Beltway Insider: Biden/G7, China/Wuhan, Israel, COVID/Vaccine Totals, Cyber/Ransom, Jeff Bezos

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President Biden attended the G7 summit where the leaders of the world's leading economies met to discuss the post-pandemic global landscape and set agendas to combat high priority issues including a never again approach to the coronavirus.

The President's job approval rating, according to the website fivethirtyeight.com, for the period ending June 6, 2021, decreased by 0.2% to 53.4% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness decreased by 0.4% percentage points to 40.4%. A slight 3% of the population polled have no opinion. Ratings are calculated weekly.


Beltway Insider: Biden/China, Trump Ban, COVID/Vaccine Totals, CA AK-15, Southern Baptists Sex, F. Lee Bailey


Biden meets With G7 Leaders

President Biden meet this week with the leaders of the G7 nations in Cornwall, England, where the group targeted six areas of critical importance to the furthering of the ideals which are essential to the democracies represented, as free open societies, and signify a shared agenda for global action.

Each of the six topics, end the pandemic and prepare for the future, reinvigorate our economies, secure our future prosperity, protect our planet, strengthen our partnerships, and embrace our values, reflect a a dedicated effort to incorporate a post-pandemic rebuild for a better, more stable, prepared, and resilient future and opposed to outside threat determine to destroy or integrate into the mainstream.

Of course, the pandemic and the debilitating effects of the virus dominated the sessions with the topline issues of ending the global grip of the pandemic through a multi-tiered approach that includes assisting the vaccination of poorer, third world countries and remote regions, by building a coalition of nations who will purchase and donate surplus of the vaccine.

"We will create the appropriate frameworks to strengthen our collective defenses against threats to global health by: increasing and coordinating on global manufacturing capacity on all continents; improving early warning systems; and support science in a mission to shorten the cycle for the development of safe and effective vaccines, treatments and tests from 300 to 100 days," the released communique from the Carbis Bay G7 Summit stated.

The pandemics economic disruption tied into the topline pandemic issues, and the G7 collectively announced they would continue to support their recovery plans of their economies.

"We will continue to support our economies for as long as is necessary, shifting the focus of our support from crisis response to promoting growth into the future, with plans that create jobs, invest in infrastructure, drive innovation, support people, and level up so that no place or person, irrespective of age, ethnicity or gender is left behind," the communique stated.

The issue of China also came up in the G7 and the continued investigation into Wuhan's Biomedical facility, as well as human rights abuses, and even more unpacking the issues of the greatest threats in defense, intellectual property, and surveillance.

"I think you're going to see just straightforward dealing with China. And again, we're not looking — as I've told Xi Jinping myself, I'm not looking for conflict. Where we can cooperate, we'll cooperate. Where we disagree, I'm going to state it frankly, and we are going to respond to actions that are inconsistent." President Biden said during the G7 press conference.

The media continued to press the President on whether he wished the position of the G7 nations could have been stronger. The president replied in the affirmative.


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US Purchases Pfizer Vaccine to Donate

The Biden Administration announced the United States will purchase 500 million doses of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine to donate for use in nations who are struggling to vaccinate their populations.

"The first 200 million doses will be distributed this year, with the subsequent 300 million shared in the first half of next year. The doses will be distributed by Covax, the World Health Organization-backed initiative to share doses around the globe, and they will be targeted at low- and middle-income countries. Pfizer is selling the doses to the United States at a "not-for-profit" price, according to the people familiar with the deal, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share details that were not yet public," reported The Washington Post.

Queen Hosts G7 Reception

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, along with HRH Prince Charles, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, hosted a reception for the world leaders and their spouses.

Israel Forms New Government

Former Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu was outed from his twelve-year tenure today as the parties formed a new government.

Naftali Bennett has been confirmed as the new Prime Minster. He began his address to the Knesset by thanking outgoing Prime Minster Netanyahu for his dedicated years of service on behalf Israel.

"I want to begin my words by saying, on my own behalf, and in the name of the members of the designated government, in the name of this House, and in the name of all the citizens of Israel – thank you. Thank you to the outgoing Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, for your many years of service, replete with achievements, for the sake of the State of Israel," reported Haaratz.com.

Prime Minster Bennett's full speech can be read here.

Post Pandemic Inflation Surge

Americans recovering from the pandemic, are facing another hurdle as inflation rates soared in May to the highest levels in 13 years, jumping up 5% in across-the-board hikes.

For the consumer, the jump in prices is the response to a year of closures, and slowdowns, which deeply affected the bottom line. Consumers over the pandemic also had deeply altered habits, which resulted in savings of monthly budgets, and with the current rate of inflation may become a pushback to business owners who see the reopening as an opportunity to raise prices to cover economic loss of the last 15months.

The post pandemic gouge effecting everything from used car prices, which jumped 7.3% and food, which increased by .04%.

"Energy prices were unchanged from April as a decline in gasoline prices was offset by an increase in natural gas and electricity costs. Core CPI, which excludes food and energy, in May rose 3.8% annually, the most since June 1992. Core prices increased 0.7% month over month, outpacing the 0.4% increase that was expected. The index rose 0.9% in April," FOXnews.com reported.

Wuhan Lab Leak Challenges Media

During the early days of the Coronavirus and still under the Trump Administration, the theory of a biomedical leak from the Wuhan Biomedical Laboratory, was discounted and challenged by most leaders in media.

