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No-tender contract to track Covid vaccinations sparks frustration, cease-and-abstain

Eventually, she partnered with a software developer to create an online app called ReadiConsent, which won an award in 2018 from the National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit, a coalition that partners with the CDC to improve the use of vaccines. The product gained so much attention that in January of last year it brought together a consortium of 30 states interested in purchasing ReadiConsent.

According to the cease and desist letter, on March 13 – the same day that President Donald J. Trump declared the pandemic a national emergency – Ms Tate approached officials she knew at the CDC to tell them that she was updating her platform and had a software company with extensive government experience ready to scale it up for “nationwide deployment.”

The following month, she introduced PrepMod to the American Immunization Registry Association, which was researching various software platforms for possible use in a mass vaccination campaign, and to CDC officials, at meetings where Deloitte was present. The meetings included “a slide presentation and screenshots from PrepMod with detailed explanations of current and planned features,” the letter said.

Shortly thereafter, the agency inquired about the cost. “It was very clear that they were very excited about what I was presenting to them and they told me they had nothing else,” Ms. Tate said during the interview.

In May, CDC awarded Deloitte a $ 15.9 million contract, about $ 600,000 more than Tate had requested. He has since granted the company an additional $ 28 million for VAMS.

After the initial contract was awarded with Deloitte, Ms. Tate said, she contacted the company to form a partnership with her. Instead, according to her complaint, they tried to hire her to “work on the very software and project that she had already developed and created.” But the offer required her to sign a “waiver,” part of a nondisclosure agreement, and she declined.

His attorney, Howard A. Newman, said they were still awaiting a substantial response from the government; under federal law, they must wait six months before filing a complaint. Ms Tate said she was trying to move on: “I’m really busy helping people save lives. That’s my main focus right now and this kind of litigation – we’ll just see how it goes. “

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Barr says CIA ‘stayed on track’ by examining Russian election interference

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department’s review of investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election cleared the CIA of suspicions it was targeting President Trump and his associates, Attorney General William P. Barr in an interview published Friday.

“The CIA has stayed on track,” and he “saw no sign of inappropriate CIA activity,” Barr told Conservative Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley A. Strassel. His comments made his disclosure more explicit this month that the investigation by John H. Durham, a prosecutor Mr Barr appointed as special advocate in the case, had narrowed down to focus on the FBI.

Mr. Barr stopped before completely absolving the CIA; he confirmed that Mr Durham was reviewing the assessment in early 2017 of the agency and other parts of the intelligence community which concluded that Russian President Vladimir V. Putin favored Mr Trump over Hillary Clinton in the election from 2016.

Mr Barr has been criticized for his previous use of the term “espionage” to describe investigative activity, although he applied it more generally to the FBI’s investigation of Russia than to the scrutiny of the Russian Federation. CIA of the Kremlin’s election interference campaign in 2016. Barr reserved harsh judgment on the FBI investigation, calling parts “outrageous.”

Mr Barr, who will step down next week, sought to polish his legacy during the interview. He has been widely criticized for his interventions in cases involving Mr. Trump’s associates, his description of the Mueller Report which a judge called “distorted” and “misleading” and other efforts to move the agenda forward. politics of the president, but he insisted that he was an impartial arbiter of justice which prevented the Department of Justice from being used as a “political weapon”.

Mr Barr said he planned to remain as attorney general if Mr Trump was re-elected, but his relationship with the mercurial president had at times frayed, making his role continued as the most senior official in law enforcement of the tenuous land.

Mr Barr did not claim that electoral fraud played a role in Mr Trump’s electoral loss and brushed aside repeated criticisms by the president that he should have disclosed a federal investigation into the son of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., which allegedly violated Department of Justice guidelines.

While apparently clearing the CIA of any wrongdoing, Mr Barr was deeply skeptical of the FBI’s reasoning for opening a counterintelligence investigation in July 2016 over whether any Trump campaign associates were secretly conspiring with Russia to do so. tilt the election in favor of Mr. Trump.

The investigation should never have been opened, Mr Barr said. “The idea that this was done with the collusion of the Trump campaign – there has never been any evidence. It was entirely made up.

