work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.” By law, dogs that provide emotional support only are not designated as service animals.

Alaska Airlines’ revised policy will allow a maximum of two service dogs per guest and will include psychiatric service dogs. Passengers will also be required to submit a form, developed by the Department of Transportation, confirming that a dog is a service animal and that it has received proper training and vaccinations.