Isaac Stanley-Becker
Isaac Stanley-Becker
National political reporter at the Washington Post | isaac.stanley-becker@washpost.com | 773-480-2423Source
United States
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Biden sticks to vaccine goals nearly met by his predecessor

Biden sticks to vaccine goals nearly met by his predecessor

ADWhen President Biden announced in early December that his administration would aim to put 100 million vaccine doses into people’s arms in his first 100 days, it seemed like an ambitious target, with the potential to ensnare his presidency in unmet promises.Distribution of the shots had yet to begin. The funding necessary to carry out immunizations, , had been kept in a “deep freeze.” And Pfizer had for 2020.“My eyes got big when I saw that,” Kavita Patel, a physician who served in the Obama White House, said at the time. “That’s not going to be easy to fulfill.”Six weeks later, the same...

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Isaac Stanley-Becker
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4d ago
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‘Pixie dust’: Why some vaccine sits on shelves while shortages intensify nationwide

‘Pixie dust’: Why some vaccine sits on shelves while shortages intensify nationwide

ADPlease NoteThe Washington Post is providing this important information about the coronavirus for free. In a phone call with the four-star Army general overseeing the distribution of , Tennessee’s top health official laid out what she saw as the No. 1 obstacle to getting more shots into people’s arms.“The only limitation is supply,” Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey recalled telling the general, Gustave F. Perna, earlier this month.From Miami to Manhattan, hospital leaders and public officials have been equally emphatic. But in one of the most puzzling aspects of the , the shortages are...

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Isaac Stanley-Becker
5d ago
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Biden to sign day one executive order to shift coronavirus-fighting strategy

Biden to sign day one executive order to shift coronavirus-fighting strategy

ADPresident Biden took his first steps Wednesday to demonstrate a new strategy to fight the , signing executive orders to require masks on federal property, renew the nation’s emphasis on biodefense and reengage with other nations trying to conquer the global health crisis.These orders, which Biden signed from the Oval Office after his swearing-in, follow through on commitments he made either during his campaign or after he won the November election.In a briefing on the eve of the inauguration, senior aides had portrayed these first-day actions as initial strategies within his grasp to...

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Isaac Stanley-Becker
7d ago
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Biden issuing pandemic plan that aims to expand access to testing and vaccines, reopen schools

Biden issuing pandemic plan that aims to expand access to testing and vaccines, reopen schools

ADPresident Biden plans Thursday to issue a new national strategy to respond to the pandemic and to take executive actions intended to make tests and vaccines more abundant, schools and travel safer, and states better able to afford their role in the long road back to normal life.On his second day in office, aides said, Biden will sign an additional 10 executive orders, plus presidential memorandums, dealing with many aspects of the public health crisis the new president has defined as his top priority.They include the creation of a Pandemic Testing Board that can spur a “surge” in the...

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Isaac Stanley-Becker
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6d ago
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Vaccine reserve was exhausted when Trump administration vowed to release it, dashing hopes of expanded access

Vaccine reserve was exhausted when Trump administration vowed to release it, dashing hopes of expanded access

ADWhen Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar that the federal government would begin releasing vaccine doses that had been held in reserve for second shots, no such reserve existed, according to state and federal officials briefed on distribution plans. The Trump administration had already begun shipping out what was available, starting at the end of December, taking second doses for the two-dose regimen directly off the manufacturing line.Now, health officials across the country who had anticipated their extremely limited vaccine supply as much as doubling beginning next week are...

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Isaac Stanley-Becker
Jan 15
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Experts warn of vaccine stumbles ‘out of the gate’ because Trump officials refused to consult with Biden team

Experts warn of vaccine stumbles ‘out of the gate’ because Trump officials refused to consult with Biden team

ADThe last time a presidential transition began during a national emergency — in 2008 amid the Great Recession — the outgoing Bush administration set aside partisanship to work closely with incoming Obama officials on how to deal with the economic collapse.“Everyone was completely responsive to any question,” said Lawrence Summers, director of the National Economic Council under President Barack Obama. “They talked to us about major decisions.”That smooth handoff is in stark contrast to what is happening now as President-elect Joe Biden prepares to assume power during a double-barreled...

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Isaac Stanley-Becker
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Jan 14
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Biden team sees risks in Trump decision to widen vaccine pool

Biden team sees risks in Trump decision to widen vaccine pool

ADAdvisers to President-elect Joe Biden are balking at a to dramatically increase the number of people eligible for the vaccine, believing the changes could overwhelm states and create unrealistic expectations for millions of Americans waiting for shots.At issue are changes to the vaccine rollout announced Tuesday by the Trump administration. Officials instructed states to begin vaccinating tens of millions of people with a high-risk medical condition putting them at increased risk of dying from the coronavirus, along with all adults 65 and older. Including both those groups immediately...