The investigation, known as the Crossfire Hurricane, fueled similar unsubstantiated accusations that a so-called deep state of government officials were working together to hamper Mr. Trump’s campaign and the administration.

But an independent review by the Justice Ministry’s inspector general determined that officials had sufficient reason to initiate the investigation and found no evidence that the officers acted with political bias. But agents also made serious mistakes in parts of the investigation, including some involving wiretapping documents from a former Trump campaign adviser, which were amplified by the right-wing media and used as proof that the FBI was on a witch hunt.

Mr Barr told the Journal that the FBI’s use “of confidential human sources and wiretaps to investigate campaign-related people was scandalous.”

The Inspector General concluded that the use of informants and undercover agents was in line with Department of Justice and FBI policies, but suggested these steps were lacking oversight.

Mr Barr’s appointment of Mr Durham as special advocate gives Mr Durham the kind of authority given to Robert S. Mueller III, the former special advocate who ultimately oversaw the Russia investigation. This should ensure that any report Mr. Durham wrote is made public, Barr said.

Mr Barr said Mr Durham was focusing on a “small group at the FBI” – an apparent reference to former senior officials who were instrumental in clearing Crossfire Hurricane.

Mr Barr said Mr Durham was also examining “the activities of certain private actors,” a possible reference to Christopher Steele, a former British spy who helped put together a dossier of anti-Trump material that was passed to the FBI and used as part of former Trump adviser Carter Page’s wiretapping app.

Mr Durham has spent a great deal of time reviewing the case, including the actions of FBI officials who later understood he had significant issues but failed to forward this to the secret court which highly approves the wiretapping. confidential, persons familiar with Mr. Durham’s investigation. said.

As part of his investigation, Mr. Durham sued a former FBI attorney who pleaded guilty to altering an email an agent relied on to renew one of the page’s wiretap requests. The Inspector General found the document and returned it to prosecutors.

During the interview, Mr Barr also criticized the appointment of Mr Mueller, the former director of the FBI with whom Mr Barr worked closely in the early 1990s, when he first directed both the Department of Justice.

Mr Barr said Mr Mueller should have looked at the information the FBI gave him more critically. “The Mueller team seems to have been prepared to blindly accept whatever is given to them by the system,” he said.

The Attorney General has ridiculed Mr. Mueller’s lawsuits against Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn, who has twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with then Russian Ambassador in late 2016 and admitted to illegally lobbying for Turkey.

After a federal judge dismissed the numerous allegations of wrongdoing by the FBI prosecution and abuse of Mr. Flynn in late 2019, Mr. Barr then appointed a U.S. attorney to review the case.

Prosecutors then sought to drop the criminal case against Mr. Flynn, but before a judge could rule on the matter, Mr. Trump pardoned Mr. Flynn, ensuring that the Justice Department under administration Biden couldn’t prosecute him for violating lobbying laws.

Mr Barr said the case against Mr Flynn was “entirely bogus”.

The judge in the Flynn case, US District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, disagreed with Mr. Barr’s general conclusion. In an opinion this month, Justice Sullivan said the Justice Department’s arguments for dropping the case were questionable and he likely would have dismissed them.

The judge also rejected evidence the department provided to the court in an attempt to show that the FBI attempted to trap Mr. Flynn.

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The fast track to a vaccine

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Before Covid-19, the record for the fastest vaccine development – for mumps – was four years. Most vaccines have taken more than a decade of research and experimentation.

Yet yesterday morning, less than a year after the discovery of Covid, a Queens intensive care nurse named Sandra Lindsay became the first American to participate in the mass coronavirus vaccination program. “I feel like the healing is coming,” she said afterwards.

It’s an amazing story of scientific success.

It also fits a pattern that dates back decades: Many of the greatest technological breakthroughs in American history did not come from the private sector. Rather, they are the result of collaboration between private companies and the federal government.

The Department of Defense, after all, built the Internet. Government research and development has also led to transistors, silicon chips, radars, jets, satellites, artificial limbs, cortisone, flat screens, and more, as the MIT economists Jonathan Gruber and Simon Johnson in their recent book, “Jump-Starting America.”

