21 January 2021

Joseph Biden the 46th POTUS...

Joseph Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the U.S. shortly before noon ET. Minutes earlier, Kamala Harris was sworn in as vice president, the first woman to hold that role.

Joseph Biden emphasized themes of unity and recovery in his inaugural address, messages that he returned to repeatedly on the campaign trail on his way to victory over President Trump. "We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue,” he said.
Mr. Trump didn't attend the inauguration ceremony. Instead, he left White House this morning for Florida. Mr. Trump vowed a return to the public stage. “I will be watching. I will be listening,” he said. “We will be back in some form.” - wsj

Joseph Biden mengangkat sumpah jawatan sebagai Presiden Amerika Syarikat ke-46 menggantikan Donald Trump yang sengaja tidak hadir upaca itu. Donald Trump mengakhiri pemerintahan buruk empat tahun telah cabut lari ke Florida menggunakan pesawat Air Force One tiga jam sebelum itu.

As he departed the White House on Wednesday for the final time, President Trump left President-elect Joe Biden a note, a White House official confirmed. There are no details yet on what the note says. The decision by Trump to leave a note is in keeping with a presidential tradition, but comes as a bit of a surprise.

Trump has otherwise bucked precedent by not meeting with or speaking to the president-elect following Biden's win, which Trump spent weeks contesting. Trump will not attend Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.— Morgan Chalfant

How will PM vaccinate 27m 
people in a year?...

On Monday, the prime minister assured the country that our Covid-19 vaccination programme is on track and that the government expects to vaccinate 80 percent of our population or 27 million people over a period of 12 months, beginning from March. The 12-month vaccination timeline given by the prime minister is certainly very encouraging compared to the grim 18-month vaccination timeline given by Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin just last week.

Notwithstanding the glaring different timelines given by the PM and Khairy, I must stress that the prime minister’s given assurance that the government’s vaccination programme is “on track” is not enough. The country’s vaccination programme is of huge national interest and importance, and the prime minister owes a duty to the public to lay out its full plan on how the government intends to fulfil its promise to vaccinate 27 million people in 12 months.

Details of the national vaccination programme have not even been unveiled by the government. Has it been finalised and presented to the cabinet for approval? Without details, how can we be sure if the country’s vaccination programme is on track? In addition, from what little facts that have been given to the public by the government, the numbers provided by the government also do not add up.

In order to achieve the prime minister’s target of vaccinating 27 million people in a period of 12 months, we would have to vaccinate an average of 2.25 million people a month starting from March. Do we have confirmed delivery dates and the quantities of all the vaccines we need to vaccinate 2.25 million people a month?

So far, the only confirmed timeline for vaccine delivery to Malaysia this year as announced by the government is the staggered delivery of 12.8 million doses of the Pfizer-NBioTech vaccine which will only be sufficient to fully vaccinate 6.4 million people. This falls far short of the 27 million people target set by the PM to be vaccinated within a year.

I stand to be corrected but in order to vaccinate 27 million people with two doses of the Covid vaccine, we will require 54 million doses available in the country to carry out two million vaccinations a month to reach the target announced by the PM.

Without confirmed delivery dates of the exact quantities of other vaccines such as AstraZeneca and Sinovac to Malaysia, how will the government be able to successfully achieve its promise to vaccinate 27 million people in one year?

Going further, Health Minister Adham Baba has also announced the good news that 500,000 of our frontliners will receive the first dose of their vaccination in the first quarter. However, does this mean that the rest of the general population, especially the vulnerable groups, the elderly and high-risk groups, will still have to wait for the second batch of delivery of the Pfizer vaccine in the second quarter of the year before they can get vaccinated?

The PM’s plan to vaccinate 27 million people within one year will be the biggest vaccination exercise in history to be undertaken by our government and which will require an unparalleled and massive undertaking to set up vaccination centres all over the country, deploy thousands of trained vaccinators, manpower, and other resources to effectively roll out the vaccination programme.

The PM cannot merely expect the people to place full confidence and blind hope in the government on the PM’s bare assurance alone that 80 percent of the country’s population will be given vaccination within one year without any specific details.  Time is of the essence and I repeat my call to the government to unveil the national vaccination programme plan to the public without any further delay. - Gooi Hsiao Leung,mk


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