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Isaac Stanley-Becker
Jan 13
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Trump administration reverses stance, will no longer hold back second shots of coronavirus vaccine

Trump administration reverses stance, will no longer hold back second shots of coronavirus vaccine

ADPlease NoteThe Washington Post is providing this important information about the coronavirus for free. The Trump administration announced sweeping changes to its vaccination rollout on Tuesday, including making all of the vaccine supply immediately available, urging states to provide shots to anyone 65 and older and warning states with lagging inoculations that they could lose some of their shots to speedier places.The steps, part of an effort to accelerate a , depart from the administration’s original strategy, and come just days after to release nearly all the vaccine supply. Biden is...

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Isaac Stanley-Becker
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Jan 12
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Vaccines were a chance to redeem failures in the U.S. coronavirus response. What went wrong?

Vaccines were a chance to redeem failures in the U.S. coronavirus response. What went wrong?

ADTwo promising coronavirus vaccine candidates werein September when the country’s top public health agency invited states to submit plans describing how they would get the shots to millions of people. It was an opportunity, eight months after the United States confirmed its first coronavirus case, to redeem the nation’s devastating failures in organizing a regimen of testing, and equipping medical workers with protective gear.“We have the time to take the lessons learned from the last six months and apply them forward and get it right,” Soumi Saha, a pharmacist and advocate for...

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Isaac Stanley-Becker
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Jan 11
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Early vaccination in prisons, a public health priority, proves politically charged

Early vaccination in prisons, a public health priority, proves politically charged

ADFirst came the , arguing that Colorado’s vaccination plan would bring relief to a man who fatally shot four people before it protected the author’s law-abiding, 78-year-old father.Then came the backlash on social media. The accusation that state leaders were coddling convicts like Nathan Dunlap, who is being held for life in the Colorado State Penitentiary for the 1993 slayings at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant, caught fire in pro-Trump Facebook groups with titles such as “ALL ABOARD THE TRUMP TRAIN.” Within days, the person behind the broadside, a Republican district attorney, was making...

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Isaac Stanley-Becker
Jan 2
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West Virginia clinic gave 44 people an antibody treatment instead of the coronavirus vaccine

West Virginia clinic gave 44 people an antibody treatment instead of the coronavirus vaccine

ADForty-four people received an antibody treatment instead of Moderna’s vaccine in an error Wednesday at a vaccination clinic in Boone County, W.Va.The West Virginia National Guard, which announced the error Thursday, said medical experts advising the state’s covid-19 response “do not believe there is any risk of harm” to the people. The Guard’s statement indicated 42 residents were affected, though county officials said the number was actually 44.These people would now receive priority access to the vaccine, state and county officials vowed. They said the drug, especially because it was...

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Isaac Stanley-Becker
Dec 31
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Shots are slow to reach arms as Trump administration leaves final steps of mass vaccination to beleaguered states

Shots are slow to reach arms as Trump administration leaves final steps of mass vaccination to beleaguered states

ADIn suburban Milwaukee, clinicians recently discarded 500 doses of vaccine after vials were left unrefrigerated. In southeastern Arizona, a rural clinic has enough shots but too few employees lining up to take them. And on the coast of Maine, physicians have been left in the dark about when they will get vaccinated.The largest immunization campaign in U.S. history is off to a slow start, dimming hopes, at the end of a dismal year, of an imminent return to normal.In some places, the vaccination campaign — among the most complex logistical efforts initiated in peacetime — has been marked by...

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Isaac Stanley-Becker
Dec 30
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Some states buck federal vaccine recommendations and prioritize the elderly over essential workers

Some states buck federal vaccine recommendations and prioritize the elderly over essential workers

ADTexas, Florida and some other Republican-led states are bucking federal advice to provide early doses of the new vaccines to front-line workers, choosing instead to prioritize the elderly — a decision exposing fissures in the nationwide immunization campaign. give priority, in the second tier, to grocery store employees, transit staffers and other front-line workers, along with people 75 and older. But officials in Florida and Texas, where a combined 50 million people live, are moving ahead with a different strategy, offering vaccine to a broader segment of their elderly populations and...

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Isaac Stanley-Becker
Dec 29
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New smartphone tool to track side effects of the coronavirus vaccine may be vulnerable to manipulation

New smartphone tool to track side effects of the coronavirus vaccine may be vulnerable to manipulation

A new smartphone technology designed to provide real-time warnings of side effects in the first Americans vaccinated against the coronavirus may be vulnerable to manipulation, raising concerns that malicious actors could gain access to the system to undermine confidence in the shots, federal and state health officials say.The text-messaging system, called v-safe, is intended to provide early indications about possible adverse reactions from the vaccines. Using the messaging program, people who have received the shots can report symptoms and other health effects, such as missed work. Their...