“Almost everything about your computer today – and the way you use it – comes from early government funding,” Gruber and Johnson write.

Why? Because basic research is generally too uncertain and expensive for a single company. Often it is not even clear what future products the research might create. No kitchen appliance company would ever have thought of doing the military research that led to the microwave oven.

Along with Covid, Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines are based on years of government-funded (and sometimes government-led) research into viral proteins and genetics. This research, explains Kaiser Health News, is “the essential ingredient in the rapid development of vaccines in response to Covid-19”.

Federal aid has accelerated this year. The government has funded Moderna’s work in recent months, as part of the billions of dollars it has spent to make a record-breaking vaccine possible, writes Ed Yong of The Atlantic. And while Pfizer refused direct federal funding, it asked for government help in procuring supplies and also signed a $ 1.95 billion “early purchase” agreement with Washington.

As my colleague Neil Irwin wrote: “The nine months of the pandemic have shown that in a modern state, capitalism can save the day – but only when the government exercises its power to guide the economy and act as the ultimate risk absorber. The lesson of Covid capitalism is that big business needs big government, and vice versa.

What are the lessons for the post-Covid world? Solving the biggest challenges, like climate change, will almost certainly depend on a combination of public sector funding and private sector ingenuity.

Yet, as Gruber and Johnson note, federal science funding has become a smaller part of the U.S. economy than before. Which means the Covid vaccine is both an inspiring success and something of an exception. “In its present course,” write economists, “America is unlikely to continue its dominance over invention.”

  • The Electoral College officially named President-elect Joe Biden as the winner of the election. In a speech delivered hours later, Biden called President Trump’s attacks on the vote “unacceptable.”

  • Attorney General Bill Barr will step down next week, Trump tweeted, after tensions between the two men over Barr’s refusal to echo Trump’s lies about voter fraud. Jeffrey Rosen, Barr’s deputy, will become acting attorney general.

  • A bipartisan group of members of Congress unveiled a pair of compromise stimulus bills. Their aim was to separate two provisions that divided – legal immunity for businesses and aid to state and local governments – money for vaccine distribution, unemployment benefits and more.

  • Representative Paul Mitchell of Michigan, who is retiring, said he would quit the Republican Party and serve the remainder of his term as an Independent because of party leaders’ acquiescence to false allegations of electoral fraud by Trump.

  • Early voting began in the second round of elections in Georgia, which will determine which party controls the Senate. Biden will campaign in the state today.

  • A Russian intelligence agency hacked into the Department of Homeland Security in addition to the Treasury, Commerce and Defense departments. U.S. officials were unaware of the breach, which took place in the spring, until last week.

  • More than a dozen delivery people in South Korea have died this year, some after denouncing unbearable workloads. The deaths sparked a nationwide uproar.

  • Ann Reinking, Tony Award-winning dancer, comedian and choreographer who performed on Broadway for nearly 30 years, has died at 71.

  • Dixie State University, a public university in Utah, is proposing to change its name. Some recent graduates said the name discourages potential employers.

  • The maker of Cyberpunk 2077, a highly anticipated video game released last week, has offered refunds after players on some platforms complained about issues and poor graphics.

Long readings: Bloomberg Businessweek has released its annual jealousy list, where its reporters highlight stories from other media that they wish they had written.

From the review: Watch “An Ode to the Before Times,” a charming three-minute animated video by Tala Schlossberg.

Lives lived: Anthony Veasna So was on the verge of literary stardom. His crackling, kinetic narratives explore the experiences of Cambodian-Americans, and his first book, due out in August, is the subject of a bidding war. “He had so much radical talent,” said one of his teachers. He died at the age of 28.

Support from subscribers makes Times journalism possible. If you haven’t already subscribed, consider becoming one today.

The United States is running out of Christmas trees. Many lots of trees and farms have already sold their larger trees, and some are closing early due to lack of inventory.

The pandemic is a contributing factor. “Customers have told me they want something cheerful in the house,” a Boyd’s Christmas Trees employee in North Carolina told The Asheville Citizen Times. “They want something pretty to look at, and some that are usually man-made, this year they wanted a living tree.”