"The journalistic reconsideration of the lab story has been told not just in probing new stories — The Washington Post has published five stories about it on its front page in the past 2 1/2 weeks, some prompted by President Biden's order of a 90-day review of the theory by intelligence agencies — but in corrected headlines and in editors' notes affixed to last year's stories," The Washington Post reported.

The evidence of China's involvement in the coronavirus has continued to grow, as media have returned to the original theories, based on new information and evidence. With the transition to a new administration, and the appearance of agreement by democratic broadsheets of a despised republican leader over, the evidence has mounted.

Creating global instability, which has been part of a multi-tiered effort of Xi-Jinping's government and has resulted in exposure by top administration official on both sides of the aisle, would significantly aid his effort to dominate the United States and other nations especially in areas of defense.

A global pandemic, if the original projections without intervention held would have resulted in 1/3 of the U.S. population, or roughly at the top range 200million deaths which would have created the need across many sensitive areas of defense. Infiltration into these areas have become more scrutinized.

In the time of catastrophic need the barriers to entry are weakened which would have resulted in the potential for prepared replacements with loyalties and sympathies to China to gain swift entry to the Pentagon and other targeted employment sites.

Vaccine Totals

Bloomberg.com has built a vaccine tracker which can be seen here. "The biggest vaccination campaign in history is underway. More than 2.33 billion doses have been administered across 178 countries, according to data collected by Bloomberg. The latest rate was roughly 35.9 million doses a day," Bloomberg.com reported.

"In the U.S., the latest vaccination rate is 1,120,571 doses per day, on average. At this pace, it will take another 5 months to cover 75% of the population," reported Bloomberg.com.

Coronavirus Totals

While the infection rates of the coronavirus have continued to decline around the world. A new strain, a mutation, has created global concern for leaders around the world are determining the best direction for the protection of the population. The importance of maintaining personal protective practices is imperative to controlling the spread.

For the week ending June 13, 2021, coronavirus cases globally increased by 2,634,641 new confirmed cases, bringing the total of confirmed cases worldwide to 175,640,104 people with a total worldwide death toll of 3,795,076 deaths, a weekly death rate increase of 73,812. (Data from The New York Times).

COVID US Totals

Infections rates in the United States are also on the rise. For the week ending June 13, 2021, the total confirmed cases rose to 33,424,159 people with new confirmed cases increasing by 60,837 with an average of 8,691 cases daily over a seven-day period. The coronavirus has claimed 599,680total deaths, adding 2,713 more deaths to the total of lives lost due to the coronavirus. (Data from The New York Times).

Colonial Pipeline Ransom Recovered

The U.S. Justice Department newly formed Ransomware Task Force announced this week they had recovered a significant portion of the Colonial Fuel Pipeline ransom paid after the Russian based Darkside hackers shut down their operations last month.

"The sophisticated use of technology to hold businesses and even whole cities hostage for profit is decidedly a 21st century challenge," Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said, announcing the recovery on Monday afternoon. "But the old adage, follow the money still applies," reported The Washington Post.

More than $2million of the reported $4million paid has been recovered. The hack resulted in the shutdown of the largest fuel pipeline affecting nearly 300million drivers across the eastern seaboard.


Consumers Pay the Price of Russian Fuel Pipeline Cyberattack


JBS Foods Pays Ransom

On the heels of the Colonial Pipeline hack, JBS Foods, the world's largest meat and poultry supplier was hacked and operations across nine US plants were temporarily halted.

After consulting with third party cybersecurity experts and internal IT specialists, the decision was made to pay the ransom to prevent any further and unforeseen issues and to ensure no data had been breached.

"This was a very difficult decision to make for our company and for me personally," said Andre Nogueira, CEO, JBS USA. "However, we felt this decision had to be made to prevent any potential risk for our customers," the company said in a released statement.

The FBI said, the hackers, REvil and Sodinokibi, both Russian based, were among the most dangerous and sophisticated in the world.

The extent of JBS Foods ability to stop the crippling of its systems, and by extension the food supply in the United States, were due to its preparedness. With more than $200 million annually spent on cyber protection and 850 global IT specialists it is one of the most modern and secured companies.

"Victims of ransomware attacks paid at least $412 million in ransom last year, according to Chainalysis, which noted that the actual amount is probably higher because many victims do not report the payments. The attacks have affected everyone from gas buyers to travelers to cancer patients, who have had chemotherapy treatments delayed," The Washington Post reported.

Anne Neuberger, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technology detailed in an open letter what corporation, businesses, and individuals can do to protect their data and systems from ransomware attacks. The letter also included links to ransomware guidance and resources.


State Department Releases COVID Report


Jeff Bezos Heads to Space

On July 20, 2021, sixty-one years after the Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, July 20, 1969, Jeff Bezos, one of the world's richest men, will board his New Shepherd space craft for a suborbital spin and become the first of the billionaires' boys club to venture into space tourism.

Bezos, his brother Mark, and two other unnamed passengers, one bidding $28million, the other the winner of a lottery, will be the first to travel in the Amazon founder's new space venture. His company Blue Origins and the craft New Shepherd, a homage to Astronaut Alan Shepherd, the first man to travel to space, have entered the new space race.

The prize, of course, two-fold, space tourism, which has an astronomical price tag, and the billions available from defense and aeronautics contracts as NASA revitalizes the U.S. Space program.

Bezos will step down as CEO of the behemoth company he built July 5, 2021. Two weeks after, he will be on the New Shepherd, the entire space flight will last 11minutes.

 

For more information on President Joe Biden www.whitehouse.gov.

Sources: Various © Articles covered by Copyright protection

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