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Isaac Stanley-Becker
Dec 7
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Mass vaccinations against covid-19 will be ‘mind-blowing’ challenge for Alabama, other poor, rural states

Mass vaccinations against covid-19 will be ‘mind-blowing’ challenge for Alabama, other poor, rural states

ADOvercoming distrust of a covid-19 vaccine is about “survival instincts” for Shane Lee, a family physician in Perry County, Ala., a rural, mostly African American community of about 9,000 where more than a third of people live in poverty.When the outbreak erupted in Alabama’s Black Belt in the summer and “swept through hospitals and nursing homes like a grass fire,” the 59-year-old doctor, a retired Army general, became infected. His heart muscle grew inflamed. Months later, he is still short of breath.The lone doctor at his clinic in Marion, the county seat, Lee watched his two nurse...

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Isaac Stanley-Becker
Nov 29
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Adopting mask mandates, some GOP governors give up the gospel of personal responsibility

Adopting mask mandates, some GOP governors give up the gospel of personal responsibility

ADA growing number of Republican governors, including some who had written off mask mandates as unenforceable or unacceptable to freedom-loving Americans, are now requiring people to cover their faces in public — a response to escalating outbreaks overwhelming hospitals across the country.After eight months of preaching personal responsibility in place of mandates, these governors have brought their states in line with much of the world by instituting the simple requirement backed by science but, in the United States, shot through with politics.Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, who once as “feel...

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Isaac Stanley-Becker
Nov 18
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Facebook bans marketing firm running ‘troll farm’ for pro-Trump youth group

Facebook bans marketing firm running ‘troll farm’ for pro-Trump youth group

Facebook said Thursday that it will permanently ban from its platform an Arizona-based marketing firm running what experts described as a domestic "troll farm” following an investigation of the deceptive behavior prompted by a last month.The firm, Rally Forge, was “working on behalf" of Turning Point Action, an affiliate of Turning Point USA, the based in Phoenix, Facebook . The inquiry led to the removal of 200 accounts and 55 pages on Facebook, as well as 76 Instagram accounts — many of them operated by teenagers in the Phoenix area.The fake accounts, some with either cartoonlike Bitmoji...

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Isaac Stanley-Becker
Oct 8
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Pro-Trump youth group enlists teens in secretive campaign likened to a ‘troll farm,’ prompting rebuke by Facebook and Twitter

Pro-Trump youth group enlists teens in secretive campaign likened to a ‘troll farm,’ prompting rebuke by Facebook and Twitter

One tweet claimed numbers were intentionally inflated, adding, “It’s hard to know what to believe.” Another warned, “Don’t trust Dr. Fauci.”A Facebook comment argued that “will lead to fraud for this election,” while an Instagram comment amplified the that 28 million ballots went missing in the past four elections.The messages have been emanating in recent months from the accounts of young people in Arizona seemingly expressing their own views — standing up for President Trump in a battleground state and echoing talking points from his reelection campaign.Far from representing a genuine...

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Isaac Stanley-Becker
Sep 15
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Disinformation for profit: How a Florida ‘dealmaker’ turns conservative outrage into cash

Disinformation for profit: How a Florida ‘dealmaker’ turns conservative outrage into cash

The reality curated by “The Bearded Patriot” and “The Wolf of Washington” is dismal. The websites tell of nonstop riots and “crazed leftists.” They warn of online censorship and the wiles of an “anarchist billionaire,” a reference to George Soros, the liberal investor and Holocaust survivor. The material is tailor-made to inflame right-wing passions. But its underlying purpose is to collect email addresses and other personal information from impassioned readers, whose inboxes then fill up with narrowly targeted ads. The effect is to monetize the anger stoked by misleading political...

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Isaac Stanley-Becker
Aug 11
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Pro-gun activists using Facebook groups to push anti-quarantine protests

Pro-gun activists using Facebook groups to push anti-quarantine protests

A trio of far-right, pro-gun provocateurs is behind some of the largest Facebook groups calling for anti-quarantine protests around the country, offering the latest illustration that some seemingly organic demonstrations are being engineered by a network of conservative activists. The Facebook groups target Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York, and they appear to be the work of Ben Dorr, the political director of a group called “Minnesota Gun Rights,” and his siblings, Christopher and Aaron. By Sunday, the groups had roughly 200,000 members combined, and they continued to expand...

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Isaac Stanley-Becker
Apr 19
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