But there are also other causes. Christmas trees can take up to 12 years to go from seedlings to harvestable size, which means 2008 was a key planting year for this year’s trees. In 2008, the economy was in recession, forcing some farms to close and others to plant fewer trees.

Climate change also plays a role. Wildfires on the west coast have damaged some tree farms, the Wall Street Journal reported. And insect infestations and droughts “have affected trees along the East Coast,” Russell Trent, owner of Mark’s Christmas Tree Farms in Connecticut, told NBC.

If you want a tree and don’t have one yet, you can probably still find one. Just be prepared for a smaller selection and higher prices.

This hot and sweet and sour soup is child’s play to prepare at home, thanks to store-bought meatballs.

Nancy Meyers’ cinematic universe – full of turtlenecks, impeccable kitchens and comforts – is a winter staple. Vulture spoke with the filmmaker about her career and whether she plans to make another feature film anytime soon.

With a new TV version of his post-apocalyptic epic, “The Stand,” arriving Thursday, Stephen King reflected on the best and worst adaptations of his work.

Imagine you are in Singapore with a little work in the kitchen and the right book, courtesy of this guide.

Late night hosts are excited about the vaccine.

Yesterday’s Spelling Bee pangram was comically. Today’s puzzle is above – or you can play it online if you have a Games membership.

Here are today’s mini-crossword puzzles, and a hint: “Oh, you wanna go? Let’s go! ”(Five letters).

Thank you for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow. – David

PS Times subscribers can enjoy a special Modern Love event, featuring Dianne Wiest and Andrew Rannells, tonight at 7 p.m. EST.

Travel News

Track Covid cases in places important to you

Create your own dashboard to track the coronavirus across the United States.

14-day change trends are calculated using 7-day averages.

The peak percentage indicates how an area compares when cases were at their highest.

About the data

In data for the United States, The Times uses reports from state, county, and regional health departments. Most governments update their data daily and report cases and deaths based on an individual’s residence.

Not all governments report it in the same way. The Times uses the total of confirmed and probable counts when available individually or in combination. To see if a condition includes probable cases and deaths, visit the individual status pages listed at the bottom of that page.

U.S. data includes cases and deaths that have been identified by public health officials as confirmed coronavirus patients, and also includes probable coronavirus cases and deaths when governments report them. Confirmed cases and deaths, which are widely regarded as an undercoverage of the true toll, are counts of individuals whose coronavirus infections have been confirmed by a molecular laboratory test. Probable cases and death count people who meet criteria for other types of tests, symptoms and exposure, as developed by national and local governments.

Governments often revise the data or report a large single-day increase in cases or deaths on unspecified days without historical revisions, which can lead to an irregular trend in reported daily figures. The Times excludes these anomalies from the seven-day averages where possible.

To learn more about how The Times reports and collects data on the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, see answers to our frequently asked questions.

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Track results live on election night

Election day has arrived, and you may be impatient, maybe even a little anxious, for the latest election results – and fast. Results will start pouring in after the first polling stations close at 7 p.m. local time. Some states will have results to communicate at the end of the vote. Here’s how to track results with The New York Times:

  • The presidential election results present a live map with the latest results of the contest between President Trump and Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic presidential candidate, for the 270 electoral votes needed to win the election. You can access the results for all 50 states from any results page. You may want to see the results for these key states: Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Texas, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Ohio.

  • Live Forecast: Presidential Battleground States has needles showing the latest estimates of what’s happening in three Presidential Battleground States: Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina, which provide detailed constituency data for all types of votes on election night.

  • The US Senate election results show a map showing 35 out of 100 Senate seats with races this year. Republicans have had a majority for six years, and Democrats would need to reverse at least four seats to gain control, or three seats if they also win the White House, because the vice president may sever ties.

  • US House Election Results presents a map showing the results for the 435 seats in the House of Representatives. Democrats are expected to retain and possibly strengthen their control of the House after reaching 40 seats in the 2018 midterm elections.

  • Live: The presidential vote tally tracker shows the estimated remaining votes to be counted, based on turnout estimates from Edison Research, our presidential results provider, and The Upshot’s modeling of the party’s party lineup. remaining vote.